An exclusive interview with Stringfellow celebrity lap dancer- Sofia
She is an international lap dancing star who has worked in top clubs in Sweden, Los Angeles and London.
Intelligent, authentic and open, she has broken the industry mould with her honesty.
Now, we have the chance to explore what it really takes to make it in this industry.
Letty: Good afternoon Sofia and thank you for honouring us to come for an interview in our London office.
Sofia: Hello Letty and thank you for inviting me (smile).
Letty: So, how did it all started for you.
Sofia: Well, I wish there was a more romantic story behind my decision to go for lap dancing, but the reality is quite different. I am originally born in Israel and had to flee the country at the age of 14 as I had no family left back home. I resided in Sweden which became my second home and started work as a waitress in a lap dancing club which allowed me to pay my bills and rent a house.
At first the club felt like an exotic island, a far cry from the hardships and life I was used to.
The girls were like princesses who could enchant you, sooth you and make you believe in life again. Gradually, the dancers became my family and the club my home.
When I couldn’t earn enough to pay for my rent the managers were even kind enough to let me sleep in one of the rooms until I get back steady on my feet. This happened quite a few times in my teenage years.
For me, this were the most formative years that have made me into the person I am today. Most of all, it did give me a much more realistic perspective about life and how you truly have to fight for everything that you have or want to build. When I grew old enough to perform as a lap dancer this became my way of expressing my creativity, sexuality and most of all my will to build a better life for myself and the people I love.
Letty: So, unlike Sammy (the victim of sexual abuse who became a topic of discussion lately), you don’t really perceive the lap dancing industry as a degrading, abusive and objectifying environment for women, do you?
Sofia: Well, it’s all about individual’s perception, isn’t it? Like, you can always encounter abusive clients or management whether you are working in an office, shop or a strip club. In fact, I have recently read that over 65% of young women say they have been subjected to abuse in their workplace and the majority of them were having prestigious jobs and supposedly safer working environments. Why don’t we shut down the lawyer’s, institutional and corporate offices as well since there are clear examples of sexual abuse?
Letty: Well said Sofia. You can’t judge by the bad management of a specific workplace and label it as the state of the industry in general.
Sofia: Absolutely Letty, I mean, I cannot say that I haven’t encountered hardships and abuse when working in Los Angeles and the UK, but if anything should be changed, I think this should be the standards in the working regulations between clubs and their dancers. If we legally have more rights and can claim them then a potential abusive manager or client would think twice before harassing a dancer since they would know they won’t be able to get away with it.
Letty: I totally agree with you Sofia. This is the core of the problem as with any sexual or physical abuse-the abusers think that there would be no consequences for them. If the law could introduce tighter regulations for clients and management as well as what the clubs are and are not permitted, the number of victims would be drastically lower.
Sofia: Absolutely Letty. Sadly, abuse shouldn’t be happening on the first place but wiping out the entire industry is simply ridiculous. Think of the women like me-I never had the chance to finish my education, don’t have a family support and am not exactly the first on the list for employees who are choosing candidates for well paid jobs. If this industry wasn’t there to allow us to earn a decent income to make a living, women like me are likely to end up on the streets and be involved in disgusting practices and lifestyles.
I don’t see the industry as degrading, no way, and if I was I would have walked away from it years ago, as you do have a choice whether to stay there or not. In, fact, I am now investing into opening my own school for dancing and pole dancing as this was my dream ever since I was a teenager. Dancing has become my life and even later in life when I have children I would like it to stay this way. Will probably get a dancing pole in my bedroom (laughs).
Letty: Fantastic plan Sofia and we are in the hope it will come soon to fruition. If you have to describe success in five words what would they be?
Sofia: Just love what you do.
Letty:Thank you for your time! It was an absolute pleasure to have you here today!
Sofia: Likewise, Letty. I am a great fan of Strip Magazine and it is really exciting for me to be here with you today!