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Sarah Tressler: 5 Strippers Who Did Just Fine (NSFW)

This reporter is utterly baffled by scandal around Sarah Tressler, the Houston Chronicle society journalist that was reported by Houston Press as working as a stripper in the evenings and then blogging about her adventures. Mostly because we're pretty sure if we went back to performing in a corset and high heels at nights while people yelled perverted puns at us, the Houston Press would probably give us a raise instead of a pink slip. Then again, Tressler mixed with the elite of Houston money, and we do write-ups on steampunk dildos, so it's probably not a direct comparison.

Nonetheless, she's become a national name as a result of her... exposure, and appeared on Good Morning America to talk about the whole affair. We're certain that she'll land herself a book deal out of this, or at least another writing job somewhere that will capitalize on her notoriety. Barring that, there's always stripping.

This brings us to a few words of encouragement for Ms. Tressler. We have no feelings about her activities one way or the other. The sex industry in general baffles us, but it's not in our hearts to judge how anyone makes a living. In fact, plenty of peelers have done just fine.

Christy Hemme

She Took it Off...: Hemme started out as a cheerleader before moving on to Mt. San Jacinto College as a dance major. Once done with academia, she worked as a model and a burlesque dancer in the Purrfect Angelz dance team. Her modeling career was fairly successful, though she thoughtfully asked her dad if it was okay for her to bare all in Playboy after he had previously requested she keep her fun bits under wraps. He acquiesced, and she continued to do well showing off her obvious physical talents.

Then...: Her other talent? Beating the shit out of people. Hemme was part of the WWE's Diva Search, which was admittedly another sign that the company had decided that women's wrestling was more about tits than athleticism. Though Hemme proved damn scrappy, having grown up as a tough tomboy who idolized the Undertaker, she was mostly steamrolled by the likes of Trish Stratus and Victoria.

Eventually, she moved on to TNA where she asserted herself as much more than eye candy. Despite open derision from fellow wrestlers and the audience, she clawed her way inch by inch until she was a respectable contender. Unfortunately, a training injury shortened her career and derailed a high stakes match against Awesome Kong. She was never quite the same afterwards and moved into a backstage role with TNA. Too bad. Her finisher, a split legged guillotine leg drop from the turnbuckle, was a thing of absolute beauty.

David Hernandez
Sarah Tressler: 5 Strippers Who Did Just Fine (NSFW)

He Took it Off...: Male strippers make up 30 percent or less of the industry, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't count. Before he was on American Idol, Hernandez was a gymnast, but also spent some time as a stripper in a club in Phoenix, Arizona. He worked mostly nude, and for the almost exclusively male clientele at Dick's Cabaret for three years, according to a manager.

Then...: Hernandez didn't make it to the end of the seventh season of American Idol, but that doesn't mean he lost his dreams of being a singer. He opened for no less than John Legend in 2009, and released the fairly well-received I Am Who I Am. It's not exactly superstardom, but he's riding high on the #196,045 on Amazon's charts while our own work stalls at #309,157.

Okay...maybe this one wasn't the best example. How about...?

 

Courtney Love

She Took It Off...: The fact that Courtney Love didn't end up dead in a ditch is testament to her fate as an artist. She spent a fair amount of time stripping, even after having a brief gig as the lead singer of freakin' Faith No More. She worked naked in Oregon and Alaska, and was quoted as saying, "I just stripped and shut up, simplified everything in my life, got rid of everything I owned, and just wrote."

Then...: Look, we're not going to try and sell you on the idea that the modern Courtney Love is a fate that anyone should aspire to, but no matter what she is when she wakes up every day, the fact remains that Love is responsible for at least two of the greatest rock albums of this age, and her other output ain't bad at all, either.

Live Through This totally changed women's rock forever, and Celebrity Skin is for our money the best album of 1998 period. In addition, she's starred in at least two films that really should've netted her Oscar nods, Man on the Moon and The People vs. Larry Flynt. We still hold a deep place in our heart for her.

Sarah Tressler: 5 Strippers Who Did Just Fine (NSFW)

Diablo Cody

She Took It Off...: Of all the people you can compare Sarah Tressler to, Diablo Cody probably comes the most to mind as far as career path. Cody was already an established writer when she got interested in amateur night at a local strip club. From there she graduated to professional work, as well as stints as a naughty booth performer and a phone sex operator.

Then...: If you haven't read Cody's book Candy Girl, you really should. Cody combined her experiences in the sex industry with her brilliant prose to become one of America's most original voices. She won an Academy Award for her screenplay to the 2007 film Juno, and though it didn't make waves at the time, we still think her script for Jennifer's Body (named for a Courtney Love tune, ironically) will eventually be recognized for the genius it clearly is. She remains a very sought-after talent in Hollywood.

Josephine Baker

Sarah Tressler: 5 Strippers Who Did Just Fine (NSFW)

She Took It Off...: Nothing compares to the story of Josephine Baker. Born in 1906, Baker was a mixed-race child who worked under horrible conditions as a little girl, including having her hands burned by an employer for using too much soap in the laundry. At 12 she fled this life to become an accomplished and highly popular nude dancer. She was a star of such caliber that she would bring a pet cheetah onstage with her, and loose it onto the orchestra pit just to grab what little excitement her fine rack couldn't accomplish.

Then...: Well, after she married a Jew she decided that the Nazis and all their friends could lick her ass. The French employed her as a spy, having her report relevant gossip from high-class parties back to the French government. She regularly wrote letters to French soldiers to boost morale, and would even smuggle secret messages while on tour by having them written in invisible ink on her sheet music.

She didn't even stop there, though she'd already lived enough of a life for any ten Hollywood films. She was big in the American Civil Rights movement, refusing to perform for segregated audiences until promoters finally gave up and let the races mix. She was a close confidante of Martin Luther King Jr. himself, and after King's assassination was even offered the main leadership role in the movement. (She declined, not wanting the Rainbow Tribe, her 12 multiracial adopted children, to lose their mother to some asshole with good aim.)

Oh, and just for good measure, she was fucking Frida Kahlo. Seriously, Josephine Baker makes James Bond look like a librarian, and it all started because people paid to watch her take her top off.


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