First of all, it's a privilege to be asking you these questions, I've been a fan of yours for a minute. Thanks for participating! In case any of our readers are just discovering your work, could you tell us a little about who Jacq the Stripper is and what you do in the world?
Thank you! I'm Jacq, and I'm a stripper, a comedian, an illustrator and a writer. My mission is to spread the gospel of happy sluts.
You've said "100 Days of Pleasantries " and "The Beaver Show" were meant to humanize sex work - how have civilians reacted to both?
I've received a lot of positive feedback from civilians after they read my book and comics... a prevailing theme in the commentary is that I make it accessible, which I think is so rad. I love all the smoke and mirrors of stripping, but I think it's important to break it down for people. To remind them that we are also people, that we work hard, and that the work itself is incredible challenging and nuanced.
Do you feel like your work is contributing to lifting stigma from "the industry?"
I sure as fuck hope so.
What was the most amusing or interesting thing you discovered after interviewing over three hundred strippers for 'Striptastic?'
SO MANY THINGS. I wasn't surprised by how brilliant and strong these women are; I already knew that since the day I started stripping. What was shocking was the sheer number of women who were so keen to participate and forthcoming with their stories. So many strippers are tight-lipped about their work because of the judgement and the stigma. I'm so honored that so many women felt comfortable sharing with me.
Also - the amount of guys who have a fart kink is STAGGERING. There will be an entire chapter in STRIPTASTIC! dedicated to the fart hustle.
Your Kickstarter says that the new book is an "educational journey." What are you hoping people learn from reading?
I hope STRIPTASTIC! educates non-strippers about how brilliantly challenging the job is, and inspires people to come out and support us. I feel like a lot of young people are starting to come to strip clubs to prove that they're cool, but really how great would it be if they came out because they value and respect the art and hustle of stripping? Strippers are FANTASTIC entertainers, and we should be treated with the respect that a great entertainer deserves.
The Venn diagram you posted of songs to dance to that strippers love and hate and The Stripper Pyramid of Health, Happiness and Efficiency are hilarious, will there be more "scientific" graphs and illustrations featured?
YES. SO MUCH YES. I collected data from nearly 300 strippers and I am gonna graph, diagram, and chart and the fuck outta that information.
What was the biggest accelerant in lighting the flame to create Striptastic?
When people ordered their copies of The Beaver Show, a lot of people emailed me and were like, "oh, I thought this was a book of illustrations..." which was wildly frustrating, because I poured everything I had into writing it. Drawing was just a random thing that I fell into because of an instagram hashtag. But careers develop in strange ways, so I just took it as a sign and thought, "well, I'd better give the people what they want."
In a world of "Instagram famous" artists and newfangled ways to read books, what made you choose to print a coffee table book over an app or a pay site?
Because I want these stories on people's coffee tables. Strippers need to be humanized, so what better way than to learn about us than from the comfort of your living room?
Have you been inspired by DIY book people? If so, who?
Erika Moen has published her web comic, Oh Joy Sex Toy and self-published them as anthologies using Kickstarter for a few years. She has been so inspiring and has also been really generous with insight and advice on how to do it ALL yourself.
Who would make you pee your pants because they ordered the book? (Dead or alive - though I feel like I already know the answer is Anna Nicole Smith haha)
Any of my idols... Anna Nicole Smith, John Waters, Amber Rose. Amber Rose is the new reigning patron saint of strippers, so that would be so dope. I'm such a fangirl... I send everything I make (the merch, the books, the zine) to her fan mail PO Box. It would be a dream to see her sporting the Off Duty Stripper t-shirt I sent her! We all have dreams...
What was different about writing "The Beaver Show" vs "Striptastic"?
EVERYTHING. The Beaver Show is a written memoir all about my experience coming of age as a stripper.
STRIPTASTIC! is the story of 300 strippers and not a single typed word will be in this book. It's entirely illustrated, with a handful of hand-written essays thrown in.
Have any of the customers featured in your work seen themselves in your illustrations?
Not yet. Kind of dreading the day when they do find out. I might have to retire. When I'm at work, everything I do is for them. My illustrations are not for them. They are for us.
Finally, where can we preorder Striptastic because we all need one immediately?!?!
You can pre-order your copy on KICKSTARTER! Or if you're not ready to buy the book itself, you can pledge as little as $1 to help make it happen! Every little bit helps!