The New Orleans Advocate has run a front page story about strippers protesting in the street and at city council meetings. It seems that several Bourbon Street clubs have been shut down by the state liquor board do to drug and sex violations. At the writing of this blog, most of the clubs have been allowed to reopen.
I worked vice related crimes for many years and got to know some of the girls who plied their trade in these establishments. Sadly many died from overdose and disease. These sex workers did perform services for money. Most weren't on welfare and some became rich. Not many but some.
My partner and I arrested a dancer at an upscale strip club for performing a lewd act. She was a good looking woman who apparently had many clients. Once we took her outside she asked if one of us would drive her new Cadillac downtown because her driver was working and park it in a controlled lot. I complied with her request. Once at the jail, I asked what she made a night. She confessed to making $600 to $1200 a night working 4 nights a week and she made most of her money on out of town business men. This was in 1982.
She only took cash and paid an off duty police officer to drive her to and from work for $100. In fact, when she arrived at the jail she called this officer and asked him to pick her up when she posted her bond of $500.
She was a true working girl and made no bones about it. I later received a couple of phone calls from unnamed officials asking if I would be mad if her charges were dismissed. I said I didn't care because I knew they would be dismissed anyway.
I was never called to court and never received a disposition for the case. It seemed that it had been misplaced.
I tell you this story because I don't have anything against working girls. It's a hard life and some of them truly support themselves and save for the future. However, most of them come to a bad end.
In New Orleans this crackdown is just going on because Mardi Gras is coming up and the police are giving the girls a warning to not rip off the drunk tourists.
New Orleans is notorious for sex clubs and if the police think they are going to stop these girls from making a living during the biggest two weeks of the year, they are mistaken.
I thought it was amusing when one of the marching whores yelled "We are a large part of the tourist industry in this city." Another girl yelled "and we do it on our backs!"
I can't argue with that.