Coming Attractions; An Adult Entertainment Agency (SLO County)
Smith’s entertainment service, Coming Attractions, offers professional strippers for a variety of events. Some of which include:
- Bachelor and bachelorette parties
- Bridal showers
- Graduation parties
- Birthday gatherings
- Farewell events
Customer experiences are of the utmost importance and many of their customers are return customers. They’re based in San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles to be more specific, and location is one of the major factors that must be carefully dealt with.
Since it’s a small area, it’s crucial to make contacts with bartenders, taxi drivers, and associated people who will be working in the night. “I’ve gotten a lot of help from people because they already knew how I conducted business and it felt like I had a little bit more respect when I was beginning. At least, it felt like I had the ability to get the word out more than, say, a competitor in the area,” said Smith. And while it is beneficial to have positive relationships within the community, she mentioned that additional scrutiny can be a challenge sometimes. Since everybody knows everybody, there can be the added challenge of hiring people to strip. This, of course, is not the only problem involved in owning an adult entertainment business. A quick Google search shows that every other aspect of opening an adult entertainment business is also complicated, what with all the legal hassles as well as the infinite amount of logistics there is to deal with.
“I’ve gotten a lot of help from people because they already knew how I conducted business and it felt like I had a little bit more respect when I was beginning. At least, it felt like I had the ability to get the word out more than, say, a competitor in the area,” said Smith.
Predominately girls work for Smith and it can be especially difficult for the working girls going to college. They have to deal with difficult comments as well as judgments about their character. Smith, for her part, tries to make sure that her girls are doing it for the right reasons and the main purpose is to get to a better place. “I ask every girl that works for me: “So, what are your goals? Are you getting yourself through school? What is the purpose of you working for me and doing this?” I want to know. There are girls that I can tell are using drugs to the point of addiction and I don’t want to be enabling them because of the quick and easy money that can come along with stripping. Especially, when you only need to do a few hours a week,” said Smith.
Cal Poly student Sabrina McCoyle empathized with the inevitable difficulties of being a stripper nowadays. She recalled hearing of many girls who stripped to put themselves through college and found it admirable how hard they worked to put themselves on top. Personally for her, she said, “I wouldn’t mind to be a stripper. It doesn’t seem that bad but the problem is how society would view you in life. It kind of takes your value away a little bit in situations like if you had children and people asked you what your profession was. No one’s going to take you seriously.” The effect society has on perceptions when it comes to matters like stripping can be almost absolute and damning in its condemnation.
“I wouldn’t mind to be a stripper. It doesn’t seem that bad but the problem is how society would view you in life. It kind of takes your value away a little bit in situations like if you had children and people asked you what your profession was. No one’s going to take you seriously,”said McCoyle.
But, Cal Poly student Chase Flemmer disagrees with such statements. Instead, he believes that the modern world is becoming more accepting of such occupations, under certain circumstances, because of how explicit popular culture is. “Magic Mike did help a little bit because being a stripper is considered more sexy, nowadays. All thanks to Channing Tatum. But there is definitely a double standard because I think it seems more like a choice for male strippers. Female strippers have a choice, too. But, it’s just different,” said Flemmer. So, while, people may be seem more accepting of male strippers, the courtesy doesn’t necessarily extend to female strippers. To investigate a bit more into the various perceptions and challenges that surround the adult entertainment agency, I created a little audio story. Take a listen!
Aside from how the industry is viewed, there is also the question of how it is run. Smith initially started Coming Attractions because she was tired of how dancers were treated in the industry, as well as the customers. She wanted to do something different and help make the adult entertainment world a more socially accepted one. Especially, in areas like San Luis Obispo, where she encountered slightly more conservative attitudes than usual. More than anything else, Smith wants strippers to be treated much better and valued for their hard work. By conducting an an ever-present and helpful agency for her employees, she finds that everyone involved has an easier time doing their jobs. “You really want to know as a dancer that there is a kind and supportive voice available, should you need it. A person that really does care that you make it out of that show alive and well. That is the difference between me and most other agencies,” she remarked.
“You really want to know as a dancer that there is a kind and supportive voice available, should you need it.”
Ultimately, Smith and I agree that there needs to be more acceptance for the adult entertainment industry as well as the women who form its backbone. They deserve to be commended for their sheer determination and constant persistence, despite the less than ideal circumstances that are inevitable sometimes. While I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of my conversation with Smith, her comment regarding the type of insight strippers and dancers gain through their jobs was what I will forever remember. “We really see men for who they are because they’re not going to hold back and be nice to us. They’re going to say what they really think and be who they are.”
Until next time,
Curious in SLO