E20: The Exotic Dancers Union

Exotic Dancers Union.

Podcast episode about the workers at the Lusty Lady strip club in San Francisco who in 1997 were the first women who managed to unionise a strip joint in the United States, and who later took it over and ran it as a workers’ co-operative.

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See the full show notes for this episode, including photographs here on the WCH website: workingclasshistory.com/2019/03/13/e20-the-exotic-dancers-union/

We have been trying to improve our podcast over the last few months, but this is really the first of our new wave of episodes which we have been devoting huge amounts of time to. We have worked on this episode for over 6 months, and are very pleased to finally be able to release it. Ultimately we will only be able to continue to devote this much time to the podcast if we get more support on patreon, so please do support us if you can. If not, we would still appreciate you sharing podcast episodes on social media, and reviewing us on Apple Podcasts.


Pictured above are Lusty Lady workers, including Cinnamon Maxxine, left, marching on May Day 2008 in support of San Francisco dock workers.
– You can watch Live Nude Girls Unite!, a documentary about the original organising effort, free on Prime Video (or to rent/buy)
– You can read No Justice, No Piece! A working girls guide to labour organising in the sex industry, a manual put together by the Lusty Lady workers, here
– Find Antonia Crane online: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Antonia’s personal memoir, Spent

Soldiers of Pole
Cinnamon Maxxine
Old Lusty Lady website


Short video about the Lusty Lady co-operative:

Short video filmed with workers just before the club closed:

Short video about the Lusty closing party (thanks to Trevor Crane for permission to use audio from this clip in our episode):

To celebrate sex workers’ organising we have produced a range of commemorative merch combining artwork from @ripbambi and the Atelier Populaire from May 1968. Check it out here

As always, thanks to our patreon supporters for making this podcast possible. Thanks also to the following people:
Vixen Noir, for the theme music – Lusty Lady. You can buy it here or stream it on YouTube here
Episode cover photo by Matthew Roth
Editing by Louise Barry of Audio Interference

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