Are lap dances comfortable for the stripper

The sex business and the economy are directly related. The director Lorene Scafaria tells of this in her film "Hustlers": If the stock exchange traders on Wall Street have money, the strippers in the surrounding bars wear fur coats. The merit of the ladies who work in the nightlife is a gauge of the success of their customers.

Your earnings in the sex business are the more honest, that is emphasized in this film. Although it portrays life after the financial crisis in 2008, it shows the year 2007, when the fund managers had to carry the money around with them in plastic bags, so large were the sums of money that they took out of their pockets during the day without any scruples pulled. At night they carried these bags to strip clubs in order to throw bills at naked women - this is how "Hustlers" begins, with images of money. Money is the fuel that gets everyone moving, sellers.

For the time being, it will show how glamorous the sex club scene was in the noughties, beautifully clean, however, without a splash of dirt. Jennifer Lopez plays the main character Ramona with proven self-confidence, and when Ramona goes to the bars to dance in her club, it's not just the guests who are speechless. The power of the dancer; the tension that it builds up with every inch that it moves closer to the audience; the game of closeness and distance - Ramona's performances also make it clear to her colleagues that she is the one who not only knows what men find sexy, but also how to best stage it.

The story may sound like fiction, but the film was based on a report by journalist Jessica Pressler

As a result, she is showered with bills by the audience, which in turn is good for the women, much more than physical affection. Of course, "Hustlers" has a feminist approach. So it is illustrated in detail how women perfect the business transaction. They sell men not just a look at or a grip on their bodies, but the illusion of power.

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While the drunken, complacent audience relates every movement of the dancers to themselves, they only see the swing of the wrists with which the bills are flicked onto the stage. This is not a new finding, but it is so expressively staged by director Lorene Scafaria that nowhere does the thought arise that women could be victims. This role rests entirely with men.

But you can see the women at lap dance rehearsals, where they have a lot of fun, or you can listen to the conversations in the cloakroom while they gossip about their everyday life outside the club. They feel sorry for their friends who don't get sex or sexy sights at home, because the dancers get fed up with that after every shift. At the same time, "Hustlers" shows how generous women are in their friendships with one another, what solidarity the sex business evokes in them. This may sound like fiction, but the fact is that the film was made after a report by journalist Jessica Pressler, who interviewed a group of New York ex-strippers and published it in 2015.

The unique selling point of these strippers was their ingenuity. After the golden year of 2007, they found their own answer to the stock market crash by developing a business model with which they could earn as much money as before, although there were fewer paying customers: They became criminals. The film shows this as an answer to financial hardship, usually charming enough that one understands rather than despises Ramona and her friends. They continue to work in the sex business, they know their way around, but they change the job so much that they become very rich and independent - through trickery with knockout drops and credit cards.

They are granted the heroine status that the film gives them. They found a way to gouge rich men without hurting more than their bank accounts. Why should she put that in a worse light than any gang of men benevolently admired in the action genre for more violent crimes? Such men, it is clear, would immediately be in the business of these hustlers. If they could. Because here, for a change, you see crime that is exclusively reserved for women.

Hustlers, USA 2019 - Director, book: Lorene Scafaria. With Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhard. Universe. 110 minutes.