I’m stepping outside my comfort zone…(big effin understatement). In the week ahead I’m heading to Las Vegas to visit my daughter Britt, who’s a full-time volunteer for an unusual non-profit called
The group acts as a care & support system for women in the
Adult Entertainment Industry.
My visit coincides with two of their biggest annual events.
The first is a Tiffany themed Spa Day where local women in the industry are invited to this special event that includes free spa services, food and gifts.
The second event is a Relaxation Suite for industry women attending The AVN Awards at the HardRock Hotel. This is the Adult Entertainment Industries’ biggest night and considered “The Oscars” for pornographic movies. It’s watched by millions on cable television. Coinciding with the awards is The AVN Expo - the world’s biggest Adult Entertainment Convention Tradeshow attended by over 100,000 people.
So. I’ll step outside my Connecticut small town bubble. I like to think I’m a loving and non-judgmental person. This will be tested. One thing Britt has said all along is, “They’re just like us Mom ~ They’re just like us.”
Before I go further, I’d like you to watch this video of a TedX Talk with Joy Hoover – the organization’s founder. She explains the premise behind this unique organization.
Here’s an excerpt from their website:
For women working in the adult entertainment industry, non-judgmental support, consistent caring, and community resources are seldom, if ever, provided. In 2009, after a trip to Las Vegas opened our eyes to the needs of these women, we started knocking on doors of strip clubs with little more to offer than love and a box of cupcakes. Much to our surprise and delight we were not only invited in, we were invited back, and today we offer our unique brand of caring and support to women working in strip clubs in Las Vegas and Portland, and brothels in Nevada.
In March of 2013 we opened up our Women’s Resource Center, (the first of it’s kind!), which helps provide our women with job placement and professional development; health and beauty services; mental health, drug and alcohol counseling; spiritual guidance, as well as housing, legal, and education and financial assistance, and so much more!
With each connection we make, we realize just how many women need someone to care for and believe in them. As their trust in us grows, monthly cupcakes turn into coffee dates, we end up hosting their birthday parties and baby showers, and we find ourselves invited into their lives where we assist them in whatever way we can.
Since we began our work, we’ve partnered with tutors, lawyers, doctors, dentists, financial advisors, and other skilled professionals who’ve shared their talents and expertise at no cost to our women. We’ve served as babysitters, chauffeurs, shoulders to cry on, hands to hold, cheerleaders, stylists, mentors, and—most importantly—friends. And we’ve helped women who doubt themselves and their worth become more empowered in their daily lives by gaining the strength and courage they need to grow.”
(My daughter Britt is in the top photo on the left.)
Here they are with their signature pink boxes of cupcakes ready for strip club visits.
In my gut I don’t want to be a bundle of preconceived opinions, biases, misconceptions & sympathy. I simply want to look them in the eyes and in the truest sense share love.
I look forward to sharing more of the trip with you on my return.
So as they say ~