NY Post – Ever since controversial undergrad/Duke porn star Belle Knox announced she’d be headlining her first strip show in NYC on Friday, college students have been racing to the poles. Modal Trigger Mike Diaz, manager of Show Palace, the all-nude joint in Queens where Knox will undress for a $2,000 fee, says that he’s been flooded with applicants eager to pay off college tuitions since the deal was inked in March. “Some of these girls came out of school with a $50,000 [or] $100,000 debt. And this is a way for them to not have this debt,” says Diaz. Plus students “can work around their school schedule very nicely with the gentlemen’s club industry,” adds Jeff Levy of the Association of Club Executives of New York, a trade and advocacy group for the adult entertainment industry. We talked to three city coeds who signed up to strip at Show Palace. Each averages three nights and $1,500 to $2,000 a week, which goes toward tuition, school supplies, rent, savings and to their families.
Vaughn Jackson, 20, A K A “Hennessy”
Pole-dancing & proud: “A lot of girls marry guys for money and I feel like they’re being dependent. Whereas, you can come here and do your thing . . . and you’re becoming independent. You earn all your own money. You’re not depending on any man or mother or father, sister or brother. I feel like stripping’s empowering because I’m not really doing anything. I can stand there and somebody could walk up to me and throw me a couple hundred dollars and that’s it. It feels good.”
The Belle Knox effect: “She’s helping me come out of my shell. I’ve started being more open about it, realizing that stripping doesn’t need to be this secret.”
Motivation: “I think I’m going to do it until I reach [the] goal I’ve set. I want to save $1 million. I think I could do it only from stripping money. I have 50 grand so far.”
Bringing class to the club: “I bring my iPad on the train and do reading for class. If it’s not busy at the club, I will sit in the back and read. I study Monday morning.”
Biggest tip: “Some football team came in and they were going crazy. They probably left me $500.”
Her parents don’t know she strips . . . yet: “I could tell them at Thanksgiving dinner like everyone else. Or, they can find out in the New York Post.”
Dream job: “I would really like to travel and curate for different museums and collect art pieces. I really love art.”
Amanda Peña, 18, A K A “Egypt”
How she got started: “I had read about Belle Knox in Rolling Stone. I mean, porn isn’t for me, but living in East Harlem, my parents don’t really have an income . . . I decided, OK, if this is a way of me being able to get money, I could totally come here.”
Pole dancing & proud: “I’m very open. My parents know. My whole family knows. They’re very supportive. But as far as school, I try not to mix my personal life.”
Maran Gorham, 20, A K A “Xena”
Pole dancing & proud: “Once I got into it, I actually really liked it. I was really comfortable in my own skin. So that just made me keep going . . . So many people are going through so much debt with student loans, it’s almost ridiculous to ask people not to do stripping or porn to pay for that.”
Motivation: “My college tuition is $30,000 a year. And I was very fortunate for my grandparents to have enough money to pay for the first few semesters, but I’ve kind of run out of money at this point.”
Biggest tip: “Around $300.”
Her parents don’t know she strips . . . yet: “Hell, no! Their biggest concern would be, ‘Is it safe?’ I don’t think they would have that big of an issue with my being naked.”
You guys hear that? Listen close. Real close. Thats the sound of 3 fathers blowing their brains out. And you know what? Its probably a lot more than three. There’s probably an entire army of fathers out there ready to all just hold hands and walk off a cliff together. Because Belle Knox has inspired a generation of chicks to jump on the pole. An entire demographic of girls who are now thinking about getting naked and having sex for money. She’s like the Michael Jordan of desperate broads. You know how everyone growing up playing basketball in the late 90s and 2000s wanted to wear number 23 because of MJ? Stuck their tongue out driving to the hoop and practiced their fadeaway jumper? Thats whats going on right now with chicks and Belle Knox. They want to follow in that hooker’s footsteps.
I’ll tell you what I’m doing if I’m a father of a daughter right now – I’m just flat out telling her not to go to college. If they don’t go to college, they don’t have loans and bills and tuition. Wont be tempted to do porn and be strippers. I’d rather my daughter be dumb, uneducated and unsuccessful than a porn star with debt.