Is the end nigh for Australia's strippers?

Miss Nude World 2013 Cassandra Jane says strippers are running out of venues. Source: Supplied

POKIES are killing the stripper industry, the newly crowned Miss Nude World says.

Cassandra Jane, a 15-year veteran of the industry, says the industry is dying in her hometown of Melbourne.

"When I started 15 years ago we had all these big names, big costumes, big props. There were 42 venues in Melbourne and we'd rotate through them over three weeks,” she said.

"Then the pokies came in … now there's only two venues left out of those 42. I'm the only one left from 15 years ago.

"It's dying, it's really sad. People probably think you're just a stripper, but I'm a showgirl. It takes talent to keep a room full of people – women and men – to keep them entertained.”

Ms Jane was Miss Nude Australia last year, and won Miss Nude World 2013.

The Australian Sex Party says in some jurisdictions you cannot get an adult entertainment license if you have pokies, and said in other places stripping has suffered the same fate as other live entertainment.

"We've seen live entertainment venues die all over Australia and pokies had a lot to do with that,” president Fiona Patten said.

She said both conservative politicians and feminists put pressure on politicians to strangle the adult industry, but argued that pokies are a worse "adult entertainment” than stripping.

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"But you wouldn't want the breasts to distract from the gambling,” she said.

Stripper and director of the adult industry Eros Shine Awards Isadora Van Camp says there are other issues affecting the industry as well.

"Another thing that happened was that footy clubs aren't allowed to have strippers. That put a massive hole in the industry as well,” she said, adding that quality control has also gone "out the window” leaving customers disappointed.

"Some girls will just rock up in trakky daks and ugg boots,” she said.

"They might send out completely different girls from those you've booked. Or they'll have a photo of someone on their website even though they're not on their books at all.”

Ms Jane agrees that quality can be a problem.

"Lately girls just want to make a quick buck. They don't want to spend money on their costumes and they don't want to spend money on themselves,” she said.

"I'm trying to put the class back in it, the entertainment, rather than the smut.”

Ms Patten says there is hope for the industry in the resurgence of burlesque, an increasingly popular cabaret-style erotic performance.

"I think the future is still bright but also I think governments need to recognise that adult entertainment has a valid place in an entertainment precinct,” she said.

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