Stripper Web, an online forum for exotic dancers, webcam models, and online sex workers announced this week that it’s closing on Feb. 1. The forum, which houses over 900,000 posts and discussion threads from workers in the adult entertainment space, said in a statement the site’s shuttering was a “difficult decision.”
Stripper Web’s interface, which includes a pink color scheme and the silhouette of a woman standing in front of a spider web, recalls any early-2000s chat forum.
Popular discussion threads include “stripping,” “newbie board” (for folks new to the adult entertainment space), “club chat” (in which dancers can share their experiences at IRL strip and exotic dance spaces), and “camming connection,” a thread to connect webcam models and those interested in getting involved. Posts on Stripper Web can be viewed with or without creating an account on the site.
Based on interviews conducted by the Daily Dot, it’s unclear who first created Stripper Web.
Stripper Web’s closing sparked discussion on Twitter on Monday, and a tweet from Marla Cruz the next day about the site’s statement went viral.
“The depth of knowledge & advice on this forum is incalculable!” tweeted Cruz, who describes herself as a stripper and a sex worker. “An immense communal & cultural loss for dancers, esp new girls looking for a solid resource to start.”
According to Stripper Web’s goodbye post, the site has been active for “over 20 years.” In an interview with the Daily Dot, Cruz said she started using the site in late 2017 when she was interested in auditioning to work at strip clubs. When she first got hired the next year, Stripper Web was the first place she looked for resources: Without any friends in the exotic dancing community at the time, Cruz needed tips and tricks from people who knew the industry.
“I read about how common prostitution was in my club and, more importantly, how to stay safe and maintain my personal boundaries in such a cutthroat environment,” Cruz told the Daily Dot. “Stripper Web’s most important contribution to the sex working community is teaching thousands of us how to work safely, especially when club management had no interest in maintaining our safety.”
Speaking of club chat, Cruz said that she was able to “spread the word” about class action lawsuits affecting clubs she worked at.
Other adult entertainers like Kate Alexis used Stripper Web for advice about webcam modeling, also known as camming. Kate, who now works as an OnlyFans creator and sells adult video clips online, told the Daily Dot she joined Stripper Web in 2011 when she first discovered webcamming and was “clueless.” She says luckily, the camming connection discussion thread brought her up to speed.
“I read EVERYTHING [on that discussion thread] and literally learned everything I needed about the different main cam sites,” Kate told the Daily Dot. “That site was literally worth its weight in gold.”
Kate also worked as a moderator for the site, which she said was hectic because of Stripper Web’s endless activity. Eventually, when social media platforms like Instagram and OnlyFans became more popular, she says she “drifted away” from the forum because online sex work began to require self-promotion and a large online following.
Efforts to replace—or just preserve—Stripper Web have already begun. Cruz called for Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library of the internet that saves web pages on its popular service Wayback Machine, to archive Stripper Web’s discussion threads and blog posts.
“Our family is dying,” Cruz tweeted in a message to Internet Archive. She also told the Daily Dot that some sex workers rely on The Dancers Resource, which has built a following of over 133,000 on Instagram.
In its closing announcement, Stripper Web suggested that site traffic can move to another online forum called Amber Cutie’s forum run by cam girl and OnlyFans creator AmberCutie. Her forum hosts threads like “General Cam Chat,” “Ask-A-Model,” in which webcam models can ask their contemporaries for advice and help, and unofficial forums about different video clip vendor sites.
Other sex workers with Twitter presences like TajaEthereal (who also goes by Phatgirldynomite) are offering their forums as Stripper Web alternatives. TajaEthereal’s forum Cammodel Web includes a handful of archived Stripper Web threads, including “preserving your emotional/psychological wellbeing for strippers.”
TajaEthereal told the Daily Dot that she started Cammodel Web four years ago because she felt that Stripper Web was “unstable.”
“My biggest focus right now is creating a new home that’s familiar to members of the Stripper Web community,” TajaEthereal said. “I just want to make sure that we are being supported in exchange for our content.”
She added that she loves Stripper Web and is “proud” of everyone who has contributed to it over the years.
Cruz told the Daily Dot that no matter where the sex work community migrates in the post-Stripper Web era, “sex workers are resilient in these times because we have to be.”
“There will always be a need for communal knowledge,” Cruz said of the community. “And there will always be sex workers creating new spaces for ourselves.”