Exotic Dancer, M.B.A.

That is the name of a new program being offered by Starlight Ministries, the stripper outreach program in Virginia I recently blogged about. Here’s how Lia Scholl of Starlight describes the program:

Our newest venture is called Exotic Dancer, M.B.A. It’s a one-day seminar for women who are exotic dancers (and there will be some private dancers/women in prostitution there, too). We’ll teach self-care, money management, strip-club economics, and do a fun art project. The pilot kicks off on Monday, April 28, in Richmond, Virginia.

We’ve already had a great response to the event. Several women are coming in from out of town to attend. We are anticipating at least 50 dancers at this event.

Several of you wrote in after we ran this Q&A with Allie, a high-end call girl we are writing about in SuperFreakonomics, wanting to know what her end game is.

In a nutshell, Allie is also working on getting a sort of M.B.A., some of it within the traditional confines of academia. I think (hope) readers will find this part of Allie’s story to be as fascinating as the rest.


Although I applaud Starlight Ministries for its unconventional outreach program, you can't associate "MBA" with a one day seminar unless if it spells out "Married By Accident".



Hi Stephen,

This post reminded me of your introduction last night when you spoke at the University of Utah. You made a comment about how successful people overall, are generally honest people, otherwise they wouldn't be good business people. But then you took a poll to see how many people claim to wash their hands after using the public restroom. While 98% self-reported hand washing by raise of hands, you disclosed that in reality 30% of people do not wash their hands, and that we, the audience, were lying to you.

You mentioned your study of this activity had taken place in airport bathrooms, so I have to wonder if this was the same sample of people who would attend your lecture (maybe a room full of university students are a bit more hygenic on average than your average Joe?) , but I'll give you that one. The conversation didn't continue down the track of talking about the "exceptions" of successful people who've gone astray, except for a brief crack about watching out for Senator Larry Craig in the airport restroom.

Your talk concluded that human nature cannot be characterized as "bad" or "good" inherently; rather, we are all driven by situations and incentives to behave a certain way at certain times.

And now, a barrage of various questions that have been flying around in my mind this morning:

How, then, do we explain the seemingly corrupt nature of so many politicians, i.e. Spitzer? Are politicians inherently more corrupt than the general populous, or would we all react the way they do under such pressures? What are the incentives there? Why do they take such risks when they have taken such pains to get where they are in the first place? And for every politician or successful business person that gets caught in the act of corruption, how many are out there who "didn't wash their hands" and just didn't get caught not doing so?

Finally, if we assume that this is the case, and that there are more "honest, successful people out there" who lie about washing their hands and various other things, maybe programs like this "dancer M.B.A." program should get more credit. Plus, it sounds like a great way to get an M.B.A. and stay in shape at the same time. ;-)



Getting an MBA in a one-day seminar? That's kind of over-reaching. Seriously.

Joe C.

Could we get more details about the "fun art project"?


Do you think this is OK *because* of its religious basis, or *despite* that?


Is this open to men, too? I'm not interested in women; gay men have a lot of disposable income.


thanks for sharing



To Adrienne:
Corruption and infidelity are rampant in society in general. Technically even doing a favor for your friend is corruption because you would probably go the extra mile for your friend when you would not for some random person. For anyone who doubts this applies to politics, think Haliburton and Dick Cheney. Cheating on spouses is rampant as well.

The only reason politicians seem more corrupt is because they are in the lime light. When Spitzer was caught with a prostitute, it became a national issue because he is an important figure. But if I were to get caught with a prostitute, the only people who would care are my girlfriend and a fwe of her close friends.

Nikhil Punnoose

Er...at just about everyone above, you realize they're not ACTUALLY giving an MBA, right?



Yeah guys, the "MBA" part is tongue in cheek, or have we all lost out sense of humor here? Beware the dangers of taking things too literally. Actually, it's a little scary that people can't figure that part out.


I appreciate this organizations creative approach to reaching out, assessing the needs of the dancers, & using a combination of tools that are fresh & relevant that will speak acceptance whether those words are actually uttered. MBA just surmises the well-rounded nature of the 1 day event. Let's move on to more meaningful dialogue such as demystifying what a sex workers job looks like in order to create a compassionate response. Isn't everyone's greatest need in life to be loved & accepted, according to many psychologists, no matter what their profession, gender, race, culture, or faith?


Hmm... this course sounds like way more fun than grad school.

Amber Smith

Again I can't believe how stripper is synominous with escort, call girls, prostitute. They are two different professions!
Amber Smith


I don't think the idea of teaching women how to be a sex worker (stripper, escort or otherwise - not saying they're the same thing! ) is a very new idea. There are lots of websites like www.howtobecomeanescort.net that are doing this. Any body who is shocked by the idea or finds this news worthy should do some Google searching.