Just graduating from high school and you've decided you'd like to start a career in the field of exotic dancing in the Lone Star State?

Chances are you are going to have to wait until you turn 21 because of a law signed into effect by Governor Abbott back in May.

Before Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 315 into effect, which prohibits people under the age of 21 from working at adult entertainment venues, the legal age was 18 years old. Now anyone on the premises must be age 21 or over. That includes servers and anyone involved in entertainment, whether they're a dancer or not.

Well, for starters I think this is far overdue. I read about the new law in a recent article from the Dallas Observer, which reported that lawmakers passed the bill in part to combat human trafficking.

That said, having visited an adult entertainment venue a time or two in my day, I don't think too many dancers are happy about this.

I thought this was interesting as I was skimming the web yesterday and reading through the story in the Dallas Observer.

It gives different accounts of how ladies between the ages of 18 and 21 heavily rely on the money that they receive while dancing. At least one person interviewed said dancing was a way many young women were paying for rent, transportation, and their education.

When the new rules were put in place, some were actually snatched off the stage! Now they were suddenly out of work, and the anonymous dancer interviewed in the piece said she worried some might turn to illegal means, while other would turn to sites like OnlyFans to try to compete for dollars there.

But some former dancers are for the new rules, including Nissi Hamilton (a human trafficking survivor) and Jessica Wesley. They were actually involved in introducing the legislation.

Back in April, they both testified that minors are given drugs and alcohol at adult entertainment facilities.

Senator Joanne Hoffman testified earlier this year "the change is intended to fight the scourge of human trafficking and this is one more tool in the tool kit to protect our vulnerable youth our laws are a reflection of values and it should be our values". The state attorney general's office also hopes the new rules will make it easier to identify victims of human trafficking.

On the other hand, an exotic dancer says if lawmakers were concerned about human trafficking, they should have exotic dancers take a class before they are able to dance. (That’s actually pretty smart.)

She also added that if they were so concerned about underage drinking that they would have required under 21 dancers to take a breath test for alcohol. She doesn't think prohibiting 18-year-old dancers will really stop as much trafficking and exploitation as officials hope.

So the next time you're looking to visit a strip club or adult entertainment venue, rest assured those girls are at least over 21. Have fun!


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