First episode of…2023!? Yes, we’re here! To kick this year off, I’ve brought on Gemma Rose of Pole Dance Stripper Movement UK (PDSMUK) to come onto the show! Gemma is a pole dance instructor, stripper, content creator, and the founder of PDSMUK. Gemma is excitedly launching the first stripper competition in the UK later this month which I was stoked to talk to her about. In previous, pole [hobbyist/sport] competitions have left no room for strippers. For gatekeeping and restricting costumes and certain dance moves, to providing zero education on the background of where the root of “exotic”-style dance came from, to selecting judges with no stripper experience at all! Gemma set out to change this so she started her own competition where there is no guessing games: the judging criteria is strict and thorough, there is actually a striptease and NUDE element to this competition and employs (and pays!) its judges for the event. It’s so aligned with PDSMUK’s vision and along with ours here on the show: to destigmatize sex work.