Houston Press Writer Incurs Wrath of Blogosphere for Stripper Post

Press writer Richard Connelly reveals that a Houston Chronicle society reporter maintains a double life as an "angry stripper." Outrage ensues!
Wed March 28, 2012 8:12 pm
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A writer for the Houston Press stirred up controversy when he outed a Houston Chronicle society writer as an “angry stripper.”

Richard Connelly reported on Monday that Sarah Tressler, in addition to being a Chronicle freelancer and University of Houston adjunct professor, is a stripper who dances at clubs such as St. James and the Men’s Club. “It sounds like a bad rom-com book and movie, which no doubt its author hopes it will be – society reporter for a big-city newspaper by day, stripper by night,” Connelly wrote on the alt-weekly’s Hairballs blog.

Connelly links to Sarah Tressler’s blog, Facebook, and Twitter profiles (the first two of which have since been set to private) and notes that Tressler, whose name on Twitter was listed as “Sarahtress,” didn’t seem to be making much of an effort to conceal her identity. Her blog, “Diary of an Angry Stripper” included posts titled “10 Things You Should Know Before You Date a Stripper” and “Can We Talk About Cross-Contamination For a Sec,” in which she recounts her encounter with a “finger sucker.”

In his post, Connelly claims that Tressler’s colleagues at the Chronicle were not happy to hear about her night job, but doesn’t name the source for this quote:

Her fellow Chronicle employees have found out and they’re furious. Furious because she barely bothers to conceal her identity and they’re worried about the reaction from the “ladies who lunch” when they inevitably find out that they’ve been hosting an active stripper at their benefits. … And furious because the Chron staff feels ike she’s just using them as fodder for a future roman a clef.

Many commenters and bloggers accused Connelly, the same writer who wrote last May’s infamous Top 10 Hottest Female Sex Offenders” list, of slut shaming, a charge he calls “odd.”

I don’t get the”slut shaming” charge. If you want to be a stripper, fine.

If you want to write for a very conservative, uptight paper – covering the very powerful, very conservative and straitlaced people the paper so desperately works to keep happy and unruffled – fine.

If you want to combine the two, it’s interesting, to say the least.

At Hay Ladies!,  Andrea Grimes was among those incensed by Connelly’s post. She questions the necessity of “exposing” Tressler’s other job, writing,

The fact that Connelly would try to act like there isn’t an element of slut-shaming in what he’s doing is just plain laughable. Strippers titillate. It’s their job. As a result, regardless of whether they sleep with zero or one hundred people, they’re going to be seen as “sluts” or loose women or what-have-you because of the nature of their job. I find it hard to believe that Connelly doesn’t realize that stripping comes with stigma, because without that stigma, it would never have occurred to him to write this piece in the first place.

Connelly is dubbed a “finger wagging strippleblower” by Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan. “I was unaware that the state of Texas had a stripper disclosure law that required exotic dancers to inform all non-strip club conversational partners at least 24 hours in advance that they were, in fact strippers,” Ryan wrote. 

The whole dust-up led Daily Intel ’s Eliza Shapiro to muse Tuesday that Houston was “a more interesting city than we had imagined.”

But it was Gawker who had the last laugh, running a post headlined “Stripper Holds Shameful Secret Day Job as a Reporter.” And when Tressler broke her silence Tuesday afternoon, it was in that very same vein:


VIDEO: Even Good Morning America picked up on the story:

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