Not your average stand-up comedy show, Ho Life or No Life is a frank, honest and hilarious examination of the realities of sex work. Standing on stage in her 7-inch pleaser heels and skimpy lycra outfit (basically your go-to stripper uniform), the unapologetically sexy Chase Paradise oozes confidence and feminine power. With numerous costume changes, music, dancing and side-splitting stand-up comedy, this is certainly a show that keeps the audience on their toes.
The show examines the more light-hearted aspects of being an exotic dancer; farting in lap dances, the constant tirade of predictable questions asked by customers and the subtle art of resisting the urge to stick stilettos into men’s crotch’s. But what makes this show powerful, rather than just memorable and amusing, is Chase’s ability to touch upon more serious and important issues in a way that doesn’t come across as preachy or sombre. These are issues that are in desperate need of being discussed more openly in our society. And what better way to open that discussion up than with laughter and comedy?
Chase challenges the notion that sex work inherently contradicts feminism, and therefore must b e excluded from it. After all, isn’t feminism meant to promote women’s choice and agency regarding their bodies, in whatever way they choose? She touches upon the commonly asked question of whether sex-work is empowering, proclaiming; “Who cares? It’s capitalism!” Indeed, you never think to ask office workers or construction workers if their job is “empowering”. Chase also questions the humour of “dead hooker jokes,” another important point to make in a society that consistently portrays sex workers lives’ as disposable (see Grand Theft Auto, Bad Night, and countless other movies, TV shows and video games.) Catcalling, unsolicited “dick pics” and male privilege…
It’s all covered in the show, alongside Chase’s war cry: “FUCK THE PATRIARCHY!” Don’t be fooled though – this show is not a man-hating fest; she aims to make everyone in the audience feel included. If you’re lucky, you might even get a lap dance! This entertaining and colourful show gives voice to a group so rarely listened to, humorously highlighting some of the problems sex workers face, but without ever losing it’s fun, light-hearted tone.