I feel that I should touch on the subject of strippers again as there are a few frequent misconceptions which could do with some clearing up. Once and for all I would like to break the mold of the stereotypical drug- fucked bimbo with daddy issues and sexually transmitted diseases. Hollywood and social media both love to portray strippers as lifeless hoes who lack in personality, self respect, intelligence and future goals, when in fact I think some would be surprised at how far from the truth these hackneyed images really are.
Note: Although I am no longer working, I use the pronoun “we” because I still consider myself part of the community of stripclub workers, and always will. This has been a huge part of my life and I will always support the hard work these people do, because there was once a time I looked down on what they did, and now that I have walked in their shoes myself I have a better understanding of them as humans. (And of how much those damn shoes kill your feet!)
As much as I tease the girls and allude a lot of my jokes towards the stereotype we’ve been labeled with by the public, anyone who has worked with me knows I take my occupation very seriously and am professional when it comes to the adult industry. This is because I don’t believe enough of us do. I can’t count the amount of times I was asked when I was thinking of getting a “real job” by people who couldn’t remember their last holiday, hated their work and made half as much as I did for working longer hours. We have been rebuked by society for so long that we have started to believe that the kind of work we do really should be frowned upon. We are treated like a joke ’til we act the same. That’s gotta stop.
Some of the most insightful people I have ever met have been strippers. They hold a precious kind of intelligence I believe you can’t earn any other way. They are all street smart and know how to stick up for themselves and what they believe in. They’ve had to deal with being bullied and sometimes excluded from families and friends, as well as experiencing the feeling of rejection every single night and not being taken seriously, which can be very frustrating. This can cause them difficulties when it comes to trusting people and being in relationships, but it also makes them sensible, cautious thinkers with tough skins.
Strippers also use their intellect to their advantage when it comes to hustling. There is an art to making money in a club. And although most believe it all comes down to how big your tits are or the size of your waist, it’s definitely at least 80% brains that bring home the bacon at the end of the day. Once a stripper is done with you you’ll be leaving the club with nothing but a bad case of blue balls, wondering what just happened to all the cash you came with, and even worse, you’ll already be planning to return again the next night.
I’ve never really understood the whole “daddy problems” deal. If you were to ask any father what the one job he would hate to see his daughter doing would be, there is a good chance he would say a stripper. But as far as I know, one can only become a stripper once adulthood has been reached, and by this stage she is capable of properly thinking through her decision to go down this career path, which shouldn’t be treated any differently than if she had chosen to become a school teacher or a vet. Having a strong support network is very important in any big life decision, especially from your parents. It is also very unfair that people not only have a negative approach towards strippers, but also towards their fathers. Is this to say that the only girls to ever be mistreated by their fathers have become strippers? Or that all fathers of strippers didn’t do a very good job at parenting? Both of these statements are untrue and unfair accusations.
From what I have seen, it is fair to say that there are prominent drug circles within the nightlife scene. People take drugs for a number of personal reasons; to escape their surroundings, to unwind and feel good, to cope with hardships, to fit in and be accepted within a group, or even just to stay awake. But this is not to say that “all strippers are on drugs”.
I have seen dancers take drugs because the work they do is emotionally hard for them to cope with. It is very easy for this job to take a toll on your feelings and if this does happen, my best advice is to give it up. A stripper, essentially, is an actress. You have to be able to emotionally detach, and some girls find that sometimes the aid of drugs can help, not that I recommend it. A good stripper shouldn’t need the assistance of drugs and if they feel the need for them, they’re probably not made for the job, to be honest. I pity those girls who take drugs to handle the job, to earn money to fund their addictions, and so on. It’s a pointless, vicious cycle.
Fact: the number of people you have sexual relations with does not show whether or not you carry STI’s. Sure, if you’re a virgin you have less of a chance of having chlamydia than someone who sleeps around without using any form of protection, but professionals in the sex industry are aware of the dangers of infection and disease and have regular checkups and follow health and safety precautions to the highest standards. In fact, the sex workers I know get check ups more often than any of my friends outside of the industry and pay extra attention to maintaining good health down below, as it is not only an important part of their body to look after, but also their source of income. (Kinda like the way a builder takes care of his toolkit.)
Strippers are paid to entertain. They are not paid for sexual favors- that is not at all part of our job, though many believe that this is so. In regards to sexual health, a stripper’s working environment can be dangerous, yes, but this is only due to the fact that we are working within close proximity of other people, often without the barrier of clothing. Because of this we take extra care when sitting down, (we always sit on our own towels,) we clean poles with methylated spirits, wear tampons at all times, use baby wipes, use sanitizer after dances and get regular checkups. We care for the safety of other girls, so if we are unwell we take time off work to avoid spreading bacteria. Strippers are very fussy when it comes to cleanliness and hygiene.
Contrary to popular belief; strippers are not paid for “extras”. I won’t lie; I have witnessed this occur more than once, but a lot of people would be surprised to know that strippers tend to ostracize the girls who do this, because not only is it unfair to the dancers who are working hard to make a living without selling sexual favors on the side, (of course a guy would prefer to spend his money on Miss Sneaky Blowjob,) but it doesn’t help us when we’re trying to fight the negative stereotype. There are also cameras and microphones in private rooms, so it would be very difficult to sell anything but a lapdance, and if you are caught selling extras you will be fired. Managers are against it because their clubs aren’t always run under brothel licensing, making the trade of sex of any kind illegal on the premises. Strippers are also banned from going home with customers or taking customers’ numbers for this purpose. A lot of strippers, though it is their job to act single and ready to fling themselves at any guy who steps foot in the club, are in happy, committed relationships.
Believe it or not, strippers have souls. We are real people with real lives and real problems. We get heartbroken, get pimples, have families, study, cry during The Pursuit of Happyness, have pet cats, eat pizza and wear ugly flannel pajamas in winter, just like you. And, just like you, we have ambitions and things we aspire to. But unlike you, we’ll probably reach our goals a lot sooner, since we earn our money twice as fast and take breaks from work when we feel like it. Really, there’s no need to feel sorry for a stripper, or pity us for having “no future.” It might be a hard concept for you to grasp, but a lot of us actually enjoy what we do.
Strippers make awesome friends. We learn the value of good friendship from working so closely with one another. We all share a similar understanding of the cons of working in the adult industry and the abuse some girls go through both in the club and outside of work, and offer support within a tight knit group. We’re used to working with confidentiality and have a lot of life experience, so we offer great advice.
Strippers are very real. We appreciate things in the raw flesh. We are straight up and aren’t afraid of being judged, (we get enough of that already,) so you know you’ll get an honest truth. We reassure you that there’ll always be your girls there ready to back you up in a catfight and I’ve seen this proven a hundred times. We can take a joke and aren’t afraid to tell each other when there’s a piece of spinach on their teeth, their boyfriend is a dick or if their new bikini looks hideous on them. We are all similar in so many ways and because of this we feel comfortable sharing things with each other that we would find hard sharing in other social groups. In a strange way, once you’ve seen someone naked a few hundred times, they kinda become closer than just friends. They’ve seen my soul exposed so many times and still haven’t run. They know me better than anyone. Some of my greatest friends, both male and female, I have met in stripclubs. I can easily call these girls my sisters and I know these guys will always have my back. Even the ones who have gotten drunk and thrown up on me. I never thought my future bridesmaieds or the women who would make me the adult I was to become would be strippers, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d take a bullet for those bitches.