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Why? No Really, Why?

August 19, 2013

I have a simple question. But like most questions that appear simple the answer isn’t quite so easy.

Why?

After last weeks post WTF (if you missed it click the tittle, it links) I sat and wondered. What gave customers the right to treat me like that?

Or more accurately what made them think they had the right to treat me like that. Well here are my thoughts and conclusions.

Customers had the ability to make or break my night in more ways than financial. If my customers all treat me with respect and are I walk away happy with out a second thought. I feel good about the night and good about myself. However other types of customers exist. The ones that think entitled to see my breasts or my ass with out paying for the privilege, the ones who think they can touch me without asking. The ones who that that just because my job entailed nudity or was apart of the sex industry it automatically meant they can treat me poorly. After a night of these customers crawling in the shower and scrubbing every inch of skin twice isn’t enough to wash away the shitty feeling they give me. I usually tell them to fuck off but no one likes being disrespected like that in the first place.

This is how it sometimes feels

This is how it sometimes feels

One of the things that bothers me the most about my job is the social stigma attached to it. People assume that because I am a stripper I’m cheap or lazy or lack self-respect. I’m none of these things. I have a healthy sexual appetite that is true but I’ve been that way since I was fifteen and discovered the fun things that boys (and later girls) can do with their hands but I didn’t start having sex until I was 18. I am not lazy; I work hard for what I have. Nor do I lack self-respect.

People see stripping as a quick pay check for strung out, junkie whores. I wont deny the existence of that particular stereotype. I’ve worked with that stereotype multiple times. I will however say that is a very limited, narrow-minded scope.

People say that strippers are the product of bad parenting. Again I strongly disagree. My parents are wonderful. They are both teachers, my grandma works in the school district; my grandpa used to but now farms. Being a stripper does not make me a bad person. I never tolerate assholes during work. In fact I refuse to dance for them. I stand up for myself when people try to demean me.

I have a theory about why this happens though.

You see I believe that there is a reason that society demeans strippers, that it tears us down and makes us seem like trash. Women demean us because it makes it easier to hate us. Their boyfriends, husbands, whatever male in their lives come to watch us, stare at us, fantasize about us. That makes them feel insecure, the thought of the fact that what do we (strippers) has an allure that draws their men in will bubble into their minds. What is the easiest way for them to protect themselves but to make us cheap, trashy, something that in the light of day would never be attractive?

If we strippers are less than what they as a woman are we are not a threat. If we are less and they are more sure their man can look but of course he’s going to come home to them. Why wouldn’t he come home where he has more than stay where there is less?

Don't let the pretty faces fool you, real life women can be twice as mean.

Don’t let the pretty faces fool you, real life women can be twice as mean.

Men do it because if we are less than them they have a free pass to treat us below them. Because than they don’t have to admit that they are just all desperate in one-way or another and a part of that desperation drove them to a strip club. Now this isn’t every customer, it’s the customers who feel the need to degrade any woman in the stripping industry. It’s become a part of our culture without people realizing what it really does.

Because of the negative social stigma to dancing I found it almost impossible to date while working as a stripper as I explained. Even nice guys generally fell into two categories. Guys who were turned on by the idea of a stripper girlfriend and wanted that and only that plus a easy lay, and guys who thought they could handle it only to find out a few dates later they couldn’t. The second group would start off confident that they could deal. Soon, however, they started worrying that their friends would find out what I did, that I would cheat because my job automatically means I am cheater, or they would get insecure and uncomfortable and sooner rather than later things stopped working. Its frustrating. On top of that being a stripper was like a huge black mark in any circumstance where I wanted to be taken seriously in a professional manner. Most of my friends knew I was a stripper but say I went into a business setting I had to be very careful that no one knew what I did. After all I wanted to be taken seriously and I also wanted my bills paid. I cant imagine ever trying to run for public office now because I’d be willing to bet a lot of money if I ever did someone would dig up my stripping past and use it against me. I would be tossed out of the political world not because I had horrible ideas or didn’t work for the people but because of the job I held to put myself through college. All this traces back to societies misconceptions and outdated views on stripping.

The truth is being a stripper is not easy. It’s damn hard work. Physically doing pole tricks alone takes strength and stamina, it takes skill in timing your tricks to music on the fly. A customer might offer you twenty bucks to play a particular song, one you don’t know. So if you accept you must be able to free dance in front of an audience on the fly.

image

I know I used this photo before but to add to the physical stuff, I give you stage bruises.

Mentally it’s a tough job also. I have to be on my game all the time, no exceptions. I don’t earn a paycheck. What I take home a night is from tips and lap dances alone. A bad mood at a regular nine to five job might mean a scolding from my boss. A bad mood while stripping means I might walk away wondering how a couple bills were going to be paid. People don’t pay a cranky stripper. I can be stressed out about grades, rent, anything but the minute I walk into the club it can’t matter anymore. I have to slap on a smile along with my lip stick and dig deep to become flirty and desirable. An off day for me could mean loosing a couple hundred bucks. Also if I get hurt and can’t work I don’t have workers comp or anything. It means that my income stops completely until I can work again.

On top of that at least once a night I have to listen to people try to degrade me in one way or another as if I am not a human being but something standing there with on other purpose to be criticized. My tits aren’t big enough, I have a little extra weight on my stomach, I am too smart to be sexy and a thousand other little things.

I have to deal with sexist comments and listen to derogatory things that no one would ever dare to say to me in the light of day. Yes I love my job in general but that doesn’t mean it was an easy job. I suppose that’s one of the things I want to stress most in writing this, that things are never what they seem and in the sex industry that rule doubles. A nice girl from a nice family can be a stripper and still be a nice girl from a nice family.

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8 Comments
  1. emeraldjewelsparkle permalink

    This is the type of thing that young guys in their last year of high school should be taught. Regardless of a woman’s job she is not fair game or beneath you. Every woman should be respected.

  2. I commend all those that do the job. It is tough due to the stigma spoken of here as well as many others I am sure can be mentioned.
    Personally I will never pay a female to dance for me or let me watch her. I find it all appealing just not going to pay for it. I have plenty of friends to conduct themselves as such without a charge.
    That being said I say dancers earn the money the make and should not be looked upon in a negative manner. I personally appreciate them. It is a industry always redefining what sexy is using the tools at hand. 😉

    • my only thing with this is a customer should still always tip. For me that is a show of respect and the customer saying that he understands that this is my work place and my job. A customer can tip or pay for my time as a show of mutual respect. I’ve had customers come in and for whatever the reason won’t get a dance but still take the time to come up and throw me a couple of bucks on stage. It shows they understand that I am here to make money and that they appreciate the effort I’m putting into give a good show.

  3. wishuy permalink

    Bravo, they should teach this to young idiotic adolescent men……..

  4. Great post. I would have to add, that in the same vein, the people who frequent strip clubs also have a stigma attached. I would like to see that change as well. I have suggested going to a club with friends before, even my husband. I have a healthy sexual appetite, as well. I enjoy my sexuality. The looks I receive for merely suggesting it tells me what they are thinking of me. I’m sorry that this is how the industry is looked at. I admire you and the confidence and pride you have in yourself and your job.

    • Female customers like you epically rock. I’m able to take pride in my job because I treat it as my job. It is my work place simple as that.

      I say try to convince them to go! Strip clubs can be lots of fun for everyone! I’ve even included a do’s and don’ts post for strip club newbies! Show them this blog! I promise strippers are normal people too! Just naked normal people.

      Thanks so much for not only the review but also the vote of confidence.

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