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Double Life- Transparent

Sometimes I feel like I’m living a complete double life when the reality is I’m fairly transparent. Most of the people active in my life know that I’m a dancer. Many know that I’ve started practicing paganism. I’m open and honest about my role in the sex work industry and my thoughts and feelings about it. I’m in a position where I can say something about it and I do say lots of things about it.

At the same time I feel like it’s a double life.

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Schools started again. In the mornings I wake up and get ready for class. I’m a fairly conservative dresser most of the time. I dress for comfort and try to toss a bit of fashion into that. I think I’ve even become MORE of a conservative dresser AFTER I started dancing.

Thursday this became very transparent to me. The double yet transparent life I lead. Early in the morning I had a doctors appointment. I dragged myself out of bed and put on a skirt I bought while I lived in Guatemala. It’s one of my favorite skirts- full length heavy enough to be warm in the winter and flow-y enough to be cool in the summer. I paired it with a 3 quarter length scoop neck top. The weather was kind of chilly here. Nothing shocking- nothing revealing. I look like I could have been going to a church service.

After my doctors appointment I took a nap- got back up for classes dressed in the same outfit. In my first class (queer theory) we discussed how the portrait Las Meninas and a modern pop song could relate to the idea of queer theory. What do these things hundreds of years apart have in common and how does that relate to the class. I provided my insights and participated in discussion. The class is only 4 people you can’t avoid participation. After class I caught up with friends and acquaintances before moving on to my last class of the day- delinquency and juvenile justice. Again I participated and gave insights. I don’t brag when I say I’m smart.

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That same day a professor approached me about being student representative to the Women, Gender and Sexuality Department. I told her I’d be thrilled. All in all I was a normal college student doing normal things. Nothing exciting. After I finished my classes I went back to my car, on my front seat sat my bag of cloths for work, thongs, heels the like. On my phone was a text from a regular asking me if I’d be working a specific day. My errands for after school were to run up to the sex store and buy some new thongs for work. All normal things for me.

It really struck me how my normal seems so strange to people. That my very normalcy is what makes me exotic to them. None of my classmates (except for those I consider friends) have any idea that the smart girl next to them in class seduces and entices men by night. I wonder how many of them would look down on me when really I’m not very different.

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Impress me

A few weeks ago now we had a large group of military men at the club which was nice- lots of money. For the most part they were wonderful men. They’d just finished a few weeks of training and were ready to spend some cash and have some fun. A combination I like more than just a little bit.

It was a slow Wednesday night so the club was largely empty except for them so you can guess where I spent my time. They were fun. I think I danced at least once with at least half of the men in the 15-20 guys. Toward the end of the night I went up to one of the men and asked if he was ready for round two.

“Impress me.” He said with a slight smirk on his face.

“Why?” I asked after a moments pause.

He looked confused but managed to reply, “because I have money.”

“So?” I asked, “There’s only one of me in this club. Only one woman who looks and moves like me in here. There’s hundreds of you- hundreds of men with money just waiting for a bit of my attention and are willing to pay for it. Why should I try to impress you? There is a line of men like you waiting for a lot less who will pay for a lot more. You don’t matter.”

I honestly didn’t have the intention of being harsh or even a bit mean. I just really wanted to challenge his idea that I should do anything out of the ordinary for the crumpled twenty-dollar bill he had in his pocket.

I don’t mind doing my job. I love it. I’m grateful to all of my customers because they provide me the funds I need to scrape out a living and an existence. They pay for my rent, my food, my car in exchange for my company and my dancing. I just don’t like the idea that I owe the men and boys who come in anything above and beyond my job.

The way he said impress me implied that me at my job how I typically conduct myself wasn’t enough and I wanted to challenge that idea. So I did.

He didn’t get a second round of dances from me but I do believe he paused to think. At least I hope he did.

Remember you are paying me for a service you can’t provide for yourself- I am a professional and I do deserve respect for that.

Food for Thought

“People often say ‘stop being angry and educate us’, not understanding that the anger is part of the education”
~quote from Toni D’osray from her tumblr tonidosray.tumblr.com

I love this quote because it reaches to the heart of an issue. People who are harmed have a right to be angry that they have been harmed. before demanding another person educate you- educate yourself. Make an effort and after that ask respectful questions while understanding that anger is a part of your learning.

If you meet me at work and ask respectful questions about my work I will answer respectfully in turn. I don’t expect you to whip out your phone and google in front of me. That’s a bit silly. However, I might call you out on something you say. I will try to do it respectfully. I might not though. I might get angry or annoyed, I’ve probably heard the exact same thing more times than I can count and I might be annoyed by answering.

Remember this I am not obligated to answer anything- about my job, my sexuality, my sex life or my family. I understand people are curious. I’m a curious person. That doesn’t mean I can always answer questions or want to answer questions.

If you meet me outside of work I might even be less obliged to answer. If you know what I do before you ask and you do no research before talking to me. I’m going to be annoyed as hell. Seriously google. Even if you get wrong information (there’s an ass ton out there) I’ll appreciate the effort. I might roll my eyes at the wrongness of the shit you found but I’ll understand.

There might be days where it doesn’t matter who you are- days I’m tired of answering questions. I’ll try to be nice and say not now. When I do that, LISTEN! sometimes we all get tired. I cant always be an educator and I dont always want to be an educator. That’s my right.

Even when I choose to answer questions I might get angry. Anger is apart of learning. Listen to it. It will educate you too.

Bad Dancers are Worse than Bad Customers

So this weekend I’m working at a club about an hour away from my home town/club. Since I booked Thursday through Saturday I decided to just stay about twenty minutes away from the club. I mention this specifically because tonight I almost walked out of my whole booking. I didn’t because I already paid all of my travel expenses.

Completely off topic- I’m watching Freedom Writers as I type this up. This movie always makes me cry. Seriously EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Anyway back to why I almost walked out. It wasn’t the club, it wasn’t a customer. It was another dancer.

I’ve been dancing for two years now. There are certain etiquette rules between dancers that basically boil down to don’t fuck other dancers over. There’s a few things involved in this.

ONE- don’t come up to another woman’s stage set unless specifically invited by a customer. IF you do come up you tip or super sell the girl on stage. You do NOT come up and steal guys from the stage or distract them. That’s taking money and attention away from the woman on stage.

TWO- don’t interrupt conversations. If a dancer is CLEARLY engaged in a conversation with one or a few customers do NOT insert yourself in the conversation. Again taking attention = taking money.

THREE- don’t undersell another dancer IN FRONT OF HER. AKA if the club doesn’t have a set lap dance price and a girl gives her price DON’T SAY “oh well I only charge (ten bucks cheaper)” SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FLYING FUCK.

In case you haven’t pieced this together some bitch did all three of these things to me tonight.

1st was the stage thing. Which is something I could have let go. I’ve only been at this club two other times before. Drama is not my game one small slight I can let go. Whatever we’ve all fuck up once or twice.

After my stage set I’m talking with the group that had been tipping me on stage. We were working out the 4 of us doing a VIP room. How VIP works at this club is the bar gets 50$ for ever 15mins, the dancer negotiates her fee. I was about to sell them a half hour at 100 a guy. Way cheaper than what they’d pay in lap dances and I’d still come out 200 ahead. I was more than happy with that. I’m about to close the deal and this same bitch throws herself in the group talking about how she wants a drink.

I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT YOU WANT. Again I let it go. She annoyingly and inappropriately suggests the two of us doing do a VIP with the guys. At this point I don’t want to go anything because I don’t want to look like a heinous bitch and ruin all chances at money.

I pull her aside so we can decide on an amount. I want to do a lump sum, way easier than by song. OH NO we cant do that. That’d be awful. So we bring the guys over to finalize shit. He doesn’t have enough for what she’s trying to do and he’s maxed out his card. I try to say this. Try to rework it for 15 mins. I also try to show how awesome the deal is because hey it’s cheaper than lap dances. At this club I do no touch 25, touch 40. (The boyfriend and I talked about what we’re comfortable with.) After I say this she goes “Well I charge 30 for touch.) EXCUSE ME WHAT IN THE ABSOLUTE FUCK.

She’s being a bitch and I’m just done with it. He doesn’t have enough for the bs she’s trying to do and I don’t want to throw a fit. I don’t throw a fit in public. It’s crass. So I just excuse myself.

I got screwed out of 200 bucks. AKA all my travel expenses. This club is by a lake- lots of cabins. Friday and Saturday’s are busy. Weekdays are slower. I figured I’d come a day early. Pay all my travel expenses Thursday night have some fun during the day and work my ass off for profit. I did that tonight and it was stupid slow. I could have made fucking descent PROFIT tonight.

Fucking bitch. I have never been treated with that much disrespect by another dancer. NEVER. I’ve never talked to an owner about a personal problem with another girl. If I see another girl doing extra’s- yes. After I’ve been established at a club for a decent amount of time. I ended up talking to the owner because I planned on confronting her after work. I’m sorry but that shit don’t fly. He said he’d handle it. I really hope he does.

I’ll be ok, as long as she doesn’t talk to me and stays out of my way.

Because seriously, seriously? Stupid people piss me off. Stupid dancers are even worse.

Bitch.

Baby I’m Back

Well not completely. I’m not ready to write full posts yet. Life has been majorly kicking me in the ass lately and I’ve neglected this blog. I’m sorry about that. I’m working my way through everything and hopefully will write about them soon. However for the time being, I do have a little thought. 

I’m a huge klutz. Epically so even. However when I drink I really pay attention to this because people always take my normal klutzy as drunk klutzy and wont give me any more wine. Why do I bring this up? I’m lying in bed, sipping a drink, deciding whether or not to masturbate and I develope a hole in my lip and spill on my vibrator. I do this all the time stone cold sober (well minus the vibrator part) but had anyone seen it they would have attributed it to the booze. 

Oh well, the wine awaits and calls. 

Just remember I’m back!

RadFems… Yep I Went There

I don’t know how many of my blog followers are also twitter followers (@not_one_story) but if you do you may have noticed my blowing up my twitter with tweets about RadFems and my opinions about them Well I want to talk about that in more than 140 characters.

RadFems stands for radical feminists. These “feminists” are generally privileged women- always cis, often straight. Most of them are white. In the scope of what I’ll be talking about they are very against sex work. They see damn near all sex work as violent acts and often fail to recognize male sex workers at all. They brush any positive experience of sex work to the side. They want to rescue you and get pissed off when you don’t want to be rescued.

Why am I talking about them now?

Because I faced one down last night.

If you remember my post “Neutral isn’t so Neutral” I talked about starting training to be a sexual assault victims advocate. Well I am currently in that training and last night we talked about prostitution/sex trafficking (please note that was their phrasing not mine.)

They said several things that I’m not ok with.

I’m only going to be focusing on my issues with RadFems and their commonly held views on sex work as this is what I was confronted with at training last night- just so we’re clear.

One of the instructors kept saying only 3% of full service sex workers are in it consensually.

EXCUSE ME? Question 1- where the hell are you getting this number?  Please if you’re in the position of authority and knowledge and you throw out numbers state your fucking sources. Question 2- even fi this number was close to being correct you cannot use that to invalidate the experience of those women. LGBTQA people only make up about 5-10% of the population- don’t they have the right to have their lives and experiences validated? That’s what I thought.

Another thing that happened was the presenter -who heads the organizations trafficking department- baited me. Repeatedly. She started of directing the conversation directly at me, moved to trying to bait me and ended with almost flat out attacking me without opening the conversation to anyone but the two of us. Essentially making me the bad guy in the conversation.

I really don’t appreciate that.  I know myself- I’m quite articulate. I’ll try to not rise to the bait but poke a bear long enough and I’m going to rise to the occasion.

The final thing that really really bothered me at the end of the conversation they gave resources to support their point. They told us about Melissa Farely. Her website can be found here.

I knew I recognized this name from somewhere so when I got home I got my google on.

I have so many problems with this woman and her studies. The biggest issue I have is that in a study she did in New Zealand looking at the complete legalization has come under a huge amount of international criticism. Criticism to the point that Dr. Calum Bennachie (PhD) has filed a complaint about her with the American Psychology Association asking that the RECIND her membership.

Dr. Bennachie’s complaint can be found here– all 115 pages of it.

Another (shorter) critique of her New Zealand study can be found here.

To give an example part of her study defines non-sex-buyer men as

“men who have not been to a strip club more than two times in the past year, have not purchased a lap dance, have not used pornography more than one time in the last month, and have not purchased phone sex or the services of a sex worker, escort, erotic masseuse, or prostitute.”

Ok wait what? I don’t think I know 5 men that fit this description. Also this definition is so broad it is impossible to find ANY conclusive evidence about men who purchase sex. Male readers be honest- by this definition I’m willing to bet most of you would be considered sex buyers.

However it isn’t only her New Zealand study that has been called into question.  Here you can read a critique of Farely’s work in Scotland.

Not only are her methods in constant critique on ethical standards (including her saying she competently diagnosed PTSD in 15 minute interviews) but so is her wording and use of language.

To quote Dr. Bennachie in his complaint “Dr. Farely has appears to have read the complete report, but has only reported or critiqued those parts that match her ideology… it was discovered that Dr. Farely had completed research in New Zealand in 2003 WITHOUT SEEKING ETHICAL APPROVAL from the New Zealand Psychological Society”

That’s a problem. That’s a big problem.

The fact that this person’s work was used as a valid source calls many things the organization said into serious question.

All this being said I do believe that this organization does do great work when working with sexual assault victims and they do have a great task force for women and children who are truly trafficked. However I will enthusiastically and consistently critique them for equating all full service sex work to sex trafficking for I feel that is extremely dangerous.

I add this youtube video at the bottom not because this is how I feel about the organization but because it is how I feel about RadFems. Enjoy!

Amazing Post

An amazing post about sex work and how “rescuing” sex workers is more harmful than beneficial. Actually it doesn’t help at all. Read and enjoy- Show the author some love!

Sex workers are #notyourrescueproject: Rape by anti-trafficking NGOs & stigma by feminists.

To My Parents

To My Parents,

 

I want to start off with I know you love me. You’ve always loved me and you’ve done the best for me that you can to the best you know how.

I love you for that. I truly do.

Right now we’re going through a hard time. Part of that is my fault. I made a choice that is hard for you to deal with. That’s ok. I’m sure my future children will do the same to me.

God forbid if one of my future daughters ends up being a republican or something.

But in the last month two things happened that I want to talk to you about.

The first thing happened our last therapy session way back at the end of January.  It was a difficult session. We talked more. We went to lunch after. I asked that we do that. I asked that no matter how hard therapy is that we sit down and eat together. After we ate, after we arrived at my house again before you left you handed me a photo.

This photo was taken maybe 4 or 5 years ago. It’s a photo of me and my horse. The horse we had to put to sleep this November because she would have died this winter. She was 30 years old and couldn’t keep weight any more. All of us cried. I held her halter when the vet plunged the needle. I glared daggers at the vet’s assistant who offered to hold her for me. I barely bit my tongue and kept quiet instead of snapping that no idiot stranger was going to dare hold my horse and he could just back the fuck off- thank you very much.

You handed me this picture- sepia taken years ago. I’m smiling in a jean jacket, I don’t have my glasses on- probably lost them again. It’s fall if I remember correctly. I see a happy picture of me and a horse I considered family. A horse I was closer too than many people. I was happy- even if it was bitter sweet- when you handed this to me.

Than you said something. One sentence. A handful of words. I don’t think you knew what you were doing but you did it.

“That’s the girl we know you are, that’s the daughter we know is still there.”

Fifteen words. Twenty six letters twisted and combined in 15 different ways- strung together to make a sentence. A sentence that destroyed the bittersweet joy of seeing this framed 8×10 in my hands.

You don’t see how I can still be the daughter you raised.

I am a strong woman of principles, I fight for what I believe is right, I stand up for myself, I see what needs to be done and I do it, I know myself and my dreams and I know I can reach them.

That’s the daughter you see in the picture and that’s the daughter you should still see when you sit across from me at the dinner table. Because she is the daughter you raised.

The second incident occurred just the other week. January was a hard month. It was cold, it was stormy and my income took a huge hit. Almost cut in half. Life came into the picture. I had extra expenses. February I was sick for a while, I couldn’t work, my savings were being used. Money was tight.

I called you. We talked. I mentioned I might need a tiny bit of help financially. You jumped down my throat. You told me that if my job wasn’t paying the bills I should find another job- a different job. A job that you approved of.

You said this in ignorance. If you’d taken time to think you’d realize how much you don’t know. You didn’t ask what my budget was, what my gross income had been for the month- if a different job would cover everything I need. My basic bills- rent, food and fuel.

It wouldn’t- just so you know. Not with out me sacrificing my education. Something I wont do.

Now had you said that you were not comfortable helping me while I dance I would have understood. I wouldn’t have held it against you.

You’d be standing by your principles- even when it sucked- something you taught me.

You could have said that you couldn’t talk about it. That would be setting your limits- expressing your boundaries. Something you gave me the confidence and strength to do in my own life.

Instead you shamed me for making choices that were right for me.

That you cannot do.

You act like you’ve lost a daughter, lost a child you could be proud of. I’m still here. I’m still that child.

Daddy you said your proudest moment of me was when I got in a fistfight in 4th grade. Some boys were making fun of another boy and I stood up for him. I got into a fight for something I believed in. I’m still fighting in that same way.

The daughter you knew, the girl you were proud of is still in me, the woman you see today. I am her and she is me. You gave me the tools to build myself into this person I am proud to be. You were parents I’m proud to have.

You might not agree with my choices, you don’t have to.

You might not be comfortable with my choices, you don’t have to be.

You might not be proud of my choices, that’s ok too.

You can be proud of my dreams and hate the method I choose to reach them.

But they are my choices and you do have to respect them.

Just as the daughter you raised respects yours.

 

Love,

 

Your Daughter.

To The Woman Who Came To My Work

Saturday at work is always interesting. I don’t know why but if I have a good Friday night it’s a damn near guarantee that I’m going to have a shit Saturday. It’s just the way the cosmos works. Why cant the entire weekend be filled with super nice relatively wealthy nice guys who love to spend money?

Well according to the laws of the cosmos since I had my record breaking night Friday Saturday would be less than steller.

A group of lesbians came in- which isn’t a problem at all. Usually lesbians are my best crowd. Fun and respectful my favorite type of customer. However these women didn’t quite fit that mold. They were fun- at first.

Toward the end of the night I swung by their group again to chat for a bit because if I talked to another drunk bro I was gonna punch someone. With my stiletto. In the face. Repeatedly. Until they were dead.

You get the idea.

Well at this point one of the women turned to me and said “You’re better than this.”

Well honey I have a few things to say to you.

To the Woman Who Came To My Work,

 

I’m sure you’re a good person- had we met any where else we might have even become friends but now we wont.

We will never become friends. If I see you in public I will smile politely if you choose to acknowledge me at all. I might even make small talk- ask about your job in corrections and how your girlfriend is doing. I’ll wish you the best and politely excuse myself and continue on my way.

Why you? Why am I writing this to you and not to the thousands of other customers who have done things to me?

I don’t know.

Maybe it’s because as a Queer woman I expected you to at least understand doing something other people didn’t understand.

Maybe it was because you guys seemed really cool and I saw how happy and comfortable you were in your relationship. I thought maybe you’d get it in some way.

Which is silly and unreasonable. I get that.

But you turned to me in your drunken state and you said “you’re better than this.”

I’m sure you meant well. I’m sure you were trying to be supportive. Or at least thinking you were.

You weren’t. At all.

You didn’t stop for a minute and think that I was a woman capable of making my own choices. You didn’t even consider that I made the choice that was best for me. You didn’t stop and think that I love my job and I am very good at it.

You didn’t think at all.

You came into my job and told me about my life. You don’t know me. You have no idea about my thoughts and dreams and hopes. You didn’t look at me. You saw me as how you thought I saw myself- a broken compilation of tits, one liners and an ass you can bounce a quarter off of.

That’s how you saw me and you felt guilty for seeing that.

But I am not at MY job to ease YOUR guilt. I’m at my job to make a living and you don’t really have the right to come in and act like that. You don’t have the right all.

You saw me how you wanted to see me- how you thought I saw myself. You are wrong.

I see myself different. I am a strong woman. I stand by principles even when it hurts to do so. I stand up for what I believe in even when it puts me in a spotlight I don’t really want. I work a job I love and a job I’m very good at while going to school to follow my passions. I’m confident, I’m sexy, I’m smart and I have amazing people around me in my life.

I don’t expect you to see all of that. Not drunk and in a strip club. But I expect you to think a little bit. To stop and remember your life is not my life, your choices are not my choices. What’s right for you might not be right for me. What’s right for you might not be right for me.

That’s ok. I can see that.

The problem is you couldn’t.

So to the woman who came into my work and made me feel like I had to defend myself, my happiness and my choices-

Fuck you.

I deal with this from a lot of people for a lot of reasons. I’m queer, I’m a sex worker, I’m pagan and I don’t have to deal with this shit at my job. I don’t come to yours and tell you how you should live your life or that the job that makes you happy makes you less. Don’t do this to me.

So I might see you in the street someday and my Midwest ways won’t allow me to be rude. My mama raised me to be polite even if it kills me. It’s one of those principles I mentioned- rip them to shreds with a smile on your face.  But you wont ever have the chance to know me and I wont ever choose to know you.

Because you couldn’t see past your idea of me- past your guilt for making me a 2-dimensinal Barbie stripper and fetishizing the idea you saw.

And that is your problem not mine.

 

Sincerely,

 

The Stripper You Met on Saturday Night

Neutral Isn’t so Neutral

At my university we have a women’s resource and action center and I plan on applying to intern there.  However, I am a sex worker and I plan on staying a sex worker and I really don’t have time for misguided idiots trying to save me. Even well intentioned misguided idiots.

I deal with enough idiots at work.

I went and asked the center about their attitude to sex workers, whether they are pro sex worker or save the sluts. They emailed me the other day with a response.

They are sex worker neutral.

At first when I saw this I was like hmmm great. I won’t be “saved” and my job won’t become a factor in me being chosen for an intern position.

And after that I started thinking…

This whole neutral thing isn’t much better than “save the sluts”.

This is a resource and action center. Resource and action. By taking a neutral stance they don’t have information relevant to sex workers. Now I get that percentage wise most women are not sex workers. That’s just fine but not providing information at a resource and action center blocks an avenue for accurate and helpful information.

Example my city has a great program for rape and sexual assault victims- I’m applying to be a volunteer. Part of my job would be going to hospitals with victims and helping them understand their choices and making sure they are aware of them.

Now say a sex worker is raped. Advocates have no training for the special circumstances surrounding rape as a sex worker.

“Will I go to jail myself if I report?”

“I want to report but nothing is going to happen, they wont believe me.
“I was selling sex at the time of my attack was I even raped?”

Taking a sex worker neutral stance in these cases is as damaging for the sex worker as “saving” sex workers is. You block information for sex workers who want to educate themselves more or need help from a resource and action center and you block the flow of information to the general public.

Education is stopped. Reliable sources are not readily available. The single story is still the only story that is told.

I still plan on applying for the internship and the volunteer position but this attitude is something I hope to change.

Silence is the same as oppression- it just sounds nicer.