One of the most dangerous situations I put myself in nightly was when I started stripping. I was unemployed so a couple of friends convinced me to do it. Now, I’m small and athletic so I have a good body, but I also have a very high sense of self worth, a poor sense of body image and a major problem with men touching me. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to be objectified, oggled,and groped, with my body so exposed . I thought I’d be self-concious and degraded.
Quite the opposite happened in fact.
My self-esteem elevated and I learned that I may not be what is attractive to some, but everyone has different tastes and 95% of the time I was made to feel like a goddess. A goddess seducing men out of their money, but still. It was all a role play for me. I partitioned my personality, placed my core in a sacred space to be protected, created a stage name and a faux ‘real’ persona and let my character take over. She was a seductress. A nerdy gothic seductress. My niche was killer when I was on stage, dancing, disrobing. Hot, heavy, metal music, grinding to the rhythm of my hips swinging around the pole, I was free. No thoughts of self consciousness, just me and the music. There was no end to my potential for clients. This seems like a good thing, until it’s not. I put a lot of faith in the bouncers. One night I was doing a private room dance and the guy tried pinning my wrists to get me to kiss him. I wouldn’t. The bouncers had to intervene three times before throwing him bodily from the club. Other nights I’d have men wait for me, follow me to my car, ask me for rides until the bouncers moved them away from my car. Every night men gave me their numbers, promised me money, clothes, flash and adventure if I’d come home to them after my shift. I never did, but I could have. I learned to use my body as my primary means of communication. Dealing with clients was the greater of my trouble but they always fell for my seductive lies leaving my garters filled from emptying their pockets. And they tried to push every inch of advantage they could get away with.
The money coupled with the post feminist feeling of self confidence and liberation, feeling comfortable and beautiful in my own skin was the greatest thing I took from this experience. Never in my life would I have ever considered stripping because my body image was so bad, despite everyone’s protests. When I made the decision I just did it. And didn’t look back. This is why I always try things, jump right in, because worrying about things is always worse than the actual doing of things.