Check out this powerful cautionary tale about the sad reality of being a stripper, and how UNsafe and NOT fun it truly is. ~
RAINA’S STORY: (female, 22, Texas, U.S.)
THE HARSH TRUTH ABOUT THE HARMS, DANGERS AND NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF STRIPPING
I would like to share my experience in the adult industry here so that people might have a better idea of what it is really like to do this type of work, not what the distributors/managers want people to think its like. I’ve been an exotic dancer (read stripper) for several years now. I started dancing soon after getting a job as a cocktail waitress in a strip club. (The old joke about the difference between a waitress and a stripper being 3 months). I thought it would be easier — less days worked, able to drink on the job, no running around with a tray. Given the choice again I would never have started.
You go in thinking it will be lots of quick easy money and realize you’re spending more on outfits, makeup, hair, nails, house fees (most clubs charge the dancers to work there), tip outs (required), club merchandise (required to sell or pay for it yourself — I have a lot of dust rags that say ” _____ CLUB”), and drugs (that you may not need to do your job at first but probably will turn to eventually to dull the emotional pain this path will inevitably bring).
First: the girls will most likely be catty and awful to you because you’re new. They will not help you and may be openly hostile. I’ve had girls burn holes in my clothes while I was giving a dance, trip me, break glass on my stage, and even slip various things into my drinks (including acid – no fun).
It takes an enormous emotional and physical toll on you. It’s exhausting (especially at clubs where pole work is encouraged), the shoes mess your feet up, your knees crack every time you kneel down on stage to get a tip, I’ve thrown my back out twice. I’ve worked at clubs with old chipped stages that scratched you up when you rolled around on them and poles that were flaking big chunks of sharp, rusty metal into your skin. (Hope you got your tetanus shot.) You will break out from all the filth on everything. (NOTHING IS EVER CLEANED, EVER.) You get zits between your boobs from rubbing them on greasy guys’ stubble covered faces all night, you get chafed from grinding (starched jeans and huge belt buckles – OUCH!).
You get staph infections from the nasty chairs that have been puked on god only knows how many times. If you work where you always wear panties you get yeast infections from sweating in what amounts to bathing suit bottoms all night. If you work full nude you are exposed to far worse. (Do you know what that nasty girl has? I hope so, cause you just sat your bare coochie on the same chair/lap/stage that she did five minutes before.) Guys will come in their pants and you may not realize it till it has soaked through your t-back. (Do you know what he has? You may have it now too…)
The customers are awful. They will scream obscenities at you, ask you to do awful things (especially if you also do web cam work, which is like being on a pornographic lazy Susan for hours – “show your ass, show your tits, open your mouth, take your shoes off, bend over, spread your pussy”, and on and on and on…. I did this for two weeks and couldn’t handle it anymore. Imagine using your dildo vigorously and in strange positions for 4-6 hours straight).
Female customers will treat you like shit and call you fat, even if they look like Shamu. Many customers are extremely abusive — I’ve been slapped, choked, bitten, burned with cigarettes, spit on, puked on, my hair pulled, clothes ripped, things thrown at me. Many managers turn a blind eye to these abuses, as they do to the use of illicit drugs and prostitution. (Can you say VIP room?)
Managers are abusive, corrupt, or just plain incompetent. I was raped by a customer when I was black out drunk and the manager let him “take me home safely” and I woke up naked and bleeding in a strange house. Many other girls have been raped inside and outside the club, many times more than once, especially in badly monitored VIP rooms, but few report this because cops will just say that we were turning tricks and are just crying because we didn’t get the money we wanted.
In some cases managers will take pictures of drunk girls with them (and yes, I mean that in the worst sense) and use it to blackmail them into doing whatever they want. You will have customers follow you home almost every night (most of have learned to carry something a lot stronger that pepper spray). I’ve had some weirdo knock on my door at 3 a.m. as a “surprise” more than once. (But only once was said weirdo bearing flowers. Can you say delusional and desperate?)
Speaking of delusional and depressing there is the strange breed of the strip club addict who is often lonely and clingy (and not entirely stable). Many of these men are married or have children but spend far more time/effort (buying diamonds, spending hours at the club), devoted to women who take all their money and would at the same time happily take a cheese grater to their face. (Yes, we hate all the customers — ALL of them).
I’ve seen men run through years of savings and run up huge credit card debts trying to win over the girl they are obsessed with only to learn that they will never get anything more than a lap dance out of the relationship. (The last one pretty much paid for my house). This can obviously destroy families along with the men stupid enough to do this. And, yes there are sugar-daddy arrangements that go on but they NEVER end well.
No matter how many times a night you’re told that you’re hot/beautiful/have nice tits this job trashes your self-esteem. You’re always wondering “if my boobs were bigger/if I’d worn a different lipstick/if I was thinner would I have made more tonight?” Consequently I’ve seen some really badly botched boob jobs (think cross-eyed). Eating disorders are rampant. (I’ve seen girls pass toothbrushes over the sad half-wall stalls in the bathroom in order to make themselves throw up.) Most girls do drugs of some kind. (You always wonder if a girl started stripping to support her habit — it’s the only job most addicts can hold down — or if, like me, she started taking drugs in order to be able to go in to work and face the customers.)
Many girls are also supporting abusive boyfriends/pimps that they just cant seem to get away from. (I’ve seen more than one girl’s “boyfriend” wait for her outside the club to take her money as soon as she gets off and maybe knock her around a bit if its not enough — although the girl who had enough and pulled out a taser on the jerk who had been abusing her for months was priceless to watch. He cried.
If you’re lucky enough to avoid the pimp Jr.s you have a hell of a time finding and keeping a real relationship. Most good guys will drop you the instant they find out what you do and if by some miracle they don’t, believe me they will get tired of it soon enough. They will get jealous of your money, or think you’re cheating, or insist that you stop because they see the toll it takes on you. (Read: you WILL NOT want to have sex after work. Maybe curl up with a teddy bear and cry, but not screw around.)
Oh yes, let’s not leave out the fact that you will be ostracized FOREVER for this job. People don’t understand (or they understand all too well) what we really do and go through. When you go to get a real job there is that big gap on your job history with the ambiguous label of “independent contractor.” What kind of contractor? Can you verify that lie, dear?
Well, I hope this has enlightened any readers to the real stripper lifestyle. Not all the glitz and glamour it’s cracked up to be, is it?
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