I can’t contain my excitement about beginning prerequisites for a PhD in Psychology. Some strippers make close to, or over six figures, but I can’t say I’m among them. However, I have acted as something of an amateur psychologist over the course of many years as a bartender, and of course, as a dancer, which could prove a foundation for professional counseling. Due to the short shelf life of stripping and the fact I’m starting to age out of it, I have started seriously contemplating my transition into white collar, age-proof work.
I have a Bachelor’s, but didn’t choose my major based on a solid career goal; I studied foreign languages and simply wanted to be proficient, if not fluent, in them, debunking the stereotype of shamelessly monolingual Americans. I have spent a good six years post-undergrad floundering around the work force, settling for unsuitable office jobs out of financial urgency, struggling as a proud, but broke freelancer who didn’t have to deal with office culture, and working gigs I was overqualified for like Liquor Promos, bartending/waitressing followed by stripping. I’ve been predominantly in the adult business since January 2010, save a hiatus the second half of that year, and much like career bartenders, haven’t broken free of the dead-end instant cash source of income.
In my still-subsiding “military phase,” of dating, I’ve noted how cliche’ it is for servicemen to become firefighters, cops or correctional officers, which is perfectly fine and logical. It’s plenty cliche’ for strippers to study and work toward a future in counseling or Pschology. Some become true writers like Diablo Cody and Lily Burana and I started this blog with the same aspirations. But we all need a plan B.
As any of you familiar with my blog know, I have a long way to go managing my own mental health and substance abuse issues. I’m abusing my friend’s Adderall this very moment, not only to focus, but to suppress my appetite. In addition to giving the trial and error process of medication a chance, I could use some anger management, talk therapy I stick with and, most importantly, an ability to be compassionate without being too affected by the emotions of others. A middle ground between cold as stone and empathetic on a professional, non-boundary-crossing, level.
Because I am only taking prerequisites now, I can always rethink whether a career in Psychology is realistic, but I hope this zeal isn’t just another phase. Prerequisites allow me to dip my toes in the subject, which I never took undergrad, and gain contacts for recommendation letters. Psychology PhD’s are incredibly competitive and according to a family friend who practices, schools are favoring 22 year olds who majored in it as undergrads. Superior maturity and “real life” experience outside the bubble of academia are not terribly appreciated these days. There’s something to be said for making ends meet without student loans, even and especially, through stripping. It builds character, gives you perspective and exposes you to less-sheltered, less coddling environments, making you more scrappy and resilient.
I initially considered psychology because, in my own experience, I never enjoyed the separation between my pill-pusher doctors and talk therapists. My new therapist, who I love, actually has a firm grasp of various medications, unlike certain hack social workers I’ve dealt with. I always pined for the Doctor Melfi of The Sopranos treatment: talk to me for an hour and prescribe as you feel appropriate. The system makes this rather hard to come by, so it’s a no-brainer that I’d prefer speaking to patients and gettting a Psych PhD instead of going to med school (the latter would never happen thanks to my squeamishness.)
I like my current therapist because she is not afraid to be sarcastic and straight-talking. A primary goal of hers is to increase my self esteem and help me toward my goal of having a real romantic relationship where I take myself and the guy seriously. She will call a guy cheap if I paint him that way and say “He’s a loser, get rid of him.” She’ll also remind me I’m a good catch, smart and pretty, and discourage me from using my struggles as an excuse to feel unworthy and be used as a ”filler” sex toy between “real” girlfriends. I have to get over the attitude I’ll never be wife or mother material, and that this ho truly can’t be made a housewife (by housewife I mean dual-income earner someone loves coming home to.)
I didn’t initially like my psychopharmacologist when I saw her in 2007 to treat me for ADHD (which has many overlapping symptoms with Bipolar Disorder.) During our first or second appointment, which was in the morning before work, she was digging into my past in a Freudian way, pushing me to talk about my mother’s death. That put me in a sombre mood, interfering with the work day. I’ve come around big time to her now. She is a one-woman counseling department at a community healthcare center I’ve used since 2007 and, while she is small potatoes compared to the renowned Psych department at Mass General Hospital, she suits me just fine. Compared with a previous doctor, it’s clear she hasn’t been wined and dined by specific drug companies. Many patients of means turn their noses up at Community Health Centers, since they serve lower class individuals on subsidized insurance. But I think the nature of the public, versus private, health care operation, helps my pill doctor not to be swayed by drug companies. Plus, my primary care provider is easy to book on very short notice, instead of the ridiculous intake waits and advanced appointment requirements of more snob-friendly doctors.
Because I have suffered trauma in the past and dated a Marine with severe PTSD, I’m interested in being a VA Psychologist and/or private practitioner specializing in PTSD and related issues such as anxiety and depression. I am big on suicide prevention and would get great satisfaction out of helping veterans and adolescents avoid ending it all in lieu of healing their personal wounds to the best extent possible. As I said before, I hope to avoid oversensitivity to the emotions of others, because as of now, the thought of losing patients to suicide, or “failing” them is a tough cross to bear, even though one can only do so much and often don’t see it coming.
I may explore a career in Psychology that is more research-oriented, with less face to face interaction. I like the idea of writing articles for medical or mental health trade publications about my findings, fusing one career goal with another.
Besides my aformentioned apprehensions, I have one particular beef with the field of Psychology. I have a lot to learn, but given the recent controversy over the DSM-V’s release, I’ve gained some understanding of how things work. Assigning a diagnostic code to a person equals money in the bank insurance claim-wise. Instead of saying “I think it’s appropriate to see a doctor for antidepressants as you recover from grief over the loss of someone close to you,” many are inclined to put the diagnostic label on a possibly temporary problem. This new defiance disorder where kids don’t obey their parents? That’s called being a kid who, with proper parenting and some unmedicated professional counseling, can grow out of it. I’m not against the recent inclusion of overeating without purging as a mental health disorder, because anorexia and bulimia certainly are, but I’m sure some unapologetic overeaters may recieve the diagnosis when it’s less related to mental health than being in a community where bigger women are appreciated, or having a blissfully care-free attitude toward body image, which is quite the opposite of obsessing over food and body dysmorphia.
In any case, I don’t want to make diagnosis’ on commission, assuming it works a tad that way. While watching the key Psychologist for the prosecution of Jodi Arias, I was fascinated, taking copious notes as she and the prosecutor addressed diagnostic criteria for PTSD and Borderline Personality at length. I was surprised by how few of the criteria have to be met for a diagnosis, though I was grateful for the layperson-friendly descriptions.
I’ve been told by an army friend the VA almost force-feeds returning vets PTSD and it’s definitely a “diagnosis du jour.” I’ve formed a habit of diagnosing people I know, such as a fellow blogger who demonstrates insanely high levels of Narcissism (takes one to know one, but she is truly extreme.) I’ve diagnosed several family members in my own mind as having anxiety and manic-depression. They say these things are genetic, and if I have to have a stigmatized label, why shouldn’t they be fairly assessed, instead of judging me as the scapegoat on the extreme level by comparison?
I think it’s time to stop rambling, but I’d love to hear what some of you think. Over and out!
They say cliches and stereotypes exist based on truth. While my peers on Twitter and at blogs like TitsandSass make vigilant efforts to debunk stereotypes and humanize sex workers, I was dissappointed to experience petty theivery at a private party gig.
I had worked for the company last year in Long Island and they generally book golf club parties that request eye candy companionship. I worked a party with a total of 40 girls and had the common sense to leave my phone and wallet in the car, but I wanted to bring some wardrobe changes inside and I hadn’t thought to change into stripper gear during the drive there, so I could leave my civvies in the car as well.
First of all, I was shy about mingling at the beginning of the party. I found out there was going to be an auction and all of us wore sashes with state names (I managed to score Miss Massachusetts to represent.) The one guy I clicked with during mingling time was one of only two to bid on me; all I went for was a lousy $60 plus and extra $10 he gave. Also, I had misheard the company owner when she told me what the base pay was; instead of the $450 I expected, my check was a measely $150.
So the bidders were representatives of four men groups for golfing format, which means they get the girl to themselves during the party. The one flattering moment I had was an older guy saying “oh no, I missed the chance to bid on you; we’ll have to arrange a “trade” during this outing when we see each other” (we never did.) The guy who bid on me immediately tried to solicit a blow job and didn’t even have cash on him! We caught up with his group and played just a few holes. Fortunately, his friend was generous; at one point, I pretty much demanded a proportionate tip and one of the black guys who loved my body gave me a $100.
When I returned to the locker room to change and leave, I couldn’t find the bag of possible wardrobe changes I’d stupidly brought in to supplement. I had a brand new set of lingerie from Italy, a couple flattering Victoria’s Secret bathing suits, and a very cute bathing suit from the same lingerie store in Italy, not to mention my very cute civilian dress and damaged but decent Nine West heels. Between the decreased pay, lower than expected tips and loss of goods, I really lost money on the gig in a way.
I had a better experience this past week. I decided “fuck it” and posted a Backpage banner ad for private stripping. The site has a bad rap but seems like a good resource for guys seeking private dances or private party girls. My ad only cost $4 and I managed to get one $150 dance so far. I said in the ad I wouldn’t see someone who didn’t provide information for me to vet them and feel safer, such as a LinkedIn profile, ID or Google-able information. I wasn’t about to see anonymous strangers, so I ended up not booking a few inquiries. Oh well, I certainly got the ROI on the ad.
In addition, I applied to two private party companies that were at the top of my Google search. The first one I spoke with gave me a run-down that honestly made me feel uncomfortable, but since I am hurting for cash lately, and I need money for a new apartment, as well as (hopefully) tuition money for Pre-PhD classes, I was tempted.
Fortunately, I heard from the other agency about a booking that same night before starting with the shady one. I worked a party of six cute guys for under two hours, making nearly $700. So much better than the pay per hour you average at a strip club, and of course, no house fee overhead and tip-outs helped too. The guys were cute and generous. One in particular was great at encouraging the others to keep the cash flowing, and not just $1′s.
A few things proved helpful. First of all, working the party alone meant twice the money of working with another girl. It also showed that up to six guys were tipping at once and I didn’t have to waste time on small talk and buttering guys up toward a sales pitch. I know they set the bar too high for me and other guys won’t be so loose with their money, but I’m looking forward to a fruitful future with the agency. Plus, compared with strrip clubs that often require 3-4 minimum weekly shifts, this is a mainly Friday/Saturday only gig where you’re not obligated to accept parties or work long evenings. The female owner is laid back and didn’t say I was expected to provide particular services or do gross things beyond my comfort zone. Another positive aspect is, out of the $200 the party has to pay, I only give the agency $100, which means I have a guaranteed $100 base pay, plus at least SOME tip money. Most agencies operate on tips alone.
Now, the other agency said a number of things that reeked of red flags; had they not said certain things, I may have gone ahead and worked with them. I’ve already had a negative experience with a Russian driver in New York threatening me and acting controlling like a pimp. You don’t have to be prostituting to have a pimp. Anyone who insists on controlling you and is willing to threaten you and cause you troubles in “real life” qualifies in my book.
First of all, the company requires exclusivity, and the male owner, who strikes me as working one millimeter on the right side of the law, said he’d not only fire a girl, but “make her life miserable” if he found out she was working indepently or with another agency. He also said something along the lines of “once you cross me….(I forget the end of the sentence.)
Another controlling red flag included the clear implication that our driver/chaperone would watch us like hawks to make sure we didn’t drink alcohol, exchange numbers to meet guys on our own another time, or even stay in the bathroom more than two seconds, as that indicates drug use. The guy told me the mandatory tool of the trade to bring was a “double ender” as if every single show, like a broken record, required fucking the other girl. Seems like I’d have a sore-ass pussy, and possibly loosened one. For the time being, I’m only comfortable working alone so there’s no lesbo shit, or doing lame girl-on-girl involving rubbing each other’s tits together, fake going down behind hair etc…
The guy said you have to be full nude the entire hour within about five minutes and I prefer a little more time before dropping my bottoms to break the ice and get a read on the guys.
The only promising aspect was that he was short on redheads and I might be a go-to to fill that niche upon request.
The agency I went with has slower business and is nationwide, not specialized to Boston and New England, meaning less volume of work and less money, but parameters I’m comfortable with.
The local agency owner claims to have very high volume, which may or may not be true (my accidental Russian pimp claimed I could make “at least” $500/night at a club that turned out a shitty Bridgeport, CT dive with cheap blue collar customers.) He is very demanding about time, saying Saturdays are mandatory, unless you truly can’t work them, in which case Friday would be mandatory. You have to show up at the main office, then you get dispatched with 1-2 other girls (or maybe on your own) with a driver. You are expected to be out all night until up to 6AM, when guys book last minute gigs (yeah, real appealing to deal with guys who are still up then, possibly thanks to drugs, and are probably drunk as shit.) The guy said “you’re on MY time when you get in and there’s no bailing out halfway through the night.”
I’m fine with his strict no-drugs, no-prostitution policies. This helps assure him any legal troubles won’t result from working with a given girl. But there was so much else that put me off, despite my need for money. I don’t need to be coerced into Stockholm syndrome and fear of “crossing” the guy. I am strong-willed and not as naive as I once was about the pimp-like, mentally abusive seizing of power and the upper hand. I refuse to work on the basis of fear; why would I when I strip largely to avoid the intimidation of office culture?
I missed out on a Saturday gig with the other agency because I don’t have a partner for two-girl party requests and live further from the location than another set of girls the agent has. I posted a thread at StripperWeb.com that I’d like to recruit a partner, so hopefully I meet someone who is sufficiently pretty and either willing to work within certain boundaries, or be the one to provide a slightly more raunchy show than me if she’s comfortable and used to it. A carpooler with wheels wouldn’t hurt, either.
Pole fitness studios like the chain S Factor clearly cater to yuppie women and housewives trying to spice things up and “find their inner goddess” (GAG). On the surface, it seems that sexy pole dancing has gone mainstream, but it’s very different than the actual pole (and stage) work you see at strip clubs.
My clubs in NYC didn’t offer the best stage performance. There would usually be 2-3 girls with some cool moves, but the Russians just stood there scanning the crowd for guys with deep pockets. I can’t hate on that because pole dancing expends a lot of your energy that’s better used on hustling the floor. Plus it can make you sweaty and gross and fuck up your carefully styled hair.
In New Orleans, on the other hand, I believe guys expect more entertainment and the numerous French Quarter clubs all have high poles begging to be worked. Most New Orleans dancers put on a good show and the vast majority of traveling girls there do as well in my experience. It took me a little while after starting to feel comfortable climbing to the top of our 25″ pole, but now I’m a total climber; getting to the top never fails to impress guys.
I attended tons of classes at a Pole Fitness studio in my area during 2011, and thoroughly enjoyed them. I was a pole amateur during my first stripping stint in 2010 and the classes I took during my hiatus allowed me to come back swinging in 2012. New Orleans doesn’t require amazing stage skills, but working with girls who have so many killer moves compels you to step up your game.
While the pole fitness studio was very beneficial to me, I was baffled by the fact the teachers acted snobby, despite being current, albeit over-aged, strippers. One was such a good pole gymnast, clubs would make her a “featured dancer” which essentially means being paid a decent sum for appearing and drawing a crowd to the club. The pay for a feature dancer is not as high as porn starts making guest appearances, but enough to earn way better money on stage than depressing crumpled up ones from cheap-o’s who don’t appreciate a Jane Doe stripper’s hard stage work.
During one pole class, I mentioned a preference for Alethea Austin, a professional pole dancer who competes and has a sexy style, as opposed to a purely athletic style that is more gymnastic and pure athleticism than provocative. The pole instructor said, “I don’t like her, she’s sleazy. I like Oona, the Brazilian pole champ. In my humble opinion, the latter is not the least bit enticing, but undeniably skilled, with the flat-chested, overly muscular body of a gymnast. The stripper instructor’s opinion didn’t seem logical to me. Perhaps these pole fitness teachers put on a front and adopt a different persona during their fitness classes than at their club jobs. It seems like blatant pandering to a snobbier audience, even though, in speaking directly with me, the studio’s entire staff knew I’d worked as a stripper without picking up many pole tricks.
One day at pole class, I took a session with their most intimidating instructor (not a stripper) that was a bit advanced for my level. Therefore, the class attracted the most hardcore, perfectionist students who were more bent on maximizing their physical potential than having fun and making it sexy. For me, the fitness is a fringe benefit that felt more like fun than tedium, a la Zumba or hip hop dance classes at gyms. I was super put off when this uptight, Madonna arm-having type of about 31 tried to do a highly advanced trick and let out these exasperated sighs when she couldn’t execute it. I thought to myself, “chill girl, stop taking this so goddamn seriously you uptight yuppie!” When you actually strip, you realize certain girls have an impossible time with certain moves; even the best dancers might have trouble with a move that comes relatively easy and feels intermediate to me. There’s a relatively easy move that I can’t seem to do due to lack of flexibility in my back. My relatively short torso may also be a factor. But there are also moves I find easy that way better overall strippers can’t.
One thing you learn working at a strip club is certain girls can execute certain moves and not others, so everyone having to do the same coreography in class feels arbitrary and impractical. There was one dancer at my New Orleans club that seemed capable of everything, but even the best few dancers at my club would ask how to do a certain go-to trick of mine or say “hey, I can’t even do that!.” The best day shift dancer admitted jealousy when I did the sideways holding myself by the knees move, which I find super easy; unless my legs are sweaty and slippery, I can always do it.
I’ve played with the idea of teaching pole dancing down the road, though I admit I’m not the type who rapidly progresses and is especially qualified. I’d like to run a class specifically designed for actual strippers or women who like the idea of an authentic stripper-esque performance. Certain moves I’d wanna teach are the classic ass-jiggling ones (even chicks with very little meat on their bones can do them.) I think it’s cool when a girl does a shoulder mount or dismount (pictured below, while jiggling their ass. Then, there’s of course, the go-to jiggling on hands and knees with your bum facing the crowd. I’d also wanna teach moves like hanging upside down at the top of the pole and doing a suicide drop to the bottom, always a crowd pleaser and some cool lap dancing techniques that are sure to drive any boyfriend or husband crazy. Plus, in my experience, doing dirty lap dances with someone you’re fucking outside the club, is quite the novelty for myself and the guy; the freebie upgrade of a traditional lap dance is usually a success. I probably wouldn’t be able to let students actually take tops, let alone bottoms, off, but as with a cardio dance class I took ages ago not involving poles, girls would wear double layers of bras, so I could teach girls moves like how to take their tops off in a fun way, such as while hanging upside down and highly visible, or doing that move where they snap their G string by slipping their big stripper heels under it.
Maybe starting a class exclusively for strippers is a misguided business model. As I said, civilian women who want to do an authentic stage show reminiscent of a strip club would certainly be welcome. I just wouldn’t really want the Lulu Lemon crowd of Yogis obsessed with physical perfection, instead of just having fun with it, enhancing their earning potential as strippers, or giving a REAL stripper experience to their husbands more likely to keep him from philandering at clubs.
I take a certain amount of issue with actual strippers denying that side of themselves in order to appease uptight laywomen. It’s one thing not to emphasize a job that could make students uncomfortable, but I see no problem teaching a sexier version of pole dancing and related stage work off the pole. It’s not like you’re gonna discuss junky coworkers, guys cumming during dances, whipping it out in the champagne rooms, or biting your tit like a snapping turtle, leaving a bruise.
I made a firm self-improvement decision last week to be more careful about giving it up too soon. I was dating a guy who is great on paper, respectful and seemingly perfect, but couldn’t give a shit less about me. We had conversational chemistry and physical fun, but by fucking him straight out of the gate, I may or may not have propelled his “barely give a fuck” attitude toward me. The dealbreaker was when he went to Quantico for a 2 week Marines consulting gig and, not only didn’t contact me, but didn’t reply when I sent a text halfway in simply saying “how’s Quantico?” It sucks to feel emotions toward someone and have them feel nothing toward you.
Anyhow, my sex diet will have to wait, because my friend offered me free condom and lube samples to try and review (see next blog post.) Not sure who to play with right now; my stable isn’t too deep, but I’ll see how it goes.
My friends, God love them, have asked if I thought of turning this blog into a memoir. Why, sure. However, every story, every journey, requires redemption. It’s fucking predictable and boring, but look at most memoirs and mainstream movies and that’s what you get. The audience wants it and it sells. This ain’t some Go Ask Alice YA shit.
I’ve been meaning to go on a re-reading binge of Bret Easton Ellis, because he has nihilism without redeeming value down pat. That’s why I should write truth-based fiction in the same vein instead of a memoir, where readers would finish baffled, thinking ”where’s the part where she finds prince charming, stays sober for years and makes amends with her family?” Like memoir turned self help guidebook.
The last chapter of my book, scene of my movie…whatever, is not meant to be a wholesome Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by my once-estranged family, a husband and a thriving child. It’s not meant to be my family acting awkward at my funeral due to suicide or self-harm or a cheesy AA meeting where I’m getting my five year chip or some shit.
Just like I don’t want some hoaky redemption, I don’t want that equally cliche’ “well she has to die if she keeps this behavior up” ending. I wanna write some female Charles Bukowski type shit. Like Bukowski, I’ll have a book simply called “men” about my mananizing. Might not go over well due to gender double standards, but whatever.
Please don’t interpret this post as delusional. I have some strong posts, but I have some weak ones and hope to hunker down and write a true fictional account of things I’ve experienced soon.
I don’t want to sound like a major hater, but I’m seeing a trend in successful females my age (mid-20′s-mid-30s) where they’re adorkably sloppy, instead of truly dark or living a tragic comedy. I’m no less guilty of narcissism than your average 20-something blogger, but I’m highly sensitive to those around me as well.
I know female bloggers faring better who are on a whole different level of self-obsession, and being rewarded for it. Cute commentary about Mad Men, OKCupid exploits and stories of drunken nights where nothing truly bad, just embarassing, happens, don’t do it for me compared to raw life experience.
That raw experience can be a tough childhood, military service, or in my case, and the Bret Easton Ellis cast of characters, being priveleged enough to self destruct for the shit of it, under the young, misguided impression of being bulletproof. I’m no riches to rags tale, but I took a priveleged background and kinda blew it to pieces.
I’m not a bored trust fund kid with too much coke and valium, but I’m supposed to have a real career and more stability, given my background. I don’t get to flop around NYC broke and indecisive like Hannah in Girls and squat at my friend’s place, while bitching she doesn’t “support” my writing endeavors enough.
I have flopped around NYC broke and indecisive, and I didn’t enjoy it much (though I kept up real well on NYMag and The New Yorker) but I haven’t capitalized on the concept like Lena Dunham. Respect to her for her actual success and work ethic, but her privelege got her where she is, while mine got me….not too far, but mostly cause I’m great at getting in my own way.
I want to be the anti-Lena Dunham! Similar age, similar theme, but less hipster and more dark. The fact Girls made a casual joke about their friend accidentally smoking crack was actually offensive to me. There’s no turning back from crack!
I have a redemption strategy, if you will. It’s twofold I suppose. I want to serve as a cautionary tale to others. I’m the oldest of six and was always the guinea pig getting in trouble, whereas my family friends have an oldest son with drinking problems that helped his younger brother avoid the same extreme drinking habits.
Being the oldest ain’t EZ and, contrary to most chick lit books, I’m not the perfect older sister on a pedestal or the perfect oldest of six ranging 20 years role model. I bumped into someone from high school just yesterday and was asked “oh you’re ___’s sister, right?” I will ALWAYS be known as the sister of ___ and not as me by the general population of my high school, ’cause she’s the hot shit perfect one a year my junior who everyone had a crush on and worshipped.
Such is life and yeah, I like feeling pretty in my own way without contanstly comparing myself to her when we’re apart. She’s ABOVE stripping, so I certainly don’t have to worry someone will choose her over me for a 2K VIP room or something.
Anyhow, getting back from that #sisterissues digression, that’s the first part of my self-prescribed redemption; providing cautionary information. The other means of redemption is transitioning into a public service job. I’m not planning to become a teacher, but I’ll just say I plan to help people.
What I don’t want (and I apologize to sex workers who bear this cross) is to get outed, lose all hope of getting a good job thanks to Google, and end up forced into a career of sex-worker advocacy. There comes a time when you want to end that chapter of your life. Move on, but never forget and learn from your experiences, like the trillion military guys I fuck with who do four years and move on to school, their service and friends, living and dead, always in memory.
Because I’m so thoroughly against the 12-step seeking ammends route, I hope to succeed in grad school and my future career and my family can fucking COME TO ME when they realize I’m actually a functioning human with something great to offer the world.
I hate having to lie about my source of income, and I DO do some vanilla freelance work, random focus groups, etc…. but following my recent trip abroad, my Gramma and Aunt both pulled the “How do you afford that?” question. I don’t care if they disapprove of how I spend my money. It’s he assumption the money doesn’t exist that offends me. The assumption I live a marginal existence check-to-check where a trip abroad would mean just blowing off my bills. Am I hypocritical in this complaining? Absolutely. But I refuse to be one of those mood disorder people who settles on bagging groceries for minimum wage, doing mindless work or living off disability like a complete loser. I’m already the loser of my family and I resent the assumption I’m a broke joke as well. You could call my sister a loser, too. She’s a waitress/wannabe actress dating a professional pot dealer (which she denies, but I know the truth). But she has higher moral standards and is more of a good girl.
I suppose my aspiration is to show my judgmental family and others the proof is in the pudding. The proof someone who’s struggled with a mood disorder, substance abuse and a highly stigmatized accidental career, can succeed later in life instead of being a casualty, a Britney Spears-esque zombie with no visible soul, or a disability-check-collecting loafer with no sense of self-worth.
Although I feel like I have little to say about stripping and what not these days, it’s high time I hopped on this blogging shit.
Firstly, I’ve been meaning to review some New Orleans clubs. My memories of Deja Vu, Penthouse, Rick’s, Stilettos, Rick’s Sporting Saloon and Hustler are so stale I can’t recount much (same shit, different toilet), but let me tell you about a little place called The Corner Pocket…..
I’m a supporter of The Pocket, a gay club; their strippers would sometimes come in to my club and throw down tips. My co-worker and I even wanted to buy their T-shirt and cut it up sexy to give them free advertising.
But, it’s a strange place. A hole in the wall, according to my gay friend who introduced me to it. There’s no real stage, just guys awkwardly moving around the bar dancing for singles. I’ve met some super nice dudes there, many of whom will claim they’re just “gay for pay” but it feels like a place whose business model means no money for their strippers unless the strippers meet people outside work to do…..whatever.
Most of the guys there are coherent, young and fresh, reasonably sober without any lifestyle scars and lucid. But this one really depressing dude broke it down.
“How do you guys make enough money when there’s no space for lap dances or VIP?”
“Meeting people at their hotels.”
“Don’t you feel like that’s kinda risky?”
“You can always walk out of a room.”
(But can you?)
This guy was super fucked up and I’m sad to say I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s dead now. He had relocated his family from Michigan and showed me a picture of them all with shaved heads that creeped me the fuck out. “Yeah, there’s so many niggers down here, I made sure they all shaved their heads.” Whhhhhattt?
He proceeded to break down the street value of Klonopin, Adderall and the like and tried coaxing me into touching his cock. At The Pocket, every guy’s got their junk out; they tend to twirl thier package around and are more than happy to let you touch.
Anyhow, I don’t mean to talk shit; it just kind of makes me sad they have to resort to risky behavior to earn the money lady strippers can make within the confines of their club. My best night ever, 2K on New Year’s Eve, my friend and I blew a few hundred there to reward ourselves, earning the approval of the guys, who’d tell their friends, “They know how to tip!” My bipolar shit-show friend was perreando reggaeton style and droppin’ it low with them; good time had by all.
In other news, I met the perfect guy and he doesn’t like me as much as I like him. It sucks. Here are his stats: Went to a good undergrad school, the one I wish I’d gone to if I could rewind time (in DC), did four years in the Marine Corps as a Bachelor’s-holding officer, is about to start a dual grad degree at a top school on the GI bill, is naturally smart and eloquent as fuck, very cute, with tasteful tattoos and a religious zeal about making it to the gym a lot, not the hugest package but a damn good-looking one (this other guy I used to fuck had droopy balls that grossed me out, this dude’s are downright attractive.)
He is also well-raised by moderately conservative Catholics. He’s very respectful and we have similar opinions; for example, he’ll agree about gun control, instead of being all yee-haw “guns for everyone!” like other Marines I’ve known. Like me, he thinks everyday gun deaths, including suicides and low-profile homicides are ignored overall compared with mass shootings. He doesn’t think guns should be accessible to the wrong hands. Like all military dudes, he’s opinionated as fuck, but very balanced and smart about it; like me, he usede to take people to task in class, calling out professors and fellow students. He sleeps like a baby around me and seems extremely levelheaded, so no sign of PTSD fucked-upery.
So, we’ve hung out a few times, but it’s like goddamn high school as far as having a venue to fuck in. I’m living with a friend dirt cheap because I hate apartment searching and prefer blowing my money on multiple European vacations instead of high rent.
He is living with his parents and he’s at least self-conscious about it, always saying “I’m not actually a bum, I swear!” It’s a perfectly reasonable decision; he’s moving August 1 for grad school anyway and just finished paying his undergrad student loans, plus he crashes with friends when he goes out.
But we got in a slight text war about the fucking venue situation….we’ve gotten a hotel twice (the first time extending for a night) and when we attempted to make plans this week, I suggested a hotel again.
“The hotel thing kind of weirds me out.”
“Why? I kinda got the vibe you weren’t a fan.”
“Call it my Irish Catholic guilt; it just didn’t sit right with my conscience. I just don’t like getting a hotel for the sole purpose of having sex.”
“I mean, you’re not having an affair on someone, but I guess it can feel sleazy.”
(Ever the fucking TACTFUL speaker) “It just felt gratuitous I guess.”
BLOOD STARTS BOILING.
“Ok now I’m curious what you mean by that. I think I get the implication and unless I misread def don’t appreciate it, actually very insulted.”
“I mean it felt gratuitous. It felt a little like paying for sex. That’s not a reflection on u, just that I paid money for something explicitly just to have sex.”
“Right…calling me a female John of sorts is the last straw, and relects on u, someone who I misjudged as respectful and almost perfect.”
“I said it’s not a reflection on u. There’s no implication. It reflects on me being a male john as much as it would reflect on u.”
“Well for what it’s worth I dont’ just like u for sex and regret setting the wrong tone.” (ie fucking too soon/not making him wait.)
“I am being respectul. I’m being honest about how it made me feel about myself, not you. It’s the situation not the person, unless I was in a serious relationship with that person. I’m not judging you.”
“Ok I admittedly felt a bit that way, too. I think UR a good guy and never expected a serious relationship cause of your grad school but I feel somehow disappointed u wanna come fuck on a tight schedule like a dine n’ dash, yet I’m supposed to feel sleazy about hotels when ur acting sleazy otherwise.”
“It’s just damn Irish Catholic guilt. It’s not rational and it’s kinda a blurred moral ambiguity. I’m sorry for trying to be honest. I could have said nothing.”
(Pet peeve, backhanded apologies!)
“Sorry for trying to be honest is a tad euphemisitic; ru sorry ur just using me for sex and hypocritically laying your guilt on me? The silver lining of this convo, is I’m craving a hate fuck, but it also makes me wanna cut u off; doesn’t seem u give enough of a shit you’d care.”
“Not laying guilt on you, just not comfortable doing the hotel thing. I don’t feel guilty about having sex with you, but I do slightly with anybody in a hotel room. It’s an emotion not a rational conclusion. That’s the way I feel. If that upsets u and u don’t wann talk to me than that’s fine. I’m not going to lie to you to try and make you feel different, I’d rather you be able to understand and still wanna talk to me.”
(I think our conversations are enjoyable and respectful, but is still talk to me still fuck me, or still fuck me AND talk?)
“Ok ur not into hotels, that’s fine. My point is doing a quickie at my apartment doesn’t feel much better or less sleazy. I feel skeeved out when ur like “I wanna come over but have an ample exit strategy.” I know you like to talk, too, I just don’t like that dine n’ dash vibe I’m getting.”
“I don’t know why but there’s a difference there. I thought we’d hang out too. I didn’t say that, I figured I’d stay as long as I could ’til your friend got home. I just can’t stay the night this week.”
“Ok well I think we are on the same page, some frustration later…..”
Some talk of scheduling, LSAT studying, blahblah later….
“Man, that’s why guys don’t like to always share their feelings lol. Sometimes you feel a way, you can’t help feeling that way even if you don’t want to. That’s all about feeling a certain way you can’t rationally explain.”
“It’s fine, your honesty turns me on, obviously a broad’s gonna get sensitive now and then and I have a bit of a temper. I don’t like being told what I wanna hear and fishing for validation, it’s usually obvious when a guy’s trying to appease, but the truth can sting, that’s all.”
“It shouldn’t. Again it’s not a reflection of my opinion of you.”
“It’s fine, I just mean pointing out things u think but hesitate to say can feel shitty at first; I’m from “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t acknowledge the elephant in the room” WASP stock, so it feels especially awkward when someone points out things that are uncomfortable.”
Trying to schedule time to hang blahblah later….
“Ok, unfortunately tomorrow would be the most ‘dine and dash’ scenarios ’cause I have a softball game, so if that doesn’t appeal to u that’s fine. We’ll do Friday.” (Sadly, we didn’t do Friday…the whole apartment situation etc)
“You’d feel just as awkward here as a hotel, hard to explain.” (Like I’d have to use the love seat, using my friend’s bed that she shares with her man is too boundary-crossing and I currently rock an air mattress! Probably not what he envisioned/assumed.)
I realize that was entirely too long-winded, but I did warn y’all in the title this would be a rant! At the end of the day, I’m just bummed someone so good on paper who also has values and isn’t disrespectful is out of my reach. I’d love to find an exact replica who isn’t moving away and actually expresses passion towards me, not just ho-hum friends with benefits who can hold conversations.
When someone so opinionated and open about expressing themselves doesn’t return strong feelings toward you, it’s definitely a bummer. I haven’t been pouring my heart out to him and throwing heavy relationship-expecting standards at him, like admitting I told family and friends about the ‘awesome guy I’m dating’ and writing a fucking book of a journal entry (and book of a blog entry) about him! Oh well. On to the next….well at least come August 1 when he’s gone and people switch out of “summer fling” mode.
Any-fucking-way….my “other agenda” shit is going reasonably well. I have to beware of my extrovert tendencies cause the entity where I’m volunteering and hoping to work is the kind of place that does background tests, drug tests and would undoubtedly fire me if they connected me to this blog. Sigh…. It’s not just that this blog is NSFW, but it so explicitly outlines my shortcomings and vulnerabilites.
Hey, remember me? #attentionseeking
I’ve been MIA cause I’ve been focusing on other shit, ie my future over my present, which admittedly has caused some anxiety over immediate cash flow, but no biggie.
I’m outta the game for now, but most girls know you always have one foot, or at least one toe, still in the game, along with a piece in the back of your mind that nags “I’m always a handy quick fix if you fall behind on bills!” The whole “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in,” cliche’ is painfully applicable to strippers and all sex workers.
I’m starting grad school soon and wish I could fast forward to day one of class. I actually have half a dozen prerequisite courses I didn’t take as an undergrad to do, so it’s good I have ample time before starting my PhD. On the flip-side, however, I also don’t qualify for student loans and my credit’s still below 680, leaving me poorly qualified for “personal loans” leading up to mky degree program. I feel in limbo; motivated and eager to qualify for a particular PhD program, but unable to finance the prerequisites up front.
It’s not too unrealistic to pay up front, though. If I take one course per summer semester, followed by two courses per semester in Fall and Spring, I only need 1K per class at the cheap in state and continuing studies schools (I looked into a local private school that is simply too pricey and impulsively registered for, then dropped four courses that were 2.5K a pop.)
I’m sorry to alienate any sex worker who sees this, but I’ve grown disenchanted with Twitter. I suppose I need to diversify my “following” portfolio, because I’m sick of everything revolving around hooker stuff, dressing room/DJ talk and sex work advocacy. Not that I’m not an ally of sex workers, pro-legalized-prostitution and all that good stuff (can you believe in some places, hotels will arrest you for having more than 3 condoms?), but I don’t want to serve a life sentence as a sex worker advocate. It will always mean something to me and I will always stand up against stereotypes and stupid jokes about strippers and hookers. But I want a regular age-proof career. I want to fill in the giant gap on my resume. By going back to school and volunteering in a relevant field, I’m essentially giving myself a clean slate and hoping people won’t judge my patchy resume too harshly. All my previous vanilla work experience is irrelevant to my future career goals, anyway, so just add my taboo stuff to that mix.
Many sex workers get pissed off if their peers act snobby, but at the same time, many sex workers act snobby in their own right. There’s a popularity heirarchy on Twitter; there are girls in complete denial of fellow sexs workers who fit into stereotypes, and women who have decided they are career sex workers and fuck anyone who questions them or expresses a true desire to get the fuck out this biz.
I was sitting on the train, where you do all your best thinking, like the shower or driving, and it occurred to me: “Why shouldn’t I reaffirm that I’m too good for an industry that acts too good for me?” I thought back to late January, when my long term club demoted me to day shift. They probably found me easy to manipulate, an exceedingly could sport who’d put up with t punishment. They knew my internal insecurities of being thick and older than average would allow me to agree with their demotion. But fuck that. As the shit-talking bartender sarcastically said, “You’re the intellectual stripper.” I’m not much of a hustler, like John Voight in Midnight Cowboy, so why waste my energy on an industry where my talents don’t fully lie? I’ll still chase the dream of writing, but I’m so happy that, after years of floundering and scraping by, I’ve found another source of passion and I’ve found some real direction and sense of stability.
I just want to get to my bottom line instead of giving this past weekend’s story tons of context.
I stopped by a hotel after dancing amateur night outside Boston asking for rates and instead ended up loitering all night chatting up the cute young front desk guy and cute young security guy.
The desk guy was into me, although both were very flirtatious and I took him up on the offer of going to his place after his shift ended at 7AM. So we pulled an all-nighter together and proceeded to have this rapid ascent and decline of “booty call where I get treated like a girlfriend, so let me be sure to fuck this up before it gets any better.”
He was way too fresh off an ex, and mentioned she had depression and borderline personality issues. So, figured he could handle me! But I quickly developed an inferiority complex to her based on weight.
It started when he made breakfast that first morning. He asked if I wanted eggs; sure. Omelette? Sure. Ingredients? Whatever. So he slices small bits of leftover Easter ham and puts in shredded cheese.
Remark #1: “Wow, a girl who eats meat AND cheese!”
Ugh, just wanted to be a laid back houseguest. I was starving and hardly feeling fussy.
The following day, I find a Victoria’s Secret slip that was ex evidence. He’d said it was a clean break, so I let my eyes light up: “Hey, can I have that!”
“Well…..she was VERY small. I mean, like the size of a bug. I don’t want you to be disappointed. I mean, I’m not going to go trying on baby clothes.”
(Didn’t really know that, but I could tell by your leftover overpriced Vegan lubricant she was the reason for your “wow, you eat everything!” comment.)
The thing didn’t look like it would be THAT fucking small on me; like body fat oozing over it or my ripping it in the vain attempt to even try it on. I know I tried the same damn thing on at Vicky’s recently, most likely in a size small or “34B” The whole “you don’t try on kids clothes or baby clothes” analogy just added salt to the wound, because we were talking about a stretchy cotton sleep garment, not a fucking size 24 pair of jeans.
Comment #3: (During sex) “Oh, I love your thick hips.”
My later post-sex response: “Dude, I didn’t used to have hips. People used to ask if I was a ballet dancer and say they felt sorry for me whenever I had to go through childbirth.”
This guy claimed he had a foremerly bullimic sister and got “anxiety” when he caused girls stress over their weight, yet he repeatedly made comments that brought my briefly anorexic and long term borderline anorexic former self to the boiling point.
He’d try to salvage with typical backhanded (if you let them be) comments about my curves, bigger tits etc. But I just couldn’t let this inferiority complex of coming right after a super skinny girl fail to get under my skin. It got extremely deep under my skin.
The best analogy I can give is comparing a former anorexic to a recovering addict. If, like me, you’ve been to AA meetings, you’ll see the gung-ho old-timer who quit drinking at 16, yet goes to meetings and calls themself an alcoholic for the rest of their fucking life.
My body doesn’t look anorexic, because I’m semi-retired, or rather, not a “practicing” anorexic. But that doesn’t mean these emotional triggers don’t drive me bat shit crazy and that body image issues and eating disorders are something I’m in the clear from, just cause I resemble some happy BBW frolicking in a field of Dove real women self esteem. In fact, when I had outpatient therapy, I found it interesting that a girl with an eating disorder was in the “dual diagnosis” group, because the “substance” she abused was fucking FOOD.
Feeling fat compared to an ex pisses me off way more than any cliche backhanded compliment from strip club customers. I don’t care what strangers I’ll never see again think. I’m not sure why I cared so much with this guy; it’s just, for a weekend fling, he was treating me a lot like a girlfriend, spoiling me and acting really sweet and romantic.
Why I felt the need to compare myself to the other girl is a bit beyond me; I was really comparing myself to the “old me” that was as little as that girl; the girl he couldn’t seem to fathom comparing my body type with, even though it would be a legit comparison if you saw me in 2005 or earlier.
Here’s a PSA to people: when you go on an eating disorder bender, it’s very often motivated by A SINGLE COMMENT, however well-intentioned, let alone multiple comments that make you feel squeamishly big.
My friend who lost tons of weight, after being the happy-go-lucky, confident fat chick, attributes her dramatic weight loss to our mutual friends’ comment “You seem happy like you are….so why change?” Somehow, our friend casting her in the “happy fatass” light, but not in those words, motivated her.
I have counted my calories today and can see myself revving up the treadmill later using things he said this weekend as PURE MANTRA. Oh you have a little stomach cramp and wanna slow the treadmill down? Just replay in your head “She was REALLY small; I don’t want you to be disappointed trying that on” and you’ll be running 7.5mph in a hot second.
I’ve had those kinds of lines as dysfunctional motivators in the past. When I gained the freshman 15 and my Jewish mother figure said “You’re looking like the OLD (baby fat having) you.” I proceeded to lose 15 pounds in barely 6 weeks; we’re talking slim fast bar for breakfast and lunch, EZ mac for dinner, total calorie count of 700-800 per day with 1/2 hour of cardio every single night and some weights every other night. Dizzy every time you stand up. Not the emaciated 83 pounder of my 18 year old days, but back to the point of “gee, I’m almost dipping under 100 lbs, guess I can let myself go for ONE DAY so I’m at least in the triple digits.”
I used to use vegetarianism to mask my anorexia and give myself an excuse to refuse foods. A guy making a comment about what a good sport of an “equal opportunity eater” I am is meant as a compliment, but Christ…
I did my part in being hurtful toward him; I got angry drunk Saturday and acted like a bitch. I definitely put him on the spot with all the weight comments and exposed my insecurities bigtime.
So Friday night, we were watching sports and for a time, I went into his bedroom while he and his roommate stayed by the TV. I took that slip and ripped it into several pieces I was so resentful toward it and the blow to my self-confidence it caused.
Then, like an idiot (having already pulled a crazy bitch move), I decided to randomly tell him I’d done it while waiting to be sat for brunch yesterday. His ex and body image stuff came up again and I gave him crap for how his comment about that slip made me feel. I looked him dead on and impulsively said, “which is why that garment’s ripped to about five pieces at the bottom of your trash right now.”
That was just the trigger my self-destructive self-conscious was hoping to set off. Every time someone treats me well, misguided compliments aside, I make sure to act psycho and scare them off; I know it’ll happen eventually, so I go out of my way to get it over with. I’d already been bitchy to him Saturday night, and telling him I’d done that was the shoot-myself-in-the-foot outcome I was twistedly seeking. Instead of staying with him one last night before flying back out of town, I got myself kicked out for losing his trust and had to spend $90 on a Zipcar when I could have just spent more time having great sex and being treated like a queen.
Even after kicking me out (he had some work and friend betraying him issues on his plate also stressing him out) he was super nice about driving me “wherever I needed to go.”
“How’s the middle of the Tobin Bridge?” (I’m such a self-loathing bitch.)
When he dropped me at the garage to get my car, we had a super long hug and tiny kiss goodbye. It definitely made me sad, but also validated he’s a genuinely nice guy at the end of the day. He even said some kind of “talk to you soon” line, to which I replied, “That’s obviously YOUR move to make if you choose to make it.” I almost hope he does, but I’ve already cut my losses and gone back to my fucking four simultaneous sext conversations, not to mention scoping out a new marine prospect with a degree. Oh, and of course, getting back in touch with my psychotic borderline anorexic roots; 460 calories so far today! I’ll “save” my remaining 400 allowance for right before the gym tonight so I don’t pass out. Yesterday, it was so tense when I revealed my psycho move, we just left without sitting for brunch, so saved a few cals there!
This is the shit that happens when you make someone’s eating disorder side boil over. Shit like inspiring me to have a 20 Oz Diet Dr. Pepper as my afternoon snack and buying 45 calorie a slice bread to spray I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter zero calorie, chemical-laden shit on. Measuring fat free half and half in a tablespoon measurer, because God forbidd, I “free-poured” my creamer and couldn’t track the calories. I guess I’ll be living off of Chicken Noodle Soups, 300- Calorie Lean Cuisines, 60 Calorie Dannon Danimals things or Sugar Free Jello as “dessert” and Cliff bars for a while.
To add to the dysfunction, I console myself with the fact I willingly gave head and enjoyed doing it, unlike that other bitch, even making a snarky comment to the guy that “as someone who so CLEARLY isn’t bullimic, my gag reflex is minimal.” Crazy in bed, crazy in the head, as they say.