I’ve been thinking a lot about addiction now that I’m back in the strip club environment. Sure, it’s a stereotype I’m not jumping at the chance to play in to, but there’s validity to it.
Two days ago, a girl offered me a shot the minute I walked in the dressing room. Her grandfather’s kidneys are failing and she was drinking and Xanaxing the pain away. Another who switch hits between shot girl and dancer gets too drunk and constantly wants to hug and profess she loves me.
Time and time again, I see girls waste time with customers who aren’t buying dances or VIP’s, because they’ll buy them drinks….at $16 a pop. I’ve been that girl, but have abandoned the backward mentality. How many times have customers been so put off by the price of your drink they passed on a lap dance? That’s a $20-ish loss to you and your “take” is empty calories that can make stage sets dangerous and literally tranquilize your hustle.
I’m in NO position to act self righteous. Just the other day, I commiserated with another stripper about how other girls waste time drinking and partying with guys. It’s a party girl persona thing…but some dancers play it up too much. I said something I hadn’t thought of before. “Thank God I’ve struggled so much with alcohol because if booze didn’t endanger me so much, I might have gotten bored with it and graduated to stronger shit.”
For all my struggles with alcohol, I’m strangely grateful the legal drug caused me enough trouble to make me avoid harder shit. I’ve always been petrified of heroin, not just because I’m inherently addictive, but because I feel there’s no turning back. Alcohol never left me bored and in search of a more exciting substance. It caused me plenty of “morning after” regret inventory sessions, but the silver lining is it became my self-destructive summit.
Sex workers and addicts have much in common; mainly being stigmatized and marginalized. Many sex workers ARE addicts and that’s probably to do with a) instant cash-based income and b) a job where drugs can arguably enhance and enable your performance. Wall Street cokeheads, bartenders, and people in sales or creative endeavors have similar excuses. I’m high strung and my body can’t handle cocaine or ADD drugs. But, like countless alcoholics, I’ve let weed and anxiety pills serve as substitute addictions/sleep-aids. I groan when docs shy from prescribing me “benzos” like Klonopin because of my substance abuse track record. I’d venture to say staying in the stripping industry guarantees easy access to pills I have trouble accessing by conventional methods.
My club’s managers are chill, but one time, I was exasperated by what a stickler my female manager is for fees. A very manic overweight girl was in and said “You’re my favorite and the prettiest” in passing. It was a blah night, so I decided to converse with her. She said yes to a dance, but when she sat on the designated couch, she didn’t respond to my typical “scooch to the middle and spread your legs so I have room to move” body language. She sat on the edge, legs closed and talked and talked and talked. She said her bipolar cousin snorted her meds thinking they were bath salts (?) and was in a coma. She wanted to move from Texas, change her life and become a stripper. I politely listened, but it was draining. She was extremely depressing, but I could relate to the state she was in. I felt very sorry for her and wanted to let her false lap dance slide free of charge. She seemed to think I’d invited her to a gratis private conversation, not a lap dance. Since we pay the club $8 per $30 dance, my manager made me make her pay. If my lap dances had been purely independent and I wasn’t sick, barely making fees on the shift, that would have been a freebie.