Archive for January, 2013

Dating a Marine, Part II of Infinity, or 2 of 2, Depending

January 30, 2013

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I have a soft spot for marines. I dated one this time last year who was far more emotionally banged up than my current guy. I can’t help gravitating toward fucked up people, because they are filled with stories and I can relate to their emotional struggles, but my current marine is nice and mentally stable. Relatively speaking…..

If I can ignore his annoying pro-gun facebook posts.

I have another local friend with tons of guns, plus two pit bulls, and I was initially a little uncomfortable, but figured, as long as I don’t know how to, or have to, use them, I’d be good. I tend to be in a relaxed and happy state of mind when I’m with this friend, as well as my new flame, which keeps the thought of self harm to a minimum..

But my friend isn’t this gung ho marine who wants to talk ad nauseum about gun control on facebook. I take offense to people getting so up in arms (literally) about gun regulations following Sandy Hook.

This guy I’m dating treats me well; he picks me up and drops me off at work and cooks for me. He’s affectionate, and does me other little favors without acting whipped. His reaction to my revealing I strip was very chill. We’ve already been through each other’s family stories, including my admitting I’m the black sheep for more reasons than being outed as a stripper (ie drinking and not managing my mental health to my nurse stepmom’s standards.) These are all good things. But I know the companionship I’m enjoying now isn’t meant to be long term.

We are on opposite sleep schedules and I’ll sit up drinking his bourbon, watching movies past his bedtime. It makes me uneasy that he has so many guns and that I let him teach me to use two of them. (The safety is nothing but a flip you switch, painfully easy!)

I asked him if he’d lost friends in combat during his two deployments. He hadn’t (they launched ammunition, so were able to passive aggressively kill people in Fallujah without looking them in the eye or going man to man.) He’s lost a good 4-5 military friends and associates to suicide. He wasn’t in hard core situations, so that helps him have a sound mental state; he literally did a presentation for trainees about ammunition citing kill numbers as “morale booster” (instead of eat-away-at-you-til-you-off-yourself boosters.)

I discussed the issue with a high school buddy who loves him some guns (he was the token non-bleeding heart guy of my liberal Boston suburb growing up.) He said:

“As pro-second ammendment as I am, manic depression combined with substance abuse means no guns for you!.”

At my High School reunion, one of my classes’ two casualties came up; “Yeah, I heard he was shitfaced when he shot himself” was my friend’s line. To the point, and painfully true.

My new flame doesn’t know the full extent of my problems. He knows I pop pills to sleep and always stay up later than him and he knows I get anxiety and drink more than him, but I haven’t copped up to him that his guns make me weary. He definitely hasn’t figured out telepathically that I secretly see his guns as opportunities; the motive is already there, but usually suppressed by fear, Klonopin, and most importantly, lack of access to firearms (I’ll be quicker to call 9-1-1 and take care of myself than fire a bullet.).

My greatest fear is accidentally overdosing on my sedative pills combined with alcohol. I discussed openly with my last, fucked up, marine, how I’m often scared to sleep, because I’m scared of not waking up, which contributes to my insomnia. Getting drunk and shooting myself is just so much easier. It’s not like I’ve had my heart broken, I’m just very morbid. I have morbid obsessions, such as Amy Winehouse’s downfall, dating guys who’ve had to kill people and reading shit like Naked Lunch by William Burroughs.

I really want our society, as a whole to make some headway as far as the suicide and mental health stigma. Which is why I’m plugging this post from TheGoodMenProject.

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Double Standards

January 29, 2013

Double Standards

“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.”
-Hunter S. Thompson

I’ve been expressing my crazy pro bono and wouldn’t mind making a living off it. But it’s still gratifying to conjure emotion, reaction, or thought in others.

Photo taken at The Beatnik Museum in San Francisco, a somewhat shoddy, but thought-provoking establishment.

Fuckupery

January 28, 2013

I’ve lost jobs that were quite pathetic to begin with; fired from hostessing at Chili’s, age 17, for not putting my hair back, fired from waitressing a good four times for various reasons, and abruptly quitting my American Express Platinum/Black card concierge job because the internal pressure of the glorified call center gave me a nervous breakdown.

But I usually hold it down as a stripper, relatively speaking. I made a huge mistake Saturday night and blatantly left with a customer. It wasn’t anything solicitary; he was a guy from Venice and, having lived in Italy, I almost never meet authentic Italians here in New Orleans. All I wanted from him was the opportunity to practice speaking, plus the cultural exchange I’ve sorely missed, not money. I wanted someone to keep me company as I washed a turkey burger down with Blue Moon ’cause it beats consuming alone.

My managers interpreted it as soliciting and told me I have a fine, plus I’m being demoted to day shift.

Fuck that shit. I’m going to show up to my scheduled shifts this week, but as soon as I get another gig, I’m out of there. I’ve worked day shifts there before, and it’s the most depressing waste of time I can think of. I’m a nighthawk and having to wake up at 10 for an 11AM shift is my idea of hell on hearth. I’ve become close with many night shift girls and, although I sometimes start early and work with the day girls, who are perfectly fine, I’ll actually miss my other girls.

They are on a firing squad over every little thing. They fired my other friend for exchanging numbers with someone and another friend for random arbitrary crap. I still have a job, but I loathe day shift with every ounce of my being. I’d like to think I’ll be something of a “top dog” compared to day shift girls, which could help me with customers, and I’d like to think the managers will let me stay on to work doubles, but I really need another gig.

It’s hard in New Orleans, because there is nothing better than my club besides Rick’s Cabaret and Penthouse. Neither of those clubs are likely to hire me thanks to my weight and age. Rick’s Sporting Saloon is on par with my club, so I may try them. But after that, it’s a slow and steady downfall of dirty clubs; Stilettos, Scores (which ain’t on par with its Manhattan namesake), Deja vu, Lipstixx, Hustler/Barely Legal (whose girls are unhappy with money) et al. I’m not sure where to begin. My manager said I can move up to split shifts, then back to night shifts after serving my fucking punishment, but it’s about to be the Super Bowl and I can’t squander this money making opportunity on only working day shifts. The timing sucks and I truly don’t understand why it’s “soliciting” to have a beer with a guy. It’s not like someone overheard me say “I’ll do____ if you give me ___$.”

Jaren Lockhart

January 22, 2013

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I truly believe that if you log more than a couple months stripping, you dodge bullets, literally and figuratively.

Jaren Lockhart was a dancer on Bourbon whose severed remains were found a few days after she went missing.

She was last seen leaving her club, Temptations on Bourbon, with a couple. The same couple is said to have tried luring a few other dancers to a “private party” promising $700-$800.

Too good to be true offers are just that. However, most strippers think “too good to be true” means they expect to have sex, at least oral, not just a view or a lap dance. It does not mean losing your life.

It never ceases to amaze me that guys get confused I won’t meet them at their hotels. Sure, I’ll reassure them they seem safe and normal, but I usually use the line “I only work at the club; by the time I get off, all I want to do is crash at home.”

First, let me seriously urge any girl who is comfortable with the idea of private parties or escort work, go through an agency who screens their clients thoroughly. Make the guy give you his business card and promptly look him up on LinkedIn. Know everything you can about who he is in “real life.” Just because turning tricks cor working private parties is a fantasy doesn’t make it anonymous to any stripper moonlighting or escort who has a sense of self-preservation.

Jaren was murdered in the summertime, when other strippers like me get out of dodge for greener pastures (New Orleans is HORRIBLE in the summer.) She may have been behind on bills or feeling desperate when she (allegedly) accepted the offer of her killers to go home with them.

Before you meet someone outside your club, where there is no security camera or staff, get enough info on them so they won’t DARE fuck with you, at least not to the extent of Murder 1. Tell a friend where you are and what to do if they don’t hear from you; who you are with; all their information.

I have been embarassed to see people outside my club. I let a guy come eat with me once, cause it beats eating alone, but didn’t want to be seen leaving with him. I also met a coke dealer by the door and was scared of being seen doing business with him. Maybe that’s what happened with Jaren. She didn’t want to advertise that she was leaving with this couple, because she feared judgement and indiscretion (club managers want you to sell VIP’s and split the money, not leave with people.)

In any case, there is a website “Justice for Jaren” I encourage you to visit; leave a donation or sign the guest book. One of her suspected killers is behind bars on other charges, and there are new developments in the case, which made mainstream local news today, despite Obama’s inaguration and MLK Day as potential upstagers.

I’ve gotten to know my co-workers better, and some of the regular fixtures knew Jaren. I never crossed paths with her, although we worked within three blocks of each other last February through May. One mutual friend let me see her facebook page, where I was touched to see much support and love. Facebook ghosts are an awkward phenomenon of our era, but at least the remaining profile allows people to go through the cathartic process of writing on her wall.

 

*If anyone close to Jaren sees this, I truly hope I haven’t offended you or her memory in the process of writing this post. I have no children, and the fact she left behind a small child breaks my heart. I can only dream of obtaining such beautiful immmortality through motherhood, having no maternal instinct myself. Jaren was an adorable young woman and it shatters me to the core that she was slain at 22; I remain grateful that I didn’t strip until age 26; it is too easy to get caught up in “the scene” if you start young. But I know I’ve had my close calls and scary moments. Every one of us Bourbon strippers IS Jaren, whether we wish to acknolwedge it or not. It could have been any of us. CARPE DIEM.

“This is a Giant Cock”

January 21, 2013

Holy crap, did I pick the right guy to fuck the other night. I went to visit a former colleague at another club and met him there, so technically I didn’t mess with a customer! He liked my stripper friend who was working, and considering he was hot and 23, I said, “Go for it bitch!” but she declined due to being on her period.

Fuck that. I have the IUD and the guy was so big, he said he could feel it in me. Shit impaled my ass, as William Burroughs would say. But not literally my ass; accommodating him in the front door was challenge enough. God, being in a town where dick comes and goes so frequently makes it hard to maintain such a solid gold booty call. Oh well, I’ll savor the memories! It was amusing as well, because he works as an undercover cop, and my trainwreck coworker kept talking about wanting to buy drugs in front of him; not that it mattered.

Go Pats!

January 20, 2013

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I could use a taste of home if the Pats make the Super Bowl and the city is inundated with “Massholes.”

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January 19, 2013

American Express

January 15, 2013

Last night sucked, like every shift since New Year’s, and right toward the end, three well dressed businessmen came in, as it seemed, to save the night. First, one was determined to get lap dances on his credit card, which we normally can’t do. I asked the manager to make an exception, in my desperate state, but no go.

Then we did VIP room “tours” with all of the guys, and two were quick to say “Ok, whatever the others want, plus myself; put it all on my card.” Their cards were American Express corporate, and having worked for AMEX Platinum and Centurion, I noticed it was neither of those colors.

I can dig that they wanted points or wanted to expense their fun time, but my manager explained to them (this was news to me) “more and more strip clubs aren’t taking AMEX. They automatically charges back the amount to us and we lose the money; they don’t do any investigation on whether the charge was legitimate.” It wasn’t clear if she meant AMEX automatically sides with their card member upon a contested charge, or if they even go so far as to charge back strip club tabs without a card member complaint.

AMEX, like Discover, is the most widely declined card you often have to have a back-up for. Mainly, it’s because they charge vendors an arm and a leg; I also worked for a travel agency that didn’t take them, and that was for big ticket stuff. AMEX also, however, has the art of kissing customer ass and liability protection down pat. So I can see why their card members have loyalty. Let’s be real, here, my credit’s not good enough to get approved for one, so I shall hate away!

It was funny to see how quick the guys went from “three VIP rooms of any price on my card!” to “Oh, the lowest price is $420???? The lap dances are $30 and you can’t use a card? Jeez, guys!” They all looked good for the money and they all definitely have Visa or MC, at least as a logo on their debit card. But their gung-ho big shot attitude changed like night and day the moment they realized they couldn’t expense it AND likely get a refund on their fun time from AMEX. It was sheisty behavior on their end; the whole pushiness for us to take AMEX, followed by trying to negotiate private room prices: “If a lap dance is $30 per song and a half hour VIP is 7 1/2 songs, shouldn’t it be $30×7, like a little over $200?” (NO, because the rooms are fully private and the whole sales pitch is the illusion of getting more for your money in a secluded one on one setting).

That is one of my biggest pet peeves; businessmen trying to haggle and citing their own negotiating skills in their own careers as fucked up leverage.

To make the night worse, I bumped into the somewhat omnipresent coke dealer who works the club circuit along Bourbon and bought off him, despite how slow it’s been. He acted pretty fucked up about money, trying to charge extra for what I’d sampled before buying (isn’t it standard practice, “the first sample is always free?”) He hit on me and I turned him down, because I’ve started dating a guy I’m excited about and gonna give this whole monogamy thing a try.

The Fringes of Society

January 11, 2013

French Quarter workers are an incestuous bunch and we all know each other. I’m chummy with the guy who runs the Lucky Dog stand at Canal and Bourbon and always say hi on the way home from work. The other day, a guy was accosting me on the street, so I stopped at the hot dog stand to chat and shake my tail. In doing so, I had the pleasant surprise of seeing a guy sucking another guy off for all to so right by the doorway of the Hustler store. The Lucky Dog guy pointed out half a dozen undercover cops standing right on Canal, but I guess they let the guy slide, despite his drug-fueled yelling.

Yesterday, I stopped again, asking for a recommendation on late night food, and ended up chatting away for a while; God knows I needed the fresh air before heading to another indoor venue. A different undercover cop came over to follow up on his crimestoppers report. A convicted murderer woman escaped prison and has been turning tricks about town. She is diagnosed with AIDS, so the hot dog guy called in an alleged sighting, hoping to score reward money.

I see a lot as a stripper, but I can be so blissfully unaware of shit. I ate at Alibi a few nights ago (a late night spot near Penthouse and Acme Oyster House) and saw a Trannie working a drunk guy entirely too hard, but he did leave with her. Two other women came in who looked like possible prostitutes, and the bartender told them to leave on the owner’s orders, so I suppose they’ve been working the venue of $2 beer specials and late-night drunks with no standards a little indiscretely.

The hot dog guy pointed out a shiny, nice car that a guy was getting into saying “that guy’s about to get robbed.” It never dawned on me how all those exceedingly nice pimped out cars with tinted windows that I always see at the lower end of Bourbon, by classy establishments such as Krystal burger, were blatantly soliciting. I don’t have too many guys try and talk to me through those car windows; just on the street, where the steer at a 45 degree angle ’til you can’t duck away.

Way back when, I had a slow day shift where some young dude with grills was trying to turn me out. He promised me a lot, but didn’t tip shit. People don’t really tell you these things when you start stripping; you have to figure it out on your own. So here are some basic survival tips (tips on how to hustle, hold conversation, do eyeliner or whatever can come later):

If customers ask you where to find drugs, don’t tell them. Don’t sell them drugs and don’t sell them fake shit as “drugs” either! You’ll get fired and/or arrested. The longer you strip, the easier it is to tell who is a cop.

If customers ask what they can do in VIP, don’t promise specific sexual acts, even kissing. Selling time is legal, selling sex is not. Last Mardi Gras, a girl from Deja Vu got arrested for saying “we can have fun.” (That example was bullshit, because legal lap dances and good conversation are both “fun.”)

DO NOT GO HOME WITH CUSTOMERS. YOU CAN WIND UP KILLED, WHICH HAPPENED TO A STRIPPER FROM TEMPTATIONS LAST SUMMER, AND SHE WAS NOT THE FIRST. If you want to supplement your stripping income, don’t solicit at work. Research how to become an independent escort and properly vet clients, or research reputable escort agencies, instead of seeing anonymous possible psycho killers, and keep the two jobs separate. If your club is clean, girls will not be thrilled with you “meeting peopole outside.” If your club is dirty, I suggest switching.

Don’t get shitfaced. If you accidentally get too drunk, put your ass directly in a cab and/or get a walk from the bouncer.

Don’t get turned out by a pimp posing as a customer!

Housing

January 5, 2013

I’m having roommate issues with my friend. It’s worked out well on and off for nearly a year, but he’s driving me nuts lately.

I just got home after 4AM and popped a frozen dinner in because I was starving. He opened his bedroom door and shot me a look of death for making noise (I tried to keep very quiet, but the stupid microwave obviously makes the loud beeping noises when you set it.)

I fully respect the frustration that waking him up can cause. But he does a disproportionate amount of complaining about my misdeeds, as if it’s not a two way street. He’s a gay guy and pretty fussy about some shit, and he’s emotionally high maintenance. We are close friends and he got me a couple sweet, personal Christmas gifts. But I swear he displays his own bipolar tendencies; warm and fuzzy one day, seething over trivial things the next.

He told me about a really good program for first time home buyers here in New Orleans and I’m planning to go for it within 6-12 months (if only I could do it immediately!) The program is for low to moderate income individuals and it doesn’t have the “handout” vibe, particularly because it doesn’t require you’re living at, or barely above, the poverty level.The income cap is probably a tad less than what I make, but I’m going to work with my accountant to try and keep me under that maximum while filing for 2013; in the next few days, I’ll be getting my total bank deposits for the year from both my banks, so here’s hoping! I had a slow summer, which might actually save me from exceeding the maximum.

I don’t plan to live in New Orleans year-round forever, but I know real estate is a solid way to invest; especially for someone as clueless about stock trading as I am. I also plan to buy a second place in Western New York down the road, where I would live in the summer time, because they go for 50-60K there; insane!

I’m quite elated that being a homeowner is on my realistic radar; some of the perks of the program here are not factoring in credit (I’ve been trying to improve my scores/reports) and they give you money for taking classes about buying homes; not loan, GIVE. Up to 10K.

I don’t want anomosity with my friend. To name a few moves he’s pulled, he got mad I “broke” plans to drink champagne and eat nice pizza from Domenica restaurant on our roof for New Year’s, but I was SLAMMED making close to 2K! I can’t quit while I’m ahead like that to preserve his feelings, and I know he had other plans, too. Plus, he said “no pressure” about keeping those plans, knowing it would be an important work night for me.

He gets a bit shady about money. Last month, for the first time, he couldn’t make his share of rent; the rent is 1160 between us, and he was a whopping 500 short on his part. I’ve been a contractor and I know cash flow can be a problem with that source of income. I had many a day pre-stripping where I’d anxiously check the mailbox for payments that were late in coming. But there was no gratitutde or humility when I spotted him the money, during a week I wanted to send my profits to the IRS for taxes I still owe, which are rapidly accumulating interest.

I saw a late rent notice under his door when he wasn’t home and his reply was “don’t read my notices.” I was just trying to alert him it was a problem and he had a $100 late fee. This was sprung on me the 10th or 11th of December, not the 3rd, 4th, 5th or some reasonable “still early in the month” date. And I somewhat resent his not having his financial act together; he does the stereotypical gay guy thing of living it up and having an active social life while diverting money that’s supposed to cover basic needs. I’ve made decisions about money that were more about “live in the moment” then having a six figure retirement account. But NEVER without being sure I had rent and basic bills covered first.

We had a heated chat today and I said, “I haven’t forgotten I owe you some rent after the $500 we counted from last month. Just please tell me if you have it paid, if you’re good for the money, and if it’s going to be an issue again.” And he snapped at me for having the audacity to blatantly imply I’d help again if he was short, instead of have him need a huge loan on almost no notice again. I’m a planner by nature and need to plan my own fucking finances according to whether he has his shit better together now; it’s not fair for him to yell at me for preemptively anticipating a problem and another loan from me, when it’s already the fucking 4th of the month now.

He’ll complain I’m “mean to him” and “selfish” and loves to use emotional blackmail as leverage. He’s overanalyzing like a friggin’ female, becuase I’m not that bad to him at all. He guilt trips me and nickles and dimes me for free Braid Paisley tickets etc, but also eats my frozen dinners and soups with no acknolwedgement or offer of repayment. He explicitly said he’d “revenge eaten” some of my food a few weeks ago. Revenge for WHAT? Existing? I hate when people, like my roommate from Queens over the summer, have no money and NEED you to make rent, but resent your presence in their house.

I told him I feel safter and more comfortable having a roommate. I lived alone for a year in Boston, and there were moments I felt suicidal and unsafe. Not to mention if something happens where I feel physically ill, I want to ask him for help or to call an ambulance. One day, I was dizzy and throwing up like mad and thought something was wrong, so I was able to yell out to him. Instead of getting trigger happy calling an ambulance, having someone around to watch over me on the mend is a nice option.

When I buy a house, I’ll want someone staying with me. I already offered a friend from Boston who just moved down here to bartend and stay indefinitely.I’d let select dancers I trust to crash, since some of them pay for hotels every night and I’d probably get a watchdog.

In any case, the vibe is a little negative in my apartment, but it’s SO fucking close to Bourbon, and sacrificing the location would be the biggest con. But I blew so much money on rent in Boston last year, $1900 per month and my landlord was a real cuntbag who didn’t maintain the place, and even implied I’d been spotted doing a “drug deal” in the hallway. After nearly 12 months of silence, she produced a laundry list of ‘neighbor complaints” right before leases’ end, which of course, was leverage to withhold my security deposit and make me feel like the culprit. I’m eager to be a homeowner, but it’s a daunting undertaking. Exciting, though. I’m a 29 year old stripper whose never once had a long term boyfriend and isn’t interested in having kids, so the only thing I can be proud of, besides upgrading my career, is having a home, the house that dry humping built.