No matter where I’m at or which stripper I’m talking to we all have things in common. We all bond over the obvious and unspoken experience it is to be a stripper. We share common mantras, rituals, image upkeep and hygiene, and the same damn body spray that our predecessors have used before us. There are many things that bind us together, and these are just some the things that make us apart of the Stripper Sisterhood.
“May God watch over us and keep us safe, and may our cups and stacks overfloweth tonight,” announces Cynthia as we all join hands in the dressing room. Not all clubs join in mutual prayer before a shift, but we all DO silently or loudly proclaim our desires for the night. “It better be a good night, my son’s birthday is this weekend!” Or “My goal is atleast $700 and I’m not leaving without it!” We all have goals, some girls have an exact number in mind while some girls just generally want to do “well,” but overall our similar pre-shift mantra just goes to show how driven and determined strippers really are, and that the old slogan “you just take the easy way out” is null and void right from the get-go.
The dressing room is always filled with body spray, baby wipes and hairspray. Hair ties, bobby pins, tampons, deodorant, floss, and everything in between line the walls in the back of the club. If we don’t have it, the house mom or another girl does. I’ve seen girls take full showers without any water. Only strippers know the joy of putting deodorant in your ass crack or leaving your bag in the car and finding your baby wipes frozen into a solid mass, (ok maybe new moms have experienced that one a few times.) From an unwanted overzealous tongue to a spilled drink to a surprise period we need to be prepared for anything. Let’s just say strippers are ready for the apocalypse.
Not many people know what it’s like to wear 6 inch heels for 7+ hours at a time. Even pole dancers take their heels off eventually. But strippers? Through stage sets and pool games and lapdances we must persevere. Some clubs allow girls to take their heels off during lapdances but others do not (shout out to you unlucky bitches, I couldn’t do it!) We spend mass amounts of money on the cheapest plastic heels out there. We are always a heel snap or strap break away from total embarrassment in front of the entire club. And don’t even get me started on all the stories I’ve heard of men getting kicked in the face or getting nailed from across the bar with expert precision from a flying mule.
Let’s just say we’ve all taken an anatomy lesson without ever opening a book. We discuss lipstick and labias like people discuss the weather. We build each other up in the dressing room and constantly assure one another that “yes, those bottoms make your ass look fat, so definitely wear them.” We’ve all grown to be comfortable and even confident in our most natural state. Stripping builds a confidence in you like nothing you will ever experience. We all share in the same ritualistic nitpicking at our bodies but focus overall on the big picture and realize that we are one WORTHY, hot piece of ass!
My favorite subject when bonding with another stripper is customers. The wild and crazy stories of the customers they’ve had always astounds me. No two stories are exactly alike. ALL of us, however, have had the exact same customer experience: cheap, abusive, disgusting and violent. This is the worst part of the Sisterhood. We have all experienced what it’s like to be objectified, verbally and physically assaulted, and degraded. But we have also experienced the good things together: the best payday of our lives, customers giving us money for no reason, and countless compliments and praise. Customers make or break our whole night, so remember that next time you decide to visit the club.
Through all the similarities and differences there is one thing we all have in common: the need for acceptance. We all wish to bring awareness to the rest of the world on what goes on behind the closed club doors so that we can break down the barriers and stigma. We all just want to lead happy, healthy, fulfilled lives where we are loved and accepted and not judged by our career. Strippers are some of the strongest most resilient people on the planet, who are undeniably unafraid to be themselves, and for that I am forever grateful to be apart of the Stripper Sisterhood.