“I’m not a whore,” “I know what I’m doing” and other lies I’ve told myself.

Ahh the baby stripper stage; where we all think “I’ll never be ‘that’ girl,” “I’ll never do ‘that’ for money” and “I WON’T do this for very long.” SPOILER ALERT: you will.

I walked into my first club totally ready, or so I thought. I had the right shoes, the right outfit and weeks worth of Tumblr research fresh in my mind. I was going to rock this audition, and I did. But the weeks to follow would test my patience, my boundaries and my sanity. Slowly my “I will never” turned into “never have I ever.”

The first obvious “I will never” I encountered at the club was the older dancers. I met at least 2 women in their 40s the first month. Women dancing in their 40s!? I would NEVER! But the longer I got to know these women and the more I learned how much money they made, I began to change my mind and not totally cross it off my list. Shit, if I still got it at 40, why not!?

The next “I will never” I encountered were drug addicted dancers. I will NEVER be THAT girl. I will NEVER dance solely to support a drug habit. I will not put myself in dangerous situations for the sake of getting high. Fast forward to a year later and I’m sitting in the dressing room on a Tuesday night sweating, dope sick, hoping a customer will come in so I can make another $100 for some more pills. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that would be me. But I let a moment of weakness take over my entire career, entire bank account and entire life. It’s hard to distinguish reality when you’re a stripper, when doing a couple lines of coke, popping Adderall and drinking bottles of champagne nightly is the norm. But this is not normal behavior. If you find yourself needing a drink or an Adderall on your day off this may be the beginning of a problem. Reflect, acknowledge, and take action. Don’t be ashamed. I’ve received nothing but hugs and praise in the dressing room since completing rehab. You don’t have to go through this alone.

Another “I will never” I encountered were ‘dirty girls.’ Dirty girls are girls that blatantly break the rules of the club and also the law. They suck and fuck and do whatever else they think is necessary to make money. I’ve always believed (and still do) that if you’re good at your job you won’t need to do these things to make money. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be those nights when rent is looming in the near future, you’ve spent too much of your money shopping thinking you’ll make more tomorrow and suddenly a rich customer appears that wants you to cross your boundaries. And if you say you’ve never broken your own boundaries then you’re a bold faced liar or you haven’t been dancing long enough. Even if it’s letting a customer kiss your neck when it grosses you out or squeeze a little harder than normal because you know he has a few more 20s in his pocket that you refuse to let him spend on another girl. I cringe remembering all the times I let a customer get too handsy for the sake of a buck or the time I madeout with a cute customer during a private dance only to come clean and be berated on Tumblr by multiple “smells like a baby stripper” retorts. I never broke the law but I broke my boundaries in the beginning. It happens. Move on, clean up your act and learn from it. The money is SO MUCH BETTER when you’re something they CAN’T have. Trust me.

The last “I will never” I swore upon is the club boyfriend. I will NEVER date a guy from the club, come on that’s the first rule they teach you on Tumblr. But a month into dancing a rich older man came in, swept me off my feet and suddenly we we’re dating. “We’re going to defy the odds” I told myself. “He’s not like other guys.” And I was right, he wasn’t like other guys; he was worse. Looking back I realize how much I was taken advantage of as a new girl and why there’s a reason veterans advise babies not to date customers much less REGULARS. To this day I still find him in the club, flying new girls to Vegas, trying to add some sort of excitement to his pathetic life. But I’ve since moved on. And the funny thing is, I met my current boyfriend at the club too. But it’s been almost a year and we’ve had no problems. We’ve bought a house together, got a dog, and started building a beautiful life together. He’s shown me what true unconditional love is. I even know women who’ve married someone they met at the club. There’s no guaranteed outcome of dating a customer, just know that the majority of experiences are unfavorable. Almost everyone will eventually date or atleast hangout with someone from the club, just don’t be stupid. Be safe, respect your own boundaries, and don’t let anyone tell you you need to stop dancing. Remember why you started dancing in the first place? The freedom, the flexibily, the money. Remember why you stayed dancing? The friendship, the fun and oh yeah, the money! Don’t let anyone, especially a fuck boy take that away from you.

If I’m being completely honest, I had no fucking clue what I was doing in the beginning. No amount of forums will teach you how to pick up your shattered heart and ego after leaving the club in the hole on your first slow night. Having the right shoes won’t prepare you for the first time a customer tries to stick a finger up your ass. Nothing could have prepared me for the wild and crazy ride of being a stripper but I am grateful for the knowledge I was able to obtain in the months before I set foot on my first stage, and I hope through writing this blog I am able to pass on even a tiny bit of that helpful information. Learn from my mistakes, never say never and always, happy stripping!

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