Conversing With an Ex-Stripper – pt. 1


There are three types of people I just can’t enjoy engaging in conversation; extremists, racists and Juggalos. Everyone else is pretty much fair game to start up dialogue with.

One rule I learned from writing this blog going on six years now, is that whenever possible, it’s beneficial to get your information straight from a source directly associated with what you’re writing about. This isn’t always possible, but if given the opportunity, jump on it, because it will be very beneficial. Different preconceived ideas you might have about a group of people…various social class tribes bundled out there in the Great Amerika; some times, I expose my ideas as superstitions I held onto, or bad influence from the words of others that harbored hate and prejudice. Meeting with someone educates me and helps me discern between what I’m being told and what I’m seeing. These two things don’t always correlate.

I’ve been wanting to sit down and pick the brain of a woman who was a stripper for some time now. Outside of going inside a club, my chances of running into a dancer were slim to none, so, when I did run across someone who was articulate enough, and had been a stripper, I was beaming. This was perfect timing; this would break me away from the nightmare we are living in, away for a bit, from listening and watching images of the Crimson King as he broods around his emptying palace. I needed therapeutic human conversation to remind me that there is more to life than the drool they post online which covers us all in paranoia.

I know that a lot of individuals have their own experiences with being in that profession, or know someone who is, or once dated someone who did, and every one of us will have our own perception on the type of individual(s) a stripper is. This journal of my conversation with a girl I will call Hunny documents the questions that were on my mind, and her perception of the (as she puts it) surreal world of strip clubs. She has a pretty savvy mind, so I knew she would be able to convey certain aspects of the strip club business that typically can go unnoticed. Hunny had worked in dozens of clubs so that would seem to give her a broad analysis of the club scene…and why did she work in so many clubs in such a short amount of time? That could be another question I add to my list, but first, we both needed to get sufficiently baked and I had to break out my old school note taking gear. I prefer to write my notes on a pad of paper rather than using recordings for reference. By writing my notes as it happens, I can put in annotations to help convey what I’m learning. It also gives me something to do when I am sufficiently baked. One last detail was to get placed in an environment where I could sit and listen and not be distracted by outside influence. I had tried before to talk to girls in a club, but they’re in a club to make money, not to talk to some inquisitive ass, like me. Hunny had me come to her house and we sat down and got high and talked.

She was somewhere around twenty-three to twenty-five years old when she decided to start working at a club as a stripper. A friend of hers had suggested it to her a few times and with her feeling that she wasn’t cutting it in the nine to five world, Hunny thought this might work out for her. She told me at that age, she was a party girl (as youth persuades so many of us into being, at that period of our lives) and club money seemed like a great way to support going out and still having money to keep a roof. Some girls can make the jump and some girls will, some girls won’t. Hunny made the jump and started dancing in clubs-dancing and doing ‘sets’. That was one of the first things she made sure I mention; There is a distinction between a ‘dance’ and a ‘set’. A set can include a couple three minute minimum songs, or one three minute song and a long playing song, like Paradise by the Dashboard Light, that old Meat Loaf classic…Meat Loaf……she told me that one and I about spit up laughing, trying to picture how detailed a routine a girl would have to dream up to last out that tune. The highs and the lows…now that, would be showmanship. A ‘dance’ was a lap dance, a one on one performance, a close up and personal thing.

I remember Hunny telling me she stuck to working at clubs where the six inch law was in place. The six inch law means girls can be totally nude, but patrons have to stay a distance of at least six inches away from a performer. Other clubs were governed by laws which said the girls had to wear a long gown or some kind of material rather than being totally nude, but men could get closer than six inches…a lot closer.



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