I love strippers.
My first contact with “nightlife” happened in my late teens, when I finally had HBO in my room and watched all the episodes of Taxi Cab Confessions. I was hooked! Whatever happened in those cabs, I wanted to be a part of it.
If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s a documentary series based on hidden cameras in cabs and the different walks of life that the drivers encounter. The drivers ask questions trying to get the passengers to tell their stories and at the end, they happily (most of the time) sign a waiver to be on the show.
Depending on the episode, you may see a drug addict looking to meet up with a dealer, a man coming home from his mistress, or strippers leaving the clubs for the night. It’s not an easy show to watch; it’s emotional at times and really makes you think about your own life. And that’s exactly what I did.
I decided I wanted to be a stripper.
Of course, it wasn’t going to be easy. I didn’t drive yet, and I wasn’t allowed outside after 10 P.M. How in the world did I think I could pull it off?
Spoiler alert: I never did. I almost did, but never actually did.
First of all, I was overweight. I knew I had to lose a few pounds before I could make a real career of stripping. That is, until I learned I lived about five minutes from a club that strictly dealt with plus-size women.
I was ECSTATIC! I took my phone (a landline, you remember those, right?) and hid in my bathroom to call them.
I wanted to ask if they were hiring but as soon as the woman answered, I hung up.
If I couldn't even talk to them on the phone, how was I going to show off my goods? I realized then that it probably wasn't going to happen for me.
But that didn't stop my fascination with stripper culture. I read all sorts of memoirs, blog posts, and even window shopped at online retailers for stripper outfits! I LOVED IT!
When I hear the word "stripper," I think of a woman in power, of her body, and of the people around her. I'm not naïve enough to ignore the scary aspect of the job: the assaults, the harassment, and sometimes even murder.
But think about it: You're up on stage, all eyes on YOU, and men (and women) are throwing money at you for you to be ... you.
I frequently talk about my love of stripping to one of my friends, who happens to agree.
"If I weren't married, I'd totally be a stripper," she says.
So, being the curious bugger I am, I surveyed some of my other friends. I asked, "What do you think of when you hear the word stripper?" These were their responses:
"A chick in a thong on a pole."
"Naked or half-naked girls that dance on poles or on stage."
"Stripping should be empowering but it seems to foster a lot of vulnerability and abuse."
"A trashy female, half-naked, dancing. And a filthy whore."
"The movie Showgirls."
I also did a bit of research and found that most people think strippers are drug addicts.
Here's the thing: You know your mortgage broker? S/he is probably also a dealer on the side. You know your hair stylist? She probably smokes weed out back in between clients. Your kid's teacher? Totally hooked on Vicodin.
Yes, certain industries make it easier to obtain drugs, but that doesn't mean it's the norm. Our society loves to generalize things, and strippers are not immune. It doesn't matter what your profession is, there will always be someone battling demons.
With all of that said, let me explain why I would LOVE to be a stripper, if my life allowed for it.
1. I'm not a morning person.
Chances are, if you're a stripper, there won't be a need to be at the club in the morning. Which means no alarm clocks, no waking up with the sun blaring at my face, and the beautiful knowledge that as my friends are commuting to work, I'm still tucked into bed.
2. I'd get to dance!
I've always wanted to dance on the Broadway stage, but I'd totally settle for ANY stage. Pole dancing is supposed to be an amazing workout also, so I'd be getting in my cardio while I work. I don't see how this is a bad thing.
3. I enjoy people watching.
I could easily sit on a Central Park bench for hours with nothing to occupy me but my own eyes. I LOVE watching all the different people walk around; I take the time to evaluate each one and make up my own stories as to why they are there at that particular moment. A strip club would have even MORE stories, much more tawdry and salacious.
4. I'd get to say, "I'm a stripper."
Can you imagine going to your high school reunion and telling people you're a stripper? I would need to capture everyone's faces as I tell them I shake all the junk in my trunk for dolla dolla bills.
5. It's empowering AF!
I know, I know! The patrons of the club can be super sleazy and disgusting, but for the most part, I have the power to make these men feel things they dream about during the day. I have the power to allow them to live out fantasies they've always desired. Strippers ROCK!