HOW THICK IS YOUR SKIN?
I’ve been thinking about what it takes to be in the sex industry. I was a stripper for twenty-two years and have been a call girl for approximately nineteen and counting. That term call girl makes me think of the girls who work for agencies and who get called out to dates and hour-long sessions. That’s not really what I do. I have regular clients whom I often see for years. Some have paid a monthly allowance, while others prefer to give me money each time we see each other. And it’s rarely only an hour—although I do have a couple of those—most of my regulars have felt like mini relationships and our time together, whether it’s three hours or three days, feels like a fucking eternity. Let me redact that “mini” part; there’s nothing mini about them. They are full-on relationships with all the issues and problems except that for me, it’s fake. It’s my job to make sure it’s all fun and games, but I swear, men love drama. I’ve come to the conclusion that some of these men desire it as a way to feel closer to me: a way to make "us" seem more real. Anyway, I got off point a little. I guess I brought that up because what I do and what I deal with: oodles of diverse men and their unique set of emotions is downright insane. What kind of person do you have to be in order to do this?
I had a funny back and forth with a lovely stripper I follow on Instagram recently when she shocked me by saying that “the idea of a guy getting an erection in one of her dance horrifies” her. Her confession bewildered me. How in the world could you strip and find erections horrifying? It’s most definitely a byproduct of what strippers do; especially if they work in a club that allows lap dances. Almost every man I’ve ever danced for got hard. Hell, I encouraged it. A man with a hard on is going to spend more money—plain and simple. Granted, it also meant that I had to keep them from coming, but that was pretty easy: I never kept up one movement for too long. I couldn’t imagine lasting two months in a strip club if I felt something similar to what she shared. But as most of my readers know, I’m a bit of a freak.
I would often tell customers that the club was the one place where they were free to stare at my tits and get aroused. I went to great lengths to make them feel safe and not judged. To me, it’s what strippers are getting paid to do. Customers are paying for the pleasure of the performance, the company, and to be turned on—or a pretty woman to listen to their problems.
Most women in the sex industry aren’t forced to be there, so why chose to do something you either hate or are disgusted by? She then jokingly referred to herself as a “Disney stripper”, so I’m assuming she knows it’s a bit of an anomaly. It goes to show how many different types of woman are in the industry. Her post was about the men and how rude they can be. The clientele has definitely changed for the worse over the years. Men expect more for less, and are a less respectful than they were before the industry was glorified and homogenized. There’s a sense of entitlement they often carry into the club. It sucks. It’s also why I decided to bow out after two decades. It was one thing to put up with the garbage for big dollars, it was another when they money was hardly there. Even still, until the very end, I always treated the situation (and the men themselves) with humor and wit rather than anger and a demeaning attitude. I saw dancers treat men like shit and then wonder why they didn’t make money or have regular customers.
I think having a strong sense of humor and irony is a must in the sex industry. I would have cracked a long time ago if I didn’t have either. I’ve been close to the edge. I left the club in tears more than a few times over those years and I’ve had complete breakdowns concerning my private clients. Men will push a sex worker’s boundaries about as far as they can. It says something about the woman who goes through it, shakes it off, and gets right back up on that horse. Resilience. That’s what’s necessary...with a dash of delirium. Otherwise the industry will eat you alive.
And what if you want to do more than just survive? What’s the difference between women who bank year after year and stay in the game well beyond the average length of time and the ones who seem to make just enough to pay their bills while justifying doing it in the first place? I’ll lump myself into the first category. I’m not sure what sets me apart, but I know that I’m good at what I do. I have been since day one. It suited me. I was hyper-sexual my whole life, a shameless flirt, a hustler and a caregiver: all the ingredients needed to be in this tough industry. There’s something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. It helps if you’re a pervert at heart. Not sexually speaking, but in life. And it’s also profitable if you’re a bit of an empath. As I say in my first memoir: Strip clubs are circuses, brothels, and wellness centers rolled into one. Most women in the industry are strong, sassy ass motherfuckers. They are some of my favorite people. You can tell just by the few traits I’ve mentioned, the variety of shit that sex workers deal with. It’s not all pole tricks and outfits. In truth, that’s a very small part of it. Or in the escort world, it’s not just shopping excursions and yachts. It’s handling men’s (and sometimes women’s) desires, insecurities, and unsolicited opinions. It’s a lot of give. Sex workers are energizer bunnies wearing a G-string with the patience of a saint.