I danced in a medium sized city, that has a rather high unemployment rate, compared to cities of similar size and demographic. There are a lot of broken people in that city. There is a lot of mental illness in that city. It is the city I grew up in, and the one that I will always love, but those are the hard facts.
The club I danced in was in a seedy neighborhood, no surprise there. A lot of the girls had grown up and still lived in the immediate area, going through their version of Hard Knock Life. Just about all the girls came from broken homes. Over the years, I heard about the abuse that those girls went through, and the abuse that was still ongoing.
One way of escaping everything, was to beguile a nice older gentleman customer, who had lots of means (read: old white men means), have him fall madly in love with you, and then whisk you out of the club and make a real (housewife) out of you! There were a few girls over the years who managed to do this, and besides the monetary pleasures that come with that strategy, a small part of that whole flesh transaction is that the older man makes the girl feel safe. He has power, and money, and is worldly. He knows what he’s doing and doors open for him. For a young lady who comes from an awful situation, no father or abusive father- this situation is like heaven. It’s intoxicating.
My parents divorced when I was quite young and past the age of nine, I didn’t see my father at all. He didn’t live that far away, but he chose to pretend he didn’t have kids.
As such, I am one of those ladies who fooled around with an older gentleman. He lived on the other side of the country, and came into my city on business, a few times a year. He would come into the club, sit at the bar and order a club soda. He had a PhD in material science, and that fact alone was so sexy to me. Even those he was hovering around 50, his body was solid. And he would wrap himself around me…..
Whew. Ah, the memories! I almost ran away with this guy- we talked about it, but it was almost like we were just reciting fairy tales. We both knew that it wouldn’t happen. As much as I was infatuated with him, I sensed that he was really a pussy. And he was. So after a few years, we lost touch, he changed jobs so he was no longer coming into my city. Some of you might be disgusted that I was sleeping with a customer, but c’mon- y’all know that shit goes on all the damn time. Get off your pedestal.
Anyways, here’s the breakdown- strip clubs generally are to be found in sleaze-bag neighborhoods. It is what it is- there will always be stigma and cliches about the whole industry, unfortunately, so a good neighborhood is going to revolt if there was a chance one would spring up down the street. Therefore, the largest population of dancers is to be found in the women that live within a six block radius of the club.
Also, stripping is pretty easy money. Yes, you have to navigate the wiles of horny men, and assholes and back stabbing women, but horny men are easy. To women who have nothing, this industry is how they survive. When they are in the club, they grab back some of that power that they lose when they go home, they are goddesses up on their clear plastic platforms.
So that whole “strippers all have daddy issues”- the truth is, most of us do. I know there is a small population of dancers whom are just doing it for kicks, or extra cash, and they were raised in perfectly “normal” two-parent households. (They are also not telling anyone they are dancing.) This post is not about you. This post is for the girls who fall into all the cliches of the strip club world, and please understand, they didn’t choose to.