Well, they say prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, and if that is so stripping is coming in at a close second. It has been around a while, and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. The thing is a lot of people have some unrealistic misconceptions about strippers. They are just people trying to make it. The job can be sexy, sure. However, it is not all fun and glam.
1. Retirement comes a lot sooner than the typical 9-5
This is a world for the 18-24 year olds. Once you hit 25 you are on your way out. Other “girl’s” really feel sorry for you when you are still in the club nearing 30. If you do not save your money you’ll find yourself lost. It can be a rough place to be for a woman, and this is the time when the “entertainers” become “strippers”. A lot of the older women look to drinking to make it through. They start feeling desperate and it is a downward spiral once this starts.
2. They are not all prostitutes.
These are women who are struggling like the rest of us just in a different way. It can be an isolating career, and they are very misunderstood. These are not bars full of damaged women. They do have other options.
Some don’t know any other way, others have been through tough things in their lives, and even more have never had any trauma and seek out the excitement of the job. Most are working to meet some common goal. Almost all of the women you meet there are good people, and they would do anything they could to help you. A lot of them are there because they really enjoy their job and for no other reason. They are young, they feel glamorous, it keeps them fit and they meet a lot of real interesting people.
3. There are many kinds of strippers
There is the single mom who wants to supplement two incomes while still having time for her child. There is the isolated kid who grew u, got her braced off and spread he wings, the college student paying her way through and of course the one who has been through crap in her life and finally feels like she is the star. The list can go on and on. It is like any other place; you never know what or who you will meet. They are definitely not all the same.
4. It can get scary
There are sometimes dangerous customers. These ladies have to be very private, see that they are not followed home and even be escorted to their cars. This is no joke. One dancer in Houston many years back had her face cut open in the bar where she worked, and another was kidnapped in Beaumont Texas by gunpoint from a parking lot. Both survived, but they live with the scars today. Violence can abrupt from nowhere. When you mix hormones with booze and money it can become a recipe for disaster fast. Women are stalked in this profession, and guys can be downright vulgar even though they know they are not supposed to touch the ladies.
5. It is not all fun and games, and it takes a toll on your body
Taking your clothes off does not come easy for any women the first few times they do it. It is a very difficult transition. Of course they do adjust and some come to really enjoy it. In the beginning though, the money is not great, your body gets sore and the worst part is trying to figure out how to confidently approach total strangers who just seen you naked and make them feel comfortable.
Your joints and cartridges get worn down, and it is horrible on your back. Imagine doing squat after squat in 6 inch platform heels all night long. Many will have severe arthritis by the time they are 40, and the loud music takes its toll on your hearing as well. You can imagine how second hand smoke lingers and what that does to their lings, skin and hair. Also, a lot get paid to sell drinks which also means someone has to drink them. Liver be aware.
6. A lot of the time is spent playing therapist
You would be surprised at how many men come in just to talk. A lot of times it is the job or the wife that has them licking their wounds. Others come in to chill, and then of course there are the guys on pervert row (that is what they call the seating around the stage). These girls have to mingle, get table dances and hustle their money on stage, they cannot sit and listen to your woes for hours on end yet oftentimes that is just what they do. There is always that one guy that is a regular when the crowd is dead they can go to for refuge. You know the guy, he has a tale full of girls and isn’t spending a dime. They are buying his drinks just for “real” company.
7. The money is not all it is cracked up to be
Let’s be realistic, in some places girls can drag in the dough, but that is penthouse. Your typical lady will make from $100 to $1,000 per night depending on the club and crowd. The normal range is about $350 on a good night after house fees. There will even be a few night where they don’t pull a Benjie. The house fee can be anywhere from $50 to $200, again, depending on the club. They are self-contractors. Sometimes girls lose money, but when it’s good, it’s good.
Strippers are in high demand, and they do obviously fulfil a need or the profession would not have lasted for so long. Next time you see a women who works in the sex industry be a little nicer, you may be surprised at what an awesome person they can be. Finally, she is often just a mom, sister or daughter and most never takes their work home in any way.
If prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, stripping may very well be the second oldest — it all depends on exactly when the first uptight humans decided people shouldn’t walk around with their most enticing bits flopping nakedly in the wind. As soon as clothing became the norm, taking that clothing off became a profitable gig for anyone willing to learn how to do it well.
But despite the venerable legacy of this career, and the utter ubiquity of strip clubs in our modern cityscapes, most people know very little about the realities of dancing naked (or naked-ish) for money. So Cracked sat down with exotic dancers from across the United States: Emily, Laura, Zoey, Layne, Helen, Meredith, and a male stripper named Salvatore. Here’s what they told us:
Look, these women are trained to look glamorous and seem happy, but a lot of times they are very lonely. Relationships are hard to maintain, and it is difficult to know who to trust. They aren’t out to get your man, and in all likelihood will be the first to tell him he had better make sure he takes care of home first.