Friday, January 28, 2005

What I Know About Strippers

  • I get a table dance from Zoey!

  • Besides the fact that they charge too much for lap dances.

    I have only been to two strip clubs in my entire life and both times were miserable experiences. One was a topless bar for a good friend's 21st birthday. I could not afford to drink as much as I wanted (Okay, that was a common problem for me at bars), it was uncomfortably loud and I was very uncomfortable around that many people. The other was an "upscale" totally nude club which was BYOB. I went, I got trashed, some dancer tried to talk to me but I think she wound up worrying that I was going to pass out, I drove home. Driving home was the bad part. I did not kill anyone, nor did I kill myself and I regard that as proof the Goddess was watching over me.

    I didn't enjoy either experience and I have not gone to one since despite the fact that I very much like to see naked women.

    But I still have known many strippers in a fairly close and personal way. They did seem to like me and trust me, and that was pretty much what I expected. After all, I was the Night Manager at the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter they were living in. I only worked there for like six months or so, but I saw several exotic dancers come through, all with kids in tow (it was a family shelter). Most of them wound up being asked to leave because they had either drugs or alcohol on the premises. They were nice enough women whose lives were a vortex of chaos and instability. Most of them had been stripping for years and if I had to guess, I would say that they were at the point where their careers as strippers were coming to a close.

    The other place that I got to know several strippers was a battered women's shelter that I worked at for two years in Colorado. My job was to help them get restraining orders against their abusers. We humans can be very cruel to each other.

    Here is an observation: when an alcoholic who has been kicked out of law school, is on the verge of bankruptcy and has a marriage that is crumbling (that was me) can look you in the face and say your life is out of control, that is not a good sign.

    Now, I want to be clear here: I don't pretend that these are representative examples of how strippers lives go, or that these were typical outcomes for a career of stripping. I just don't know that. All I know is that this is what I observed and experienced. With one exception, I really liked these women. They were nice people, most were caring parents, and none of them could understand how they had gotten where they were. All of them had one thing in common: they did not have much education. None had gone to college and if I recall correctly, some had not completed high school.

    I never got to see any of them naked and it is just as well; that was not the nature of the relationship I had with them.

    There is one other woman I know who was a stripper and in college but Donna was a very different individual from any other human I have ever met.

    I joke about strippers here on this blog, but honestly, when I think about strippers, I tend to get somewhat sad because I think of these women and I hope things are going better for them and their kids. I pray the Goddess is with them. And selfishly, I am very glad that my life was never like that. I hope my daughter, no matter what career she chooses, does not live that life either.

    And that is pretty much everything I know about strippers.