Working in the sex toy industry, we’ve managed to meet so many different kinds of gorgeous people. And what a pleasure it has been! We thrive on being inspired by open-minded individuals who feel free to share their story and journey with us.
So, this week, we were able to get the ins and outs from a former stripper. This young woman used to shake her thang in London, and had a pretty amazing time in the process.
For that reason, she was excited to tell us all about the ins and outs associated with the industry, and how she managed to grow as a person, in confidence and happiness, in the process.
Herewith, a refreshingly honest Q and A style interview with a former stripper…
1. How did stripping affect the way you viewed those who frequently visit strip clubs?
Most of the men I encountered were respectful. I think it also depends on your frame of mind and your experiences…I had fun with my clients. They paid for a service and I felt it was important to give them what they paid for.
2. How did stripping affect the way you viewed yourself, your body, your confidence?
I used to get my confidence from the people I surrounded myself with, and if I didn't get the attention I needed to sustain my self-worth, I would find new people. But when I started this job it made me feel empowered and taught me how to view my body in a new way. And even though I wasn’t always what every customer wanted, it didn’t bother me, because I still felt sexy in my own skin.
3. What made you decide to enter the industry?
It was something on my bucket list, and I think I needed to do it to prove to myself that I could. I've always had low self-esteem, and this was such a confidence boost for me.
4. Would you recommend it?
I think for some it can be a dangerous path. My experience was different, it was enlightening and fun, but there were nights where I could see the darker side to the industry. Also, you can make a lot of money for doing very little, making it hard to quit.
5. Sex work, in any form, empowering or demeaning?
I think it can be empowering. If you are safe, get to choose your clients, have a good time and make money, why not? I think I’m less judgmental about this kind of work because of my own experience as a stripper. It’s only demeaning if you let it be. If you’re in it for the money because you don’t have another choice, it might lead you to do things that you can’t come back from mentally.
6. What does a typical night of work look like?
You arrive early evening, have dinner, and get ready. I had enough time to chat to the staff, waitresses, DJ’s, and the ‘house mom’ who is the manager of the girls, which was nice. The ‘house mom’ helped us pick our outfits, which was important for me, as it was the process of deciding who I wanted to be for the night. Then you would go out onto the floor and have a glass of Prosecco and wait for the club to fill up. When it’s quiet it’s hard to make money, but when it’s busy you get to pick your own clients. You feel alive and empowered, your purse fills up with money, and the atmosphere is electric. Sometimes the visitors would pay me for my time, on other occasions, I would just sit, chat and have a drink with them. I encountered some people who were funny and we had a few laughs. This definitely made me more relaxed which, in turn, made it more fun to perform.
7. Were the owners of the club respectful of you in all aspects?
Yes the owners were supportive and understanding, and they made all of the girls feel comfortable and part of a team as a whole. I don't think this is the case in every club.
8. Did you do it for the money or the experience?
Experience. I could make money doing anything. I wanted to feel like a character from a movie or like someone else, I guess.
9. Is the money worth it?
Yes and no. It can be erratic, the hours worked are long, and if it only gets busy late at night, many of the hours are spent doing nothing.
10. What was your favourite part of the job?
The dresses, lingerie and the free Prosecco. I loved dressing up. And obviously the money.
11. What was your least favourite part of the job?
When the club was quiet, it could feel like a waste of your time. You could also end up losing money because of the house fee. This is a fee every dancer has to pay on arrival, and so if you don’t get any customers, you don’t make money.
12. What advice would you give someone who was getting into this line of work?
Be tough but make friends. You never know when you’ll need them. Keep your ears open and learn tricks of the trade. There are so many things that will help you that are unspoken, so you’ll only learn them from experience. Be observant and figure out what the customer wants and become their fantasy. Don’t give up on your first ‘no’ and remember sometimes they just need to be warmed up.
13. Did you experience a feeling of women empowerment with the other women at all? Or did it make you believe that women are constantly competing with each other as opposed to supporting one another?
Competing definitely. But it was beneficial for you to make friends, especially with the most experienced dancers, because you can learn from them, and they sometimes invited you to join them with their clients.
14. How would you rate your confidence before and after, on a scale of 1-10?
My confidence has probably doubled after stripping. But it was fleeting. Confidence and self-esteem is a long game, something you have to work on every day. I would say it was a 4 before stripping and is now an 8 or 9. When I was at work I felt empowered and confident, and when I wasn’t I wouldn’t hide what I did to make money. I was proud of it. I made a conscious effort to surround myself with people who supported me and encouraged me.
15. What goes on behind the scenes?
A lot of politics and cliques. But if you make friends, it can also be fun.
Do you have any other burning questions you’d like to ask a former stripper? Let us know in the comments!