comments_image Comments

4 Things You Should Know About Women Who Strip

Exotic dancers aren't who you think they are.

When most people think of an exotic dancer, their ideas about this woman fall into one of two extremes: She's either a sad person who is addicted to drugs and prostituting herself, or she is Playboy-model pretty and making a fortune on her looks. The truth is that the dancers in a strip club are just as diverse as the customers who frequent those clubs, which is to say that both groups are a lot more diverse than people assume them to be. I've worked with the stereotypical, drug-addicted dancer and the beautiful woman that most men think of when they think of a dancer. But I've also worked with grandmothers, college students, mothers just trying to make a little extra money to support their children, and just about every kind of woman in between. 

Stripping is a shadowy kind of business, so it isn't surprising that there are so many stereotypes about the women in this line of work. But during the four years I worked in this business, it became clear to me that there are a lot of reasons why women choose this line of work, and a lot of different women who do it. (You can read more about what goes on behind a strip club's walls in  Why Men Go to Strip Clubs.)

1. What Dancers Aren't

Stereotypes are made for a reason so I'm not going to sit here and tell you that all dancers are healthy, hard-hardworking women just trying to get ahead of the game, that the stereotype of the drug-addicted prostitute is some big lie. The reality is that this line of work attracts people who use drugs because there is no drug testing - at least I've never heard of a club drug testing their dancers. It's simply an atmosphere where it's easier to get away with using drugs. 

Prostitution also comes with the territory. Exotic dancing is part of the sex industry. Dancers aren't supposed to sell sex per se. What they do sell is a sexual fantasy. And sometimes, that fantasy paves the way to a real encounter. It happens. It happens in the clubs. It happens when dancers meet men outside of the club after work. I would even say that it happened more after the economy crashed. Men just want more bang for their buck. Seriously, no pun intended. 

Drugs are a factor here too. I've worked with a lot of dancers who are strung out and doing more than dancing to support their habit. They've lost their kids and can't pay their rent. It's sad, but it happens.

2. What They Can Be

I think of the ideal dancer as this beautiful, intelligent, educated, sexually empowered woman who doesn't do drugs, doesn't get drunk and doesn't prostitute herself. She treats her job as a job and not a party. Her bills are paid and she's saving money for the future. I've met a few of these mystical creatures who always seem to have their sh*t together and have a good head on their shoulders. They are usually a pleasure to work with because they are either extremely friendly and helpful to new dancers or they are so focused on their jobs that they hardly ever talk to anyone. They usually retire from the business early and use the money they earned to pursue new ventures. Some of them use dancing as a platform to get into other areas of the adult industry, be it feature entertaining, erotic modeling or porn. Overall, though, these ladies have a plan, and the strip club is just a quick stop toward a bigger goal.

See more stories tagged with: