This project was born out of a wake up call.
I started dancing in 2007 in Los Angeles. I had been working in the adult industry for 6 years already, tending bar, waitressing, modeling, and eventually doing admin for an adult site. For two years, I managed a company that featured over 300 girls from all over the world. From them I learned a great deal about life, and I learned how much I love women in the sex industry. I am so grateful to have had that experience, but in all honesty, I hated my job. One of my model girlfriends was a dancer, and since I had experience in the club, I asked if I go with her. Despite being petrified and making only $22 on my first night, this was the beginning of the most intense adventure I have ever been on. Since then, I have dabbled in domination, phone sex, and sugar babying. I have danced across the entire country and have been a house girl at clubs in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Connecticut, New Jersey, Texas, and New Orleans. I have learned more about the human condition and about myself than I ever imagined possible.
2 years ago someone in my family passed away and it sent me and everyone close to me into a whirlwind. My family life had never been easy to begin with, but this loss was absolutely devastating. I couldn’t really figure out what to do, so I just disappeared into stripperland. I moved to New Orleans, where I could work until 7 AM if I wanted, and I worked every night. Any night I wasn’t at the club, I either had dinner with a customer or went out partying, until I fell in love with a loser and started taking care of him. I became your typical lifestyle dancer, shopping and traveling every dime away, sleeping all day, working all night, wasting my energy on a man who sucked all the life out of me. I spent almost 2 years doing this, until I simply couldn’t anymore.
The day came that I literally felt like I would die if I had to set foot in the club. I was so tired of constantly being grabbed and prodded. I grew to hate men and couldn’t really remember anything that I liked about myself. I didn’t even recognize who I was anymore, and I thought I was going insane. I didn’t have any back up plan, and I didn’t have any relevant training to do anything (I went to beauty school, actually, but I can hardly support myself on that money.) After a 3 week hiatus, finding a therapist, reading tons of self help, and kicking out my awful boyfriend, I went back to work. My first night back, I went in early to get a head start. During shift change, I saw a dancer I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I had met her when I first started dancing. She was much older than me, and even back then was already tired from the game. Now, she was utterly broken. She had always given clues that she was mentally unstable, it was pretty obvious that she had been molested as a child, and probable that the same thing had happened to her daughter. She told me she had gotten kicked out of her place and couldn’t find anywhere to stay that would let her bring her 3 dogs, she had been staying in a hotel. Another girl offered her a room, but she politely declined. The next week, I saw her walking down the street pushing a shopping cart. This was my wakeup call. The cycle of abuse took this woman’s entire life, and the strip club enabled it. All of that money she must have made over the past 20 years, and here she is, a bag lady. My heart shattered at the thought. This could literally be any one of us, even if we don’t see it yet. People saw this woman every day and ignored the problem like it wasn’t happening. It wasn’t theirs to deal with…..
I started building myself an exit plan that day. I got every book I could on personal finance, I started meditating, I learned about myself, explored my childhood, did some INTENSE healing from my past, I found an accountant, I filed my back taxes, bought a car, I enrolled back in school (psychology, y’all!), and I wrote a business plan. That business is this.
When I decided I wanted to quit, I couldn’t find any resources. No one had told me about Rebecca Avalon’s Stripper School, And I don’t think anyone else had written about what we could do to better ourselves, how we could maintain sanity, save money, and love ourselves better. There was no one to tell me how to be a stripper, and no one to tell me what to do with myself once I was one! Every other job has training, and I was devastated that we didn’t! Since it’s conception, Survive the Club has been the resource that I really needed at that time, and so I am writing it for you. Since then, I have teamed up with Rebecca Avalon, so in awe of what she was doing, and now I am putting together my very own book and Stripper Bootcamp Program, set to launch in early 2014. Survive the Club is going to be something that is here for girls for a long time to come. I promise to stay dedicated to this project, and I promise to always reach out to women who need a helping hand. My goal is to keep girls off the street. I have big ideas to make this work, and all your positive energy will help! I need to tell you that even if no one ever has ever cared about you, or understood where you are coming from, that that time is over. I care, and this project has made it possible for me to continue working in the club. My anxiety is gone, instead I am filled with passion, a thirst for knowledge, and a real purpose. You are actually the person making this project possible. Thank you for reading, I really do love you!