Archives For addiction

Getting Unstuck

Chase Kelly —  October 15, 2012 — 1 Comment

If you have become a stripper that really can’t handle life or responsibilities, it’s time to come clean with yourself.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with you if you want to be a stripper to help you get through a tough financial time, or if you want to be a stripper to help you achieve your goals, pay for school, start a company, etc.  There is not even anything wrong with being a stripper simply because you like it!  Often times, though, all being a stripper does for girls is support their dysfunction.  If you are one of these girls, it’s best that you at least admit the problem.  It may seem weird, awful, uncomfortable, and a huge affront to your self-esteem to admit that you simply cannot function in modern society, but truly, the first step in fixing a problem is identifying it.  Admitting that you are stuck doesn’t mean that you are doomed for life, it means that you are self-aware, that you have the clarity to admit you need some guidance, and that you at least are aware that your lifestyle could use some tweaking.  Admitting a problem means that you are not insane.  Ignoring it means that you are.

Have you ever met someone who is bat shit crazy and everyone knows it but the actual crazy person (Hi, Mom!)?  That is the result of self-denial.  That is what happens when there is a problem with your personality and you choose to ignore it, say, “It’s fine!” or joke about your bad life decisions.  Like cancer, early detection is the best cure for a diseased lifestyle.  If you catch it, you can change it.  If it goes ignored for too long, though, it spreads like wildfire and mental illness comes in and grabs you.  Let’s not pretend that the strip club will be around forever—eventually we will be too old for this shit.  Let’s also not pretend that crazy people are a scarcity in the industry.  And while we are at it, let’s not be so pompous to think it couldn’t happen to us.  Lifestyle dancing is dangerous because it is unrealistic.  Unless you LOVE the industry and plan to be in the adult industry for the rest of your life (eventually you will have to quit stripping, at which point it will be the cams, porn sites, escorting, or Dommeing) you need to be able to function outside of it.  If the only people who “get you” work in the club, it’s time to reassess.

Some of the problems I see most often are ones that I have myself struggled with from time to time.  Some girls are lazy, can’t get out of bed in the daytime, others literally have no idea what to do with authority-they lack the social skills to follow direction.  Rage issues, no “filter,” inability to maintain a schedule, inability to connect with people, no desire to do anything that doesn’t result in monetary gain, addiction, codependency, and battered women’s syndrome are just SOME of the  many things that strippers have to overcome.  You add a career that encourages your behavior, and managers that turn a blind eye, are completely oblivious, or simply don’t care what happens to you, a peer group that has adopted the “sink or swim” approach to life, and a shit ton of untaxed income, sexual assault and complete disregard for your humanity, and you have a recipe for disaster.  It’s no wonder most all dancers suffer from PTSD at some point.  You are not alone, but you will be if you don’t do something to change the direction of your actions.

Women have SO much more responsibility than men do when it comes to being emotionally stable, if only for one reason.  Most of us are already or will be mothers one day.  We will literally take on the responsibility of another human life at some point, and like many bad moms, those who end up totally crazy won’t even realize it.

I am asking you to take a look at yourself and do something about it if you are one of these girls.  Thinking about it is great, spend some time on that, but start making a plan as soon as you’re ready.  During your thinking process, take notes.  Your journal is your best friend when making life changes.  If your’re writing it down, you are making a commitment.  Do that!  Commitment is good, failure to commit is a really common stripper problem, so now is a great time to work on that.  Start small, do the things you know you SHOULD be doing, but don’t.  Something as simple as keeping your bed made when you aren’t in it, keeping an empty sink, or cleaning up after your pets will bolster your “I can do it!” esteem pretty much right away.  Taking care of the basics is essential to being able to take care of the extras.  The things you need to do to get the ball rolling vary from girl to girl, you know what you need to work on.  Start small, don’t give yourself a panic attack, instead reward yourself for your achievements, and counter some of your bad habits with good ones.  If you suffer from anxiety, this is seriously one of the best things you can do to alleviate some of that.  When “I can’t do it,” is constantly playing in your head, OF COURSE you have anxiety.  As of right now, you are broken up with “I can’t.” Your new mantra is, “I’ve got this!”

And you do.  You’ve got this.  Now get off the internet and go clean your kitchen.

Lots of love,
Chase Kelly

 

*Featured Image by Klaus Kampert

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This is the last post in response to dealing with there not being any money at the club you’re at.  The original post is here, and covers some things you can do to increase your profits.  If you have done everything you can and have upped your game and nothing is changing, you just need to accept it.  If there are customers, you can entice them, but a club without customers and with too many girls is impossible to change.

Clubs with no money are dangerous, in my opinion, and as summer sets in, all clubs that are affected by the sluggishness of the industry tend to get a little grimier.  Strip clubs are full of desperation, and we all know what happens to people (especially addicts) when things get depressing.  If your club is inundated with junkies and prostitutes, for your sanity, you need to leave.   I know I have briefly said this before, but I cannot tell you how important I think meditation is for dancers.  Whether you choose to wait and see if money gets better, you leave in search of greener pastures (no pun intended), or you fall into a pit of depression and anxiety, you should meditate.  Our world is crazy, and its important that you’re comfortable and relaxed when you spend time just with yourself.

People, especially those who spend a lot of time together, form a collective consciousness.  At the club I currently work at, I’d say at least half of the girls are going through some major breakdown.  Although I am considering switching clubs, my comfort at my home club is standing in my way (plus I am still making money, albeit slow summer money).  During the summer, I am usually relatively dependent on regulars, but I moved this year, thus losing most of my best customers.  I have not been able to add to my savings at the rate that I try to, and the summer blues are getting to me.  So what do I do to deal with the fact that there is less money and that the girls are taking it hard and becoming prostitutes?

I took it as a sign.  Hardship forces change.  I’m not sure whether we do it subconsciously or there is some unknown force at work here, but regardless, every time there has been something awful that I’ve had to deal with, I have come up with unique ways to deal with the issue.  To deal with not making money at your club, you can either switch clubs, rely on regulars, or wait it out, but freaking out won’t change it, and although lowering your standards can increase your profit, it can destroy your soul.  I realized the dancers at my club were freaking out and treating themselves badly, so I started this blog, continued to try and bring only positivity into the club, and started writing a business plan.  I am concerned about the collective consciousness of women in this industry, and I am setting out to change it.

Accept, grow, smile.

Love Love Love Love,
Chase

Addiction and Dancing

Chase Kelly —  September 1, 2012 — 2 Comments

I cannot think of a more important and poignant topic to write on for my first entry of this blog.  If you yourself have never had to deal with being dragged onto the merry-go-round of drugs/alcohol/stripper lifestyle, you have surely watched someone else go for a ride.  Dancing is often extremely taxing mentally and emotionally, and with a limitless supply of cash, alcohol, and (depending on the club) pills, powder, ecstasy, heroin, and meth, things can go downhill pretty quickly.

 

Many girls are already volatile upon entering the club for the first time.  For whatever reason, each of us has made the decision to ignore the status quo and expose ourselves to strangers, in some cases allowing them to touch us (and more.)  The coupling of our prior dysfunction and our current level of freedom can often overshadow our desire for normalcy and protection.  Entering this profession, many of us already have self esteem issues and the club does not make it much easier.  Of course, each person has a uniquely crafted constitution, and for some it is easier to cope with the physical and emotional trauma associated with dancing, however for some people it is devastating.  Depending on your background, your emotional health, and your unique experiences, you may end up (or may have already) battling with addiction.

As with any difficult task, our minds find ways to make the challenging tasks easier.  I talk a lot about habit and ritual throughout Survive the Club, because I have seen first hand the effect habits have on humans.  Ritualization makes it easier for the mind to create concrete information and organize it, which is precisely why it makes such an obvious coping mechanism.  Whether you notice what you are doing or not, each one of us has a specific routine that becomes part of our “getting ready” process.  When I ask myself honestly, I have to admit that for about 95% of dancers I’ve met, having a drink, a hit, or a bump has become part of their nightly routine.  If you are one of these girls, get rid of the ritual immediately!  Even if you decide to still use, try not to make it nightly, and definitely don’t make it ritual; ritual=habitual.

If you are worried that you might be developing a problem, you CANNOT ignore it.  You are in a very scary position, one where you literally are completely alone.  Most of us do not have the luxury of insurance, workman’s comp, unemployment, and disability benefits.  For many of us, our family structures are faulty and unable/unwilling to aid us.  We have bosses and coworkers who don’t care, we don’t have schedules, responsibilities, or anyone asking after us.  Many of us have boyfriends, but many of those boyfriends aren’t always exactly what we’d hope for them to be.  It would be an understatement to say that we, as women (and especially as women in the adult industry) have been disappointed before.  I think it would be a stretch to suggest that we would be surprised if it happened again.  We have seen enough of humanity to know: we need to take care of ourselves.

If you do nothing else right now, start looking into insurance that will cover treatment should you decide you need it in the future.  It is almost impossible to get treatment for addiction with no money, and unfortunately, if your use is linked with your job, you will probably have to find another way to make an income.  It is definitely better to address the situation before it is too late.  Camming is always an option for girls who cannot say no.

If you know you’re in trouble, it’s ok.  There is help, and there are people who care.  I urge you to find an addictions therapist and find a support group immediately, like AA.  It would also be a good idea to order a book or two off amazon dealing with you think are your core issues and start getting to the bottom of them.  Addiction is a terrible struggle, but there IS hope, and there is a better way.  Getting through it may be painful, but waiting too long to get help could be fatal.  I know you know what a really bad-off veteran stripper looks like, and I don’t think you want to imagine what she must feel like inside.

It is really important for all dancers to realize that on any given night, there are girls in your club that are fighting to stay clean and sober.  If it is not in your power to stay sober, or if you simply do not want to, please consider these girls.  Talking about meth in front of a former user can trigger addictive cravings, which are multiplied by being inside the club.  Practice compassion every day, even at work.  I know you’re grown, I know it’s your body, but it’s just so much easier and rewarding to be conscious of other people’s struggles, and support them.  Everyone else has turned their backs on us, we need to at least be there for each other.  Please use drugs discreetly, and please keep your conversations private.
Peace and love,

your neighborhood stripper.