It’s been a little over a year now since I started teaching girls how to be safer and more mindful during their time in the adult entertainment business. I have talked to girls who are dying to learn to become a stripper, girls who want to learn how to quit stripping, girls who are happy dancing and miserable with everything else and those that live dream lives but don’t feel comfortable in their occupation. The more I speak with girls, the more I realize how different all of our stories are, but also how many universal truths exist within our community. Survivetheclub is on a mission to unite us and make us stronger and better. I hope that by sharing the stories of the women I meet along the way, we can inspire and teach each other.
JS: 3 years and three months
STC: Are your long term career goals the same or different than they were when you first started dancing? How have they changed?
JS: They have changed a lot. When I was going to school I realized my particular field of study was not the most lucrative, so I decided to drop out, take a vacation and find a new field that I liked. I had the typical expectations, telling myself I would only dance for 1 month, then go back to school. Well that turned into 6 months, a year…. Now I’m 22 and still don’t know what I want to do for career.
STC: If you wanted to quit dancing, would you be able to? How easy or difficult would it be? –
JS: It would be easy to quit, but hard to stay out of it. I have financed a car for myself and one for my parents, leased a condo, signed expensive cell phone contracts, used credit cards.. it would be very hard to keep the promises I’ve made and pay for the things I have financed if I only had a regular job, even two jobs.
STC: Are you open with your friends and family about what you do? –
JS: Most of my close friends now are dancers. When I first started I told most of my fiends, but slowly they have lost contact.
I told my parents I bartended at a popular strip club in LA to explain the fact that I can afford to pay their rent for them.
STC: What is your earliest memory of “money” in your life? What experiences in your childhood shaped your concept of earning, saving, or spending money?
JS: My earliest memory was that my dad had a piggy bank for me, my sister and my brother, one for each of us. He kept them on his dresser and put change in them every day. We would sit on the bed once a month and he taught us to count the change. If my siblings and I wanted to buy something we could combine our money, but usually I saved mine and my siblings bought ice cream and video games and things.
My experiences with money were shaped from my parents, who had very different spending habits. Growing up my dad had a great job and liked to spoil us every now and then. He taught us to appreciate when we could have nice things. My mom stayed home and was very frugal. She taught me how to double coupons at the grocery store and how to be crafty at home and about saving money by doing things yourself.
JS: It’s hard to keep girl friends that aren’t in the industry because usually they just look down upon it.
And it’s hard keeping friends that are dancers because they come and go, sometimes never to be seen or heard from again. Most times you never really get to know each other personally, I have a lot of girl friends that I can call up to party with but I will never know their real names or anything about them. That can be lonely.
JS: I have changed from the spoiled baby of the family to the sole provider, which is stressful and difficult. But dispite that I have grown very distant from my family. I hate having to lie to them over about where the money comes from.
STC: significant others?
JS: Dancing ruined my first real relationship slowly over a two year span. He was cool with it then I grew me confident in myself and sabotaged our relationship so I could make more money. Now I feel like men don’t take me seriously as a potential partner due to my job. So I pretty much stay single now.
STC: What has been your biggest challenge since starting dancing?
JS: Trying to get guys that I like to see me as a human being in lieu of a stripper slut.
JS: Financial independence and confidence I could have never achieved by any other means.
JS: Go back to school
JS: No, never have been
JS: I wish I was a better liar! :p
JS: Save your money. Don’t let yourself get stuck.
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