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Taming your emotions

Chase Kelly —  January 20, 2013 — 5 Comments

About 3 weeks ago I finished a book that had been on my list for awhile.  Between having a childhood that lacked guidance, running this blog, and being an entertainer myself, I often turn to books to answer the difficult questions this industry has brought up.  Over and over in books like The Power of Now, The Road Less Traveled, The Secret, The Art of Loving, The Dance of Anger, Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Power of Positive Thinking and a ton more finance and self help books proclaim the same thing.  You cannot act in response to your emotions.  You need make your emotions respond to you.

After weeks of contemplating, I have rewritten the concept (with the help of my trusty steed–a 5 year old Pomeranian), and I am now passing it on to you.  This WILL help you make money, and it will help you to preserve your sanity.  Guaranteed.  I am going to break it down Dr. M Scott Peck’s way, but instead of using the awful analogy he used (if you read it you know what I’m referring to), I will call you the master, and I will call your emotions your pet.

A good dogs sits, stays, and comes when commanded.  They don’t beg and they are ready to defend you from an intruder.  A good dog knows it’s place and can help it’s master accomplish many things.  The best dogs can sniff bombs and rescue babies from burning buildings and even serve as eyes for those who cannot see.

Bad dogs, though, they jump up on children and scratch them.  They bark at every passerby, out of fear or aggression, or a simple compulsion to make their presence known.  They sit next to your chair and whine while you are trying to enjoy a meal.  They chew your Louboutins and piss on your new couch and they tear up your beautiful garden.  The worst dogs attack people or other animals.

But when you think about the dog, are they really bad or good? Or is this just a matter of discipline? Seeing eye dogs and canine units go through extensive training to achieve all of the wonderful things they achieve.  Is it ever the dog’s fault that it lacks a sense of purpose, that it must act out in order to get noticed?  Of course not.  It is up to the master to set boundaries, to choose battles, to show her pet when it does not need to fear.

Have we, as young women, not acted out when what we need is guidance, love, support and understanding?  Can we not understand this behaviour?  When we are longing for something, security, happiness, money, love…these are the times that our emotions get out of control, when they act for us.  This longing is our enemy, it messes everything up.  What we need is self discipline.

A dog’s place is at the end of it’s human’s leash.  It’s sole desire in life is to bring you happiness, to serve and protect you, but in order to reap the benefits that this infinitely generous creature can offer you, you must speak to it with kindness and firmness, train it, show it it’s purpose in life.  Your dog WANTS to make you happy, but it only has the tools that you give it.

So learn, like you train your trusty BFF, to train your emotions.  When you feel your blood boiling, your temperature rising, your hands trembling with anger or disgust, sternly say to your anger, “Nooooo.” and pull on it’s leash.  Give it a firm hand, show it that you are in control, and it can trust you.  And in return, show trust in it.  When your dog is sad or sick, treat it with understanding and tenderness.  Reach down a hand and give it a comforting pet on the head.  Say, “Good girl,” when it’s earned.

We have all heard the stories of the amazing animals that have saved their families from burning buildings or the peril of drowning.  It’s true, like golden retrievers, your feelings can warn you and protect you from harm.  It is up to you to spend enough time with your emotions to understand which bark is just chatter and which is an alarm.  Like a well-loved pet, your must get to know your feelings…become comfortable enough with them that you actually hear what they’re saying, not just try and quiet the barks, ruffs, and whimpers.

So what does this have to do with stripping?  Probably a lot.  You need to harness excitement, happiness, and approachability to make money without degrading yourself.  People DO like sad strippers sometimes, but those people are not people you need to come in contact with.  Avoid them.  Additionally, most girls in the industry often let their emotions get the best of them, which is why they are best suited for a job that takes them in all their erratic and irrational childish glory, and this inability to control one’s emotions is what keeps them stuck in the industry forever.  Not that this job isn’t REAL, because it’s as real as it gets, but in the COMMON world, no one is going to tolerate your outbursts.  You can’t say to a client at a law firm, “Don’t TALK like that, you are SO GROSS,” throw a drink at them, and walk away.  In the strip club, though, your craziness is tolerated.  It shouldn’t be tolerable to you, though!  You can’t let yourself get that way, just because your job allows it….of any occupation, this one will stretch you to your max and having control of your emotions will determine if you sink or swim.  It will be the deciding factor between those of you who start successful business and those who down into a hole of addiction and defeat.  If you ever want out of this kind of work, if you don’t want to become this industry, you need to learn about your emotions, you need to learn to love them, to be kind to them, and to discipline them so that they can best protect you from this scary world.  Hope is a girls best friend.  Good luck and be safe out there this weekend.

Chase K.

http://www.survivetheclub.com

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No matter what your job is in our economy driven society, it defines you-so when you become a stripper (or sex worker), that means something pretty serious.  Everyone asks you what you do, and every time, you have to agonize over what to say, or choose to just blurt it out and take the social consequence (Read So, what do you do?).  The worst part isn’t the strangers, though.  It’s your friends, and sometimes even your family.  The feeling of being a novelty to the people you love is really hard.  I remember a conversation I had with an escort friend, in which she said she felt like a girl we both knew kept her around to be able to say, “This is my escort friend, ____.”

People have a bizarre curiosity when it comes to what we do for a living.  It can make it really hard to feel cared about when you have a job like ours, the only people who understand are other girls who do what you do, which makes you feel crazy, because then all of your friends are strippers, and what does that say about you?!  Being a social outcast is something that NO ONE wants to be, especially people who have never really felt “normal,” like us.  Finding a balance between your identities can seem almost impossible sometimes.  I have googled obsessively to figure out how to keep my professional and personal life separate, but like everything else, the results were aimed towards young professionals in an office setting.  Being that we are a fringe tribe of people, most “stuff” won’t apply to us.  We need to create it ourselves and embrace that we are a little bizarre, a little different, and beautifully unique.  That’s what Survive the Club is.

So, all of your friends who “get you” are strippers, big deal!  Strippers need to stop beating themselves up for liking each other.  Somewhere along the way we were told, “Strippers are junkies and liars and thieves, and they will fuck you over, steal your customers, steal your boyfriend, and kick your dog,” and, “women never get along.”  Despite being women and strippers OURSELVES, we still assign these qualities to others, thinking that we are the only ones who are cut from a different mold.  This kind of “strippers suck” (or “sex workers suck”) (or “women suck!”) attitude just adds to our own self loathing and keeps us divided, and keeps us from making progress!  I don’t know whose idea it was to make strong minded, empowered women hate each other, but it’s a bad idea.  We, more than anyone else, need a little love.  Maybe no one else can see it, but we can recognize in each other that strength and independence are born out of hardship and loss.  More than anyone, we deserve a little tenderness, and there is no reason not to give it to one another.  Of course, avoid the girls who are life sucking leeches.  In this industry you need to learn who those girls are and recognize them (and be mature enough not to talk shit, just to ignore them!) and who can help you become the woman you want to be.  This is a job that lacks mentorship, and that sucks.  I would have done things SO MUCH differently if I had someone I could ask questions to, bounce ideas off of, and adjust my behavior to not repeat their mistakes.

Outside of work, explain to your friends that you don’t really want to talk to much about it.  Tell them not to ask how much money you make, ask them not to probe about your customers and how they act.  Encourage your family and civilian friends to treat you the same way they did before, do your best to act the same way you did before, and tell them that you’ll let them read your memoir after you write it.  When you need to vent, know that there is a community here for you to do that to.  You can email me anytime with your thoughts, concerns, questions, or ramblings and I promise to respond.  Keep hobbies outside of work that you love, whether it’s learning a new language, going to school, making jewelry, painting, yoga, WHATEVER, but something else that has a community that you practice with.  I am a loner, so many of my hobbies are “on my own” hobbies, but I have learned that the community ones really keep me much more grounded in reality.  Thank you, girls, for being part of my community.  I am SO lucky to have you.

xx

Chase

**featured image by Lee Jinju

Over Exposure

Chase Kelly —  October 24, 2012 — 8 Comments

If I had all the answers, I would give them to you, but this site is about more than just how to be a stripper.  The reason I started SurvivetheClub was not to teach you how to make money, although I am happy to do that.  What I really wanted to tell you about is how to stay sane in such an insane world.  The long and short of it is, you kind of can’t–the more of an explorer you are, the more attraction you have to the bizarre, the longer you stay in the industry, and the more money hungry you are, the higher your exposure is going to be to really unsavory things.

The sex world and kink world are strange.  Some of you love it and live for it, but as far as strippers go, I’ve met more that are baffled as to why someone would want to buy their socks than those who understand it and know exactly how to work a fetish customer.  In time, most of us figure it out whether we want to “get it” or not.

Consider this post a warning.  You don’t need to “get it” if you don’t want to, but that needs to be a boundary that you set on your own.  Is sex dirty?  Not really, but sometimes people’s kinks can be scary, disgusting, demeaning to women, violent, or just plain weird.  Sometimes they are just too grown up for you.  I think the girls who get this the worst are the very young ones, and they are the girls who should avoid it the most.  You should still have access to “normal sex fantasy” in your brain, and too much bizarre will wipe that out.  Additionally, some of us are victims of sexual abuse, some of us aren’t.  You need to respect your past and realize that some stuff CAN get in your head and mess with you.  Consider where you are in your head before you decide to take on “weird” customers.

The strip club is just one of the places that people come to live out their fantasies.  Some people would argue that the hard core kinksters know where to go to explore their fantasies and it’s not a strip club, and they’d be right, but let’s talk about how dangerous a fetishist can be WITHOUT training, or the specific creeps who only like girls who don’t know what’s going on.  They target strip clubs, and they go for the youngest and most scared looking girl they can find, and they expose her to their weird kinks because they are into how “green” she is.  When I was 18, this was the majority of my customer base and I had NO CLUE what I was doing/how much I should be charging to dump food down my customer’s pants or burn his tongue with my cigarette.  I also had no idea what an impact all of this stuff would have on my personal life down the road.

I had so much experience with fetish was when I was young, and some of it was awful and terrifying.  I was stalked, tricked, lured into places I shouldn’t have gone, attacked, manipulated, and slightly damaged.  Later, I set out to understand this lifestyle and take my power back.  I started taking private BDSM clients as a way to assert myself and make extra cash, and I wish I hadn’t ever felt that I needed to.  Hindsight being 20/20, fetish is really meant for the people who choose it, it isn’t meant to be chosen for you.  Customers don’t care about your psyche–they will expose you to whatever weird shit lives in their brains.  Some of them are crazy and don’t care about your physical well being either.  Some of them are loose cannons, and honestly if you don’t know how to deal with them, they can get in your brain and mess with you, or they can physically harm you.  If you don’t know how to handle these customers and want to learn, I will help you, but if you DON’T want to learn, and don’t want to think about this stuff, that is your right and you should keep your head clear of all of it by avoiding it.

I feel like most fresh strippers never consider what their exposure will be like, they think it’s just normal guys who are bored of their wives, but please be aware that there is A LOT of other stuff happening in the sex industry, things that you will eventually be exposed to.  Some of you will welcome that, and that is, of course your prerogative.  Those of you who value your innocence, who don’t want to become jaded, who don’t want to “know to much” or be spoiled with too much candy, those of you who want to live a “normal” life outside of the sex industry in the future, those of you with small children or plans to have them, may want to rethink your role in this industry or what you allow yourself to be exposed to.  You are an independent contractor.  Don’t EVER think you need to spend time with a guy just to get his money.  If he freaks you out, walk away, there is more money.  I don’t care how bad you need that $200–don’t infect your subconscious with things you cannot handle!  Sometimes it’s best to leave the freaks to the pros, and realize that there is NO SHAME in not being a pro in this industry (there is no shame in being one, either!)

To leather!

Chase Kelly

 

RELATED POST: Stripping is not child’s play: controlling your conditioning

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

How to be a stripper is not all you need to know when it comes to the industry.  If you have been dancing for 5 years or 5 days, you need to write your exit plan, starting today.  It is automatic to become accustomed to stripper money and require it to survive.  Even if you are one of the low earners at your club, chances are you have the ability to make more now than you would if left to rely on your other resources.  Isn’t that why you chose dancing, come to think of it?

Your exit plan is simple, it consists of 4 things:
-How much money does it cost me to live?
-If I weren’t dancing, what would I like to be doing to earn money?
-What does it take in order to actually “do” step 2?
-How much does it cost to “do” step 2?
Answering these questions is the first step to actually making your dreams come true.  No matter how much you are enjoying dancing today, we need to loudly state that this is not your life goal.  For years I wanted to be a stripper when I grew up.  Now that I am a grown up stripper, I realize that the future of this industry just isn’t for me.  Dancer into my 30’s?  Sounds palatable enough, but dancer into my 40’s just in’t* gonna work.
The reality is that this job is stressful and dangerous.  While I hope nothing bad ever happens in your dancing career, or in your life for that matter, it’s important to be realistic.  Bad things happen to everyone, and this job can create you a safety net to help get you through the really awful things, some of which are brought on because of the job itself.
The day my dad died, I swear I wish I could have traded in my gucci shoes for a flight to Phoenix to be with my mom, but Southwest doesn’t accept scuffed flats for flights.  I had no money and no plan to deal with the hardship I was going through.  I had to dance that entire month to pay my bills.  The same thing happened when I got mugged on my way home from work, and when I went through my big breakup, and after I went past my limits with a customer and had a breakdown.  I can’t tell you what it’s like to have to give even one  lap dance when all you want to do is curl up in a ball and cry.  Having to do it night after night so you don’t end up homeless is unbearable.  UNFUCKINGBEARABLE.
PLEASE, don’t do this to yourself.  If nothing else, prepare for 3 months of living expenses.  3 months is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM amount of time you’d need away from dancing if god forbid something awful happened to you.  Going back to work when you aren’t ready can cause extreme mental damage, even if you aren’t aware of it at the time.  Hindsight is 20/20 and I am here to tell you that you will need to undo that damage if you insist on inflicting it upon yourself.  Sometimes, it can never be undone.  If you want to really do something amazing for yourself, please email me.  I will walk you through the foundation of the program I am writing for you guys.  It’s not finished yet, but I can help you get on the path now if you can’t wait another second.
Lack of planning led me down a very dark tunnel that landed me in a very dark pit of despair.  Even if you think dancing doesn’t affect you on an emotional level, all it takes is one small shift to change that forever.  The entire reason I write this blog is because I want to help you avoid the pain I put myself through.  Girls like us, we just didn’t have anyone to show us how to do it right.  Instead of beating yourself up, instead of feeling hopeless or stuck, take just one simple step to give you some strength.  Get yourself a savings going and use it to fuel your way out of this place, once you’ve milked it for everything it has to offer you.
*I just created an even lazier way to say “ain’t,” which is either indicative of me being an extreme over achiever, or on the flip side, an extreme under achiever.  Food for thought.

 

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Should you be a stripper?

Chase Kelly —  September 1, 2012 — 1 Comment

 

If you have never danced before, the questions you have are infinite, and so is the advice I have to give.  Deciding to become a stripper is a very big decision and one that will affect the rest of your life; ie: please don’t take this decision lightly!  I know what you really want me to address is what to wear, how to give lapdances, what to do on stage, how to talk to customers, other dancers, and club management, and I promise I will in future posts, but this being the first time I address new dancers, I really want to focus on the big picture.  It’s definitely the most important part.

You need to take an honest assessment of yourself if you are just starting out dancing.  Even if you’ve been working for a couple weeks, months, or years, this is a good thing to go back and do.  Given the fact that negativity is contagious, and you are a good person, it is the right thing to do to handle your business appropriately and not spread around the toxicity of your demise.  The maturity to determine if this is really what you need to be doing right now is the first thing to focus on.  You need to be honest with yourself, for your own well-being and the well-being of others.  I ask you to always bring that self awareness with you when you read my blogs.  I don’t like denial, it keeps us from achieving greatness!

The very most important thing you need to survive as a dancer and to generally be a happy person is integrity.  Do you feel like you really know who you are? When you say or think something, does it come from a place of sincerity?  Do you consider the facts and adhere to them without altering the “truth?” Do you feel like you have a solid, firm, stable, and mature character?  It’s totally ok if you aren’t there yet, but making it a goal is a necessity.  People who go their whole lives without ever committing to a life that they deem worthwhile usually live under a veil of darkness.  When you put a shaky character like that into a strip club, very bad things are imminent, and those things are the only things the public sees.  If you are going to dance, please do so as a liberated, free, and independent woman (or man, or trans person!)

The next thing I’d encourage you to have is a sense of clarity.  Do you have a pretty good grasp on reality?  It’s important that you are the kind of person who does a lot of analyzing and soul searching-someone who can see when things are taking a turn for the worse and come up with a creative solution to the problem.  If you are the kind of person who shuts down when she is afraid, or the kind of person who lies to herself and tries to keep up appearances when you’re falling apart inside, you should take some more time to think about dancing and work on that.  If you have a hard time with this, I suggest meditating.  Exercises on mindfulness can really help you evolve.

How do you really feel about yourself?  Do you feel beautiful?  Would your heart be broken if a customer told you that you were fat or a girl made fun of your c-section scar?  This might happen.  Even if you think you are perfect, people will find something to pick at.  If you are the kind of person who obsesses, please don’t dance.  If you have an eating disorder, this job also isn’t for you.  The strip club takes everything that is wrong with how society views women and amplifies it times a million, and as someone who is already suffering as a result of a sick culture, the last thing you need is more negative body image shit.  You need to feel really comfortable, and realize that when people say awful things about you, it has nothing to do with what’s wrong with you, and everything to do with what’s wrong with them.  Inner strength is really key.

If you are touchy when people say things you don’t like and often find yourself in confrontation with the people you are involved with, you will probably have quite a few problems at the club.  It really is best to be a level headed person.  You have way more strength if you solve problems with logic than if you solve them with anger or rage or violence.

The qualities above and a generally positive attitude are going to be the most valuable weapons you can wield against the taxing environment you’ll be working in, and actually will be pretty useful tools for surviving life in general.  Remember that just because you are reading this and will take these things into consideration, not every dancer (or person) does.  You will encounter a lot of difficult people in this industry and knowing how to handle them is important.  Do not measure yourself against other girls, and do not bend your morals for anyone, whether it’s in the name of agreement or disagreement.  You know it’s a bad idea to do cocaine, and you also know nobody listens when you are irrational, so keep your head on straight and be able to handle confrontation with grace.

Not having all of the qualities you need to be a dancer right now doesn’t mean that you can NEVER be a dancer (or that you’ll never be happy.)  You are an ever evolving being, and knowing what your weaknesses are gives you the ability to make a clear cut plan to improve.  Stripping is a fun and exciting job, and it will have lots to offer you for many years if you allow it to, but just like you wouldn’t want to see Paris for the first time with a significant other during a break up, you don’t want to see financial freedom for the first time while you’re in the middle of a break down.  If you are unprepared mentally, you will not only squander your entire income, but you will ruin the image of this awesome profession for yourself and never be able to return, not to mention add to the negative stigma we are trying so desperately to shake!

Thank you so much for visiting, and I hope this helps.  Keep coming back!

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.