I feel like this statement needs to be shouted from the rooftops of every building in every city in every country, and in every language, but especially it needs to be said to strippers and sex workers. You are not a whore no matter what anyone says about it. Your job DOES NOT determine your character, and it does not eclipse your values. Many of you have had arguments with close friends and significant others in which the person/people you love most will tell you that you’re worthless. “You’re a whore and no one will ever want you.” is something I wish I could say I’ve only heard once, and only heard from one person I loved. Talk about something that could cause a person to start to die inside. But no matter what they say, don’t self stigmatize, do not believe it. I wish one blog post could undo that feeling for those of you who have had it (and will in the future). I wish it could undo it for me.
This is the second best thing. I can teach you what I’ve learned and I can show you how I’ve grown. When people cut you down, when society does it to you over and over, when dead hooker jokes are on primetime television as though that girl is not a person, it’s easy to start considering it, even in the back of your mind. When people say things like that it is because they feel weak and they need to kick you down. Then they use your broken spirit as a step ladder to their own validation. Do not give anyone that power. Refuse to lower yourself to the “you” they want you to be. Elevate.
The truth is that who you are is based on your character, which can suffer from being in this industry, but it’s mostly because of the associated lifestyle, not from the job itself. I can sit here for hours and go on and on about how it’s the oldest job and that there’s nothing wrong with using your body for money, but you already know that. If people you love are cutting you down, you don’t have stripper problems. You have boyfriend problems, girlfriend problems, family problems, and maybe even identity problems, but being a stripper, escort, sugar baby, cam girl, dominatrix, or any other type of industry performer is not the problem, and it’s definitely not who you are.
Your job doesn’t need to demean you, and if you feel like stripping makes you less of a person–you should quit. Now. Even if you don’t know what you’re going to do or how you’re going to do it; trust me-you’ll figure it out. Work one more shift, make it a money night, and call it a day because really, you deserve so much more. Maybe you can be a waitress or maybe a customer you know can help you find a 9-5, maybe you can live off of your savings until you figure something out (because you saved, right?)
If you are a stripper and you’re having a hard time with your identity, you can figure it out. You can determine what is going to define you. Instead of going shopping for your 100th pair of cheeky panties, you can make a plan to implement some community service or charity into your life. Instead of sleeping in bed all day and ordering delivery every night for dinner, learn to cook, or at least get great at dining out. Developing your other “non-stripping” skills and values is going to be essential to feeling like you are a real human being with a real purpose in life.
At some point I stopped being a stripper and became an entertainer (when I learned to dress myself and perform on stage and give a great lap dance). Next, I graduated from being an entertainer and became a hustler (when I learned about sales, especially in the commodity industries), and now I have a day job in a luxury industry, because instead of seeing me as a useless stripper, smart people saw that I was a well developed individual with integrity, honesty, work ethic, intelligence, knowledge, and hustle.
If you let it, money will replace passion and drive in your life, so don’t coast. Spend your time defining yourself, and it will be much easier to identify the TRUE problems in your life (like the people who drag you down and diminish your self worth) and get rid of them, or better yet use them as a ladder and climb.
happy hustling, you beautiful humans