Sorry for being MIA lately–I have been focusing so much on personal projects and dancing 5-6 nights a week, so I haven’t had much time to write about it, but some things keep coming up that I can’t help but address. Recently I had a run in at my place of business. A customer spent a ridiculous amount of money (5 digits) on me and another entertainer. During that time, I had mistakenly given the customer my phone number; a thing we all do from time to time even if we preach against it and even if it’s against the rules. In this case, I had used the customers phone to send myself a photo that he had taken while we were in our champagne room. It’s a good photo, you can see why I’d want it.
At the end of the night (7 AM) the customer got angry because I asked him for a tip instead of asking for the name of his hotel. Tens of thousands of dollars in, this guy wanted a cuddle partner or two in his bed. Neither she nor I are offer extras, so that was out of the question. The problem is, now this guy had my number and he was sort of unstable, and he wasn’t getting what he wanted. The argument is that I shouldn’t have asked for a tip at the end from both his and my clubs point of view, and perhaps they’re right, but I think the bigger mistake was giving out my number. Had I not done that, he would have still spent the money but he would not have had the opportunity to do what he did next.
The texts started about 15 minutes after I left club property. Asking me to go on vacation. Telling me he fell in love with me. Asking when he can see me again. Referring to himself aptly as “needy boy.” Talking about how we “connected” and al of a sudden I realize that my home address and last name are attached to that cell phone. I never answered or responded to his texts; quite frankly I wasn’t feeling so safe anymore. Then the call from my club came: the customer is disputing the charges and I might be losing my job because of the exaggerated (read: bullshit) story he painted to the management when he realized I wasn’t going to be his girlfriend for the evening or in the future and wouldn’t respond to his messages.
I got to the internet and started asking my twitter followers if they had had any similar experiences. Immediately I had responses like this:
@SurviveTheClub messed up and gave a custy my email. He traced that to my name, and then my Mom’s phone number. Get weird voicemails now
— Stripper Diary (@StripperTruth) June 9, 2014
It should have been common sense to me, but I was still living in 2010. Immediately, though, a lightbulb went off in my mind. It isn’t the same as it was a few years ago; personal information is accessible to common people through the internet if they know where to look and are willing to pay a few bucks for it. The mental health crisis is in full, glaring effect, and where do crazy people go to be “understood?” To sex workers. That’s me.
In the texts that followed, psycho custie made sure to let me know that he had “fallen in love with me that night” and that I was so good at my job, “maybe too good,” and it gave him feelings he didn’t know how to deal with. I am still in the middle of the fiasco, but in the end the moral I think will be the same, whether I have to find a new club because of this nutcase or not, it will be the last time I give out my number for real. In the wake of the Elliot Rodger tragedy and all of the other terrible crimes against women, it’s important that I take care of myself first. The mental health thing is the major argument in this case to the civilian world, but what does it mean to women? Does it matter if a perpetrator is “sick” on paper to the person who he murders? Young men posting on the forums that Rodger posted on talk about their experiences with sex workers; we are sometimes the only women mentally ill people get to feign intimacy with, meaning that we are directly in their field of vision. We want to believe that our customers are normal, and most of them are, but some are crazy and we have to account for that. We also have to account for the fact that the craziest ones can often manipulate us into trusting them. You might be quick, but sociopaths are quicker.
The money and the job are cool, but my safety is priceless. I urge dancers who plan to give out their numbers to get google voice or a burner phone that cannot be traced to your home address. The days of having fetish customers over to clean my living room are far gone. We live in a more terrifying and woman hating world than ever, I’ve even taken back a “fake real name” that I’ll be using again. I’m glad my wake up call didn’t leave me dead or hurt. It’s still unfolding but I will probably change my number shortly. Please cover your tooshies as much as you bare them! Safety always first.