The Long Awaited Ask The Waitress
Gypsy_Jo sent this email:
I danced for 16 years up and down the eastern seaboard, and retired
in 2001. retired, hah, I quit, I didnt retire,lol. thats a story unto
ever catch why most strippers end up in the skindustry? what is that
special catalyst that makes most girls strip? I have my own theory but wonder
what yours might be.
This is a touchy subject for most people, so I'm going to attempt to answer it in the most non-offensive way possible.
As most of you know, my bachelors is in Sociology; well, it will be when I graduate. One of the many papers I have written in my time was for a Victimology class, and I stumbled onto this tidbit:
If a girl is sexually molested in childhood/adolescence, she is four times
more likely to become a dancer/prostitute that other girls. Ninety-five
(95) percent of all prostitutes were sexually molested as
Please note that these are just dry statistics and do not reflect my personal beliefs on the subject as I do not wish to offend any dancers/ex-dancers out in the blogosphere. I simply found the information interesting. On to my personal opinions.
Over the past few years, stripping has become less of a taboo profession, and has entered into more mainstream America. Shows like King of Queens and Law and Order are integrating stripper poles into their episodes, certain rap stars have glamorized the profession, showing girls dancing while hundreds of dollars are being thrown, and celebrities like Janet Jackson are publicly coming forward and admitting their love for stripping. This may explain/have some effect on why girls get into the business in the first place. All they see is the fun aspect of it portrayed in entertainment society, and are completely unaware of what actually occurs.
Another reason may be lack of options. The majority of my dancers have no college education, several of them never graduated high school, and even more of them have children. Dancing is a good way to make a lot of money with no formal education. With no education and no formal training, options for making an actual living in this country are very, very slim.
Yet another reason, though very small, is the actual college girl who does it to pay her tuition. This does happen, just not very often. One of my dancers just graduated college, another one is a year ahead of me, and I am very proud of these girls. These are the ones who will stop dancing after they reach their goal.
Probably, a more prevalent question is not why girls get into the business, but rather, why they stay so long. I've mentioned before that time stands still in the strip club; what I mean by that is this: when working in the same environment with the same people for a few years, you are less likely to notice the passage of time. When things never change in your personal environment, time has a way of "standing still". You may have started dancing at age eighteen, but before you know it you're in you early to mid thirties with even less options and less time to start over. Even worse, after you've been dancing for five, even ten years, you lose the excitement to do your job and start making less money. Not only that, every year there's a new crop of younger, more energetic girls competing for your money.
The ones that are smart (and yes, we have many) will save their money and after a few years leave the business to start something else. The one's that aren't will usually attempt to move into another aspect of the business, be it selling clothes, acting as a "house mom" (more on that in a later post) or, in some extreme cases, will settle down with someone who can either support them financially or is in some business they can integrate to. We've had girls leave to become cosmetologists, peircers, and receptionists.
There is no one specific reason why girls dance, nor is their one reason why they stay. The only constant fact in the situation is that these girls are, no matter how they are portrayed, good people. They're smart, funny, and caring, and it's a shame that most of society perceives them as dumb and stupid, with big fake boobs and bad fashion sense.
I hope that this answers your question, Jo, and I really hope that no one is offended by my opinions today.