Strippers, prostitutes and porn stars are the forgotten women of American society. Men adore them for their sexual prowess. Women despise them for their blatant sexuality. Prejudiced against as a result of their career choices, these women are truly outcasts. Exotic dancing in the United States is often considered an immoral activity. Women in the exotic dancing world are the subjects of scorn and ridicule all across the country. However, some women are able to take this situation and turn it to their advantage. By creating an illusion or fantasy in the three main areas of the club (the stage, the floor, and back room) many dancers feel that they are able to elevate themselves to a position of power over the patron. This perceived power not only allows the dancer to have control over the situation, but also allows the dancer to make money and possibly other material gains. In this paper, I will attempt to extract strippers lifestyle and there occupation as they live the life of a stripper.
Some strippers love to strip (exotic dancing in nude) because they enjoy the environment and the lust that follows it. A dancer in San Francisco feels different about exotic dancing. She thinks of it as an art, and she feels that she can create her own performance when she’s on stage as she can choreograph her moves and her likes. “I love the dancing; I love the art of it. I love to be on stage performing, and I love to create new stuff to perform. There are some basic things you have to do,” she explains, “like be totally naked by the end of the dance, do something with the pole at some point, and make sure that you’ve touched yourself, but other than that, anything goes.” She explains how she can easily act or perform on stage.
College students actually chose stripping as a side job. Employed at a strip joint can give them some extra cash. Like many students at universities across the country money can be a problem. School, rent, phone and water bills add up and this does not even include spending money. Because of the pressure from mounting bills and money needs, students decide to look for a job as a stripper. As a full time student any job that can fit his or hers schedule would be perfect. Strippers have very flexible hours. A job where he or she could work three or four times a week, for about twenty hours total, would be great. Pay is another factor in the decision process.
Like this article where a student explains her first night as a stripper. “The hardest part for me at first was not the dancing itself onstage, but actually talking to the patrons in the club. At the end of my shift” The student explains, “I left the club with a little over five hundred dollars, I only worked for five hours.” After that I was hooked on dancing. There were also more benefits than just the money,” comments the student. “The hours were flexible and I could work just three or four nights a week.” This fit in well since the student needed the extra time to get class work accomplished. In the city of Las Vegas, were the professional strippers get paid two hundred thousand dollars a year.
Due to the negative connotations associated with exotic dancing in the United States, one may begin to ask how these ideas affect the minds and therefore daily lives of the women involved in the world of exotic dancing. Some negative draw backs of becoming a stripper are the introduction to drugs an so forth.
Because exotic dancing has a negative reputation in the United States, one wonders what affect the business has on the personal lives of the dancers. Being an exotic dancer can ruin ones relationship. A college student had been in what she termed a fairly serious relationship before she started dancing. When she began to dance she made no effort to hide this from her significant other. In fact she told her boyfriend about the job before she started working. At first things went on as usual. Eventually, however, things began to deteriorate. She worked most weekend nights because they paid the best money. Her boyfriend who worked a day job was at work during the time she had off. Lack of time spent together eventually began to strain the relationship. She and her boyfriend had a hard time getting things back together.
She says that after some talking that they were able to mend things. She says that after the initial problems things were okay. Ultimately, though the relationship ended while she was dancing. By no means that this says that the dancing alone caused the end of the relationship, it only attempts to show that for she, had some sort of affect. This may also be true of other dancers around the country. She said that outside of the club they never act the way they do inside. She says that she obviously meets more men in the club, but that is because she wants to make money. If she does not initiate the conversation (fantasy) she makes no money.
The reaction of her family was another matter altogether. After a month or so she informed her mother about her dancing, and they only told her after she had quit. Her mother was understandably upset. According to her, her mother cried. Her mother apparently had trouble getting her head around why her daughter would want to be a stripper. She then explained that she did it because the money was good and that she had paid of school loans and credit card dept. She explained that she only did it for a while and that that part of their life is over with. Even though the family doesn’t accept the behavior of there daughter, she understands why her daughter dances.
The fast paced lifestyle is easy to get lost in. Money, sex, and attention all play into the pull that catches many women. Many strippers felt that this lifestyle attracted many young women especially those just out of high school. Easy money, sex and attention are too much for many young women. Young women get drawn in and become addicted. Breast implants and other surgery was often the end result of this addiction. Many of these women end up staying in this line of work as long as they are able to make money. The student I read about, danced for one reason, MONEY. They needed it for school and bills, as soon as they were able to pay these they moved on.
Society often times portrays the business of exotic dancing as an occupation that is undesirable and immoral. Some women however, are able to find a place in this business that not only provides material gain and stability, but also empowers them. By creating a fantasy onstage and then altering it for each patron on the floor and in the back room, the dancer in affect draws the customer into a fantasy she has tailored just for their enjoyment. This situation specific fantasy is where the power lies for the dancer.