Justice Served From the Hand of a Stripper

I brought him to the third floor.  This was where the real money was spent.  It was there that I was in the midst of hookers/prostitutes/whores, girls that gave a little more bang for your buck/holla for your dollar.  With an exchange, due to the third floor manager, girls would take it as far as they wanted, as long as they paid off “Play.”  Play was easy going, his eyes were never right, he was always high, always drunk, but somehow still able to track transactions like a CPA.  Play was sweet, always complementing the girls, using sugary nicknames, and anything but confrontational.  He never expected more than what we were up for.  He let the dancers create their own boundaries.

The elevator door opened, I found an empty bed in the dimly lit room.   We stepped over a used condom that had been carelessly dropped on the floor, and closed the curtain.  This customer was past the limit, he should have been thrown out.  He was an easy target.  An early 30s, white, well dressed but disheveled, married man.  His name was probably something like Jim or Steve.  He had a great job, a wife, young children, and that pretty little white picket fence everyone wants.  In fact, his last name was most likely Jones, he is the one we are supposed to keep up with!

Mr. Jones got comfortable on the bed while I slipped off my top one shoulder at a time, and began my routine.  Mr. Jones was quite obnoxious.  With an alcohol level that was  off the charts, he couldn’t hold still or keep his mouth shut.  When getting a “clean” dance, this behavior is unacceptable.  Mr. Jones kept moving and moaning.  

The most disrespectful thing about a strip club is not degrading the dancers, we were treated like goddesses and pampered most of the time.  What killed me was every night when we closed, there would be some clown looking for the wedding ring that he lost that night.  Our ATM withdrew money from accounts under the name of “DJ’s of America” to protect men from their significant other.  Men with good women at home made them feel as if they were physically not enough.  Infidelity dripped from their wallets.

As Mr. Jones enjoyed his dance, I noticed the content of his pockets beginning to fall on the mattress.  I helped destiny move along, wriggling out the rest of his loot.  Those who misbehave, get punished.  The third song ended, I put my top back on, giggled as I gave him his keys and license, repremanding his carelessness, and warning him not to drive tonight.  I gave him back enough money for him to tip me, which he did.  I brought him back to his friends, and hugged him good night.  

I happily counted the score.  I didn’t consider it stealing, I considered it compensation for bad behavior, and a lesson for Mr. Jones.  I would tip the valet boys extra that night.  I was a modern Robin Hood, later I would discover more profitable strategies to carry out justice.

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May I Have Your Attention Please??

I was almost on empty, so I stopped to fill up.  I leaned up against the gas pump as I waited, brushing my hair out of my eyes – courtesy the lovely breeze.  There was a bit of a commotion between the two muscle heads from the next pump over.

“Oh my God, are you Jezebelle?”  One of them yelled as he ran over.  His partner in crime followed a little more quietly and slowly.

I smiled, and soaked in the celebrity moment.  We exchanged some small talk, I refused their phone number, but let them pay for my gas before getting a commitment to see me in the club this weekend.  I got in my car, still smiling, soaking in the affirmation that I yearned for.  The reality is, those guys just wanted to get laid, but to me, they gave me the approval that I have never had.

It’s that wonderful feeling.  Something we all crave at one time or another.  Better than the money, more fun than dancing, and not even comparable to the joys of buying shoes or cute outfits.  Being the best, being the most sought after, the most wanted, the most approved of, the most shown off, the highest on the totem pole.  I want it all.

After accomplishing a small feat, a young child will promptly run to their parent for approval, and praise.  We are wired to seek approval of others, some more than others.  I crave approval on a larger scale than your average Joe.  I want everyone to love me.  I am a pleaser.

Once the feeling of affirmation sets in, confidence and then power follow.  I felt most powerful when  I was on stage with a pressed crowd.  I loved having men willing to spend hundreds of dollars just for a handful of minutes spent with me.  I loved the looks on their faces, the complements flowing from their mouths, the sweet little lies they told me, the loyal customers that only wanted me, that claimed no one else could compare.

This was more than a job, this was a void that I had tried to fill for a long time, now being filled.  It changed my life, Jezebelle gave me power and worth.  Not only did it give me the affirmation I had been looking for from men, but it also gave me a sense that I was better than the rest.  I was a clean dancer, I never did anything for money other than dance, I never did any drugs, and I didnt sleep with the managers or bouncers.  I was better than the other dancers because of this.  I was impossible to stay clean for so long in an environment like that.  I was stronger and smarter than all those bimbo strippers, and I looked amazing without surgery.  I was the best.

I was disillusioned. 

 

Your Name is WHAT!?!?

“What’s your name?”

“Jezebelle”  (my stripper name)

“Did you know that name is from the Bible?”

“Yeah, I do.  I actually know the Bible very well.”

“Yeah right.”

“No, seriously, I went to a strict private Christian school, I even had to wear a skirt every day, I have memorized chapters and chapters of the Bible, and my dad is a pastor.”

These conversations happened at least once a night.  They were usually followed with shock that I had turned out to be in the industry.  I didn’t really understand what was so shocking.

I grew up very sheltered.  Or, my parents did their best to shelter me.  Religion was constantly shoved down my throat.  There was nothing gentle about.  My life revolved on the outside of legalistic religion.  We went to church three times on Sunday, once on Wednesday, had chapel at school on Monday, Bible class Tuesday through Friday, and would listen to my dad read the Bible to us for about a half hour every night before prayer.  There was not much breathing room.  My mental getaways consisted of turning into a gym addict starting at age 14, where I could listen to scandalous non-christian music, and get rid of all my stress and tension.  I am thankful for those nightly gym sessions.

So how does one go from straight religion to working the pole on a Friday night?  

I began a relationship with Jesus at the age of 14.  I had a very tough time throughout my adolescent years, interacting with my parents was DREADFUL (I now have a very good relationship with my mother.)  Without God as my rock, I do not know how I would have made it through those years.  So does that mean that I was a christian stripper??  Yes, yes it does.  

If my shorts were too short it was a sin.  If my hair fell over my eyes, that was a sin.  When I was busted for having ‘Cosmo-Teen’ magazines, that was VERY sinful.  If I wore my jeans too tight, that was a sin.  If my sister or I played with our necklace, hair, or were distracted during our family devotions, we were told we were going to burn in hell for it.  I vividly remember my father yelling at my sister “Get behind me Satan!” when she did something he did not like.  We were condemned and judged with every movement.  We learned how to do everything on the down low.  When my sister got her drivers licence we would buy cute clothes, hide them, and change in the car on the way to wherever we were going.  Lying was survival for us.  We became extremely good liars, we used to joke that we would be able to murder someone and lie our way out of it we had become so good at it.  I was used to be mentally and verbally torn to pieces by my parents.  I knew that some things were right, and some things were wrong, but I was not sure what went where, my parents taught me everything was wrong, that couldn’t be the case, so I would have to find out on my own.

I was 18 when I first worked at the club.  I was living at home.  I would say I was spending the night at a friends, and I would work at the club for the night, we usually got out around 7:30am.  I was not a regular entertainer at that time, I would work a few nights a month.  The other weekends I would spend at a normal dance club, get drunk before going, enjoy free drinks all night, and dance the night away.  I would make out with some guys, and go to after parties, but I was still  a virgin.  I was happiest when I was drunk dancing on top of a bar or a stage.  I loved to dance.  

The summer after I graduated High School I had a difficult conversation with my father, and told him I was moving out.  I had been looking forward to moving out of my parents home for as long as I could remember.  He was a proud man.  He told me if I moved out he would not walk me down the isle when I got married (I didn’t even have a boyfriend.)  I was not phased, that was such typical behavior for him.  I found a little studio in a ghetto area.  Two weeks before I was to move in, my father kicked me out of the house – of course.

From that point, I found myself trying to decide what was right and what was wrong.  I knew I loved Jesus, and I at least knew the ten commandments, and a lot of Bible verses, but I had to find out what was right and wrong in God’s eyes, not my parents, not my schools.  I felt no guilt when I was dancing, fooling around with guys, or drinking excessively.  Because I felt no guilt, and I couldn’t find scripture speaking specifically on it, I decided there must not be anything wrong with it.  I had many conversations with customers at the club about the Bible, about God, while I was giving them a lap dance or dancing for them naked.  Other dancers would have questions about God and I would  answer them, and try to sneak in a little gospel with that.  When customers would ask me “doesn’t the Bible say it is wrong to strip?” I would ask them where it said that.  I was not rebellious at all.  I did not try to displease my parents at all, in fact they still don’t know this story.  I was just so utterly confused about right from wrong by being taught that what felt like everything was wrong, that I had to start all over with learning right from wrong.  

How could I not feel guilt???  I guess that I had so much guilt poured on me daily for things that were not worthy of guilt maybe it desensitized me of guilt.  Or, maybe it was the dark side blinding me.  Either way, I did not think it was wrong to be dancing naked for money.  I actually quite enjoyed it.

Not only was I taught that I was wrong in almost everything I did, I was also not allowed much freedom.  As an 18 year old my curfew was 10pm, if I got home at 10:03 I was grounded.  I was not allowed simple things like watching a movie that was PG13 at a christian friends house if there were boys that would be there.   If I wanted to go to a PG movie with two of my girlfriends or shopping at the mall, that was not allowed.  The more rules and regulations a person has on them, the more they will break.  The tighter you hold the leash, the harder it will be pulled.  The smaller the cage, the further the free will run.  Going from 3%-100% freedom, there is a good chance that many poor (and fun) choices will be made.  And that’s what it was all about.  Fun.

All of the Lights

My heart raced.  This was so exciting.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was at the strip club, on the fourth floor, the dancer’s locker room.  During my first visit to watch my friend perform, I saw for the first time Sophia Simone.  Sophia Simone was the most erotically intoxicating female I had ever laid eyes on.  She won Miss Nude USA every year, and it was obvious why.  She was stunning.  She was now right in front of me, perched on a stool, topless, smoking, looking in the mirror, complaining about her boyfriend.  

There was some obnoxiously sweet gay guy smothered in makeup dolling up the girls, trading stories about other dancers, managers, and customers.  He has his little chiwawa with him.  There was a little store that carried costumes, lingire, shoes, and emergency needs.  I was in awe of all these beauties.  Some were laughing, some were crying, some were practicing their moves on a pole, and some were applying makeup to places I never would have thought to put makeup.  I was in.

We headed over to her locker.  She handed me a pair of shoes, 8 inch heels.  I put them on immediately to learn how to walk in them.  Later I would learn the every single dancer has a story of when they have fallen, and I would eventually have mine.  I threw on a g-string, fish nets, a garter belt, and a lacey bra.  Then came the pounds of make up, and fake eye lashes.  I looked good.  I looked like one of them.  

I checked myself out in the mirror on the ceiling of the elevator.  We held hands as we walked out.  She guided me and did all the talking.  We danced together.  I learned how to give a lap dance on willing men, happy to pay double the regular price in order to have two girls dance for them instead of one.  I was introduced on stage, and did a stage set all on my own by the end of the evening.

We counted our money, tipped the staff, and walked out to her brand new SUV the valet boys had waiting for us.  I loved the attention from the customers and from the staff.  I was the gorgeous, mysterious new girl.  I was part of it.  I could not wait to come back.Image

Preacher’s Daughter’s Daddy Issues

I must have been about 7.  My sister and I were crying in the car.  My mother scolded my father.  My father tried to back pedal; “I didn’t call her a bitch, I said she was acting like a bitch.    She should not be aggravating MY SON.”

I heard the phrase “my son” whenever my sister or I did something my father or brother did not like or approve of. My brother was a TERROR.  One nightmare of a little brother.  we fought like crazy, so I heard it a lot.  Thankfully now that we are grown, my siblings and I are all very tight.  

I struggled a lot while growing up feeling as though my parents did not love me.  I would tell my parents that as a child.  I specifically remember one time my dad informing me that he loved my older sister a lot and she was special because she was the oldest.  My brother he loved because he was his only son, my little sister he loved because she was the baby of the family, and me, well he felt bad for me because I was allergic to dairy.  Did my parents love me?  Yes, they did love me.  Did my father specifically love me?  Yes, I believe he did.  Did/does he love me as much as my siblings?  Absolutely not.  

Growing up I was envious of the father my younger two siblings had.  My older sister and I were in the same boat together when it came to my father.  I do not know if he did not know what to do with a daughter until my sweet little sister came along, or what the deal was.  Although I was envious of the love my two younger siblings received from my father, I was not fully aware of what I was missing out on until I was in my late twenties.  I began searching to fill the void that I was not aware I had.

My father is a very loving man (I am told that I still defend him to this day lol.)  For those that have seen the recent version of Footloose there is a scene where the mother says to the preacher father something along the lines of; “you do so well loving and leading your congregation but you don’t know how to love the ones right in front of you.”  That sums it up perfectly.

Nothing really stuck out, nothing that my father specifically did or did not do that triggered the path that I chose.  I now later in life have a father figure in my life.  When going through childhood, as a child with an absent father figure living with you day to day, one does not notice what the void they have is created by.  I lived with my married parents, my father was a great one, provided for his family, a Pastor.  Without a father’s love there is a void.  With a void SO great, a young girl will try and fill it.  She does not know the cause of the void, she just feels the pain.  

I felt pain.

Popping Cherries

I couldn’t believe she was doing it. I couldn’t believe I was going to go and see her.  I wondered who else I might see there.  I wondered what it would be like.  I wondered if our relationship as friends would change after I saw her completely unclothed dancing on stage.  I wondered why she wanted me to come.  

It was the middle of the day, in the middle of the week.  My friend from High School was with me. After parking our car we hurriedly walked the busy downtown streets, checking over our shoulders before sliding in through the door.   The sun shone bright outside, but inside the smoke was thick, it was night.

We asked for her.  She looked stunning.  

“I’m on stage next.  Sit over there.”  pointing to two seats in front of the empty stage.

We sat.  “I can’t believe we are going to see her naked!”  We nervously snickered to each other.  I felt no guilt.  She came on stage, she was beautiful, she danced, she smiled.  She was completely nude with one ankle resting on my shoulder.  She was comfortable.  We were comfortable.  This was beautiful, this was fun.  Oh, and she just made more money in one hour, than I made in one week working four jobs.  

The owner smiled at me.  “You’re cute.  When are you going to start working here?”

We looked at each other, giggled and blushed, and headed out.

Driving back we discussed what we saw.  Our consciences did not bother us, we felt nothing was wrong.  We were surprised that is was not as big of a deal as we had thought.  She was smart to do it.  We paid money to get into clubs and dance.  She was getting paid to have a great time.  If God had a problem with it, he would have made us feel guilty.  We did not feel guilty.  We will definitely go again!