Tag Archives: dance

A Stripper in Sheep’s Clothing – The Enigma

letting-go2I was a virgin. You could say I was a late bloomer. I did not lose my virginity until I was 18 – which of course was still too soon, but that is a totally different topic. I began dancing when I was 18, before I had lost my virginity. I was a virgin, a stripper, a pastor’s daughter, and a Christian – naked and on stage. I was an enigma.

I found myself endeavoring to be the best. I have always been competitive, whether it be in sports, work, or other friendly competitions. I like to be the best. Stripping was no exception. I wanted to be the best stripper in the joint. I wanted people to come from far away just to see the amazing Jezebelle.  I needed to be the one everyone wanted to get a dance from before they left, have customers waiting for me, be the one that everyone is waiting for while they close down the club. I was willing to invest almost whatever I needed to in order to make that happen.

angel

I was never rebellious, I was a shy good girl at heart. I guarded myself from the things that I thought would make a negative on me, but I compromised on the little things that I thought would help me get a little bit ahead. Outside of the club when I wasn’t working, I would spend my nights drinking heavily, and dancing on bars and stages at dance clubs. I would make out with a handful of men per night, usually anywhere  from ten to twenty five men and a few women per night. I was a tease, protecting my virginity. I received oral sex frequently, but never gave any – feeling justified that I was not a slut because I was still a virgin, and never “gave any favors.”  I would go home with guys and go to after parties that I had no business being at. I wanted to be able to hang on to the idea I had of myself as a good girl. I endeavored to have all the fun that I could while still hanging on to what I thought were good and acceptable morals. The game in my head was to stay a good girl, but to do JUST enough to be accepted in the groups that I thought were important to get in with to be successful.

I wanted to have the outward image of a bad girl, but keep the good girl I was taught to value and protect. I was basically the opposite of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  I was a sheep in wolf’s clothing. I knew I could be eaten alive if anyone made the discovery.

The crazy thing is; as you grow and mature, you begin to become yourself – care less about what people think of you, and more about what actually matters. For me, there were a few very drastic events that took place in my life, that brought me back to what I valued. These events shook me to the core – back to the things that mattered. Down the road when I was ready to embrace what was most important to me, I was so used to wearing the wolf’s clothing that parts of it, had become a part of me. Returning to the flock was much harder. I had lost a lot of my sheep identity. The enigma was, that when I finally wanted to discard the disguise of a bad girl and return to the innocence I once had – it was gone.

wolf

When my word was flipped upside down and I was ready to return to the flock of sheep, they looked at me like a wolf. I had become a wolf in many ways. Those last few “good” values that I had hung on to for so long had been thrown to the wayside ages ago. I deceived myself telling myself that I was still a “good girl” – the game being comparison – I could always find someone worse. I began as a “good girl” with the disguise of a “bad girl” and warped into the opposite: a “bad girl” trying to play the role of a “good girl.”

In 1 Corinthians 15:33 Paul says “Do not be deceived ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.'”  Basically, if you play with fire, you will get burned – I definitely have my third degree burns. Thanks be to God there is a healer. He tells us “I did not come to call the righteous.” The labels “good girl” and “bad girl” are completely irrelevant to God. Redemption and grace – grace like rain.

“We all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:3-9)

This sheep and wolf thing is just too complicated for all of us. It gets so out of control. We can let go of it, I am no longer a sheep, a wolf, a bad girl, or a good girl. It’s much simpler now. I’m simply a sinner saved by grace. That is my identity. I speak the language of a stripper, a hurt girl, and many others, but God views me as His, as His beautiful daughter – just like His beautiful Son – and with that same purity. My chains are gone. I have been set free!

grace

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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.

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.