Tag Archives: good

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.

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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.

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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!

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The Double Life

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I spun around on stage, I was facing one customer, and turned to the next – there he was.  He looked just like I remembered him, he hadn’t changed much at all.  I began the crazy crush at the age of six years old.  Luke went to my Sunday School class.  He was the youngest of three.  To the left of Luke was his older brother Calvin, and then the oldest brother Nate.  It was not a meeting I had foreseen.  I couldn’t figure out who was more shocked, them or me.  We spent over ten years growing up together, memorizing catechisms, sleeping through youth group, singing at old folk’s homes, and messing around on Sundays after the service.  Now, I was naked, and they were paying for the show.  What were these nice guys doing here?  Why did they come?  Don’t they know how inappropriate this place is?

The minute I walked through the doors at the strip club I became a confident, sexy, powerful, and naughty.  I was Jezebelle, and no one could shake that.   Everybody either wanted to be me, or to be with me, and if they didn’t then they were crazy.  I had it all.  I didn’t have a single flaw, I wasn’t afraid to show everybody everything.  I was the invincible Jezebelle.  But, underneath all the makeup, was a shy little good girl.  When I walked out the doors, I suddenly cared what people thought.  I didn’t have the disclaimer of “Jezebelle,”  I was just Joy, flawed, struggling, searching Joy.  I LOVED being Jezebelle for the freedom it gave me.  I didn’t have to answer to anyone, I wasn’t judged by anyone, I was accepted, I didn’t fall short of expectations, and everyone loved me.

What interested me, was it seemed as though Jezebelle was not the only one that found her freedom in the club.  Many men came in and were freed at the door as well.  It was like there was a coat and baggage check.  Everyone left their baggage at the door, their work troubles, their relationship woes, along with every bit of judgement.  And so did women.  Gay women as well as straight women.  Women that were usually prudes, lowered their morals after slithering past the baggage check.

When I saw Luke, Calvin, and Nate, they carried some of my baggage with them, a little bit of Joy was revealed and a little less Jezebelle was present.  I greeted them after my stage set, kissed them goodbye, and headed to a different floor.  In reality I was there for some of the same reasons as my customers.  Joy was too responsible for me.  The best thing about Jezebelle was that she carried no baggage.  She was freedom.