So, to clear the air, when I say entertainer… I do mean “stripper”. I was a dancer for two years because I had to take advantage of the money and flexible schedule. It just made sense but I am a different person walking out than I was walking in.
Walking in I was excited and giddy! Nervous for sure but excited none-the- less for obvious reasons. Walking out, I wish I had never stepped foot in a club. Although I love performing and dancing, it was more mentally draining than what I had ever expected.
Before I start, I want to disclose that every country or state has different laws about touching. In particular, where I live, not much law enforcement is in place. I have worked in 5 clubs but none of them were strict about enforcing a no-touch rule or preventing prostitution.
You don’t need to have the perfect body to be an entertainer. I have seen dancers with all body types. Men find confidence attractive. However, if you go thinking men don’t care about appearances without being confident in yourself, it can cause body dysmorphia.
When I started dancing I made money because I was the new girl. A shiny new toy everyone wanted to test out. What could they get away with? How could they take advantage of me? My confidence skyrocketed. It took about two months before my confidence hit rock bottom. New girls had arrived and they were “prettier,” “sexier,” or “better dancers.”
I was comparing my body to the other women and scared to get on stage after or before a “prettier” girl. How could I compete with her? The truth is, if a guy finds you attractive, he is attracted to you. Something I had to learn was beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
Everyone can see when you’re not confident and it affects how you think, move and talk. If you can’t tell already, I have two beautiful kids that “destroyed,” my body. I covered that on stage because I felt that it wasn’t good to look at. However, that showed the men that I lacked self confidence. I wasn’t making money and it wasn’t because of my body but lack of confidence.
There are some clubs that an entertainer can make all their money on stage and the pole work is their primary focus. In some other clubs, private dances is where girls put in their hard work.
It also it depends on the shift an entertainer decides to work. Day shift is laid back where men come in and talk to a girl before buying a dance. Night shift is more of a party night life and everyone is talking and dancing, money flying everywhere. I worked in a very laid back club as a day shift entertainer.
Therefore, private dances were a huge part of my job. As I mentioned before, every state has different laws and how they much they enforce the law is really up to the dancer. When a new entertainer shows up, some men will try to test her out and see how far a girl is willing to go.
Anyways, after so many private dances in a day, coming come to two small children that needed their mother for love and affection was very hard for me. I feel guilty about it, but there were days where I would shrug them off. I didn’t want to be touched after being touched all day. Hands on my thighs, butt and breast and then constantly being tugged on my babies. It became very hard to want to come home.
How I Viewed Dating and Men
This is a mixture of my job and lack of time to go out without my children. I’m not over-exaggerating when I say, I have zero time for myself. Right now is the first time I have had the chance to sleep in my own room KID FREE in five years.
I loved dancing because as a teen I was reserved and I never partied. I was never the cool kid and then I had my first baby straight out of high school. This job gave me the opportunity to “party,” and make money!
All the men weren’t bad. It was fun to talk and get into their head. I saw sides of men, I can never un-see. Because men would go to the club as a secret and do very shameful things. To top it off, I know some girls that did things with them, in the name of money. It was disappointing overall.
As far as dating goes, I tried my hand at dating sites and such, with no luck. Since I am honest, I told guys that I was an entertainer. It wasn’t long before these boys would start commenting how “hot,” it was or how “sex must be awesome. I was a sex object to them. Some guys would form other opinions and assume the worst. That I was after their money, or would get jealous and call me horrible names. I was more than just my job, and no one could understand that.
Drugs and Alcohol
Drugs and alcohol are a huge part of the industry because of how mentally and emotionally taxing it is on an entertainer. Not only for the dancers, but the environment thrives on drugs and alcohol
Many girls can’t do the job while sober because we would hate everyone and everything. There was a time that I would get drunk every time I went to work. I always told myself I would quit, but it wasn’t long before I was taking a shot or having a beer.
Drugs was never an issue for me personally, but they are a huge issue in the club. At my first club, I got offered $100 to allow a guy to do coke off my a**. I have also been offered various drugs.
There were a lot of reasons to drink. Because it was slow, or because it was a party. Also, having a beer or two is a small price to pay to sell a dance.
I stopped drinking a few months ago because it was potentially dangerous. I hated waking up hung over and not wanting to spend quality time with my kids.
I want to be clear that I never had sex for money, but it is a real issue.
Compared to some girls, I was very prudish, in the way I interacted with customers. Because I wasn’t willing to meet outside the club or have sex for money, it affected the money I made. I wasn’t making enough which then lead to… body dysmorphia. I wasn’t pretty enough therefore I wasn’t making money.
There were just things I didn’t know was going on (I’m pretty naïve). I didn’t want to believe this ever happened. I thought we were all just dancers doing a job. When I finally realized what was going on, I felt slightly better about my body. However, I was worried if I was ever going to have the guts to go as far as I felt I needed to.
After I realized that prostitution was an issue, this meme started appearing on my social media.
I started questioning if sex for money was so bad? I’m having sex anyways might as well charge for it. I never did charge, BUT I did start feeling disgusted with myself for giving my body away for free. I started to trying to assign my body a price and calculate how much money I had lost. What was once enjoyable became something I hated doing because I was “losing” money.
This was a dark time for me, but I was still propositioned even as a waitress. I tried to be smart about it by pricing so high that I know no one would pay. P.S. its still illegal if you accidently are approached by an undercover cop. I have been shamed by customers for it because “men want more for their money.”
Everyday Life and Work
Something I need, is a flexible schedule because I only trust my parents to watch my kids. This only allows me to work two-to-four days a week. As a dancer, I was able to just not show up to work if I wanted the day off, needed a mental break, or last minute baby sitter changes.
However, this lifestyle became very normal to me. As a waitress, I was still able to make this same type of flexibility especially in a club. However, I was no longer comfortable with the job environment. I didn’t like seeing the men look, touch or disrespect the girls, or myself. But I was so comfortable with the money and flexible schedule that I couldn’t bring myself to find a normal job. I finally did start waitressing at a restaurant, but then Covid-19 started right as I getting the hang of it. That’s why I’m trying so hard to find a way to work for myself. Structure no longer suits me and my crazy life.
So that is how dancing has affected me. If you’re ever thinking becoming an entertainer keep in mind, it is not all it is worked up to be. Be prepared because this job isn’t made for everyone.
You can read more about my mental health and how this affected me here: Mental Health
If you’re a dancer and would like to share you’re experience, comment down below! Thank you!
Stay blessed, Liz