"“They cannot take away your self-respect if we do not give it to them.”"
Slithering across the stage she is a sexual animal. Every man watching thinks, “This woman knows what she wants” as she grinds away on his lap, her whole sexual being screams “I want you.” Or does it? After ten years in the industry, I’m now part of the infamous Forty Something’s, as I look back over my life I can tell you that it’s not what you think.
The life of a stripper is normally measured by how much men want her and how she carries herself. Making men imagine you on top of them while you dance is what it is all about. From the outside looking in, they seem like confident, sexual women. They appear to know exactly what they want and how to do it. Of course it’s easy to see why men think this. With all those lap dances, enacting sexual fantasies and fetishes, not to mention the soft whispers of dirty talk in your ear, who wouldn’t think that. These women know what they want like in the bed. Or do they?
For ten years, I was an exotic dancer on Bourbon Street and I was pretty good, if I may say so myself. Nawlins’ is infamous for its long history of catering to the “gentleman.” There is something for every taste and pleasure. Men from all over the world come to take in what all Nawlins’ has to offer. All too often, they find themselves in one of the Quarter’s numerous Gentlemen’s Clubs hoping to find their fantasy for the night. They long to find a woman who knows what she is doing.
Take it from someone who has been there and done that, it is all an act, a huge facade. In reality, most of the ladies you see swinging around the pole, seducing you with their moves and their confidence, have not discovered themselves. Let alone know what they like sexually and how to give it.
Turing on men in the club and making them believe I was hot and wet with every move I made was a lie. Dancing and sex is a job, simply a way to make the Benjamins. Contrary to what it may seem, it is not a sexual experience for most of the women you meet in the clubs. In fact, the things acted out in the clubs normally never came up during real love making. Now there were the occasional drunken hazes with another stripper or Bourbonite. Not because I really wanted or enjoyed it, but because it was what you did. As far as, taking the time to experiment and explore? The general mindset was that’s work and who wants to bring work home?
All night the Johns sit and watch, waiting for the chance to experience what they believed I could do in the bedroom. Knowing that I must be a sexual animal in the sack, they wanted my body and nothing more. No one cares who you are or what you are really like. All they want is your legs wrapped around them. My body, my inner sexual being, was no longer mine. As a stripper it was not for me to decide what felt good or excited me. Those decisions where dictated by the gentleman. Each night I became who they wanted me to be. I enjoyed what they wanted me to enjoy. Ultimately, the men in club determine your sexuality.
“How can this be true?” you may be asking. Although, it may seem like the strippers are in control of the sexual tone, it is really the customers. The gentlemen are the ones you are there to please. They are the ones you have to turn on for your pay. The nights are all about making yourself into whatever they want from a woman in the bed. Your entire image of sexual pleasure is now what the money you make has dictated. The inner you and your own sexual desires become lost somewhere along the way.
Where do you go from here? How does an ex-stripper recover?
Coming to the place in my life where I am confident in what I like and how to achieve it, has taken years; twenty actually. Now at forty something, I am finally discovering myself. The number one thing I attribute to this is a change in my perceptions. Believing that a man could like me for just me, not for how horny I made him, finding the courage within myself to re-evaluate my past ideas of sexual pleasure, and begin exploring what I liked. It has only been through the patience of my husband, my desire to please him, and the support of others that I could find this place of happiness. Finally, I am free to explore and play because I want to feel good, not because it is what is expected.
Free to live, Free to learn, Free to love