More: Disclosing Stripping

Another thing that I did talk about with my counselor, and something that J brought up with me today after reading my last post, was that people do all sorts of jobs for all sorts of reasons.

My counselor: “Everyone has ‘daddy issues,’ or ‘parent issues.’ Strippers, counselors, doctors- maybe most of all, doctors.” We both laughed.

I think she’s right, and I think J is right. The further complexity comes, for me, with the fact that sex workers are marginalized, not well understood, and stigmatized. As is common with most minority group experiences, a minority members ends up standing for everyone in that minority group, while a member from a dominant group is allowed the freedom to stand alone in their experience. (Bob [a white man] succeeded at building a business simply because he had the ambition, etc, whereas “all Asians” are smart. Dominant group stereotypes can and do exist, but they are rarely used to explain dominant member experiences.)

So- I feel a lot of personal pressure and responsibility for not contributing to negative stereotypes about strippers. To admit that I have “mommy issues,” love getting attention and approval, and embrace my sexuality (on a wide spectrum) makes me nervous.

I again dodged a question about work today while at school. As I was beginning to tell a group of classmates about my work, we got interrupted and the conversation didn’t return to me. This gives me more time to reflect 🙂

3 thoughts on “More: Disclosing Stripping

  1. i think that this is a very important issue to carefully think through. Its possible that you feel shame, but my impression is that you are most likely feeling a clash between your acceptance of yourself, your body and your lifestyle and societal norms and standards. It's uncomfortable when you feel a certain way about yourself and your choices and you know that there is a prevalent negative perception about that choice. Especially if you like to please others. I have to admit that less than a year ago I had a negative stereotype about strip clubs, the dancers in the clubs and the people who frequented the clubs. Then I went to a strip club, had an amazing time and my impressions changed. Just like any job, there are probably many different reasons that the dancers choose their line of work. That you can participate in something that is not only personally gratifying, makes other people (very) happy and earns you money is beyond awesome.
    Shame is a very complicated emotion and often it takes a lot of digging to get to the root cause. However, i don't think you have to feel ashamed of this life choice to keep it to yourself. Its easier to disclose it later if and when you want than to take it back. I know how it feels to want to tell everyone everything – especially if it is something that makes you happy. Unfortunately, our society may not be at that acceptance stage yet when it comes to sexuality. Fortunately, you are among a group of future professionals who may be more accepting. But in my opinion, sitting back, observing and testing the waters wouldn't hurt.

  2. I think two things you have going for you are education and confidence. When and if you decide to publicly “own” what you do, I think you will do it well. I think how you react to people asking you those questions makes all the difference and I don't think there is any requirement that you always answer the questions. In fact I view it fairly similarly to discussing relationship politics. It's not always the right time or the right person to talk to, you might not always have the energy. I think some people come to a place where it's no big deal – it's a part of who they are and they start to integrate it in, and others are always balancing when and what to give.

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