Interview With A Stripper
Stripping has become more talked about recently, with celebrities like Cardi B, Blac Chyna, Amber Rose, and Dita Von Teese openly discussing their stripping careers before fame. I asked Christie, a college student trying to make ends meet, what life is like for a stripper who hasn’t necessarily reached celebrity. Christie strips at a small, local club. Still, an unconventional job comes with unconventional stories. I asked Christie to share her experiences with me and shed light on the profession so many people stigmatize and idealize.
IK: What made you get into stripping?
C: I wanted to try it out. More of a hobby, but also as my primary job after a few months due to flexible hours and minimal need to work because money is so good.
IK: How much do you typically make?
C: I work five shifts and, on my worst days, can average up to $20 an hour. I make anywhere from $100 to $600 per shift.
IK: What do you love about stripping?
C: I love dancing on stage and learning new tricks.
IK: How do you learn new dances? Do you teach yourself?
C: At my club, girls are more than happy to teach you what they know and help you expand your capabilities. The best way to learn how to pole dance is straight from a dancer. I learned everything I know from a few girls at the club. No videos or classes.
IK: Any bad experiences with any of the patrons?
C: I hate the entitled, creepy, disgusting guys that think their $20 includes fondling or sex. Men will try to push their limits to get what they think is their money's worth. I’ve had guys lick my armpits, stick their fingers in my belly button, stick their tongue out like dogs, and shake their head in between my breasts. I’ve had dicks whipped out or men cum on themselves. I’ve had someone bite my nipples and constantly try to stick their hands in my panties. I’ve seen couples looking for threesomes, people willing to pay any amount to see me go home with them. Everyone tries to graze your vagina if they can.
IK: What’s the weirdest thing someone has asked you to do?
C: There was this one guy that got a 15-minute private dance. He claimed he’d “never gotten one before because he was a gentleman.” He then asked if I could kiss him, begging, constantly repeating that he loved me and he was a gentleman and that I was so beautiful. He was slobbering all over my chest and offered to spend any amount of money to keep me for the rest of the night. I declined because it was so weird. Some other guys just want you to stare into their eyes for long periods of time. I’ve had a guy get a 30-minute private dance just to listen to me talk.
IK: What’s your favorite thing to wear?
C: My favorite outfits are teddies [a one piece] over a g string. I love lingerie.
IK: How do people react when you tell them you’re a stripper?
C: People either don’t care or try to be white knights with sayings like, “You’re too pretty to work here,” or “Too smart.” I’ve had one experience when someone couldn’t be around me because they knew I was a stripper.
IK: Do you ever feel unsafe?
C: Sometimes I get paranoid that someone will stalk me, but we have pretty high security at my club. The bouncers will watch the door and walk you to your car after your shift. I don’t give out any personal information, so I don’t feel unsafe usually.
IK: How is your relationship with the women who work there?
C: They are so sweet and not out to get you. They don’t feel threatened by competition because they know their worth and how much they’re going to make.
IK: How is your relationship with the patrons who work there?
C: You definitely meet some interesting people. After a while, you develop a repertoire. Some people are a friendly face that you know is there just for you. Some you know to avoid or you have to just grin and bear it. If you work weekends, a lot of people are just drinking and looking for some fun and you get to bring the party to them.
Art by: Sabrina Ortiz