Thursday, May 12, 2016

Not just a stripper.

If I told you I have a friend who is in their mid 20’s, self employed, keeps her own schedule, and makes good money you’d probably be impressed with them. In this era where a lot of folks coming out of college with a mountain of student debt, marginal job prospects, and end up living with their parents. In my twenties I had already flunked out of college once and was working at a gas station. By anybody’s standard my friend would be a success. Yet if I told you she was a stripper your opinion would mostly likely change. You’ve never met her, yet you draw conclusions based purely on a label. DiabloCody wins an Oscar, yet she still gets referred to as a “former stripper”. As if she somehow being a stripper was a great obstacle in her life.

I have another friend who I’ve known since the mid 90’s from when I lived in Texas. He works for the defense industry. His specific skill is designing bomb racks. Making a clamp that can hold 2000 lbs of high explosives to the wing of an airplane through all the stresses of flight then release it at the exact moment needed by touching a button is a really difficult task. It takes a lot of engineering and meticulous planning to make something so robust and reliable. Yet, when all the careful calculations are done, the precision parts are built and installed, the end result is death. When everything works correctly somebody dies. Property is destroyed. Parents have to bury their children. Children become orphans. Suffering is brought to the innocent. I know the ethics are more complicated than that. But a lot of folks would consider my friend a hero. He makes America strong in their view. I suspect most of the people who think that are currently at a Donald Trump rally somewhere. The vast majority of people would consider him a success though, someone to be respected for his accomplishments.

Why is the stripper looked down upon but the engineer is respected? If you could wave a magic wand and have one profession removed from planet wouldn’t it be better to get rid of the weapons designer? Would you rather have you children live in a world that doesn’t have strip clubs or planes carrying 2000lb laser guided bombs?

Strippers can the worse in denigrating their own profession. I often listed to girls talk about having to get a real job. If you pay real bills, take care of real dependents, keep a roof over your head you have a real job. Considering dancers aren’t guaranteed a penny when they walk in the door of the club it’s a more real job than most. Every dollar she makes is because she did something for it. It she does nothing she gets nothing. No paid vacation or paid sick days.

Sometimes dancers make ridiculous amounts of money for nothing. If a dancer can make money like that then good for her. She isn’t running a Ponzi scheme or committing armed robbery. In most cases the customer is perfectly happy handing over their money. If you have a job where you can make a lot of money with a little work, that’s not just a real job but it’s a good job.

Motherhood is another subject where being a stripper suddenly can change a person from admired to reviled in the time it takes to apply a label. She took a job she hated in order to get the financial and scheduling freedom to take better care of her children. Enduring a necessary evil to make a better life better for your family is self sacrifice. Why does being a stripper make this bad? I’ve met women with master’s degrees who were terrible parents. Most strippers I know will do anything for their children. It is the primary reason they are dancing. Not because they want to, but because it’s the best way to take care of their kids. Being a stripper has nothing to do with their parenting skills, yet people will condemn them out of hand. There is nothing worse than willful ignorance, and this is one of the worse.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Back from nowhere

I did two things tonight I haven’t done for a long time. First, actually write something in my blog. It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually done anything with it. Second, I spent the evening reading about strip clubs. I just got in the mail “They call me Rocket, stories of a rose citystripper, volume one”. It’s 24 page folio (or zine I guess is the more contemporary term). More importantly, I really enjoyed the work.

It’s a series of short biographic stories about her stripping career. All the stories are compact and stand alone. They make for a very enjoyable read. The stories are entertaining and occasionally poignant. I was amused to find out her stage name Rocket was partially inspired by a gas station I worked at, though I was probably long gone from there when she first noticed it.

The price is cheaper than a typical strip club drink and was delivered faster. It was definitely worth the money. You should buy it if you are interested an inside look at the Portland strip club industry.

It also had the effect of inspiring me to start writing in my blog again. I realized that most of my view of the strip club world has been reduced to 140 character tweets or instagram pictures. These bite size glimpses into the stripping world are utterly without depth. No shit Sherlock, but I never realized it until I read the folio. I suppose I shouldn’t use the term folio, makes me sound like something from Shakespeare’s time. I’m not quite that old, I fall somewhere in between.

I’m still writing. For me writing is almost a form of therapy. It forces me to think about situations in my life that aren’t quite so clouded by my biases. For those of you who still have links to me in your RSS reader or are hopelessly lost on the internet I’ll be posting new essays from time to time. And I'll also be eagerly awaiting volume two. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Stripper time Vs. Civilian time

One of the more difficult things about being friends with a dancer is the schedule difference. Most dancers are sleeping while the rest of the world is up and vice versa. It always seems a dancer schedule is at odds with the rest of the world. So decided to make a chart so compare what a civilian is thinking and what a dancer is thinkingdsuring the course of a typical work day.

12:00  midnight Wow, it’s a little late probably I should think about going home  Work 
1:00 AM it’s time to wrap things up, I have to work tomorrow It’s primetime!
2:00 AM This isn’t a end well if I don’t get to sleep soon. Work is almost over, time to think about what next.
3:00 AM This is way too late. Work is going To suck tomorrow Where do we want to eat?
4:00 AM Why am I still awake? Time to head home
5:00 AM God its late/God its early   God I hope I set the DVR so I  
6:00 AM It's about time to get up, I should be asleep
7:00 AM I should be getting ready for work I really should be asleep
8:00 AM I don't want to work, but I should head in This isn’t going to end well if don’t get to sleep soon
9:00 AM Work Oh my god its late/Oh my god its early
11:00 AM Work Why am I awake, kill me now
12 noon Lunch This is way too late. Work is going to suck tomorrow
1:00 PM Work Who the hell is calling this time of the day? Die
2:00 PM Work must sleep
3:00 PM Work Its about time to get up
4:00 PM Work I need breakfast
5:00 PM Work is almost over, time to think about what next. I neep a nap
6:00 PM Heading home Still need a nap
7:00 PM Where do we want to eat? I should get get ready for work
8:00 PM I wonder who's working  I don't want to work, but I should head in
9:00 PM Let's head to the club I'm tired, I need an energy drink
10:00 PM I should think about going home Finally, customers and energy
11:00 PM It's getting a little late Time to get serious

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Monday, December 23, 2013

Just messing around

Just wasting time, playing around with the Nikon.

Friday, December 20, 2013

To Twerk, or not to Twerk?

I recently saw a Twitter rant about club that banned rap music, even though there are Rap songs specifcally written about strip clubs. Rock, rap, or opera the only thing that matters is is it any good? Honestly, most strip club specific songs are terrible. Once you get past the novelty of the song, they suck. They really suck at the ear splitting strip club volume levels. A song written specifically for a strip club, so what? I’ve riffed a Doctor Seuss poem into strip club specific version. Why not some other things? Maybe I can get these banned from strip clubs. Though I've never seen a stripper do a dramatic reading on stage.

How about Shakespeare for strip clubs:

To twerk, or not to twerk, that is the question—
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous customers and crazy strippers,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of unpaid bills,
And by opposing end them? To spin, to twirl—
No more; and by a sleep, to say we don’t want to be bothered before 1pm
The Heart-ache, and the thousand random fines
That dancers are heir to? 'Tis a consummation and really unfair, and mostly illegal
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep, to eat Taco Bell
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there's the rub,
For in that extra day of sleep, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, and hit the snooze button and hope it rains next time

How about the Bible for strip clubs? I supposed this is blasphemous, but I really don’t care. Blasphemy is the original victim-less crime in my atheist opinion.

Genesis 1

New International Strip club Version (NISCV)

The Beginning

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the strip club. 2 Now the club was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the stage, and the Spirit of God was hovering over in the manager’s office.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and then added a smoke machine. 5 God called the light “day shift,” and the darkness he called “night shift.” And then he created shift fees, and a mid shift for girls who didn’t want to stay too late.

6 And God said, “Let there be a brass pole between the floor and ceiling to separate the strip club stage from all others.” 7 So God made the brass pole and separated the strip club stage from all others. And it was so. 8 God called the seats around the stage “the rack.” And there was evening, and there was morning—and there was late fees.

Maybe Poe’s the Raven, for strip clubs:

Once upon a strip club dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious songs of forgotten labels,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my corner table.
''Tis some dancer,' I muttered, 'tapping at my corner table-
Only this, and nothing stable.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate single dollar wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the server;- vainly I had sought to flag her
From my tips surcease of whiskey- whiskey for the lost last chance-
For the rare and radiant dancer whom the broke me from my trance-
Nameless here “wanna dance?”

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple lycra
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
''Tis some dancer entreating entrance to break my trance-
Some late dancer entreating entrance to break my trance;-
This it is, and wanna dance?.'

It doesn’t matter what it’s written about, it’s good or it ain’t. I work in engineering sales. There is nothing more annoying than a monumentally self-righteous customer. The customer is seldom right, they always want more for less. But the customer is paying the bills, so you have to listen to them.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Pantheon of Stripper Gods

I often see dancers start there shift by tweeting an appeal for success to the Stripper Gods. There is even a prayer for strippers to recite.

As always, I’ll notice something odd. Strippers are polytheistic. Not one god but multiple gods. Which made me wonder, who are these gods? After a minimal Google search I couldn’t find any information. So I decided to make up my own. For reference I pulled out my old copy of Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia 2nd edition (+1 to your geek cred with an additional 10% experience points if you know what I’m referring to) and went to work.

I’m not really good at names so just kind of winged these. Fortunately my blog traffic is pretty much zero so I’m not at risk of boring very many people. Since strippers are only strippers if there is somebody to strip for I decided to make an even split between male and females in my stripper deity pantheon. I know woman go to strip clubs to, but that just over thinking things.

The Stripper Gods

Tiptania is the patron Queen of all the stripper gods. She watches over strippers of the world. She rewards strippers who smile on stage and point their toes while doing pole tricks. She punishes strippers who poach other dancer’s customers or uses skin lotion before going on stage and doing pole work. She also works late and doesn’t want to hear any prayers before noon. Text messages are preferred. Her symbols are the brass pole and clear platform heel.

I based the name on Titania, the fairy queen from Shakespeare’s A Misummers Night’s Dream. I figure somebody has to be in charge. I thought of the name Titstania, but that kind of sounds like a low budget burlesque performer from the 50’s.  I’d love any thoughts for better names

Beware the wrath of Tiptania. She'll unleash the frog pestilence on you. May all you tips be folded up like frogs.

Is the guardian god of all baby strippers. She makes sure they make money even though walk like drunken storks in their heels and dance like they are being electrocuted on stage. Her favorite prayer is “O god please don’t let me kick over anybodies drink during my set”. She punishes baby strippers who think they know everything after working for four weeks and rewards those who actually listen to older dancers who give good advice. Her symbols are granny panties and a Victoria’s secret bra with the label still sticking out.

Is the berserker god of strippers. She is jealous and vindictive. There are songs only she can dancer too and pole tricks only she can do, because she invented them of course. Rational thought is not necessary for Lunapyscho. She prefers to scream and bully her way situations. She’s pretty much bat shit crazy. Regardless of her behavior, she’ll only get a two week suspension and will be back at work as a god in the same club. Her symbols are the broken mirror and a bottle of Xanax.

There is actually a god named Luna in the Roman pantheon. She was the divine representation of the moon and was associated with crazy behavior. Her name was the source of the words lunatic and lunacy.

Now for the dark side of the pantheon.

Douchethulu is the patron of terrible customers. He exists to steal dancer’s time while insulting them. He always wants to know what your real name is. He is occasional used by Tiptania to punish evil dancers by wrecking their tips and turning a shift into a soul crushing experience. He has two lackey’s to help him, Sweatpants bonerman and Bad breath BO stick creepy old guy with sticky hands. You can’t appease Douchethulu with lap dances, cause you know, he doesn’t have to pay for things like that. His symbol is the half empty can beer that he never seems to finish until he leaves.

The name Douchethulu sounds better than it looks on page. I tried to concatenate douche and Cthulhu into one name but it ended up looking more like touché’ hulu than anything else.

Beezleboss inspires owners and managers to come up with new and stupid rules. Impromptu ridiculous and mostly illegal fines are his favorite ways to mess with strippers. Strangely Beezleboss never deals directly with strippers. He prefers to post new rules on 8½ by 11 sheets of paper taped up in the dressing room rather than actually talking to them.  His symbols are the 8½ by 11 paper and the crayon he uses to write with.

Abandon all hope, Beezleboss was here

DJ AsmodeusNickelback
AsmodeusNickelback is the fickle god of strip club DJ’s. He is temperamental and will lash out at the smallest slight. He must always be tithed minimum tipped out, more if you had a really good night. If slighted he will never play any song you like on stage and skip you on rotation. DJ AsmodeusNickelback loves the sound of his own voice and will turn up the microphone to 11 to drown everything else at the club and the monster truck rally two miles away. You can always get back into AsmodeusNickelback’s good graces by tipping and complementing his DJ skills. His symbols are the microphone and the borrowed CD he never got around to ripping.

I think I got my weirdness out of my system for a little bit. I actually have a couple of more posts to put up. I’ll try to up my posts to more than once a year.