I’ll never forget the first time I put in the long hair extensions, painted the smoky eye and lipstick, and stepped into the black-laced lingerie set. The way I could barely walk in those seven-inch platform heels, I laugh now. But back then, in the beginning days of my dancer career, I felt incredibly sexy. I had never felt like that before.
I had friends who were all dancers, who were all going to college, or finished with school completely. Yet, dancing gave all of them such freedom that not one of them rushed to settle down and get a 9–5 job using their degree.
And it’s funny how everyone outside of this world looked down at them for stripping. Yet, these young women were amazing.
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They were intelligent; they were saving all their money. They were cultured; they were travelling as often as they could. They were independent; they didn’t rely on anyone to pay their bills. They made so much money, more money than they’d ever see working a regular job with their university degree. They were smart; they stayed away from drugs and the wrong crowd.
And I admired them for everything they were.
They knew their youth and looks wouldn’t last forever, so they capitalised on their temporary advantage in the world to live a stress-free life. One where money was never a problem. Where work schedules didn’t exist. One where they could be happy — at least for a while.
I was halfway through with my master’s degree when I seriously considered auditioning at the strip-club my friend danced at.
My friends had suggested it many times before, and I always laughed it off. I didn’t have big boobs or a nice butt. I didn’t exercise much. And I had no rhythm. Picturing me dancing near a pole would make me burst in a nervous laugh.
“I would be so awkward giving a lap dance,” I’d tell them.
And they’d always tell me the same thing. “You don’t have to be a good dancer to be a great stripper. You have to be smart; you have to be confident, and you have to be good at making men want you. That’s it. You can make them want you with your eyes, your body, your words, whatever. But once you’ve hooked them, you’ve made yourself a customer.”