Hoo, boy, such a surprise

Is working as a stripper honestly empowering? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself since I quit stripping 18 months ago, after spending two decades naked.

Bird nearing 40 finds out that sex doesn’t sell quite so well.

Looking back, that possibility, coupled with the superficiality of the work and its instant reward, meant I never had to go deep and figure out what I truly valued. So I didn’t commit to study, other career opportunities, relationships, or even stripping itself. I did it by default.

Mummy might haver told you that if you’d asked.

31 thoughts on “Hoo, boy, such a surprise”

  1. I’ve often wondered what is empowering about a woman msking her private parts public.

    I think Sharon Stone had some kind of nonsense justification after Basic Instinct. I don’t knoe about you, but I just thought Yes, OK Sharon, and then got back to trying to pause the video at exactly the right point.

  2. One of the most poisonous aspects of modern feminism is that it stuffs the heads of young women with the idea that promiscuity equals freedom and empowerment. Any chick in her early/mid 20s can get laid as many times as she likes, probably even get herself a steady boyfriend. That’s not empowerment, that’s just nature. What’s harder for them is to arrive in their 30s with a partner who loves them and sticks around, and their past promiscuity (or rather, lack of) is going to be a determining factor in that.

    I know a girl here who arrived in New York when she was 21 and fell into a polyamorous/swingers scene run mainly by middle aged men. She married one (for immigration reasons) while seemingly being passed around from one bloke to another, egged on by women she calls her friends. Fast forward 10 years and she’s now looking for a serious relationship having gotten divorced at 25 because her husband – susprise surprise – turned out to be an asshole who lied, drank, and cheated. All the while she and her husband were putting out within this close-knit group of weirdos and misfits (I’ve seen the pics, it’s a freak show). She has no shame in her past behaviour, believing it to be empowering and of her own free will, and anyone who suggests she might want to either STFU about it or at least feel some shame or regret (as we all do with daft stuff we did when we were young) is angrily dismissed as being “judgemental” and “sexist”.

    I made the mistake of pointing out that her past behaviour is going to severely damage her chances of finding a half-decent guy for a serious relationship, and I was bombarded with spittle-flecked boilerplate feminist mantra for half an hour. Apparently being taken around New York sex parties by men her Dad’s age should not be off-putting to somebody looking for a mother of their future children, and it is “unfair” that women are held to different standards than men (which isn’t true: men who behave in such a way are unlikely to meet anyone decent either). She says this while bleating to me that she has dated a string of men who either cheated on her or lost interest very quickly, even without having told them about her past.

    Feminism is a poison, and we’re already seeing – as in this article – the first wave of the middle-aged women who have fucked up massively but can’t bring themselves to admit it because their entire 20-year worldview will collapse around their ears. I suspect we’re going to see a lot more of this. I doubt there is anything worse than loneliness.

  3. “Now that I’m out of the industry, however, I don’t have such a vested interest in defending it.”

    Never a truer word…

  4. She spent the first 22 years grifting the punters, and she’s now setting herself up to spend the next 22 grifting the Political Correctness industry. Got to earn a living somehow.

  5. Being a forty year old stripper is largely irrelevant. She’s a good looking bird in excellent shape. If she can’t nail down a suitable bloke she’s a dyke*. On the other hand, those books aren’t going to sell themselves.

    *Depends where, of course. The competition is much stiffer in some places than others.

  6. TW’s point seems to be that it is better for a woman to sell her body long term by briefly marrying an alpha male like Donald Trump than do a bit of harmless stripping.

  7. Being a forty year old stripper is largely irrelevant. She’s a good looking bird in excellent shape. If she can’t nail down a suitable bloke she’s a dyke*.

    The best she can hope for is a successful divorcee pushing or past 50. Whether this is suitable or not depends on whether she thinks she’s as desirable as when she was 25.

  8. I’m sure a lot of the women in the sex industry do find it “empowering”. It’s not that much different from guys drive around in Ferraris. Having your target audience with their tongues hanging out stokes the ego. And there’s nothing more “empowering” than feeling good about yourself.

    Not sure what you’re trying to get at, by conflating sex workers with swingers, TimN. There’s not that much of a cross-over between the two. There’s some girls sell it for cash money. But if they’re into hot sex,an endless stream of not-very-good-at-it punters who’s partner’s enjoyment of the proceedings is the last thing on their mind, ain’t exactly going to be providing it.

  9. BiS,

    I’m not conflating the two. I’m saying that promiscuity – in any form – when young can damage the chances of a serious relationship later. Which is why most sex workers shut the fuck up about their past lives, and appreciate when a guy accepts it.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Bird nearing 40 finds out that sex doesn’t sell quite so well.

    She has a book out. No doubt she is eying the “happy hooker” market a la Brook Whatshername. If she can get some sales, perhaps even a movie deal, she will be living off sex much longer.

    I like how she can’t make up her mind what she thinks of the industry. She probably needs a focus group to tell her.

  11. I’m not sure that follows, TimN. Not even sure it might be the reverse, in a lot of cases. Everything in life’s a learning experience. Finding out the grass is never greener, t’other side of the hill, early on, makes rambling later in life seem much less inviting.
    But definitely. STFU about it.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in spain – “Finding out the grass is never greener, t’other side of the hill, early on, makes rambling later in life seem much less inviting.”

    Being f*cked over by half a dozen men makes women bitter, angry and cynical. Hence unable to form a lasting relationship with another man. Which is why prostitutes have such charming and pleasing personalities. See Andrea Dworkin.

    No one loves like they did the first time.

  13. BiS,

    For sure, life’s a learning experience. But modern feminism insists women should not be embarrassed by or hide the mistakes of their youth but instead proudly proclaim they were simply empowered and not learn a thing.

  14. Apparently the work has a certain superficiality about it, but that’s just her skin deep assessment.

  15. Another brilliant insight from Reedy.

    Tell us your plan for socialist sexual/romantic happiness Commissar.? Is marrying Trump briefly or 20 years stripping worse than being a North Korean Joy girl?

  16. “makes women bitter, angry and cynical.”
    Ah! The attributes I look for (& have found) in the perfect woman.
    Spare me the rainbow chasers & unicorn hunters, every time.

  17. Since puberty, I had been aware of men staring at me in public. Despite my obvious irritation at this intrusion,

    The constant judgment, often from people who had never been inside a strip club, left me excluded from normal life. I know now that male-dominated society needs this stigma to maintain the status quo. It needs to typecast women, to separate them into virgins and whores, because it needs a justification for the male gaze and for placing women at the sexual service of men.

    What exactly is wrong with a man finding a woman attractive that necessitates this mental diarrhea?

  18. The Inimitable Steve

    What exactly is wrong with a man finding a woman attractive that necessitates this mental diarrhea?

    Nuthin. But feminist verbiage is a crutch for women who want to re-frame being a slapper. Or reframe just about anything they like. It’s like Silly Putty or duct tape, with a million different uses, except none of them are constructive.

    Case in point: I was stuck in traffic this morning and found myself listening to Woman’s Hour.

    They had some American bint on wittering about the profound societal implications of her new art exhibit, which consists of dick pics taken off the internet.

    Now, I’m by no means a culture vulture, although I did once mistakenly watch The South Bank show while drunk on Kestrel. If people want to peer at pictures of pricks that’s fine by me.

    However, I was interested to hear said Septic sheila justifying her “art” by way of feminist theory. It’s not just a gallery of goolies, apparently. It’s got something to do with The Patriarchy (dun-dun-DUNNNN!) which teaches men to text snapshots of their schlongs to poor helpless wimmins.

    Also, I learned that feminism is about helping men to be better people, or something. Which must be why male feminists are so widely respected.

  19. SMFS,

    The problem is that the Happy Hooker book market, like almost every other book market is very crowded. A career plan of ‘write books’ is a terrible one today.

    I’d go as far as to say that this will have a negative effect as it will drive potential husband’s away.

  20. Steve,
    > It’s got something to do with The Patriarchy (dun-dun-DUNNNN!) which teaches men to text snapshots of their schlongs
    I wish I’d been born later. In our school patriarchy classes we only learned how to draw a crude willy.

  21. I read that article and she claims she was working in the sex industry – but she she wasn’t, she never had sex with customers, she was working in the stripping industry.

  22. Of course it was empowering. She said it gave her the power to put two fingers up to her educators (and likely the parents that selected them). She said it gave her the power to travel, to make a living working weekeds only,
    There are other routes to empowerment but this one worked for her. Mary Beard did the same via. history- I doubt they could have swapped professions.
    I find it unbelievable that anyone genuinely embarrassed by being looked at and admired by the opposite sex would choose to be looked at and admired by the opposite sex. So I believe her “embarassment” at being looked at by men was put on, partly to please her new target audience, and partly because she had been taught that she shouldn’t like it
    Perhaps her current retreat from defending stripping as a profession coincides with the end of her teenage rebellion, slightly disguised?

  23. So Much For Subtlety

    puzzled – “she never had sex with customers, she was working in the stripping industry.”

    Presumably stripping involves a lot of men whacking off either there and then or later. Maybe even having sex with their wives. Who knows – such a perversion might catch on. So I think it is reasonable to claim stripping is part of the sex industry. It is also the only part of the sex industry that is likely not to upset the wives of doctors who read the Guardian. Well, upset them less. The idea of her having sex with their husbands is likely to be more distressing than the idea of their husbands watching her twirl. Assuming any of them had the balls to do so. So it is the right job for the right market.

    Pat – “Mary Beard did the same via. history- I doubt they could have swapped professions.”

    There is a mental image I did not need. Not. At. All.

    “Perhaps her current retreat from defending stripping as a profession coincides with the end of her teenage rebellion, slightly disguised?”

    She is 40. More likely, as TW rather ungallantly points out, that it coincides with men becoming not interesting in paying her any more.

    Bright lights can only hide so much

  24. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in spain – “Ah! The attributes I look for (& have found) in the perfect woman. Spare me the rainbow chasers & unicorn hunters, every time.”

    Well good for you. I am totally fine with that.

    But I would suggest that this is a better role model for most men:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3585515/Happy-30-years-baby-Heather-Locklear-shares-racy-throwback-rocker-ex-Tommy-Lee-wedding-anniversary.html

    They have been divorced for 23 years and she still can’t get over him.

  25. The Thought Gang

    My little brother dated a stripper for a while. She was 32, making £150k a year, owned her own home and two others, and was half way through a respectable Law degree.

    She was pretty fucking empowered.

  26. So Much For Subtlety

    The Thought Gang – “She was 32, making £150k a year, owned her own home and two others, and was half way through a respectable Law degree.”

    Someone who likes money, the spotlight and f*cking people for money? Sounds like a perfect candidate for the Bar.

    But False Consciousness, dear boy. She did not realise what a victim of the patriarchy she is. I give her eight years.

  27. @SMFS

    Yeah… well she was shagging a sqaddie who looks a bit like me… so nobody is claiming she didn’t have her issues.

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