Written by Trish Mollo

Inspired by Daisy

A Field of Daisies

        Women joke about being a stripper all the time. Why? Well, because the money is so tempting. Often we hear people tease that if things don’t work out, they’ll be a stripper. Whether they will admit it or not, every woman has thought about it. But what women don’t think about is the amount of backbone it actually takes. Being a stripper is not just showing up every night half naked and getting paid. It is work. Liberating and inglorious work.

        Not everybody has a flirtatious and sexual soul. Flirting and being sexual is usually something human beings have to channel. Whereas strippers have to be able to switch their sexual light on at all times. It’s the job. The better you are at teasing and keeping a conversation, the more money you are leaving the club with. Flirt and dance your way in front of the right men during the good season (months not surrounding December), and in eight hours you could leave a Hudson Valley strip club with $1,200 in your bra.

Sure some strippers consider themselves sluts, but why not get paid for it? We live in a world of misogyny, where men feel it is permissible to catcall women and make them feel uncomfortable. Strippers getting paid to meet men’s sexist desires are defying these impermissible behaviors by not having to deal with it for free in public. In the club, strippers are allowed to set their own boundaries. No man can cross those boundaries. Outside of strip clubs, gross men can easily overstep women’s limits and suffer no consequences. Going from a world where men are blind to your worth, to a world where they have to pay to see it is an invigorating feeling.

Strippers see exotic dancing as liberating. They feel no attraction towards the men they are dancing for. If anything they view these men more like toys that bring cash. Although this is stripper mentality, their significant others don’t exactly feel too secure about their girlfriend’s customers mentality. Strippers have a hard time staying in relationships because of the way they choose to make money. Being too free to compromise their own beliefs, often times strippers will either end relations if insecurities get too high or lie about where they are going each night, likely using the excuse that they are bartending at an out of town bar or hanging with the gals.  

Can you imagine having different men watch you dance while thinking about one thing every night? Yes, it can help your confidence in a way, but it is also bound to piss you off some nights. Men can be nasty. Nasty meaning both gross and mean. There are nights that strippers walk out of the club feeling like their brain is about to explode. Craving some true love and affection but having no one at home to decompress with. Strippers are independent in all aspects of life. Financially to romantically. Many people try to label strippers into a certain category, that category being disrespectful, but they are more than that. Strippers are multifaceted and stronger than most.

I mean think about it. Strippers work to satisfy other people's expectations every night. They are forced to shave multiple nights a week because it is culturally believed that a hairless woman is much sexier than not. They wear lace lingerie that strangles every body part and also aggravates the newly shaved skin. In addition to all that, they are expected to rub up against old washed up jeans without revealing any of the red bumps from all the irritation I just described. People expect a lot from strippers. It is more pressure than many have even thought about. So before thinking about calling them a slut for embracing their sexuality and finessing men of their money. Or before you think about calling them dirty or uneducated, think to yourself, do I even have what it takes to do what they do?

Most of the younger strippers in the industry view stripping as a pitstop on their road to future goals. These young dancers are usually students working towards more than gross men and stripper poles. They’re stripping to learn as much as they can about their sexuality while making enough money to financially support themselves and their dreams. They find the word “stripper” to be very liberating because of all they have discovered about themselves while being one. One thing strippers learn from the job is that being perfect really does not matter. They know that they don’t need to be a size zero to get a guy to look at and appreciate them. These women realized that their bodies do not have to be flawless because no matter what, there will be a guy or girl out there who will love it.

Working with friends, getting more comfortable with their self-image and the money brings strippers back to the club every night. In a way, it is meditation for them. After a long day of school and relationship stresses, it is nice to have a place you can go to dance out your tension. This mental image is comparable to a Friday night on the town with your friends after a long stressful week. Taking over the dance floor and feeling sexy. The only difference between your Friday night and a stripper is, they are making money, you are spending it. We all have the right to express ourselves. Some people express themselves through art, some through music. Some express themselves through their words and some through dance. Some people are still trying to find out proper ways to express themselves because they are still on the road to self-discovery. We are all still on the road to self-discovery. Judging someone on how they discover themselves compared to how you do is not the way to live. Strippers accept their stereotypes and continue to dance on anyway without letting it bother them. They don’t let it bother them because they are okay with who they are. They love who they are. If we all showed ourselves the love that strippers show themselves, the world might just be a better place.