For years, I dated a stripper in the big city.
While traveling to the East Coast with my friend “Lilith,” we met a very friendly Iranian realtor and at one point he said he really wanted to date a stripper. I told him I had actually dated a stripper once, and that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Actually, she would more accurately be called an escort, a prostitute, and a mistress, because of the range of things she did for money.
He asked me how I got a stripper to go out with me, and I explained that she was my girlfriend first. We met in high school, and the reason why I was her boyfriend, was because I wasn’t one of the frequenters of the sorts of establishments she worked at. To her, I was special. I was different. What she liked about me was that I saw the real her, and no matter what she did, I still respected her. To put it another way, I was her fantasy. I was the comfortable guy she could always rely on.
Lilith doesn’t have a lot of respect for these women. She says they’re just shy girls with mediocre faces, but nice bodies, who were ignored in high school, but have now discovered men will go crazy for them, if they just show a little more skin. She finds these girls stupid and weak willed. Personally, I find them to be either quite layered, and somewhat emotionally damaged, or often enough, they’re just really shallow. I don’t think it’s about will power for them. I think it’s about turning their sexual prowess into profit. It is sex turned into math, and it’s cold and calculated.
Guys who’ve never tried it seem to think that dating a stripper is really hot stuff, and truth be told, physically, my ex really was a marvel to behold. But emotionally, she simply wasn’t there. This is where you have to start sorting fantasy from reality. This is a woman who is always ready to switch into sexual fantasy mode, catering to the particulars of whomever she’s with. This is how she earns her bread, and often a lot can be made for very little effort.
At first, the whole experience of being an escort / dominatrix / sexual entertainer gave her a huge rush, and I’ll admit it was a rush for me too. I’m very much a shy guy who’s never been inside a strip joint. As tough as I talk, and as much as I like to joke about perverted things in person, I am very shy when it comes to all things sexual. It probably has something to do with my English heritage.
At first, she was a vixen in the bedroom; lots of new ideas for us to try out when she got home, and the money she was making was phenomenal, for a student, anyway. We were taking cabs everywhere, and she was dropping sometimes eighty bucks to get us and another couple into some swanky club.
But gradually, it all started to change. Over the course of about a year, her sexual drive died. She always faked it, and I could tell. She often cried about it, and I think we both knew that working in the industry had completely worn her out. But the money was so good, and she’d become so accustomed to the lifestyle, that she found it difficult to stop. Of course, by then, she also had “private clients” who would call her on a whim, so we often got interrupted.
She was so emotionally vacant by the end of our relationship that she hardly noticed when I broke up with her. She laughed. She thought it was funny that I was taking everything so seriously.
There is a link here to my ghost/writer project. The fantasy novel I’m working on features a stripper as one of its protagonists. Well, perhaps it is more loving to call her an exotic dancer. And by exotic, I mean erotic. These two terms seem to get tossed around like they’re the same thing, and they’re not. What many people call an exotic dancer is an erotic dancer. So she’s an erotic dancer, although she is exotic to most of the character because of her albinism. I think I’m getting sidetracked.
My issue with the character at this point is that in reality these girls break down before they can break away. I don’t want this character to be weak-willed, or stupid, or damaged. I merely want her to see the mathematic prospects of doing this in order to break out of poverty. She is effectively stripping her way through magic school. But unlike my ex, this character doesn’t have a man as a crutch, and instead she keeps a mental barrier between what she does and how she feels. She’s the virgin stripper with the heart of gold, if you will. Does that sound too cheesy? Am I slowly lowering myself into clichéd hell here? I suppose I could explore the grungy side of it all, but I think that takes away from the “heart” of the story. I want her to remain a romantic at heart, in other words. Her fantasy is that she is saving herself for a man she has never met, who would never know the world of sin in which she’d dabbled.