If you follow my posts, you probably know how fasciated I am with people who choose to pursue unusual professions. I'm curious to learn everything there is to know about them: from their motives to their private lives.
Today, I was lucky enough to interview a female Montreal exotic dancer who preferred to keep her identity anonymous, to which I kindly agreed, of course. So here's a sneak peek into the personal life of a Montreal stripper.
What made you want to become an exotic dancer?
The money. I was broke, 19 years old with no college education and had been working minimum wage jobs. I needed braces and I wanted to get an apartment and buy furniture. I was living between my 2 grandmothers and I wanted to move out on my own. I met a girl my age who told me she was making lots of money as a dancer, so I gave it a try.
Do people treat you differently once they find out about your occupation?
Yes. A lot of women will dislike me if they know I was or am a dancer. Most men become perverts, they will look at me as a sex object.
Has this occupation caused any problems in your love life?
Of course it has! I don't even have a love life because I dance. Most men do not want a serious relationship with a stripper. They just want sex. They don't understand it is just a job. Not something I do for 'fun'. I have had a few ex boyfriends end the relationship with me because of my job. It broke my heart.
Have you changed as a person since you started dancing for a living?
Yes. It took away my naive innocence. It made me into a tougher person who doesn't tolerate bullshit. It also made me street smart.
Do you ever feel ashamed of this choice?
I don't feel ashamed. But I do feel like a social outcast. I always have to lie and keep dancing a secret because it's not socially acceptable as a real job. It makes me frustrated that people shame the strippers but not the customers. No one calls out the customers, the women that are always slutshamed in this game.
Are clients generally respectful?
Clients are 'generally' respectful....Many are not though. Often the more educated clients are the rudest for some reason.
Like any regular bar/club, alcohol can make customers difficult to deal with. So you have to keep that in mind, people are not really themselves when they're drunk.
It's frustrating when clients are rude. If you don't feel like being social then stay home. Or if you have a low opinion of strippers than don't come to a strip club. The girls are there trying to make money, it is a job for them.
What’s your worst memory from working at a strip club? What’s the best?
Best memory: one night Sylvester Stalone, Matthew Mcconaughey, and Steven Baldwin were all together in the VIP at a very upscale stripclub in Montreal. A bunch of other girls and myself danced for them all night long. They were really polite sweet gentlemen. Everyone had a great time.
Worst strip club memory: I was working at a club in Montreal (don't want to say which one). There was a customer by himself drinking who had a strange look in his eyes. He ended up getting aggressive and was thrown out by the doormen. When he got outside he randomly attacked an innocent old lady who was crossing the street and beat her to death. Right in front of the club! He was caught and arrested right away.
Do your parents and/or friends know about your occupation? Why or why not?
Family and friends know what I do. I told them because I am an honest person and I hate lying. I can't lie to people I love and care about.
What’s the hardest part about being an exotic dancer?
The hardest thing about being a dancer is the social stigma. A lot of people think dancers are prostitutes and on drugs and that we're 'whores'. I can't put my stripper job on a CV even though it teaches you a lot of valuable work traits: the ability to deal with rejection, how to sell yourself, how to work in teams and how to manage a stressful fast paced work environment. Most people and society doesn't consider stripping a real job.
If you could do things differently in your life, what would you change?
I would have focused on saving my money and not focus on relationships/boyfriends.