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Stripping Is Hard

Stripping is hard... if it wasn't hard, everyone would do it.

I have a friend, who I've known for approximately eight years. We'll call her Annie. Annie has two children from a marriage which has ended. She recently found out she is pregnant with a baby who's father is denying paternity, and does not want to continue a relationship with Annie. Annie is 31 years old, hasn't completed higher education, has destroyed credit, has no savings, and no where to live. Because Annie was married, and the mother of two young children, she has a very large gap in her resume. She is a very pretty girl, but has always struggled with self esteem, alcohol, depression, anxiety, mood swings, mental health, etc. Annie is, to the core of her soul, a very nice and honest person when things are going smoothly. She does not handle rejection, stress, or uncertainty well at all.

She is virtually out of options, and said she wants to come to NYC, stay with me for a couple of weeks, and give dancing a try. I'm really conflicted. I don't think it's a good idea at all, but I also think she is completely out of options. She has approximately two more months until she starts showing. She needs to make as much money as possible. Her two older children went to stay with their father for the summer. By the end of the summer she will get them back, and be showing. In the next two months, really, she needs to make enough money to live off of for a year, and provide for her two children, plus a new born. It's a tall order, especially since it is summer, and summer is the worst season to be dancing.

Like with most things, you can't expect to be great at something the very first time you do it. I think it would take Annie a couple of weeks to get the hang of the hustle. I also choose to work in very upscale clubs, where you need to be on your 'A game'.

One time I got pregnant, but miscarried very early in the pregnancy. For the very brief couple weeks I was pregnant I felt terrible. My nipples were extremely sensitive, I had horrible heart burn, and I was very fatigued.

Stripping is really hard. Like, really, really hard. It really is a physical workout. Your feet will be in blinding pain. Your quads will be on fire. Your back will be sore.

But the physical strain is the very beginning of what makes stripping hard. The thing to be more wary of is how cruel people can be. Men will say awful things. I've been told, on more than one occasion, that I am too fat, too pale, my stretch marks are ugly, the gaps in my teeth are too big, etc. For some reason, when you put on your clear heels, some men think that means you are fair game to be treated less than human.

I couldn't imagine trying to do my job with my hormones all out of whack from a pregnancy, plus all the physical changes my body would be undergoing.

But I also can't imagine knowing I have three children who rely on me, and no plan for how I am going to care for them.

My fears, for Annie, are that someone will say something mean to her, and she will spiral into downward depression. I'm afraid of her being around alcohol, and making the wrong choices for her unborn child. I'm afraid that the hustle will be too much of a challenge for her, and she won't be able to make the kind of money she needs. I'm also afraid she could lose her children if she doesn't quickly do something to change her financial situation.

I wish I knew how to help my friend.

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