So you think you can strip?!?—-Strip Club Journals Unbound
The long-term effects of dancing in a strip club rarely are discussed. How does working in a strip club as dancer affect a woman in American society? Not the college students, drug addicts, or single moms who become strippers to make ends meet for a short period of time, but rather the women who make a career out of it. There are many different kinds of strippers, dancers, and entertainers in the adult industry. However, we all face similar issues and barriers, even after retirement. Working in the adult industry is something that never goes away fully.
“This is forever like the Scarlet letter. It never goes away. You will be dealing with the implications forever.” ~After Porn Ends
The adult industry has always been looked at by mainstream American society as taboo. The women who work in this industry are shamed for what they do. However, within the past few decades the adult industry has become a small slice of American pop culture. Somehow the counterculture is blending into mainstream society, but still strippers are looked at in a taboo manner. This seems to be the largest issue one must confront when considering becoming an entertainer in the adult industry. It is ironic that the largest effect of working in the adult industry is not the job itself, but the stigmas attached to it from the society we live in. Mainstream society flirts with sexuality nowadays and is naïve about it. Naïve enough to get gratification from going into the strip club, but yet at the same time looking down upon the women who work there as entertainers.
Sexuality is something that is not discussed openly in our culture. Just this past weekend, I overheard a dancer in the dressing room at work explaining that she had a nightmare about telling her parents she worked in a strip club. The really ironic part is she has been there for years and blossomed into a beautiful, confident woman. Why should anyone half to be secretive about something that helps them evolve, whether personally, financially, or both?
Strippers/dancers hide to protect ourselves from the judgements of society, because judgment is something that surrounds us for a lifetime. Often these judgments even come from our own families as well. They too are not immune to the judgments of society. Who would want their mother, their daughter, or their sister to grow up and work in the adult industry?
“I spent exactly 17 days in the pornography business and somehow these 17 days are supposed to define who I am for the rest of my life. But I hope that people can see me for who I really am.”
~Linda Lovelace(The poster child for the sexual revolution and star of “Deep Throat”)
Once people hear that you have worked in the adult industry they almost stop recognizing you as an individual person. Rather they look at you as an object, merely something they use to please themselves. It hurts not to be treated like a human, but rather like a sexual object. Isolation is almost guaranteed to be a side effect of working in the adult industry due to hours and judgements/stigmas of society.
Overall, the largest effect of working in the adult industry entertaining the masses, would be having to live in the same society that loves and dams you at the same time. What do you want to do with your life in the big picture? If it is something in the conservative mainstream public eye then choose wisely when entering the adult industry. It is a door one never walks all the way out of.