Transitions, new beginnings, and the new year all go hand in hand. Everyone buzzes about and questions the transition of entering the adult industry. However, rarely is the transition of exiting the adult industry discussed(unless it is a train wreck society enjoys stereotyping all strippers as). The corporate world focuses on retirement and exiting the work force. Why assume the same goals do not apply to people in the adult industry?
This past year, I have been in the transition of exiting the strip club scene. At times in my career I did love being a stripper and I adore all the options and opportunities it has provided to date. However, knowing my career window is coming to an end and at the same time knowing I gave up something I have worked hard to succeed at is very difficult. No one ever explained that everyone’s exit strategy out of the adult industry is different. Much like a professional sports career, it is a career but it has a window with a time frame. What do you do when you out grow your career?
Change is the only option and transition is inevitable. Learning how to adapt to an ordinary lifestyle is half the battle. Being in the adult entertainment industry changes your whole life. Work becomes the main priority, because there is a time frame. Sleeping at night. Waking up in the morning, rather than just going to bed. Grocery shopping and cooking rather then eating out everyday. Exercising more because stripping is exercise. Remembering your identity besides being a stripper(yet coming to terms with the fact that society as a whole will always see you as a stripper). Only being seen naked by someone you are in a relationship with. No longer wearing a bikini on rainy days. Setting goals that do not include dollar signs and instant gratification by the end of the night. And realizing there is a whole world outside the industry are just a few of the obstacles that one must overcome when exiting the adult industry. It was not easy to enter the industry, however leaving the industry completely behind is impossible.
The industry changes everyone differently. From my experience, I am learning to live by my heart rather then my bank account balance. Yes, I must have my needs and wants taken care of and have security. But for years I turned off my heart for the sake of my bank account balance. Now, I realize how priceless emotions are. Yes, emotions are scary and the adult industry is not a place to take your heart. However, years of pushing the pause button on my heart has made me value the ability/opportunity to even take my feelings into account, let alone show them genuinely.
Exiting the adult industry is a difficult challenge to pull off with grace and only a few can relate. Exiting on your own terms is the goal that brings all strippers together. No stripper says, “I want to leave all this behind only to carry a monkey on my back away with me,” or “I want to be forced out of the industry due to the damage children do to a woman’s body.” The decisions we make along the way throughout our career help to shape our exit strategy.
Thinking big picture is a must for everyone in the adult industry.
“A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are. Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you’re in and take advantage of it.”