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Small Market Strippers-The Backbone of the Strip Club Industry

@ZiFiStripClub
@ZiFiStripClub

During my recent trip to Oregon, I visited a small chain club I used to work at throughout my career as a stripper. This brought back all kinds of reminders of the stigmas and consequences of being a stripper in a small town market. These girls/women are not the best of the best, whom I normally write about, but these strippers dictate how all strippers are viewed by most of mainstream American society. The best of the best are allowed to be the best because of all the strippers in small town markets who make up the majority.

“It’s an unfortunate fact that many(not all) strippers were never taught or shown some of life’s basic skills. Most glaring is the lack of problem solving skills that focus on solutions instead of escalating the problem or assigning blame.” ~Keven “Mack” McFadden(GM from Stars in Salem, Oregon)

It is easy to forget all the little things and ways I learned to adapt in order to survive in small town strip clubs and actually come out ahead. Being around people who have nothing to lose is a tricky situation, which can cost quite a price both financially and mentally. Small town strip clubs are more likely to attract strippers who are drug addicts, strip club lifers, homeless, nomadic/traveling strippers, single moms, uneducated, minors still in high school, and the list goes on of barriers these women have to face and overcome. As small towns struggle economically, so do the strip clubs and this is what has allowed the downfall of standards in small market strip clubs.

The cost of working at small town strip clubs is high above the stigmas of small minds. There are also house fees, tip outs, drinks, gas, cabs, outfits, shoes, nails, tanning, makeup, hair and all the other things associated with beauty and being a stripper. The financial costs of working in a strip club are larger than most would assume. Like the saying goes you do not understand what it is like until you walk in someone else’s plastic six or eight inch stilettos with only a tiny thong.

“Some people may judge the fact that I used to take off my clothes for money, but I am glad I experienced it. People need to not be so judgemental of most strippers…” ~#RecoveringStripper from Springfield, Oregon

Not everyone enters the strip club industry to become one of the best of the best. Many strippers enter the strip club industry to even the financial playing field for being a woman in American society/Corporate America, but choose not to live in the industry forever. Some treat stripping as a stepping stone, much like an athlete has a career window. The connections, networking opportunities, and the time for personal enrichment and evolution are all valuable benefits of being a stripper. All walks of life enter the strip club both as customers, strippers, and employees. I have yet to find a more diverse way to network and learn about the world than stripping and the adult industry. Stripping in small towns was where I always had my best nights financially shockingly. Yet, it makes dollars and sense, because I found drunk blue-collar workers were always more willing to spend their last dollar than any other demographic. Working in small markets, even with the extra costs, was worth it financially some nights. Other nights it was draining physically, mentally, and emotionally.

“People will continue to find ways to surprise you, whether it’s a good energy or bad never assume anything of anyone.” ~#RecoveringStripper from Springfield, Oregon

When I worked in small town Oregon I would remove most jewelry and anything of value that could be stolen by a customer or peer. For the most part, if I could not live without it, I did not bring it to work. I even had certain clothes I would wear into the strip club while working. Many nights I witnessed other strippers forced to go home in a bikini bottom or a short skirt due to stolen clothing.

“Unfortunately, for many of them(strippers) it is their own life choices that led them down a destructive path. Once they are at the low point and add self medicating into the mix, it is no wonder they tend to lash out at both people and property as a way of gaining a feeling of power.” ~Kevin “Mack” McFadden(GM of Stars in Salem, Oregon)

The struggle is real for some strippers. This may be their last option to turn their life around or make it a complete train wreck. The later is what I saw in small markets more rampantly unfortunately. These strippers are not creating their exit plans from the strip club industry, but merely seeking a means to an end. All strippers have a reason for being where they are and doing what they do. Does this mean we owe society an explanation? … No! Not until society can explain to us as women why our bodies are more valuable than our brains, especially during our youth.

Small towns breed small minds and no one can change this fact. It is overwhelmingly apparent in small market strip clubs. Men visit strip clubs to feel better about themselves and have a good time. Therefore, the entertainment(strippers) cannot be better than the customers in any way. Playing dumb becomes the norm for work. There is only so long one can play dumb and learn from others before there is no more patience to learn more from small minds. Small minds who do not realize they are merely a big fish in a very small pond.

Knowledge is free-flowing in strip clubs if one chooses to realize the opportunity to mingle with all walks of life. However, the patience and tolerance it takes to deal with small towns and small minds from both customers and peers is incredibly draining. Playing small-minded, while being a sponge for information does not mix well, however this is how the strip club industry works at its best. Women go into the strip club industry looking for an upper hand when it comes to finances, education, and/or evolution. It is their own personal coping mechanisms that decides how the strip club industry molds them.

Xoxo

ZiFi

@ZiFiStripClub

Guest Post #1-Cora Ann

@AvaCorinaF
@AvaCorinaF

“I’m Sorry, Have a Good Day”

Unlike most Friday nights it was slow at Stars. There was an eerie feeling in the club that night, and not many regulars in the building. We were all working the night away, I was sitting on the smoking deck when I heard the first shots fired. Nobody knew what had happened, then a few more shots fired, everybody started running for whatever exit they could reach, or ducking behind any shelter they could find. Within minutes the police had blocked all exits (including the road) and were holding all staff and entertainers in the locker room till they took statements. One man died on the floor that night, three more injured.

The next morning as I was trying to piece together why somebody would do something of this nature, I had reached out to a couple (male) friends for comfort.

One friend “Well that sucks (referring to the shooting), when can I come fuck that pu$$y?”(Obviously not a comforting statement after being in such close proximity to such a violent, careless act.)

Another friend “I’m sorry, have good day.”…

I had already felt that, as a (PERSON) dancer, many people didn’t truly value/care for me (or my life). This was the day that “feeling” changed to knowing it was true.

I had already decided I was going to retire from (exotic) dancing soon, after witnessing that (and feeling completely alone through it) I decided “soon isn’t soon enough”, and started separating myself from the club I had been at almost four years. I felt alienated by so many that I once considered to be like family.

After making statements about my personal feelings about working in the adult industry (online) I began to receive severely negative attention from co-workers, other entertainers, even a few men. Women I had worked with (for years) began verbally attacking me and spreading rumors about me (which was never a problem previously).

At this point I had already been named a finalist in “Polerotica” the “Vagina Beauty Pageant” and now “Miss Exotic Oregon” (all hosted by Dick Hennessey and Exotic Magazine).  I had to go out with something to show for all the time and effort I’d put into it.

My time at Stars was coming to an end (quickly), I left Stars in early September to see if there was a club that fit my (financial, and spiritual) needs better. I went to the Lucky Devil lounge in Portland, then to the Firehouse Cabaret in Salem. Both had a much better (less hostile, or aggressive) vibe as far as I’m concerned.

It still wasn’t satisfying my spiritual needs. Which were (are) to feel cared for and financially independent. I’ve never been one to take advantage of people, and I don’t feel that accepting money from men (or women) in exchange for provocative, nude entertainment is doing such. I do however feel that it gives men a control over me that I am just not comfortable with.  I started the job search process in October and had a hard time finding anything due to my “lack of experience” over the last years. Finally I was hired at a call center, and that’s where I’m at now.

Cora Ann

@AvaCorinaF

Ava 2

 

Reminiscing-Stripper Style

Yesterday, I made the drive down I-5 and made a pit stop at the strip club in Salem where I used to work. It was a slow Sunday night. There was nothing exciting in the whole club and very few customers. There was absolutely no excitement in the air. Just the despair of lonely customers and holiday/money stressed strippers.
The darkness did not hide how much I do not miss the whole experience of being a stripper. I love to dance and do miss being on stage. However, I do not miss making small talk with strangers in hopes that they will spend money on private dances(allowing me to get naked on their lap for money). Regular customers are much like SDs, try to depend on them too much and they disappear. There is no real security or guarantees in stripping, it is merely a gamble that is decided by the odds and the gods.
The stress of working in this kind of sales based environment is great and after time it can be draining. Draining enough it makes it just not worth it. This is where I am currently. I know the extra money would be nice, but it would dent my daily happiness and well being.

There comes a time when happiness outweighs more money.

Xoxo
Zi-Fi

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
Lao Tzu

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“I Love Dem Strippers”

I am blessed.

When I work in Salem, I am surrounded by a few beautiful women who have hearts. They are amazing and I have worked with some for years. We have each evolved in our own diverse journeys in our personal lives. However, our work realities are all the same. We create a fantasy. So, being greeted at work by real smiles and hugs makes a world of difference. Dancing breeds many different problems in a personal life. Therefore, we are the only ones we can relate to in many aspects.

Knowing you are never alone is the only way to survive in this industry.

Big Hugs, Little Kisses to a Certain Few!

Xoxo

~Zi-Fi

 

What A Weekend

Photo: Game day!!! :-)

What a weekend!! I managed to mix a little fun in while working this weekend in Salem and Eugene. Friday night I worked in Salem, but left an hour early to beat the drunken traffic on a late night interstate. Saturday afternoon, I went to the Oregon Ducks football game to promote for the chain I work for in Pdx and occasionally here in town. Then Saturday night, I worked in town for the first time in months.

So much to process in so little time!

Xoxo

Zi-Fi

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