Monday, October 7, 2013

Teacher, leave them kids alone...

Well, the unthinkable happened at work.

Just as I stepped onto the floor at the beginning of my shift, freshly-painted face and wonderfully blown-out hair, I noticed a strangely familiar face across the bar from me. As my brain quickly went through its bank of faces, my mouth let a loud "Oh, FUCK!" escape and my feet, as if unconnected from the rest of me, raced back to the dressing room.

It was a student of mine. No, not a former student. A current one. He did not see me - he was busy organizing the singles in his wallet. But I got a clear enough look at him to know for sure that it was, in fact, him.


The housemom, shocked and sympathetic, let me hide out in the dressing room and gave the DJ strict orders to not put me on stage until the guy had left.

I mentioned my twin sister the next time I was teaching, in case my student-customer (who, admittedly, isn't that bright and probably believed it) had caught a glimpse of me. This was hands down the creepiest "small world" moment I've had at work. Others include:
-the fact that one of the lapdance bouncers works out at my gym, so we're often taking turns on the benchpress or lat pulldown.
-the fact that on Tinder, one of my 'matches' was this dude who shaves his chest and likes his nipples yanked and bitten and I've been lapdancing for for years.
-the time a guy from the club saw me on the subway - fully dressed, heading to the East Village for a night out - and tipped me $5.00 ON THE TRAIN in front of some very confused strap-hangers.
-the night I had dinner at a restaurant table adjacent to a customer who always forces me to make out during dances. He was nervously glancing at me throughout dinner, looking from me to his wife and two daughters, probably worried that I'd out his face-raping ways.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

5 haiku about stripping

Call me exotic
And watch me take all your cash,


Dear lapdance boners,
Why do you always go left?
The right pant leg's bad?


"Waiting for a friend,"
Lonely guy at the bar says.
You're so full of shit.


Don't use Summer's Eve.
Your vag is supposed to smell.
Sprayed it near my lunch.


House fees and tip outs
Violate employment law.
Still we pay it all.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Baby Got Back Problems

Ouch! I dunno if it's my new sleeping arrangement, or I pulled a muscle mid pole-trick (okay, it's obviously not the latter since I don't know any!), but I worked the other day with an extremely painful back. I couldn't call in sick, since my summer days at the club are numbered and I'm trying to max out before the semester starts up, so I popped a prescription painkiller, chased it with a wee bit of tequila, and worked a generally slow shift completely stiff and unable to lift my leg, hoping to look graceful nonetheless. Lucky for me, this super awkward dude (perhaps somewhere on the Asperger's spectrum?) who was VERY well schooled in the realities of corporate media bullshit about surveillance and the War on Terror (yet completely incapable of making eye contact or a joke) wanted to give me a few hundred bucks to just stare at my ass. Nice! I didn't have to give a painful dance; after talking dope politics and having my ass worshipped, I could just camp out in the dressing room and massage my lower back out of spasm.

Ass Worship dude isn't alone in his love for politics and random strip club behavior. Recently, another dude came in who was similarly awesome in his politics. This white, handsome, middle-aged dude wanted to talk at the bar about media bias, US empire, and the ways the US "creates" terrorists - both by pissing people off through shitty foreign policy, and by literally grooming militants against "our" enemies who then turn their weapons back on us after we've armed and trained them. And he wanted to tip me generously while we talked! Score! Anyhow, I was sort of leaning on him while we talked about all kinds of fascinating stuff - the bullshit Zimmerman verdict, terrible media reporting about homeland security, and Snowden. I counted later, and during the course of this interesting chatter, he'd tipped me a few hundred in singles. Sounds like easy money, huh? But as soon as I pulled away from him to go on stage, I noticed his nasty, veiny, pink dick had been OUT the whole time we were talking!

In other news, this other guy has been convinced that, even though I've told him several times that I don't give my number out at work, if he comes to see me enough times, I'll change my mind. Here's a literal exchange between me and him:

Him: So can I have your number? We can go out for dinner sometime?
Me: Sorry, like I said last time, I can't give my number to you. I don't give my number to any customers I meet here.
Him: No, you will give me your number. Maybe not today, but you'll give it to me. You'll see.

I'm sorry, what? Who is he, the little engine that got wood? Does this kind of creepy persistence EVER pay off? Or has he just watched one too many Bollywood movies and now believes harassment is the way to a woman's heart?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Standing on shaky ground.

I have seen and heard some disgusting shit in my nearly half-decade as an NYC stripper. You name it: guys who wished to wear soiled diapers during a lapdance for the purpose of being humiliated. Guys who paid me to walk barefoot in the club bathroom so that they could lick the sole of my foot afterward. Dudes who had secret fantasies about having sex with pregnant dogs. The guy who jerked off into his own mouth during a session in the champagne room (that one a coworker's story, not mine). But today, by far, exposed me to the sickest, most vile, corrupt, immoral, unethical, nausea-inducing crapfest I have ever witnessed in my years as an NYC stripper.

I told a dressing room full of girls that my feet were tired after marching all across Manhattan and eventually sitting down, along with thousands of allies, in Times Square the night before to protest the disgusting outcome of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. I was greeted by a barrage of colorblind, post-racial, STUPID ignorant bullshit that would offend even the horniest dog-fucker.

"I hate how Americans make everything about race," said one African American stripper who was raised in the South Bronx.

"Tons of white people are killed every day and don't make the news. Why didn't people protest with the Casey Anthony case?" chimed in an older white dancer.

"That kid was walking in the rain, in the dark. You want to tell me that doesn't look sketchy?" the sole East Asian in the room offered.

"Let's just take the race card off the table. I'm so sick of seeing it played. And you know, I'm not a racist. My kids are half black."

Everyone - black, white, Puerto Rican, and Haitian - had something to say in defense of George Zimmerman. It was like the United Nations of post-racial colorblindness. One African American girl (perhaps an incarnation of Bill Cosby?) had the ovaries to say that black men who wear sagging pants and act like thugs "clearly have no respect for themselves," so why should anyone else have any respect for them?

"You know, I'm sick of hearing about slavery," one woman said. "Slavery has nothing to do with you acting like a thug right now in 2013."

Everyone assured me that race wasn't a factor in the case given Zimmerman's own "Hispanic" identity. Everyone. I was the dissenting opinion in a room of almost 10 women. No wonder those 6 jurors unanimously reached their baffling conclusion.

(So first of all, fuck all y'all who say we should boycott Florida, or that the South is messed up. This is a bunch of "Yankees" I'm talking about. This is Amerikkka.)

They were all quick to addendumize, adding that "none of that means that Trayvon should have been shot." But the consensus in the dressing room was both that the case had nothing to do with race, and that the thug-ish persona of Trayvon made him less than an upstanding citizen. It was clear that what was on trial was not George Zimmerman, but Trayvon's young black manhood. And in spite of their addendum, it's clear that Martin received a guilty verdict.

I know. Naive me. These are things that the general public has been saying throughout and after the trial (a trial that wouldn't have even happened if it weren't for public outrage - how long after shooting someone dead did Zimmerman even get arrested?). I live in a deliberately selective world of activists, artists, anti-racist scholars, and genuinely thoughtful people who have some sort of well-thought-out critique of the disproportionate policing of neighborhoods of color. People who understand that our jails are being privatized, open for corporations and shareholders to control for profit-making purposes. That our jails are filled with inmates who are almost ALL poor, and mostly people of color (including Latinos, Native Americans, and African Americans). That law enforcement, vigilantes, and the government gets away with killing approximately one black man every 28 hours. That voting rights are denied to convicted felons routinely across the country. People who know that not ONE PERSON was held accountable in a court of law for the sub-prime mortgage fraud that shattered our economy just a few years back. People who know intimately - and continue to be infuriated by - the stories of Troy Davis, Amadou Diallo, Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., Oscar Grant, Rodney King, Emmitt Till, Ramarley Graham, Kimani Grey, Sean Bell, Aaron Campbell, Wendell Allen. People who see those names not as coincidences or proof of black criminality, but as crystal clear evidence of a deeply flawed system.

I guess I just didn't expect it in a strip club dressing room in fucking Queens, from a group of working class girls - mostly women of color. Women of color, working class women, poor white girls. Women, many of whose boyfriends, baby daddys, fathers, or brothers have become enmeshed in a criminal "justice" system and carry a criminal record that brands them for life, barring them from jury service, or the polls, or subsidized housing, or a gazillion jobs (are there still jobs, by the way?). Women who are sex workers, who themselves are targeted by public stigma, media shaming, and unjust law enforcement action. Women who, more than my fucking middle class 'model minority'* ass, would be served by raging against a system in which courts, cops, and laws protect an entrenched structure of class difference and stratification.

I shut my mouth after a few weak attempts at (I now shudder at the phrase) self-defense. I was all at once outnumbered, paralyzed, saddened, and unsure of my own right to speak in this space. I regretfully heard a terrible inner arrogant voice, one that wanted to yell "Yeah, you probably do think that - what was the last thing you read? 50 Shades of Grey?" A terrible academic haughtiness in the face of anger, insult, and shock. Shock at how entrenched our 'colorblind' rhetoric is. Shock at how even people of color and poor folks take up arms in the fight to protect a white supremacist system. Shock at just how systemic our ignorance is. Who was I to speak, when faced with the effects of a system that has (through education, safety, and - at times - racial privilege) served me, and disadvantaged so many others?

This heartbroken post is dedicated to all children whose lives are devalued and lost through the ravages of US empire, whether at the hands of a vigilante gunman, a suspicious cop, a drone strike, or a sanctions program. But it is also dedicated to good people in the world whose opinions and knowledge are shaped by a corporate media, a flawed education system, and deeply restricted social discourse. Right now, I struggle to believe another world is possible.

Read this, and this, and this, and this.

*used with an understanding of how the term is a myth/misnomer!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

If you're willing to "Putin" some work...

We Are Dancers, an outreach and community-building project by and for exotic dancers in New York City, is seeking a current or former dancer to translate our website into Russian.

The website,, is approximately 10,000 words, and we can pay our translator $500. We need this work to be completed within the coming weeks, ideally by July.

If you are interested, please contact us at

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Day of Res-Erection?

Happy Zombie Jesus day, all! This Easter, our club threw its annual Easter party, and we were all required to wear Easter colors (pastel pinks and yellows and greens) along with bunny ears. This is bullshit for several reasons. First, I don't know what to make of Jesus' resurrection intersecting with adulterous erections in the space of the strip club. Second, I think it's probably a total violation of employment law to have us independent contractors (is that what we are?) spend a day shopping for pastel thongs and bunny ears which we pay for ourselves, but the club requires us to wear. And finally, does any customer even give a shit about this? Seriously, strip club dudes out there - are ANY of you ever like, "Shit, the girls at 'Mixed Emotions' are wearing bunny ears today! I better go get me a beer and a lapdance, pronto!" The same goes for our mandatory naughty-Santa themed outfits the month of December, or the "Dominican independence day" Dominican flag outfits. I did a little bit of calculating, and it turns out that in my four years of stripping, I have probably spent about $350 on 'theme' days at various clubs. Do you know how many dicks I had to sit on to earn that $350?! Not to mention the penises I had to press against...

As if that wasn't weird enough, I had to hear a customer passionately digress on his favorite subject, "Euphology." Well, that's how I erroneously assumed it was spelled. Actually, Guillermo is passionately into UFO-logy. The study of UFO's. Now, I'm not so arrogantly human-centric that I've ruled out the strong likelihood of life outside planet Earth, but Guillermo told me that he woke up from a nap the other day, looked out his window, and "I swear to god. There was a spaceship there." See, Obama and the other heads of state around the world are actually all in on this huge secret, which is that the earth is but one planet of many that needs to be governed and ruled. And what we perceive as our government is actually part of a much larger assembly of universal leaders or heads. Our local leaders distract us with day to day shit so we don't notice that there are aliens who really run the universe. (They are humanoids, by the way. The look a lot like us. But their brains are millions of years more evolved.) If I would just look at the sky on a clear night, I might see a UFO and start to understand some of what Guillermo was talking about, and he can also recommend some fabulous books to me the subject.

Finally, I gave a dance to a customer who told me that he would "tear my ass up" if he got ahold of me. That he'd "destroy my pussy. Just totally destroy it." What would happen if I reversed this dynamic for sexy talk with men? Say shit like, "I would RUIN your cock. I mean just tear it off and put it in a vase with water in it. Maybe those little stones at the bottom for a decorative flair. I mean I would just bite that shit off and, you know, chew on it like a Tootsie Roll. And then spit it out like chewed-up paan on a Bombay sidewalk for some pigeon to eat. Yum."

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Polling Place

Now that election madness has passed, and we've all returned to a world in which BOTH parties agree that we should block climate change prevention measures, continue funding state terror, and use drones to kill civilians around the Muslim world, I figured it was high time I blogged about my experience working at the club on election day last month.


This one chatty ass stripper started talking to me about the election. She had cast her vote earlier that morning.

"Do you want Obama to win?" she asked.

"I don't want Romney to win. If that means Obama wins, I suppose I'll be relieved."

"Yeah, well I think Obama is better. I mean, I'm a minority and from a poor neighborhood and I definitely think Obama is better for like minorities and older people and women."

"Yeah, to a certain extent that's true."

"But I voted for Romney."

"Oh...wait, what?"

"Well like I said, I think Obama's better. But like, with Romney, I mean, Romney's new. And American should always be about doing something new. Like, having a new person in the White House. That's going to send a message to the rest of the world that America's not afraid to try something new."

Seriously, we're going to disenfranchise convicted felons and let this weirdo vote? Democracy, you so crazy!


There's this right-wing white Zionist guy who sits at the bar and talks mad shit about Obama all the time. "He's a socialist Muslim," he once told me. "Any Jew that votes for Obama is full of self-hate." On another occasion, he told me he was really excited that the club hired an East Asian woman because "there's nothing hotter than a little Oriental girl."

The day of the election, he was at the club drinking. When I stopped by for my tip, he told me he was nervous because he'd trusted the club's valet with his car. But then, he added "We'll trust a black crackhead to run this country, so I guess I can trust one with my car, what do you say?"

Post-racial America, you say?


I have a regular customer, Steve (two years now and counting!) who's a die-hard Obama supporter. And while he is anti-war and generally further left on the spectrum than 'Bam (which is true of just about everyone except Ann Coulter and the Koch bro's!), he always defends Barry O with gusto. I'll always press him with my critiques, to which Steve predictably responds that the only reason Obama played to the right wing so much was because he was trying to get reelected. A week or so before election, we made a little wager: He said Obama would, in his second term, stick up for Palestinian statehood and stop backing Zionist apartheid in Israel. I disagreed.

Sadly, just a few weeks following re-election, Obama fully proclaimed his support for Israel to 'defend' itself against Hamas attacks from Gaza. (Might I, here, offer a pithy quote from my boy Chomsky: "When Israel, in the occupied territories now, claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population that they’re crushing.")

For me, this meant I got a $200 shopping spree at Sephora, and I didn't lose the bet (which would have meant me treating him to a steak dinner). A tiny silver lining of our country's upsetting foreign policy for this Gaza stripper!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dancers are Special!

Hi, avid blog readers (all four of you...)! Here's a really awesome project I hope you'll be able to help out with -

Please take a minute and watch the video. And then, of course, donate!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Let's have a toast for the scumbags.

Ah, another autumn at the strip club, when the summer slump ends and horny boys need someone to keep them warm. Thankfully, things are picking up after a ridiculously slow summer - new faces and return offenders are all stimulating the economy - and themselves - this fall!

I was on stage the other day, dancing my ass off during my set. Four years into my stripping career, I've fully resigned my goal of learning a pole trick or two. Instead, I channel energies into my pole-less art - you might say I have a No-pole-eon complex. Regardless, there was a young, clean cut white dude sitting at the edge of the stage, watching quite intently. He greeted me warmly when I went over to collect my tip, and told me to come by when I was done on stage. I went over to him, threw and arm around his shoulder, and asked how he was doing. "Fine," he replied, and glanced down at his crotch. There, under the ledge of the bar, were the shortest pair of short shorts I've ever seen, made of what seemed to be the flimsiest material ever. It doesn't end there - peeking out of the bottom of said shorts was the tip of an erect penis. Yikes! Nice knowing ya, buddy.

Also, in creep-show news, there's been this British customer who shows up at the club once a week or so. He'll buy a dance or two from each of his favorite dancers. For me, the dance has consisted of me dodging his aggressive touch and spitting dirty talk such as "Look at you, you dirty little Indian girl." "I could just ravage you in a sari." And, my personal favorite, "I can just picture you getting fucked hard on the streets of Calcutta." All that is fine, but the last time he managed to get a hand free and use it to both give me a painful titty-twister AND a ridiculously hard slap on the ass. (Thankfully, my "dirty Indian girl" skin is dark enough to not bruise that easily...) So when he came back to the club last week, I let the bouncer know he needed to watch us during our dance, and I also stood about 1 foot away from him for the duration of the dance. When the song was over, he looked at me, disappointed. "That's it? THAT was my lapdance?" "Yup." "Wow. That was the shittiest lapdance I've ever received in my laugh. It was absolute rubbish. What a joke." Well, chap, the jokes on you. (Tucks $20 into rubber band bundle, walks away.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hot Dog/Vendor

Wow. I thought I'd heard and seen it all after my four (yes, four!) years stripping. But then, yesterday happened. You know how they say men are dogs? Well, if that were true that might make this story a little better.

Remember t-shirt guy? He's a t-shirt vendor in Times Square, and he's a generally good, generous, drama-free customer who comes in every couple weeks. He strikes me as your average "family man who loves to cheat on his wife," pretty standard for the strip club scene.

Background on Vendor Man - he lived most of his life in India as a Tibetan refugee. Hence, he loves India and hates China. I feel him on hating China's relationship with Tibet, but then I get puzzled about his years in the Indian army, especially his time in Kashmir. Why is it okay for him to participate in India screwing over Kashmir, given his critique of China's relationship with Tibet? Well, whatever, it's clear he's no Edward Said or whatever. Anyway, he is a little quirky - like the time he started crying after several drinks because he just "loves Gandhi so much" (read about that here).

Anyway, back to yesterday. He was telling me about his time in the Indian army, and how much he used to love visiting the brothels of Delhi.

Me: Did all the guys visit sex workers in the red light district?

Him: No, I'd say about half. Many of the men were actually really faithful to their wives. I'm sure they were still doing this...(makes a jerking off gesture)

Me: Oh, yeah? As many as half?

Him: Well, some of the guys were really, really into sex. Not just with "whores" (he was using the Hindi work "randi" to describe the sex workers).

Me: So who were they having sex with? Each other?

Him: No! No, they're not GAY! (exasperated) But like one night, I saw three of my colleagues trying to fuck a donkey. A female donkey.

Side note - I love how an implication that they're gay is shocking, but the donkey-fucking is reasonable.

Me: (flabbergasted)

Him: I didn't tell them I saw that, because I didn't want to embarrass them. But, yeah, they were trying to fuck a donkey. Oh man, I knew a guy once who told me he fucked his dog.

Me: (more incoherent astonishment/disgust/shock)

Him: It was a "kutti" (female dog) and he used to fuck it.

Me: That's pretty terrible!

Him: Well, yeah, but then again, have you ever seen a dog's pussy? Especially of a pregnant dog? Ssssss, mmm, they look kind of nice. The lips are nice and plump. It looks so good. Sometimes I think about it too.

Me: (shitting myself)

Him: Americans love to fuck dogs, I think.

Me: Why do you think that?

Him: Well, I've met so many people, like the vendor next to me in the city - he says he's a dog person. What can that mean? It must mean he likes dogs to fuck. One guy I saw in Central Park walking three dogs, and I asked him why he had so many. And he told me he likes dogs more than people. I mean, you know what that means, don't you?

Then he got distracted and, already drunk, began singing this Hindi movie song.