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Stripper Blog: From North Africa, to the Middle East, to Kansas

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North Africa in July.

“Al-laaaaahh…!” A man’s voice sustained each vowel in the Muslim call to prayer as he sang slowly and purposefully into the streets of the Moroccan imperial city. Winding around apartment buildings, flowing through gaping windows, and echoing out over rooftops high and low, the grainy midday message of Islam reminded every ear, including mine, of the most basic Islamic beliefs. Perhaps especially, it reminded the numerous rooftop satellite dishes, turned thoughtfully toward the sky like upturned faces in an interested crowd, of the religious (cultural?) lens through which they might examine the images, messages, and ideas from voices local and abroad.

Megaphones on minarets carried the man’s words over my head in more ways than one as I marched defiantly up the street in long pants and a conservative ¾ length-sleeved black shirt. Defiantly because it was 110 degrees Fahrenheit, goddammit, and I was going to show those asses on the restaurant patio that I wasn’t afraid of them, regardless of whose country this was. I would be comfortable whether they treated me like a whore or not.

“Bare forearms be damned,” I thought, secure in my righteousness. “It’s not a secret that I have them.” I steeled myself as the path to my destination brought me closer the group of men, lounging in chairs on the restaurant patio. One of them let out a whistle. I knew it!

“Shame on you!” I barked like a pit bull in Arabic, my heart racing. I had rehearsed for this moment.

I stopped walking and faced him. Red-faced and severe, I stared him down. Taken aback by my boldness, the man raised his palms, perhaps yielding to my indignation. Hands on my hips, I shook my head sternly. Rightly or wrongly, I was satisfied, and resumed my march toward the local Internet café in angry, self-righteous triumph.


Many moons and one Twitter account later, I sat at Java Break in the much chillier Lawrence, Kansas, with my laptop. I had gently and successfully talked myself down to 'reasonable' from a low level of inward hysteria over a few incidents from Saturday night. I was almost calm enough to write my next post; then came Jillian C. York's tweet from a women's bathroom in Lebanon.

“Beirut women's room graffiti:"those who see asses don't see hearts[,]"” typed Jillian, a friend and journalist currently in Beirut for Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Freshly inflamed by Jillian's restroom dispatch, I was immediately as angry and indignant about Saturday night as I’d been about the chauvinists in Morocco.

Some behavior on Saturday was entirely ridiculous. Trusting one of my best customers as she tipped me on stage, I let my guard down as I crawled over her in an exaggerated, intimate fashion, taking my time to entertain her as well as her observing spouse. She rewarded this personalized service by not keeping her tongue in her mouth.

I jumped back in angry consternation. If a giant question mark could have appeared over my head, it would have.

“What the…?!”

In an instant, I decided whether to smack her. “Girl, I did not sign up to be your next conquest,” I thought angrily, stifling my violent urge. Her husband smirked in the front row. I was appalled. “Forget you idiots,” I thought, and went on with the show. They had always been so good to me.

Later, the director of a Kansas City firm’s technology team asked for my contact information. “Honey, if I give you my info, both of us get tossed out and management will charge me $400 in fines to work here again,” I informed him sweetly. Unbothered that I could lose my job in the worst recession since the Great Depression, he pressed on. “But I really like you,” he whined.

“Oh, right,” I should have said. “Silly me. My job, my money, my reputation—none of this matters as much as your fleeting, mild interest.”

Hey. Shrug it off, I coached myself. Get that money! Screw the bastards. Smile! I bounced away.

“You are hotter than the devil’s balls,” another man said eloquently as I sat on his knee. I smiled. Neither flattered nor annoyed, I patiently listened to my client detail his opinion of my face and body. “Plus, you’re smart,” he threw in. My longest standing and most loyal customer, I trusted him above anyone else in this environment. Again letting my guard down, I danced close to his face.

He put his mouth on me. “What the hell!” I cried out and shoved him away, roughly. Blech! “You said you’d follow the rules!” I snarled, feeling injured. “My rules!” he said. He laughed at me as I stood, naked, in front of him.

Gross! Oh my god! I wiped his saliva off my chest with my skirt, hard. The coarse, cheap material did its job. Yuck! I didn’t want one atom of his slime on my body. “How could you?” I thought as I finished the dance, facing away from him on purpose. I drove home angrily.

God damn you! I have breasts and hips the same as brought you into this world that taught you to crave and admire them at night. Exactly the same.

Yes, you can see my ass, but it’s my heart that’s in your face as I stand before you, ready to dance.

Look!


COMMENTER AWARDS FROM LAST ENTRY:

Best in Wharrgarbling: kmat (1st place), denak (2nd place. Sorry; kmat's bullying edged you out). Best in Satire: prolifersforwar Biggest Bully: kmat The "This Blogger Can Write in Complete Sentences, Therefore the Writer is Probably a Man" Award: Houdini Afraid of Naked Women Having Fun Award: sherbert Internet Tough Guy Award: tubs_of_love Thoughtful Commenter Award: Succotash Practical/Voice of Reason Award: LarryNative, honeychild "So Nice!" Award: alm77, redmorgan, Vic, Zilla "Yay! Another New Englander!" Award: KansasPerson Pro-Naked People Commenter: parrothead8 Hottest Commenters: Zilla, justchuck Frumious Bandersnatch: Marion


IMPORTANT NOTE:

Folks, I am graduating you all to Level Two commenting.

Peanut Gallery: ::gasp:: What's that??

Going forward, if you have a poor understanding of this blog (in part or in whole), someone else's comment about the blog, indicate that you have not read what is plainly on the page in front of you, or otherwise require that I make a project out of responding to you, I will ignore you unless I randomly feel like engaging a twit. Of course, it never matters when I make mistakes. :)

Also, the ad hominem attacks on this blog thus far have been predictable at best and disappointingly clumsy at worst. I tire of this. Step it up, or bench yourself.

Comments

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 7 months ago

Almost forgot:

Beauty Tip of the Moment: Sunscreen in all weather and eight hours of sleep every day will do more for your skin than any snake oil available at a mall counter. I've got red lighting to hide my sleepless nights, but chances are you don't. Go to bed early and get the rest your body needs.

Maddie_M 5 years, 7 months ago

I vote they "bench themselves". I, the lowly blog reader, even tires of their boring diatribes. yawns

Vic 5 years, 7 months ago

The worldly experience of Anna shows again. I challenge anyone who thinks that Anna is some stereotypical stripper who took up the trade because she has daddy/drug/baby issues and no education or "just dancing her way through school."

But sadly, that is the thing, isn't it? These so-called "best customers" took advantage of you because, in the end, all they see is you as a sexual object. Now, I'll admit I haven't seen you, and I haven't been to the ELB in years. And by that, I have come to know you as more than some stereotypical stripper. Unfortunately, those people who usually visit the ELB will only see you as someone who gets naked for money. It's a sad realization and I'm sorry for mentioning it. But it's their loss.

Succotash 5 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like a great weekend. Ok maybe not a great weekend, a crappy weekend with way too much bodily fluids. Could be worse I once saw the bachelor at a bachelor party puke on the stripper. Admittedly it wasn't like he did it on purpose, but I really felt sorry for her.

Comments on post

Quitting day job? I am still interested in why. Also interested in what else you have going on outside of the ballet studio.

Is the Moroccan incident supposed to be a comparison of fundamentalist Islam and bible beating Americans? We going for a shaming by comparison? Interesting tactic and fairly subtle, I approve.

Funny thought Why do women think they should be able and are able to get away with behavior in a strip club that would get men thrown out? Ok i understand why they are able. Men for some reason are programed to like watching girl on girl action. So by simulating it in front of an audience you usually are able to draw more tips for the stripper. It also seems that the strippers generally take more liberties with women. Is there some sort of code book that outlines the rules of this relationship? What exactly is too far?

Thank you for the post, keep up the good work.

alm77 5 years, 7 months ago

Did you get them thrown out? What makes them your "favorite" customers anyway? Sounds to me like they've earned your trust and thought you'd be "cool" with their bad behavior if they "tipped" enough. Anna, that means they think they are buying you, like you're on some lay-a-way plan (no pun intended) or something. Thanks for being honest about the perils of your work. You're worth more than that, BELIEVE THAT! At the risk of sounding "unsupportive", I hope you're starting to reconsider. I'm no prude, but there are some things that aren't worth the money, and this is one of them.

Mike Blur 5 years, 7 months ago

Well written Anna, and a prime example why I go nowhere on weekends. Amateur nights on the whole.

And, I don't need a Kealing deletion to surmise who 'justchuck' is. You are correct, she's hotter than a casino jacuzzi in December! ;)

somedude20 5 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Brandon Devlin 5 years, 7 months ago

Unfortunately, what you saw in Morocco, as well as what your friend in Lebanon said, are "light" in comparison. The further east of North Africa you get, the worse it gets. I've hear horror stories from some of the female contractors I've worked with in Kuwait. And even Kuwait is considered "tame" by some standards. . .

parrothead8 5 years, 7 months ago

I take it that being a "Pro-Naked People Commenter" is merely some sort of Honorable Mention, since the word "Award" is not attached.

Sigh. Can't win 'em all. At least I'm not frumious. Not usually, anyway.

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 7 months ago

@Maddie_M Now that I have one job, we can probably hang out soon. I vote I make breakfast some morning at my place next week.

@Vic Yay. Food, water, compliments. Do I need anything else? ;) I think this one came out all right because someone implied that I might not be well read. I bristled.

I want to challenge you on something: Who is someone who gets naked for money? Why are they treated this way? :P I don't require an essay. I'm just searching for the truth.

@Succotash On quitting the day job: I thought this might be the post with the explanation, but it took on a life of its own. It's coming.

I'd like to compare the cultural tolerance of women's bodies. At a certain point, we see so much that we can no longer take women seriously as women, nor do we feel the need to respect them.

As @parrothead8 and others (I think) have mentioned, we arrive in this world naked. Additionally, I'm as much a woman as your mother, as the most conservative executive, as the $8/hour secretary. I tire of how men on dating sites claim to know "how to treat a woman," and then I post on ljworld.com, announce that I'm a happy stripper, and have to wonder: "Ain't I a woman?"

I have calloused hands from the pole, like any male construction worker does from his hands-on occupation. Immortalized in the recent hit 'Boots On' by Randy Houser, "these calloused hands" are the stuff of blue collar pride.

A contractor and a stripper both use their bodies to put food on the table. What is the difference between a man's calloused hands and mine? I submit that there is none.

On women's behavior at strip clubs:

Hm. First, an example: A rule at the East Lawrence Ballet and other places states that men may not touch a dancer performing on stage. Women, however, are permitted to do so. It's amusing because between the two genders, females are the most likely to be unexpectedly rough and take more liberties as far as touching goes. (A fellow dancer recently complained: "Women bite me!")

From a business standpoint, it is advantageous to have women in the club. As a dancer, I know that the crazier they get, the more money I will make. From management's perspective, any wild, over-the-line behavior fortifies the establishment's reputation as a good place to go for entertainment. It's the men's patronage I would be after, with that in mind.

Aside from women being allowed to touch on stage, they are expected to follow the same rules as men. This means keep your tongue in your mouth, your hands away from my bikini area, and do not solicit me for services outside my job description. There's more, of course, but the bottom line is that you must be respectful and remember that we can lay claim to the same rights and protection as any other living, breathing person with human rights.

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 7 months ago

@alm77 As no bouncers observed the incidents, they did not get thrown out. I'm very glad that none of these things happened to me in all of the last eight months. Many girls are not so lucky. On my first night as a dancer (which was not at the ELB), a girl was sobbing in the locker room as she reported sex assault to two police officers. They never filed a report; I checked ljworld.com for anything reported that day or near it.

I will continue to work. I am not responsible for these jerks' behavior; they are. "This is America" and whatnot. I recognize jerk behavior for what it is and do not mourn some lost virtue because an idiot decided to behave like an idiot is expected to behave. It made me mad, obviously, but I'm not the one who did something wrong. There's nothing for me to be upset about.

@mike_blur Thanks for the compliment. :) The bars miss you on the weekends!

@parrothead8 Yeah. You don't want to be the frumious bandersnatch. In related news, I'm about to drive to Overland Park, and I'm sure I will be saying "frumious bandersnatch!" in a dramatic voice and giggling the whole drive there.

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 7 months ago

@cutthroat717 My anecdote was not intended to offer an extreme example of treatment of white women in North Africa; it was intended to offer another instance of male behavior toward a bare woman.

alm77 5 years, 7 months ago

"There's nothing for me to be upset about." I beg to differ. You were touched inappropriately in a way that you did not consent to. I'm no lawyer, but what you described may also be classified as some form of sexual assault some other legal jargon along those lines. You trusted your patrons to go by the agreed upon rules and they violated that trust. By the way, are those rules written in accordance with state law? Are you patrons breaking the law by not abiding by those rules?

I don't understand why it takes the witnessing of a bouncer to have people thrown out. I've gotten a person thrown out of a bar because I complained to the bouncers and I don't even work there. I would think since this is your income, a complaint from you would have enough merit to have those patrons expelled.

You still didn't answer my question: What makes a certain someone your "favorite customer"?

Again, I don't think you deserved to be treated that way, so I hope you don't think you do either.

alm77 5 years, 7 months ago

@Chi - "the only ones responding and giving you attention are perverts and creeps?" Wow. Really? I've never been called a pervert before. I've never been to a strip club, have been faithfully and happily married to the same man for almost 13 years, I've have never seen an "adult video" and I don't even condone sex before marriage, so I'm guessing you're putting me in the "creep" category. It must be nice to have everything put away in those neat and well defined compartments in your little world. She's trying to let people see things from her perspective and I don't think that means she needs therapy, I think that means she's human.

Zilla 5 years, 7 months ago

@ Anna

I really enjoyed this one, well written and very emotionally charged. I got mad right along with you! You handle these sort of things way more maturely then I could ever hope to. I'm a very passionate person, especially when I'm angry. winks I agree that it is better to ignore the people on your blog who skip every other comment or reply from you and then write an inflammatory comment to get a reaction from you. And thank you for the award. =)

Brandon Devlin 5 years, 7 months ago

@Anna: Understood. I was just trying to point out that the treatment of ANY women, bare or not, white or not, gets worse to the east of there. But kudos for standing up to yet another a-hole whether here OR there.

@ChiHawk: I'm laughing at the irony of your post. Are you?

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 7 months ago

wow, i'm impressed anna-- referencing sojourner truth. nice.

um.... i ain't gonna lie, i didn't read the whole blog. once i got to the part where you shouted "shame on you!" in arabic i was done. it made me think of the old bugs bunny cartoons from the 40s when something uber goofy happened and he pulled out an ear of corn.

Succotash 5 years, 7 months ago

@ChiHawk I like being referred to as a creep or pervert. Considering the company in question I will take it as a compliment.

@Anna Not much more to comment on. I really hope you find something to fill your daylight hours. I think i made my point on why you need something. It can be school or volunteer work, but you should have some sort of plan. I do disagree with you about similarities between manual labor and stripping. It is not the same. I would look at is more as you are an entertainer. You just do it without your clothes on. You are more like a piano player in a bar. Your job is to get tips for performing, while keeping the customers entertained. If someone wants to request a song you play it for them for a gratuity. Labors, mechanics, plumbers and electricians all work for someone else. You work for yourself. Though I do admit to disagreeing with the tip out policy. With the amount that the club makes from entree fees and drinks (though not in your case, working at a BYOB) dancers should not have to rent their space. That just always seems exploitative to me.

Also I am always fascinated by the amateur female exhibitionist who frequent strip clubs. These are generally the women willing with a few drinks in them to expose themselves too. They are a good example of thrill seekers and the strip club atmosphere allows them a safe outlet for their thrills. Obviously they are just as likely to get out of hand as anyone else. Good to know they are expected to follow some rules. I am just curious why women feel it is ok to treat other women the way they do. Exactly why can a woman invade another woman's personal space and both sides generally don't have an issue with the practice? Really just asking the question so that I can visualize sapphic exhibitionism from your answer.

Vic 5 years, 7 months ago

Anna,

Challenge accepted.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not against the "getting naked for money" thing. Everyone has to do what they have to do these days to pay the bills. I am attempting to compare you and how I percieve you verses the stereotypical stripper.

I use the term "stereotypical stripper" because there are few people who can get beyond that mindset, even among those who comment on your blogs. They see someone with serious issues, be it with family or drugs or having a kid to support, who has to resort to appealing to men's basic sexual instincts to get some money. Obviously, not all strippers are this way with you being an example. But those who "get naked for money," at least by the stereotypical standard, fall into the dark part of society and some end up (or plan to) go out and do worse things (adult films and/or prostitution), worse by a societial standard.

Because people in general cannot get around that stereotype, you get people hating on your blog. You get propositioned in the club. You get "good customers" taking advantage of you. You seem to be enjoying flaunting what you got and making some money at it to boot. And beyond the hardship you have been through with losing your job out east, you seem to be a well balanced, well adjusted person who is doing this for fun and money, not for drugs, to support a child, to get even with daddy, or as a platform into porn or prostitution.

And I don't know the girls at the club. There may be more like you than like the stereotype. However stereotypes exist because more people fall into them than break them.

Veritas 5 years, 7 months ago

I just skimmed through this on my way out the door...but looking forward to sitting down and reading through it when I get home!!

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 7 months ago

@alm77 Thank you for standing up for me. :)

On your post before that one: Of course I deserve better than the way those jerks behaved. However, I submit, once more, that I do not have to get upset if I was not the one who did something wrong. They broke the rules, they did something bad, and they should feel ashamed. I'll sleep fine tonight. :) Worry not.

A favorite customer is someone with whom it is pleasurable to interact with, who follows proper strip club etiquette, and who pays me well.

I wish they could get thrown out, but the bouncers are above me on the totem pole and are responsible for those decisions. If I tried to toss someone out the door myself, I'm pretty sure they'd think about firing me.

@Zilla You are way too sweet! I'll call you tonight.

@cutthroat717 :)

@Succotash I have to hurry and get ready for work, so I must be brief: I promise I'll answer your question about my plans! It will be in the post after the next one. I promise!

@Vic I will respond more thoughtfully after work or tomorrow. Have to get cute!

@Veritas Yay! :) Definitely let me know what you think. It's my goal to get better and better for you guys in every way that I can.

@everyone What great comments. You guys are so thoughtful and awesome. "U R Awesome" Award goes out to everyone.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

I have had multiple professional strippers in my family, starting with a female progenitor who was a fan dancer in vaudeville and ending with one who would go to Las Vegas to do "guest performances" in clubs there. I have no moral objection to your profession. However, personal experience with those family members has taught me how hard this profession is on the heart and soul. I get angry. Not at the women who bare their bodies to make a living nor at the men (and women) who go there to watch them. I get angry at the club owners who do so little to protect the women in their care. I'm not familiar with your "employer". I know that you aren't actually employed by them. They don't pay you and what you make is strictly in tips. I'm familiar with the "tipout" to bouncers, in effect making you pay for the privilege of working there. When my ancestor worked in vaudeville she had a stage with a pit and footlights between herself and the audience. The theater owner had guards at the stage door and stagehands that protected her. There was no personal, physical contact between herself and the audience. Things have changed greatly in the intervening years. Having strippers in the family has given me contact with their co-workers that became friends. I can't tell you the number of stories I have heard about rape and sexual assault that in some cases were not only not prevented by the club owners but were actually facilitated by them. When the rape of a stripper is reported (such as the case you mentioned) rarely is it pursued by law enforcement and if it makes the newspaper or other news outlets the general attitude is, "She asked for it and deserved it." Some don't bother to report it; either because they cynically know nothing will be done, or in some cases actual fear that the club owner will ban them. These club owners feel no obligation to protect the women that work there. They don't directly pay them and their attitude is that they are a contract employee and the responsibility for protection is on the dancer. Yes, they provide bouncers and if the dancer has a good relationship with them and pays them well she has a good chance at being protected but there is still no guarantee. Yes, this angers me. These are working women with, as you say, "calluses on their hands from the pole". Yet the employment practices of these women date back to the days of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

Succotash 5 years, 7 months ago

@cait Like I said before I have issues with the practice of the club owners. I don't like the system. As it stands girls can be banned from a club anytime the manager feels the need. This has led to a number of "rumored" extortion practices by the managers. This system is flawed, but no one in the system wants a change. The odds are a change would not be for the betterment of the dancers, patrons or owners.

On a side note those old burlesque stories have to be great. In a lot of ways those shows in the old cabarets are a forgotten history. So many parts of our past are forgotten. How many people even know of Kansas City's Jazz heyday? Some of the most fascinating stories are the ones not for the ears of children.

BorderRuffian 5 years, 7 months ago

Vic notes: "But sadly, that is the thing, isn't it? These so-called “best customers” took advantage of you because, in the end, all they see is you as a sexual object."

Sorry, but isn't that what a strip club is all about - having the liberty to see the stripper as simply a "sexual object"? It is, after all, the implied license when one visits such a place. What would you have us believe" That a woman (or man) dancing naked and provocatively in an establishment that promotes itself as a strip club is really doing so as an artistic expression of their sublime inner being?

Christopher Gentleman 5 years, 7 months ago

Anna, As someone who has spent the greater part of the last 5 years in Muslim countries, indeed I am currently in Iraq as I post this, according to the Koran “Tell the faithful women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not display their beauty except what is apparent of it, and to extend their scarf to cover their bosom.”Koran, 24:31 (English translation) Now, I can tell you that since I have been here, each time, that the Muslim men will willingly and quite lecherously treat our female service members when they think they can get away with it. I've been a witness to it on several occasions, and do what I have to in order to stop it. I personally believe that part of the problem is with the women covering up sensitizes the men to women they do see uncovered. I'm not defending, I trying to explain. My interpreter has a hard time being on the base and seeing the women in shorts and t-shirts. He says it is very distracting and it makes him somewhat uncomfortable.

As for the people there treating you as an object and not a person, I can't help you. I don't understand it, and I doubt that I ever will.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and if you don't mind. Keep the service members deployed to the foreign lands in your thought and prayers.

Vic 5 years, 7 months ago

@BorderRuffian

I understand what you are saying. I guess I fall into the minority that when I see a girl at a strip club, I see more than just a girl "getting naked for money." There is a person there, be it someone who truly enjoys what she does or a tormented soul. Call it compassion or call it pity, but I can't help but want to look beyond the veil. Maybe that's why I don't necessarily enjoy going to strip clubs despite it tending to one of my baser instincts.

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 7 months ago

@Vic Sorry for the delay in responding to you. Sleep and suddenly having time to clean my room for the first time in forever and whatnot. (Next project: the car)!

I think the fact that men treat me like a sex object in the club is because they've been socialized to see a bare woman as undeserving of respect--to see them as "not the same" as a woman wearing only slightly more clothing in a non-sex industry setting.

I agree that some people have great difficulty overcoming the stereotypes, and it shows in the places you mentioned.

I do have another question for you: Is it a negative thing to strip because you have a child to support, to get even with daddy, or as a platform into pornography? I ask because it's a pretty lucrative career (over all), and if you want to send your child to private school, it's a better option than things that pay less. As far as getting even with a parent, you can do that in a lot of professions and a lot of different ways; I don't think this is any better or worse. :P Also, pr0n pays pretty well. Though I will state for the record that it's not something I see myself doing (no moral objection: just no energy or interest!), it pays extremely well. The sex industry is extremely lucrative, and will, in my uneducated opinion, likely remain lucrative as long as societies are so afraid and ashamed of sex and their own sexuality.

@cait48 You raise a significant issue. When I pause to reflect on it, I think that I would definitely report it if I was raped at work. However, I would worry in the extreme about losing my job over it, absolutely. In this unprotected cultural underworld, you can lose your job for no reason. Any recourse would put my name on a public record, and I am afraid to do that. I would have to roll with that punch, and losing my job at the ELB would significantly affect my income. It's the best place to work.

I'm intrigued that you mentioned the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. I read a book about it in high school. I'm going to find it at the Lawrence Public Library and review it. This could make for an interesting future post.

Thank you for your comment. :)

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 7 months ago

@BorderRuffian The Free Dictionary (thefreedictionary.com) defines a sex object as a "person primarily regarded as the focus of sexual attraction."

I think going to a strip club gives you permission to see me as a sex object, but it does not imply that anyone--customer or not--can abuse me. Though you did not indicate it in your post, I think some people are confused and think, consciously or subconsciously, that I have different legal rights when my clothes are off.

P.S. I frequently joke with customers about their patronage of the performing arts, but you know what? Getting up on stage and using my body to express the emotions and stories in the music is an artsy kind of thing to do. :)

@gentlemanc "I personally believe that part of the problem is with the women covering up sensitizes the men to women they do see uncovered."

Perhaps, and your translator may not have the choice to avoid seeing women wearing less than he's used to. He's entitled to his feelings.

However, I do hope that your translator and other men in Iraq, in the US military and not, are held accountable for their behavior toward women, regardless of what they are "used to." Frankly, men have full control over their behavior toward women. They alone are responsible for it. I have the same legal rights whether I have all my clothes on or off (at least over here).

All deployed service members in my thoughts and prayers.

@Succotash I bet the stories of the old-time burlesque are awesome. I should interview someone with some kind of specialized knowledge of it! :D

@cait48 I'll try to get in touch with you over private message.

Christopher Gentleman 5 years, 7 months ago

Anna, You are completely correct, people should be, and are held accountable for their actions. Not only for their treatment of women but their treatment of all people. Regardless of gender, race, or religion. Here is very different. I also agree that my translator is entitled to his feelings, and he does a very good job of controlling them and has never been discourteous to anyone. I think it says allot about him.

I know you blog about a specific instance, and from your point of view. I appreciate that. But, if you are going to hold people to a higher standard. Be fair, hold everyone to the same standard. Favorite customer, men, women, someone new on the street. Admittedly, someone new on the street probably won't try to lick you....but you never know. ;p

Vic 5 years, 7 months ago

Anna,

Is it a negative thing to strip because you have a child to support, to get even with daddy, or as a platform into pornography? It is difficult to lump these in with a single answer.

As a lucrative business, by your own admission, it is easy to see the draw to do what it is you do. I will say that it is never a wrong thing to try to support yourself or a family. Any person should do everything in their power to make sure their family is provided for.

I think the only issue with stripping is just the stigma society has attached to it. Society says it's wrong to get naked for money. Society says it is wrong to do porn. Society says you should find a more acceptable career or you will fall into drugs and prostitution. And because of that "wrongness," people are attracted like moths to a flame. They just can't help it.

In my opinion, I don't think it is wrong. There can be wrong reasons to do this, getting even with daddy and supporting a drug habit come to mind. As I don't know any of the girls in your locker room, I don't know how many, if any, fit in with the stereotype. I would still guess a few, mostly with kids to support. But to each their own. And I pray that you and the other girls stay safe and that the undesirables who try to take advantage of you and them get theirs.

remember_username 5 years, 7 months ago

Anna, this for the sake of argument -

Imagine a prudish person coming to the ELB (are we not allowed to use the establishment name?) and getting upset at the nudity and lap dancing behavior (okay, wait a sec, while I get the image of John Brown from the statehouse mural out of my head - laughing to hard). This person indignantly berates those present for demeaning women and reducing them to sex objects. Granted you don't believe what you are doing is demeaning, or wrong, and you could tell this person knew what the establishment was about when they walked in. So, how do you feel, what do you do in the few seconds until the bouncers haul this person to the door? (Okay, wait, one of the bouncers has John Brown by the beard and the look on his face is pretty funny - oops he dropped his bible.) Do you see where I'm going with this? Do you think the nude-o-phobe had any effect on the patrons or personnel of the ELB? Did he accomplish anything more than satisfy his own self righteousness? You noted you are soon traveling overseas. I would urge you not to be so American and a little more "when-in-Rome". If you can immerse yourself more in the local culture you'll likely get more out of the experience. If you want to change the world keep writing your blog. That will go further than picking fights with foreign chauvinists. (Oh, and you might see if one of the bouncers can give John Brown back his bible, he's going to look a little funny in the mural with out it.)

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 7 months ago

@gentlemanc I appreciate your perspective on this blog; it's a great addition.

Haha, oh my gosh. I would probably react with a low level of violence if someone licked me on the street. Lol!

@Vic :) You should let me know on the other comments section if you have any desk toys you want to send abroad!

@remember_username I have to run to work right now, but will be able to respond tomorrow or some time after I'm able to leave (usually between 12am and 4am).

Christopher Gentleman 5 years, 7 months ago

Anna, I can only reply to being randomly licked on the street with a resounding....EWWWW

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 7 months ago

@remember_username :) I think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you learn more about my international experiences.

local_support 5 years, 4 months ago

Really he might be a psycho. He doesn't like strip clubs and the way you describe him makes him seem like a weirdo. You never know what might push him over the edge. He might have your relationship built up in his mind to the point of being delusional. I bet he probably has a hard time meeting women and / or issues with females.

Who knows, maybe he goes around telling people you are his girlfriend. Has he ever taken a picture of you? Hell, maybe he has when you weren't looking. Obviously I don't know him personally, nor do I know you. But there are a lot of crazy f-ing people out there. Get rid of him I say. Sorry for the dose of paranoia but is it really worth it if he turns out to be a nutjob?

local_support 5 years, 4 months ago

Heh, I thought this was a current blog...

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 4 months ago

@local_support Lol! :) I saw this one in the 'most discussed' list and I was like oh jeez. What does someone have to say now. I thought it might be some anti-Arab jerk with something stupid to say about Morocco, and I'm glad it's not!

So, no prob. :)

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