Save Our Strippers

Why do we as a society condemn men and women publicly for doing what they enjoy?

Porn-Stars, Exotic Dancers, Call-Girls, Exotic Companions, whatever you call them…as a society we treat these women like absolute shit.

Not men mind you – when it comes to sex a man who gets paid for showing off his body or selling his penis for an hour or two of exotic pleasure? Nothing wrong with that, totally fine, nothing seedy about it.

As a society our focus is very rarely if ever on men who share their exotic desires or needs yet when it comes to their female counterparts we call them whore, slut, tramp. We blame their Father’s or their childhoods.

We say women who like to take off their clothing do it because Daddy didn’t love them.

Let me let you in on a secret, Daddy didn’t love me and I don’t strip for a living.

But I would if I could.

When I first started hanging out at the Flamingo Hotel Lounge people would ask me “Why do you hang out there? those people are so gross” The funny thing is that the people who hang out there, who work there are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

They are kind and funny. They accept me.

It’s where I met Mandy, a woman I love and adore and admire – a woman I want to be when I grow up. A Successful powerful strong woman who doesn’t give a fuck about what anyone thinks about her. Not a Dancer but a mother, a business owner and a friend.

I met Annie there, who gave me my first slightly erotic massage. (I still dream of that.) A woman who made me realize that it’s okay to love my body, a woman I used to have a drink with who became a friend.

Picture this. Halloween two years ago. I met this amazing man two weeks before, who turned out to be the most broken man I’d ever met. We’d had a sexual relationship which he then used to humiliate me in front of our mutual friends. I lost so many people I thought I could trust that night. I made a call and was told to come to the club.

That was the same night I met some amazing men who made me realize not all men are abusive bastards.

It’s where I met men who were there to protect me from another man who was willing to hurt me and push my head into a wall over and over again.

I’ve been to nightclubs where men sneered at me because I am too tall or too fat or my ass is too big.

When I go to the Flamingo I get hugged and told I’m missed, I am accepted fat ass big breasts and all.

This is a place that feels safe and welcoming and there are people out there who to this day three thousand years on this earth who want to make me feel ashamed for hanging out in a strip club? Please excuse my french when I say fuck you.

Recently I found out that the club will be shut down during the week and remain open only on Friday and Saturday.

The issue is that a lot of these girls work hard for their money. You think it’s easy to take your clothes off and bare your soul in front of a room full of strangers who will judge you and assume that because you dance for them you will then sleep with them.

You assume it’s easy to be “on” all the time, to get up on stage and dance, to get off stage and flirt and talk and pretend that you don’t mind the fat guy in the corner with his cock hard as a rock is grabbing at your ass. No. It’s not.

“Well they should just get another job” Give me a break. Most of these girls the ones I know and call friend are mothers they go to school or have two or three different jobs just to pay the rent.

We are so quick to judge others based on surface images without even taking the time to look beneath the layers of what makes up a person.

We often use the word “Stripper” as if it’s a dirty word. I think it’s an empowering word.

I remember telling one of the waitresses at this particular club that she looked amazing. Her response “Well I mean I work out.” I smiled quietly took my drinks and walked away. This particular waitress isn’t one of my favorites but I can’t really be mad at her. She has no idea how every day is a battle.

She has no idea that every day I am able to wake up and not be in pain is a day filled with success. She has no idea that as we speak my doctor is worried about my impending death. I can’t blame her for her rude comment because she doesn’t know.

Just like I cannot bring myself to judge these amazing beautiful strong women who get up on stage night after night often times driving through he night to gigs across the province or sometimes country just to make a few extra bucks.

Women in the sex industry are often the most marginalized, abused manipulated judged women on the planet. They are told to be ashamed of their lifestyle, their choices their friends their jobs, and while they are being judged they take it in stride and rarely ask for help – when they do ask for help they are asked questions that are designed to make them feel even more ashamed.

A Few years ago I went to the club with some girlfriends who expressed  to me that they felt like they were doing something dirty.

Why? I actually prefer sitting in the dark top level of the strip club than I do in a regular club. In the Flamingo I can hang out with my friends who will make sure I’m not hit on by skeezy men looking to get laid and protect me if I am.

I am so tired all the time that when I do think about going out this is the place I want to go to.

Next time you consider having a girls night out consider hanging out at the local strip club, you might have a better time then you expect.

I can honestly say that hanging out at the Flamingo isn’t my guilty pleasure it’s just a pleasure. I’m sad to see the doors closing five days a week and I hope that if you happen to be in Surrey BC you’ll stop by my table sometime and say hello. Maybe you’ll talk to Mandy about her amazing BlackLine Tattoo Studio or get a massage from Annie, either way I can honestly say you’ll have a hell of a time at the Flamingo.

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