Stripper. Columnist. Protagonist. Feminist. Enthusiast. Many-ist.
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Scene 1:

7: 22 p.m Sunset on the Portland waterfront. “Friendship Circle” is the name of the sculptures, and it is where the bodies dressed in black have gathered.

I’m gulping cheap vodka from the mini-water bottle, with Stormy. There are a hundred people who have gathered for the candlelight vigil of our two dead bouncer friends. She’s trying to hide the fact that she’s sneaking the booze, and I tell her, “I really can’t think that anyone would give a shit.”

Her fingers are stained by cigarettes, and she’s wrapped black lace around her neck, like a choker. Her breasts are visible beneath a sheer tank top, and her makeup is smudged from crying.

I’m holding my candle, and she blows it out.

"I’ve been meaning to ask you this: What are you going to say to your daughter when you catch her masturbating?"

Scene 2:

8:04 p.m Buzzing in my brain, throbbing in my feet. I’m stepping delicately between the rails beneath the bridge. There is a homeless camp and a give a quiet nod to the young men who shout at me about tattoos.

A female voice among them, “My team!” And I smile to myself, grateful to be seen by another woman. I walk as fast as I can across the dirty street, but only because I’m late for the date with the 20 Million Dollar Man.

Scene 3:

8:15 p.m He kisses my cheek. He smells unfamiliar in this context; I’m used to seeing him in the lap dance room. This will be our first dinner together.

He chose a small spot downtown, called Little Bird.

He’s intelligent, but admittedly “not very warm”. The city has recently named him one of the big hotshots in town, and he’s built his empire in food. He’s very tall, and very dark. In two years I’ve seen him smile with his teeth only twice.

He asks what I eat, and I tell him honestly, “Everything.”

He orders a dozen plates of things I cannot pronounce. And each one is delicious.

Scene 4:

10p.m In the strip club. It’s the Kit Kat Club. Familiar like a third home, because it’s my second club. I’m not dancing tonight. I’m showing it to the 20 Million Dollar Man. I drop some of my own money on the stage, and the girl smiles at me. I don’t know her. She must be new.

I’m hugged by a few strippers between the bar and the table where he’s seated. He doesn’t drink, but has put his card at the bar for my vodka-soda. He hands me twenties, “Can you get two hundred in fives?” He likes fives. So do the girls.

We sit at the stage and my Former Lover walks by and tickles my hand as I reach it out to him. It’s not in secret, but rather, in solidarity. He was not at the vigil. But the place is filled with those that were. Talking, pushing out smiles.

Una is fluttering her bright white swan feathers, fanning herself and stepping deliberately in her rhinestone, lucite heels. My date drops $20 on her stage, and comments at the quality of her smile.

I point across the club, minutes later. “That’s Austin, she’s an amazing pole dancer. It’s too bad we missed her. Next time, perhaps?”

Austin is at the bar when I remind him that his pocket is still full of $5s.

Austin is talking to a customer, and he tosses the money in a small pile at her hands, on the polished wooden bar. It spreads out, because it is a tall stack. She turns, smiles. More at me than him. “You’re ridiculous. I love you.”

He walks me out and I take his arm like a good little date.

Scene 5:

Midnight-ish. I’ve pulled my ripped denim jeans down my waist and his torn, black hoodie over my breasts as Boyfriend eats my pussy in the alley. We are about one mile from my house. And his eyes close as he grunts and moans inside of me.

I’m still humming with vodka and I squeeze his neck and relish in the moment. I think I ask him to fuck me but I can’t remember, and he turns me to face the concrete wall, “Put your hands together, on the wall, little girl.” 

He wants my face to be protected, because he’s about to fuck me hard, and I am grateful for it all.

Scene 6:

1.a.m My back yard. My husband is in Los Angeles, probably snuggling with my dear friend Taylor. I hope he had a good evening too.

I’m seated in the wire porch chair, with my legs upon Boyfriend. He’s rubbing my toes and heels through my clean ankle socks.

I’m tired.

Sorry if this question is too personal in nature, feel free to ignore/shame me if that is the case. I know this was a while back, but what was it like going through pregnancy as a stripper? At what point did you take a leave of absence?

No problem, thank you for the delicately worded inquiry.

My pregnancy was planned, and I wanted to work as late as possible without showing.

I conceived June 10th, 2011, and stripped until September 18th, 2011. (My 24th birthday!)

This made me a bit over 3 months pregnant.

I was able to invert (pull myself upside down with my arms) the entire time.

I was not showing, and didn’t look visibly pregnant to strangers until about 24 weeks.

There’s nothing that feels much more empowering than dancing an invigorating stage set, than strutting quietly to the dressing room to vomit.

*Wipes mouth, swishes with mouthwash*

Strutting back upstairs to give some lap dances, and make polite, sober conversation, I calculated what baby wares I could now purchase.

*Big smile*

"By stripping, you’ve taken the easy way out!"

Oh, really?


In that case, I challenge you to enter a room full of men and separate them from your rent. Tonight. Within eight hours. Remember—strippers don’t get paychecks, and every dime you make must be personally hustled.

I challenge you to make this money while being only one among dozens of other attractive women hustling for the exact same dollars.

I challenge you to have the same charming conversation eighty times over the course of eight hours with increasingly drunk and nasty customers.

I challenge you to make yourself seem like eighty different men’s exact fantasy eighty different times in eight hours at $10 a pop.

I challenge you to work in a field where your very body is the product you sell, and yet still keep a loving self-image (among other things, I was recently told that my breasts are not “real breasts” because they are “small and ugly”).

I challenge you to listen to such misogynistic venom throughout the night that you find yourself clutching your steering wheel on the four a.m. drive home sputtering ” fuck you, fuck you” to the silent darkness of the night.

I challenge you to understand that, even though you’re socking away money so your family can have a better future—when the world finds out what you do, you are to them only a “bad mother,” a “bad wife.”

I challenge you to be a “dumb slut” in the eyes of the world when your heart is beating with brilliance and art.

"Taking the easy way out," huh?


I challenge you to be a stripper.

By Lux ATL