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Thread: Just visiting

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    Member Flamingo's Avatar
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    Default Just visiting

    Found this column in NUVO, an Indianapolis alternative newspaper, by a female columnist. It speaks for itself.

    One pleasant Sunday evening not long ago, I found myself at a strip club. Suffice to say I had arrived at said strip club of my own volition at the behest of good friends. This was not my first trip to this establishment, having been once before with a different group of friends under different circumstances. I distinctly remember, however, that there had been other women patrons there the first time. On this second trip, however, I was the only gal whose thong was covered by a knee-length purple paisley skirt.

    I was OK with my lone female patron status, though. Considering myself an open-minded individual, I sat back and took in a club that glorified the female body in all of its scantily glad glory. Music pumped unceasingly while black lights illuminated the white accents on waitresses’ hot pants and crop tops. I ordered an overpriced, over-iced Diet Coke and sat back wondering, what do I do now? Well, I don’t go up to the tables and tuck singles into lacy garter belts along with my male cohorts. Even I have my limits. But I do start asking myself some questions.

    How many of these women chose this job just to make money and how many really enjoy what they do? How do they reconcile their work with the rest of their life? Are these women lascivious ne’er-do-wells or are they possessors of an undeniable self-confidence that most women only dream about? Do the words “Feminine Mystique” or “N.O.W.” mean anything in here? Maybe the battle of the sexes was finally decided and no one told me.

    As for this particular set of dancers, strip away the Frederick’s of Hollywood veneer and what you have are basically a group of women who — sans piercings — look like kindergarten teachers. From my vantage point, the women look natural and average: few, if any, implants; real hair; trim, but not anorexic looking, bodies; and — gasp! — personalities. At any given time far more of the women were sitting around and talking than were dancing or stripping.

    In the bizarre micro-society that is the strip club, relationships are formed and end within minutes. Surprisingly, most interaction is vocal and not physical. A man next to me whistled a girl over and I inwardly rolled my eyes. When I overheard their conversation a few minutes later, however, the man was complaining about the last haircut he’d received. Not exactly the stuff of X-rated movies … or PG-rated ones, for that matter.

    A moment later, a heavier woman stepped up on one of the stages. I was amazed at her sense of poise and self-assurance. Maybe she’d had children or was just naturally a larger woman. Regardless, she stripped and swirled with such conviction that soon her stage was populated with patrons.

    I began to formulate my own theory about the discriminatory relationship between the stripper’s world and the “outside.” Instead of gaining some great insight about perceptions of sex or desire, however, what I discovered was an even greater sense of frustration about the state of the modern woman.

    Women like these challenge the endless diet of pop-feminism that insecure gals like myself are fed in the media. Magazines constantly exhort me to slim down, tone up, eat right, say this and do that. A trip to my local bookstore’s women’s studies section revealed a bewildering assortment of prose with titles like Bitch, Slut (and other, unprintable names), juxtaposed with tomes urging women to reclaim their purity and modesty. Tellingly, nearly all of the authors label themselves as “feminists.”

    If academics and authors are conflicted and confused, then so is the average woman. No wonder that I feel almost jealous of the strippers’ abilities to be so comfortable with themselves in what is an entirely artificially constructed culture. Shouldn’t the world of the strip club be antithetical to the so-called feminist agenda? At first glance, yes. But a closer examination of the feminist literature reveals a discipline searching for meaning and definition. The strippers at least know what role to play when they show up for work. And they play it with a certain conviction that defies most feminist musings.

    When the time came to leave, I was relieved. Earlier, a man sitting near me had asked the time, addressing me as “Ma’am,” with almost deferential solemnity. Undoubtedly, he did not equate me with the women walking around or dancing on stage. But why? What deep-flowing chasm separated us?

    Maybe it was the way that I sat, with my arms crossed the whole time (closed off body language). Maybe it was the hat pulled low on my forehead (very little eye contact). Maybe it was my shoes (Birkenstocks being the opposite of mile-high platform stripper sandals). Maybe it was the fact that while every other woman was showing off her body, I was busy trying to hide mine.

    Do we all have something to learn from strippers? I wouldn’t go that far. But the confidence exuded by some of these women is remarkable. In that indiglo Neverland downtown these girls-next-door strut their stuff — for money, yes, but for themselves, I think, first and foremost. Would that we were all so secure in who we are.



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    Veteran Member xmarx52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just visiting

    Cool article if you ask me.
    Anyone with a memory should be very humble.

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    Veteran Member minky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just visiting

    yeah,
    nicely written.

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    God/dess Emily's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just visiting

    I love it too. I'm all for anything that pro-stripper from a feminist perspective.

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    God/dess doc-catfish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just visiting

    Isn't is amazing how some people's perceptions of dancers change when they go see them in person?
    Former SCJ now in rehab.

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    Default Re: Just visiting

    Dr. Catfish, you really hit the nail on the head. If many anti strip club citizens actually visited several clubs I wonder what percentage of them would see things differently.

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    Featured Member LEIGH_LANDON's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just visiting

    I like that she went at it with an open mind and an angle we often shout about and no one hears - we are empowered.

    We like this feeling.

    I also enjoyed her perception of the "micro-society" which is so damn accurate yet hard to explain, in fact when referring to anyone not in this industry me and my girls refer to such as "civilians"....

    Enjoyed the article - thanks Flamingo.

    Leigh
    LIVE LONG & PROSPER!
    Leigh Landon

    Never explain yourself to anyone, because the person who likes you doesn't need it and the person that dislikes you won't believe it.

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    Default Re: Just visiting

    I wish all people would see it that way

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    God/dess Bridgette's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just visiting

    It didn't give me any warm fuzzies at all.

    First of all, she couldn't even commit to a positive statement about strippers, except that we have confidence. Well duh! Everything else she said that might have been positive also contained some form of backtracking.

    Second, she calls the strip scene 'an entirely artificially constructed culture'. What the hell is that? If you ask me, our culture may be damn superficial, but it's definitely not artificial.

    Third, the whole tone of that article reads like she views strippers in a negative way, despite her attempts at seeming open-minded.

    I could go on and on here, but I am getting entirely too riled up to spend anymore time on this. Suffice to say I think she needs more lessons.

    Quote Originally Posted by pheno View Post
    When you lead a nontraditional life don't try to measure it with traditional milestones.

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    Featured Member LEIGH_LANDON's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just visiting

    I think I took into account her unfamiliarity and her first attempt at peering into our world into account when I read this article.

    It IS artificial, i.e. I am not enamoured with the men although thats how we play it out for cash - I am not writhing with real ecstasy onstage - I am playing out the formula to appear to be on fire my whole shift to attract men and therefore money. And so on.

    I was appreciative that although she didnt fully commit to the ideas she presented in her article (you mention her backtracking) one must remember a one time opinion/perception/interpretation cant possibly be set in stone...as they were indeed the path her thoughts were following and she presented them in the article to provoke thought - and she did.

    I neither got"warm fuzzies" LOL, but I appreciate some alternate stabs at understanding our kind....in any medium.
    Sure beats that same old song that we are all rubber tittied drug and sex addicts blowing tom dick n harry for the rent.

    I am pretty full of that particular shit sandwich the media feeds the common folk.



    LIVE LONG & PROSPER!
    Leigh Landon

    Never explain yourself to anyone, because the person who likes you doesn't need it and the person that dislikes you won't believe it.

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    God/dess Bridgette's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just visiting

    On the artificiality, while some aspects are artificial, it is not an entirely artificial culture. Every culture and subculture has artificial aspects. To call any particular one entirely artificial is an error IMO.

    As for the noncommittal tone of her 'positive' remarks, I realize that things are not always as clear for some as they are for me. I either like or approve of something, or I don't. What I was getting at with the backtracking is that it seems to me she might WANT to offer a little praise to the strippers she saw, but is afraid to, either because of social issues or her own personal issues. Either way it doesn't wash with me. Wishy washy.

    I neither got"warm fuzzies" LOL, but I appreciate some alternate stabs at understanding our kind....in any medium.
    Sure beats that same old song that we are all rubber tittied drug and sex addicts blowing tom dick n harry for the rent.

    I am pretty full of that particular shit sandwich the media feeds the common folk.
    I do appreciate her attempt to write something other than the usual media crapola about strippers, but then it came from an alternative publication, so in that case it SHOULD contain something other than the usual 'shit sandwich' as you so aptly put it


    Anyway, not to be argumentative....I think I've had my fill of outsiders trying to 'understand' us of late. If a woman really wants to understand, she should strap on some stilettos and walk a mile on our stage. Till then, as far as I'm concerned, she should zip it.

    Ok back to the program

    Quote Originally Posted by pheno View Post
    When you lead a nontraditional life don't try to measure it with traditional milestones.

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    Featured Member LEIGH_LANDON's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just visiting

    LOL, I like that - walk a mile on our stage LOL! I cant afford the residuals but do you mind if I use that?

    About that they should do so b4 rendering up any comment -
    that aint gonna happen any time soon - it takes a certain kinda gal to do this job and one shouldn't expect them all to put up or shut up - but I do agree one should not speak of what one does not know, ...hear hear.

    BUT, I dont see a whole lot of us out there trying to reverse the image by informing or leading by example either.

    In any event, any alternate view and plausibly supporting at that - is welcome...IMO.

    ANY thought provoking commentary is welcome, in fact encouraged. I would hate to tell anyone to shut up because of such criteria - I know nothing of certain subjects but try to - and of course have my own view - my own take on it as well.

    We dont exactly get a fair shake out there in the world so if the occasional tip is in our direction on viewpoint, I welcome and applaud it.

    In commenting --I too never meant to be argumentative either Bridgette, just offering up my view.

    Peace love and granola.....Leigh
    LIVE LONG & PROSPER!
    Leigh Landon

    Never explain yourself to anyone, because the person who likes you doesn't need it and the person that dislikes you won't believe it.

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    God/dess Bridgette's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just visiting

    Yeah well I have to admit I might have been feeling just a tad negative that day

    Anyway, yes I agree it's human nature to comment on things they don't know about. We all do it. Guess I'm just overly sick of people who know zilch about us publishing their uninformed commentary and/or imagery. I can appreciate that she didn't spew the usual load of crap, just prefer that someone either say something nice or don't - no backtracking.

    And yep I've always said it takes a special kind of woman to do what we do. Amen to that! I wouldn't have it any other way

    Quote Originally Posted by pheno View Post
    When you lead a nontraditional life don't try to measure it with traditional milestones.

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