Some more ideas on stripping that have been dominating my thoughts lately...
I decided I wanted to tell my counselor about stripping. She was very supportive, and understood my reasoning, both personal and academic. It was great. She also helped me understand that my mom, who sees strip clubs in black-and-white terms as places that subjugate and degrade women, probably will never be able to understand my perspectives on them. She told me it will probably always be a wound I have to manage- the fact that someone very important to me cannot accompany me on my journey.
Also- it has become increasingly difficult for me to tell people "I haven't been doing anything" when that simply isn't true. But when we are in the company of working professionals who refer to sex workers as "those people" I feel isolated and like I could never, ever reveal my current experiences. Yes, my primary motivation for stripping was pretty self-serving: I wanted to indulge my exhibitionist side, exercise for money, and get all dolled up. But it has become even more than that. I am fascinated by the sociology and public health aspects of the stripping industry, and I know that having this experiences will prove invaluable once I am studying harm reduction methods for improving the lives of sex workers. The fact that I can't be honest about this with people because I am afraid of offending them has been difficult.
It's nice to have an almost-lawyer around :) J has been reading up on the difference between an "employee" and an "independent contractor." He is interested in whether strippers are employees or independent contractors. An employee would be entitled to hourly wages, sick days, social security, Medicare, insurance coverage, workers compensation, etc. As a supposed independent contractor, though, I do not receive any of those things. Based on one case and my experiences so far, J has some ideas on the validity of my role as an independent contractor. Here are a couple of links with more info if you are so interested :)
Something we were talking about with one of our good friends the other night was the market of strip clubs. I recognize that the dominant target market is heterosexual men. But I know lots of bisexual women, and hetero couples, that enjoy strip clubs. Why aren't there strip clubs (at least, that I have heard of) that cater to those markets? What would be awesome is to have a club owned by women, who actually employed dancers (so gave them wages, insurance, etc), who had at least nights catered to just women, and night catered to couples. I think it would be awesome.