Initially, I was a little too shy to go up and talk to men. If they wanted a private show they had to come up to me to get one. I moved around the club like a mouse, trying not to step on anyone’s toes. I knew I needed to get used to the attention but I had spent most of my life up until that point trying to avoid it.
Thankfully I had Q, the bouncer and my then boyfriend who looked out for me, always pointing the men in my direction.
I had no idea what I was doing especially on stage where I gripped the pole white knuckled and desperately tried swinging my hips to the music. My new, “sort of” friend Kitana would sit off to the side at one of the tables with second degree embarrassment and wasn’t shy about sarcastically telling me afterwards, “well that was something…”
I didn’t know anything about the business. I was making things up as I went.
I watched the girls a lot to see their approach and I think that’s how a lot of dancers learn. The number one rule I caught on to was DO NOT go up and ask for a dance first thing. Most of the time the guys were so turned off by this act of desperation, they didn’t even bother buying the girl a drink. So instead I introduced myself and asked if I could sit with them. I asked them about themselves like it was a normal first meeting.
My ploy was innocence, demure… virgin, even though by then I was sure I loved sex as much as the guys I talked to. I picked out soft colors and kept my makeup as neutral as possible playing up the look that screamed fresh out of high school. Q advised for as long as I could to use my innocence to my advantage because it wasn’t going to last.
I learned that if I told the men that it was always my “first day” it intrigued them enough each time to take me into the back. Of course this only worked for so long but for a while I was still considered “new”. Something about not being tainted and bitter made it an easy selling point because when you’re new, you haven’t figured out the reality of your job yet. And you hadn’t become a “man hater…” as they called it.
I didn’t need to pretend that I didn’t hate my job because then I didn’t. The other girls on the other hand, clearly did, and that crucial detail claws its way to the surface no matter how hard she tries to hide it.
I thought I was having fun, finally out on my own able to be who I wanted to be. I was meeting new, strange people, basically partying as much as I could to make up for all the years I thought I was missing.
Even though it became my way of survival, the reality of it was simple, I was rebelling.