This shit is for real. 


I am a normal girl. I like flowers and sunshine like most other girls. This was my work life tonight. 

 Me: Hey how’s your night going?

He: Nah I’m going staunch. I just wanna snort drugs off your arse crack

Me: Ok babe. Just keep seeping those std’s out your penis

(Walk away)
5 mins later in the smoking room when he tries to scab a cigarette
Me:No I don’t think so. I thought you were just going staunch and wanted to snort drugs off my arse crack?

He: Yeah I do. 

Me: like I said, keep seeping them std’s out your dick. Seeping. Such a great word. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to use it. I’m not into financing the bad habits of dirty misogynist. 

He: I’m not a misogynist. I’m just a pig. 

Me: No…pigs are too cute. You’re just a sexist imbecile. Well done. You’re now getting a talking down by a stripper in front of a room full of people. (Guy nodding in the background, everyone else is silent. It’s not comfortable. It’s all I can do to maintain my smile)

He: why would you even say that? (Obvi trying to imply I’m the one with a problem with what I do for a living)

Me: Cause from what I’ve gathered about you so far, you’re a horrible person with little man syndrome who comes to places like this to try and demean us. Textbook misogynist. 

He: Oh am I? 

Me: yes you are. Imagine that? A woman smarter than you are and not reduced to tears by your attempt to demean her. 

He: I wasn’t aggressive to you. 

Another dancer: yes you were rude from the start!

Me: truckers keep on truckin. You’re actually a caricature of a shit character in a shitty movie no one wants to watch. 

He: Says she with the dirty regrowth 

Me: Regrowth is my personal choice as a free woman. 

He: Fucking feminist. 

Me: No. I don’t think there are feminists anymore babe. Just misogynists, sexists, then the rest of us normal people. 

Guy witnessing the scene: boom
Sigh. PS – this guy is married. Poor woman. 
As much as I slayed this utter fuckwit and I’m proud of myself for maintaining a smile the whole way through, I was shaking by the end and am still saddened by it all. Night after night having to persevere, having to fight to be treated like a human being, fight to be afforded the respect that should be given freely. It’s enough that I am also now fighting with myself to keep my eyes dry. Even though I’m home safe now, the accumulated effect of this, on top of the 3 customers who asked the price for extras, for me to allow them to touch or kiss me, to take me home – it’s too much. It’s awful that this behavior is so prevalent and yet people seem surprised to hear of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual coercion. The media focuses on it every now and then as though it’s a recent developments, a sudden epidemic. It’s not. This is our culture. This is the world we live in. This behavior is never outwardly endorsed but it is ignored and thus perpetuated. 

Westerners have no right to be be critical of other cultures and religions when this shit is so prevalent in our society.  If you want to see what the real cultural climate is, work in the sex industry for a week and have your eyes opened. 

Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry?

I was dating a guy in NYC a couple of years ago whom I suspected, might be obsessed with anal sex. I suspected this because he used to fumble around my downstairs with his penis, like someone making their way through somebody elses house during a blackout wielding nothing but a broken torch to guide them. I’d lie there staring at the ceiling, naively wondering if he was having trouble finding the correct hole. You know, the one that naturally lubricates itself, is directly adjacent to the clitoris and stretches in an accommodating manner. This fumbling business happened a lot. The next clue, was the off handed comments he would frequently make referring to anal sex.  Months later, when I was back in Australia continuing a relationship with him, he sent me a dick pic. It was awful on so many levels.

Two things stood out the most, the pubes that had been given the haircut of a Gregorian monk, and the anal porn captured in a freeze frame in the background. Both things, disturbing in equal measures. One of my girlfriends was crashing at mine during this period and I showed her the picture. She gasped. Then laughed. Then turned the lights on for me, illuminating the fact that yes, this manchild was obsessed with anal sex. Just as I’d suspected! Ding!! She pieced the puzzle of the photograph together with a conversation I’d had with her once about being bored with the sex because he always had to finish by flipping me over, pushing my face down in a pillow and pounding one out.

“BABE! HOW COULD YOU NOT KNOW?!?!?! SERIOUSLY? IT’S SO OBVIOUS.”

To this day, she still cannot believe that I can be so dense. So unquestioning. So simultaneously inexperienced but experienced. It wasn’t obvious to me. I’d been in relationships for the better part of twelve and a half years since I was a teenager and had been terrorised by a small number of shit dicks in between (the trauma caused by weird ass, marshmallow, enoki mushroom, mini winni dicks was so real that Shit Dick is #1 on my Deal Breaker List).

I’ve had anal sex before. When I was 19. It hurt like Hades and the experience can only be likened to having a sword shoved up my arse. I told him so. I also asked him if he actually really wanted to have anal sex or was he just joking, to which he replied….

“No! I’ve done it a few times before. But I wasn’t that into it…you know….sometimes you pull out and get a whiff….”

Thereby eliminating ANY chance that he had of me exploring the option again. Deny, deny, deny. All that attempted anal probing. For nothing. What an idiot. If he weren’t such a closet anal prober, he would be able to plan in advance and be with someone who keeps a bathroom cabinet shelf full of spare douches. Denying himself his best chances of world class whiffless butthole surfing.

Like a small child who had tried to sneak his spoon into the neapolitan icecream tub and steal aaaaaall the chocolate flavour and having the lid slammed down on him. Cutting the spoon off in the nick of time as it blindly wandered the stripes, pretending it wasn’t sure if it was the strawberry, vanilla or chocolate flavour that he was attempting to lodge his spoon in. He would’ve got further if he’d been honest about it. I told him this as we remained friends for a couple of years after the demise of our vanilla dating experience.  Until I visited NYC again in October last year. I was supposed to stay at his place in the East Village for five nights. I had expressed several times before hand that there would be no spooning, no kissing, no sexing for it was neither my vanilla, strawberry nor my chocolate stripe that enjoyed the aggressive, porn computed tappings of his spoon. I drew the lines of clear platonic borders and I expressed this several times, but his ego was beyond borders. Total waste of a good spoon. Strong. Rock solid. Upstanding. I warned him, the lid to my tub of icecream closed to him in 2013 and was not about to open any time soon aka ever.

I ran away after two nights. So stressed out by this pathetic prober that I was on the verge of insanity. First I ran to a bar to see girlfriends Fat Percy and Dolly who were able to assist me in the drowning of sorrows in my favourite sorrow drowning joint in the East Village. Then to where my  girlfriends Lolly and Kimba were staying a few blocks away where I was able to rest my weary head and give my fight or flight instincts a much needed safe house. Lids to all of my flavours safely sealed, without danger of intruders. Since returning to Melbourne, there’s been only two fumblings. Both with inflatable spoons that just haven’t quite had enough in them to make it smoothly into even the vanilla tub, let alone work its way over to chocolate. I consider myself as in the midst of a drought. Waiting patiently for a solid, unwavering, good looking spoon to come along and hang with my forkables. A spoon that isn’t attached to a lying misogynist with anal shame and mummy issues would be great.

 

Vagina Face

  

There’s this thing that men, women and everyone do where they like to make unsolicited comments on your personal appearance. I was prey to this at an early age. While my sister had nicknames like Pretzel and Sticks, my relatives thought to cleverly offset these with my nicknames of Pork Chop and Garfield. Then somehow they are genuinely surprised that I had a weird relationship with food and had a brief love, hate, vomit affair with an eating disorder in my mid 20s.

In much the same way, it’s common for men in the club to pass judgement on our appearance. “It’s just so nice to see a woman with real curves these days.” Note to such men, no matter how you phrase it, few Australian women like to be told they have put on weight, are curvy, or voluptuous. Down here on lonely island we run behind the booty loving times of the USA and UK. It’s hard to keep up with the rest of the world when you’re clutching onto a snack pack of celery sticks, sprinting on minimal calories with bow legs cause you’re trying to maintain your box gap at a pace.

Back in the day when I would allow the men to speak their minds, I’d have bets placed on what the status of my pubic hair would be. Bald like a prepubescent girl? Landing strip? Untrimmed? Some creative topiary perhaps? The latter would always be the witticism of the group imbecile with a laugh like the stupid hyena from The Lion King. Not knowing the term “topiary” it would usually be expressed more along the lines of, “Yeah! I bet fifty bucks she has her bush cut into the shape of a fucking rooster or something. Cock on ‘er box! LOL. Like on Edward Scissorhands. ROFL. Edward VAGINAhands. LOL. Why was that faggot crying if he got to trim bushes all the time?? (more LOLing and ROFLing)”  Yes, yes. We get it dickhead. Excellent use of a double entendre “bushes”. Clever. This is what we, as dancers deal with on a regular basis. Some girls are so professional that they can even make themselves giggle with conviction. I cannot.

To turn the tables, I’d like to address the not so recent trend of the fluffy beard. The beard so big, long, puffy and lustrous that it has the consistency of freshly spun fairy floss at a state fair. Untrimmed. Requiring the launch of beard oil products into the Anglo world. Caressing the space around it as it drifts in the breeze, seemingly with a body and mind of its own. Enjoying the tickling sensation of sweat gathering at the tip of the tuft, dripping to the ground below. Every time I see one, I can only think of a hairy armpit in my face at a festival, and a vagina on someone’s face. An untrimmed, 1980’s vagina coat.

Before I ever kissed someone with a big, bushy beard, I’d always imagined what that would feel like. Then I did kiss someone with a big, bushy beard and I found that I’d imagined with great accuracy, how gross it would be. The beard part. Not the mouth, lips, tongue part. Just the fluffy face pubes, like a million flies on my face, grazing their little wings just inside my nostrils. The man was beautiful, gentle charisma, funny as fuck, was my hero with a perfect nose, blue eyes bursting like sunbeams, sweetest soul and built like a tattoo covered giant in a cowboy hat…with a vagina face. I’d like to say that I’m patiently waiting for the trend to shrivel up and die, as patiently as a mother who hopes it’s just a craze as she observes her 13 year old son has just started smoking weed and listening to limp bizkit…. But I’m not. Patient that is. I’m so bloody over it. I am a single woman dealing with the stark reality that 95% of men fall into at least one of the following categories: boring, couldn’t handle a dinner party with me and my friends, can’t handle my job even though they say they have “no judgement”, have beards, have dad bods. Seeing a potentially cute face trying to claw it’s way to stardom through the obstructive curtains of a fluffy beard is such a waste. Makes me feel like a guy at a peep show who’s gold coins never up the game. In so many cases I can see the cute eyes poking out over the puff of vagina face, the suggestion of plump kissable lips, a cheeky smile (dimples perhaps???), but unlike many women considering a labiaplasty, the lips of the man never quite protrude from the bush with 100% transparency out into the open air.

Every time I notice myself having these hateful thoughts, maliciously imagining myself taking to this or that face with a can of shaving cream and a razor, I feel slightly ashamed. I’m embarrassed because years later, I have discovered common ground between myself and the hyena from the Lion King pissing his pants laughing over the Cock on a Box. Schlepping my way around judging this and that, minus laughter, add forlorn whimper. Fingers crossed it’s only a few months before you all look back at your beards in photographs and wonder “What was I thinking? My strong jawline is hidden. My perfect cheekbones…hidden. My eyes….look promising but overshadowed by the ramshackle garden of pubes on my face.”

This is my Christmas wish. That all beards be reduced to rough stubble or shaved entirely. It’s shallow and selfish I know. But I can’t help it.

 

The Apple Rose

2015-10-06 12.32.38

When I left for the USA at the start of October, the thought of letting someone in made my body curl inward. The suggestion of sleeping next to someone made me want to cry. Going to work had been such a struggle. Speaking to people, sexualising myself, being sexualised, disrespected, adored – all of it was too much. Breaking my own heart and deciding on having my womb raked when I wanted to keep the autumn leaves was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make.

The guy who was 50% responsible  claimed absolutely no responsibility, he did not help me when I asked, he expected thanks for telling me I was doing the wrong thing by considering the alternative which he did not welcome. This cavernous human being was so incredibly awful that I had to send that little spirit on rather than let it enter this world with him as a father. This misguided, egotistical narcissist was so lacking in sensitivity as to flippantly tell one of my dearest and most intuitive friends about how the other girl he got pregnant two weeks after me was so cool about it, she just dealt with it like you’re meant to, without making a fuss, without being difficult, without being a bitch and making him feel bad. This moron was so self involved that he would say this to a woman in her second trimester of pregnancy while she stood with her face perfectly composed, hands lightly shielding her belly from anything he had to send forth to the baby girl growing in there. She called me when she arrived home, shaking with rage and disbelief. I was at work, about to go on stage. I was trembling. I was still pregnant. My legs felt like they’d disappeared, as though my torso was hovering above 6 inch heels, each guiding the other out into bright lights and an onslaught of loud.

My friend had withstood the pathetic tirade of this squirming lumbricus as only a queen can, “I will not be conquered by a fuckwit Billie. I just won’t, and nor will you.” This woman knew the extent of he and I. She was our number one supporter in the beginning but swooshed her skirts in his blind little face at the end. Dismissed by royalty. He’ll be flailing, nothing more than brainless matter at her feet til kingdom come, taking any breath shared in the same room to mean she doesn’t see him for who he is, as if the sharing of oxygen alone will absolve him of himself. What a douchebag. What a dickhead. I could not curse a child with him for life, when in 8 weeks I went from one of the happiest versions of myself to the most broken B side mix tape of the shittiest band ever known to man. Imagine how fucked up you’d be, if you had to have him as a dad? Imagine the cycle of pain and suffering as this child, my child and his, spun its way through relationships with family members, partners, its own children? I could have no part in this. Cycles have to be broken.

By the time I left Australia I’d emerged from the worst. I still didn’t smile from my heart, but I wasn’t overtly grieving or consumed by anger either. I went straight from La Guardia to Brooklyn and a guy I’d never met in real life before. He took me out of NY and away to East Hampton the evening I arrived. It was so calm and pretty out there. He was fun and silly like the old me. He reminded me of all my favorite parts of the girl who had been buried in snow for months. There was a rose bramble growing in a car park over some whitewashed  fencing. The roses smelt like rose, lemon and apple. Felt like all the answers were sitting in that moment when I had my face in those petals and let my heart fall in. Sharing those seconds, elongated with magic, a stranger standing right beside me, face mushed next to my face, arm resting against my arm. I was suddenly clear. My thoughts felt like my own again and I laughed when I realised that somehow, I felt beyond safe with this man. That moment felt like home. He had absolutely no idea. I hadn’t breathed a word of anything to him. It wasn’t an outpouring of secrets and acceptance of my darkness that brought me close to him.  I don’t know why. I felt like myself. I exhaled. Finally. All my shit, started to melt off me. I could feel myself as broken but getting ready to stir and shift the pieces. Later that day I wrote. I hadn’t written anything much for months. I hadn’t had the reserves of strength it takes to put all this down and still be able to press on with my day having played the painful history over in my head. The reality of it sitting in solid, ordered characters confronting my face with lines and lines of pain in words on paper.  That afternoon I lay on my stomach in the lounge room and I wrote. I wrote with my hair draped over covert tears as they made their escape down my face before I myself absconded from the room and passed out for hours. Exhausted. My Home Fire cooked our first supper like a boss named Jesus and I woke up to a table laden with food and butter and warmth.

I forgot about it until a couple of weeks later when I’d moved on to North Carolina. When I dug it up again I found my little love prayer for the future. Loneliness is inherent in most people i know, or maybe it’s just me. But we are creatures to love and be loved. That’s just how it is.

IMG_1066

 

I want to breathe unhindered.

To feel the cold wind,

the golden syrupy sunshine,

to smell the apple rose right down to where my heart lies beating,

whispering in rhythms.

Tell my all of the magic that emanates from simple things.

I want to give my love to someone and know it will be treasured,

to show myself.

Give my heart and have it held in open palms,

a baby bird to be cared for.

Share my joy with me.

Feel the same light glide inward across fingertips that keep me safe from any darkness they made themselves.

 

Cradle my head.

Uncrush my heart.

Dint by dint.

Scratch by scratch.

Smooth the scars from my skin.

Kiss my lips with dew drops.

Press flowers into my hair.

Love me.

Without fear.

Let my face always look upwards to yours and trust my neck wont break.

My head won’t roll.

My heart won’t bleed in rivers from me,

cascading down my legs,

pooling at my toes.

 

Vibrate. With me.

Let each cell jump with joy and noticing.

Have each moment this smile lingers,

bask in the assuredness of its immortality.

Answer me in songs,

speaking five tongues.

Dance with me in rhythms nobody else cares to know.

Leave the giant blooms of the oriental lily.

Wade through heavy curtains of its smell they made.

Leave its stems in the crystal vase to stew in money.

Walk a little farther.

Come, bury yourself in me.

I am the apple rose.

IMG_1034Final two photos taken by Misha Jenkins on Instagram @miloscameros.

The Kindness of Strangers

There’s something to be said for the kindness of strangers.

Earlier in the year I found myself dealing with the consequences of a 10 week encounter with a narcissist. I cannot claim faith to accuracy and call it a relationship but the aftermath can be likened to wading through a quagmire of tepid feces. It was that good. On top of this, my dog fell suddenly ill with auto immune disease. The process of tests, financial draining, her fast deterioration into an ongoing illness, watching the light in her eyes dim, the energy in her limbs fail, pushed me beyond the brink of any sadness I had experienced up to this point. This is surely my year to learn some lessons, as two days before my birthday, I found out I was pregnant. To the narcissist. Bleh. Just when I thought my basket was full.

I spent my 35th birthday at work. Thankfully a place that has a few precious stars who blink at me through the darkness, let me share their radiant light, and hold my shoulders to help me get me off the floor, look me in the eyes and tell me that I’m strong when I had forgotten this was ever a word that I could apply to myself. One of these wonderful girlfriend’s of mine introduced me to her regular customer and he took a shining to me. He’s a tricky one to be booked with for an extended period of time. In general conversation he begins on a subject but doesn’t wait for a reply, barrels over the top of you, completing 32 segways and 33 subject changes by the time he takes a breath for air. He is a sweet soul but somewhat disconnected. Literal. Confused by the patchwork of social mores, the tones and rhythms of conversation. My girlfriend left the room to go and do her 20 minutes on the stage and I was alone with him. He made the observation that I looked sad and asked me why. I told him about my dog who is the closest person I have to me. I told him that nobody in the whole wide world, loves me the way she does. That she is the only person I have who would put me first. Take a bullet for me. Lay starving next to me, rather than eat my arm to save herself. That I don’t know how I would face a day, in the current climate of my world, if she were to die. That this is what I truly believed. That is how I truly felt. I’ve never been so terrified of the possibilities of my own action unto myself, should her heart stop beating.

In this moment, for just a few minutes, the customer changed. He suddenly became a friend. He engaged with me in a way many of my close friends hadn’t been able to. They once made jokes as I sat with tears running down my face, squawking about how big my tits were now. How amazing! What a coup! What a silver lining! I couldn’t even keep company with most of my own girlfriends during this time. They meant well, but I could not laugh at the situation I was in. I did not know what choice to make. I felt like an anchor of sorrow attached to a decrepit dingy, that had already been dredging the bottom of a stupid shitty pond for 7 weeks since I found out my dog was sick. How could people not be tired of my tears? I avoided dinners and celebrations. It was all too loud and overwhelming, enhancing my already hormonally enhanced anxiety. I was alone no matter where I was.

In a small room, at my place of work, this stranger looked at me, and spoke to me with such genuine love and kindness. With the innocence and well wishes of a child who understands the feeling of sadness, but doesn’t understand why it has to be a part of life. He did not seize the opportunity to overstep the mark and touch me. He did not try to take what he could get, while the getting was good. Nor did he condescend to me, or raise himself above me to give sage, unsolicited advice. His human heart spoke to mine with such compassion and truth. The likes of which I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered from a stranger before. We are pen pals now. He never fails to surprise me with the words he wraps me up in. The most comforting embrace. The most gentle tendrils of kindness permeating my every cell, to make me feel the ‘ok’ is in there somewhere. This man has been a gift to me. He is special. If someone had suggested that the kindness of a stranger whom I met at work, while I was pregnant and naked and feeling so very alone in my heart, would be the thing that would resonate with me, I would have broken at the suggestion. But he appeared. And thankfully my heart was still open enough to accept his love.

He writes to me,

‘Hang with the ones that are positive and positively reinforce you and your ideas, the ones that make you feel free… Be amazed and bedazzled by all the cool aspects of life, interact with truth and the beauty of all your skills and entirety of your shining being will beam out.

Billie the Legend can do anything and everything by looking after herself and her pals and embracing intelligence, empathy, and day after day braveness

And as I said in an earlier screed:

“take care,

sleep well…

remember to think of those that love and care for you when you lie in bed,

feel comforted in their embrace…

and you will sleep….

plus talk when you need to,

to the ones that will really listen (and not judge),

the ones that really do support you 100%”

All the best and thanks for your email esteemed buddy.”’

It’s these encounters that make me wonder “How lucky am I?” and to know that I would rather reveal myself in both sorrow and joy, than to stay hidden and let these people pass me by.

There are not enough words to give thanks to the strangers and friends, work mates and  birds flying overhead, fleeting moments of beauty, acts of kindness, that have supported me through this year. Coming out at the other end with a smile on my face is a testament to all of those people and little things that were there for me the whole time. Even when I wasn’t ready to open my eyes and see them.

  

 
* Thanks for the tattoo D.Ferguson, another kind stranger. Two words that always help me from an old friend from across the sea C.Lambert

* Image of “Big Bird Alone Under Lamplight in Central Park” by another angel of mine A.Rovedo

FAITH. A BLAST FROM THE PAST.

Faith. A blast from the pastI found a piece of paper scrawled over with the brain zap of my 19 year old self falling in love for the first time. The first part was romantic as all hell. The usual treacle drenched musings of a teen in love. The last part made me realise that I’ve lost something important.

The first time I read it, the words sounded like someone else’s. Reading over it again I recalled those feeling from over 16 years ago. Sharp and hazy at the same time. I became aware that I held my breath as I read. I’ve always found the process of falling in love terrifying. But that very first time… I can feel that memory. Eyes open. Cheeks flushed by the cold, fast air against my face as we fell into the abyss together. Reckless. With a faith that I don’t think I ever had before or since. And today I am doing my own head in because I realize that I haven’t let go of all that pain, still harboring sadness from the actions of a boy who didn’t know what he was doing any more than I did.

It’s times like this I wonder how much damage I’m doing to myself walking into the doors at work? How many encounters can this little heart take? One after the other, with men who just by being who they are, no intent or malice, provide countless exhibits in the case against faith.

We almost got married. I was 19. I still have my wedding ring somewhere. We eloped to Rome, but I bailed 3 days before the wedding. I didn’t want to have that day without my family there. It didn’t feel right. I remember when I told him, we were sitting in the hot sun together, sweat running down the back of my calves as our legs dangled in unison over the stone blocks of ancient ruins in a park near the Colosseum. All he said was, “I feel like someone just cancelled Christmas.” His face was upturned and he squinted into the sun, before lowering his gaze to stare at the ground and take my clammy little hand in his. He was adorable. He loved me so very much.

Turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

My first love chose liquor and lies in the end. Let me travel 32 hours back to Australia alone, to have the jelly bean we made on the bottom bunk of a hostel bed in Dublin, vacuumed out of my uterus. Abortion was illegal in Ireland in January 2001. I had no option but to come home. He stayed over there to drink himself into oblivion, and didn’t come back until one year later when I said I knew he’d been banging someone else and that it was over between he and I. That slap in the face. It’s the slap in the face that reminds someone that they have something to lose. Sometimes too late.

Wasn’t too late for him. No way. I was still brimming with faith. I took him back, as you do. It didn’t work out, as it doesn’t. Took another 2 years to drown. I never long for, or mourn  the 14 year old child I could have had. I never long for, or mourn the relationship I had with him. But I long for, and mourn that faith. I don’t know how to get it back. I don’t know who is deserving of it or if I’ll ever find them. I still love that guy who saw it last. We are friends to this day, and I will always, always love him because he did the best he could, he never laid a hand on me, and he is a good person worth forgiving. We were young. We didn’t know any better. But somehow I knew this…

“I am terrified that we will sooner or later turn from each other and I will never be able to have back, or to give again, exactly what he has of me now.”

Faith….

One Word Means Everything. 

  

I don’t request permission to do what I do.

I’m playing for keeps in a one woman band.

I’ll dance until my bubble bursts. Flooding the stage with words of yours that have no meaning.

Throw your bills in my direction. You are desperate for feeling.

You are empty. Confused. Devoid of purpose, or relation.

Little boys crying alone.

Mothers who don’t want them.

Fathers who are no where, and never were somewhere that meant something.

You scrape for pale imitations of limitless feeling. You paint your world ever so accurately with absolutely nothing.

But from the flood will emerge one word. Just one…

Locker Room Series: #2

2009-08-07 17.45.26-1“Despite the Global Financial Crisis, Lolita, Tazo and Billie still know how to have a good time.” Circa 2008.

 

It’s not all 50 and 100 dollar bills cascading their way through the air and into our garter belts. It’s hard to keep your spirits up and make money when the club is dead. The men get swamped by girls, one after the other, after the other. The abundance of choice can turn a regular customer into an absolute cunstomer, adopting the distinctive smarmy arrogance of a man who can have anyone he likes. He can’t. Otherwise he wouldn’t be sitting in a strip club alone on a Tuesday being a basic dick.

Up against these odds it’s easy for us girls to become bitter, nasty, man hating, impatient, exasperated harpies. However, if you’re working at the right club, with the right people, non-profit organization nights don’t have to be a total drainer.

DRESS UPS IN THE LOCKER ROOM FIX EVERYTHING.

In an unfortunate turn of events over the last few years, the frequency of slow nights has increased and all the club’s costumes have been flogged by financially destitute strippers aka bitches who don’t know how to handle their money and/or love to steal stuff. Nowadays we prefer to pool our resources at the end of a night, make a run for someone’s house and raid the costume box to the sweet sounds of Hall and Oates. 

    

Hometown Blues

 
I don’t feel songs anymore.  

I only feel wanting without being wanted. 

Spending monies to break my ass. 

Standing alone, speaking 5 tongues, dancing 5 rhythms and regretting them all. 

Without hands with which we touch, we remain alone. 

To receive is to give. 

Everything is everything. 

Your Monopoly money is no good here. 

Hometown is no where is nothing. 

Broke asses. 

It’s time for us to go. 

   
 

EAT, SLEEP, RAPE, REPEAT. 

After a particularly harrowing night last week I haven’t been able to quite shake the blues after witnessing the fucked up aggressive behavior toward women and the ignorant attitudes (the most alarming was from a fellow dancer) that continue to enable this current trend of violence against women and rape culture as “not ok but to be expected” in certain contexts, or the old “She was wearing this,” “She does that for a living,” or “She looks like a girl who would….” .

The excuses I hear from men behaving badly over and over again about the conniving sorcery of the vagina as it renders men helpless in a flash of gash, robbing them of their basic sense of human kindness. The definition of ‘violence’ has become one so extreme and obvious as to obliterate the subtleties and manipulations most often deployed in order to effectively be violent….and not get caught. Basically the general feeling is that if you don’t get punched in the face, or visibly bruised, or raped, you haven’t really been a victim of violence. It hasn’t been that bad. Could’ve been worse.

I’m still processing why the other night has effected me so deeply. Nothing that fucked up happened to me in particular but I was there. In the thick of it. The extreme nature of the people involved in the events has burnt something into me. Rolling hills of fear, discomfort, sadness, adrenalin, disgust, anger, tension, violation, humiliation, embarrassment, confusion, disbelief. I keep seeing the faces and hands…fingers, hearing the roars, profanities and cries, feeling over and over again the sensation of being numb in myself but hurting on behalf of everyone else and beyond. Maybe those girls have forgotten it by now. I haven’t. I want to be able to sweep it to the side, watch my sadness for human kind float away like particles of dust. I don’t actively watch the news anymore. I haven’t since 2008. But even still, ensconced in this little girl’s bubble of a world that I have constructed for myself, the stories of brutal rape and senseless victim blaming in India, of some fat Asian’s stupid rape culture t-shirt at Coachella, the girl in Melbourne being stabbed to death in the light of early evening, have all made it through my strawberry flavoured hubba bubba barrier.

Photo sniped from thump.com and please note that @JemayelK is the guy who posted the picture, not the dickhead wearing the shirt.  

No one was violently raped the other night. Not as such. Not with a dick anyway. I don’t know. Does a finger shoved up a vagina or asshole without consent count? Does a giant Maori man fucked off his face on drugs licking a girl’s vagina while she is facing the other way, or the same giant biting another girl hard on the shoulder, or his Sydney Lebanese friend digging both hands into her ass so hard that I could see the dints of his nails and fingertips, count as violence? I’m inclined to say yes but for some reason, the reactions of people who are told this story or who were actually there, seem to indicate no. This is what makes my heart hurt days later. This is why my eyes still sting with the threat of tears. This is why my throat constricts and my breathing pauses as I actively try NOT TO FEEL IT. I am trying not to feel the way I SHOULD feel when I was in the same room over a period when all of these things were happening. Some things I was aware of, some not. I was doing my best to manage my guy, to distract him from the fingering, the arse smacking and grabbing, ear licking, that was going on around us so that he wouldn’t expect the same. His octopus hands were doing their best to wander, his energy within our dynamic was threatening to fracture, to stray from me and become a part of the pack. My eyes were on him. So I did nothing. I said nothing.

My sister is a science writer. She says we are in a unique position as strippers to have insight into many elements of primal behaviour that have stood their ground through centuries of evolution. Now she has me reading scientific papers on aggressive fucked up chimpanzee behaviour and the hypothesis that these correlate with that of humans due to both biological AND cultural similarities. I’m learning that sexual coercion and collective violence are common in both. That it’s not just an imagined phenomena that men are more likely to fuck your shit up, and that women go for men who will fuck their shit up. And that one of the biggest differences between Great Apes and homosapiens is that the male homosapiens SHOULD be advanced enough to over ride their biological compulsions to be total fucking assholes, and that the females SHOULD be advanced enough to know that they have other choices than to take it like a bitch. And it’s up here on my high horse, where the air is brisk and fresh, and everything seems so clearly laid out before my eyes, that I have to marvel at myself. It was only 6 months ago that I allowed myself to be violated. I did not defend myself. I did not speak out. My brain over rid my instinct and I paid that milk eyed toad faced predator and left without a word of complaint. When I was 14 years old I was in the room as my best friend was molested. It was subtle, it wasn’t obviously violent. Even so, I thought I knew something was wrong. I did nothing. I said nothing. I did nothing because all my life I have been trained not to speak up. I was taught as a child not to question people in a position of authority or care. As adults women are told not to be hysterical, not to over react, not to be emotional. To handle things without ‘causing’ drama. It’s always on us to fix our reactions, to tolerate the behaviour of others and adjust ourselves to cope. It’s wrong. This needs to change.

After a night like that all I want is to be held. To have a man I care for show me what it’s supposed to be like. Contact. Intimacy. Care. Tenderness. The right way to be naked in front of someone. The right way to be touched and admired. To be desired for more than my instagrammable arse and my perky boobs. The right way to have someone inside me. To be really seen, and valued, instead of just looked at and chucked a hundred dollar bill. To be wanted for more than just 10 minutes of possession.  To have someone see me as I really am as their eyes move over me, trace their fingertips from my forehead to my toes, up the back of my legs all the way up again to cradle the crown of my head. Just to remind me that that kind of thing really exists.