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.

 

The Apple Rose

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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

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…

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. 

   
 

Locker Room Series: #1

2013-08-03 13.01.58 The locker room is where all the best shit goes down. The one liners. The rambling. The complete and utter lack of glamour. It’s where a moment will happen and I’ll stand as an observer thinking “How the fuck is this my life?”. If I were still as prudish, fearful and judgmental as I was before I started dancing, I swear I wouldn’t have had even 25% of the laughs I’ve had. Life is too funny to be a righteous fucktard.

His Name Was Chocolate

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While I was sitting with another man, a beautiful dark African guy came up to me and asked if I would take him for a dance. I told him that I was booked but would come and find him afterward.

‘What’s your name?’ I asked.

‘Chocolate.’ His voice was sexy and low, rumbling back at me with a thick, deep African accent. The corners of his mouth unfurled, and his lips parted ever so slightly to reveal a slinky smile.

‘OH MY GOD!!!! That’s my DOG’S name!’ I exclaimed. Loudly. With far more excitement that it was worth. Double dropping dexamphetamines has consequences.

‘What?’

‘That’s my dog’s name!’ I repeated. Only slightly decreasing the force of my statement. Again, consequences. Tsk tsk.

He was not impressed. He mumbled something under his breath about ‘Chocolate….mmmumna mmumna….dog.Ugh! Mmumna…blah blah.’

It became clear all of a sudden that several things had been lost on me during the course of this extremely brief interaction. The imaginable sexual prowess of such a man with that dark Chocolate flavouring had failed to be imagined by me. The disco fantasy of a hot black man rolling by the name of Chocolaaaaaate… like a loud whisper between songs on a dance floor that lights up with coloured checkers from below, had been lost on me. The legendary proportions of his African easter bunny and how it might spill forth into my own small Asian fusion treasure box of special secret XOXO sauce dumprings, had been lost on me.

My heart rate had not increased, all a flutter, due to the prince before me, but rather due to the duo of white pills before him. Any chance of a hand in hand digression onto a dance floor, followed by sweet salty chocolate disco dumpring dirty time shriveled up and died in that moment. The impact had fizzled. The Chocolate sex soldier had partially melted in his foil wrapper and now stood less than at attention. Downtrodden. Chest no longer puffed. Chin no longer skyward. Left in the box. Staring at his half melted cunt conquest combat boots.

‘Just call me Choc.’ He said.

Then he turned and walked away. Hands in pockets, shuffling his chocolates about through his jeans. Just to make sure they were still positioned where they were meant to be.

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You Have The Right To Say ‘No’ At All Times – Safety House motto in the 80s

Last week, just a short walk away from my old house Jill Meagher was abducted and murdered. I haven’t felt so stunned and effected by something in the news since Martin Bryant at Port Arthur. That is the first time I remember realising that this shit doesn’t just happen “out there”, it’s happening here. In MY country, MY neighbourhood. It’s been brought home. Literally. I feel so sad for her and her family. I can only imagine what they are going through and wonder at how someone could be so shut off from basic human emotion and compassion as to do something like that.

I’ve read a couple of blogs born from this murder and they are all wondering the same thing. Have we gotten to a point where the smaller occurrences are being overlooked, allowing the really awful, tragic ones to take place? Is our indifference and our inability to confront this issue enabling rapists and murderers to develop themselves, to hone their skills and strategies and to play out their ultimate fantasies at the expense of innocent people?

It’s so easy to brush off the sexual harassment we ladies endure on a day-to-day basis. In fact, there are times when it has almost felt like a necessity. Because if we were to really acknowledge what we are subjected to, it would probably be too overwhelming.

Sexual abuse happens to strippers in the clubs all the time, and when I point out to the boys/men that their behaviour is sexual assault or abuse, they always look shocked. They say things like “Steady on sweetheart”, “Woah, CHILL OUT”, or “I’m actually not like that. I’m a really nice guy.” It’s an ominous sign of our times. These people really don’t think it’s that bad to call someone a filthy whore, or try to digitally rape you, kick you in the back of your knees so you fall to the ground, steal your underwear, punch you in the face (or the vagina for that matter), lick you, pinch your arse, untie your clothing when you walk past, grope you, try to suck your nipples like a lollipop, tell you all the things they wanna do to you to make you scream. They do and say what they want because nobody holds them accountable for their behaviour – least of all the clubs and frequently, not even the girls.

Most girls who work as strippers will have a ‘dancers’ block’ at least once or twice a year. This is when you can’t face the idea of going to work. You don’t feel strong enough to cope with what might possibly be said or done to you. You cry as you are driving to the club, and have to turn the car around and head home again. Or you actually make it to work, and are standing on the stage looking out at the crowd and they seem to be dripping with darkness and sleaze. It’s when the backlog of things that you have ignored, or glossed over, or retold as funny tales, actually take their toll on your spirit. The dam caves and you can’t hold them back any longer.

I’m so tired of dealing with violations like this and being told by men and management not to over react. REALLY? How would you react if you saw someone treating your sister, niece, friend, mother or child that way? Would you stay silent? Would you turn and leave her to sort it out for herself? Would you tell your daughter after a guy has just stuck his fingers in her vagina or bent her over and tried to penetrate her arsehole, that she needs to stay at work, go upstairs, get on stage and do her show in front of a couple of hundred men, including the man who just assaulted her since his behaviour was not bad enough to have him escorted from the club?

In one of the clubs I have worked, the dancers were not even permitted to speak to security. If a situation arose, we were expected to talk to the DJ or the under 30s management who were often no where to be found and clearly not qualified in conflict resolution or counselling.

These are not all things that have happened to me. These are a collective of experiences that have happened to my friends, myself and girls that I work with. It is NOT the case that I simply have bad luck, or am excessively provocative. These are daily occurrences. And not just for strippers at work. For women in general.

The last time I went out for a girlfriend’s birthday here in Melbourne I was disgusted to find that because of the way I was looked at, groped and spoken to, I felt like it was just another night at work. Just one more night on the defensive.

I used to take the hard line on this behaviour. I never used to let these guys get away with it. I used to state my case – no touching, no filthy talk – and if they persisted I would throw the word “rapist” out there to verbally punch them in the face, to shock them into remembering that “no” does not mean “yes”.  Watch out Saturday night. The bitch is back and I will not be letting you guys off easily anymore. And the next dwarf to punch me in the vagina is gonna get his face kicked in with a shoe that has been biding its time as a weapon of mass destruction!

There is nothing I can say to make it feel better but my sincerest condolences go out to Jill Meagher and her family. What has happened is awful. Words cannot express.