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.

 

Dreams Come True!

Last night I was on the club Catwalk. Front centre pole, otherwise referred to as “Cellulite City”. It makes girls who have no cellulite, look like they do, and girls who do have cellulite, look like they need to fast. Forever. I’m in the latter category. But whatevs. I work my angles and find the shadows to keep me safe. Can’t remember if I was working my angles last night though. I’d had 3 tequilas, a hideous glass of cheap Australian sparkling and 2 vodkas in the 1.5 hours I spent with my regular customer. Effectively rendered myself entirely ineffective. SMASHED. He came and went so I was left to populate cellulite city with my thighs and ass alone. We did ok, not quite a metropolis. The music was good. Better than usual and I vaguely remember moving really slowly. Mostly so that I wouldn’t fall over or hit my forehead on the pole. I have a bad track record with stationary objects.

I looked up and saw a little Indian man coming toward the stage, his shiny bald head catching the light as he emerged out of the darkness. I beamed a big, happy, drunk smile at him. He beamed a happy little smile back.

“Hello, how are you going?” I said.

“I’m good. How are you?” He replied.

“I’m great! What’s your name?” I said.

“Blah Blah. What’s your name?” He replied.

Standard mind blowing opening conversation.

“Billie. Would you like a dance?” I asked.

He held out a little wad of $5 and $10 notes and gave them a little waggle up and down. Not in an offensive carrot dangling way, just in a wad of money waggling way.

“No, no. I don’t want you to dance. I want you to lie down.”

I’ve never been asked to do this on stage before so I made an effort. I lay down on the stage with my back arched and my legs elongated toward the ceiling, my ankles crossed lightly, making beautiful iridescent shapes with my body by catching the light just so.

“Open your dress.” He instructed.

It’s not a dress. It’s a playsuit but I didn’t think it was the appropriate time to correct him on the specifics of my garment.  I let it slide and pulled aside the two pieces of black fabric that drape over my breasts so they were exposed and peaking toward the ceiling. He stood there smiling at me from the shadows and then extended his arms, reaching his hands forward into the light. His wad of cash was sitting atop of his left palm, and with his right hand, he began to flick each note over the top of me. Slowly and deliberately at first, then with the reckless abandon of a small Indian man who is living his African American hip hop hunny DREAM, while also making a dream come true for an extremely drunk  stripper who had only moments ago been schlepping her way up and down and around a pole in cellulite city. Maybe the lights aren’t as bad as I thought…. No. They really are.

Fast forward 25 minutes to the smoking room where I was dressed and ready to go home. Lipstick wiped off. Fag in hand, slurring my way through a rubbish conversation with one of the other girls. A dancer walked in and asked to have a drag of my cigarette because her customer had just tried to stick his finger up her butt hole. Turned out it was my little Indian friend with the shiny head, ticking yet another one of his dreams off the list.

Black Dress 2_2

LOLITA

  

One of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen or could hope to see in real life. The actual unicorn of mine, and many other’s dancing careers.

I remember the very first time I saw Lolita in the locker room. Accompanied by the first of her string of egotistical, maniacal, narcissistic BFF’s. She was awkward at only 19 and I remember detesting her hair. It framed her face like a big boofy triangle, the contained frizz creating waves like a logo for a product designed specifically to control this issue that could really ruin a girl’s day. She didn’t say much but annoyed me just through her association with the mad queen who had the most shatteringly loud voice, laugh and presence in the room. The Queen of Hearts once tried to behead a friend and me for a transgression that existed in her crown alone. As the Queen flounced loudly from the Red Room, Lolly slipped us a shy smile and for about a millisecond her beautiful soul made contact with mine before she lowered the lids of her blue eyes and was swallowed up in the charged crimson wake of the Queen.

A couple of years later we became friends and 4 months after that I watched her marry her man in the country. A small affair of around 30 people. It was a blast. Their family and friends were an incredible testament to them. Funny, wild, intelligent. Drunk as fuck. Still intelligent. Drunker as fucker. Less intelligible.

Together we speak the same dialects of ridiculousness. Her skills are unsurpassed, well framed but never contained within the knowledge of a couple of languages and a library of literature who’s pages have been thumbed and folded in rapturous flips and turns.

Exhibit A

Billie: My petit bon oui citron chi chi. So sorree for tres over slumber incident. Was tres bien to google you bon bon shakie bon bon xX

Lolly: Spankyou muchlies le bonbon! C’est not un problem for le sleep-in, I like to catch le rays in my le car. Und sankyou for de presents in de bag, you are such an un le rockstar rock le roll schnazzle le dazzle******* X

Exhibit B

Billie: For the love of SERGIO!

Lolly: He doesn’t like George Michael…BOOOOOOOO!!!!

Billie: He is above the law.

Lolly: He is ALL man…he is like the perfect love child of Don Juan and Jesus…

Billie: …and a little bit of Johnny Depp for good measure. A measure I treasure. A sax in his dax. A song in the schlong?

Lolly: …a careless whisper in my hairless crisper…

Billie: …heart beat skipples, skyward thy nipples.

At first she may appear as quiet and awkward as she is beautiful but the layers go further and further to reveal something worth waiting for. It’s like holding a beautiful wilting ballerina peonie in your hands. So you peel off the outer layers of the wilted petals, with each layer the petals become more f-f-fresh. When you finally gain access to the heart of the flower you find a gigantic cartoon cock and hairy balls with confetti spoofing out of it right into your face. When Lolly is drunk the layers are dispensed of. She’s not shy or quiet when she’s tipsed. And in the case of full retard drunk, the gigantic cartoon cock with all of its confetti spoof goodness spritzes away indiscriminately like one of those hard core sprinklers on a high school oval.

Lolita is a professional. She rarely lets life outside the office get in the way of her paperwork. It’s rare to see her effected by negativity, or to witness her reacting aggressively to any one of the million awful things people say to us. She is die hard loyal to the club. She is die hard loyal to her friends. I once walked out the backstage door and saw her holding a friend of ours as her chest heaved with tears. Lolita had both her arms draped around the girl’s shoulders, her face downturned to the crown of the sobbing mop of hair as she gently said, “Don’t cry Sandy…. Please don’t cry.” The simplicity and sweetness of her was enough to melt anyone’s heart. She was like a child pleading with the mother and a mother comforting her child all rolled up into one big ball of love and compassion.

Recently our home club changed its rules as a non-touching club. A meeting was held on the Monday, to announce the new rules would commence on Thursday of the same week. I didn’t have the heart to attend the meeting. I was barely working anymore and I couldn’t match the outrage of my friends. It felt fucked up and awful but at the end of the day a business decision for an evolving industry that, as one of my dancer friends put so well, will probably be nothing but a burlesque feature show in 20 years time. I was just so sad to see a solid group of strong women break. I’m glad I didn’t go. Lolly was so upset. I was told that her tears poured out of her and that seeing her lose it “was like watching a unicorn cry.” A lot of girls quit. They felt violated and betrayed. Because it’s not just where we work, it’s our home. And these girls that we work with are our Ya Ya StripperHood. They give us the acceptance that some of us haven’t received from our families and a few of our friends. Together we giggle at how the narrow world beyond our magical kingdom would misconstrue our experiences. How much fun and laughter they miss out on just because they have a hive of bees in their bonnets about things they will never understand, at how they miss so much because the bees buzz too loud for them to hear the songs we sing. The tears of our unicorn seemed to mark the end of an era of enchantment. The golden years for the golden girls. Everything seemed altered. But our unicorn is still there, glimmering brightly in the darkness, heart still in tact and laugh still carrying over the bass of shit ass techno.

It’s A Dog’s Life


Over the years I’ve noticed that people think the life of a stripper is shimmering with ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ glamour and lashings of debaucherous activities. The goggles of the average punter are both beer drenched AND rose tinted. When a fat, smelly, balding man tells me I must really enjoy teasing him, I think to myself it must be wonderful to be out there in the world, functioning with that level of delusion. They think that we are so sexually charged that we’ll fuck anything. To them, our lives must be a blurry patchwork of promiscuous sex, sequins, smudged mascara,  promiscuity, and mountains of cocaine.

Although this may be the case for some, it is not for me. I won’t be coy about it. I have my moments. I adore drugs. We’ve had some good times. Rarely any bad. They’re like the friend that I might not speak to for 6 months, but when we see each other again, it’s as if no time has passed at all. We understand each other. We love each other’s company. Sometimes we spend hours enjoying the comfortable silence of old friends. Sometimes we make ze partee.

Contrary to customer belief, I don’t go back to the hotel rooms of guys after my 11 hour shift, smoke a crack pipe and party on Wayne. Party on Garth. More often than not, my drug intake has been characterised by tracksuit pants, joints and an early onset diabetes inducing amount of confectionary. In the early days back home, hallucinogens and forest parties were our weekend ritual. Or in more manic times, tracksuit pants, my best friend, a plate of cocaine, broom, mop, chemicals and a very satisfying 4-6 hours of house cleaning. You can justify anything when you’re going through a break up, and I do love a clean house.

Tonight I noted that my evening’s activity may just be enough to dispel the myth of the sex, drugs and sparkle tassle joy luck good time life of a stripper.

Insert “disturbing content” warning here.

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Every couple of months, my dog Chockie has a stinky but. It’s not the kind of smell you can ignore. An additional open door or window will not suffice. If you want revenge on someone, you could conceal a bag of prawn heads in their bedroom air vent, or you could lend them my dog. Gooby squid left in the bin over a few warm days, stewing in it’s own thickening juices, is the most accurate description I can give you.

My boyfriend likes to say it smells like “off box”. Could it be true? Is there really a level of personal hygiene out there that is so low or is it an urban myth? I feel like it must just be post footy training locker room banter. I kind of want to ask him to elaborate and dispel the myth. But I just can’t do it. No one wants to think about their boyfriend’s face buried in another girl’s vagina. Particularly if the cha cha smells like the your dog’s arsehole. That’s just weird and gross. Note to self, ask Bennie St boys to clarify. Urban myth or horrific fact?

Where normal dogs will poo or drag their but across the ground to mark their territory and leave their scent, my poor Chocorette dog’s anal glands get blocked. After spending a ridiculous amount of money getting the vet to unblock them, I learnt how to do it myself.

And so earlier tonight, as I had my latex gloved, vaseline lubricated finger positioned at 10 o’clock, up my dog’s but hole, expressing her anal glands into a piece of folded toilet paper, I thought to myself “If those men could see me now!”

The Rise And Fall of the Vertically Challenged – Hitting Below The Belt

One night I was walking from backstage to the bar when I felt something hit me in the vagina. My first thought was that somebody had thrown something at me. I quickly glanced around, not wanting to seem too obvious. Better not give them the satisfaction of knowing they’d hurt me. I couldn’t see any suspicious characters…..

Geez my vajayjay hurt.

Then out of my peripheral vision, I saw something below me. Had I walked into a bar stool? Was that a dwarf?

It was a dwarf.

Or was it a midget?

I can’t remember whether his head was out of proportion with his body or not. It didn’t seem important at the time anyway. In my 5 inch platform stripper shoes, I towered over this little sprog. Towering or not, ouch. My pubic bone was aching.

I looked down, down, down, down at him and asked, “Did you just punch me in the vagina?”

He looked up, up, up, up at me, put his little fish flapping arms out to either side of him like libran balancing scales, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Meh.”

I was outraged. Since when was punching women in the genitals a part of Australia’s disability benefit package? I ran over to the DJ booth and shrieked, “That dwarf just punched me in the vagina!!!!”

The DJ laughed. This put me close to tears and I shrieked even louder, “It’s not fucking funny FUCK! That dwarf just punchedmeinthevagina!!! Aren’t you going to tell security?!!?!”

Security was advised. “At last,” I thought to myself as I made a gesture of solidarity to my vagina and put a calming hand over my pubic bone, “Justicccccce.”

I looked over to see the big beefy security guard bent over the little dwarf – laughing. Patting the short arse on the back. Ho ho ho. Merry fucking vagina punching day. They were having a fine old time. The big man and the small, disparity in size inconsequential. King Arthur’s sword and the toddler’s bread and butter knife combined to make one stupid and useless penis.

In retrospect I see that it’s funny to have been punched in the vagina by a dwarf. But in the moment, I wasn’t thinking about the dwarf. His strange teetering posture, his odd little scrunched up face, his comical flapping arms and waddly little legs, I was thinking about the mother fucker who launched his fist at my genitals.

I was upset. I was as upset as any woman would be if she got punched in her privates. It is a sacred space. Classic writers such as Danielle Steel and Joan Collins have for decades been emphasizing the wonders and mystique of the female love temple, the ultimate receptacal. To be treasured and caressed by a strong man with broad shoulders, long hair and stone cut abdominals thank you very much. I had to go sit downstairs for a while and recompose myself. Get my head around the fact of not only the event, but also that the people who were supposed to support and protect me, had failed. Furthermore, laughed. I expected more from my old club. It was not a great feeling. In that moment I wished I believed in a vengeful God who would smite the dwarf with his wrath.

At about 4.30am I had to go and move my car from the carpark before it closed. On the way back I noticed a commotion outside the 7-11 and kebab shop. What the hell was happening? Although the area had been roped off and there were police cars with flashing lights, people didn’t seem alarmed. I craned my neck in an effort to see what was going on. The scene was littered with cops but I could see no criminal. And suddenly, I saw him. The dwarf. Hands cuffed behind his back, being hoisted like a naughty child up into the back of a paddy wagon.

Finally. Justiccccccce!

I took a moment to behold the scene as God didst smite the dwarf with his wrath. Then it was I who laughethed lastest as I didst rejoice and kicketh my heels together in the air whilst crossing the road, dancing ever closer toward the scene and finally yelling,

“SUCK IT MIDGET!!!!!!”

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With Time, The Unexpected

I have a regular customer who is more of a friend these days. I’ve known him for five and a half years and I never would have thought that I could develop a relationship like this with someone I met at work. We aren’t particularly close but I have a real soft spot for him. We easily go six months without speaking but I truly care for this guy. I don’t know when his birthday is or if he has brothers and sisters. The small stuff doesn’t matter.

The first night we met, I remember seeing him go for a few dances. So I asked, and he accepted. Man, I thought he was the biggest weirdo. He was SO into the dance. Like, holding-onto-the-bar-grunting-and-groaning into it. His would push out his chest, and his eyes would literally roll back into his head. I’m thinking, ‘Is he taking the piss out of me?‘, ‘Does he need help? Should I be checking his wallet for some kind of epilepsy card and calling an emergency contact?‘, ‘Did he just cream his pants?

Granted, my lappies did used to be more graphic. For the first year there were spreads and boobs in faces willy nilly. By the time I got home from London in mid 2007, I’d switched channels from XXX to Disney. And so it was that as my dances became less centrefold, he became less strange. He would come in occasionally and spend up to $100-200. Never any more than that.

My ex-boyfriend was just the kind of guy that people imagine a stripper would be with. Charismatic though rough, extremely intelligent but very lazy, incredibly abusive, manipulative and riddled with drug and alcohol addictions. Made me feel like dirt about my job, but more than happy to be jobless for 6 months at a time while I supported him, or on the odd occasion that he helped himself to my cash savings. In 2008, on my first night back at work after breaking up with him, this particular regular came in to see me.

He sat next to me in the back room, on a sunken old chesterfield with his arm draped over my fully clothed shoulder. He paid $700 to sit there and listen to me while I told him my sorrows and cried my face clean for 3 hours. It was beyond raccoon eyes. That much salt water flowed down my face, that there was not a spot of makeup left on it. I was such an emotionally battered and withered person, that I wanted to move back to my home town and make it work somehow. I wanted to quit dancing because my ex told me ‘You’re nothing but a piece of pussy. You’ll never be happy and you’ll never make anyone happy. How could you? So many guys have seen your cunt it may as well be your face. Look at you. Who the fuck would wanna be with you? I don’t fucking want you. You’re a fucking piece of shit bitch.’

To this day, I remember these words. Verbatim.

I thought if I quit dancing, that it would fix everything and he would love me. My customer listened to me tell him all of this. Every single word of it. I could see he was so sad for me. His brow was furrowed with worry as he said, ‘I don’t know that he’s right for you. But if you really want to go home and stop dancing, I’ll lend you $10,000 so that you can afford to take time off, and get better, and work things out. I know you’re good for it. I know you’ll pay me back when you can.’

His offer was not accepted. But has always been appreciated. I will never, ever forget his kindness. When I think about him my heart swells a little with a mixture of warmth, sadness and affection. I still dance for him, once or twice a year. We’ve been out for dinner. I think he just comes in so I don’t feel discarded. We know each other well now. I still dance for about the first 2 minutes but I know he’s not into it. Gone are the groans, the eyes no longer roll. I always end up sitting and talking. We are both indifferent to the dancing, but we respect the tradition of where and how we met. It’s almost a homage. It was the beginnings of our unexpected friendship.

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The F Word

As offensive as the word ‘fat’ is to the average girl, so too is the word ‘free’ to a stripper.

Upon offering one’s services as a tres exoticus perfectus dancer to a guy, there is almost nothing more annoying than any one of the following replies in which the ‘f’ word is used; ‘Is it free?’, ‘Only if it’s free’, ‘Do I get it for free cause I’m young and good looking?’, ‘It should be free for girls though….’. Like hell.

Are you fucking serious?

When I go to work, I like to get paid. And as I’ve never, in my whole 6 years of dancing met anyone who works in a charity, I’m pretty sure you all do too. And I don’t care if it’s your birthday. What the hell did you get me for mine? They often have some weird, smug expression on their face, as though pleased to have thought of it first. Except the girls. They usually mean it.

‘Is it free?’, as a response to the offer of a lapdance, can only be surpassed in annoyingness by ‘Where’s the dance floor?’, or maybe ‘Why don’t you pay me, and I’ll give you a lapdance?’

Would it be asking too much to have the ‘f’ word outlawed in the club?

Credit where credit is due though, over the years I have met a few people who work for/with charities in some way, shape or form. They have ALL been dancers, none of them customers! It’s possible that this is a reflection of the demographic we see, or it could just be that there are lot’s of kind hearted ladies of the night out there.

Pepperoni Pizza Face

One night when I was working at Stringfellows in London, I was chatting with an Aussie suit and all of a sudden he told me that I was fat. Too fat to be a dancer.

I was chubsome, about 9kg heavier than I am now, but not fat. Having said that I have always been prone to eating my feelings, so it was only natural for me to console myself by instantly ordering a big bowl of hot chips with a blood bath worth of tomato sauce from the kitchen. Even in my anguish, I could appreciate that they were depressingly derishuss.

My dear friend and colleague Misty was horrified at his unabashed and unprovoked maliciousness. We had all been standing around having a nice old chat prior to his dropping the fatty. In between strawberry daquiris, she went over to him and asked if he had had terrible acne growing up. He was taken aback and asked ‘Why?’ She then pointed her finger at his face, twirled it around in circles a couple of times, squinting her eyes as she moved her face closer to his and gently said “Mmmm, it’s just that even from across the room I could see these cratering scars pokking all over your face.” He was pretty upset. I think he got the picture, “Do unto others…”, and all that.

He really did have a pepperoni pizza face. I’d say he still has one but suck shit asshole, I dropped my extra kg’s years ago. Perhaps if you’d asked nicely I would have let you use my third arse for a skin graft.

I Have A Dream…

…And in my dream, a team of polite, respectful, decent looking, gregarious and wealthy men come into my work. These men are ensconced in a cloud of a mysteriously delicious fragrance (one that has not been tested on animals). There is one guy for me and each of my girlfriends. These guys have the trifecta covered, the holy trinity, if you will. Smell good, cool guys, LOADED. They spend all night at the club with us. They make it rain.

There is champagne, laughter, and not one of them is a Mr Octopus. They keep their damn hands to themselves. The DJ refrains from playing anything by Jason Derulo or Pitbull. My girl Lolly is there and we do what we do best – terrible accent imitations. As Germans we make ze pahtee, as Indians we are endearing Idoooooo’s, as Latecia Quanicia’s we shake ass and go ghetto on that shit. We are all booked out for 8 hours and have a fabulous time. It doesn’t feel like work at all.

At the end of the night, the men tip each of us $1500 and say it was great meeting us, we’re awesome girls. They don’t ask for our phone numbers. They don’t ask us to come back to room #3015 at the Grand Park Hyatt to ‘hang out’. They say they’ll be back every month for their board meeting and will stop in each time. They hand us each a business card for good measure and then disappear in a puff blue smoke. Leaving only the smell of their perfume and their money behind!

Stripper Babies

This year I’ve had heaps of friends have babies. In March alone I had 9 friends pop them out, including my sister, who’s little baby girl is heartbreakingly cute. My boyfriend’s sister had her baby with the apple cheeks in March also. Before Apples was born, I watched her mum-to-be research a potential name. She gave me the list of Melbourne’s Hottest 100 baby names for 2010 and gone were the names like “Katy”, “Gemma”, “Jess”, and “Anna” that had occurred so frequently when I was growing up. This list took me on a journey. A journey through the archive of “Strippers I Have Known”.

Layla, Milla, Scarlett, Bella, Lara, Annabelle, Trinity, Eva, Mia, Stella, Madison, Samantha, Alexis, Faith, Lily, Victoria, Abbey, Portia, Gabrielle, Maya, Taylor, Charlotte, Riley, Chloe, Savannah, Madison,  Destiny, Lucy, Bailey, Paige, Natalia. It goes on…

It’s a bit unfortunate really. It was difficult enough picking a stripper name that wasn’t taken. How the hell am I going to think of a name for a baby girl that doesn’t bring on a memory montage from a dancer that I’ve known? Some of these montages are very, very alarming.

Some of these girls have become my closest friends. Most of them I would say I respect and many I call good friends of mine. We all get together when we can, have dinner, exchange stories from the past and the present. It is NEVER a dull time.

Recently I caught up with some of the girls I worked with when I first started 6 years ago. We were at a first birthday party for one of their daughters. Almost all of them had moved on to other things. A couple of us are still dancing or working in some capacity in the industry. We had a blast. The tales these girls can tell! With such humour and compassion. Sitting in a room with them, I felt really, really lucky. Most people don’t get to hear stories like ours. And if they do, they can’t ever really understand unless they’ve worked that stage. There was a warm, fuzzy, ya ya sisterhood feeling in the room that would have been capable of sending the oestrogen levels soaring at a Doherty’s gym.

In the future, I hope I come across little sprockets that take me back to the days. Cause the Annabelle’s, Lisa’s, Taylor’s, Lara’s and Electra’s are well worth the trip in ridiculous stilettos down a cobblestone memory lane.