Saturday, December 29, 2018

On Being An "Old Stripper"

"So what does it feel like to be an old stripper?"

It was an innocent joke made by one of my beloved friends who I invited on a party bus with me to celebrate my Closer To Death Day. 

Maybe it was the cocktail of substances flowing through my veins at that moment but I let go of the stripper pole I'd been writhing around on and sat my leather-clad ass down hard. 

The wind was gone from my sails and I felt suddenly geriatric. 

When I was a kid, I was spectacularly shy. My 4th-grade teacher once called my mother asking if I was deaf because I never spoke. I felt like I somehow missed the instruction manual on how to interact with other humans, so I just kept quiet, deathly afraid I'd say the wrong thing and be rejected … by everyone ….  forever. 

But I had this crazy, thick hair that grew down to my calves that my mother used to spend at least an hour every morning putting up into Vogue-cover-page-worthy braids and updo's. 

People at school lost their shit over it. That was my in; the way I could get people to interact with me without actually having to communicate. And my fate was sealed. 

Ever since, I've put a disproportionately high premium on my looks and the attention I get for them. (Enter my performance career.) Because even though I give less and less of a shit about what other people think of my words, in the recesses of my brain, my looks are the only reason people accept me as a fellow human. 

Of course, the patriarchy gave me a trophy for that notion and a hearty slap on the ass, giddily ushering me further into that chasm where age is a monster that lurks in the shadows, ready to pounce on your worth and beauty. 

About 5 months ago, due to a stint as a lawyer at a charity, I needed extra income fast and when Uber wasn't cutting it, decided to finally give stripping a try. Rick's hired me and I've since worked a handful of shifts that actually turned into slightly subversive social experiments. 

I was sharing this with my friend when he made his "old-stripper" joke that sent me reeling. 

Since turning 36 two weeks ago, I've been on a raucous self-doubting hayride. I discovered at least half a dozen new creases in my face skin, writhed in horror over each of them, and had acid poured on my face by an esthetician to try to make them go away.

While fucking a guy significantly younger than me recently, instead of enjoying the happy sensations in my vagina, I was fixated on draping my hair across my face lest he get a close-up look at my (gasp!) 36-year-old complexion.

I started putting my spare change in a Botox piggy-bank.

I haven't gone back to the strip club. 

But then about a week ago, while beating age-defying moisturizer into my face, I got pissed.

REALLY REALLY pissed.

Because it hit me how women are put through absolute shit coming up in this world.

Mostly we're told constantly that what comes out of our mouths doesn't matter, that our worth lies in our tits and ass, in our passivity and in the last man who fucked us. 

Then, when we've managed to cut through some of that bullshit somewhere in our mid-30's and really connect to our value as humans, we're told to start living in fear of our impending hag-dom which we must strive to delay by pumping shit into our faces so that men will still approve of our existence by sticking their dicks in us or money into our G-strings.

While I never completely dove into that steaming swamp of lies, it infuriated me that I've waded in at all. And it's going to take a lot of palo santo and fuck-you's to find my way out of it.

I'm not going to end this post with a trope about self-love and acceptance or some kind of tidy resolution.

But did you know you can't be angry and scared at the same time?

So for now,  I'm choosing to be pissed off and wear my hair up during sex.












Saturday, December 8, 2018

Suck My Dick

About 6 months ago, I stepped into the courtyard of a French Quarter apartment with 9 thick, purple dildoes strapped to my naked body, jiggling enthusiastically with each step.

I was greeted by a sea of humans, who were staring at this lurid dick monster in, some in delight, some in lust, but many more in confusion.

But all I could think about was a question that had annoyingly embedded itself into the back of my brain:

AM I GOING TOO FAR?

I wasn't concerned that I was standing outside in broad daylight, tits and vagina out, dripping in sex toys and in full view of all the neighboring apartments.

No. What I was worried about "going to far" with was a pre-recorded monologue I had spliced into my song two days before.

In the 1.5 minute clip I call out an ex who I dated in law school for refusing to accept the fact that a woman can be sexual and professional; can pull rosaries out of her vag on the weekend and work a courtroom during the week and be equally respected for both.

I call him by his name, Steven, and explain how that sheltered, vanilla upbringing he was still clinging to under his Art-Nerd-Frat-Boy façade wouldn't allow him to feel comfortable enjoying complete freedom of expression.

I explain how I invited him to a classic burlesque show at first, where the tits and ass were swaddled in glittery costumes and 1950's song choices, making the expression of female sexuality just digestible enough for Steven's nervous male ego.

I then describe how a few weeks later, I invited him to a different show in which I dressed as an aborted fetus who danced to Beyoncé's "Survivor" and ate her own umbilical chord.

And how afterward, Steven sternly pulled me aside and mansplained to me how he planned on becoming a "big deal" lawyer in New Orleans and how, if we were to continue dating, it's OK for his budding professional image if I do classic burlesque, but I would have to:

"KEEP IT CLASSY."

The monologue ends with me telling Steven to "Suck my dick."

The monologue played, and Steven didn't appear to sue me for slander or light my vagina on fire. To the contrary, that crowd was living for it, squealing in solidarity.

But the fact that, of all the things I've done on stage, calling out a man is what made me question my judgement confirmed for me what I knew from the moment I decided I needed to create my own identity in this world:

If you are a woman in this society who wants to challenge, rather than soothe people, who wants to free her sexuality, who wants to be a lawyer AND and get naked onstage, AND not be judged for it,

GET READY TO FIGHT, BITCH.

This blog is about that fight and all the other she- and he-roes in my life who consistently refuse to Keep It Classy.