As I’m sure a lot of you know, blogging certainly isn’t my full time job. It’s my hobby and I bloody love it. In fact, sometimes I find it hard to find the times to sit down with my laptop to write things here given my busy working schedule, not to mention finding the dates to write about. I got to thinking about how I fit dating in with my career and it became apparent to me that not all people are – ‘cool’ shall we say – with the whole worker bee ways of life. By that, I mean sometimes my availability may be limited or I might end up working late. This means that dating can prove to be pretty tricky! “God”, I thought to myself, “Imagine if I worked nights, or had a bit of a different job that people didn’t like! Imagine how hard it’d be then!”
In this instance, think about the life of a stripper.
Everyone is certainly entitled to choose to earn a living in whichever form they wish, but “surely”, I thought, “they must find it hard to date and find someone!” I mean, conventional wisdom and my own experience suggests that dating is definitely no picnic, but it must be pretty difficult for someone in that sort of industry to find love or even form any sort of romantic relationship. I didn’t want to draw any conclusions so in true Naomi fashion, I did not sit and ponder much longer. Instead, I wanted to find a stripper and discover just how dating was for them. I was actually lucky enough to be treated to some time with two strippers – a male and a female.
Let me introduce you to these two wonderful people. Paul is a 26 year old male stripper and lives in Miami, and Sophie is a 22 year old female stripper and lives in Luton. Different genders, different ages, different locations – yet same profession, same experiences, same thoughts.
So, are you dating at the moment?
Sophie – No
Paul – No
Have you ever dated, or been seeing someone, whilst you’ve been a stripper?
Sophie – When I first began stripping, I had a boyfriend. We were together before we started.
Paul – I have dated a few girls but nothing serious. Most girls were okay with it until they came and saw me dance because they’d get jealous.
Do you think it was okay for them to be jealous, or should they have just respected that that was your job?
Sophie – I do think he may have got a bit jealous. To be honest, we didn’t really talk about my job but he knew it was just a job. I think it’s a perfectly natural instinct to get jealous, but as long as the trust was there, it was okay.
Paul – Yeah of course. I mean we were not a couple so they couldn’t really get mad at me or anything. I think that at first they were ok because they thought it sounded cool or funny. Most girls go to a strip club to have fun, not get off like guys do. But I mean the dancing I don’t think they minded as much as the lap dances. I went out with this one girl I met though a friend like 4 or 5 times and then she came to the show with a group of girls. She seemed fine while there but afterwards she didn’t return my call for like 2 days and acted weird. Finally she said she just thinks that she isn’t strong enough to let her guy feel up and dance for girls. I totally understand. I am not a jealous person but I don’t think I could have dated a stripper either.
When you were dating, did you ever feel guilty about stripping?
Sophie – Not in the slightest. You should never feel guilty about how you choose to survive.
Paul – No, I was always honest and would let girls know what I did right off the bat, plus I have danced my whole life almost, so to me this was just the same as when I was a kid. Mostly I always looked at it like, I want the girl I was dating to feel like she is the only person in the room and the only thing I want.
Does stripping ever affect your relationships at present?
Sophie – I think I know a lot more about guys now so I’m a lot more picky, but believe it or not, I’ve actually lost friend because of my job, but I’ve also made better ones because of it too. Guess it affects all of your relationships in one way or another…
Paul – Yeah, some good and some bad. I dated one girl who I really liked. I hadn’t danced like that in a year almost and I wasn’t hiding it but it didn’t come up. So when she heard it from someone else she was kinda upset. I think she looked at me different like I was just like other guys. But I understood. That is why I lead with that now and I try to learn from my mistakes. Some girls find it kinda hot for some reason. I had a girl who I asked out a few times and she never seemed interested until after she found out. But after a few dates with her, I saw how shallow she was so…
When it comes to meeting potential partners – is being a stripper a bad or a good thing?
Sophie – If I talked to guys in bars when I was newly single, I’d talk to them almost like they were customers, and I had to stop myself from doing it. I think I know more types of guys now from being a stripper so I guess it’s a good thing in that respect!
Paul – It depends on the girl: some find it sexy, others find it disgusting.
Does being a stripper affect your sex life at all?
Sophie – I think guys think that strippers are super kinky and dirty but we’re no different from anyone else. We know what we like and we know what we don’t like!
Paul – I think it was both again. Good in the aspect it opened me up to feeling comfortable about myself. I think the more comfortable I feel the more comfortable she feels too. Plus, everyone wants to feel “sexy” – even guys – and now, I am more confident to take control. Bad, because you become numb to things sometimes. I mean I get excited easy physically but just because I am hard doesn’t mean I want to have sex.
Do you love the attention you get when you’re stripping? Do you get that same sort of attention outside your working environment?
Sophie – Oh, I LOVE the attention when I’m dancing! It makes me feel so powerful, sexy, strong and confident. I definitely don’t get the same attention outside of work, but when I’m at work, I go all out – make-up, hair, outfits – I just love dressing up – and the confidence I get from doing this translate into real life.
Paul – That is hard, of course I liked it. I mean, who doesn’t want people to cheer for them but I am an outgoing guy and like to be a goof ball. I am not very “sexy” but on stage, I was someone different. I wasn’t the goofy guy who watches wrestling and reads comic books and wants to make movies, I was this guy who was confident and secure and desired, so in real life girls didn’t pay attention to me like they did when I was on stage.
So what are you looking for now – lust or love?
Sophie – I’m not really looking for anything at the moment – what will be, will be!
Paul – I am not really trying to find anything. I have never really been a one night stand guy but I do hope that I can find someone that I can spend the rest of time with but I figure she will come into my life when I am ready for her.
I’m not going to lie, the whole experience with these two was pretty eye-opening. I guess at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you do – whether you’re a stripper, or a business owner, or a cashier, or a builder, or a bartender – dating isn’t as simple as it seems for anyone, but the core principles still matter. As long as there’s trust, respect, understanding and honesty, you can’t go far wrong.
It just goes to show that even though we’re all so different in what we do, when it comes to love and relationships, we’re all cut from the same cloth.
A huge thank you to Paul and Sophie for taking the time to talk to me – such wonderful people!