In the Beginning

In the Beginning

“Well shit. I guess I’m a stripper.”

– Me

The evening I applied to my first club, the manager in charge of hiring girls took a great deal of time in the office discussing with the boss’s daughter whether or not I was a good fit.

“When you came in, I mean, you are really cute, super petite. There would have been no question. I would have hired you on the spot.”

But…

“It’s just, you have no experience.”

The boss’s daughter piped in. “Do you have like a pole, even? Like at home that you practice on?”

I didn’t.

So, we finally decided I would pick up day shifts and learn slowly. Once I gained enough experience, then I could pick up some shifts at night. I reported back the following Monday at twelve o ‘clock promptly to talk to the day shift manager. I tried asking as many questions as I could think up. The only knowledge I had of working at a strip club was from what I had gathered watching an endless assortment of youtube videos. How do I work the floor? How do private dances work? What do I do on stage? What do I wear?

Let’s call this manager Molly. Molly was very sweet, helping me with outfits and answering all of my questions. Much less intimidating than the night shift manager I had met before. Thank you Jesus, I thought. But also, um, sorry?

Molly told me to leave for Walmart since I needn’t be at work until three. So I picked up a few cheap bikinis and used one of her new g-strings. That was it, really. I returned with a ridiculous pair of thick heels. My feet belong to fairies, so unfortunately I could not find dancer pumps for a size three. Which is understandable, who wants toddlers walking around in stripper heels? I fixed this problem much later by upsizing with a size five when the persecution became too much, but that’s for another day.

So, one of the dancers walked with me to the locker room. I felt like I was in a scene of the movie Burlesque, waiting for Cher to pop out of the bathroom and give me a makeover. While that didn’t happen, I did stare into the mirror for about five minutes with a goofy smile on my face and this hanging paranoia looming over me. You’re a fucking stripper. Surely everyone was going to find out about this. I had never even thought my body looked good in a bikini until that evening.

Mixed with fear of course was this overwhelming sense of confidence, though. I had to own it. Set my limits and turn on the bubbly personality switch. I can do this. I can do this.

This was going to be some next level Gloria Steinem type shit. I could get an undercover look at what happened in the world of sex work. I paid very close attention to the other dancers. How did they talk to the customers? How did they transform on stage? What did they do when they were uncomfortable?

In all honesty, I was guilty of treating these women as something other than human. They were mysteries to me. Like sex goddesses, but not human. I was determined to listen to them. I knew in most ways these ladies were like me. They wanted to work, liked to dance and flirt, and had their own insecurities.

It was strange, talking to them. In only two weeks of working, I had made closer friends with some of these women than I had in a lifetime. They were true to themselves. They watched me just as closely as I did them, and then determined I was genuine. Becoming Kitty had been the greatest boost to my confidence I had experienced since middle school.

It helped that on that first Tuesday, by around five in the evening, I had made my first $600, club record. There were several other dancers that night, and the only time a girl had made close to what I had, half actually, was when she was working day shift alone. So let’s say I didn’t start with many friends.

XOXO,

Kitty

Featured photography:

https://www.selectspecs.com/blog/the-sexy-librarian-look/

Marilyn-Monroe-Librarian

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Becoming Kitty

Becoming Kitty

“You have to be two people, the saint and the sinner. The librarian and the stripper.”

– Lucero, boardofwisdom.com

It would be too difficult to draw from any one point in time and say what event inspired me to begin stripping. My older sister tells me I always had it in me. At six years old I was cutting cloth bookcases into tube tops and strutting around the house. I was also that kid at weddings that stole the attention on the dance floor before puberty kicked in. However, I can say that I have always been one of the most reserved persons in any room.

I grew up Roman Catholic and attended private school since first grade. Until about my junior year in high school I was devout in my religious practices. I attended confession about twice every month, engaged in conversations with the Heavenly Father throughout the day, and was quick to apostatize when someone strayed from the Christian faith. My favorite professors were well-taught theologians, and to this day I am beyond thankful for the humility they practiced.

Still, and what I hope to elaborate in some future post, I found the faith to be hypocritical and oppressive in many of their traditional practices. To me, the idea of Christianity seemed founded on the sinful nature of man and the redeeming grace of the Creator. I saw how others could be thankful for the Incarnation, but personally it made no sense how an all-powerful God created a humanity He knew would choose to sin (because of His all-loving nature, free will, etc. etc.) when THE BEING itself, outside of time, could have maybe approached creation a billion different ways? But we don’t question God. Right.

Anyway, I lost the faith. During my first year of college, I still clung to what religious values I knew, but I questioned everything. I was insecure about my purpose, my looks, my personality, the whole deal. This insecurity, unfortunately, and my naive trust in the goodness of man led me to the Tinder dating app. Through Tinder I met John, a narcissistic asshole who changed the course of my life.

The second date with this guy featured a long drive to his house, where I was raped for about four hours before I left for my dorm.

As characteristic of many sexual assault victims, I didn’t know how to react when I left. I was a very bad victim in any case. I didn’t scream. I didn’t fight. Very little was said throughout the entire process. I just lied there and cried while he did what he wanted. I told my roommate the next day and reality set in. She suggested I call the police and report John. My university already had a history of concealing sexual assault, so I wasn’t at all interested. I most certainly did not want to get my parents involved because John would not be the only one faced with criminal charges.

Time passed, I told a few other of my close friends. The hurt from that night never went away and my childhood anxiety peaked. I started antidepressants and counseling, both of which did very little. My sophomore year of college I moved into an apartment with friends and started seriously dating my current boyfriend. However, the more time I spent with him the more I frustrated my very introverted roommates. The stress of keeping up my grades, trying to manage a job to pay for my super expensive rent, and balancing friends was way too much. If my GPA dropped below a 3.75 I would be kicked out of the honor’s society I was already super proud to have been invited into. Any lower than that and I would lose my scholarship, the only thing keeping me in university.

Toward the end of my sophomore year I was already seriously considering a job as an exotic dancer. Why not? I could work around my school schedule, no one would have to know because any person from school who might see me would be in just as much shit, and it was the smart economic decision. There is no way. I thought. Totally freaking impossible.

Turns out it wasn’t.

I called a local club and asked how I could apply. A pretty stoic bouncer, who I now flirt with on occasion, answered and said all I had to do was go in with my ID and fill out some paperwork. I talked with my boyfriend about it. The idea made him uncomfortable, I knew, but he also saw how much I genuinely loved the idea of dancing. What happened with John ignited this post-trauma sexual curiosity. Sometimes I wanted more than anything to explore my sexuality, and other times I didn’t even want to be touched. Still, I have always been comfortable showing a little skin, and dancing was one of my favorite hobbies. So I did it. I went in, asked the bouncer for an application, and sat on a bar stool until the manager came up front.

I stared at the name bank for a while and thought of what I should put as a stage name. Not a jewel. Not a car. What the fuck should I call myself?

Nicknames from the past came to mind. I won’t reveal too much, but I will say my true name justified the adoption of Kitty Kiki Price, or Kitty.

My clients love it. I’m tiny–under five feet–so I think the combination of my height, looks, and the name fulfill a sort of fetish fantasy or something.

I mean it pays amiright?

XOXO,

Kitty

Hello, My (Stage) Name is Kitty.

Hello, My (Stage) Name is Kitty.

“The oldest profession [prostitution] is the most honest, for it exposes the bare bones of what civilization is all about. It’s the root of all professions.”

― Daniel SueloThe Man Who Quit Money

I suppose all aspiring bloggers begin writing in hopes that they will hit a record number of readers, become famous, and spotlight on at least one episode of something like Ellen Degeneres for their totally unique insight. I won’t lie to you, meeting Ellen is definitely heading my bucket list. Sadly though, I know in the back of my mind few of you will likely make it through this whole deal. Even in the best possible circumstance in which every literate and competent human being on planet Earth studies each of my posts with heated fervor, what I have to say has been repeated over and over again by writers, policymakers, and sex workers around the world. It’s been branded, criticized, and most often doubted by many who hear it.

To be entirely honest with you, I really don’t know what it is that I have to say. I guess that is no way to start off building a following. But there is so much I must learn, and so much I must experience, in order to even start to shed light on the injustices surrounding sex work. It is my hope that my personal experience as an exotic dancer, paying my way through an incredibly expensive and terribly traditional university can provide insight into the mysteries as well as the humanity behind the sex industry: lucrative and built on the backs of everyday superwomen.

The purpose of this blog is not only to expose what goes on behind the walls of motels and “titty” bars, but also within the horrors of sex and labor trafficking as well as within the lives of one in every four women who are abused at home. I think painting a clear distinction between the kind of sex work that is conducted by choice and the kind of work that violates basic human rights has to be considered when discussing violence and oppression against women.

Maybe my thoughts won’t solve the entire problem of sex or labor trafficking. Maybe I won’t succeed in granting human rights to sex workers. But perhaps what I have to say will reach the mind of even one hurting sister. Or maybe this blog will help me to realize for myself that I’m not alone in the struggle to be understood. We could only hope I guess?

XOXO,

Kitty

Featured photography:

https://cstpdx.com/show/sex-worker-film-series-profane

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/5-reasons-decriminalization-protects-sex-workers-rights-20160609

rs-244153-GettyImages-460601008