Big Issues

Why Dropping Out Of Uni To Become A Stripper Was The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done

"I loved myself, my body, my personality, and I believed in every single piece of me."

When I was a teenager, I was ugly. I had a page boy haircut, greasy skin, fucked up brows and terrible makeup skills. I also had the body of an eight-year-old boy, and weighed about 40 kilos.

Even though I had a long-term boyfriend, there was always an understanding that it was my personality that brought us together. I was like the fun quirky girl that hung out with the boy’s group and privately enjoyed anal.

During my HSC, I got very sick and spent most of the year in and out of hospital, leading to me having no fucking money to move out with. Regardless, I got into an International Relations degree in Melbourne and dragged my high school boyfriend with me, already in debt.

I worked at a cafe and a smoothie place in the city, and earned like literally nothing from either of them. I also didn’t qualify for Centrelink. I took to stealing cabbages from the Queen Vic Market at night and living a weirdly Oliver Twist lifestyle.

My equally broke friend from back home visited me in this time, and told me she’d been stripping. Being 18 and never having met a sex worker, I had my reservations. Then she told me about all the money, and the lack of murdering. In one night, she would earn enough to cover my debt.

My First Night 

That week, I googled “strip clubs in Melbourne” and called up the first one. I got an “interview”, and brought along my CV and the only pair of heels I owned. A woman in her early thirties took a photo of me in my underwear “to make sure I didn’t have a huge skull tattoo on my belly”. My first shift was Tuesday.

I turned up at 5pm, fucking terrified. A MILF-y woman gave me a champagne, a lap dance, and a house outfit to borrow. I followed her on stage and copied every single thing she did. A guy in a wheelchair asked me if I wanted to be his sugar baby and gave me $50. A business man asked me to spread my legs for him and gave me another $50. I spent the next four hours crying softly in the change room, not knowing when my shift finished. The girls encouraged me to dance with them, but I played on my iPhone 3 alone. After crying for three more days, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, and decided if I could earn an extra $100 by being obviously petrified and withdrawn, I could do one more night, and hopefully make double that.

That night, I made $1,000, and I never looked back.

Pride And Power

I became fit and strong from the pole, and my confidence grew and grew as I became a woman so beautiful, hundreds of men wanted to pay through their noses just to look at me. I gained a girl gang of beautiful, powerful women with ambitious aspirations and impressive careers, helped along by their massive disposable incomes and free time.

Stripping made me love myself, led me to many great decisions, and gave me the means to follow my dreams.

I bought my friends gifts, treated my partner, played my violin and visited my family whenever I liked, for however long I liked. I loved myself, my body, my personality, and I believed in every single piece of me.

I decided to leave my boyfriend and move to Europe for a while. Now that I had truly blossomed, I didn’t want to condemn myself to a life of bureaucracy. Stripping made me love myself, led me to many great decisions, and gave me the means to follow my dreams.

Thank you, stripping.

(Lead image: Closer/Columbia Pictures)