You know that girl in your class? Maybe she sits next to you during math or maybe you worked on a group project with her for your biology class. Would you know just by looking at her that she was a stripper?
Adrian* is a 27 year-old CUNY student who lives in Queens and began stripping when she was just 22. “Stripping is no different from any other job, you do it because you have bills and other financial obligations,” she said, “but it was the taboo aspect of stripping that factored into its intrigue.”
Her curiosity about stripping began when she was a kid. When she got older she decided to do some research on the field and was surprised to find that it could be just like any other job. “I’ve never been one to buy into stereotypes regarding anyone and this was no different.”
While doing her research, Adrian also made friends with women who are in the business through online forums. “I learned a lot from them, gained insight and invaluable tips before I ever stepped foot in a club,” she said, “I didn’t go in expecting boozy, drug-addled co-workers nor did I anticipate a level of glamour so often portrayed in the media.”
When she started working she decided to keep the news from her parents and other family members. “…they have a more conservative/old fashioned mindset when it comes to what is and is not acceptable for a young woman to do.” But for Adrian, stripping is not that different from other jobs she’s had like bartending. “Those were jobs that also required social interaction, albeit on different levels.” She said, “I’ve discovered that being able to hold a conversation under any social circumstance and connecting with others is a learned skill with immeasurable value.”
Although Adrian is working towards a college degree she says she could see the possibility of stripping long term and noting that “some of the most successful are the older veterans of this profession,” adding maintaining your looks and a sharp mind are key.
“Some of the smartest and most ambitious people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing worked as strippers. These are family-oriented, financially responsible, smart women who defy the stereotype. “