Let me share a story with you..

After reading it, if you previously though that all strippers are cheap and they are there only to show some skin, your opinion could be changed.

The location is in Cape Town. The club is huge with 3 levels and about 80 girls work together. But I remember this night was quiet. I mean we had customers, even an organised bachelor party but not a full house. In a dark corner that was a guy sitting alone and staring into his glass. I was looking at him for a while, and then he lifted up his head and our eyes met. He wasn’t a good looking one but it was something strange around him. I sent him a smile and I carried on the conversation with my friend. I had no intention to approach him.

After maybe 10-15 minutes he touched my shoulder. He was polite but this strange feeling didn’t want to disappear around him. And I would lie if I say I was absolutely comfortable in his presence. He asked me for a dance. That night I didn’t make good business so I said OK. In that club, the private dance is behind closed doors operated by a computer system. The time limit is very strict, if you stay a second longer, it will count you another dance, doesn’t matter if you do it or not, you have to pay the fee after both dances. I don’t remember exactly but something like the dance is 5 minutes and the girl has 1 minute to get dressed. If the door is not opened, she pays automatically for the fee of the second dance as well. (The customer pays the girl for the dance and then the girl pays the fee to the club.) Let’s say the room is 3×3 metres, and the button to open the door is a bit far from the sofa. So with that guy, I didn’t feel 100% safe when the door closed.

I started to dance against the wall, keep a bit distance before I get closer. But he asked me to stay there. It was really strange. I took off my clothes and he asked me to stay at the wall and not get close to him. “I don’t want to hurt you!” he said. “Just stay there and don’t move. I just want to look at your beautiful body.” I started to feel really weird. And then he said something and everything made sense. “I’m a soldier and I haven’t seen a woman for months. I’m afraid if you come close to me I can’t handle myself. I just want to see you.” After the second dance, he asked me to get dressed, just to sit next to him and he paid other 3 or 4 dances. We were talking. I mean he was talking and I was there to listen. He told me he just came back from the army and he couldn’t find a normal job. A way back to the normal life. That was some pretty heavy stuff in the air… “Same with a woman. Nobody wants to be with a guy who killed people!” This sentence really hit my chest. I had mixed feelings for him. I felt sorry for him but at the same time, I appreciated that he is telling me all of these. I can imagine how hard was saying out loud and share all those feelings with someone. I gave him the greatest support that I could, but I know he needed only someone to be there for him. He was literally a big, strong guy crying on my shoulder. That was one of the situations when no words needed.

After the dance, I stayed with him. He offered me a drink, but that was 30 minutes before closing and I didn’t want to drink alcohol. No commission on it anyway. But my head – and also my heart – was heavy. I was disappointed in our world not to give a second chance to someone who really wants to change. I understand him as being a stripper also not easy to find a normal job if I want to quit. But who decides what is normal?

We were talking about lighter stuff lately and the lights were switched on. The manager waved that we are finished. I said goodbye to him and wished good luck in his future. I left him. But before I entered the changing room, he came after me holding something in his hand. It was a leopard tooth that he was wearing on a necklace. He said that was the first animal he shot. “I have nothing else but I want to give you this to remember me..” And I do. I keep this necklace on my mirror so every time I look at it I remember him. As I remember the lesson I’ve learned. That sometimes how helpful not to give people advice, just to listen and let them speak. Or just holding a hand when the words don’t come easy.

So you still think we have an easy job? Sometimes in this life, we need to develop other skills than just dancing around the pole. Sometimes it’s required us to be more of a therapist than just naked women in the night. Although therapists can earn a better salary…

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