No, not being racist here against gipsies, but if Shakira can sing a song about being a gipsy so I can write about it, right? Someone told me that we, strippers, are the gipsies of the modern world. And I must say I agree with that person. If you hear the word “gipsy” what other words come to your mind straight away? Let me help. Entertaining. Music. Dance. Thief. Magician. Travel. Bags. Free. Wild. Nomad. No agreement, no commitments. No rules.
Dancing and entertaining don’t require further explanation, I guess. As a negative aspect, some might think we also have a dark, criminal side and the dancing business linked to the underworld. I don’t think I tell a big secret that you can’t open a strip club without knowing the local mafia or if not, sooner or later they will appear and introduce themselves to you. Once I worked in a club when the manager asked me to steal my drunk customer’s credit card, and then he can charge him more bottles of champagne – of course, the most expensive one. He was very generous, and he reminded me I also could get more money after this action. Luckily it happened my last days in that club, so I refused to help him do more business in that way, and I left with no trouble. But I can understand where this negative stigma is coming from.
Sometimes we also need to develop some magic skills to disappear after our shift. Just like Houdini! I remember once I had a customer, a lovely man from Belgium. He was a nice guy until he started to get drunk and became aggressive and abusive. By the time when we finished work, he was screaming outside of the club, kicking the rubbish bins and making the possibly biggest noise around 4 am in a residential area. Because he thought I would go home with him. (That time I’ve already learned the lesson not to promise such a thing like “I see you after work if you buy me a bottle of champagne”, but in his mind somehow it was a different case.) He was angry, and nobody could make him calm. My manager tried to talk to him, no success. So one of my friends called a taxi for herself and for my safety she offered me to take me to the bus stop. It was like in an action movie. My friend went ahead, talked to the taxi driver, who drove the car to the entrance as close as he could. Then my friend opened the door and when my manager waved with his hand that the guy doesn’t pay attention – probably he was busy kicking the metal bins – I covered my head with my jacket, jumped into the car and we left. OK, Houdini could do better tricks, but I wished I could disappear and get out of the situation just as he could. So magic, yes, we also use it sometimes.
And my favourite part is the travel. Sometimes I even leave my clothes in the suitcase. I don’t see the point to put them in a wardrobe, and I get dressed straight from my bag. I use to say that I don’t have a home, but I’m home everywhere I go. And it’s true. After the second week, I got used to the new place, the new environment and I start to feel I could stay even longer. But I don’t stay. There is always a new place waiting for me to discover. And once you got the taste of this lifestyle, this kind of freedom, it’s hard to give it up. So yes, I feel like a gipsy travelling from town to town, from country to country to entertain with my dance. Never stay long for one place, never settled down. And I make my own rules.
I remember when my yakuza friend asked me:
“When do you stop this lifestyle? Taking risks?”
“You know I think we are very similar in that. Probably never. Being free and taking risks is in our blood.”
Also, the common belief is that gipsies were mining the gold just like strippers are golddiggers — another common social stigma. And we trust no one. I could tell you stories about having trust issues mainly towards men. But that would be a whole new post here.