Interview with Amira, the @sacredstripper

I follow Amira’s work on Instagram and was very pleased when she said yes for this interview. I like and appreciate the services that she offers for other sex workers for spiritual healing, these days it’s very much needed. We’re constantly interacting with people using our private zone, not like a waitress, who takes the order, serves the customer and leaves the table. We let any drunken, ignorant, drugged person enter our comfort zone and it’s so easy to collect all the negative energies, emotional rubbish from them. We have to deal with rejection, more than one time a night, and we have to participate in mind games. Indeed, it can easily lead us to burn out, alcohol and/or drug abuse.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I am a 34-year-old u.s. born Palestinian with 10 years of experience in the adult entertainment industry. I am mixed and I have one parent that’s an Arab Muslim immigrant and one that is a white Christian “American.” I’m also queer and part of the LGBTQ community. Because of these identities, I’m able to comfortably mix and mingle with a lot of different people and easily blend into a variety of environments. At the same time, I experience rampant discrimination for being Palestinian, queer, Muslim, a sex worker, just like everyone else who is a part of these identities, except I experience it in my own way and they experience it in theirs. It’s important to me to claim these parts of my identities but I don’t claim to speak for anyone else because we all have very different experiences of life. I don’t want to collapse myself either or let people think they know me just because they know my label.

Amira Barakat al-Baladi is my stage name and the name of my sex work persona. My family name is Nadia Ann Abou-Karr. Amira is an aspect of me, just like Nadia is.

How did you get involved in sex work?

I was working as a community organizer but the organizations I worked for weren’t paying me enough. I needed more income. I decided to leave the relationship I was in, which was going nowhere, and spend the time I would normally spend with him, working as a webcam model instead. It was fun and the money was good, but I was greedy and I wanted more. So I started finding clients as a non-pro (non-professional) on Craigslist and other dating sites. I would meet up with them like it was a date, and then charge them to have sex with me. Even just taking a couple of clients per week made a huge impact on my bills and my quality of life, so that when my chronic illness got more severe and I was laid off from my non-profit jobs, I was able to regroup while still being able to support myself and move to Atlanta, where my hustle took off. Ten years later, I have worked in so many different aspects of the industry including porn, escorting, professional BDSM, webcam, phone sex, fetish modelling and sensual bodywork. I’ve even helped other workers get involved in sex work and improve their business. I don’t work full time as a sex worker anymore but I still include it as one of my multiple streams of income. I’m now becoming a hybrid version of a sex worker/energy therapist/teacher.

What is your best advice for girls in this industry?

Have boundaries and stick to them. Don’t let people cross your boundaries. It’s better to walk away, to go home early, to not take that client you have a funny feeling about. Sometimes missing out on money saves you money when it comes to being able to rest and preserve your sanity and peace of mind. Take good care of yourself. Don’t give discounts. Don’t talk yourself into settling for less. It’s ok to run a special every now and then but don’t convince yourself you have to accept whatever you can get. Working smarter and not harder is the key to your longevity in this game. Charge more. If you charge higher prices that means you work less. Work with what you got and capitalize on your assets to charge as much as you possibly can when and where you know you’ll be compensated best. Never feel guilty or apologize for it.

You do holistic healing and give spiritual support to other sex workers. How do you clean your own energy?

I always sleep with crystals and herbs in my bed. I change them depending on the time of the month and the particular issues I’m dealing with at the time. I do self-healing techniques on myself including EFT which I teach on my live stream on IG, and Reiki energy healing, which I teach in my Heaven on Earth Holistic Healing class. I take lots of baths, which I soak in anywhere from 40 minutes to 6 hours. The more I do this work of helping others to heal, the more time I have to spend doing my own self-care in order to feel whole, balanced, and not burnt out.

What kind of services do you offer for fellow sex workers?

I’m always dreaming of more offerings I can share with my community. I’m really excited to be able to be part of this interview and tell you about myself and what I am doing, in my own words. First, I encourage other sex workers to be themselves and to contribute to our community. I think we all have something to give and we are all very special people. We get so much hate and animosity thrown on us from outsiders and even from the people within our circles who we regularly interact with like clients, coworkers, management and more. So at times, it can be very discouraging. We need support and support is a huge part of what I offer for fellow sex workers. As a stripper, escort, fetish artist, sensual masseuse, aesthetician and makeup artist, I became used to working closely with the body and experiencing the energy from other people. I began to use mantras and intentions to work consciously with that energy, not knowing that what I was doing naturally was very similar to the energy healing technique known as “Reiki.” I found that out when I became certified in Reiki, first in level I and II in Las Vegas, NV in 2016, and then as a Reiki master in Detroit in 2017. I had already received Reiki treatments from people in my community starting in 2011 but I never considered learning how to do it until 2014 during a major spiritual awakening in which I began seeing the reiki symbol and other esoteric symbols spelt out for me in sticks and fallen pine needles during my daily runs. This is after years and years of already investing time, effort and money into my spiritual journey starting in 2011 with my first spiritual detox. I now offer my support to sex workers who are also learning to make sense of the supernatural occurrences they experience and follow the signs they receive towards a better quality of life. My spiritual coaching sessions are a mixture of counselling, support, energy clearing and cord cutting, and some light bullying when you need an extra push. They are for people who want to develop their spiritual gifts and need some help, some accountability, and someone to talk to along the way. I’ll always give you messages from your spirit guides and help you tune into your intuition when you need some support finding your way back to yourself. I use my gifts, to help you recognize and utilize your gifts. Everything I do is guided intuitively so each session is a little different based on that person’s needs. I have learned to just trust and go with it when sessions deviate from the norm or from my expectations because spirit knows best. In my energy healing sessions, I focus in on clearing the chakras, the aura, cutting away energy cords and past connections that no longer serve you, and supporting that transformational healing work of releasing baggage and sifting through traumatic experiences on a deeper level. I help you access your intuition, your spirit guides, your past life memories, and your spiritual gifts. I also do tarot card readings for those looking for a little bit of guidance.

I’m excited to begin offering my Reiki Certification Class at the end of August in Detroit! From there I’ll be touring throughout the U.S. and Canada wherever I’m invited to offer this class. In this class, you’ll learn how to use energy healing for more profit, fun and success at work in the sex industry, for your own personal healing and the healing of your loved ones, and in your own holistic healing business. This can be a side career that complements your adult entertainment work or an exit plan if you are ready to leave sex work or simply just need a break. I’ll also be teaching my Heaven on Earth: Holistic Healing for Hoes workshop in Detroit at the beginning of September and bringing that community-based workshop along on my tour. In this workshop, I teach some of the same self-healing modalities I teach on my IG live stream and to my clients in sessions. These techniques include meditation, body movement, crystals, dream interpretation, emotional freedom therapy (aka “tapping”) and more. We don’t have enough support systems built in for us when we experience trauma, so I offer these classes and workshops as a way to help us build support for ourselves and each other during the critical times when we need it the most. This enables us to have the skills that we need to care for ourselves and support each other during times of spiritual transformation and social unrest when we are most vulnerable to violence, abuse, suicide, self-harm and spiritual attack. It is my goal for all of us sex workers (aka Sex Goddesses) to be able to awaken and cultivate our spiritual gifts for the good of all and to be recognized for the powerful healing work we’re already doing which benefits everyone.

Visit www.sacredstripper.com and @SacredStripper on Instagram and Twitter for more!

Thank you, Amira!

The Death of the Phoenix

I’m going home to die…
No need to worry, everything is OK with me, there are no issues with my health. I’m not going home to literally die. But as I always said, the symbol of the Phoenix has a strong effect on my Life. And just like the Phoenix, I’m going to die to reborn. The old habits, patterns will die with me, I don’t want to follow them any longer. It’s a strange feeling when one day you wake up and you realise in a nanosecond what you’re doing wrong in your Life. Like a newborn baby, you open your eyes the first time and you see clearly. But it’s up to you what you’re going to do with this realisation. I’m cutting everything off that I don’t really need or not useful to me, that makes me feel tired, angry, sad or doubtful. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Things that hold me back. It’s like a big spring cleaning! I have no regrets. I truly believe that things that belong to my Life they will find the way back to me, the rest is just a matter of time when will leave by themselves.
It’s painful, but I need to grow. I put 8 years into 4 boxes and decided to go back to Hungary. At least for a while, until I make the final decision. I don’t want to live in a fantasy world any more, I decided to come out to the daylight. My eyes still hurt but soon I will get used to it. And I need my family and my family needs me. Where ever you travel in this world, it’s always good to go back to your roots, where is the source of your blood.
I often said after reaching my dream – to go to Japan – I have nothing to take from this dancing world. For me, that was the last step on the career ladder in this work (if we can call it a career) but after that, I didn’t find much happiness in it. Stories and experience for my book, yes, but now I need to find the time to work more on that book and set up new goals.
I don’t stop to work because I still have bills to pay but I will do less and less, and focus more on other aspects of my Life. I will still post here, but more from memory than about actual workplaces. And when I’m ready to reborn, I spread my wings and I will return.

Wish me good luck and strength!

 

Spirituality in travelling

I was thinking a lot about what are the advantages of travel. Besides I go to beautiful places, and it makes me a stronger, more experienced and more freedom loving person, it has other smaller but also an important advantage in my Life. Just, for example, my friends always tell me that I can pack my suitcase correctly. No unused place in it or no unnecessary stuff. And it’s true. And I’d like to believe that in other aspects of my Life I’m also that well organised. 
During all these years of travels, I’ve learned how to live in a suitcase and use limited places and time. If something needs to fit in, it will. Even I have to leave other things behind. By that, I’ve learned the priority of things. The meaning of choice. It’s a very good spiritual practise indeed. How to get rid of stuff you don’t need any more – sometimes even people, – lighten up the luggage and the heart, not carry oversized or overweight packages.
I never carry things with me that I can buy in the shops where I go. It gives me flexibility. Do you know the kind of person who always buys the same brand of toothpaste? Well, this is not me. I’m not a prisoner of my habits. I can use any shampoo as long as it’s suitable for my hair type, contains fewer chemicals and not tested on animals. I can eat any food. And I can sleep anywhere. At the airport waiting for a flight connection, on a bus during a long drive, or on a not so comfortable small bed in a backpackers. I don’t need a king size bed and perfectly closed curtains to fall asleep. I’m not saying I don’t like comfort. I do love it! But I wasn’t born with the silver spoon in my mouth, and they say “Smooth seas don’t make excellent sailors.” 
At work, I meet lots of different people. Kind or less kind to my heart. But when I finish my contract, and I have to leave the place, I take only good memories with me. The bad ones I try to leave behind. Anybody did anything terrible to me, I don’t want to carry the anger with me back home or to the next place. It took me a while to learn to let it go but makes my Life much more comfortable. I don’t stick to any personal things either. When I leave, I leave all those stuff behind that I don’t need anymore. I’m not going to carry a half-empty bottle of shower gel when I can buy it anywhere! Or clothes. They have no meanings for me. Of course, I pack fewer designer clothes with me, only those I  take that I don’t mind to get rid of if it’s necessary to make more place for souvenirs in the bag. 
And I’ve been in some challenging situations indeed. When I had to stay calm and not to panic, use my head, solve the problems as soon as possible and move on. And I was alone most of the time; I could only count on myself. Or I was lucky (and thankful) enough that somebody came into my Life in the very best moment to offer some help and I was happy to take it. I learned to trust and give credit sometimes to a total stranger. I learned to face problems and that in the end, somehow everything will be alright. I learned that all those difficult times are only challenges, and the show must go on. And it always does.
And I learned not to give up easily. Some places or people are worth to take a risk. And I learned to learn. I genuinely believe that every place I go can show me something new and I can learn something from all those people that suddenly come to my Life even at that very moment I don’t see what they are teaching me. But when I look back, I always find the answers to my questions. And I never forget being thankful for all.
So this is it. This is my spiritual practice during travelling that gives me wonderful experiences and on the way, I hope it helps to find the better me.
What is your favourite destination?

Who shouldn’t date with a girl who travels..

It’s a rainy morning in the Caribbean, not really a good time to go to the beach. So I’m surfing on the Internet and I found a very interesting article that I can not leave without words. Actually after reading it has a stronger effect on me than my morning coffee! The title is “Don’t date a girl who travels” Here you can read the whole article:

http://www.lovethesearch.com/2013/05/dont-date-girl-who-travels.html

There is another article about why you should “Always date a girl who travels” :

http://kittyandsanta.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/always-date-a-girl-who-travels/

Reading both blogs I recognised myself. A girl who travels “doesn’t work like a robot all day, she goes out and takes what life has to offer and challenges you to do the same. She speaks her mind. She is too independent and won’t care whether you travel with her or not.” “She lives out of a suitcase and sleeps on the floor. She’s independent and strong. She will continue to show you that being here on Earth is a spontaneous blessing with jaw-dropping views around every corner. She will continue to pursue her dreams until she succeeds, she will never give up on anything she wants. “Yes, that’s ME! These words describe me perfectly.

And you shouldn’t date me for the same reasons above if you are needy, nerdy, a momma’s boy, if you are too cautious or too insecure. I’m a light bulb in the dark for those guys, they find me extremely attractive but nothing long-term could work between us. I was reading enough self-help books about relationships but at the end of the day, I had the same conclusion after each book. A woman has to be extraordinary patient, give enough room to her man, not yelling, not nagging, appreciate every small move he does but I didn’t find a book teaching a man to be more patient, not being obsessive and give enough freedom to his woman. I got enough “I help you” and “I’ll take you away from this job” offers but none of them questioned maybe this is what I want to do! It seems hard to believe that some girls in this job have more in their head than in a doll’s head in the shopping window and we can’t take that someone tells us what to do with our lives.

I love to surprise people!

Thanks for all those years of travels and experience, I’m able to keep a good conversation (with an intelligent man). And if he is not so intelligent, the game starts. Not long ago I had a customer who thought he can buy me just like he buys a bag of apple in the market. He put all his credit cards on the bar showing all his advantage (definitely that’s all he has) but I thought he fall off the chair when I told him “you have to have more to convince me to talk to you” He didn’t understand what I mean and he was pretty upset that I refused to dance to him after all. Luckily my boss wasn’t around. The guy just called me a bitch and he left. (I’m wondering sometimes why they call these places Gentleman’s Clubs..) This guy definitely doesn’t need to date me!

As my friend from Sweden told me after reading this blog that he remembers me “not only as an extremely beautiful girl but mainly as a very interesting person to have a conversation with. As a representative of the male gender, I have to claim that some of us are able to listen even when we are affected by our feelings.”I have no doubts. I just wish I could meet this type more often.

“Why geographical cures seldom work”

You made reference to “feeling trapped much like a hamster on the treadmill” I getting the impression my very dear friend is continuing her voyage on the thread mill, the difference being is that the thread mill is in different parts of the world ie my profession calls this “a geographical cure”
These words from one of my customer from Canada who became a good friend lately. He often visited me in the club and we were talking hours about psychological issues in relationships. He was a friend, a supervisor and tutor All in One. I studied psychology at the University, and I’m telling you this job is the best psychological work experience. (I specialised in working with special needs and sometimes I feel I’m in the best place to practice.)
The treadmill I meant is more complicated. The Life is a roller coaster. Ups and downs. We have to accept the rain and the sunshine. But so many people live in the fog. Their days are grey. They wake up in the morning, coffee, traffic, work, problems, traffic, home, dinner, family, more problems, bed, morning, coffee, work…. like robots. Until someone unplugs them. They read the book Power of Now, they discuss it, but they don’t change anything.
I have enough people around me that they are only complaining about their lives and even if they have every tool to change it, it’s easier to complain and wait for the miracle. They live in a fear of losing their jobs, financial insecurity and in the shadow of banks and credits. But they still want a bigger house, faster cars, and they able to queue days to get the new iPhone S64… Those people sooner or later will get a big punch from Life. I have a good example in my family how I don’t want to live my life. My dad always dreamed about travels and to see the sea. He was always dreaming about it but never done anything for that, even these days when you can go to Italy or Croatia on a low budget, he just finds excuses not to go. And it’s sad but probably he will die without fulfilling his dream.
My treadmill was in the restaurant. I woke up, get to work, then home and sleep. Next day I started again. Long working hours and no time for friends, no private life. But luckily I quickly realised it’s not what I want. So I quit. I had the power to change what I don’t like. And during travelling, I’ve been changed.
What do I gain from my travel?
Power and Self-confidence
Not physical power but mental power. I can hold myself and stand up for myself if it’s necessary. If I want something, I don’t wait for others to do it for me. I’m brave enough to do the first steps. I don’t have a rich family behind me (although my family is very supportive emotionally) so what I have, what I reached, I did it myself. I’m my own boss.
Patience and Empathy
I’ve heard so many times that I’m so quiet. Yes, because I watch and listen. That’s the way how I learn about the surroundings. And I’ve learned a lot. Now I know how to handle an arrogant (man), a drunk (man), a childish (man), a crying (MAN!), a man with money or a man with issues. And I’m learning not to judge them.
Communication skills
Actually, dancing wasn’t my first “night” job. I did hostessing in a London club where I worked only on commission. That was the way I learned English. I was always shy to speak up because I wasn’t sure and I wanted to speak correctly. So I pushed my boundaries and started that job saying if I don’t start to speak – doesn’t matter correct or not –, I will have no money to eat. I’m still alive! 🙂
And I learned how to communicate with different people from different background and/or culture.
..and lots of joyful moments!
This is my favourite! Cage diving with the Great White sharks and crocodiles, going on a safari, seeing the Niagara Falls, climb up the CN Tower and walk on the glass floor, swimming in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, Chinese Moon Festival, eating delicious local food and taste something different, palm trees and beautiful beaches, Octoberfest, bungy jumping.. and the list is not full!
I understand what my friend wanted to say with his words above. Maybe I’m a bit of adrenalin junky. And if this is my new treadmill, I will enjoy it! But I would rather call myself a free spirit and this treadmill simply Life. And for me, it definitely works!