We are more than just Strippers – 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 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 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!

We are more than ‘just’ strippers

I started the blog to tell my own little secrets and experiences about the stripper’s life, but I’m more and more determined and want to do something for the sex worker community.

I’m a stripper and a writer. I write books about my experiences as a dancer (good and bad, but totally honest) and try to fight against the social stigma that we have to wear. I already have one book I wrote about the average customers of the clubs because we are judged by the society but no one talks about those who come to the clubs with their requests. The book I’m currently working on will be about what’s happening in the private, slut-shaming, sex, strippers’ relationships and so on and I’d like to use a few words, stories and opinion of other strippers too. If you’d like to share your opinion with me that could fit in the book, it would be very much appreciated. (with your stripper’s name, age, and country)

What would be your few words message to the ‘normal’ world about our life? If you could only get one point across to the world, what could you say?

We need to raise our voice and together we are louder.

Lately, I thought I should extend this blog with other dancers’ and sex workers’ experiences. I don’t want to make our work fancy and appealing to others to join but those that already work in this industry I wish to be more understood. When you watch some movies, we are displayed as alcoholic and druggies and girls with daddy issues, but our work, our life is more than that and there are girls who were able to stand up for themselves. I just want to show the community that we made our choices and have nothing to be ashamed of. It will be in the ‘We are more than just Strippers’ category and there I’d like to introduce girls, artists, businesswomen who grew from this industry and became beautiful, strong and independent spirits. My aim is to show the world that we are not only strippers but talented, kind-hearted, hard-working individuals. You can write your own introduction with photos and links you’d like to share or we can do that in a form of an interview.

Let me know if you’re interested or if you know someone who would be interested.

Email: heartbrokenstilettos@gmail.com

Thank you!

Lindsay

Women in the club

It’s quite funny to see when a woman comes to the club and she tries to outdo the strippers. I told you earlier, there is such a big competition between the girls already, but some female customers want to show us she can get the same attention, without knowing anything about our job. She asks if she’s allowed to go on stage and do a dance. Usually, the little devil whispers in his ears and the manager doesn’t say no, just for fun. But for us, it’s just pathetic seeing a “normal” woman trying to spin on the pole and seduce the audience, just like we do. Yes, usually she’s drunk as hell, and her movement is uncoordinated.

She has no idea that dancing on stage is just one little part of our work, selling drinks, participating in mind games and dealing with difficult customers require more, than just having the courage to take off our bra in public.

Sometimes they didn’t even ask if they can go on stage; it happened in Belgium that two women came in with their partners, they ordered a bottle of champagne, and all night they were running around the club without their blouses. Although the worst, when a dancer of another club comes in and she wants to show off on stage that she’s better than everybody in the room. Women, eh? Do you believe now that it is such a competitive world?

In Luxembourg, I remember there were two men and a woman, they were colleagues and they came in after a company event. They were pretty pissed already but booked me in the open VIP lounge with a bottle of champagne. I, the stripper was elegantly sitting on the sofa drinking the champagne while the woman was taking the alcohol like a sponge. The guys begged me to do a striptease, but they didn’t want to pay for a private dance – and in that case, I don’t earn money – so I danced a little for both men but with my clothes on. Just for a little teasing, they might change their minds and be willing to pay for a private dance. Suddenly the woman thought she can do it better, she pushed me back to the sofa, and she started to “dance” in front of her colleagues. She took her top off, she was touching herself and rubbing her body to their crotches.

Darling, you are way too wrong if you think this is my job!” I thought but said nothing. I was only wondering how she could look in their eyes the next day at work.

When the champagne was gone and she started to get in their pants, I decided to leave the table. There was nothing more left for me from the part of the entertaining and the sensual fantasies, she did everything to them.

I don’t compete with such a woman! They ordered one more bottle of champagne but they didn’t book another dancer. After 15 minutes out of curiosity I glanced to the VIP, it was open so I could see what was going on. One of the guys fingered her even then.

And people call me a slut because I’m a professional stripper! Isn’t it ironic?

We, dancers, are naked therapist

Stripping is an expensive job emotionally, people with tempers find me often. Not only customers but girls also if there is something bothers them. Sometimes I feel I’m doing a therapy session at work.

“Because you are pure and such a good person, thank you for listening to me.” I hear often.

It’s not only the hustle and the drunken customers make us drained but the mental games. The following story happened in Germany. The customer bought a huge bouquet of flowers to one of the girls in the club, but she left them in the changing room because she couldn’t take them home. Actually, she gave them to another dancer who took them home. Moral lesson: Don’t post any present on Facebook if you didn’t directly get them! She posted a photo posing with the flowers and the guy next day came back to the club and was complaining and arguing for hours about the flowers and how unfair was for the other girl to take them home. Useless to say, neither of the girls was working, he had no guts to tell them face to face.

I just heard pieces of his sentences as he was talking to the bar lady, but for me, it was enough already. Literally, he was in the club for long hours complaining to everyone, including the management and other girls.
I don’t care if she sits with another customer, but she thinks they are in love with her but they are just shitting on her!”
He called all the customers assholes who are cheating on their wives just because they come to the club and pay for their favourite dancer. Anyway, he was a small, skinny guy with a high pitched voice and anger issues, kind of like he had a Napoleon syndrome.

 

To be touched by your feminine side doesn’t mean to come to the club and complain about a girl, especially when she doesn’t work that day. This man in the following four days constantly was giving a headache to everyone complaining and crying out because the girl gave the flowers to her colleague. The thought, that maybe she has a reason why she couldn’t take the flowers home didn’t cross his mind. A lot of times we’re like psychiatrists, listening to people’s problems, over and over again, people pay us just to sit there and listen to them.
Please, don’t confuse us with your therapist!

The way to a stripper’s heart

“On my journey, I have met lots of different men. Some were saints, others were sinners. If my Prince Charming hasn’t come to me on this road, I decided to set out for him. Somewhere our paths will meet and I will recognise in him the man I was waiting for in my entire life, it doesn’t matter what kind of disguise he wears to hide his true self.”

I wrote in my book if I met the right guy, I would recognise him whatever mask he wears. By the time I finished the book, I met someone special at work. I met him in the period when my book was finished but hadn’t been published yet.

How funny, I didn’t want to approach him at the beginning. He was playing on the slot machine and I didn’t want to disturb him, but my boss poked me:
“Go to him, he’s a good  customer!”

He called me and treated me like a Princess from the beginning. Can you imagine how much the other girls in the club hated me because of that?? (I wonder if he knew about what kind of book I was working on..)
In that shitty club I was working, he made me feel special.

He was not perfect, but I’m not perfect either. We had some fights, especially when I was drunk at work and I was more passionate about everything than usual. But we found compromises in everything that brought problems to the table. Sometimes the situation was a bit overheated but a few days later we were just laughing at it.

When I changed clubs and needed to travel to another city, he offered me his help that he could take me there in his car and I accepted it with no fears.
When one week later he visited me on that new place, I did something I’ve never ever done before: I paid his bill in the club because he didn’t have enough cash. He didn’t ask, I offered.
I sneaked out from work to my room above the club and brought him the money. You see, I’m not your average stripper! Paying the customer’s bill (5 bottles of expensive champagne) sounds pretty crazy, right? But I trusted him from the beginning and he paid back the last penny I gave him.
Maybe he was not my Mr Right, but he treated me in the right way as man never treated me before. It was not about the five-star hotels, but I’m not gonna lie, I loved that luxury. It was about how he opened the door for me in those hotels and how he helped me with the luggage. Or when a drunk guy at work tried to convince me why I needed immediately to have sex with him, he saw the situation, got my hand without a word and escorted me to his table. In that move there was no possession, “this is my girl” or anything, just the well-known old chivalry.

Lots of guys just dream about dating a stripper. Well, if they behave like most of our customers, no wonder why they don’t have a chance. How to put it in the right way: you have 20 balls in front of you, 19 red and only one blue. The blue one will get your attention, simply because it’s different from the others.
I’m a stripper but also a woman. And just because I’m a stripper, I don’t tolerate misbehaved guys, I would rather go for someone who is different, who knows how to treat a woman and make her feel special.