So I’m talking to my mom last night about a cookout I went to over the weekend, given by a girlfriend of mine who is an exotic dancer.
The crowd was mostly her coworkers, and a few of them were lesbians. So I remarked to my mom that one of the (few) fellas at the party (a fella my mom knows, and asked about) was having a great time talking to all of the lesbian strippers about lesbian porn (mostly in terms of “real” vs. “fake”).
She thought it was a wildly odd concept, that of a female exotic dancer being a lesbian. “If most of them are dancers, how could they be lesbians?” she asked.
I thought it was… well, not the norm, per se, but pretty much the going cliche, at any rate. My mom didn’t believe me. Am I wrong?
For some reason I keep misreading “dancers” as “doctors” (I think it’s the word “concept” that’s getting flipped around) and giggling softly to myself. Maybe Mom’s view has something to do with the idea of exotic dancing as seduction.
In my town, an exotic dance club and a popular lesbian hangout are right next to each other. It’s not unusual to see a group of girls come in to see their friends dance. I was initially surprised, but everyone at the club said it was very common place. The money all spends the same.
Hmm, good point. I hadn’t even thought of the customer’s POV (or incorporating any girl-on-girl action into the show)… I was actually thinking of it in terms of separation of career and private life (in other words, a lesbian can be a firefighter, an administrative assistant, an architect or whatever else without sexual orientation coming into play… why NOT a dancer?). So although I always thought the “Lesbian Titty Dancer” was a pervasive stereotype, I never thought of the lesbianism as something that had anything to do with the job…
I think maybe my mom’s POV is that a lesbian shouldn’t want to be an exotic dancer, because it involves doing sexy things with men. For instance, I would never want to work in a store that sells birds, or in a bird sanctuary, because birds creep me the hell out. It’s a dorky analogy, but see where I’m going, here…?
Mom’s suffering from the “Only women who really love sex would do sex for a living” myth. It’s a very common belief - usually that prostitutes are nymphos in it for the fun and the money is just a bonus. Of course, usually the opposite is true for prostitutes. Nor does it follow that a stripper is there mainly because she enjoys turning men on. Usually strippers are just women who love to dance, and know it’s an easy way to make money dancing. I’ve even met some strippers who were a touch creeped out by the guys.
You might point out to Mom that it’s a great way for a lesbian to get money and look at all the nekkid women she wants to. Can you imagine a <i>man</i> passing up such a chance?
I think the thing is that many people associate “lesbian” with “feminist,” and thus, being a stripper is a profession most feminists would find degrading towards women, and thus, something they’d avoid altogether. Of course, that’s just my interpretation of her reaction. I have a lot of lesbian friends who will go off on how men debase women and have fashioned society around subjugating them for their own pleasure, yet I doubt any of them have ever passed up the chance to go to a nudy bar. They’re just as chauvinistic as heterosexual men.
I once dated a bi-sexual stripper who also claimed to be a feminist. I found that rather odd, but I didn’t complain. I WAS DATING A BI-SEXUAL STRIPPER!!! That soon got old. She would get angry at me for holding the door open for her or unlocking her car door first, and called me a hypocrit because I called myself a Catholic and drank, yet stripping didn’t seem to hypocritical for her in her feminist mind. The thing is, it’s a great place to meet other women, you realize how much power women have over men, and it’s a real power trip. Plus, the money’s really good.
Well, El Elvis, some say that stripping is the ultimate feminist act, because it’s turning the tables on the situation. In other words, it’s taking advantage of men who objectify women sexually, by making money off of this male “weakness”/“idiocy”.
I suppose it would be similar (and please, let’s not get into a debate about this–let’s stick to the nekkid women ) to the way Black people use the “N” word, or gay people use the “F” word with each other, as a way of turning the negative onto its head.
My friend who is a dancer is all for prostitution as well, but thinks that prostitutes should work within a female cooperative, as opposed to working with a male pimp. For her, the difference lies in who’s in charge. So if you think of it as the stripper being in charge (and taking a poor horny sucker for every bill in his wallet), or furthermore that the stripper is defying conventional “rules” for women regarding sexuality, you could make a feminist argument out of it…
Last summer I dated a guy whose last GF had been a dancer, and on our first date he said, “You’re not bisexual or anything, are you?”
Turned out his ex had been bi and he, like you, found it quite groovy at first, but then got sick of having double the threat in terms of partners for her to cheat on him with (most guys only have to worry about other guys moving in on their girlfriends…
I considered pointing out that the issue was not this girl’s bisexuality but her propensity to cheat… Instead, I just said, “Well, I wouldn’t kick Lauryn Hill outta my bed [Editor’s note: hubba hubba], but I pretty much prefer boys.”