Stripper art: production, circulation, consumption

used to be my morning chant.  I stole it from Mimi Nguyen back in the day and it’s invigorating.

Mona Superhero has a new show that just opened in Portland.  I love her work and have wanted it for ages, even more so after the one piece I modeled for got snapped up before I could buy it, so I’m REALLY EXCITED to finally have bought some of her art! This is mine, all mine:

And I just–again finally–bought the Bad Roommate Zine, edited by Nicole J Georges which has Kat’s amazing story about the compost and the rats.  There are certain things–that video Lazy Sunday/Chronic(what)cles of Narnia–that make me laugh til I cry no matter how many times I see/read them and this story is one of them. 

order it here.

What I’m doing right now.  And reading this:


Lazy Sunday: links and a dialogue with The Man

Regan broke my record for most lap dances sold in a month, by nineteen dances. What a b!
I’ve been out since the 17th[1] and start work again this week, I can’t wait. If term hadn’t started I would have died of boredom almost immediately.[2]
But still, what a b. I’m not sure I can beat her, she works two-three shifts more a week than I do and it’s slow now. She may hold the record until next bachelor season.

currently reading (instead of studying for exam Tuesday):

Man’s lawsuit claims stripper ruptured his bladder

A few girls do this at my club–the trick, not rupturing people’s bladders–and it’s a subject of heated debate about who started doing it first; one girl exploding into a dramatic alcohol-fueled monologue about how stupid young bitches can’t come up with their own moves and have to be stealing her moves–this, from a 23 year old!–and I want to print the article from school and post it in the dressing room.

Also for the dressing room:

Ask A Pro: Oral STIs and Throat Swab Protocol
This is a really great series from Tits and Sass.

And more importantly, given all the unprotected oral happening at work:

CDC moves to keep new resistant gonorrhea at bay:

Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease that infects 700,000 Americans a year, already has become resistant to all but one class of antibiotics and could soon become untreatable, federal health officials warned. Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new treatment guidelines, hoping to delay the inevitable day when standard drugs no longer work. The guidelines call for withholding a potent oral antibiotic now commonly used to treat the infection. Instead, doctors should use an injectable form to which the gonorrhea bacteria seems less likely to develop resistance, along with a second type of antibiotic pills.

Gross and mildly horrifying.

And now, in the lazy Sunday spirit, a conversation I just had with Manny:


What’s up? You look concerned.
Excuse me?
Au contraire, mon per…ro. I gave you that rawhide. I even softened it so you wouldn’t lose your remaining teeth gnawing on it.





1- getting and recovering from a boob job, which, more on that later but let me tell you–I did my first laser hair removal Wednesday and it was a thousand times more painful than the boob job. I didn’t even take my pain medication after the surgery, which is good because I’m going to want it for the remaining laser sessions.

2- still in danger of that from Mandatory Science, though. In eight hours of class time she’s used four going over the syllabus and project requirements. I don’t understand–if she spent as much time lecturing as she did repeating herself it would be an interesting class. But she’s terrible, we spent 45 minutes going over the study guide for an exam on Tuesday, and three questions away from the end she suddenly dropped it to return to the syllabus. Her slides are poorly done and despite showing diagrams of the chemical composition of different hormones, she goes through them too fast to actually copy them. This is something Beautiful Professor scolded me about and in an irrationally resentful way I want him–or someone to get after this woman.

Lazy morning, 9/12

Reading this:
“Emanuel obviously knows that such a state of affairs is intolerable to children, as he sends his own to a progressive school whose director staunchly opposes standardized testing.”
And this is like my favorite thing I’ve seen on craigslist:

I practiced new tricks with Regan and Autumn last night, and got one, but the Ironman one that Regan does so easily (even after over a month exercise free for her implants) is killing me. I finally got it at one point, letting go of the pole with my hand and relying on the tension between the back of my right knee and front of my left, only to slowly slide to the ground whimpering in pain.
“your face has a really unattractive expression on it right now,” Regan observed dispassionately.
the expression of one manfully controlling shrieks of intense anguish, I’m sure.

Men and money: anecdotes and digressions

I wrote this days ago and then forgot to post it because I was running late to work.

I have a backlog of surreal anecdotes but I’ve been too exhausted to blog, something that’s a little weird because I run on nervous energy, but I was too tired to even be surprised about it until the other day, staggering home from the grocery store with a heavy bag, so tired that I wanted to throw up. I had a revelation, total deja vu:
Flashback to a few years ago, similarly knackered by exhaustion to the point of nausea, carrying a heavy bag of groceries and wanting nothing more than to pass out on a park bench. It sticks in my head because on that walk to my bus this guy, some sort of public safety/trafficy person, a man in an orange vest directing traffic, told me to smile. I stared blankly back at him, with thinly controlled hostility–attacking him crossed my mind but I was too tired. He could tell, though, and he said “Smile! It’s not that bad! You’d be beautiful if you smiled.”
I almost had a rage-induced aneurysm, but path of least resistance won: walking would end in collapsing into bed much faster and with less effort than spewing all the thoughts crowding my head[1], which would, I knew from experience, only lead to a prolonged interaction and his defensive hostility as I questioned his right to tell me to smile[2].
Fast forward to now, almost six years later but I felt exactly the same. I recognize it now, the exhaustion/grocery bag combination jogged my memory. Pregnant.  That dual exhaustion/vomitousness?  Total pregnancy.  Some people find being pregnant to be totally awesome, a really great experience to be lived again and again (Michelle Duggar, apparently); I am absolutely not one of them. I’ve never been more miserable in my life than that fall, too constantly tired/nauseated to work and get the money to pay for the abortion that would have gotten rid of my hormone induced exhaustion, a maddening trap. The whole thing was an accident, the result of some bad-judgment summer fun with an ex-sniper whose main charms were a Byronic temperment[3] and a motorcycle. So crazy! Luckily I had a miscarriage[4], because he wasn’t going to give me that money. He still spits at me (literally) on the very rare instances when our paths cross, proving, like Heathcliff, that brooding Byronic appeal is just genuine bad nature willfully misinterpreted by the delusional or drunk as a Good Time (which, it can be, but don’t forget the birth control).
I was walking home from the grocery store and I had that flashback, and it all became clear. And the solution this time was much simpler and cheaper.  No, I am not pregnant, me and the nuvaring broke up as soon as I got home. Hormonal birth control and I are over. IUD + me 4 lyfe.
If I wasn’t behind on getting to work, you bet I’d have a whole digression on men and smiling. I had to take my car into the shop, and the bus stop I had to wait at to go home might as well have been tagged “Rapists corner.” It was 11 am and I had no less than five different cars circle the block; four of them pulled up to proposition me, and one of them had a buddy come meet him there to check me out. I put 911 on speed dial and waited anxiously to see if they were actually going to stuff me in their trunk. After about 10 minutes they left me to the mercy of an angry drunk who also turned out to be waiting for the bus, but didn’t let that stop him from yelling at me to pay attention to him.
But I have my car back! Life is good. And now I’m meeting with an accountant to try to untangle my taxes (still) before heading over to Regan’s to do free laundry at her house. I have a list of requirements for my next apartment:
Second or third floor so I can be indecent with the windows open whenever I want.
Southern and eastern exposure.
No mold!
Washer & dryer in unit.
Absolute sanity on the part of both property manager and landlord a must. Property manager here left a pile of cat shit on my back stoop last weekend, under the mistaken impression (perhaps she’s never had a cat?) that it was my 8lb chihuahua’s. When I called the landlord to express my extreme unenthusiasm re: this behavior, he explained “She has a hard time talking to people.”
1-something like: “my mouth just naturally turns down, it actually is more effort for me to smile than frown, I’m having a bad day/week/month and don’t feel like smiling, my emotions are none of your business, why would you even say that, I’m going to carve a smile on your face with my key ring, you know what makes me really not feel like smiling?  Being told to smile, and also I hope you get hit by the traffic you’re so inattentively directing”
2-Yes, I suppose he has one.  This is America, after all. Nevermind my right to live my life and move through the world as unimpeded by the gratuitous and unnecessary commentary of passersby as possible.
3-which, like many Byronic temperaments*, revealed itself to be severe mental health issues rather than a tortured yet tender soul railing against the inadequacies of life and, I don’t know, the capitalist system.  The military industrial complex.  Whatever.  Which, let’s face it, would also have gotten tiresome but less quickly than his actual asshole antics did.
*Except that, when I think about it, it’s totally Byronic to be an abusive and manipulative asshole.  Hello Augusta Leigh.
4-Four times as expensive as an abortion, it turns out, and ruining my credit for the foreseeable future. A few years ago the Department of Revenue (who got the bill since I went to a state hospital) hunted me down: “Do you think you deserve health care you can’t afford to pay for?” the woman on the other end of the phone asked me incredulously. I listened with an equal lack of credulity, thinking about the entitlement to health care and safety that led me to the emergency room when it became obvious I was having a miscarriage and not just some spotting; I definitely know people who would have waited until they were actually at death’s door to go to the ER and frankly, I wish I had waited–the ER gave me some diaper sized pads and told me to come back for an ultrasound and for that charged me 1,600$. But If I hadn’t had the constitution of an Irish peasant, hardened by serious drinking and prenatal vitamins? Should I have bled to death politely at home for lack of money to pay my ER bill?
“I’m hanging up now,” I told her, stuttering with anger.  That was when I quit dancing, went to work in a low income health clinic and got back in school. I got respectable, sort of.  The feeling of being a disposable piece of trash never really leaves you once it’s got you.  I think before I was always too drunk and frivolous to feel it, it started with not being able to afford an abortion and the lack of health care options around that, and it was only further impressed on me by that bill collector.  As a girl, as a stripper, as a poor person, few people care what happens to me. Bad things happen to strippers, it’s just part of the narrative.  Things happen to strippers, and usually they were asking for it. I mean if they weren’t asking for it, they wouldn’t be living that whole… lifestyle.
The clinic used to make me cry.  I was glad to be a part of helping other people but the lack of options for clients only mirrored back to me my own lack of options.  It felt like drowning.  Around the same time, just before I quit dancing, I had an argument with a customer.  I was tired again and worried about money and he told me “Relax, money isn’t everything.”
Everything I wanted to say to that–how he had the money and the power in our conversation, how my rent directly depending on him and people like him understanding that this was a financial transaction and valuing the service of my attention appropriately, how much it sucks to not have groceries or to keep pushing paying your electric bill back or getting your phone shut off, how the kind of bland zen wisdom that prioritizes… I don’t know, some kind of abstract bullshit love? over the concrete security that money offers makes me want to hit people (because I have anger management issues I should acknowledge here, that this post is making eminently clear)– kind of choked me so I just stared at him and he smiled, thinking he’d silenced me with his wisdom.
I finally got an answer to him the other day reading my friend’s blog: she paraphrases something Oprah I guess said, about how money isn’t everything but the lack of it is.

“It’s Versayss”: stripper malapropisms, awkward situations, lap dances and leisure reading. A thorough update. Ish.

I’m trying to hustle some older business men, the kind of guys’ whose track-lighting condos or boats I would party at when I was 19 and 20 but I’ve since lost the knack of squeezing any profit out of them at all. Come to think of it, even then mostly what I got from them was free alcohol and drugs. But I’m hitting everyone up, I have goals, man, including not letting Great Lakes entirely ruin my life with their refusal to allow me to pay the principle first. &c&c&c.
“So…” I whisper, trailing my fingers down my main target’s arm, “are you ready for a really good lap dance?”
“Maybe, maybe!” he says genially. “I don’t know, what’s in it for me?”
I hate cleversticks. Don’t try to be clever, it’s a waste of my time and your breath. Before I can do anything but not say this he tilts his head.
“I tell you what!”
A challenge is coming, I can tell. Something like, “if you name the team whose logo is on my friend’s hat, I’ll get a lapdance.[1]
“Tell me who sings this song.”
In my head I groan and hit him with my purse. Outwardly I tilt my head, listen. Cringe, groan again as the ubiquitous tinkling notes register. I try to think back to the one time outside the club I ever heard it, during a YouTube theater marathon with the ex.

Over the winter I hung out with my ex some. We’d reunite the pets, eat, watch tv.[2] I was gearing up to go one night when X asked me if I’d heard a song. I didn’t think so, so of course we had to watch the video. Like everyone else I found myself caught on his teeth and not wanting to stare at his face and then inexpressibly annoyed. I recognised the music from the club, where it was inevitably muddied with dubstep, but I never listened to the lyrics before; like every other motherfucker I recognized the sentiment from agonized therapy sessions, sleepless nights and overrelating to Nabokov’s explorations of the inability to return to a past, one that you maybe can no longer relate to or even recognize.

Somebody…” he wailed. I couldn’t tell what my reaction was supposed to be, it was too much like a sitcom, sitting there awkwardly listening to this naked guy painted in earth tones wail about his relationship pain. it was like getting Punk’d. “Ashton, are you there?
“I hate it?” I offered. “He sounds like a total dick.” Like of course she would change her number. Clearly. I knew which part of the equation I was overidentifying with, but didn’t really want to explore our respective reactions any further.
“Well, she gets her say,” I was told. Great.

The guy is waiting and I finally dredge up a memory of the name next to the song title on the YouTube page.
“Gotya!” I say, feigning an enthusiasm that this whole interaction has really drained.
He looks puzzled and then amused. “Got-ya?” he repeats. “It’s Gau-tee-ay!”
I love when life mirrors art (or in this case, bad nineties movies about strippers). Just like that, the whole interaction was redeemed; like Gnomey in Showgirls, I got schooled.
“It’s Versays!” I told him cheerfully, and patted his shoulder. “I’ll be back to check on you later.”

Of course I never returned to him, but I did have a good cackle to myself throughout the night, retelling it to my friends but slurring my accent harder so it came out “Gotcha!”

My class on Zionism in the first half of the 20th century got cancelled, leaving me adrift for the past week and anxious about my reception when (if) I ask the Beautiful Professor for a letter of recommendation. That was my last chance to prove myself and redeem my spring term sloppiness. To ease the anxiety I’m working as much as possible and ploughing through Nabokov: The Russian Years.

Currently reading this: –apparently Grossman has a weekly column which just made my life, texting pictures of cute animals, and eating dark chocolate sea salted caramels–which the local grocery store has just started carrying in bulk–in bed before work.
For you:



1-That’s a real quote.

2- Mystifying and mildly awkward and something which my friends would (and still do) badger me about. I’d try to explain but lapse into quoting Some Like It Hot, knocking on my head and excusing myself by being “not very bright.” Something about invoking Marilyn Monroe in a grand tradition of bad feminine relationship judgment was inexplicably soothing. They’d shake their heads.