it’s getting harder to feel separate and not complicit in the whole thing— the first/last time I quit dancing it was bc of customers: between getting sober and my own bad boundaries I felt like they were pulling pieces of my flesh off, just wanting so much and I couldn’t separate it; now I’ve got solid boundaries & customers are the easiest part, even the awfulest customer is easier than being in the dressing room at the mercy of other girls or staff.
This place, this place and its micromanagey policies and the way it invades every aspect of being here, from the panopticon camera situation to the way we can’t even charge our own prices or handle money for dances, or decide when or if to take anything off—and the staff, the deliberate cultivation of horrible gropey bouncers culled from our customers and their personal investment in maintaining the pyramid scheme tip-out situation.
And the way people talk! I just feel contaminated. Like how Isabel Archer mentally drew her skirts back from Osmund, I want to do the same but it feels like no amount of frantic scrubbing will clean them off. Knowing that we’re watched all the time, and that everything we do is tracked and the dance competition—and then with hiring all the girls who do extras now and vocally and constantly comparing everyone to them so that it’s a constant worry at the edge of our minds, if we don’t sell enough what will happen?
It didn’t faze me for months bc I am and have been forever one of the top three earners but I’m so tired of competing w it—one girl has taken to carrying a flogger in garter and then sticking it in her ass and I just don’t get it. that’s not necessary! Why would you do that?! And it’s so unhygienic! Not that that’s something customers want but every night now I hear at least one man whine at me like a defrauded child “why can’t I touch your boobs?” Nearly all the other girls allow so much contact, and it’s just—contact didn’t used to be allowed. The owner decided he would allow it; he needed more money to grease the palms of city officials for his new club, so he wanted us to sell more and thought it would be a good way to do it. and 90% of the girls went along and started offering contact dances, even if they didn’t want to, without even upping prices really like what is the market value of changing your boundaries, let’s at least assess. Especially as we did just fine before.
I thought it was possible to work in a horrible place, come to work, do my job, make money and go home but it’s just wearing on me. I know that lots of people have terrible racist bosses—my father, for example, after he got laid off, his new job is at some place that somehow deals w nuclear energy (I didn’t absorb the details it made me too depressed) & everyone he works with is a hateful bigot—and they separate themselves from it and I could for over a year but now I don’t know, it’s getting to me.
And on the opposite of the spectrum I can’t stop reading radfem anti-sw bullshit and letting my feelings be hurt & wondering how many people think I’m a rape-promoting tool of the patriarchy. It’s like a loose tooth I can’t stop nudging at with my tongue even though it hurts.
But financially, it’s still the best club in town. And the others aren’t that much better atmosphere-wise. Like Frank who sleeps with girls who want better shifts, or Ilya who is just terrible with his awful godfather pretensions, or whatever. And Portland is just a stupid racist city, like white people here say the damnedest things and then are astounded at the notion that they could be called racist. It’s not just my club, my club is just the most extreme example of like, (trite) a city-wide malaise.