Dancer vs. entertainer vs. stripper

Author: sofloclubs|1 / Date: Wed, 08/31/2016 - 02:54 / Tags: Stripper, Go-Go Dancers, Entertainers

To make a long story short, I have one real stripper friend. She is awesome and I love her to pieces and today was her birthday so I braved the St. Paddy's Day drunks to join her and her nearest and dearest at a local bar. Since she has danced off and on for several years and is far more tolerant than I will ever be she has a number of friends who are also in the industry. So we have a large group of dancers and former dancers hanging out and drinking and having a good time with each other and the other patrons of the bar. It's mostly irrelevant to the story but considering the day and the fact that I was driving myself I chose to stay totally sober.

I am a contact dancer. Most of these girls are not contact dancers. I chose to leave the local clubs where most of them work to be a contact dancer because the money is far, far better in the contact club that I drive to. But one of these girls was really drunk and got irate with a guy not with our group because he called her a stripper. According to her, she is not a "stripper," she is an "entertainer" because no one touches her and she wears nipple tape and keeps her thong on and she doesn't give "fucking lapdances," only air dances. He argued that ultimately she is still working in a strip club and taking her clothes off for money, and that still counts as stripping. He was not trying to be an ass. She ended up storming off because he wouldn't agree that what she does is completely different from stripping.

He and I end up in conversation and I tell him that while I prefer the term dancer, it's really all the same to me. I say that at the end of the day it's just a job that I happen to be good at and usually enjoy and that I am more concerned with paying my bills than with what I am called. I explain that I do work in a club with contact but that I have very strict limits and that I enforce them, and that doing this actually makes me more money than if I just let guys put their hands wherever they please. We talk about other stuff, and then I say that I want to go check on the birthday girl and hope he has a great night. He then asks where I work since he likes to go to clubs periodically and thinks that I am the kind of girl that he would enjoy spending his money on, someone who is not just pretty but also has class and a brain. "Someone like you demands respect. It doesn't matter if someone touches you or not. You are an entertainer. Not her."

I found the whole thing interesting. Does the label really matter so much? Not to me, obviously. And while I suppose I could be offended by her being so angry at being grouped in the same category as me I know she is a generally sweet girl and is probably just needing the label of "entertainer" instead of "stripper" in order to feel better about doing her job because I'm pretty sure she is only dancing because feels that she has to in order to support four other people. I think she would gladly quit if she could make the same amount of money at another job. Meanwhile, maybe I can afford not to care about what I am called because I am doing this out of choice and could find another job and still support myself if I wanted to get out of it. This doesn't make me better or worse, obviously. But now I am wondering what the rest of you think, and what you prefer to be called.