Life Lessons From Strippers

As I sat at the wedding for one of my oldest male friends last night, surrounded by old friends, and talking to a former exotic dancer, I realized all of the things that I’ve learned from strippers over the years. Which is probably not the weirdest thing that I’ve ever typed, but close.

I’ve been casual friends with a number of strippers for years. Before I was Your Aunt Becky, I was Student Nurse Becky, and as Student Nurse Becky, I had to pay the bills somehow. My chosen profession was serving food and slinging drinks, both professions that also have a high percentage of exotic dancers as employees as well.

Almost immediately after I’d popped Crotch Parasite Number One out of my vagina, I waddled back to work a single mother so that I could pay for diapers and assorted baby things and it was there that I met my first exotic dancer, who I will call Susie, because I think it was her name. Susie wasn’t an overly bright girl, but one of the first things she said to me after we’d met was that I should consider ditching the crappy pizza place where we both worked on weekends and coming to work with her over at the strip club down the road.

Now some of you may be nodding your heads vigorously and saying, ‘GOOD IDEA, SUSIE,’ but you have to remember that at this particular juncture, I looked approximately like the Michelin Man in both size and shape. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, because you live under a rock and haven’t seen the commercials of the Stay Puft Marshmallow tire guy, picture Grimace. Or an Oompa Loompa. I’d just birthed a baby, was a newly single mother and pregnancy doesn’t tend to leave me in a resplendent glowing state of post-partum beauty. I felt as attractive as a rancid sack of turkey giblets.

Plus, I’m the very same person who broke a door while carrying a Diet Coke (it WAS a 32 ouncer, but still) and a toe while making a sandwich, so the complex moves required to slide myself up and down a pole would leave me paralyzed for life. Hell, I couldn’t even participate in a step aerobics class without thoroughly embarrassing myself because I’m always the asshole in the back that’s at least thirty moves behind the rest of the class. Or still doing Jazzercize.

So the very notion that I could shake my wobbly, gibblity money-maker on a stage and not make people vomit or howl with laughter was something that brought me no end of amusement. But Susie was persistent, which endeared her to me tremendously. Every time her boss from the strip joint came in to visit her, she made a point to introduce me to him as, “this is the girl I was TELLING you about!” And every time I shook his hand and tried to indicate that I wasn’t interested, thank you very much, but thanks anyway, as he eyed me up and down, appraising my stripper value.

Soon, Susie quit or got fired for being a lousy waitress, but I never forgot her and her absolute certainty that at my grossest and heaviest I, too, could get men to pay me to take off my clothes. In a world that there really is a fetish for everything, that girl was probably right. Learning to be comfortable in our own skin is probably the most important lesson that any exotic dancer can teach the rest of us, and I’ll always be grateful for Susie for reminding me that even though I felt like a stuffed sausage, I was beautiful. Just as I was.

I should never forget that I am beautiful. We are all beautiful. Thank you, Susie. My therapist may even laughingly describe me as “brash” but in this I am being entirely honest: we should all remember that we are beautiful just as we are, not as we think we should be. I’m a master of saying to myself, “Oh, I’ll be happier with myself when I’m X amount of pounds thinner,” but really, Susie is right: we’re all beautiful just as we are. We should flaunt the shit out of it, hold our heads tall and proud and remember that. Strippers do. Why the hell don’t you?

Last night, at the wedding, over drinks, I met another exotic dancer whom I adored instantly. There’s a confidence about a stripper that’s always exuded because that’s part of having sex appeal: being completely confident. Walking confidently, acting confidently, and knowing that how you use your eyes to get what you want. You’re certainly not going to make any money by standing on the sidelines and letting all of the other girls do the work, and really, that’s the way life works, too. Opportunities don’t always just present themselves to you in a neatly wrapped package. Sometimes, you have to go out and hustle your ass off to make even the most marginal opportunity appear.

That’s another one of those lessons I picked up awhile ago. Confidence is beyond sexy. Even if you have to fake it until you make it, the dancers know that there’s something about a confidant sexy woman that gets your engine going every time. Because even when you start out faking it, eventually, you’ll start to feel it. Exuding confidence will get you everywhere in life.

I don’t see myself ever taking up Susie’s offer to become an exotic dancer anywhere. Not because I wouldn’t get a kick out of it for a week or two, but because I seriously doubt I’d ever be able to learn any of the moves. Or if I did, I’d end up in traction somewhere, and while I do love pain meds, I don’t particularly want to crap in a diaper for the rest of my life. But it’s a job that takes balls and confidence, and it’s a job that I respect. Thanks, Susie, wherever you are, for reminding me way back when that I was beautiful. I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear it until later.

Photo source

Toy With Me About Toy With Me


  1. Tru dat. Confidence IS sexy.

    I sometimes would play out the sexy moves inside my head. Easy, right? I can do that too after watching 100s of scenes of such movements. As soon as I attempted the first move. Eh. Reality called. Booze-induced confidence just seems so much easier.

  2. So glad you made it on time so we could see the pictures and read about the awesome wedding.

    One thing I've always wondered, men always seem to think the dancers in strip clubs are "working their way through college"… and I've heard a few of the dancers really play this up. Is this ever true?

    On the few occasions (in a former life) I've been brave (or drunk) enough to party at a strip club, I was always surprised that the ladies "dressing room" is also the ladies room. You hear and see some interesting stuff in there for sure!

  3. Awesome post! Love, love ,love it!
    Fake it till u make it is a great way to get to a point where u are comfortable in ur own skin and build & create confidence from the inside out!

  4. I was a stripper for 2 days.

    It didn’t work out.

    In the area where I live, strippers don’t really make money stage dancing. It’s all about the lap dance. And the girls who are willing to break the law are the ones who make money at that.

    I wasn’t one of them.

    So I think I made 30 dollars in 2 nights.

    A few years later I took up burlesque dancing. It’s sexy but much more creative, and also, major shaping undergarment friendly. Which is good, because corsets are sexy as hell.

    My first show I sang while another girl stripped. I made 25 bucks in 3 minutes. Fucking awesome.

  5. I take pole lessons, and it's super easy! You should try it! 😀

  6. I think every little girl should read this blog entry, or a version of this entry by the time they are 10 and they have decided that they are too fat, too thing, too boobed, not boobed, buck toothed, frizzy haired, little ugly bugs. This was a great lesson to everyone. Now I want to wear shorts again.

    Life lesson number 547: Someone ALWAYS looks worse than you do.

    • Girls from a young age should be taught to focus more on being true to themselves and loving who they are then weight or appearance.

      Now, go slip on those shorts and strut what your mama gave you 😉

  7. I earned lots of my confidence and most of my money to fuel my free 20s by selling shots in a bar. I happened to be at my heaviest weight back then (180 lbs to be exact) but I wore the sexiest cleavage, high heels and a killer attitude, and had a great time.

    Oh, and I won the best prize of all — an amazing guy (and one of only two I ever gave my number to, but that's a whole 'nother story …) that still thinks I am the hottest shooter goddess ever!

  8. well first of all, my dear Aunt Becky, you're SO right. confidence is the sexiest part of a woman.

    and I'm convinced I'd be a kickass stripper. the pole scares me and I'd get vertigo. and I don't have the rack for topless stripping. but maybe just exotic dancing where I can where a pushup bra and writhe around some drunk guys? I'd be awesome at that. hachacha.

  9. Thanks for the reminder Aunt Becky!

  10. Married Maven says:

    ITA with all of these lessons. Faking it until you make it really does work. It's amazing how well. I would still love to do an amateur nite at a strip club. I think I'll put that on my life list right now…

  11. I really needed to hear that today. To be reminded of that. I may not be totally comfortable in my skin at this – my heaviest weight – but I CAN still be confident in myself that I still have a great rack and am truly a woman. THAT? I can be proud of.

    Thank you…

  12. Bellwether says:

    It’s hard to be confident when you know you ate four fudge poptarts yesterday and birthday cake ice cream and pasta and french fries…

    But we should be. I loved this. <3

  13. FairerSex Admirer says:

    I totally love art that is sensual, and leaves a little something-something to the imagination, but the crude charcoal drawing attached to this post does not have that je-ne-sais-quois. Let's get some stripper SECK-SAY going on for a photo here!

  14. Fred Miller says:

    "Because even when you start out faking it, eventually, you’ll start to feel it"

    I tell this to young people every chance I get. When they complain of a lack of confidence I tell them to pretend as if they are confident. And eventually they will feel it. It's true for many things. Pretend you're sexy, and you will feel sexy. Pretend you're generous, and you will feel generous.

  15. confidence?

    yes, absolutely.


    i don't know. i haven't been in that kind of strip club.

    btw, you TOTALLY could have stood in as this girl:

    she's the one with the bucket of cash and dongs who also holds everyone's cell phone in her cleavage.