Hi Zohar, I finally had some time to elaborate on your comments.
Unfortunately most dancers make exactly the same mistakes you did and hurt themselves and the men, because they mutually exploited each other, men trying to exploit them sexually and the dancers try to get as much money out of them as they possibly could and they did not have boundaries and limits in what they did in order to get to the men’s money, so they were each other’s victims.
I look back in my career as a topless dancer and I am proud of myself that I made my money dancing and dancing only and did not ever let men touch me in a way that was not respectable to me, no matter how much money they offered me, they use to tell me: everyone has a price. and I always answered: I don’t have a price, I only sell dances, they are $10 a dance, and that is all I sell, if they wanted to tip me more they could, but I did not expect more or try to get more money out of them, I treated them like human beings that were in the same boat as me and men respected me and admire me and the other dancers looked up to me also.
Today I would not recommend any woman to become a topless dancer, because today things have changed and the dancers are expected to dance right on the patrons’ lap and touching is allowed, something I would never be comfortable with and when these changes started to happen at the club where I was dancing at, that’s when I started having problems with dancing, because I sure did not want strangers touching me and that’s when I got out of dancing, because every day became harder and harder for me to enforce my rules of not touching and it stopped being fun. I especially would not recommend dancing nude, dancing nude for me was always out of the question, but dancing overall for me was a positive experience and an aid to my liberation.
Topless dancing/stripping is an art form and like all art is a symbolic language trying to express something that needs to be understood. Judging and rejecting this art form of expression, we will never come to discover the meaning of this symbolic expression. All art form is trying to communicate in a symbolic language the unresolved traumas that have been repressed when we did not have a vocabulary to give a voice to it, that be through painting, writing, dancing, etc. so no dancing/stripping in itself is not problematic in our society, but all forms of child abuse are, exploiting and using children to satisfy the needs of parents and adults that’s what is problematic in our society and the roots of all evil. We could also say that Michael Jackson art form was bad because it contributed to his premature death, but we are not telling people that being a songwriter, dancer, and a singer is bad and people should not get into this type of art form, because others can exploit you and contribute to a premature death. When I was a dancer I use to tell the other dancers: if what you are doing does not hurt you or others then go ahead and do it, but if hurts you or others in any way, it’s not worth it doing it, you might be able to make extra money in the short term, but in the long term you will lose.
Sylvie: I agree with Amber Hage-Ali. I did not read the whole thing, because I got bored of reading all her projections of her issues with dancing, stripping, and sexuality. Just because she has issues with it, does not mean others can handle it well and be actually a tool to help them free themselves from the lies and hypocrisy of society. Everything we experience in life can aid a person to liberation or get them deeper in their vicious cycles, it depends on the person. And it looks like it from reading her article she went deeper into her vicious cycle, became more unconscious and emotionally blind from her experience as a dancer/stripper. If you doing something and you are having fun while doing it and you are at peace with it, it’s not prostitution, but if only doing it to for money then you are prostituting yourself, so if she is doing this documentary just thinking about the money it can make her then she is prostituting herself right now. Comparing dancing to prostituting is BS because you thinking of sex and the only thing is missing is penetration, so if I walk down street and I find a guy really sexy and I think about having sex with him or vise verse then I am being a prostitute, because the only thing missing is penetration, whatever!
Sylvie: She says she was pregnant and had a child and if she does not really resolve these guilt feelings in the right context and keeps blaming present triggers, sadly she will transfer unconsciously also into her child her guilt feelings and will go on endless…
We can be honest with ourselves and others in any profession and we only get exploited if we allow others to exploit us. I am having a feeling you are prostituting yourself with this documentary because you are thinking of the money and money only that it can make you. I hate to burst your illusion, but if you think you are helping others by unconsciously and compulsively transferring your bad feelings about what you did in the past is not helping anyone not even yourself.
Sylvie: Actually what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker and it’s obvious the author’s experience made her weaker and now she is transferring unconsciously her bad feelings into others like all weak people do.
Obviously because of these earlier accumulated unresolved traumas in your life, you were not able to keep healthy boundaries and limits to protect yourself as a dancer, but until these earlier traumas are really resolved no matter where you are, you are going to be in exploitative relationships, where you unconsciously and compulsively exploiting others ore others exploit you, as long the repressed emotions to the traumas you suffered as a small child remain repressed the compulsion to repeat will continue in one form or another and there is no escape no matter where you are.
In her book: The Drama of the Gifted Child” Alice Miller says: “If the repression stays unresolved, the parents’ childhood tragedy is unconsciously continued on in their children”
Also, these words by Alice Miller come to mind: “Abuse means to me using a person for whatever I want from her, him, without asking for their agreement, without respecting their will and their interests. With children, it is very easy to do so, because they are loving, they trust their parents and most adults, and they don’t realize that they were abused, that their love had been exploited. Especially if they were forced to ignore their emotions from the beginning, they might have lost their sensibility for the warning signals. A small girl will follow to the cellar the neighbour who promised her chocolate, although she may feel uncomfortable. But if she learned from the beginning of her life that her feelings didn’t matter and that she should obey every adult person, even if she feels resistance, she will follow the neighbour. She will behave like the Little Red Riding-Hood in the fairytale. And she may later suffer in her relationship with men for her whole life if she didn’t work out this early experience in the cellar. However, if she does, she will no longer be in danger of becoming a victim of rape or any other kind of molestation.” Alice Miller “Free from Lies” page 234
Zohar: Thank you, Sylvie, I appreciate your comment.