I encountered more submissive customers as a stripper than in any other line of sex work (excepting my brief stint as a dominatrix). There were guys who just wanted a lapdance while I told them how unworthy they were, there were guys who wanted to suck my sweaty toes (stripper feet get really, really gross), and then there were guys who wanted to literally be walked on.
The sensuality-slathered, but ultimately sexless nature of a strip club invites this; strip clubs are not palaces of female degradation and male perversion, they are places where women take on the traditionally male roles of pursuer and seducer, while simultaneously presenting themselves in a manner so traditionally feminine that it borders on drag.
As a sex worker, I talk about my real life versus my work life. This is partly a joke, it isn’t as if my work is somehow not real of course, but it’s also entirely serious. Strip clubs are not ‘real life’ as we understand it. They have their own bizarre rules and idiosyncrasies, and their power structure is nothing like most of the rest of the world. At Paradox I found that the world inside the club was different, at Heavenly Creatures I had only just begun to realize how different strip clubs could be.
Cathryn Berarovich is something of a renaissance sex worker; she’s currently employed as a stripper (and writer) but has held numerous interesting jobs in the industry. Each week, she shares her stories in Harlotry.