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.
My bio says that I’m currently employed as a stripper, but this is not entirely true: I’ve been on vacation from work for several months now and we strippers, like all independent contractors, can’t be considered employed unless we’re actually retained by a club.
There are two reasons for the length of my vacation from work.
The first is the most straightforward. I live in Chicago, a city known for its incredibly restrictive adult business laws, and I don’t know how to drive. While this city was once full of strip clubs, titty bars, and peep shows, those days are now nothing but a distant memory. Corrupt as local politics can be, we try to present a squeaky-clean front to the rest of the world and that means no naked ladies. Because of this, most of the local strip clubs are in the suburbs and therefore out of my travel range and the three clubs in the city are overcrowded and therefore very, very picky.
The second reason for my protracted vacation is much less straightforward. The choice to quit for a while mostly had to do with the fact that I was miserable at my club, a place where the floor was deliberately kept cold according to the owner’s belief that low temperatures would encourage us to be pushier about selling dances. Actual cash with which to buy things and maintain a standard of living was not, apparently, a sufficient incentive. After I was briefly suspended for making jokes about murder that were deemed too dark for the smoking area, I decided enough was enough and I probably didn’t need to go back. I had no need of a workplace that called me an independent contractor but wouldn’t let me make mildly twisted jokes.