‘Stripping pays my way as a student’

I got into pole fitness when I was 15 and I always fixated on the idea of being a stripper.

When I was 18, as soon as I got the opportunity, I went for it.

At the time I was at college studying an art foundation course and once I decided I was going to uni to do an actual degree I knew I was going to move my dancing from Bristol, where I’m from, to Brighton.

I haven’t told any of my lecturers or tutors about my job. There have been times when I haven’t been in at my 9ams because I have been working until 5am the night before, but I can’t say ‘I was naked in the VIP room sipping Champagne’.

I told one seminar leader once and I tell all my friends. I will keep it from people if I need to. When you first tell people, they’re curious, but now my friends know, it’s not a big deal for them.

When I first started uni, a few guys came into the club. I was fairly new and I gave them a dance and it turned out they were at the University of Brighton. I said ‘that’s cool’ but a week later I saw them walk into my lecture room.

I hid my face but they noticed me. It’s a bit awkward. I’ve also given a lap dance to a lecturer from another university. Maybe it’s a bit like when you work in Tesco and you see your friend and it’s a bit embarrassing.

I don’t feel empowered by my job, but then I don’t think you should have to – a waitress shouldn’t feel empowered because she brought you over a plate of chips.

When I give a dance, I think about if I can be bothered, or if I want some food, how I’m going to make him spend more money or make sure he doesn’t touch me, but I don’t have to switch off.

A perk of the job is that I don’t have to wake up in the morning and go to work – I’m not a morning person. But getting ready for work, sometimes I just can’t be bothered.

I’ve got to shave [everywhere], there’s so much preening before you go to work, which I’m bad at – usually I don’t even brush my hair.

Also, it’s hard to keep two sets of friends, your stripper ones and your uni ones, because you have to keep them separate.

And then there’s also having your friends who want to go out in the week on student nights but you don’t want to because you want to go to sleep and have a night off.

Another problem with dancing is there is the stigma and a stereotype where everyone thinks you’re rich, but as a dancer everyone forgets it’s just your job.

The thing about being a dancer and a student is it’s quite bland and normal.

My friend gets up to lots of mischief, but I’m a lot more boring. She’s taken a guy out and slept with him for £1,000 because he was in a wheelchair. She said he only lasted two minutes but I mean you could do that if you got the opportunity – £1,000 for about two minutes, brilliant.

We have some absolutely horrendous house parties. Have you ever been out for a night, come back with all your stripper friends and a few strangers, gone outside and made clothes out of bin bags and played musical chairs at 7am?

I wouldn’t call dancing a career, it’s just a job. We’ve got girls dancing in their mid-30s and earning thousands a week but that’s not me.

I will probably look for a career in something that interests me, maybe something similar, to do with the sex industry.

But I think I’m going to be a stripper for as long as possible, however secret it has to be. It’s good for now and I would like to dance all over the world.

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