Dealing with the crappy attitudes of fellow dancers at the club night after night made my patience grow thin. We were all supposed to be making this easier for one another and instead we were making it a terribly negative place to be. Over time this was the exact reason I traded my stripper heels for lighting equipment and a Logitec C920. Dealing with my peers in that environment was toxic for me and the first step to overcoming it was by removing myself, even for a short while.
I’ve dealt with the snickering onstage, the blatant staring and whispering to each other.. shit even a club who refused to put me on stage because of my look. I’ve been threatened, bullied, harassed and had property vandalized by my home clubs dancers. All because I was new and learning a bit slower than most. As a sex worker you’re putting yourself out there in ways that make some uncomfortable, unhappy and feel threatened. Why a percentage actually go so far as to TELL you is beyond me but they exist, especially in your workplace, and they will try to bring you down.
Of course every career path deals with peer to peer issues that are pretty damn near the same, but there is a little something extra spicy when it comes to sex work. It could be the taboo, it could be the lax nature of the job or it could be the same “you’re not like us” complex kids develop in fucken elementary school. Whatever the contributor, we all will deal with peer scrutiny at some point in our career. While I wish there was some magic fix to this situation, there really isn’t one. Sadly, time is the only thing that silences the bullshit.
It was annoying to work and play nice with these grown ass women who acted younger than myself on a nightly basis. The level of bullying I experienced would make Mean Girls and Carrie look harmless. Somehow I made it through and managed to ignore the drama fest long to gain enough experience. No doubt adopting a “this too shall pass” mindset. With that I realized the best revenge to any situation is to live well and that’s what I started doing when I left the industry for a new one.
For those who prefer a more hands on route for coping, there are support groups and other models you can talk to. There isn’t one single person who hasn’t faced some sort of hate or adversity towards them. Your idol has someone who constantly talks shit on some irrelevant message board about how much they suck. But do YOU think they do, and do YOU agree with the criticism? Point being it doesn’t matter if you’re Jessie Jane, someone out there has something to say. You are the missing link in choosing to hear it and give it attention.
It’s funny to me to write this because I am the most reactive person I know. But the thing is, I know it, and I choose to work on it every day. Instead of reacting to peer scrutiny I am learning to ignore it. That’s exactly what I would like you to do today, tomorrow and every day you open your eyes. Ignore anything that doesn’t inspire you to be the best you, because you don’t have time for that! You have goals, dreams and the means to succeed right at your fingertips. Don’t waste your potential on what people think/say that don’t even know the real you!
If you’re looking for a safe place to seek support, please look into reaching out to Pineapple Support on Twitter. They’re an amazing resource that has long been needed in this industry. Next week we will be sending out an email to our subscribers full of helpful resources like Pineapple Support. You can sign up here, we promise not to blow up your inbox with crappy spam!