"Uh, I need to ask you a question." My boyfriend has a serious look on his face. "What's up with the shoes in the bedroom?"
"The shoes" are the 6-inch Lucite heels that have been kicking it casually bedside for the last few days.
"Well, I've been thinking about ways to earn a little extra money lately..." I begin, before admitting the real reason, what's always the reason: "It's for an article."
First of all, I love strippers. Being a stripper sounds like every little girl's dream job -- you get play dress-up, dance all day and there's glitter. That's why me and my girlfriends spent so much time playing TLC's "Red Light Special" and pretending we were auditioning for strip clubs. Well, that, and we needed an excuse to touch each other's genitals without it being a gay thing.
But being an actual stripper is a super-hard job. That's why it pays so much, like telemarketing. Both jobs require a high capacity for people being total dicks to you.
I always think it's weird when people talk about sex work being the "easy way out" or like it's something lazy people who don't want to work do. Because imagine walking around your office completely naked while your co-workers grab at you and your boss is all like "Show me them spreadsheets, honey!" and sometime during your PowerPoint presentation, you're pretty sure he came in his pants. And while all this is happening, you have to smile and act like you're incredibly turned on and really like spending time with these people. Strippers should get free coffee at diners and possibly parades, like cops or firefighters.
And if you still don't believe me that being a stripper is super hard work, why don't you WALK A MILE IN THEIR SHOES. Get it? 'Cause that's what I did literally, but it's also a metaphor.
I found these 6-inch stilettos with floating stars in the plaform by Googling "stripper shoes," and in retrospect, I'm really mad at myself for not getting the Tip Jar ones, as I could have made some extra cash off this assignment.
And actually, 6 inches is like NOTHING when it comes to what some of these gals teeter around in. But I recently sprained my ankle doing a sweet kick move in my living room and it made carrying the baby hell for a week, so I was afraid to go any higher.
It then took me approximately 3 months to actually get a pedicure so I could actually test-drive these things. I'd rather show you my butthole than my toes. Something just feels really obscene and weird to me about walking around with your whole foot exposed. But I did it for you. (I plan to continue saying I am doing things for you even though nobody ever asks me to do anything.)
Once I strapped them on, I could barely walk, much less do sexy dance moves. I definitely tried before I left my empty house, by doing some moves that are probably still less embarassing than that time I accidentally took a hip-hop dance class at the gym. I'm actually pretty OK as long as I'm standing in one place and pretending to finger myself or whatever. But how would I ever get on the stage? And pick up my tips? And some girls do pole work on these things! Leaping! Climbing! Any strippers out there have tips for walking in these things? Because there's nothing sexy about a turned ankle.
Actually, I'm sort of not sure what's sexy about these shoes at all. They're a little scary, like long acrylic fingernails in girl-on-girl scenes. They're an accident waiting to happen, these shoes.
And not just because they're so pointy-sharpy to be near the sexy-sticky parts. People on the street give me a wide berth, like I'm a belligerent morning drunk and not just some girl who will possibly grab your shirt as she starts to fall, toppling us both. They're not judging me because I look like a stripper; they're judging me because I look like a toddler who just learned to walk.
Which, really, is there anything more embarassing than not being able to walk in your "sexy shoes?" It's like announcing to the world: "I would really like to be sexy, but I am failing." This is why I started dressing like a goth in junior high -- because I may not be as pretty as you, but I'm not trying to be.
When I teeter into Jane's office, she tells me that she's concerned for my "safety and well-being." It takes a lot to get Jane Pratt to comment on your outfit, so you know I looked pretty unstable. Then she kind of subtly insulted me, all like, "I'm just surprised that you can't walk in those...I mean, they have a platform..." JANE PRATT HEEL-SHAMED ME.
So I pulled my shoes off and just walked around the office like a dirty barefoot hippie for awhile, which is probably what she wanted anyway.
I guess my poor sense of balance and coordination is reason #1 why I wouldn't make a very good stripper. Reason #2: stretchmarks. Also, I'm lazy, and would much rather just blow or fuck a guy than spend hours pretending to like him. Also I'm a bad dancer. And I think I just realized it's a really good thing I have a job as a writer.