Strippers: How Bizarre, How Bizarre!
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Contrast.
I heard a song today that made me realize Iâ€™ve known quite a few Â strippers over the past couple of years, and hey, ones I wasnâ€™t even related to!
No, not Â currently Â â€œworkingâ€ Â strippers Â and Â â€œexotic dancersâ€Â butÂ rather, Â both Â men Â and Â women Â who Â once were. It seems that by the time a person reaches their 30â€™s and 40â€™s, they often have something in their distant pasts that they would Â like to keep buried there. Once theyâ€™ve had a few drinks, their secrets come out. Itâ€™s sometimes shocking to find out how the person in the Â next office paid for college tuition 20 years ago!
Iâ€™ve often heard that strippers have awfully low self-worth. I found that to be true at least 90%. Actually, I can think of only one who was really a confident person and always had been, and thatâ€™s not necessarily in a good way. The rest Iâ€™ve known hadâ€¦many, many esteem issues and still do.
During the years I wrote romances, I got to meet a lot of cover models. Theyâ€™ve never impressed Â me any more than Â any Â rocket Â scientist, Â and Â those Â donâ€™t Â impress Â me much either. Iâ€™ve often been considered the â€œsafeâ€ person for them to sit with, sorta like a mom to them, when they were being harassed by pathetically horny women. Their physical appearance was just a commodity, and I recognized it as such.
I guess itâ€™s still the way a man thinks that appeals me because even in a strip club full of dancing men flapping around, I was still the â€œsafeâ€ one to hang out with during breaks when some of the Â other women got a little too rowdy for a couple of the married boys there. Thatâ€™s been a number of years ago, the one time I went out with a group of a dozen romance Â writers the year all the NYC editors wanted Â us to write cop heroes who went undercover (no pun intended) as Â strippers. Â They suggested Â a group of us go research the topic at the next writerâ€™s conference, and of course, who were we to say no to our editors?
I kept a low profile, I admit. I didnâ€™t want to be the next â€œstarâ€ getting my fifteen minutes of fame before the entire audience. One fairly Â well-known author somehow ended up on the stage in a chair with three Â naked men dancing inches Â from Â her Â steamed-up Â glasses Â while Â she blushed profusely.
During the Â breaks, Â we Â interviewedâ€”seriously,Â Â with pens in Â handâ€”several Â of the dancers. Â Jody, Â the pirate, was earning money for med school. He planned to retire from dancing in two years, just as soon as he earned what he needed. Though I really did like his costume, it was his obvious intelligence Â thatÂ I admired Â and all the authors with us really adored himâ€¦in a purely motherly way, you know?
Oddly enough, Â the editors Â wondered Â why, Â the next year, there Â were at least half a dozen novels Â published that featured cops undercover as not full Monty strippers (the editors were aghast at the idea of making the stories realistic and wanted the clothes to stay on!).
But things have changed in the publishing world and this year, editors want books that are super-hot.
Me? If I hadnâ€™t been driving home to let the bug guy in, I never would have heard the song on the radio that always make me think about strippers.
â€œEvery Â timeÂ Â I Â lookÂ Â aroundâ€¦everyÂ Â timeÂ Â I Â look aroundâ€¦every time I look around, itâ€™s in my face!â€