From The G-Man
By Gary G. Toms
Hey people! It’s good to be with you once again. I was waiting for a friend in the lobby of my building the other day, and there were several young girls, between the ages of 16 and 18, discussing their goals for the future. As someone who takes a particular interest in the youth, I began to focus on what each of them was saying. Sadly, the revelations were frightening.
The conversation was based on how they planned to drop out of high school, or skip college altogether, and get jobs working as strippers in nude bars. I could not help but notice how attractive, sexy and physically developed they were for young girls, and as the conversation went on, it was clear to me that they intended to take full advantage of their "assets".
One of them spoke of how her friend started stripping two years ago, at the age of 18, and by the age of 20, she had enough money to get an apartment and a brand new car. Another spoke about how stripping got one of her friends a part in a rap star’s music video. "Candy", one of the girls who has been stripping for at least a year, talked about how she can feed and clothe her son without worrying if the father will send child support next month. You want to know what the strange part of all this was? In all of the examples given, not one of the young strippers’ parents knew what was going on. As long as the parents were receiving gifts, or money to help cover the rent, no questions were asked.
As the little doe-eyed girls listened to these testimonials, I could see them drifting off into that fantasy world of money, fame, power and sex. I made an attempt to share my knowledge of the industry with them, but they were more interested in acquiring diamonds, "bouncing" their breasts and being able to persuade rich men to take them on expensive trips in exchange for sex. Nice way for a young girl to grow up, huh?
You folks know that I try to speak from experience when I write this column, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve dated a few strippers in my lifetime. Oh come on folks, strippers need love too! This gave me an opportunity to view the world of the stripper in a totally different way, and many of the glamour tales that are told are nothing more than a distortion of the facts.
One fact is that many of the girls get hooked on cocaine or some other hard drug. In most cases, those who fall prey are the younger, inexperienced girls who come in with dreams of making a lot of money. While many can amass a great deal of money in a short period of time, it’s only a matter of time before the money is snorted away or spent on a myriad of controlled substances.
The second fact is that no club owner wants to be stuck with a strung out stripper. That can cost them their livelihood, and they run the risk of being busted if drugs are being sold in the club. Now, the stripper becomes a major liability and she’s forced into the streets. With no higher level education, skill or trade, they are now forced to turn to prostitution as a means to survive. Soon, they have to come to grips with the fact that if the mean street doesn’t kill them, some sick and psychotic "trick" might take the honor.
The third fact is that many of the girls, and women, who work the strip
clubs, are sexually and physically abused by the owners and customers. Those club bouncers are there for a reason, right? In cases where the abuser is the club owner, the dancers have no place to go to file their complaints. Many are too afraid that their drug use will be exposed by the owner, or they feel that the law enforcement officials will not take their case seriously simply because they’re strippers. So they end up getting caught in a vicious system with no way out.
These are just a few examples of the horrors that take place. The women I dated were exceptions to the rule because they had a positive plan. They didn’t focus on diamonds, cars and acquiring expensive homes. The money was put toward college or some school of professional training, such as nursing or hotel management. Also, there was a cut-off period, after three years, to stop dancing regardless of the money. Drugs were not an option! The age factor played a crucial role as well because none of them started under the age of 25.
While this column focuses on the young girls who plan to enter into the
industry, there are many girls who are underage that are currently working in these places. They are drawn in by the illusion of money, power and false promises. I’m not attacking a woman’s right to choose this line of work. If she does the research, and is mature enough to handle it, then more power to her. What angers me is the fact that babies are trying to make a living out of it for all the wrong reasons.
There are those who do manage to profit from this industry, and they are able to escape it unscarred. However, there are far more horror stories than good ones. This is a dangerous world, and the stakes are just as high as some of the strippers. So if you’re young daughter is working nights all of a sudden, driving a Lexus within a year, says she wants to move out and has a glazed look in her eyes, you have some idea of what might be going on. If this is hard for you to swallow, just take a look at some of the classified ads in the major dailies. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I’m atMapel2000@aol.com. Take care, and I’ll see you next week!