Cops and Drunk Strippers

Sometimes in my life of adventure and leisure I run out of money. Then I work really hard for a while.

While I was in Canada I made a list of money to make when I got here. There’s the IRS, the transmission, medicine for a friend, gas money for a couple months, and it all adds up to a lot. Two good weeks or six bad weeks worth of hard earned cash.

The state of my transmission factored into my club strategy, and I ended up at a really awesome little club. If they had customers, it would have been perfect. Unfortunately, there was a storm and some unfavorable city council meetings that worked against there being customers. The city is actually organizing a Commitee for Decency against strip clubs.

My first night in town I hid away in the parking lot of an all night restaurant. One advantage to sleeping during the day is that no one ever suspects there’s a stripper sleeping in a van at two in the afternoon. You can hide in plain sight. The second night I choose a grocery store parking lot, and go for a nice little private edge of the parking lot. It’s a bad call. In the morning, while I’m brushing my teeth, I look up to see a cop pulling in next to me. I spit quickly.

“We had a report that there was a dog in this van.” It’s a woman, and I would like her if she weren’t so confrontational.

“Yes,” I smile, “he’s right here.”

“Ah.” She’s looking over my shoulder, taking it all in. “Are you living in here?”


“Are you okay? Do you need any help?”

“I’m fine. I have everything I need here.”

She looks doubtful as she takes my license and runs it for warrants. This, of course, turns up my new stripper license in this town, which prompts her to ask if I have drugs, drugs, guns, or drugs. Once we’ve established that I have no guns and I am aware of my fourth amendment rights, she changes tact. Am I really okay? Why do I think I have to strip? There are other things I could do if I had some self esteem and got off drugs.

I’ve just woke up, even though it is 3PM, and I can’t think what direction to take this. Obviously I should not say, “hell yeah I’m fine. I bank more in a night than you do in a week and put up with half the bullshit. My cacoon is mobile and I can go anywhere I want, anytime I want, with little hassle and lots of enjoyment. Your stereotypes are offensive and make you look really stupid.” But I can’t quite muster anything else, so I just tell her that I’m fine until she leaves me alone.

Stripping and vandwelling are alike in this way. People assume that we don’t choose these lifestyles, that something bad has happened to us and scarred us to make us accept living this way. You see it on TV, in the heroin-glazed strippers doing hundred dollar blow jobs so their pimps won’t beat them up. And it’s on the news. Homeless people are a problem, and they have problems.

But what is it that makes them the same, besides being outside the norm? There’s something there that I’m missing, something that makes them closer than I understand yet.

Sometimes (often) people say strange things to me. I scramble to hold their phrasing in my mind until I can scribble it on a bar napkin, and then these napkins float around in my make up bag forever. Someday I’ll write a post and call it “things people say to you when you’re a stripper.” Until then, here are a few things that have been said, or that I have had occasion to say, this week.

Customer: Well, I know she’s famous and all, but she just looks like she’s been rode hard and put up wet too many times. (referring to the feature dancer, who is a porn star.)
Me: Well, she’s a porn star. That’s part of her appeal.

(Later, I’m dancing for a customer and he asks me about the feature).
Customer: So, her thong is wet because of the shower, right?
Me: Yes, why?
Customer: Well when I tipped her and she banged her pussy off my forhead it was wet. And I wasn’t really expecting that. And I just thought, gee, how many guys have licked that thong tonight?

Me (to a friend with whom I sometimes have these very laid back threesomes): I like having these threesomes with you where I don’t really fully participate. It’s like vicarious heterosexuality.

Strip Club Owner, New to the Industry: Well, I was trying that ladies drink thing, and then we just had these women – they weren’t like you – and they just got so trashed, and it was awful, and one of them puked in the dressing room. I didn’t know what to do, I mean, I’m not really that guy and I don’t want to babysit grown women who pass out in thongs and pasties.

Drunk Stripper: I haven’t sold any dances tonight.
Me: Really? That sucks, I’m sorry.
Drunk Stripper: I haven’t really tried to sell any dances though, I’m just getting drinks. I just want to get drunk tonight.
Me: Well, they’re buying if you want to sell?


  1. I just read a whole bunch of your posts.

    You’re pretty goddamn amazingly good people in my book. There are better writers out there, and much better spellers, but you’ve got them beat in attitude and raw fucking wisdom. Turning a pretty phrase is not as important as having something to say, and as it happens you’re just chock full of interesting.

    I hope our paths might cross some day. I don’t reckon it’s super likely to ever happen, and it doesn’t much matter either way, but I’d get a kick out of that. Mostly because I think you’re fucking beautiful. And no, I’m not saying that because you need to hear it, but just because I feel like saying it. And it doesn’t have a goddamn bit to do with what you look like or even you being able to wield your sex like a weapon. More has to do with you being able to wield your spirit.

    Best of luck on your journey.


  2. I could see feeling bad for a stripper living in a van if it really, for some reason, weren’t her CHOICE. That’s where the difference is. If we have chosen what we want to do, whatever it is, then no one should feel sorry for us. I wonder if the cop could have absorbed that thought, or if she was too bogged down in her stereotypes and judgment that she couldn’t even conceive of anyone choosing your lifestyle…

  3. “Someday I’ll write a post and call it “things people say to you when you’re a stripper.”

    Hell, you should write a book about it! I would be interesting to read. Some ppl should not stereotype others. You write words of wisdom.

    BTW, that book Cunt was amazing!!

  4. Hey,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and you are so inspiring. When I was younger I dreamed of living unconventionally, and even though I’m taking a different path now, it’s really heartwarming to read about your vandwelling and adventures. 🙂 So, thanks for writing!

    (P.S: I’m hopefully going into law enforcement some day, and I’ll do my best to never harass vandwellers!)

  5. Funny, considering the loads of stereotypes about cops…and a woman cop – who is rare enough that I would hope she would know better than to make someone a cliche’…
    Then I remember- while she is a minority in her profession, her profession requires that she profile people, that she look for the worst first and maybe, just maybe, once in awhile be surprised by some good in the world…even if it is masked by someone who is so easy to stereotype.

    ecofeminist in a van, traveling the country, from Alaska, picking fresh nettles and paying her taxes along the way is not an obvious or easy story to sell…hahaa!

  6. I told one of my bosses from my “regular” job that I was a stripper, and the first thing he asked me was if I had a drug habit.

    I don’t even smoke pot. And I never have, actually.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *