You can't strip forever. Even in Florida. And while you can make more money dancing than you can with an MBA, at some point it's time to call it quits.
The problem is, there will always be a stigma attached to being a stripper, even if the strip club life isn't what most people imagine. And that stigma creates all kinds of interesting issues when you start applying for new, non-naked work.
So how do former strippers handle going back to the world of "vanilla" jobs? We talked to one former dancer (who, as you can imagine, prefers to remain anonymous) and learned what life is like when the neon lights go out for good.
Before we even talk about why you quit, how'd you get into stripping in the first place?
I was 27 and neck deep in grad school for archeology, with $10-12k in credit card debt. During a road trip with a friend who was a stripper, I was bemoaning the fact that we were putting everything on credit cards. She suggested dancing, and I scoffed at the idea. She wouldn't let up though until I finally agreed to "come in and at least see." That visit turned into my first-ever stage set, and by the following week, I was on the schedule and checking out other clubs to work in. Not only did I pay off nearly all my credit card debt, but it was perfect for my archeology schedule too -- I was able to work over the summers in the field and then pick up back at the clubs in the winter, when other archeologists were unemployed.
Why did you get out of it?
I was offered a (non-stripping) job in a beautiful part of the country. And 10 years later, at 37, I was exhausted with the working conditions; couldn't wait for a slower-paced life with normal hours again. It was a welcome change. That said, a sneaky part of me doesn't want to let go of the idea that if I needed to go back, I could.