Essence Revealed is first generation Bajan born & raised in Boston. She got her BFA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and MA at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education. Her writing has appeared places such as $pread Magazine, Corset Magazine, and 21st Century Burlesque. She's been published in two anthologies: Pros(e) & Johns, Marks, Tricks, and Chickenhawks. She now performs & teaches nationally and internationally both solo and as a member of Brown Girls Burlesque. Her favorite thing to do besides reading is to lay on the beach in Barbados to rest up for a night of calypso dancing.

Essence Revealed: courtesan, queen of the pro dommes, and tough stripper adventurer--in her dreams

Essence Revealed: courtesan, queen of the pro dommes, and tough stripper adventurer—in her dreams

When I started stripping, dancing in Vegas was the only thing on my sex work bucket list. Thanks to the internet, I was able to research, find out everything I needed, and make it happen. Off I went with printouts that contained information on how to get the paperwork needed for a business license, a list of clubs I’d like to audition for, how to obtain long-term, low-cost housing, etc. I was part traveling stripper, part lone tourist. I even have pictures of me in the wax museum with wax Oprah, wax Prince and the pair of dude buds who ended up walking through the museum behind me to prove it. Years later, I became one of those travels-to-Vegas-every-weekend strippers. Our weekend contingent nicknamed the one-hour flight from LA to Vegas “Stripper Express.” Whenever I saw a woman at the airport in sweats carrying not much more than a purse, I had a sneaking suspicion she was heading to work with me for the weekend.

So having crossed that item off my bucket list and conquered it, here’s the rest:

1) A Strip Tour. I’ve often read about women jumping in a car for a working road trip. I think it’d be quite the adventure to find a stripper Thelma to my Louise and hit the road, Jack! And don’tcha come back without stack, without stack, without stacks of stacks, stories of strippers being stuck on these trips with no money and no club that will hire them be damned. In my bucket list strip trip fantasy Thelma and I hit the road with our route perfectly planned. The only bumps in the road evolve into welcomed adventures. These adventures will be worthy of being tucked into my “this is one to tell the grandnieces and nephews” file. (I have no intentions of having children, so it’s up to my sister’s children to provide me with youngsters to tell these tales to. It’ll be as close to the granny experience I will ever get.) Managers will miraculously hire my buddy and I in the bat of a fake eyelash. Move over Thelma and Louise, the explorations of Essence and Spice are now what road trip chick flicks are made of!