Dear Tits and Sass: My Parents Found Out I’m A Stripper Edition

by suzyhooker on February 5, 2013 · 1 comment

in Dear Tits and Sass

One way to convince your parents stripping might work out

One way to convince your parents stripping might work out

Hello Tits and Sass,

I am a dancer in Canada and have been reading your great blog for over a year; I have also had the recent experience of being outed to my parents a couple of days ago. I have only just turned 20 so I haven’t moved out yet and am extremely mixed up about how to deal with the situation calmly. I am cut off from any coworkers for a few days (so I have no women who understand my perspective to ask advice from) and my parents are attempting to take control and make me quit (which I have no desire to comply with, I have been stripping for a year and am happy). If anyone has any words of wisdom, a post about the topic would greatly be appreciated.

Best regards, Claire

Zolly: I am so sorry to hear that you have been outed to your parents and that you can’t benefit from nearby support. The week my parents found out about stripping was extremely traumatic. But, as the saying goes, it does get better. However, since you still living under their roof, they may reasonably feel like they have a say in what you do for work. No parents ever want to ever imagine their daughter as a sex worker. Above all, the best way to deal with this situation is to remember that your parents love you and only want to keep you safe. If they start to get angry, try to understand their position. It will make you less defensive and upset. It will also make them see you more as an adult, making adult decisions.

That said, if you are going to continue stripping, you have two choices. First, you can tell your parents that despite their disapproval, it’s your decision and you will continue to dance. Eventually, they will likely accept the position, but there may be arguments in the meantime. Second, you can tell your parents that you are no longer stripping, and then continue to strip while keeping it a secret. I chose the second option and it worked fine for me, but I knew that my parents could never, ever accept that I was a stripper. You would have to be careful, and consider the chances of being outed again.

The obvious downside of the second choice is that, since it is a lie, if your parents found out, so much the worse. Overall, I will advise that if you are going to continue to strip, your parents may kick you out of the house. It may also be much harder to keep it a secret while you’re living with them. I know it is a very difficult choice, but you will likely find it much easier to dance if you move out.

Marissa: Sorry you were outed against your will, but perhaps this is an opportunity to think seriously about moving out on your own or becoming less dependent on your parents in general. I’m shocked you successfully hid stripping while living under their roof to begin with. I don’t know if you pay them rent or financially contribute at home, but if not, you have to be willing to make compromises and sacrifices. You have over a decade of potential stripping years ahead, and if you enjoy it, you might be better off finding an apartment.

You and your parents both want control, and unless you gain true independence, they’ll expect a say in your life choices. Tell them the consistent cash flow means you can pay bills on time and build “on paper” financial credentials for future loan applications. Reassure them you are not involved with drugs or prostitution (I think if I stripped at your age, I’d have gotten in worlds of trouble, being more naive and impressionable.) You also might want to reassure them you plan to hold a day job, attend school, or maintain resume-building freelance work while stripping.

Their concern shows that they care and full disclosure is preferable, if not practical. They might be worried a customer will stalk you to their home after hours or that you’ll get caught up in self destructive or dangerous behavior. I’d tell them you want to keep the job and are willing and able to move out or start contributing more money at home, as well as work to build a future through school or a second job. But most of all, I’d reassure them you have a firm, business-minded head on your shoulders and aren’t caught up in the stereotypically negative behavior of strippers that’s portrayed in pop culture. Remind them that the money you save on rent by living with them could be used to invest, save or pay for higher education; maybe they’ll be sold on the idea then. Good luck!

Bubbles: First of all, fuck whoever outed you. Whether it was intentional or not, it was petty and stupid, and I encourage you to keep as much distance between you and that person as possible. Now, if it was carelessness, like say you left your work bag out or they found funny money from the club, maybe you wanted to be found out!

I have always, always been out to my family, with varying results. I have never regretted it. I’m incapable of investing the time in deception, I’ve been a stripper for so long that any excuses would have worn out long ago, and the people in my family who matter have remained good to me. In your shoes, I’d bust ass to make enough to move out and move on and remain outed.

But this is a really personal choice. You are young and a very new stripper, so you might be done with it totally in a year or two, in which case you might as well spare yourself the trouble and make up some cover stories that work. You’re just going to have to weigh both sides of the issue. Will you be losing out on the tuition that your parents pay for your expensive private college? Is your family very religious or traditional? Will they disown you? Do you have to hide a lot of other things from them because of their disapproval? There’s costs and benefits to both choices.

You really should think about moving out, though, if it’s feasible. No judgment on the money or housing situation, just echoing what Zolly and Marissa said—it will be a lot easier to do what you want under your own roof. I wish you the best.

If you are a current sex worker facing a work-related challenge, you can email info [at] titsandsass.com and we’ll do our best to help or call in a guest who can. (Please no “how do I get started” questions. This is for those who are already in the biz.) 

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