I swear if I ever have to go through the dating process again (and I hope I don’t), I’m handing this out to all prospective dates. It’s my version, so surely it doesn’t represent all (or even most) dancers, of course. I’m seriously considering giving this to the significant other (see previous post) after today’s conversation. Not all of these are specific accusations toward my current mate. Consider also that I do not have children.
1. Accusations of my not deserving what I make are unacceptable. My job is difficult, emotionally and physically. If you think I’m good enough to date seriously, you ought to think I’m “good enough” to demand the price I do for my time and services.
2. I do care about many of my customers. It doesn’t mean I care about them more than you, or that I’m running off with them, or interested in them the same way. We can talk about my customers, but any jealous accusations will drive me further away.
3. Trust me or dump me (…or I’ll dump you). If you don’t trust me to do my job as I describe it to you, this probably isn’t going to work out.
4. You’re not entitled to the money I make. You cannot assume that I’m the one paying for dinner or drinks, or anything else. Assume we split it, act like a gentleman and offer to pay, or tell me that you can’t afford it.
5. I feel I have an obligation to my customers’ privacy. We can talk about them, but I cannot tell you who they are, specifically. And really, there’s no need for you to know.
6. If you make less than I do, believe me, I understand that there are times when you have to decline to spend money with me (movie, dinner, vacation, etc). You have an obligation to take care of your own finances before impressing me, or assuming I’ll pay. This is part of honesty, and you expect it of me, too.
7. This shouldn’t even be on the list, but: You must provide for yourself, financially. If you are unwilling, this is a dealbreaker.
8. I am not the bank. I do not make loans. I do not “front” money. I may consider a helping you ($20) once in a great while, but I will not consider it on a regular basis. Figure out how to manage your own money and live within your means.
9. Being jealous that you aren’t female and can’t do my job is unproductive and silly. Laughable, even. Work with what you’ve got, just like I do.
10. When I bitch about work, it doesn’t mean I hate my job, just like it doesn’t mean you hate yours. We all need time to vent. Continuously proposing the solution of quitting my job only tells me that you can’t handle my job.
11. When I have a good night at work, be happy for me. You like it when I’m happy that you’ve had a good day, right? Accusations of how I made the money will end the relationship, and at the least of things, sulking because I made great money will only tell me that you’re unhappy with yourself (not an attractive quality in a mate).
12. If you’re not willing to defend me against you’re friends’ jokes and snide comments (even when I’m not around), I’m not willing to date you. If you don’t respect me, we can’t be friends or lovers.
13. I can help you with either breaking the news to your parents/important people in your life or hiding it from them (I do understand), but hiding me from your parents/important people in your life in fear or embarrassment isn’t going to work out at all.
14. This also shouldn’t even be on the list, but: Cheating on me simply because the work I do is in the sex industry is unacceptable. You’re not entitled to be involved with someone else simply because I do a particular job. Similarly, threatening to cheat on me when you’re angry is ridiculous, and will end the relationship.
15. Using my job (or any aspect of it) against me when you’re mad is a very bad move. If you’re unhappy with my job, we need to discuss that calmly, later, but using it in an argument is just unacceptable.
16. Getting into a relationship with a dancer doesn’t mean you get to play “Captain Save-a-ho,” and it means you take the dancing part of the girl with the rest of her. If you’re unhappy with my job, we can surely talk about that. Don’t expect that the conversation will lead me to quit and find another, though. I don’t owe it to you to quit my job.
17. Sex is not an obligation and shouldn’t feel like one. Just because my job is being a sexual fantasy doesn’t mean I always feel like being one when I get home. Trying to use that as an excuse is bad-news-bears, and creates a hell of a lot of resentment.
18. I don’t “get cleaned up/shaved/get ‘pretty’/etc” for other men, specifically. I have to prepare for work, and part of my job is shaving, makeup, doing my hair, and so on. Believe me, it’s not for other men…it’s for a paycheck. If I could go to work as a stinky hippie, I totally would.
19. If you have underlying beliefs about stripping/strippers, we need to talk about that before it becomes a huge issue. If you believe I’m being exploited, for example, we need to chat (I’m not)…because if you can’t at least understand how I feel about my job, or believe that it’s inherently wrong, this isn’t going to work.
20. Misguided sweet things that are actually stupid things to say to me: “You’re better/could do better than this,” “But you are so smart,” “You don’t have to do this,” “Why don’t you get a job as an (insert title here)?”…and so on. Not helpful, and rather insulting when you break them down.
I’m certain I’ll add more to this list as time goes by, but those are my top 20 dealbreakers as they relate to my job.