I find myself staying at the tiny, almost imperceptible dimples in my thighs more often lately.  Okay, imperceptible when I have a tan at least.  I feel the weight of each footstep I take clunking and thundering against the concrete when I walk to the bus. I leave the overly friendly mirror in my apartment, happily without makeup, only to find myself locked in a friend’s bathroom at a dinner party, obsessing over the size of my pores, how tired my eyes look, or pale my cheeks are.  I’ve been brought to tears looking at or thinking about my body.  This is new.

Even in times when I felt the need to lose weight while dancing, I never felt like this. I feel old and inadequate in a completely unforgiving and most likely dismorphic way.  Another way in which I’ve lost myself, perhaps.  Am I interested in healing and learning to love my body as it is again? No. I am interested in regaining and keeping some ideal of perfection that exists in my head. Even knowing the slippery slope that this track brings to ex ladies of the night.

Maybe its spending too much time seeing ourselves in the overly made-up, low and forgiving light of the club that leads to the illusion that the long nights of booze, bullshit, and blow haven’t taken their toll on us until it’s too late.  Then botox leads to liposuction, which leads to growth hormones and steroids, which leads to bathing in virgin blood and eventually waking up to the drag queen plastiface of too many lifts and tucks.  No offense to any drag queens.

Perhaps its fortunate that I do not have the income of my glory dancing days. Instead, I find myself scouring craigslist for clinical trials that involve Botox or Restylene. Looking for discounted tattooed makeup and full body microdermabrasion. Who am I?

I remember writing a letter to myself as an adolescent, admonishing any shame I might have of my aging body. It said something like, age with grace and dignity. Don’t be that old lady apologizing for being too old, asking for reassurance, reeking of sour whining insecurity. Wrinkles are a badge of pride, I said. Be happy, I said.

What an idealistic brat, right?

Currently, my happy with my body wish list contains the loss of 10 lbs, tattooed eyeliner, a stronger chin, throat and neck lift, full body microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, eye depuffing, a couple units of brow lifting botox, a hair cut and color and a tan. Otherwise known as the basics.  Price tag?  Double my income, probably.

And the sneaking suspicion that I have lately, besides that all of this need for perfection being some part of the dancer ideal life brainwashing, is that much of the things that I’d like to fix (like my sudden inability to lose weight) are part of the damage that 6 years of sleepless nights, high heels, and too much partying have taken on my body while the degradation, insecurities, female drama and addiction to spending money before I can even make it have damaged my psyche.  How depressing, Jooni, get a life already!

Yep, and these realizations just make me want to head out and party, forget my troubles in the low light of some club somewhere and feel beautiful and pampered again.  Who am I?

I was 28.  My theater company was disbanding.  My plan to travel the world as a gypsy for one year was scrapped/altered/postponed because of my undying loyalty to my cat.  On my birthday I’d finally started training on the trapeze after 4 years of burning desire, but a serious lack of funds.  I was dead sick of being broke.  I had $20,000 of high interest debt from putting part of my very pricey college education on credit cards.  I had another $30,000 of very low interest student loans.  I was bartending, which in NYC, I thought felt a lot like stripping anyways.  Flirting with rich, drunk men for tips.  Might as well double my money.

I actually put some thought into things.  I’d considered doing it in college, but decided that I was probably a little too sensitive and impressionable for it to turn out well.  But now was different.  I was 28.  I had founded and run a company.  I had the benefit of my highly liberal and empowering college experiences behind me.  I knew who I was, I was grounded.  I wouldn’t get lost.  But then I did.

It didn’t happen right away.  For at least a year, I was the nice, sweet girl.  The one who was a little timid and surprised that a guy would shell out $100 for 5 lap dances in a row, much less 10 grand for a VIP room with 3 girls for 5 plus hours.  I stayed away from the drugs, or tried them occasionally if a girl offered them to me.  But they didn’t usually offer them to me.  I was off the main girls’ radar.  I didn’t know that the club had at least 2 different drug dealers on staff, doubling as security, or door guys, or even part owners.  Today, there are actually at least 5 that I can think of, which is sometimes more drug dealers than customers on a dead night.

For a year I made my money on the floor doing dances and in the ‘downstairs’ VIP rooms.  The VIP rooms that are reserved for customers that aren’t regulars.  In other words, customers that might be cops.  In other words, the VIP rooms where nothing more than a little heavy petting might happen, and even that could get you fired.

I wasn’t the top girl in the club by any means.  But I did okay.  I moved into my own apartment in Brooklyn.  I could afford to live alone, which for me meant I was a mature adult.  And which in New York City, meant most of what I earned from the club went to rent.  And a good part of the rest of it went to beauty supplies, dresses, house fees and tip outs.  Even so, I managed to negotiate down the high interest debt at least and get it paid off.  And then I discovered taxes.  I actually learned the very same week that I paid off that $20,000 debt, that I owed over $20,000 to the IRS.  Looking back, that was the moment that my temporary job that was going to save me financially with all its easy money became a trap.  Maybe even a death trap.

To be continued…

I have this fantasy.  I’ve had it since I can remember.  Since the very beginnings of sexual yearnings peeked their tiny mischievous heads out of my loins.

I am tied up.  For some reason to a wheel, but I don’t think that’s relevant, really.  Hints of my future SteamPunk aesthetic (aka nerdery), I suppose.  A man is in charge (though occasionally a buxom 70′s Playboy-esque blonde woman makes an appearance).  All they want is to please me, to teach me to be pleased.  They are willing to keep me tied to this wheel until I cum.  Until I learn to have pleasure.

The point of course, is that fantasy is strange.  I can’t count the number of men who’ve wanted to prove that they can dominate, please me exclusively, show me how to cum.  The reality is sick and nauseating.  You’re not the boss of me, ropes burn, and let me the fuck out of this room!

So what’s up with fantasy anyways then?   And how do some people manage to cross that line into the extremes of making their fetish dreams real?   I mean, I’ve always thought that my line between reality, the spiritual realm, and stories and fantasy was faint at best.  But, when it has come down to trying to live out my dreams in the bedroom?  Fail Blog.

Threesomes, orgies, group sex?  It’s like naked twister ADD over here in my world.  I end up sitting in the corner, left out and overwhelmed.  Who should I relate to, whom should I please, or even let please me?  Instant libido overload, short-circuit, and burn out.

Being a crazy, adventurous slut?  Well, hello diseases, mouth breathers, and chemistry.  I’m even more picky about my partners than my fine wines.  Trust me, that’s picky.  I’ll throw a just slightly turned glass of Pinot Noir that’s not from the Willamette Valley back in an inconsiderate bartender’s face.  I know she’s just trying to distract or poison me and steal my man.  Sneaky bitch.  Hmmm…come to think of it, I think I can play the crazy part of crazy slut quite well after all.  I’d like to thank the years of method acting and direct observation of real life crazy bitches in their natural habitat of the strip club dressing room for this award.  What did I win anyways?  An Emmy?  Oh, two free tickets to AA?  Perfect.  Thank you, Alex.

So, it’s not from lack of trying that I can’t cross that line.  I’ve dated some of the most influential peeps in my sex positive scenes.  I’ve had more than ample, willing partners to experiment safely and comfortably with.  I just want something more simple, meaningful, direct and easy in real life than in my imagination.  I don’t need a lot of props, costumes, or an audience.  I like one-on-one connection.  I’m fine with that.

But years of half-heartedly, and not so positively, trying to make clients’ crazy fetish dreams come true in the Boobie Bungalows of the VIP, does make me wonder about that line between fantasy and reality sometimes.  Is it okay to cross it?  Does it help some people live out things that they don’t want to, or shouldn’t bring into their real life world?  Does it make some people become broke, obsessive, sex addicts?  Is it just a rewarding and fun activity for some people?  Is spending the weekend at an orgy any different from spending the weekend at a softball tournament, if that’s what you’re into?

Is it just like everything in life, and different for everyone?



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