Day 10: Is Stripper a Bad Word?

She told me she had tattooed her own hand. With a needle and ink. Slowly.

She had a glow about her and a smile that could melt walls.

She drank white wine and told me she started stripping a few years ago.

Stripper. That’s a stupid word.

Number 31 on my new 30-day-list is to have a beer with someone different every day. That’s 4,620 calories.

I posted a message online yesterday looking for a beer buddy and she reached out to me. We met at a bar with a bunch of dudes chanting loudly while pounding shots. She ate the vegetable plate. I drank a dark beer. I don’t like beer.

I met her four years ago when she started a non-profit that connects the elderly with younger generations through art. It is one of her passions and it is working.

She is an artist. She paints murals all over the city. Huge flowers and brilliant designs.

She also dances naked in front of strange men.

We talked about Tony Robbins, my list, strip clubs, and finding your purpose. She was open, funny, and kind. I was awkward, funny and curious.

I told her she struck me as someone who is fearless. Someone who sucks all the goodness out of life. Someone who owns her personal style and seems to be confident in who she is. Someone I strive to be.

I asked her how she is so fearless.

“I guess I just always do what I want to do.”

I asked if she gets nervous when she dances naked.

She said no.

I asked her if she wants to marry me.

I didn’t ask that.

She told me she enjoys stripping. She loves the art and seductiveness of the ritual. She said the hardest part of the job is the emotional side. Specifically, remembering who she is when she becomes so many different fantasies for different men. The emotional stress of the job can be difficult.

I think we all forget who we are sometimes. Or all the time. Or have never really known who we are.

We have to be so many things to so many people. All the masks we wear. If I take off the mask, who am I? Will others like me if I show them who I really am? If I am vulnerable?

Like being naked on a stage.

We had a great conversation and parted ways at the end of the night.

I posted a picture of the two of us on Instagram. The post read “beer with an artist, philanthropist, stripper, gerontologist, and world changer. A total bad ass!”

Then a woman sent me a private messaged me on Instagram and asked “Can you help me understand how a stripper is a bad ass?”

Don’t be vulnerable. People might hate you.

I had a beer with a beautiful, smart, and amazing human being. A woman full of love and positive energy. A person making a difference in the world by creating art, helping the elderly, dancing naked, and being herself.  A total bad ass.

Doing what she wants to do.


Trey Humphreys