Safety is a critical issue for dancers. Many men do not understand
that what we sell is a fantasy or feel that our employment makes
us fair game for unwanted attentions. The six dumbest words that
can leave a woman's mouth are "I can take care of myself". No
you can't, and get any notion that you're some kind of tough girl
out of your head. Men are bigger, stronger and meaner. They've
been beating and raping women for thousands of years now and have
pretty much got it down pat. Your little kickboxing lessons at
the health club will not help you. If a grown man hits you full
force you will be knocked unconscious and very likely break the
bones in your face. Do not ever make safety decisions based on
your opinion of your ability to defend yourself.
I personally think that carrying
weapons or taking martial art, self-defense classes etc. are a
bad idea for most women. The most effective way to survive is
to be scared; anything that makes you brave makes you more likely
to walk into a dangerous situation. If you have a gun in your
purse you might be more likely to take that shortcut home, or
take a ride with a man you don't know very well or any number
of risky things. If you're scared you're careful, if you're careful
you don't get into trouble. If you are a feature dancer, have
a very public presence (website or modeling), or have had problems
with a stalker a gun may be something you want to consider purchasing.
You need to be trained in it's use and practice with it at a firing
range at least once every few months. Don't bother carrying one
unless you comfortable with the idea of killing someone. That's
what guns are for, you're not going to be shooting knives out
of anyone's hands, you're going to be trying to make a hole in
the center of their torso. If you have small hands like me you
can have a gunsmith machine a trigger guard that will comfortable
fit your finger but too small for the finger of a grown man. But
I would like to emphasize, most women are far better off not carrying
a gun. Only if you are in a position of constantly being exposed
to unavoidable danger is it an option.
One never wishes to blame the
victim but every single girl I know without exception who has
ever gotten into trouble was doing something most women would
consider risky or just plain stupid. Don't take chances- the stakes
are too high.
As a dancer leaving the club after work is
the time when you are most vulnerable. I have only gotten scared
twice at work. On both occasions it was when an overly enthusiastic
customer decided to wait for me outside the club after closing.
On both occasions the men were just confused about the nature
of what a dancer does and were quickly dealt with by security.
This being said transportation is a critical safety issue that
you really have to think about. Going to work is not a problem-
they can't really see where you are coming from. Leaving is when
you have to be most vigilant. Public transportation is out of
the question, it's too easy to be followed and is rarely safe
at the hours you'll be riding. I'd suggest sharing a cab with
one of the other girls. If you decide to drive, make very sure
that your car is reliable, last thing you need is a break down
on an empty road at 3AM. A cell phone is a good thing to have
and if you just use it for emergencies it only costs about $15
a month. Make sure when you register you car you do it to another
address (friend, parent, etc.). That way if some creep takes down
your license plate number he can't find out your home address.
For obvious reasons never give any personal
info to anyone who knows you as a dancer- including other dancers.
There are dancers and bouncers who will give the information to
customers for money or as a favor. There is no reason anyone needs
to know anything but your stage name. Don't tell them where you
live or what school you go to no matter how trust worthy they
seem. Once that information is out it's very difficult to put
back in the box.