Student by day, stripper by night

MATT FLOWERS

Her stage name is Exotica.
She is a nursing student by day
and exotic dancer by night. She
staggers out of bed at 8 a.m.
every morning for class, after
strutting her stuff until 3 a.m.,
closing time at the club where
she works. She has class until 4
p.m., which only gives her a
couple of hours of rest before
she starts her new shift.
As a first-year nursing student,
Exotica finds it hard to
keep her eye on the educational
prize, on having a career that
doesn’t involve giving men a
lap dance.
Exotica explained the pressures
of working as a stripper
while attending college.
“I began dancing as a freshman
in college as an easy way
to pay my tuition and room and
board. I quickly learned that
dancing is not just a job, it is a
lifestyle,” she says.
Exotica attends a large university
of over 30,000 students,
but she is still often recognized
on campus by students,
frat boys, and even professors.
As male students
would whistle and yell “slut”
as she walked to class, female
students would whisper among
their friends and label her a
“whore.”
Nervously, she would sneak
into class, hoping none of the
men in her row would notice
her, or realize what she had
been doing the night before.
With Bob Seger’s “Her
Strut” playing in the background
in a room full of men,
Exotica would dance night in
and night out and make good
money doing it. Being able to
afford rent, food, books and
clothes, she would often take
her friends out to dinner.
“It was pretty
awesome to be
financially successful
among
an endless sea
of broke-ass
c o l l e g e
stuents,”says
Exotica.
She admits that it is very
tempting to let her education
take second place to a very
lucrative job (in which she
could probably make as much
money as her professors).
But Exotica does not recommend
being a dancer while
attending school. “An education
is very important,” she
says.
Some young women trying
to pay for tuition and books
turn to exotic dancing because
it is quick, easy money.
However, the slaying of
Rachel Siani, a Bucks student
who worked as a stripper,
shows a much darker and more
dangerous side to the world of
stripping.
On March 29, 2000, 22-
year-old Siani was murdered
after leaving her shift at Diva’s
International Gentlemen’s
Club, a seedy strip joint that no
longer exists today.
Siani stripped at Diva’s
under the name “Roxanne” for
18 months. Siani used the
money to pay her tuition and
student fees at Bucks.
As long as Exotica steers
clear of hanging around customers
after closing time, she
hopes she will be safe.
But when a customer wants
more a lap dance, that’s when
the job can become dangerous.
Siani took the risk of meeting
after hours with a crazed customer
and it turned out tragically.
“I’ve had men try and take
me out for a drink after hours,
or have tried paying me to have
sex with them, but it’s not
worth it. That is the most dangerous
part of the job. They
don’t get it. Every man has the
idea that it will happen, but if a
girl is smart, it will never happen,”
Exotica says.
According to Exotica, the
biggest downside of the business
is the men, who routinely
shout things like “Hey slut!
Come over here.”
“After a couple
of months in
the club and
having heard so
many pick up
lines and disgusting
comments,
I started
to grow really
cold and just
closed guys
completely out
of my life.
“I think a lot of girls have that
problem,” she adds. “We keep
waiting for the perfect man to
come into our lives and then
brush him off because we think
they are just like all the guys at
the club.”
Exotica says her job is only a
temporary gig to make money
to get through school, and even
though the money is very
tempting, the bottom line is
that the job isn’t.
“I can only walk in those 6-
inch stiletto heels and wear
that skimpy thong for so long,”
she says.
“Besides, when I
finally get into
nursing, some of
these men may be
my patients,” she
adds.