Stripping on the Side
A nonprofit intern counts down the hours until she can shed her office attire in a Times Square gentlemen’s club.
They called it the “new” Times Square. I dodged tourists to get to work. There was always a man standing at the corner of 50th Street and Broadway in a yellow vest that read “Flashdancers,” passing out little cards to all the men who walked by. One day, I asked him for one. He looked at me. “I work there,” I said. He handed me a card.
On the card was a picture of a topless woman who did not work at Flash. Come visit me, it read. It was a free pass to get in.
I was attending Antioch College at the time, and they had a program called “co-op,” wherein students alternated semesters on campus with terms of work or volunteer experience anywhere in the world. That fall, I had arranged to “co-op” in New York City, working at a nonprofit afterschool program for economically disadvantaged girls. But more importantly, when I’d made the arrangements I’d also set my sights on stripping in New York City, becoming part of an industry more glamorous and lucrative than any I…
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