Lawyer turns topless dancer to pay the bills
When Carla graduated 10 years ago, she thought her law degree would be a permanent ticket to a high-paying job. But instead of selling her mind, Carla is selling her body. After student loans, debt, a layoff and unemployment battered her bank account, she now finds herself in an almost unbelievable position – dancing in a topless bar.
"Did I ever think I’d be taking my top off for rent money? No. I was in my mid-30s and had never danced before," said Carla, who asked that we use her stage name and withhold her identity and some personal details. "As a little girl, I never thought to myself, 'I just want to grow up and be a stripper,’ or, ‘All I ever wanted to do in life is climb in the lap of sweaty stranger and take my top off.'
"But, with our economy the way it is, especially in smaller cities ... you strip or you starve," she said.
"I went around to see if could get a job as cocktail waitress, but there was not a single retail or waitress job. No one was hiring, except for the topless places," she said. “It was an act of desperation.”
She started out serving drinks as a waitress, but moved quickly to dancing "because that's where the money is, and that's what I needed."
On an average day, she earns $20 an hour, but on a good weekend night, she might pull in $50 an hour –enough to get her finances back on track. She can set her own hours, which means she can squeeze in reading and writing papers around her work schedule.