As a Lyft driver, I drive people from all walks of life around town. I have had individuals from halfway houses, on parole, drunk, business people, visitors on vacation, and, yes, even strippers. As an aging male, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that I love strippers because they are young, attractive, and sexy (at least according to the dictates and ideas of the general public).
However, because I am a Lyft driver, as a rule I like people who are generous tippers and my personal experience has been that strippers tip much more than the average fare that gets in my vehicle. (Also, since I am as old as, if not older than, their own grandfathers, it is more than creepy for me to think that I should see them as sexual toys to be trifled with.)
As I mentioned in a “Lyft & Uber Tips” page I used to have when I drove, every person that enters my car from a ride request is a 5 star customer. It is up to them to be so awful as to merit a rating lower than 5 stars; I even take into account the idea that a person can be having a bad day. In essence, you have to work pretty hard to earn a lower rating from me. That being said, when a young woman enters my car and gives me the address of a strip club in town as their destination, I neither change my mind or attitude about the quality or worth of this person. Most importantly, I do not turn into a leering, drooling male hoping to get a peek of some intimate flesh. If anything, I tend to be even more gentlemanly than usual, because I am sure that they get tired of being treated as an object to be examined and handled. They entered my car expecting to be given a ride to work or elsewhere, and I strive to meet their expectations.
In each case, these generous women have tipped well above the average tipping client I transport. (I have observed that, in general, people in the service industry, who rely upon tips to form a significant portion of their monthly earnings, get that I too am a service person and they are more likely to give a tip than other individuals, particularly “important” and “successful” business persons.) Conversely, I have observed that some business people who climb into the backseat of my car perceive me as a non-entity who is obligated to get them to their business destination as quickly and invisibly as possible. Yes, to those people, I am invisible. They cannot be bothered to interact with me or see me as a person; I obviously will not enrich their bottom line, so I am of no value to them. Because they perceive themselves as busy, important, and successful, their manner must mirror their self-image, which means that they cannot be bothered with the likes of a mere Lyft driver, who is just another pesky human being that they need to bother with to improve or serve their own significant existence. Ironically, these very same individuals also seem to be quite miserable in their own puddle of self-importance. Their only reason to be friendly to another person is if that woman or man can generate an additional profit in their business endeavors. And those types of people hardly ever give any tips; they see no value of the service I provide and frankly do not care if I earn a minimum or lower wage.
But back to the beauty of women who work as strippers. Their beauty is much more than surface; these women generally are self-starters who understand the nature of their work, which is to entertain and titillate their customers (who on the whole are men; often the selfsame businessmen I mentioned in the previous paragraph). They are extremely adept at getting men to loosen their wallet by offering cheap (and partial) thrills to them. Meanwhile, they are paying their own way through life, many of them also funding their own education through their work. Furthermore, they understand that many people will view them as inferior or of a lower class, and they have learned to shrug off such attitudes as being inaccurate and shallow judgments of their character. They are not working in order to prove their intelligence or creativity; on the contrary, most of their clients would be intimidated if they learned that this luscious young female actually can read and converse knowledgeably. It takes a very clever women to play the dumb bunny in order to stroke the fragile egos of these horny hound dogs.
So when I say that I love strippers, what I love about them is their fierce independence and their own self confidence. Of course, they are human and subject to the many human foibles we all have in life, but they have chosen a path that is both challenging as well as financially rewarding. In America, we are too caught up in identifying a person by the job they hold, not by the human being they are working to become. They have found their own autonomy by being an exotic dancer and entertainer, and they deserve more praise and appreciation than they usually get!
(originally posted on 6-18-17)