Monday, 9 April 2012

Stripper Stories - guest post by Sheila Hageman

The strippping and blogging community makes a perfect match, and I love talking with my fellow dancers, call girls and bloggers.  Sheila Hageman is one of these inspirational women, and I'm happy to present a call to action from her! Here is her guest post, and please check out her fantastic books too!
It’s time for strippers to unite!

I’m not talking about creating a sex-workers union or anything like that. No, what I’m talking about is much more radical than that. It’s time for strippers to unite in their mission to tell their stories.

There are lots of stories told out there about us—just look at the movies, television shows, and magazine stories to see what people believe about strippers. But they are not our stories.

Okay, yes—there are some stripper memoirs out there. I mean, I’m one of those stripper memoirists having written Stripping Down
and The Pole Position: Is Stripping for You? (And How to Stay Healthy Doing It)
 I also blog about the life of an ex-stripper who became a mom and writer at Stripper Mom.

But do you know what the biggest message I’ve been receiving from readers is? I keep hearing—Oh, wow! It’s not just another stripper memoir!

True, Stripping Down deals with much more than just my stripping past. My story begins: at twelve years old, everything changed for me with the discovery of my estranged father’s porn collection. Found locked away in a corner of the basement, the glossy images ignite in me an unrelenting desire for attention and adoration. Now, reflections on my past as a stripper permeate my thoughts as I take on the new roles of mother, caregiver and wife. While helping my baby daughter take her first steps, I nurse my mother through the final stages of breast cancer.

Spiraling through memories and torn between the woman I am becoming and the woman I have been, I am continually Stripping Down.

Part of the problem about the stripper stories we hear is that often strippers are presented in just that one way; we become compartmentalized and shown to be just that and nothing else.

I propose that every thinking stripper out there get to writing and start representing!

Write about everything, not just your stripping life because you are more than just a stripper.

Journal about your everyday life, your past, even your imagined future. But don’t avoid your stripper story either. There is so much to delve into and explore.

Let’s share our stories with the world. Let’s show that we are not all alike. We are all unique and amazing women with our own stories to tell.

If you want to write but don’t know where to start just begin simply by journaling. We’re not talking old-school “Dear Diary” or anything, just grab a pen and pretty journal and carry it with you wherever you go.

Whenever you feel inspired or notice something around you, jot it down.

When you’re first starting out, don’t worry about making it perfect, just get some words down on the page. This is how you start. From the beginning. From right where you are.

Write about your surroundings, about what you see, hear, smell and taste.

And if you are feeling bold—start a blog! Share your words with the world.

What are you waiting for?

What is your story?

Sheila Hageman is a multi-tasking wife and mother of three who blogs for The Huffington Post. Her memoir, Stripping Down, February 2012, from Pink Fish Press, is a moving meditation on womanhood and body image. Also check out her Decision-Making Guide and Self-Discovery Journal, THE POLE POSITION: Is Stripping for You? (And How to Stay Healthy Doing It), by Every Day Create, December 2011, that helps women to further value their own identities through their quest to understand their motivations for stripping. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College, CUNY, where she also graduated as valedictorian as an undergraduate. She is a Yoga instructor and teaches Writing at Housatonic Community College and Kaplan University. She has work in many anthologies and magazines like Salon, The Fertile Source, Prime Mincer, and Foliate Oak Literary Journal. To learn more about Sheila and everything she does, please visit Check out her blogs: Stripper Mom and Celebrity Momster.

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