Saturday, May 24, 2008

OK. Hi.

So, I've been through to archives and taken out the couple of things that could have been incriminating to myself or someone else. All in all, I've been pretty cautious through the years -- I've used fake names for people who were already using fake names -- but I had to double-check. I think we're good.

So welcome, new people. Nice to have you here, even the folks participating in the backlash and counter-backlash like I was Paris Hilton's new hairdo, and even the ones who think I'm not a real stripper because real strippers don't use semi-colons or whatever. It's an interesting experience so far and of course, this too will pass.

For those of you who just got here, you are arriving in what may very well be the twilight of this blog. After four on-and-off years of stripping, I am actively looking for a way out, or at least an extended break. For those of you who read my recent posts and think I sound like a bitter cunt, well yeah. The past four years have not been without their difficulties and they have left their mark, for sure. Once upon a time I had a magical ability to transform other people's misery at least temporarily into happiness, and as a dancer I banked off that for a long time, but it's gone now, and there it is.

I'm not at all sure what the fate of this blog will be. I'm pretty busy trying to get famous for something besides being a stripper, so not looking for a book deal or anything like that. I could really use a big bag of money, though, so if you want to send me one that would be awesome.

For now, I'm probably just going to pretend to ignore all of you like I have lovingly pretended to ignore Nathaniel and Anna and the other long-time loyal readers. So, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

P.S. If you are writing to me about something specific and want a response, like a few have, you gots to leave me some contact information. I won't publish it, and if what you're saying interests me I will respond.

P.P.S. Dear Stripper Haters: You are in my house, so please behave accordingly. Your comments will not be published unless they contain unusual insight or some sort of unique expertise beyond "my friend's sister was a stripper and in my opinion she is all fucked up now so you are too." The garden variety of ill-informed vitriol will be deleted with a light heart. I don't have the time or inclination to respond to you individually, but perhaps you will enjoy this.

57 comments:

Nikki Riles said...

Okay. Sorry if we freaked you out with the sudden traffic. You're an amazing writer I only read through a few of your posts and their rhythm and flow was inspiring. I wish more blogs would try such an elegant voice.

Ehsan said...

I was enjoying reading, please do return them.

Mazzalupi said...

I look forward to the archive returning as my experience so far has only consisted of the below post, "What the fuck is this shit?" :P

And if it eases your fears at all, Boing Boing's readers, for the most part, don't bite.

FAU5TU5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
piove said...

HI,
I'm sorry you were freaked out, that wasn't my intent. (Can't speak for anyone else).
Awesome writing, I really enjoyed it.
A former GF was a stripper, and I found the same sense of irony and philosophy here.

Cool blog, nice turn of phrase.
Thanks for sharing, even if it was unintended.

Piove via BoingBoing

FAU5TU5 said...

Sorry, I deleted my comment as it had a few suggestions of what to remove.. Hopefully though you got to read the rest of the good stuff, of which there was quite a bit.

Your writing allows the readers to not think about it, but rather about what you are saying and who you are.

That isn't easy. But it is the hallmark of either a gift, or a hard won talent.. or both.

FAU5TU5 said...

I saw the link from boingboing, and have been reading your posts all day and loving it. I actually had today set aside to read, and books ready. I did not expect to be reading a blog, and enjoying it soo much.. Usually I hate blogs..

But I've had a few friends that danced and entertained, and I personally never tire of insight into the lives, hearts, and minds, of some of perhaps the most intricate and fascinating individuals out there.

I honestly wish that I had known about your blog without boingboing, as I really don't like the idea of too many people having access to it because it is current, honest, and personal. (unless of course it is an exquisite fabrication.. In which case I would say pitch it now before someone else does.)

I would either require your viewers to register, (if that's an option.. I'm not that familiar with Blogger, I've only used WordPage and self hosting)

I would also remove location and the club info etc. I only got a couple months in starting from the beginning and City/state, and ClubName and description should be removed... as well as the links or mentions of friends blogs..

But I would honestly consider this novel/novella ready with just the slightest of tweaks and editing.
Not blowing smoke, I’d have paid to read this on a flight over a bunch of magazines in a heartbeat.

I really hope I can read more.. Though I feel awkward telling a stranger that I want to read more about her most intimate thoughts and feelings,.. But then, I've always felt awkward about personal blogs.. And though many of my friends write them,.. Yours if the first I've actually read more than a single post from..

Be careful. And if need be consider starting a New blog elsewhere with restrictions, and just notifying those who you want to read it. Those that were with you from early on... and require registration. That way you can control who views.

If you did go that way, I would love to be invited. Though, being just one of the likely HOARD of people that viewed your blog for the first time today due to being linked by boingboing,.. I wouldn't be the least surprised if you played it very conservatively, and only invited viewers Pre-I dont know a couple weeks to months ago, from before whoever found your blog and decided to share it with BB.

Oh, and if you do actually post the whole thing for any and all to view.. "jokingly" (wink) throw up a paypal donation link for "tips"..
Can't hurt.. and is well within the theme..

Either way.. I've enjoyed what you've shared. You remind me of old friends I've lost touch with, and really miss.

At least thanks for today.

innocentlyjaded said...

We're sorry for the sudden rush of readers, and I understand the paranoia.

You're an amazing writer and I hope you keep on blogging. Blogs like yours are an inspiration to those who want to improve more on their own writing.

Anonymous said...

While I was only able to read two old post, your writing is absolutely wonderful. I along with others do hope the post will return soon.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Don't stop writing.

:-)

Anonymous said...

You can change what you want, but the internet archive has already stored several of your posts as originally written.

http://web.archive.org/web/*/graceundressed.blogspot.com/*

Sorry.

Robert said...

You were posted on Boing Boing. Please put the posts back up?

Anonymous said...

hey...i found you through boing boing and really liked what i read...i do look forward to the return of your posts.

Clever Monkey said...

Unfortunately, the RSS feed for your articles are probably cached in many readers this morning. So even if you take the articles down, the content is there somewhere.

It's the internet disease: post it and someone, somewhere you don't want will see the details. So, yeah, I encourage you to go forward more carefully since your blog was name-dropped on a very popular link site. Hey, look at it this way: some people would like to be so lucky, and get BoingBoing'd!

But do keep writing. I like your voice, and the (let's face it) sometimes difficult subject matter (ok, well, it's a slice of your /life/, not a /subject/ for my consideration, but I hope you get the spirit of that comment) interests me. Mostly because of the smart and funny way you observe the stuff around you.

Sex work is complicated and fascinating thing to do, and to write about. As suggested else-thread, many of us directed here via Boing Boing are probably mostly harmless and understanding (and, one hopes, able to approach experiences that challenge preconceived notions intelligently).

For the record, as I was reading some of your postings last evening, almost every single one made me want to comment and contribute to the dialogue. I decided to lurk instead, because in matters like this no one really wants to opinion of a nice white guy with a strong working living education in post-modern feminism who is uncomfortable going to stags at strip clubs.

I'm pretty sure I'll never hire a lap-dancer (heck, I haven't been in a strip bar since I was a teenager growing up in Western Canada) unless my SO and I decide to do something fun one night and she is there with me. In which case I'll tip well and try to make sure everyone has fun. This doesn't mean I can't hear or understand the stories you tell, or like to get where you are coming from. I'm pretty sure most of the smart folks on the net could say the same thing. Maybe minus the lap-dancing part. But I'm pretty naive about this stuff.

But, I'd love to deconstruct this sort of stuff all day, if you let me.

Simply put, you have a lovely voice. Don't let the sudden attention put you off writing on the web in some manner.

-- clvrmnky

Eight Lives Left said...

I do hope you keep writing and put back up your prior posts. You are a wonderful writer and I'm loving your point of view.

Anonymous said...

Just saw the link on Boing Boing and I guess I missed all the fun.

Anonymous said...

http://popurls.com/

It's a common phenomenon also known as being "slashdotted" though you haven't been linked there yet. A squillon people find out about your site at once and all come visit.

Hi from Australia...

Oh and you want the bad news?
Site search, and Google Cache.
Your posts are probably still there. It's nice to be really honest in a blog but never put anything on the web you don't want as front page news in your local town.

Anonymous said...

I'm really sorry you got subjected to the internet hate machine.

Dan said...

I came here looking for biscuit recipes, and dammit! I haven't found a single one.

Looks like I'll have to continue my reliance on that pudgy, little, bastard doughboy.

Aside from that, however, I seem to have fallen in love with your writing, and I'm sure I'll be dropping in from time to time to give your words a gander if you don't mind.

Adeian said...

Pretty much the same thing happened to the Girl who writes "Girl with a one track mind." She got linked and then discovered by everyone. http://girlwithaonetrackmind.blogspot.com/

Now she has two book deals and a radio show. ;)

Great writing, very nice to read.

carnadine said...

Like one of the anonymi said above, the Internet Archive has some of your posts cached. Google Cache probably has some too.

If the information in the posts could cause problems (keep in mind that if you ever get the kind of publicity that, say, Belle de Jour did people are going to try to find you), you should get them removed as soon as possible. Both sites remove content at the request of site owners, so there shouldn't be any problems - just google for instructions.

Anonymous said...

Of course the almost all web pages are automatically archived by a variety of sources, you can't 'remove' or change your posts in a way that will alter these archives, the information is already out there, forever. Everyone who 'blogs' should already know this.

bill said...

Wow - you've certainly got a gift for writing. I respect what you've got to say and it's very insightful . . .

You're right - there are a lot of sanctimonious idiots out there who think they have it all figured out.

Please keep writing.

www.loudloft.blogs.com

SheetWise said...

You're an incredible talent. Don't let the awareness of an audience influence your style -- or even your choice of words. You already have perfect pitch -- don't alter it.

The dancers I've known have always performed the same way in an empty club as they do in a packed club -- which makes me think they're really doing it for themselves. I really hope you can carry that kind of attitude over into your writing. Just ignore us ;)

Anonymous said...

you have an excellent voice. do not stop writing. it would be a shame. =)

James said...

Yea you know when you talk to people sometimes they talk back. When you talk with a sneering or contemptuous tone other people (at least I) take that as an invitation to be less polite than otherwise.

And considering the level of violence that was directed at me for posting a memorial of my cat I bet you have unearthed some doozeys. For what its worth I'm sure you are much more at risk from other decisions you make than what anyone online might do -- people who talk a lot of shit don't generally do anything.

But it is a good thing to remember that no one is required to like you or anything you say -- so when you do things publicly keep that in mind.

As for a way out -- in the city I live in there are 3 community colleges (I am completing training at one of them next year) that have programs for "hot jobs" - I'm going to be working as a medical equipment technician. The classes are set up through night school and are connected to a placement program.

It's a real job and has health insurance and all kinds of other good things.

Jessica said...

Wow. I've been reading and lurking for months now, and suddenly you've been Discovered! Sorry it alarmed you. Mostly I wanted to say, thanks for your beautiful, graceful, thoughtful writing for many months. I think I've genuinely enjoyed every entry - And I've learned an enormous amount about sex workers, and had my attitudes changed. Thanks for that, and good luck with everything.

Alex said...

Sorry i found you so late. I hope you find the way out you search for. You can do it. I just had dinner with a great friend, an ex-dancer, and probably the sweetest woman I know in the whole world.

Best of luck!

Kate said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog, and I am hoping to read whatever you do next. It is such a pleasure to discover a writer with your ability that I almost hope I can rediscover you just to have that feeling again.

Stew said...

So -- I'm one of the boingboing party crashers, and I'd just like to say that I've really enjoyed spending loads of time looking through your blog these past 48 hours. Please don't think all of the n00bs are stupid whackos!

Keep it up, and thanks for letting us crash. :D

FredicvsMaximvs said...

Hello!

I guess I'm one of the evil horde that found your blog via BoingBoing. Sorry to have been part of such a nasty shock; I hope it wears off and life returns to normal soon.

I really have enjoyed reading your blog. You're very articulate, and that seems to be a rare thing these days. It reminds me of another blog I saw once. It was called "confessions of a porn clerk" or something like that. Very similar to yours, except that the writer was a clerk at a video store (duh.)

I also live in Dallas, and you have my sympathies. I've been here 5 years now, probably will be for at least a couple more, but I definitely have no intention of settling down here.

In any case, thank you for letting us view the slices of your life, involuntary though it may have been. You've definitely given me some things to ponder, and if I ever find myself in a strip club again I'll do my best to tip well.

I wish you great success in "Project Dayjob," whatever that is. If I had a spare sackful of money I'd give it to you, just 'cause it strikes me that you'd do something great with it.

M said...

Seriously, you're such an excellent writer that no matter what the subject matter, you should be considering writing for publication. Personally I was just enjoying your writing and observations; that you were writing about stripping just made it an interesting topic. I don't think your transformative powers are gone - you can also transform people's misery/ennui/whatever into happiness just with your written words and not your dancing - think about that! It's a much wider audience, too.

And re the big bag of money, do listen to one of your other commentors and put a Paypal button on your blog so we can applaud your writing with cash. :-)

Anonymous said...

Absolutely amazing blog. Incredibly well-written, and sums up every experience I've ever had as a customer in a strip club. Used to go a lot more than I do now, stopped once I realized just how little suspension of utter and complete disbelief I had left. And I saw even less in the dancers' eyes.

Ahmed Hamza said...

I have no idea how I found your little journal here, but it looks like I'm not the first to the party. The problem with moments like this is that you won't know whether it's the writing that got the attention or the fact that it came from a stripper, or both, but who cares. I sincerely hope you bank on it enough that you no longer have to do what you're doing. No girl who can communicate feelings so fluidly, so clearly, should be allowed to experience the humiliation of sexual objectification. It makes me sick just thinking about it - and it's not that the dumb blondes don't deserve the same sympathy, but intelligent self reflection deserves much more. I hope this blog is a big joke, or that you are crazy.

Anna said...

Hi Grace :) Now I finally know what that was you were doing! :) I was drowning in work and life these past weeks and so I didn't get around to reading your blog (even though I was the whiney sod who begged you for a new post, sorry) until yesterday, when I found all this hoohah! I can understand why you got a bit scared but once you've gotten used to it, it's cool, right? And you are right, blog fame can go as fast as it came. But enjoy it while it lasts darling.

I'd be sad to see this blog go, but it sounds like you are seeking the right things in your life. Maybe it is time to give stripping a break, I had the feeling these past months that it was really draining you. I just hope that you'll let us know what happens next. You are such a gifted story-teller and such an exceptional woman, I'd hate to see you disappear from the blogosphere. Unless, of course, your happiness depends on that and then I say go for it, vanish into thin air. I just want you to feel more comfortable with your professional and otherwise life than you seemingly have these past months.

Cheers,

Anna

Em said...

Holy Crap! Good writing.

You ultimately don't belong to that world of stripping, but what you have seen and tasted and 'been' is something of value given who you ultimately are and that you will bring back with you when you leave that world.

And yeah, maybe you'll write a first book about the world of strippers and stipping, because that will get you a book deal.

And then maybe a sequel.

But that's not where you or your writing are ultimately headed. There's more after that and that you will need this life you have lived to illuminate what you write at that time.

All of this is obvious in the way that you write and its implied trajectory.

Anna said...

Ahmed Hamza: you're the crazy one. If you had really taken your time to read this blog, you would not be making comments to Grace about sexual objectification, you'd know better. Your remarks are such back-handed compliments it makes me sick.

And just in general, what is it with people who are basically saying that strippers are the saddest persons out there and that they need to be saved? I think this blog clearly shows that it is not so and that Grace, albeit often tortured (as we all are) is perfectly lucid and capable of saving herself in any way she chooses. And she knows best what she needs saving from and in my opinion, it has not always been stripping but deeper issues that most of us would have (I know I do).

Grace, lots of love from the land of chocolate and cuckoo clocks,

Anna

Grace said...

Just a gentle reminder, lovers: Let's all be nice. People express themselves in different ways. I don't publish the comments I find really abusive, so anything that makes it on here has my OK, whether I personally agree with it in every particular or not.

I know how arguments like to break out on the innernetz where we can't see each other's faces, but I'm tentatively hoping that the sudden influx of people won't turn this into a cage fight.

i_muse said...

I appreciate your writing talent and skills. I'm glad you share it publicly.
I wouldn't be surprised if you were to get published. I understand the need to know basis of the business you are in as someone who retired from it years ago. I get the desire to keep this part of your life hidden from people in any other industry you choose to work in.
I understand it and I question it simultaneously.

I always sign with a link to one of my journals.

Thomas said...

I must say that if I've stumbled across this blog in it's twilight, I've missed out. Your writing is exceptional. (I say this as someone who gets paid to read and evaluate other's writing.) I look forward to reading your older content and sincerely hope you will continue to write in some form or fashion. If nothing else, it's nice to know that there are people that know how to construct a well written sentence that actually says something.

Clever Monkey said...

You have chosen a very challenging way to make a living, and the fact you have lasted this long is worth something.

I don't think I'm overstating things to say that your voice will be helpful to others. You may be a bitter cunt, but even the sweetest among us can get that way (11 years as a computer programmer, and believe it when I say that I can be a right cunt, as the Brits say).

I look forward to the day when a woman can safely make a reasonable living doing whatever she wants, including the entire gamut of sexwork, without censure or fear of systemic violence.

Unfortunately, I don't think we are ready for this sort of freedom for women, and it is clear that both the law and attitudes have to change before this can happen.

I wish you the best of luck, and will go back to lurking/ignoring for now.

Pamela said...

Hey Grace,

You could get a book deal from this and publish it under a pseudonym. Editors worth their salt can figure out who you are and hire you for your writing style, and you can go in loads of different directions from there. But it's hard to get a break, and this could be your foot in the door.

I'm lucky that the subject I'm writing about right now is so timely and controversial -- but it doesn't necessarily mean I'll be boxed into writing about it for the rest of my life, or that it defines me professionally or as a person.

Just a thought.

marie said...

i love you and your blogs

Ghost Dog said...

I, for one, addore strippers, or at the verie least the concepte of the stripper.

Hail to thee!

Doc said...

I suggest that you monetize your blog.

Your new found celebrity may well pay you dividends.

You seem quite prolific.
Could you perhaps give advice or create fiction?
How about a vlog?


Content from the creative is a commodity in constant demand.

Google AdSense is one solution.
https://www.google.com/adsense


Best of success on your 'bag of money'.

pete_at_raspberry said...

Hi Grace

I found your blog a while ago, and read it all from the start. Its beautifully written, and I am very grateful for the insight into your life.
Don't let your sudden popularity get you down. The world is full of people who are prejudiced, or not smart enough to work out that an attack on a stripper's blog is really to make up for something that they don't want to come to terms with about themselves.
Best of luck with the whole big bag of money thing.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as an anonymous voice on the internet I'm going to offer some free advice. Worth every penny, I suppose.

1. You're a talented writer. Craft is one thing, talent another. You have the former, and a good amount of the latter.

2. You've outgrown your subject matter. It's interesting, titillating, and offers certain profound insights. But it's limited, and it all starts sounding the same, despite your obvious skills as a storyteller. It seems like you've covered it all. Maybe you need the blog to keep doing it, not the other way around.

3. You probably need to leave Austin. In my experience few in Austin accomplish much of anything, no matter the field. I'm speaking as someone who loves Austin.

4. Being noticed by Boing Boing is far from the worst thing that could happen. A lot people connected in fields I imagine you are interested in read it. (A lot of other assorted high-functioning nerds too.) You've sold a certain amount of access to yourself in tiny increments elsewhere, why not think about what you have to offer the world as an artist? After all, if you didn't want anyone to read your writing it wouldn't be posted on the net.

WC

Roland Hulme said...

Aw, dammit. I've got the big bag, but no money to put in it.

Do I get points for trying?

LJ Ducharme said...

You're a fabulous writer. Don't let the "attention" change that. Disregard the tasteless and rude commentors, as they have no right to judge you, but be encouraged by those here that want to do just that - encourage - . Some bloggers just enjoy reading good writers, and you're one of them.

Tim said...

Grace -

I found my way here via Boing-Boing, and I'm exceedingly glad I did. I have to confess I've never been to a strip club, for several reasons, so I had no idea how arduous a life it was to be a stripper, or how artful it is mentally. To be good, apparently it takes the dedication of a world-class athlete. I imagine the career arc is similar too: make all you can, retire when the legs go.

Of course, I'm never sure if I'm reading Grace, or her puppetmistress. I'm grateful to have seen some of both. I'm sympathetic to those men who need Grace, but a little sad that so few seem to know the woman behind Grace, when she seems as warm and caring as anyone I've read.

Thanks for sharing.

wickedneuron said...

I gotta agree with the rest of the people here. You're an amazing writer and as a guy I can't hate you for being a stripper. It's a rule.

I read a lot of your stuff while on the way to see a movie, while in the line for the movie, and during the previews. I was that annoying light in the dark theater. Your stuff is really, really good. It's engrossing. It's honest. It's harsh, most of all. But there is always some sweet little bit or line that makes me wish I wrote more often and as well.

Rock the fuck on.

And, OH! My sister does or used to do porn, but she's always been fucked up. It wasn't the nudity that did it to her.

Michael Duff said...

Not sure if I should comment to say thank you or give you a chance to tell me I'm full of shit.

Either way, thanks.
http://michaelduff.net/index.php/2008/05/28/grace-undressed-not-safe-for-geeks/

Babbit the Rabbit said...

as a new fan i continue to enjoy your words, the end reminded me of ee cummings "nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands" very nice =)

Jack said...

If a compliment from a hack is worht anything, may I say that you certainly have talent for writing. Your posts really put me in the moment, and your word choices were bang-on. I see a lot of angst and self-doubt in your writing, and if one more worthless opinion can help bolster your self-esteem a little...bolster, bolster! I wish I were as skilled at writing.

I'm not going to leave contact info in the hopes that it will lend a bit of sincerity to my comments and not make you think, "Oh, hell...here's another guy looking for a Magical Internet Stripper Friend™." Good luck, and keep writing no matter what you wind up doing.

diopter said...

"and even the ones who think I'm not a real stripper because real strippers don't use semi-colons or whatever."

That statement is brilliant! Most people are confounded by the semicolon and its need / use. Some writers, including myself, use it with second-nature ease; it's like breathing in and out.

DAMN! There i go again.

xx Diopter

mindyourowngoddamnbusiness said...

I'm sort of pumped out of my mind about your blog. My experiences with strip clubs are pretty limited, and all I ever want to do when I'm in one is ask the dancers about their job. It seems like an interesting, unusual line of work and I always want to start asking questions the second I set foot in the door.

Unfortunately, I also feel like it would be poor form, so I just bite my tongue and hand over my cash.

Now, thanks to your blog, I don't have to piss anyone off to get a dancer's perspective on the job.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace,

I've been reading your blog on and off today and must say that it is very fascinating. You could probably make a lot of money if you wrote a book about it because you are a very good writer. Maybe you can become some kinda of psychologist for men (joking but partly serious)(LOL). Well, I have to say that I'm am not one for a mediocre life and it seems that you are not either. I have a myspace friend that helps woman in the "industry" when they want to get out. Perhaps you may be interested in the stories, encouragement, and advice that these women can provide. Here's the link. http://www.myspace.com/shelleylubben I wish you many blessings.


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