A stripper with a supportive boyfriend
Debunking that persons who work in the entertainment industry can't have meaningful relationships, Shana* is claiming love in a very bold way.
Although she works as a part-time dancer at a nightclub in Kingston, she told THE STAR she has been "blessed with the perfect man". Shana said that her partner John*, has loved her unconditionally for the past seven years. She described their love as "enchanting".
"I know a lot of people don't believe that [adult entertainers are incapable of love]. But not everybody has a partner like mine. I can talk to him about anything and it is fine. Normally, I can come home and tell him about how my night at work went and everything is okay," Shana said. She also said that being in a committed, romantic relationship while working as an exotic was not hard, despite the different elements that come with the vocation.
"I don't do anything out of the way. I don't disrespect him, mi nah look nuh man, mi nah have sex. The most I will do is flirt and him know say mi a guh flirt. But if yuh wah get the money from the customers, yuh have to flirt," she said.
"He is not really big on Valentine's Day but I like the concept of it because I love the idea of love," she added.
While some men would scoff at the thought of dating an exotic dancer, much less to get involved in a committed relationship with one, Shana said that John was mature enough to understand and accept that it's only a job.
"He doesn't make me feel restricted. I don't feel like I am ruled or I must abide by his conditions. But at the same time, I have to always understand that he must get his respect. When I am at work I know that I am not partying, I have to work, which is to entertain people. But when I go home, because he created this safe space, all I have to do is to take off my performance hat and put on one that allows me to be the simple girlfriend type," she said.
Shana shared that she decided to become a dancer in 2018, after the couple fell on hard times financially.
"Basically I said to him, one that we have money restraints and that I saw a way to make some quick money. We basically went over the possible challenges that come with being a stripper and I decided to go ahead once I was convinced that he was fine with it. When I said it to him, it was initially supposed to be for six months, just until we start see our way out. But then the six months is going into six years now. It's very lucrative," she said.
Shana, who also works as a customer service representative at a call centre in St Catherine, said that by supporting her night job, she has made it her duty to satisfy John in the bedroom.
"Even though sometimes I have to beg him to come to the club, he supports what I do. So when it comes to the sexual aspect, listen, it is easy to just be that porn star that he needs. I am a naturally sexual person, so it is not hard to translate that, but I still know how to be the woman that I know I am supposed to be for him," she said.
*Names changed to protect identity.