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I had just been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS at 23 yrs old. The Boyfriend that gave it to me died three months later. I was broke, alone and couldn’t turn to prostitution because besides the obvious reasons to be ambivalent, I was diseased. I was never a sexual exhibitionist but I knew money makes the world go round. Being broke feels just as bad as being a prostitute because you have to rely on others charity. Finally, I said, I need fast money so I cant hurt anyone by dancing.I walked right into a gentleman’s club in NYC called FLASHDANCERS. I said, “You hiring” and he said let me see you on stage. After a short embarrassing few minutes he said “come back tomorrow” I thought to be a stripper was just taking your bra off on a stage. I noticed the first night, that the other dancers were lazy, they never got on the stage. They were always in the audience slouching on guys. After hours and hours of bending over and taking my bra off I went home with 52 dollars. Nobody explained the stripper game to me , that you only go on stage to advertise, all the money is made on the floor with lap dancing and private sessions. I had no clue that the pole was for climbing, I thought it was either holding up the ceiling or for my balance walking around. This picture was taken by a friend after I was so happy that I got hired to be a dancer because it made me feel like I must not be as ugly as I feel inside and soon I will have money and can have a home. I lasted two weeks and felt like a failure at being a failure. Now I can look back and say, it’s okay that I was not good at that because that is not what I was supposed to be…