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Three Ways to Improve Longevity as a Stripper: A Sports Medicine Viewpoint

If you are a stripper or sex worker, I consider you an athlete. Even if you don’t do advanced pole dance or pole tricks, you are an athlete.

According to the Merriam Webster definition, an athlete is “a person who is trained or skilled in exercises… requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.”

Tell me that does not perfectly describe a stripper/sex worker! So when it comes to discussing longevity, it is only natural to cover this topic from a Sports Medicine viewpoint.

When confronted with the question, “How do I prevent burnout and make this a long-term career?” ask yourself “What would an athlete do?”

Here we will discuss long-term solutions to improve longevity specifically as a stripper and/or sex worker. (We have previously discussed ways to improve longevity as a pole dance instructor here.)

Incorporate rest periods and time off.

Just as an athlete would incorporate rest periods into their schedule, you should too. Ideally, you would have at least two rest days during the week. If you have a really busy night (i.e., a weekend night), try and dedicate the following day to rest to allow the body to recover.

Now, this may not always be feasible depending on how much you work and how much you move your body as part of your work. So if you work 5-6 days straight and cannot take a rest day, make sure to get plenty of sleep each night/day. High quality sleep (regardless if it occurs in the day or night) will aid in recovery to prep your body for the next shift.

Come up with a nutrition plan.

Nutrition is a key contributor to longevity as an athlete. Come up with a plan that is going to fuel your body for your work. The optimal diet includes a balanced mix of vegetables, simple carbohydrates, high-quality fats, and proteins. (If you don’t consume meat, be sure to get plenty of plant-based proteins.)

Drink extra water in between sets, because you will sweat. Be mindful of the amount of alcohol you are drinking during work. While we all like a little liquid courage, alcohol can dehydrate you. Bring a drink with electrolytes (coconut water, Gatorade, etc.) to have 1-2 hours into your shift. For muscular recovery, bring a form of protein to eat after or in between shifts, especially if you have long shifts or back-to-back shifts.

Take care of your mind.

Sometimes athletes dedicate so much of their life to their skill that they only identify as an athlete. They may forget to have a life outside of sport. This can lead to feeling lost. So make sure you have an identity outside of the club, like being a mother, friend, volunteer, anything! Also remember to incorporate activities outside of the club that bring you joy.

Lastly, this field can no doubt be mentally draining. I recently read that mental health should be an investment, not an expense. Invest in mental health counseling. Work with someone who will contribute to your overall well-being and help you maintain your career as a stripper in the long-term.

For more tips on improving longevity, check out the IPIA’s other post on taking care of your body.

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