Ryann Reflections

A glimpse into the life of one anti-social stripper nerd.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Cheetah’s, Kelowna (I hate it)

The room is toxic with negative energy as I reluctantly shuffle through Cheetah's in my little skirt and bikini top. I’d like to sell a few dances but I can’t. Scattered co-ed groups giggle to themselves, ignoring the stage, as my friend dances. They don’t even clap. I pause to watch young girls grind each other in the corner and wonder why they don’t put more clothes on. This is a party bar. The kids come here to drink and be amused. It feels like a frat house as they judge, watch, and compete with the strippers.

I pretend to not know how much the manager hates dancers as I ignore the catty comments that fly behind our backs between the staff. They think I’m a bitch. They’re right. My patience is nil.

One of the bouncers is pushing private dances for another girl. He picks his favourite—I’m not it. I’m glad for her but my purse is empty and I’m stressed. My lack of income combined with the negative atmosphere is crushing my confidence. I just want to cry.

Ignoring the drunken brats I return to the dressing room. I hate this bar but I have one more show to survive before I can crawl into bed and hide. I need to dance for me. I need to just enjoy myself and purge this critical bullshit. Maybe Top Gun will help.

I create a shallow fake smile as my music fills the bar and for a moment I feel okay. I close my eyes and spin myself around the comforting brass pole. My hair flips around as my back arches and I slide to the ground. I wish I could do my entire set with my eyes closed. I dance, trying to force the judgment to slide off me. A drunken teenage girl is making out with her boyfriend in front row. Another group is chattering about the weekend, their backs to the stage.

I close my eyes again and shake my ass to encourage my shimmering white pants to fall to the floor. Pulling the legs over my stilettos I toss the garment into the corner and strut across the stage again, staring at the ceiling.

Another drunk is leaning on the edge of the stage taking pictures of me with his cell phone. I don’t have patience for this. Seductively I crawl over to him and snatch the phone out of his hands, tossing it into my stage bag. I don’t have time for this shit.

Instead I ignore his insults and yells and climb the pole. From fifteen feet in the air I can take a quiet breath before I toss my bra to the floor. I wish I could just stay up here but somehow I find the strength to slide down the brass and finish my show. I didn’t make a cent in tips this show. They’re just too drunk, too spoiled, and too cheap. I grab my cozy blanket from the stage floor and wrap it tight around my body. I love this blanket. It comes with me everywhere, keeps me warm, and keeps me hidden when I need it.

The bouncer has disappeared again as I make my way down the stairs and through the crowd. Before I get ten steps the guy whose cell phone I’ve confiscated corners me with his buddy. He grabs my wrist and yanks it back, almost knocking me off balance as his buddy reaches for my bag, attempting to find the phone. Instinctively I shove them both back but my arm already hurts and I’m feeling very angry and mistreated. The bouncers reappear and violently throw both assholes out but the damage is already done.

Tears well in my eyes by the time I close the dressing room door. I feel sick. I hate this bar. I just want to go home. At least the night is finally over and I can go cry in peace in my car.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cheetah’s, Kelowna (the first rant)

I’m bitchy, whiney, and just generally pissed off at the world (or Kelowna).
It’s been a while since I bitched about a club… come to think of it I believe it was Liquid Zoo (also in Kelowna) that last had me raging.

And it’s only Tuesday!

It’s not often I work in clubs that treat their dancers like disposable inconveniences only good for what money they can squeeze out of us—yet here I am at Cheetah’s in Kelowna.

It’s such a shame because the club itself has so much potential. It’s a beautiful bar, I like the stage, and the hours are good. So much money walks through that room, and yet they insist on scraping every last penny out of their entertainers.

We’re charged $125/wk for the house regardless of whether we stay there or not (I’m not). So the bar is collecting $1500 per month from the dancers to pay for a house that has no cable, no internet, no laundry, no towels, and it’s dirty. We found clumps of hair on the floor and just about puked when we opened the fridge.

They even insist on taking such a high cut per song for every private dance that it drives the prices up to unrealistic. I do have to give kudos to my agency for at least making this week as tolerable as possible.

So maybe I should just be thankful for the writing material because when the strippers are the least fake people in town, and the whole thing is one big Stepford Wives frat house I suspect I’ll have a few good stories this week.

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The secret...

Is it my fault? Am I so used to being in the shadows that I can’t even admit where I am? Am I still so afraid of being vulnerable that I’m willing to hide forever?

Am I so incapable of falling in love that I clutch to stupid moments, negating the powerful perfection of lying naked beside him listening to his voice in the dark, savoring his taste on my lips, soothing his humanity in my arms.

What if he’s not as dangerous as I tell myself he is… I’m so scared of being hurt that I’m willing to ignore the beauty. I adore him.

Where am I?
Can I run away?
Where do I go from here?
Do I hide?
Do I not…

It’s my own horrible pattern. It’s too easy to lie and manipulate. I used to befriend girls in order to gain confidence and access to their boyfriends. Really I am that evil. It’s so easy to be the other. Double life… I’m trying to change. I’m trying to be sincere and honest… without fear. I’m working on it.

I was faced this evening with a glaring reality. I found myself in a situation where I had to choose between lying to someone I hope will become a friend, and coming clean and being honest about my involvement with The Musician. My first reaction was to smile sweetly and remain in the shadows. All I wanted to do was listen and remain a passive observer.

I’m so used to being a secret that I’m overwhelmed with fear at admitting the reality. I was terrified to say it out loud. No gory details, no time frame, no emotional admissions… just a simple statement “He and I are involved” caused panic in my mind and a knot in my stomach.

Can I continue to blame him if I continue to lie to the world? If I deliberately remain the affair, the secret, the other… can I still blame him for it?

Tonight I chose honesty. I hope it was worth it.

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I’ve been meaning to write all week but never quite get around to it. It’s been a very productive, and exhausting, week. But things are coming together and I’m feeling very positive and passionate about where I am and where I’m going. Stay tuned for details in the coming months.

I love this feeling, just authentic, and powerful, and inspired. Positive people are all around me, and more keep appearing. I can feel it. They can feel it. I love it.

I’ve been dating a bit, partially because of boredom, partially searching for something special, and partially to maintain a level of distance from my ongoing affairs. I’m not sure if it’s working but at least I’m mostly having fun. I saw The Musician this week. Sometimes I am so content just to lie next to him. Sometimes he’s all I need.

A first date earlier in the week was perfectly enjoyable until he kept trying to get in my pants. What’s with that? I understand the attempt at the belt once-- maybe I’m feeling easy. But to try over and over again-- Just in case I forgot I said no 5 minutes ago?

Too often guys will insist on pushing the boundaries. Some will try to force my hands down his pants or try to stealthy undo my pants. (Like I’m not going to notice) Fuck it’s irritating! Then I have to be guarded and defensive. Seriously what’s with that? If I wanted to grab his cock— believe me I would. I know where it is.

On the other hand a lovely date last night left me with a soft smile and a quiet enjoyment of the moment. It was nice. He was intriguing enough to meet again today for tea. It was a mellow and sweet afternoon.

It’s been a good week. I’m having fun. I even have a video of me having fun with Justice at the movies. What can I say... I'm just awesome!!


Thursday, July 12, 2007

just a note

I’m happy. Confused and unsure, overwhelmed and nervous, but I’m happy. The sun is shining. The heat is melting. Nothing is easy but it’s okay. I get jealous and I get scared. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but I like who I am.

The tears still won’t fall and ideas run in circles in my head. I miss my friends, but I’m okay. Death hurts; Disappointment returns; grief is time-consuming. But I’m alive and I’m loved and I love.

It’s a beautiful day to be.


Sunday, July 08, 2007


7-7-7 If I was superstitious then I guess today would be a lucky day. I’m going with it. I’m happy, giddy even. I love crushes. They’re so pure, like grade 9, before the cynicism sunk in, before the jaded began, before loss and before broken hearts. Right now it’s perfect, flirty and filled with possibilities. It feels lovely. I almost want to keep this crush in the pure fantasy of idealism but I’m done waiting patiently. I’ve been so good and even mostly appropriate for the past couple months. I want a taste now. Just a little one…

Live Earth is playing all over the world and I’m sitting naked in a cheap hotel room watching Bon Jovi and Lenny Kravitz rock the stadiums while I write. My next show is in 20 minutes. I suppose I should pretend to care but my body hurts and I’m too tired to get up even a minute before I absolutely have to. Maybe later I’ll change a few light bulbs and figure out what else I can do to help save the world. Then maybe I’ll giggle a bit more to my girlfriends about this lovely crush. I guess I’d better get dressed to get naked now.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Does everyone cheat? I’m tossing around a couple of thoughts right now about who to trust and how to trust and how does the concept and practice of monogamy fit into it all.

I’m single. We all know that. I might have feelings and even emotional attachments, but I’m not in an exclusive anything. I don’t have to think about it until someone requests it and at the rate I’m going that could be a very long time.

I look around and I’m scared. I’m surrounded by liars, mistakes, and disappointments.

I’m jaded. I see it in the bar and I hear about it from my friends. “I can’t believe he cheated on me.” “He lied.” I’ve seen so much. I’ve heard so many rationalizations and excuses. “It’s not working. It doesn’t matter.”

But here I am, lying on my living room floor, wondering when do the lies start? Why does the communication break down? Is there any way to avoid it? I’ve been on the outside watching for so many years, more times than I care to remember. I’ve been the mistress and the affair. I’ve been the cheater and the liar.

I’ve been the friend.

I watch the tears stream, and the chest ache. I watch the hearts break and the expectations shatter time after time. I’ve felt it. I know that sickening feeling when fear meets reality and hope is stripped bare. I know what it feels like to choke on your breath, unable to do anything but stare into the mirror and watch the tears well. Eventually the reflection hardens, experience they call it. The acute pain subsides, jaded remains.

It hurts.

So many people seem to live in a bubble of denial, needing their partner to be perfect. Personal relationships aren’t easy. I understand why people leave and I know why they stay. No one is perfect and expectations often take the place of acceptance and love. When love is thrown into the equation people want to protect their partner. So often that desire to shelter their partner turns into a breakdown of communication. “No you don’t look fat in those pants” turns into “I would never look at another woman”.

I’m afraid of being blinded by love. I hope for honesty, not monogamy. I’m terrified of turning into one of those women that believes “he would never do it to me.” Only to be blindsided by betrayal.

I’m never surprised, but I’m often appalled. I know I’ve done it. I know I’ve taken advantage of that trust in the past. I know I’ve manipulated situations and lied. I know I’ve left out certain details and made excuses. I don’t want to do it again. I don’t want to lie or pretend to be someone I’m not. Does that mean I won’t?

People fuck up. I know I’ve done things that many would regret. They say “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” I guess that means me? I can’t judge. I won’t judge.

Why do people cheat? I’ve always thought I understood… but I guess what I want to know is… why do people stay faithful? Is it possible? Is it reasonable? Is it a reasonable expectation or does everyone ‘slip up’ on occasion? Attraction and temptation are always going to be there. Is the value of a relationship judged by will power? If not, how do you determine the value and worth of a relationship?

I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what the deal breakers are anymore. I’ve seen too much to believe it couldn’t happen to me.

I’ve lived too much to believe I can protect myself from heart break. I can’t stop my friends from dying. I can’t avoid grief. Loss is a part of life and even though I’m scared I don’t want to be detached forever.

I’m so scared of being lied to, but I’m terrified of always being the affair. I want to be the one that matters. I want to be the lover and inspiration. I’m scared but I know I want the more… somehow, someday. I want the magic.

I don’t know what to feel or say. I don’t have an answer.

Labels: ,