Renaldo and “Bubbles” work together at a strip club. Renaldo is a DJ and “Bubbles” is a stripper with an after-hours job working as a prostitute with clients she meets at the club. Renaldo’s relationship with “Bubbles” is strictly professional, but he says when he first started working at the club he was interested in some of the other performers. He says he now realizes that most of the women working there are drug addicts, prostitutes, or both and he’s not interested in them. His out-of-town girlfriend, however, doesn’t like that he’s around naked women all the time and doesn’t trust that he’s being faithful to her. Renaldo wants to know how can he can make his girlfriend understand that he’s not cheating on her and doesn’t want to leave his job.
Renaldo, I hate to say it, but it doesn’t sound like this relationship is going to go very far. I love that you’re making an honest living, and it’s great you enjoy the work. But working around naked women all the time is certainly going to be threatening to your girlfriend—and most other women as well. Women want security. Maybe they want children, a home. You have to accept the fact that your job is going to make any relationship you have more difficult. For now, all you can do is be straight with your girlfriend. Tell her why you like your job and why it’s important to you. And acknowledge her feelings—put yourself in her shoes—you probably wouldn’t love it if she worked all day in the company of naked handsome men! If you can resist temptation and she can raise her trust level a bit, you guys may work things out. But you may end up having to choose your job or your girlfriend.
And “Bubbles,” you say you meet with fifteen to twenty men every week outside of your regular stripping hours. I’m not judging how you make a living, but I am concerned about your health and safety. You say you always use condoms—that’s essential—but you do know that condoms can break or slip off, right? Really…those condoms are the only things standing between you and HIV, syphilis, and a lot of other serious diseases. Be careful…please.
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