Apparently at full time workplaces outside of the strip club world, talking about menstrual problems and going to the bathroom whenever is not normal. Even with other women coworkers, this is not a normal thing to do or to openly joke about. Non-stripper women don't always like to talk about gushy blood chunks and period poop around the water cooler.
Recently I have been pursuing a career in the building trades, which is male dominated. I was informed that bathroom breaks should be limited, and when I tried to have friendly conversation with the small amount of other women I encountered in the facility, they did not have the same bathroom warmness that strippers usually show to one another about being a cunted creature. I spent today in agonizing endometrium pain, oozing with blood, bloated, and in more uterine muscular agony than hauling cement caused to the rest of my muscles. I didn't want to take pain killers for it, because that would have slowed me down. I couldn't smoke medical marijuana for it in the bathroom stall. I didn't want to spend a half hour or more sitting on the toilet like I usually do, because that was not permitted. It was the single most physically painful day of my entire life. All of this got me to thinking about some of the wonderful things that I have experienced in strip club workplaces, that are uncommon outside of the sex worker world. It brought me to tears thinking about, but maybe that was just my hormones. Here's an incomplete list of how the rest of the world's workplaces should strive to be more like strip clubs:
#1: Strippers often make more money while they are bleeding. I have sold my blood for hundreds of dollars. Many customers just like the odor, and will buy dances for that reason. If it grosses you out to read that, it just means that you are fucked up, not me.
#2: Save for a few clubs, male strip club staff are generally sympathetic to menstrual problems. They are usually very blasé about hearing explicit details of biological realities. Over the years, I have discussed the passing of bloody tissue chunks, endometriosis and menstrual diarrhea with hundreds of bouncers, DJs, managers and door men. Most of them are unphased by all of this. While they may be financially exploitative and misclassifing, one thing these men do have going for them that most other men don't, is that it's very easy for a woman to talk to them about unpleasant bathroom issues.
#3: Strippers talk about menstruation with each other ALL. THE. TIME. It is open, honest, frank and relieving to have the comradeship of my coworkers to just know what I am talking about and not judge any of it. It can be funny or vulgar at times, but it's mostly business as usual. Many times, I have had a conversation with a coworker while casually changing a tampon right in front of them, or vice-versa. It's not a big deal at all, nor should it be.
#4: Strippers can take time off of work while they are bleeding. Many do this if the pain is unbearable. Strippers who choose to work during this time can sit on the toilet for as long as they want, in most clubs that I have worked. This is one way to not get in trouble for missing a stage rotation, with the exception of a few clubs, out of the 74 that I have worked at.
The world outside of strip clubs is filled with toilet shaming and secrecy. Many people hate themselves and what their bodies do, and feel weird about strippers who love their bodies. Part of loving our bodies is not being ashamed to profit from, talk about, joke about, or take care of our blood and related subjects. It shouldn't be a secret in the workplace. If sitting on the toilet in blinding pain for a half an hour to squeeze out blood chunks and shit is slowing down the rest of the crew, then maybe that's a signal that the world is moving too fast, too cold, and too unsympathetic.
Menstruation is a medical issue, and it's fucking disgusting that women don't get to have paid disability for it. Many people with disabilities are drawn to sex work, because it allows for flexibility and enough money to take time off when needed. Many shitty feminists don't want to admit that menstruation is a medical issue that deserves disability checks for workers, and many of these same shitty feminists are against sex work. Sadly, many misogynist men who run the world agree with them. Their whole system is a bloody mess.
I'd rather be banished to a menstrual hut in the woods than to work with endometriosis. It would be a wonderful vacation. If only I could be so lucky.
Thanks, strip clubs, for making me so shameless. It's too bad the rest of the world has not caught up.