Shakers Studies: Kitana

I don't know why Kitana worked at Shakers. She work dark lipstick and a backwards baseball hat. She barely sold any dances. She came in just to wiggle around on the main floor, as though she were at a rave and on drugs. She would flail her arms around toward other people in near-miss smacks. I often wondered if she paid a house fee like everyone else, or if Shakers let her do that for free. Her lesbian lover, Jessica Ayers, dances at Shakers and makes good money. Kitana went on stage and kept her things in the dressing room like all of the other strippers, and yet, it was as though she was not there to work.


When I started at Shakers, Kitana began complaining that her body and my body looked a lot alike. It bothered her that we listened to similar music on stage. She was concerned that there was going to be some sort of competition. Of course, there was no competition. I am feminine, affectionate and know how to hustle, whereas she is boyish, bizarre and dedicated most of her working hours to socializing with other strippers.

Kitana has the kind of internalized misogyny that criticizes traditional femininity as something weak and undesirable. It is common to find this kind of dancer in a strip club. They usually don't make much money, yet they are there taking up space.


Kitana didn't want any part of standing up for the labor rights of strippers.