St. Patrick's day weekend is almost here! It's that time of year when thousands of non-Irish Americans culturally appropriate and make a racist mockery of Irish people through the use of stupid accessories and drunken parties. In honor of that, StripperLaborRights.com brings you our next dancer on Shakers Studies... Dakota Rae Bergen! Dakota Rae Bergen is not Irish, but picked the stage name Riley. Her appropriated stage name is only the tip of the ice Bergen.
Dakota Rae Bergen is not Native American, but her Bergen progenitors thought it would be hip and cool to appropriate the name of an indigenous North American tribe for their Bergen baby. I'll just refer to her as Bergen for the rest of this post.
Bergen is not Swedish, but has a tattoo of a Dala horse on her thigh. She didn't know what it was and had to google it on her phone one day when I asked.
Bergen started dancing a little bit before I started working at Shakers. She was in her mid-to-late-twenties when starting her stripping career, which is a bit late compared to many other dancers. Around the same time that she became a stripper, she also became a webcam “model.” Her wealthy Bergen parents live in Colorado, and as far as I know, were still supporting her financially during her time at Shakers. If any of my readers have the dollar amount of how much money she was getting from the Bergen estate, please message me. I ask because her hustling skills were horrible at Shakers and I wondered about her daily survival expenses.
Bergen was very friendly with me when I first started working at Shakers. At first I was appreciative of her kindness. However, I became less appreciative as time went on and her creepy factor increased.
In addition to attempting webcam porn, Bergen and her lesbian sex playmate Sash Seamans were trying to profit from an indie upstart porno website. What I noticed Bergen doing in the strip club was talking to dancers and attempting to recruit them to be on the site. She suggested I come over to her place and make some porn together. I definitely didn't want to make porn with her. No amount of money would ever get me to do that. However, I went to the website a few times while I worked at Shakers, just to see what it had on it and to see which dancers participated. As far as I know, fur hag Gabrielle Es was the only one to do it. The site contains some of the grossest and most aesthetically displeasing porn I have ever seen in my life. I was disturbed by the way that Bergen used her time at Shakers to access dancers in private areas, trying to recruit. I have done adult modeling, and sometimes I look at erotica, so it's not that I am anti-porn. It was just the way she went about it and the content on the site that was appalling.
Bergen identifies as a lesbian and would often giggle to me about her orientation that she kept a secret from customers. Since she was a new dancer and ignorant to the inner workings of strip clubs, Bergen was under the impression that most dancers are heterosexual women who enjoy dancing naked for hoards of disgusting loser men. Of course, that is not true at all. Most dancers are not heterosexual, and most dancers only talk to customers for the money. Even for dancers who are attracted to some men, such as myself, the men who go to strip clubs are not the types of people who I would want. Bergen didn't get it though. She was a rich kid on a fun empowering adventure into the world of sex work, giggly about being a lesbian dancing for men and thinking she was unique. I really disliked all of those assumptions. I disliked having to deal with a Colorado trust fund tourist nympho, masquerading as a sex worker.
Bergen had bad boundaries with me at work. Multiple times, I would come into the dressing room at the beginning of a shift and she would touch my dresses, compliment them, touch my feet, rub them, and do other creepy things without ever asking consent to put her hands on me. Sometimes when lesbian and bisexual women start working in strip clubs, they feel it is appropriate to behave that way, like they have an automatic intimacy with dancers because we are in these close spaces naked and vulnerable. That is not true at all though-- nobody has any right or entitlement to touch another person, no matter where or who they are.
Bergen had a German Shepherd puppy who she was training at the same time that I was training my adult German Shepherd. She repeatedly asked me to hang out with her and have a doggy play date, but I blew her off multiple times. She felt slighted by this. I didn't tell her why, but I will write it on my blog now-- it is because she bought her dog from a breeder on Craigslist rather than going to a shelter. Her wealthy family members are dog breeders, and she grew up in an atmosphere where she found nothing wrong with exploiting the reproductive systems of dogs for profit, bringing puppies into the world, allowing humans to kidnap them and giving no regard to shelter animals. Her lack of respect for animal boundaries was consistent with her lack of respect for stripper boundaries.
Bergen would sit with customers for over an hour, stoned, talking to them or sometimes just staring into space while they watched the stage. This was bad for my income, because there were times when I knew I could easily get a guy to buy a dance if she wasn't sitting there. If it was slow, this was especially agonizing. I would have to sit and wait until she got up, which took forever. She was usually high and had the facial expression of someone with down's syndrome. I do not know how she afforded so much weed, other than income from other Bergens. She could not pole dance or do anything sexy on stage, and like a shit stain, a sopping wet fart, bumbling and fumbling with a big bow on top of her head like Betty Rubble, Bergen made her moves, and I would just think to myself, “What the actual fuck?”
Sometimes on nights when football was on, Dan Robinson would set up a table and put out crock pots, cheese, crackers and assorted grotesqueries for customers to graze. Bergen almost always came in on these nights, just to eat that food and break even with her house fee and gas money.
Bergen did not understand why I was at Shakers. I was at Shakers to get in, make as much money as possible, and leave before midnight so that I could enjoy my life. I was not there to flirt with my lesbian and bisexual coworkers. I was not there to hang out with the Robinsons. I was not there to sit stoned like a deer in a meadow. There were slow times when she and I would be sitting at a table together, a customer would come in, I would get up to talk to him and she would be offended that I cut her off from talking to me. Her entitlement to my time was the mark of a privileged narcissistic Bergen, unaware of the financial needs of people like me. It was amazingly offensive and hilarious.
Many heterosexual men who go to strip clubs have similar entitlement issues to women's time and energy. Therefore, talking to Bergen was a great way for them to vent. DJ Steve Loe was Bergen's friend and cannabis buddy. He was very happy with how warm and friendly Bergen was compared to me, who he thought was “cold.” DJ Steve Loe would taunt me for the sense of urgency that I had with hustling. He too did not understand my reason for being at Shakers.
DJ Steve Loe and dancer Sash Seamans convinced Bergen that I was plotting against them, during the time when I was asserting my rights and educating people about their rights. Bergen began threatening me, by discussing her martial arts skills and gun shooting skills. Bergen stated on her twitter that I was “bringing out” her “inner psycho” at work. Bergen began following me around, telling customers not to buy dances from me. Despite all of this, I still made money and sold rooms. It confused her. She did not understand my powerful effect on men.
Since a lot of Bergen's behavior overlapped with the behavior of Sash Seamans, the next post about Sash will discuss their teamwork.