1. Oswiecenie
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    Oswiecenie Active Member

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    Father is a stripper

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Oswiecenie, Aug 31, 2016.

    My MC's father is a white-collar worker in his mid 40s. As the country goes through a severe economic crisis, he loses his job and resorts to stripping to pay the bills. While he does everything in his power to keep it a secret in front of his family and friends, my MC finds out when she catches him dancing in a club while on a girl's night out.

    In general, my MC looks up to her father and appreciates the sacrifices he made for his family (his old job was very stressful and he often had to work long hours). However, she is also quite concerned about things like status and definitely the kind of person that considers sex work to be demeaning.

    How would my MC react?
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
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  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My main confusion is about whether a man in his forties is likely to be able to get a job as a stripper, especially if he was working long hours at a white collar job and therefore unlikely to be able to keep extra fit, or to learn or practice dancing.
     
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  3. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I also have trouble buying the age thing unless the guy is extremely buff and has done a lot of gym type working out. Women are no less fickle than men when it comes to appearance and working as a stripper raises the bar even higher.
     
  4. Oswiecenie
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    Oswiecenie Active Member

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    The whole age/body-thing is not as big as one might think. I've been working as a stripper myself a couple of years ago. One of my co-workers was a gray haired dude in his 50s with a good looking but not exactly model type body and he was actually one of the highest paid dancers. Your success as a (male) stripper largely depends on the club owner, their target audience and, most importantly, how you carry yourself on stage. My impression is that most people go to stripclubs simply for the fun of it, maybe also for the thrill of exploring the raunchy side of town. People who come with the expectation of seeing Calvin Klein-models baring it all should be the exception.

    Anyway, the character in question is an avid climber in his spare time so he should be alright.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
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  5. cydney
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    cydney Banned

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    If I was your MC these things

    she is also quite concerned about things like status and definitely the kind of person that considers sex work to be demeaning.

    would be the least of my worries.

    But that's me & I'm probably much older than your MC. Well, yeah I am & times have changed so drastically.

    I would be devastated. I would say more but I think a younger woman could help more, now that I think about it. :)
     
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  6. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Figuring out how you character would react is part of developing what kind of person she is. Would she be so horrified she couldn't speak to him? Would she lose respect for him? Or would her respect grow at him doing a job she finds demeaning for the sake of his family? Consider that her immediate reaction and feelings about it after a little time to process could be almost completely different.
     
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  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with @izzybot - this is a question that will say a lot about your character, so you're going to need to answer it yourself.
     
  8. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    yeah that - may be he could get a job working as a janitor or a bar man in a male strip bar - when i was younger I worked security in a place that sometimes had male strippers and while I was pretty ripped and worked out most days I couldnt have held a candle to those guys in the show muscle department (even if I could easily have kicked their arses in a fight)

    The Full Monty not withstanding its unlikely women , or gay men , will pay good money to watch a 40 something office worker get his kit off (unless its some weird fetish of course ;) )

    That aside as to how daughter reacts that could run the whole gammut from fucking horrified to not bothered depending on her background, moral compass, and level of embarassment

    Also if shes the sort of person who finds the idea of stripping horrifying, what is she doing in a strip bar on a girls night out ?
     
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  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    You may run into the conflict between real-reality and accepted-reality on this one... it sounds like a lot of people on this thread (including me) think it's unrealistic for a 40-something office worker to be a successful stripper, so to some extent it doesn't matter if we're wrong according to your experience. Does that make sense?

    You can counteract it - have a character or characters comment on his age, work in an element of how their other older stripper just quit so they have room in their panel for one more guy to fill the niche or whatever. But based on the sample here, I think you're going to have to do something to address the fact that most people will likely think he's too old, whether that fits with your real experience or not.
     
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  10. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Thinking about it a bit more - if we think of female strip clubs / gentlemans clubs (and no i don't frequent such, although I worked security at a couple when i was younger), there's usually a sliding scale of attractivness of dancers vs how down market the joint is. If you are dealing with the top end with places like spearmint rhino or the even more exclusive "gentlemans" establishment then you can expect the dancers to be in their 20s and extremly attractive (and well paid, looked after etc) lower down the scale they start getting older and less good looking until you reach the dive bar end of the scale, "you know harleys and trucks, and fights in the parking lot of a saturday night" to quote John Sandford where the dancers are basically skanks, may well be being coerced, maybe drug abusers, and quite possibly dancing only because its preferable to prostitution.

    I don't know whether the same is true of male strip clubs, but it would be credible to the reader to suggest that it is, so its quite plausible that a 40 year old could get work in a more down market place - but the trouble then becomes how a white collar office worker knows those places , as he won't be someone who routinely associates with criminals
     
  11. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    OT I read a book lately where the mother is working as a call girl, and the son only finds out because he books her under her working name and has her come to his hotel room... I can't remember who it was by, maybe Harlan Coben ... at the time initially thought it was stretching credibility a bit for a 40 something mother to be working as a high end call girl - but the author dealt with that by explaining that there are men who like that sort of thing (yeeuuuw)

    May be the same applies here - perhaps there are women who will pay to see father figures get their kit off (double yeeeuuw)
     
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  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can see it for something individualized, like a call girl... but I think strip clubs are generally sort of a standardized experience? Like, the whole audience generally sees the same strippers, so I assume the managers would try to find the most common "types" and cast them? (And I think most common types are young and buff).
     
  13. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    may be as a 'special act' though - like some pick up joints run 'grab a granny nights' where the only women who make it through the doors are the 30 plus divorcees but the male clientelle are a lot younger (you can tell I wasted much of my youth can't you ... although I'd stress I was mainly working the doors or the floor not actually taking part in the less salubrious action)
     
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  14. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    My understanding is that the big money for male strippers is gay clubs/gay events.

    Maybe a sort of "bear" vibe for the older guy? But if he's a rock climber he's going to be lean, not bear-ish. Dunno.
     
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  15. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    People watch male actors in their forties show off their bodis all the time....
     
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  16. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Putting myself in your character's shoes, I would most definitely be upset. Really upset. I imagine a mixture of anger that he's been keeping this weird secret, grief that he thinks he has to do this to support his family, fear that others will find out, shame that her father's body has been seen by anyone and everyone, and many more emotions would cause quite a strong reaction.
     
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  17. Francis de Aguilar
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    Francis de Aguilar Active Member

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    If she is shocked by what she discovers she may also be concerned for her father, angry that she did not realise that things had got so difficult for him.
     
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  18. Oswiecenie
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    Oswiecenie Active Member

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    See this:

    At the end of the day, it's the looks, not the age.

    Her friends talked her into it and she didn't want to be the wet blanket. Also, she's drunk and on MDMA. People can end up in odd places when partying hard.

    I know what you're getting at. This phenomenon seems to be so common that it even made it to TV Tropes: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RealityIsUnrealistic

    He actually does get in touch with some mobsters, but later on in the story.

    Good point. There are all kinds of weird ass kinks out there. It doesn't even have to be connected to the kind of complexes you are hinting at. There's a fetish for everything, including salarymen stripping out of their business attire.

    This can be a major draw for gay men and straight women alike, but again, it doesn't depend on the age as much as on the looks.
     
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  19. MarcT
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    MarcT Member

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    Great idea for a book.
    Loads of potential, not least the relationship between the girl and her father, but also the seedy side of life.
    Unless of course he gets good at it and moves into what used to be the Chippendale sector. No mistake, women are as dirty as men when it comes to strippers and sometimes more so.
    Also, I'm not entirely sure if stripping is considered tobe sex work per se. Much depends on whether the gets his rocks off with the clientele.
    Just write the damn thing and don't hold back.
     
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  20. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd watch a 40 year old strip. o_O In fact, I'd prefer a 40yo man over a 20-something kid. Does that make me weird?
     
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  21. MarcT
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    MarcT Member

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    I'd watch a forty year old woman strip, so touché!
     
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  22. cydney
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    cydney Banned

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    I like the idea of asking a group of people 'what would my MC do'. I immediately put myself in her place (not sure everyone does that), but unfortunately I'm a little older than the age of your MC would be and you need contemporary results.
     
  23. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Just remember no touche below the waist ;)
     
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  24. Oswiecenie
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    Oswiecenie Active Member

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    I'm not completely sure either, but I've seen strippers referred to as sex workers before, so I just went with that.

    Same here :D

    I don't think age matters that much when it comes to personal feelings.
     
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  25. cydney
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    cydney Banned

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    Yeah, I guess you're right. I was just thinking it might make your story a little more interesting or believable.
     

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