Why Every Exotic Dancer in the World will Love Les Miserables

Last week I saw a movie that has beautifully illustrated my journey of transition from the lifestyle of an adult entertainer. There have been so many versions and interpretations to the popular and critically-acclaimed musical, Les Miserables. The fact that this production is in the “musical” genre has kept me from having any interest in seeing it. When I came across this particular version, I let my guard down because I couldn’t see Liam Neeson or Uma Thurman belting out a whole movie. I am so glad I gave it a chance because this genius piece had no singing. This movie was literally the most cathartic, encouraging and gut wretching thing I’ve seen in a while.

Les Miserables illustrated why there are people in the world who rule with an iron fist. These people have heavy-handed judgement and hatred in their hearts and attached stigmatising labels to brand others socially with an inescapable spiritual death sentence. This movie contained prostitution, desperation, incarceration and redemption. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who is interested but this movie was amazing to me because of the focus on the concept of redemption from a person’s past, protecting loved ones from a bad past and how society labels and condemns people, trapping them in a time warp where whatever they do, they can never live down their past mistakes. There may be times where the past will stalk, threaten and bind up a person, even if they make peace with it. Only until a person surrenders to, own and embrace their past, with no need for revenge or having feelings of resentment and shame will they remove the power and negativity of the label.

This movie reminded me of a few concepts the Bible teaches us about the price Jesus paid for anyone to start new in him. For anyone in transition, I want you to know God wants to extend His hand to you but you will not be the same. When you get the opportunity to start over, you will choose your new actions for your new life. You are no longer subjected to responding the same way you did before. When one of the characters did something wrong and blamed it on the label the world saw him as, someone told him he was redeemed through Christ. We are instructed to renew our minds and in this film, I saw how a new beginning was embraced and a new creature lived but still had to suffer for the actions of the old creature. I was moved by the necessary loyalty to the decision to change even when some situations threatened life itself.

“Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18‭-‬19 AMPC

One of the other concepts that hit home with me was protecting someone from their past so they can live a label free life. Protecting the innocence of children, family or even a spouse is a difficult and taxing task on the relationship. The sacrifice and protection it takes to ensure someone has the opportunity to have the advantage of an untarnished name is crushingly painful as it requires the installation of secrets and strict adherence to rules nobody else will ever understand without the threat of exposure. Once the exposure happens, the relationship is at the mercy of society, the results can be devastating if one does not know their identity in Christ. This film also showed how the freedom one feels when the past is finally faced, owned and the consequences are faced with dignity and true repentance can be one of the ultimate lifetime achievement. There is redemption in God.

“For I will restore healing to you, and I will heal your wounds, says the Lord, because they have called you an outcast.” Jeremiah 30:17

I want every dancer, especially one in transition, to watch this movie. Watching the characters in this movie struggle to etch out a life on the brink of society’s acceptance of their humanity was sometimes hard to watch and triggered me with feelings of depression, anger, despair and reminded me of the cold isolation I endured during the beginning stages of my transition. As each dancer watches, I want her to remember that there is freedom on the other side of her struggle as long as there is a strong will to become dedicated and determined to truly allow herself to be organically renewed. Another key is to humbly endure life.

For me, reconnecting with God through his Holy Word was a huge factor in reconstructing my identity while in transition to a life without the strip club. Get your copy of Scriptures for Strippers from Amazon or from http://www.ScripturesforStrippers.com in order to learn how to apply The Holy Word of God to the situation you are in right now as an exotic dancer. Your life will improve when God’s plan for your life is implemented. God will give you peace in the middle of the storm if you let Him.

Copyright © All rights reserved. Sayuri Smith LLC. 2017

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Reclaiming My Time: Fighting Procrastination

There is a viral video of U.S. representative for California’s 43rd congressional district Maxine Waters where she is requesting an answer to a specific question and when the answer was not given, she repeated the phrase “Reclaiming my Time” over and over again. As I watched her speak, it made me think of all the times I have allowed others to waste mine and I realized I need to be more like Auntie Maxine.

When working at the club, I was extremely efficient in spending the appropriate amount of time with a customer to maximize profitability. If a patron was not paying me to talk, I was being paid to dance. If I wasn’t being paid to dance, I was getting paid somewhere else. It was simple but unfortunately life isn’t that cut and dried. *sad face* I am currently working on a fictional novel based on my life, Dancability, which has me reflecting on how I have spent my time. This is mostly the result of having a huge issue with procrastination.

I remember working with ladies who would come to work with astronomical nightly quotas because they had a bill due in the next few days. They needed to make $800 that night or their rent would be late or would be in jeopardy of getting a visit from the repo man. I watched these ladies and made a point to slowly save up my money to avoid adding anxiety to the already stressful job of dealing with drunken men all night. Ugh. Because I planned some things and avoided certain issues, I could not see how I was procrastinating in other areas.

As a part of my new lifestyle, I have implemented a new way of living which starts with the concept of reclaiming my time. There are so many different things God has shown me I must accomplish but I keep finding “good reasons” to put them on the back burner. I am an ex-exotic dancer who has been out of the game for 2 years but still consider myself to be in transition because of the many changes I still need to make to be the new and improved me. After working in the strip club for so long, I have become accustomed to fast money. I could wake up with $60 and go to sleep with $600. There was no waiting for pay day or a pay check. I got cash in my hand after dancing my heart out. I could put off working all week if I wanted and still pay my bills on time. I would have to rest up in order to work so hard so what some people called procrastination, I called getting rested. Procrastination has taken a different form now that I do not dance anymore and it has been hard to pinpoint. I balance so many different items on my plate, I see I have to really manage my time and not stretch myself too thin because procrastination can come in looking like juggling. When you juggle, you have to divide your attention and when you look away from something, you have to set a date to return to it. When you don’t, it won’t get done and you will start a bunch of projects and finish none. You may sign up to help someone when you need that time for yourself. You will need to reclaim your time.

I hated to admit my issue with procrastination and my inability to properly prioritize my time. There are so many things I would like to accomplish that I now see that it is very important to strengthen this weakness to be victorious in my own life. In the back of my mind, I put things off just knowing they will get done (just like knowing my bills would be paid when I worked at the club). Working at the strip club empowered me to have complete control of my time which ironically hindred me from making the most of it because I always mismangaged it. Not working to a set schedule and being able to work whenever I wanted fed into my procrastination of taking care of less desirable tasks.

I find that the more I talk to God, the more focused my thoughts are and waste less energy. When your steps are ordered by God, you can do more with less.

“The steps of a [good and righteous] (wo)man are directed and established by the Lord, And He delights in his or her way [and blesses his path]. PSALM 37:23 AMP

Setting goals and deadlines for myself is essential to marking things off my to-do list and pushing procrastination out of the picture. I foucs on this scripture that tells me to seek guidance when I get off track and reminds me to get back on task. My list “counsels” me about what I need to be doing.

“Where there is no [wise, intelligent] guidance, the people fall [and go off course like a ship without a helm], But in the abundance of [wise and godly] counselors there is victory.” PROVERBS 11:14 AMP

“Let us test and examine our ways, And let us return to the Lord.” LAMENTATIONS 3:40 AMP

It is important to know that taking baby steps are the way to accomplish your goals. In the Focusing on Goals and Purpose chapter of Scriptures for Strippers, there is a place to list short term and long term goals. If you need a indepth plan of action, turn to page 289 and get busy filling in your overall goals, supporting goals, the action taken and the result. Whenever I am having issues with prioritizing projects, I ask God. He answered with this.

“But all things should be done with regard to decency and propriety and in an orderly fashion.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 AMPC

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I hope this blog post has blessed you in some way. Please feel free to leave comments below or contact me with any question or suggestions for the blog.Get your copy of Scriptures For Strippers from the official website or from Amazon. Click the link below. https://www.amazon.com/stream/ref=nav_upnav_mobile_C_SearchAW

Follow on FB and IG @SayuriSmith #ScripturesForStrippers May God continue to bless and keep you.

All Rights Reserved Sayuri Smith LLC.

 

The Top 3 Reasons “Scriptures for Strippers” is a Must-Read for EVERY Dancer

Some believe that women who work as adult entertainers are keeping themselves from God by participating in an obviously sinful profession and should not find God until they abandon their job. Others believe that God will not hear the prayers and cries of these women who are hurting on the inside and want peace, love and joy. Inquiring minds ask about the purpose of Scriptures for Strippers, the first and only devotional for adult entertainers is but what they really want to know is whether I am condemning or encouraging women with this book. That is a fair question and I quickly let anyone know that only God can judge a person and I understand my duty as a child of God, a member of the Kingdom of God and a witness to the power of God. I am supposed to give my testimony so that others may be free. It is not my job to “condemn” her but many think when I disregard her profession, I fail her. I personally understand every unmentionable battle because I used to be an exotic dancer myself. I was a dancer at for 15 years off and on and I totally get the struggle. If anyone agrees that I should be harshly admonishing and critcizing these women, I’d like to take this time to remind them of what the Bible says:

“Brothers (and sisters), if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well.” GALATIANS 6:1 AMP

At the end of 2014, I left the club for the second time and was very despondent. I was isolated, depressed and chronically worried. I was so weary from working in the strip club to support myself and my toddler son. I tossed my dance bag in a dumpster at a carwash and just quit going to work. I told God I was done with that because it was depressing, draining and was driving a huge wedge between me and anything I wanted. I went to church and the preacher said there is a scripture for every struggle. He gave us an assignment to go home and make a list of scriptures for every weak area of our life.

I went home and made a list and Scriptures for Strippers was born. I know it is my duty to share what God has revealed to me because the Bible says:

“So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord or about me His prisoner, but with me take your share of suffering for the gospel [continue to preach regardless of the circumstances], in accordance with the power of God [for His power is invincible]
2 TIMOTHY 1:8‭ AMP

Here are the 3 main purposes and points of Scriptures for Strippers: 

  1. Everyone deserves a relationship with God. Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you.” JAMES 4:8 AMP
    As a dancer, it is essential to have a relationship with God to guard against the demons that lurk in strip clubs. Many people regard the actual dancers as the demons who attempt to seduce men and destroy families by leading men astray when the fact of the matter is there are lost young women who seek to deal with spiritual deficiency and brokeness by becoming dancers. Other women dance for financial gain without weighing the the spiritual, mental and emotional costs. Honestly, there is no real way to know exactly what these women actually deal with unless you have been in the environment of the strip club personally. Having a working knowledge of what the Word of God actually says about equips these women to fight spiritual battles. Working as a stripper makes a woman vulnerableand exposed not just physically. Although, many may think of a prayer in the strip club is blasphemy the Word of God says: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place.” PROVERBS 15:3 AMP “If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there.”PSALM 139:8 AMP
  2. To provide a source of hope and protection. “…that the Lord your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing that we should do.”
    JEREMIAH 42:3 AMP
    Studying the Word of God reveals what to hope and trust in. While working in a strip club, women are approached by different spirits seeking various things. These women need spiritual protection as men (and women) come in to exploit mental, emotional and spiritual immaturity. There are women with abandonment issues, low self-esteem, anger, and unforgiveness in their hearts which makes them dangerous to themselves and even the people around them at any given moment. Strippers experience a high rate of rejection and my develop in a people pleaser. It is very beneficial to a woman who works in this industry to know what God has said about her and her future to combat the negative self-image that develops as a result of becoming a stripper. Someone needs to tell the young women that the Bible says: “The Lord will make you the head (leader) and not the tail (follower); and you will be above only, and you will not be beneath, if you listen and pay attention to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today, to observe them carefully.” DEUTERONOMY 28:13 AMP.  Scriptures for Strippers is not used for judging and condemning. Working as a dancer is hard enough! I read Psalm 27 everyday before going inside the club for protection and I have never been harmed!
  3. To help women get to a place where they can discover their purpose. When the glamour is gone and facts of the lifestyle trump the fantasy and fallicy, depression and desperation can suddenly take hold of a woman who works as a stripper. A dancer who is desperate is dangerous to herself and others. She may think of robbery, murder or prostitution when she has endured nights where she did not make her quota or thinks of transitioning. So it is safe to say that after dancing for a while, many dancers may attempt to concoct an exit strategy. These are extremely difficult to execute without a strong sense of disclipline and laser sharp focus on her goals. The fast money is life changing and it is extremely difficult to replace the income she has become accustomed to generating. Only God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, can reveal His plan for her life. This is the other reason I do not tell dancers to stop working in the club. After she has her own personal relationship with God, she will begin to behave differently and will be able to see a new plan develop for her life. Everyone is created for a reason and purpose.

    “for He delivered us and saved us and called us with a holy calling [a calling that leads to a consecrated life–a life set apart–a life of purpose], not because of our works [or because of any personal merit–we could do nothing to earn this], but because of His own purpose and grace [His amazing, undeserved favor] which was granted to us in Christ Jesus before the world began [eternal ages ago],2 TIMOTHY 1:3‭, ‬9 AMP

    It is important to remember that NO MATTER WHAT YOU HAVE DONE, you can call on God. Only the devil will present things and ideas to steal, kill and destroy. Remember that God has a plan for your future. Do not give up on yourself. When you feel like you have hit rock bottom, call on the chief cornerstone and let Jesus Christ lead you. God will hear your prayers and cries. Don’t take my word for it. The Bible says:

“~‘For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord , ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. ~‘Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. ~‘Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ~‘I will be found by you,’ says the Lord , ‘and I will restore your fortunes and I will [free you and] gather you–“JEREMIAH 29:11‭-‬14‭, ‬16 AMP

Wanna learn more? Listen to the interview on the GWade Radio Show!

Order your copy of Scriptures for Strippers on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Choose from 2 different cover options.

If you need immediate assistance, please contact http://www.4Sarah.net

All rights reserved

Copyright 2017 Sayuri Smith LLC.

The Sacred Society Soirée: A Night of Engaging Encounters of Inspirational Women

I was sitting here reflecting on my week and I am in awe of what God is doing in my life. I think back over my life to a time where I was in darkness, with very little hope of a bright future and running from my past as a stripper. As a dancer,  there was very little sisterhood and cooperation amongst the women I worked with. There were girls who ran in cliques and it seemed like an counterproductive and ineffective strategy to maximize the time spent in the club. Every relationship seemed to come with a sense of competition. Bittersweet friendships ended with blindsiding betrayal that started with bickering over dollar bills. I adapted well to the concept of being a Lone Wolf because at the end of the day, working in a strip club as an exotic dancer does not require teamwork and I enjoyed working alone. But as I transitioned out of the club, I had to learn that no man (or woman) is an island. 

The Bible says: 

Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor; for if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and does not have another to lift him up.” ECCLESIASTES 4:9‭-‬10 AMP

I fought depression and anxiety hard to go out and socialize. Going to networking event and conferences was distressing at first and made me uneasy but I became more comfortable each time I pitched my business and introduced my services to strangers who could potentially help me.  

 As I started to become comfortable with networking and making connections to build my business as an entrepreneur but I discovered that same clique mentality when attending some conferences that promised “empowerment” and “sisterhood”. I really didn’t realize how all of my years as a stripper allowed me to see the signs of the fake and phony folks before situations fully manifested. I avoided some interactions, confrontations and potential business disasters but was becoming a little discouraged by the weak-willed who attempted to prey on women with passion for their mission. 

I took a break and went into consecration and asked God to redirect and connect me with people who were supposed to help me with the assignment the Almighty gave me which is to build His kingdom through empowerment of the knowledge of His Word. Shortly after coming out of consecration, I was connected to different women. Women who were driven, confident and successful and wanted to bring other women onto their level of spiritual knowledge and soulful success. 

Last month, I found out about an event called Meet the Authors that will take place October 14, 2017 in Atlanta, GA and contacted by blogger, entrepreneur, and author, Zeta Joel of IAmZetaJ.com, to see if I could participate. She promptly contacted me and I was informed of an opportunity to speak! I felt the faithfulness of God in this news and I thanked Him for answering my prayer. But something else happened.

Visit Eventbrite for ticket information

I have been involved with events before where people met, spoke, sold their wares and went home. The facilitator of this event did something I have never been a part of. I was invited to dinner by Zeta J at Two Urban Licks located in Atlanta, GA. The menu was superb, offering exquisite fare from the popular Salmon Chips to Scallops and Grits. 

I was super, duper, turbo excited to meet her and a few other women who were also invited to what I learned was The First Sacred Society Dinner. I was pleasantly surprised by the positivity and electric chemistry that sparked between the 9 female strangers who were enterpreneurs, authors and bloggers. We discussed topics ranging from how to cope with the issue of lack of support from family and friends in business to what should be the requirements and qualifications of a good spouse. There was no immaturity, rudeness or grandstanding which was always prevalent in many of the previous social events I have observed. Everyone contributed to the conversation and we all immediately followed each other on social media to ensure we support each others’ movements and endeavors. 

(from left to right) Shanna Jefferson, Daneisha Smith, Sayuri Smith, Quionah Wingfield, London Bridges, Zeta Joel, Tinzley Bradford, Ashleigh Guide, Precious Fraizer

It was refreshing to be in the presence of women who were eager to learn from each other and seek real collaboration. I was absolutely dazzled to converge with such dynamic divas who understood the struggles of being vulnerable to exclusions of network cliques which only breeds unhealthy and unhelpful competition and not compounding our efforts in collaboration. The Sacred Society Dinner allowed me to experience a night of sisterhood and celebration of each woman’s success thus far. As we all talked, we each expressed the importance of having a connection with the Creator. I appreciated this night so much because of the sincere desire and effort to be authentically connected to each woman, her vision and her upcoming projects and events.

Zeta Joel’s enthusiasm about connecting was contagious and led me to share the details of each woman who were in attendance of this magical night. I’m look forward to the next dinner!  Follow all of these phenomenal women on Instagram and visit each website!

~Zeta Joel has a blog called Get Inspired, the author of 2 books: “Parenting with No Bra” and “Like Father, Like Son”. Follow her on IG @IAmZetaJ

~Quionah Wingfield is founder of Cool Moms Dance Too Inc., publisher and health and wellness advocate. Visit http://www.Coolmomsdancetoo.com. Follow her on IG @CoolMaqui

~Ashleigh Guice is a speaker, life coach, author of “How to X Your Ex” and writes a blog called “Single Woman Chronicles. Visit her site http://www.SingleWomanChronicles.com and follow on IG @SingleWomanChronicles

~London Bridges is one half of The Ceo Goddesses where she is a beauty entrepreneur specializing in glam make up and virgin Brazilian Hair. She is located in Norcross, GA. Follow her on IG @LondonBridges4You_Hair and @TheCeoGoddess

~Daneisha Smith is a certified payroll professional and contributes to Zeta J’s blog, Get Inspired, as a lover of fashion and beauty blogger. Follow her on IG @OfficiallyChic

~Tinzley Bradford is a media influencer, radio host, relationship coach and author of “The Settle-Free Dating Method for Women.” Her book is available online at Barnes and Nobles and Amazon. Follow her on IG @Tinzl

~Precious Fraizer is a wellness expert, women’s empowerment movement pusher and business blogger. Visit http://www.linktr.ee/rockyourreality. Follow on IG @RockYourReality

~Shanna Jefferson is a psychotherapist, life coach, speaker, blogger, entrepreneur and author of “33 Tools For Success”. Visit http://www.ShannaJeffereson.com. Follow her on IG @ShannaJefferson. She is also the other half of @TheCEOGoddess

~Sayuri Smith is an entrepreneur, blogger and author of A.Stray and Scriptures For Strippers. She is also the Care Team Coodinator for http://www.4Sarah.net, an organization dedicated to helping women transition out of sex work and assist victims of sex trafficking. Visit http://www.ScripturesForStrippers.com and follow her on IG @SayuriSmith

The Sex Worker Scholarship That Changed My Life 

As an exotic dancer,  it is easy to become trapped by the addiction of fast money, freedom of time and schedule and luxurious lifestyle of sleeping late and lounging until the next shift. The good part seems so good that the bad part doesn’t matter.  The bad part about the adult entertainment lifestyle creeps up from behind and chokes.  The hands of industry immediately wraps its fingers around the throat of a participant but you never feel the squeezing until you try to escape. It is very difficult to get people who are not involved in the industry to understand the struggle. The glamour, the internet, the shame and the pressure to keep up with bills at the same Pace starts to weigh down on these girls and some of them have no place to turn. This is where addiction and suicide come into play. I remember being at the precipice of these two issues and praying to God to rescue me. I had come to understand that no one was going to rescue me from my own life and I was scared to death.

As I continue to pray and see God, 4Sarah came into my life. I came into work one day and saw a huge novelty check over the top of my locker. The check was for $1,000 from my club to an organization called for Sarah. I went over to the bulletin board to get some information about this organization and once I was finish reading it, I knew God sent them to come find me. I did not know anything about what they offered but I was in the process of writing a book called Scriptures for Strippers™ and I thought it would be a good idea to get together with another organization who thought of the women who worked in strip clubs as human beings. After meeting up with the founder of this organization, I discovered that we were old coworkers from another club that had been shut down in Atlanta. It was amazing to be in the company of another woman who wanted to help women stay encouraged as they transitioned into society from the strip club. After we talked about the book, Kasey asked me what I needed help with. I was amazed and a little bit caught off guard by the question. My experience had showed me that no one cared about my transition out of the club. I felt like everyone was waiting on me to just do it on my own. It was my decision to start dancing and everyone was waiting on me to decide to stop. No one ever offered me any real help so I really didn’t even know what to tell her I needed help with although I needed somewhere to live, I wanted another kind of employment so that I could provide for my son and myself.

The actual novelty check donated to 4Sarah from a strip club

At this time Kasey gave me her story and I was in tears by the time she got to the end. She told me what she decided to do after our club was shut down. She told me of all her struggles, pain and shortcomings she had in dealing with transitioning on her own. She eventually became involved with a man who is not her husband and became pregnant with a daughter named Sarah. She could not stop thinking about the women who needed help still working in the club. She wanted to reach back and pull others out and give them the help that she knew they would need in order to change their life. This was the same exact feeling I had when I got to the end of writing Scriptures for Strippers™. At this time she informed me that there was a scholarship available through her organization. She told me how to apply and I did it immediately. I had had a real estate license years before the bubble burst and I thought about getting my license back active in order to transition out of the club once again. When I told her of my plan she agreed that it could be a way to help me stop dancing. I applied for the scholarship and was awarded the funds to take the test to reactivate I expired license, the fees to pay for the actual license and also my eKEY which allowed me to show houses. I was more than floored, humbled and excited when I pass the test and was able to call her and thank her for her help.

I also got the scholarship a year later to help with the publication of Scriptures For Strippers™. I can not express the gratitude I felt for her and this is why a portion of each sale of Scriptures For Strippers™ is donated to 4Sarah, Inc.

I could not stop smiling when I finally published this book!

Although I had no real friends in the industry, I shouted from the rooftops about how 4Sarah helped me to anyone who would listen. I got a whole bunch of brochures to carry in my purse so when I saw a girl who I feel like could use it, I could give her the information. I always see women who I know works in the industry but I can’t explain what I see when I look at them. I just know how it feels and looks like to walk around pretending to have everything together and hoping someone would help without me having to tell them all of my business. The look of shame and quiet hope of escaping some decisions that tricked me. I became involved with doing outreach in the clubs and over the phone. I love working supporting Kasey McClure as she doesn’t give up on anyone and will help them as long as they are willing to help themselves. 

Kasey and I before we spoke to some college students about the dangers and signs of sex trafficking victims and predators.

Kasey and I pausing for a pic during strip club outreach.
Kasey and I at the Anti-Sex Trafficking Summit at the state capitol in Atlanta, Georgia. My baby girl tagged along.

This scholarship is offered to all women involved in any kind of sex work. Whether she is a pornstar, prostitute, escort, stripper or victim of sex trafficking she can apply for this scholarship which will pay the institution directly. In order to apply, she just needs to write an essay about her background, include her aspirations and plans for education, her identification and possibly a resume. It’s very easy to apply for the scholarship which is open every three months. The scholarship is available right now and the deadline for application is July 31st 2017. Please tell anyone you know to apply who is involved in this lifestyle and want to escape.

If you or anyone you know are in a crisis situation and need someone to talk to or immediate assistance please call 4Sarah at 470-362-8808 or visit the website http://www.4Sarah.net.

The Real #Traphouse Ain’t Pink

In the winter of 2003, I went to visit a friend who had moved in with her boyfriend. We worked at the same strip club and had become close over the course of a few months. She told me she had grown up Muslim but that didn’t stop us from being cool with each other. She had recently been in the hospital and I went over to see if she was OK.  I had visited this place about 3 or 4 times before. I went during the early evening, around 6pm. 

She lived on a side of town where there was a lot of drug activity. There were always at least 4  random dudes just hanging out at his place and I wondered how she could feel comfortable living there with all those strange guys. Her boyfriend had just moved to Atlanta from Chicago and immediately started selling drugs out of his newly renovated duplex. I didn’t know he sold drugs and wasn’t sure if my friend knew but we found out for sure on this night. 

We laughed, talked and smoked together.  I got the urge to leave but I just assumed this grade of marijuana made me paranoid.  We were in a back room and suddenly someone busted in and told us to get on the ground with a silver gun drawn.  I immediately thought it was the police and they were busting the whole house in a raid.  Maybe one of the guys had a warrant.  Maybe the police had run up in the wrong house to lock up some suspects who had recently moved.  I knew one thing was for sure,  I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

I attempted to go into my pocket and throw the marijuana on the floor so I couldn’t get a possession charge. He immediately reprimanded me and told me to keep my hands up. My friend ran into the closet,  screaming and tearing down the clothes attempting to hide.  I was confused as he changed his mind and told us to come out of the room and come with him.  

As he led us down the long hall,  we saw the guys who hung out at the house being beaten and stripped all in different rooms. We walked passed a room that I’ve never been in. The door was always shut and locked.  But as we walked by,  I now understood why. There was large black trash bags full of marijuana and cash stacked to the ceiling. There were men in there bagging up everything quickly as the violent chaos happened all throughout other parts of the house. 

When I looked forward,  there was an unmasked young man, standing at the front door holding an AK-47. He was a puny young dude, almost like a teenager and the gun was almost bigger than he was. By the time, we got to the living room I realized this was not a raid but a robbery! Everyone was laying face down on the floor and the man who walked us down the hall forced us to lay face down next to her weeping boyfriend. He passed the time playing violent video games where he practiced shooting up intruders and cursing at the TV screen as he smoke blunt after blunt. Now, he and all his “tough guy” friends had been stripped, robbed and laid out on the floor scared of what would happen next.  

As soon as I laid down,  I began to pray and I felt a blanket or sheet gently cover me.  I held my friend’s hand and the wrist of her sobbing boyfriend.  I remembered that my friend didn’t believe in Jesus but still prayed for God to protect us. A man was standing over us with a gun pressed against my back, yelling at him to be quiet.  I turned my head to him and sternly said,  “Be quiet! “and he stopped wailing only sniffled from time to time. If her boyfriend made this guy mad enough to pull the trigger, the bullets would enter my body, not his. I started back praying and imagined myself going home.  Something told me I would go home and my life would not end. The gun was no longer pressed into my back but I kept praying. 

Some of the robbers had left the house to go upstairs to where his sister lived.  He had recently sent for her and her new baby from Chicago.  We heard footsteps overhead and then a gunshot. Again,  my friend’s boyfriend became hysterical, bawling uncontrollably and writhing in pain for what he thought had happened. We heard the intruders run down the stairs and run to their car.  I had left my purse in my car so I didn’t have my phone or anything on me. 

Everyone got up and attempted to wrap their heads around what had just happened. My friend was in her boyfriend’s arm and they cried together.  She later discovered that her purse had been ransacked and she was missing $600 cash, probably a whole night’s pay. I got home safely that night and thanked God for sparing my life. His sister and her baby was safe too!  Thank God! 

I knew there was a bigger plan for my life.  A couple weeks later, when I celebrated my 21 birthday, I reflected on the fact that I almost didn’t make it and was so grateful to God that I made it out of the trap house.  I have never been back to a traphouse and pray that anyone who is is covered, protected and will someday look to God to redirect them. Years later. I pray that God will give them another chance to tell the goodness of God. In Jesus’name name Amen! I found that friend on Facebook and saw that she posts scriptures on her page and thank God for the conversion. 

If you or anyone you know needs prayer, wants to pray or learn how to pray,  I can be reached via email at ScripturesForStrippers@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter, instagram and facebook @SayuriSmith. To get a copy of your very own devotional, you can get a copy from Amazon. There are two covers available but the inside is the same.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/s/ref=is_s?k=scriptures+for+strippers

What Every Dancer can Learn from Micheal Jackson: Searching for Neverland

As a woman who has transitioned out of adult entertainment, I understood why Michael walked around with his face covered and was so soft spoken while of the stage. I like Michael Jackson’s music but I wouldn’t consider myself a fan because I wouldn’t scream, cry or attempt to touch him if I ever saw him. We have so much in common as entertainers, it was mandatory for me to write a review of Searching for Neverland, as this film confirmed my initial comparison. At one of my lowest points, I would wear a ski mask (even in the summer) when I left the house. I always thought of Michael Jackson when I got the curious stares and even the comments. 

The movie is told from the point of view of the man in charge of keeping Michael Jackson and his children safe as his bodyguard. He was being questioned about how the King of Pop died. As he sat in the hot seat answering questions, I began to think of my own experiences as an entertainer. As a transition coach to women who are attempting to transition out of adult entertainment lifestyle, I saw this movie with empathetic eyes. I understand there are very few people who are close to you and your ability to trust people becomes more and more tainted with each disappointment in friendship or even business relationship. Michael was a single parent to 3 children whom he seemed to love very much. He would go on lavish shopping sprees and shut stores down. He was protective of his children and loved to see them smile. 

He had not done a show in a few years and his agent and others were attempting to apply pressure to him to sign papers that would require him to do another show. He dreaded going back up on stage because of what it costed him. Michael definately gave his all during his performances and he was well aware that his age and stamina is not what it used to be. But with the bills piling up, the pressure for him to perform again sent him into a downward spiral of depression and feeling trapped. His reputation had suffered tremendously from the scandal at his old home, Neverland, which accused him of molesting a young boy.

As I watched Neverland, I began to reflect on how my relationship with my love of dance and newly discovered outlet (the strip club) began to deteriorate. Michael had a heart for people; especially children. I believe this was his way of mourning the loss of his own childhood, the one irreplaceable thing that the music industry took from him. As a dancer, turned stripper, I felt Michael’s pain. To turn someone’s absolute love for something against them is cruel, confusing, depressing and degrading. My reputation as an exotic dancer made me feel like a laughing stock and an outcast. I was stereotyped when people did learn of what I did for a living but I was nothing like how they thought. I began to hate people. All people. Because of the disdain people felt about my occupation, I began to be uncomfortable with myself and hated to socialize. I became a recluse and only left the house to work, under the cover of darkness.

The loneliness Michael Jackson lived through was like a loud ringing silence. Through the shopping sprees and grand homes were not enough for people to come around. The hate mail kept rolling in and made him even more isolated. He wasn’t getting any sleep and drank lots of wine. His phone never rang with someone calling to chat or check on him and the kids. I remembered sitting in the house like a hermit, hoping someone would call me. Then I thought of how I didn’t really want to talk. I just wanted someone to care. My mom and sisters would call me some time but I was never free to talk to them about my nights at the club. I was trapped in my own life. I didn’t fit anywhere. I loved dancing but hated interacting with people who assumed they could say certain things to me (without me being offended). I hated how people always wanted more and more of me. I hated how I felt when I had to find a nice way to turn down a disrespectful proposal. I worked very hard a few times a month so I wouldn’t have to keep going to that dreadful place.

My love for dance never died but my anxiety over the stress of working in this environment where I was constantly propositioned for prostitution and I could feel my innocence being stripped away became too much for a 20-yr-old young woman to handle. The irony to the way I was feeling about my newfound life was, financially speaking, the lifestyle was very easy to live. I did not worry about bills or money. One of the hardest things about transitioning for me was to adjust my spending habits and getting on a good sleep schedule. Michael triggered me a few times in the film but nothing got to me as much as when he became upset about being presented with the paperwork that would lock him in a contract to put on another show. He agreed but name it the “This Is It!” tour. In the movie, there came a time when months went by without him paying the security men because Michael could not afford to pay. But they still came to work each day because they realized that Michael had NO ONE but his children and the nanny.

Everytime I had to go back inside the club to earn a living, I would declare the same thing. “This is IT! I’m not getting another permit for another club after this!” (Dancers have to purchase permits to work as strippers that last for 1 year) But the anxiety and depression I endured hurt me so bad when I had to go to work due to lack of funds. The mental strain was unbearable; not to mention the pain I knew I would suffer after dancing my heart out each night. At 12 years old, I was diagnosed with idiopathic adolescent scoliosis. I had to live with this debilitating pain 24/7. Compounding this with the sore muscles I knew were coming from the 8-hour aerobics in 6 inch stillettos was like a death sentence. Dread does not even begin to describe how I felt about going back into the club.

When it was announced that Michael was in the hospital in the movie, I totally broke down. I remember the feeling of being trapped between the strip club and mainstream society. Micheal had a total meltdown once he understood that it was necessary and mandatory for him to perform. He was planning to purchase a new home and be free from the contracts that owned him. When he died, I cried like I was at a funeral. His decision to die instead of performing was the most triggering thing for me. I’m not sure I believe a doctor killed him but I am sure that the entertainment industry will consume you. Making a transition out of the lifestyle is hard enough but I could not imagine it being compounded with the flashing lights of the cameras brought on by worldwide fame and the inability to be a human being. I hope people can learn that even famous people are actual people with hearts, minds and feelings too. Rest In Heaven, Michael Jackson. We love and miss you.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SAYURI SMITH