Thought I’d mix it up a bit today, and do an interview with my friend Kourtney Summers.
Kourtney Summers – Australian Showgirl has traveled the country performing in clubs, bars and bucks parties. 4 times People magazine cover girl, spunk of the year 2012 Hold many titles including Miss showgirl 2010 Australian showgirl of the year 2011 finalist and 2nd runner up Miss pink erotica 2011 Kourtney also has her own segment on Blokesworld which is on ONE Thursday nights 11pm Kourtney is the owner/operator of the calendar Eye Candy Showgirls.
Our interview is below:
Amy Anka: So what made you decide to get into this as a profession?
Kourtney Summers: I was working for a production company at the time I was 18 and in an all male environment. The way I was spoken to was very sexual. I often caught the guys staring and talking about me so one day just got annoyed and decided I could be earning a lot more money from dancing and get treated the same way.
AA: How long have you been doing it for?
KS: I started a 18 years old and retired at 30. However I did have breaks through out the years where I tried other “real” jobs and traveling. Does your family know what you do? Yes I told my mum after my first night. She was so upset and cried. Her view of strip clubs was pretty bad. Of course she has never been to one. so is just going by what she has seen in films and from stories that she has heard. The club I started at was Spearmint Rhino and is a beautiful club. At the time as well it was only topless. My mum sunbathed topless in her day so I think once she put it into perspective that guys will always look and I might as well get paid for it she accepted it a little more. Although I know she wishes I stayed on the media path, however I never told her how I was treated by my male colleagues.
AA: What type of clientele do you entertain?
KS: One of the things I love most about the jobs is the range of people you meet. From all walks of life and all different situations. I think this job has given me great people skills. I can be dropped in a room of lawyers, doctors, mechanics or students and get along with them all. I also learnt every quickly never to judge a book by its cover and to treat everyone the same.
AA: How long does it take you to get ready for a show?
KS: I have it down pat to one hour. When I first started I used to be so slow, I never curled my hair because I just couldn’t do it and I wasn’t very confident doing my own make up. Over the years I’ve learnt what suits my face and I have the same look. It’s funny guys can’t seem to understand that girls can mix things up. If I arrive to a show with straight hair and they see a photo of me with curly hair they don’t believe it’s you!
AA: Are there any strange things that you wear or need to do?
KS: I guess just costumes and heels, you are fulfilling guys fantasies. So they don’t want to see a girl just nicely dressed.
AA: Do you still strip when it’s that “time of the month”?
KS: Yes it’s always a little more nerve racking!! You can either wear a sponge or just cut the string (of the tampon) and be a little more lady like with your moves!!
AA: Do you feel self conscious being totally nude in front of strangers?
KS: Depends on the crowd, if they are young and fit I do sometimes, but as soon as I start the show and get into it I’m fine.
AA: What’s with the “stripper shoes”?
KS: Not all girls wear the Stripper Heels but it’s kind of expected from the guys. Thy associate them (with strippers) and some get disappointed if you don’t wear them. The heels are great because they really lengthen your legs and arch your back.
AA: Do you look at men in a certain light?
KS: Not all but there are definitely categories you can fit them all in too! Are most of the men in a relationship, or single? Is there a “typical” client? It’s pretty mixed the younger guys all tend to be single or have a girlfriend. The older groups all tend to be married.
AA: Is it really true that it’s the quiet ones you need to watch?
KS: Yes that’s crazy true!!
AA: Have you ever had any really bizarre or really perverted requests?
KS: Over the years I’ve heard them all!! Enough to write my own book! Here are just a few.. A guy who wanted to lick my shoe (not just the top the filthy sole as well, I gagged and freaked out. It wasn’t worth the $100 for the nightmares!) A guy who wanted to be teased about his small penis. I never saw it but he enjoyed being humiliated. I’ve come across a few of these submissive types. I was once asked if I would insert my knickers into my “mini” an then pull them out!! Ugh!! No thanks!! You always lose your knickers too. Someone always steals them which always freaks me out. A couple of time I’ve been in the middle of a show and a guy has taken my knickers, gone off and put them on and come running back in the room just wearing them! Great thanks you can keep them now!! Most recently I was asked if I would play mummy to a grown up baby!! I should mention the majority I requests I do say no to. If the guy wants to select a costume or coloured lingerie I’m more than happy to accommodate their fantasy.
AA: Have you ever felt in danger?
KS: Once in Sydney a guy pulled a kitchen knife out and said this is where we chop up the topless waitress!! To which I got up grabbed my things and just walked out onto the street in just in my g string!!
AA: Sex obviously sells. Do you feel as though your line of work objectifies or empowers women?
KS: I can agree with both statements. You will always get those guys that feel the need to put you down in front of their mates to make themselves feel bigger and better. However this is to do with their self esteem and personality type. Its not nice to hear these derogatory comments nor do I wish it on other women, but doing this job has made me thicker skinned in that sense. On the other hand I do feel very empowered. Most guys are respectful and very grateful. You have to feel sorry for most of them, that they have to pay to receive such attention.
AA: Anything you think women should know about their men that you have observed?
KS: No.. Guys act very differently when they are with the boys. They feel the need to show off and act in a certain way. More aggressive perhaps doesn’t mean this is really who they are. Many just copy the others so they fit in and don’t get mocked.
AA: How much money will you make on a good night?
KS: It’s very dependent on time of year, type of work. In a club a good night which is 8 hours $800-10000 I would be happy with. At bucks parties and private events you can earn a lot more. $100 an hour for topless waitressing, $300-$400 for a 30 min show. I do three-four bookings a night during the winter, five- eight hours in the summer. However this tends to just be Friday and Saturday nights.
AA: Have you ever been attracted to a client?
KS: I met my ex husband at the club I was working at! We were together for 7 years married for 4. Doesn’t matter what field of work you are in, attractive guys are everywhere. I guess the major thing is what you do about it or not. As I was in a relationship for most of my stripping life.. It did make it hard. It was very tempting at times and was the result of my marriage ending. You also almost become desensitised by cheating. It’s amazing how many guys are happy to do it and also willing to pay!
AA: In your opinion, are all men the same?
KS: No you can’t tarnish everyone with the same brush. I think people have similar traits. I’ve also met so many men that claim they have never been to a strip club or have any interest.. It’s not for everyone.
AA: Has stripping tainted your view on men?
KS: You go through stages, I think many of the girls do but I also think it takes a mature and open mind to do this job well. What type of person does it take to become a stripper? Confidence comes with the job, I think if you asked any of my friends at school if they expected me to become a stripper they would never have picked me. You do need to be an extrovert and a people person and creative to some extent. Putting together costumes, shows, and just generally to set yourself a part from all the other girls.
AA: Was it difficult to find a man who supports your profession?
KS: Not for me no. I think because I don’t surround myself in the industry to the extend I don’t hang out with the girls after work or on days off has made a big difference. I did find that my partners have enjoyed the lifestyle I could provide, which may help them forget at times. Of course it’s hard for them. I understand that it’s not normal. It does take a huge amount of trust in the relationship.
AA: Why did you give it up?
KS: I always said I would retire at 30! I don’t wanna be a old stripper who is past her prime. Plus it’s just getting harder and harder on my body. What was the worst part about the job? Dealing with drunk guys when you are sober! People’s constant assumptions. No I’m not a student or a single mother, and no my dad didn’t abuse me!
AA: Have you ever seen any people you know in the crowd while doing a show? How did you react?
KS: Once ages ago in a club there was a guy from school it was a little embarrassing at first but he admitted to having a crush on me back then and it made his day so it was fine. When I moved over to Australia I haven’t had to worried about this so much and is also why I progressed to glamour modelling as I knew my mum wouldn’t have the embarrassment of people she knows seeing.
AA: Did stripping change you?
KS: That’s really hard to say I was young when I started so I was going to change anyway growing up. If I hadn’t started dancing I wouldn’t have met my ex and moved over to Australia. I don’t think I would have traveled as much as I have. I’m grateful for the experiences, both good and bad. I’ve had some amazing times and got to experience a life others can only dream about. The only negative is that it is hard to maintain friendships. I was always away or working when my friends were going out and socialising. I do suffer from depression now which I know is caused by being lonely. I don’t let people get close to me. I guess I’ve spent so much of my life being Kourtney that its hard to be Holly sometimes.