Some of them want to abuse you

I just got back from Secrets. I’m exhausted. The last month has been road trip after road trip, and I am going to try to take this coming weekend off completely. I have so much blogging to catch up on, and I want to thank everyone who emailed me questions/topics. I fully intend to catch up with all of this in the coming days as I rest and recover.

But there is something grave I need to address first.

I have spoken already about the potentially abusive relationship that can exist between patrons and entertainers, especially when patrons become obsessive. This is stalking. I am not going to address this again here. This weekend I witnessed an entertainer who is being abused by another entertainer. They are boyfriends. The problem with abusive boyfriends is that they can be so beguiling and charming at first…

Having survived abuse, I already know most of the excuses, apologies, and lies that abused people use to defend the people who hurt them. When you encounter someone who is being victimized by his/her partner, it is difficult to know how much to intrude. I personally wouldn’t want to accidentally escalate a situation (which as bad as it might be in front of others could become much worse in private); however, I also cannot turn a blind eye.

Adult entertainment attracts all types of people. Some of them are unsavory and/or dysfuntional. These people may be club owners, booking agents, film directors, patrons… or the entertainers themselves. Given the reputation lumped upon most entertainers in general, it goes without saying that there must be a reason for this: There are some horrible people who dance in clubs. Definitely not all, or even most, but entertainers need to pay attention to other entertainers.

I was very excited the last time I almost dated, because the person in question had worked as a go-go dancer, and didn’t judge me because of my work. It is common for adult entertainers to pair off with each other – we understand each other. And yet, that means that there is the potential for you as an entertainer to connect with one of those unsavory people I just mentioned, thinking that it will be a good match. But you must always pay attention.

I got pretty forceful with one of the dancers. I think I probably put him on the spot (in private) unexpectedly. He is, in my opinion, at the stage of the abusive relationship where he is not willing to accept that he is being abused. But when I consistently see his partner treat him like a servant, start physical brawls over nothing, insult him with names, degrade him by calling him female slurs, make forceful attempts to kick/punch/slap him, and discuss with other entertainers the best way to “be the man in the relationship” by limiting the person in question’s ability to function by cutting off access to the car, then my conscience forces me to act. If his abusive partner is going to make this public, where I have to see it, then it’s an invitation to become involved.

I told this beautiful, sweet-natured, warm, friendly man that when he was ready to accept that he needed to get away that he can call or email me. If he needs a few days to figure out how to get home to his family, and needs a safe place to get far away from the verbal and physical blows, he can use my home as a sanctuary. I cannot pretend to not know what is plain before my own eyes. Even though he is still at the point where he says, “Oh, he’s just aggressive. It’s the steroids. You can’t take him too seriously. He’s actually a really nice guy,” he will eventually (I hope) come to recognize the lie in this. How many times do you have to tell me someone isn’t a douche bag? Shouldn’t I be able to see that on my own?

If you are an entertainer, there are going to be times when you are very lonely. You will want to connect with someone. You might be tempted to look for love within the career. And that’s totally fine; however, make certain that you practice the same vetting process on the private side of the velvet rope as you do on the public side. Make certain that you pay attention, regardless of the career of the person you cling to. But, without trying to feed into a stereotype, recognize that the odds of picking a bad apple may be worse if you pick from this particular barrel.

Author: Devon Hunter

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9 Comments

  1. Hey Devon, you’re so kind for caring enough to advise and even offer your place to a fellow colleaue. However, please be careful to make sure your good intentions don’t thrust you in the middle of a situation that isn’t yours to deal with. An abusive person has no regard for whom they inflict their abuse upon and I’d hate to find out that trying to help costs you getting hurt in return. Stay sweet!

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  2. welcome back to the blogosphere devon. if you need help locally, you know you can count on me to assist. sorry i missed you this weekend, but had to deal with personal/family issues on this first holiday since our loss. hope to see you next time you are in town. happy easter my friend.

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  3. yes, curt… i’ve already considered that potential problem, and i don’t believe it to be an issue. i live far enough away that i’m not worried so much about the abuser finding me, and i am also very clearly not a victim any more. most abusers are bullies and stand down immediately when challenged. aside from my own personal strength, i have other forms of support that make me feel confident that if i should ever need to help the person in question that i can do it effectively. but yes, your concern is something that i’ve pondered…

    joe – we will have other opportunities! i hope all is well for you

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  4. Welcome back, hon.

    I’m glad you had the courage and compassion to speak to this man.

    Sometimes it seems like abuse and addiction have a lot in common. Specifically, it seems a person has to hit rock bottom before they decide to change their life. I just hope that, as with addiction, rock bottom isn’t a hospital stay or worse.

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  5. I’ve always found this song bizarre and fascinating, but your story adds a different sort of perspective to it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f20Oz9Yr_So

    Carole King wrote it after hearing Little Eva’s reasoning for staying in an abusive relationship. I think the general perception that performers are all-powerful and above weakness or harm always makes it seem that much more shocking (Ike and Tina, Daryl Hannah and Jackson Browne (allegedly), George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Rihanna and what’s-his-name and so on). Acknowledging that no two psychological profiles are going to be the same and aside from the reasons that we plebs make similarly odd decisions, it makes me wonder if, in some cases, this is some sort of sick (but very human) reaction to that godlike status. A way to balance out the adoration.

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  6. that song was protested b/c people took it the wrong way, and it never got the radio play that it should have. courtney love’s version of it is particularly complicated, given the multiple layers of dysfunction in her life. is she talking about one of her step fathers? one of her boy friends? kurdt cobain? who knows.

    it’s an interesting theory though – do people with public personas (even at the small scale of a regionally known exotic dancer) need something “human” to balance the “god?” interesting indeed…

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  7. Generally, I love people and have always been sought for advice from my friends throughout the years. But there are two groups of people for which I have never known what to say or do. The first group is depressed, suicidal people who are always hinting that they want to kill themselves. I just have never had any idea what to say to them. I don’t relate to that feeling at all, and I am just at a total loss. The second group is people who continually remain in abusive relationships. I just don’t understand it. My own sense of self preservation kicks in so strongly that I do not countenance abuse at all. The first time is the last time with me. Good luck with this situation, Devon. Thankfully you have more understanding than I do. This guy is very lucky to have you as a friend!

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  8. Hi Devon,
    Okay well this one of your blogs hits home with me. Having come from an abusive home and having my first LTRs be rather abusive. I have to point out that some people don’t get help because they believe they deserve the abuse. I know I did. It took a long time for me to finally come to the realization that I did not deserve every bit of abuse emotional and physical that was heapped on me. This dancer may just not want help yet. You have a good heart, but in the end, you can only really help those that want the help.

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  9. hey there… So I was reading this and I know I was there that weekend that you were in DC.. I don’t know if i was there the night that this event happened, but I would like to know who you are talking about. Not because I would go back and say shit.. because i am not like that

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