Friday, December 23, 2011

Wait, You’re Dating a Stripper?

Dating and Disclosure
By Dixie Douya, Rogue Burlesque

Dating can be difficult, even when you aren’t a burlesque dancer. But deciding how to tackle the question of exactly just how much to “reveal” to a guy you’ve only just met can feel like a choose-your-own-adventure book.

A long-time single gal when I started my career as a stripteaser, I wasn’t exactly sure how guys would react to my night-time activities. Most of the other burlesquers I knew seemed to already be paired up and didn’t have any ideas on how to navigate disclosure with possible dates. I was on my own, in more ways than one.

I don’t remember who the first date was that I told. It seems like ancient history to me now. I remember a lot of hemming and hawing and over-explaining. With each passing coming out, it got easier. Eventually I just posted it on my OKCupid profile. I decided it was just easier to weed people out before investing too much time into them.

As with most things, reactions varied. Some guys seemed a bit uncomfortable, while others were way too comfortable with the thought of me removing my clothing on stage! But all in all, most people were surprisingly supportive. And most of the men I dated were genuinely okay with it.

I’d wait until I’d dated a guy for a month before inviting him to a show. I wanted to make sure he got to know me first before he met my burlesque persona. And I never dated guys I met at shows. Okay, well there was that one contortionist who I met backstage. But that doesn’t count, right?

By the time I met Mike, I had been doing burlesque for over three years and had the disclosure conversation down to a science. I’d answer what questions he might have up front, but make sure we talked about other things, too. Like his love of horror movies, our shared political views, or my killer quiche-making skills. 

Mike never blinked an eye about my burlesque. He supports me wholeheartedly, comes to my shows, hangs with the other burlesque boyfriends, and even helps me come up with ideas for new routines. Some of my best ideas were actually his.

Photo by rubicat design & photography
Last spring we exchanged vows on stage at Oberon. He wore a red brocade jacket that I stripped out of in one of my routines. I wore a dress that I bought because I knew it has a bright future in a burlesque act. Best of all, he agreed, in front of our friends and family, to “put up with an inordinate amount of glitter and sequins.” Forever.

Now that is love.


  1. I think this is the cutest thing I have ever seen/read!

  2. AWWW! So sweet. I'm glad my boy is accepting, too. He's even said he might want to be in an act with me some day :)

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