Valerie Stunning

Purveyor of Glamorous Raunch and All Things BROAD

The Most Important Priority When Holding Down Your Queendom

I know, it's been a minute...

Photo: Chris Vongsawat

Photo: Chris Vongsawat

But sometimes a girl needs a break. 

Part of me is dying to share with you the adventuresome details about where I've been and what I've been up to over the past 3 weeks,

AND

Part of me feels that doing so would defeat the point of my hiatus...

Which was to have guilt free, off duty, ME time.

To reconnect with a self I had slowly been disengaging from over the course of working hard and holding shit down. 

You know- the self that many of us women stop prioritizing when in the throes of self improvement, hustling a career, managing a family & household, and maintaining healthy platonic & sexual relationships.

The self, if you're like me, you only catch glimpses of during moments of mindfulness i.e. when not preoccupied with how to win at life. 
And girl are those moments fleeting! 

 

I frequently chat with kindred boss-babes about this. 

About how we cram the absolute maximum we can manage in to the too few hours of the day. Then stress ourselves to sleep about what we didn't accomplish or what needs to be accomplished as soon as we wake up. 

We do this because we want to make the most of opportunities our mothers and grandmothers didn't have, 

We want to be proud of the lives we live, 

We want the financial security to protect the little autonomy we're granted, 

We want to be happy. 

 

I'll be the first to admit,

Ambition is fucking glorious.

It's because of ambition, modern day opportunity and savvy resourcefulness* that I was able to be the first in my family to earn more than minimum wage and travel outside of our small industrial NJ town and it's immediate surroundings. Thus causing me to learn and expand in ways I may never have had. 

I will never hate on being ambitious. 

* Though I am not ignorant to the fact that being born white and cis-gendered has also helped me maximize the potential of said ambition, modern day opportunity, and savvy resourcefulness.

 

I also recognize, 

Ambition has an ugly side. 

 It entrances us and we become fixated on constantly striving for the bigger and better. 

Which isn't the worst, until you factor in the bombardment of everyone's passionate opinions and curated lives that we willingly (and at times, obsessively) subscribe to.

Hello internet! 

And then it results in this lurking fear. A fear that if we take necessary time for self care (time we're convinced could always be spent more productively) it will result in someone knocking us off our thrones and the world immediately forgetting about us.

 Finally culminating in perpetual self imposed pressure and burning the fuck out.

I know. I've lived this burn out.  

And I'll be honest, I've yet to master how to completely avoid them.

Hello 3 week hiatus! 

Though I will say through various life experiences and guidance from my amazing support system I am now able to better identify an oncoming one and efficiently remedy it. 

WIN. 

 

May I suggest that if you identify with any of this to do yourself a solid and prioritize some guilt free, off duty, ME time. 

Stat.

Hustle hard and hold your Queendom down, but for Christ's sake- please stop undervaluing self care and shaming it's necessity as a weakness. 

No one is overthrowing you if you take 30 minutes to yourself every day to fucking breathe. Though, that 30 minutes has incredible potential to drastically benefit your piece of mind and energy, hence positively reshaping your reality. 

You are the sun of your universe and frequently dedicating time to checking in with your mental, emotional and physical well being is essential to continually burning strong and bright.

 

Be well <3

Xxo, Val  

Be a Bad Bitch On A Bad Night

You are not the sum of your night's earnings.

I REPEAT, 
You are not the sum of your night's earnings.
 

photo: Steve Prue 

photo: Steve Prue 

Our validity as bad bitches may result from our resourcefulness, strength of character and killer instincts (to list a few)

AND

Our embodiment of said attributes may be amplified when the universe and our hustle are perfectly aligned,

But even still,
You are not the sum of your night's earnings.


From the best days,
When it feels like every pussy-worshiping baller, with a pocket full of cash, is dying to spend time with you and you're literally turning people down because there simply isn't enough time for them all...

To the worst days,
When it feels like every entitled AF baller on a budget is stealing your time and you can barely pay back your house fee after working an impossibly long shift...

YOU ARE NOT THE SUM OF YOUR NIGHT'S EARNINGS.

Before stripping, one of the many jobs I held was as a customer service rep for a home remodeling company.
*Let's liken it to a North Jersey version of the Tool-Time Girl (pre-Baywatch Pam Anderson, anyone?!)

There I learned to anticipate the mood of the sales team based on where their previous weeks closings ranked.

If their numbers were high it was a show room full of composed, Bruce Banner types and if low, they were raging fucking Hulks.

It was my first professional grasp on how emotional money can be. Particularly when all of your earnings result from how well you build/pitch the perceived value of your product to a perfect stranger who is already predisposed to not trusting you.

SO, if the two are so intrinsically entwined, how the the fuck do we not let this shit get to us?!!

It's different for everyone, but here's what I like to do.

First, I remind myself the one absolute truth about this job. Regardless of the "it only takes one" mantra, sometimes you will eat the bear and sometimes it will eat you and there will be no rhyme or reason for it.

It's just the nature of sales.

Then, I practice. Even after 6 years I still practice managing my expectations about the money I will earn and my reactions (especially on those super lit nights) to that which I've earned. I do this at the beginning and end of every shift.

Sidenote:

Yes, have your goals, but allow them to be fluid.
*I find this is much easier when you spend wisely and $ave.
AND
Yes, totally feel yourself after a profitable day but also have something you can equally, if not more than celebrate yourself for.
Something that has nothing to do with hustling.
*Whatever it is (maybe you're a bomb ass scrabble player or a rad grand-daughter) bring it to mind when you're doing your final count.
By repeatedly doing this it helps to keep the ego in check and limit the power them Benjamins or lack there of can have on us.

Finally, DO NOT compare yourself to other strippers.

Easier said then done, especially when that salty inner voice starts saying "All the babes are popping endless bottles in VIP and I haven't even done one dance, therefore they must be doing it right and I must be doing it wrong."

Just remember, we all take turns sitting on the sidelines (even the most seasoned vets amung us) and commiseration and camaraderie are key to the sisterhood vibes.

Though the thrill of the hunt and it's subsequent rush of adrenaline that comes from closing, will always be powerful, by practicing self empathy and reminding ourselves of the things we excel at outside of hustling- on all nights- we reduce its power over our identities.


Because,

WE ARE NOT THE SUM OF OUR NIGHT'S EARNINGS.

Happy Hustling! xxo, Val
 

 ©2017 Valerie Stunning, All Rights Reserved