Friday, July 3, 2009

Performance, Pornography, and Me.

All those lovely words... and I've blogged exactly.. ONCE. I know I suck. At least at blogging. I stand firmly on the Fifth Amendment regarding any other sort of suckage... Well, no, that's not quite true either. And this was so not meant to be a smutblog!

Okay- so maybe it was. I've meant to reveal more about myself, and the life (or lives, really...) I lead on the grid, so why not dive in with both feet! When I first came into being, like so many others, I wandered lost, trying desperately simply to walk a straight line, let alone, look good standing still. I had no income, and was stuck bumming lindens from friends, and camping (god save those poor campers!) and looting money trees.... Then I discovered strip clubs. What can one say about strip clubs in SL, on the whole? Not a lot. The majority of dancers I've seen wear 8ft tall, shiny avatars, with excruciatingly pointy noses, and skin that looks like they spend all their time (when not stripping of course)alternating between a baby oil plant and a glitter factory. I mean no personal dis to any particular dancer, or female of any sort, in SL. But I digress- the "everyone looks the same" thing is a personal rant I'll go off on endlessly- LATER. I had even at that point determined I didn't want to look 8 feet tall, shiny, or pointy. How then was I ever to win a coveted dancer's tag, and begin to earn a living shakin' my strange, short, entirely UNpointy self? Simply. I filled out an application at the wildest, weirdest dance club I could find. In that application, I stipulated that while, as a relative newb, I'd be happy to hear advice on improving my appearance, I was not interested in the job if it required that I put on one of those ridiculous pre-packaged giraffe-legged shiny, pointy tan blonde stripper avis that are so very prevalent in virtually every club on the grid.

Long story not really any shorter- I got the job. I worked as a dancer at the club I will here shamelessly plug (only because they truly truly ROCK,) called simply Sinful Needs. Dancing, I came to learn, could earn one a living in several ways- Some folks actually pay good tips to SEE those shiny long lean tan glittery skins. MOST though are far more interested in what a dancer says, and how they say it. I earned a decent living as a dancer, writing elaborate and sensual emotive descriptions and actions, none of which the animations set available to me allowed me to actually do. I fared every bit as well as the tall, blonde, shiny tan gals, maybe better, because I didn't look like ANYONE but Senjata. And no one looks even a little quite like me. At Sinful Needs, I earned a living, and found what at first I hadn't realized at all was a family. I am and have always been a stray and a loner, and at this club, both as a guest, and later as an employee, I was accepted, even for that. So three cheers for the baddest assed demonic fetish club on the grid!

Time passed. I continued to evolve and to explore, and I discovered the acoustic music scene. Live, real, in your face music that is pure in it's presentation, with as little as possible separating artist from audience. I came to thrive. I performed (still do) all over the place! I got a club... (another story for another post,) I hosted some of the most incredible live acoustic music imaginable, and I have been, on most levels, accepted into that culture as a peer. I earn a very good SL living, and am even able to suppliment my First World avatar's income just a bit.

And yet.... I dance. Still. I return to Sinful Needs, four, five sometimes six times a week. Why? Well, a few reasons. Most importantly, I just plain *enjoy* it- dancing with words. And as I said, the club and those who run it are family to me, and I enjoy their company. All that said, I also do it because it's shocking. It's unacceptable. It's at least vaguely taboo, socially speaking. I hear the implication that only women with nothing better to offer would choose to "exploit" their bodies by stripping. That dancers and the clubs that present them are somehow lesser, cheaper, less worthy. I've heard musicians complain that they wouldn't be reduced to playing in strip clubs, as if it were beneath them. As one who's danced, both in RL and SL, and one who still does, I take a certain offense to that. How exactly is presenting my breasts any different from presenting my voice? And how does acknowledging that I am a sensual and sexual creature cheapen me? That's ridiculous, of course. I often invite guests at the strip club to come and hear me sing- though I admit, I don't generally invite those who come to my concerts to visit me at the strip club... primarily, because I feel the invitation would be less welcome. They are, just the same, welcome to come, dance, enjoy the DJs, and the very different music, (I generally dance to industrial & hard rock,) and me, on my pole, offering up a very different, but just as valid, form of art.

Recently, I found myself challenged to perform, musically, in the buff. I took the dare, and did indeed sing and play for a full hour wearing nothing but my guitar and my tattoos. It taught me a few things. It taught me that doing so is ENTIRELY different- I don't want people who come to my concerts to do so because they like to see my pixel-tits bared. I want them there because they love the music I offer. And it made me terribly nervous. I was afraid no one would show up. I was afraid I would be spurned or scandalized for the act. Nothing of the sort. I drew a packed house, and held the crowd for an hour with only the music. You could suggest they stayed to see me humiliate myself.. or to simply get a naughty show... but I left the stage feeling comfortable. I was surprised though at how much more afraid of that act I was than climbing on a dance pole....

So, wrapping all that up into a neatish package: I sing. I strip. Take one, or both, as you please, but I hope you won't judge me for either. If you do? That's your problem.

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