Jesus is my Pimp
From the dimly lit corner of the main room of the strip club, I see a man sitting by himself. He catches me looking and gestures for me to come over. As I approach, he is wearing a warm smile and has a distinct twinkle in his eye. He says, “Looks like you’re having a slow night.” I passively agree, although he actually just caught me in a bit of a lull on a relatively busy night. I sit down with him. After the usual casual introductions he moves into his pitch.
“You know you don’t have to suffer these slow nights. I can help you get out of here and make some real money. You can do so much better than this place, but you can’t do it alone. You need protection from the bad people out to do you harm. You need someone who will appreciate you; someone who will help you reach your true potential. I can take you away from all this and help you live the best life you can.”
Satisfied that he’s got me on the hook he goes quiet. Not wanting to cause a scene, or sour my night, I simply say nothing and walk away. Before heading to the dressing room to prepare for my upcoming stage performance, I let the bouncer know that there is a pimp in the club soliciting girls. The bouncer then asks him to leave.
On a similar night a week or two later, I see a female customer sitting in a similar darkened corner of the room. She also gestures for me to come over. As I approach, she does not ask my name as she gestures for me to sit next to her. Instead, she asks, “Don’t you want to be loved? Wouldn’t you like to be respected and valued? You are so much better than this place. I can offer you a safe place, with love, and help you become the person you were created to be. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to do this anymore?”
I consider walking away as before, but my irritation at some of what she said gets the better of me. I’m insulted and offended that this person assumes no one loves, respects, or values me. I like my job, in fact I love my job. I’m proud of myself and my independence. I reply, “I’m sorry, but this club doesn’t allow soliciting of the entertainers” before I then do, indeed, walk away as before. I again tell the bouncer we have another pimp trying to recruit the girls. However, this time, he laughs but does nothing.
These two people have much more in common than it may seem at first glance. They both assume I’m not happy, need help, and am not living up my potential. They assume I’m broken, unloved, and probably addicted. They both offer salvation through servitude and submission. One of these people however is far worse than the other. In an ironic twist, the one with the potential to cause much more harm is the one who is allowed to stay in the club soliciting the girls.
The one who tells you that you are worthless without them, unloved, without respect. The one who tells the girls they will never find meaning, fulfillment, or love on their own. That’s the one who is allowed to stay in the club. You must get on your knees to serve and truly find your purpose, they say. You must submit, turn over everything you are, and admit you are powerless to control your own life, they say. You need someone to guide you – but not without cost. You must give them everything or face the definite consequences. The bottom line: You are nothing without your pimp Jesus Christ.
Why is this person with such an abhorrent message allowed to stay, while the other is asked to leave? They are both essentially saying the same thing. Christian outreach groups that solicit women to join them rely on the assumption that women in adult entertainment are unwilling participants. They conflate the very real and serious problem of sex trafficking with women who choose these kinds of professions to further their agenda. These groups are usually run by women who used to be porn stars, strippers, or prostitutes themselves, who have been hurt or damaged by the industry. They use their experiences as a means to lend credibility to their false claim that most women in the industry are victims of sex traffickers. Knowing otherwise, that sex trafficking victims really aren’t part of the mainstream industry, they purposefully use the ignorance of the general, caring public to raise funds and support for their groups.
They want the public to think that all women in these industries are abused, damaged, broken, and want out. They claim to be rescuing women, but all they are really doing by presenting their false narrative is furthering false stereotypes in order to advance their Christian agenda, their real purpose in talking with the girls. They rely on the misconception that they are working in the women’s best interests. In fact, they make the same demands as the traditional pimp, producing nothing more for the women while advancing their own goals.
That’s not to say all women who enter the adult entertainment are happy, free from addiction, or don’t require help of some sort. It’s a mix. The same could be said of any profession. These Jesus pushers do actually help some women who want to leave, but that help is tainted by a corrupt agenda that I find does more damage than good. It’s like feeding dog food to a starving person. It may do the trick short term, but it won’t sustain them indefinitely.
The women who receive help from these organizations will not get the psychological and emotional care they need. They will be told they are broken, sinful, and in need of redemption. They will be saddled with guilt and shame; that the only remedy is total and complete surrender of their very beings, to not think, to not be. They are not offered respect, empowerment, or love for themselves, or the freedom to take on the world as independent women. No. For those who take up this offer, they will spend the rest of their lives on their knees to serve their pimp Jesus.