Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
What is the life of a stripper like? You’re probably thinking about every sexually liberated (or not) movie you ever saw, book you’ve ever read, sitcom you’ve ever streamed through – and you’re half right. A read through Sita Kaylin’s Anything But a Wasted Life will tell you it’s equal parts what you thought you knew, and equal parts what you couldn’t possibly have fathomed.
Sita – the author of her own memoir – was a stripper for over two decades, in the San Francisco area and, afterwards, in Los Angeles. Today, she no longer strips (“it’s been four years since I last did,” she tells me), but finds ways to keep busy through writing (“and communicating with my readers on social media”) and taking photographs of semi-nude women. These photos flood her Instagram account which, in itself, is a sensation.
So what has Sita’s life been like? The back of the book tells you, like a tease, that a stripper is “often treated like a living blow-up doll and a therapist simultaneously”. My curiosity was piqued enough to reach out to her to conduct this podcast.
The voice on this video is hers, and she answers questions about what two decades of “dancing around men’s feelings” have felt like, how strippers and sex workers are a close-knit sisterhood and why some men have found it hard to fall in love with her.
“A few of my partners were challenged heavily by my profession,” she tells me, “It was extremely difficult and painful for the both of us – very few people can truly grasp the ‘it’s a job’ aspect.”
Sita, at some point during her stripping career, without scheme or design, delved into sex work – something that she continues today, seeing a few private clients on her time. Does she remember when the line between stripping and ‘hooking’, as she puts it in her book, blurred?
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Sita explains. “That line got stomped on by a 20,000 dollar offer – an offer I couldn’t refuse…. Although it was more difficult than I had expected, it was also easier than I had imagined. Plus, I was good at it.”
Sita – on The Quint’s podcast, as in her book – is clear, confident and spirited. Watch this video to know more.