When I was in college, I listened to an artist by the name of Abel Tesfaye. You all know him as The Weeknd. His sound, his tracks, and his mystery influenced me. It molded me, and it told the story of the life I eventually ended up living on the fringes of.
House of Balloons was a mix tape that dropped March of 2011. I was two months shy of graduating high school. Fast forward a year later and I found myself sitting in my dorm room packing my bags. I had the mixtape on repeat and my depression was at an all time high. I dropped out of college New Years Eve and moved to New York City.
Sex work can be depressing, smothering, and tragic. We at FreakJawn Inc wanted to capture this energy and feeling by doing a shoot paying homage to the mixtape which covers a man's sadistic addiction to sex workers and drugs. Most of album he engages with strippers and prostitutes. Both of which I have been.
Being a stripper for four years was smothering. I was surrounded by different energies, different stories, and men from all walks of life. I didn't know who I was outside of sex work. It was my full time job. Being a GOOD stripper is a combination of being a n actress and a psychiatrist. You have to pretend to be a man's fantasy and also LISTEN to his sad tragic life. People don't realize sex work (being a stripper) is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. I would come home and feel so tired because nobody showed me or even told me the type of work I was doing takes a certain mind.
The depression that come with sex work is from the burnout. You have to take breaks to HEAL your mental, spiritual, and emotional health. You have to always remember who YOU are and not let the money (customers with money) make you, mold you, and change you. This is one of the biggest reasons WHY strippers should be 21 and over. I do not think young girls are prepared to deal with these types of energies.