The Stripper Next Door - RHP interview with Suzie Q

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RHP interviews Miss Pole Champion, former Miss Nude Australia and Exotic Dancer Suzie Q...

Meet Emma Corbett, AKA Suzie Q. Three time winner of the Australian Pole Championships, savvy business owner, winner of Miss Nude Australia, former stripper, yoga instructor, keynote speaker and now published author. We had the delightful opportunity to have a chat with Suzie about her recently published autobiography ‘The Stripper Next Door’, a well written, charming, thoughtful insight into the unseen life behind the perceived glamour of exotic dancing.


Your book allowed us a very unedited and raw look into the reality of your life as an exotic dancer. You shared very personal and sometimes emotional stories with the reader. What made you decide it was time to tell your story?


I was going through so many big life changes that I found actually writing it all down to be very cathartic at the time. It really helped me make sense of where I was at. I highly recommend everybody write out their life at some point, It can help you understand why you are the way you are, and how you have gotten to the place you have arrived at.


Pole dancing has lost a large amount of its stigma over the past few years. It is now widely regarded as a sport and fitness revolution. Has this impacted your business? What has it been like for you to watch the transition from taboo to mainstream?

It has been amazing, I am going to give the example of the competition I was judging on the weekend, the Arnold's. We are the only competition that has a juniors division. Girls aged 11 to 17 are competing in pole dancing. I loved seeing these strong, beautiful young women with the ideals of ‘Don’t listen to the judgement of other people, just follow your heart, do what’s right for you’. They wouldn’t have those strong opinions if they weren’t pole dancing. Even still they are facing the judgement of their peers. I think it’s getting there, it has a little further to go, but it has just been recognized as a sport by the Global Association of International Sports Federation!


There are central themes of feminism and female empowerment all through your novel. There are unfortunately still a loud few who hold the opinion that a stripper is the antithesis to a feminist, or that taking your clothes off for money makes your opinions on feminist matters less valid. Why is this untrue for you?


This is why I wanted to write this book, I wanted to provide an alternative narrative. I had a very positive experience in this industry. I chose to do this, and the women I worked with also chose to do this. The reason I had such a positive experience is that I was clear on my boundaries, so when I started to nudge up against things that were making me uncomfortable, I said ‘no’. In any industry where people are pushing past their boundaries and past what they feel comfortable with, that is when things become disempowering, when you feel like you don’t have a choice.


Amongst your fascinating tales of life as a stripper, we caught a glimpse into the underbelly of the more debauched and unknown sections of society (whch is what we are all about here at RedHotPie). What were your big takeaways from spending time surrounded by these alternative lifestyles?

I just love how open minded the swinging scene is, the BDSM scene, the fetish scene. I find them to be the most respectful, open minded and lovely people. I hoped that is what I managed to get across in my book. My dad made a comment about performing for ‘sexual deviants’ and ‘be careful’, and I said ‘Actually Dad, this is the most respectful crowd that I perform for, ever!’

It’s a shame that this is not more common knowledge.

Yeah! I really wanted to shine a light on that as well, it is not always what you think it is, and that your assumptions about it might be incorrect.


What advice would you give to a young woman who is considering stripping as a career?

Boundaries. Figure out what you feel comfortable with and do that. Figure out what you don’t feel comfortable and don’t do that.


What do you say to the notion that all strippers are ‘sad’ or ‘forced into the industry’?

In my experience, which is with thousands of women all around Australia and all around the world, they are beautiful, intelligent women who have chosen the lifestyle. They did have other options available to them and for whatever reason they chose this career. People are passing judgement on things that they have zero firsthand experience with.


Do you think you will strip again?

I actually performed at Hellfire last week! I now only do those non prescriptive shows, where I am still taking my clothes off but I can do it in my way. I don’t have to subscribe to typical notions of what’s ‘sexy’.


You have a bit of a tendency to work yourself into the ground, one of the themes in your book was a ‘two days off per week’ rule. Have you been sticking to it?

I’ve been much better, much more buffer time, I am really enjoying not running a business anymore. Just working for other people and not having that responsibility.


So what happens to the Suzie Q Pole Business?

Today it changed hands, it now belongs to Sydney Pole! I’m still going to go back and teach there.


That’s a bit of an ‘end of an era’ for you, was handing it over sad or cathartic? Or did it feel like a rounded end to that period of your life?

It felt really beautiful actually, the people that are taking it over are really enthusiastic and really want to love it and take it to the next level that I couldn’t have. I was burnt out, that energy and impetus wasn’t there for me. It is really nice to see it continue with people who will take it to greater levels of success, and also that I still get to go in there do what I love and teach.


Your book ended at a pivotal turning point for you, a time of realisation and finding yourself, finding ‘Emma’. What has happened for you since you finished writing?

Toby and I have reconnected (spoilers!) and we have started competing again, we won the Australian Pole championships a few months ago. Which (I think) makes me the world’s longest running competitive pole dancer. We are careful with our routine preparations, still doing things that are unique, but also didn’t hurt us, cause we are old, he is 42, I’m 35, *laughs* we are ‘pole dance old’.


What do you think your future holds?

I’m trying to not push things so much. Trying to let things evolve and happen more naturally. We are going to Guatemala next month to manage a yoga circus centre, which is a nice combination of Suzie Q and Emma. I’d like to do more keynote speaking especially for young girls about boundaries, and being confident enough to say ‘no’ when things are making them uncomfortable. I have been doing some charity work in India and Indonesia, and I have written a show for a cruise ship that I am hoping to start performing with Toby. More travel, more performing and more sharing my story.


Shameless self-promotion?

Check out my website at Suzieq.com.au

I am also teaching at women’s event Triple Shakti in Sydney and Shakti camp in Greece.

You can find Suzie on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

Go in the running to win one of three signed copies of ‘The Stripper Next Door’ here.








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KJ1971
Posted: Mar, 28 2018
Emma is an amazing and inspirational person

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