She’ll Never Walk Away: A Commentary on The Weekend’s Song, “In the Night”

Harmony (Dust) Grillo Featured, Straight from Harmony's Heart, The Truth About the Sex Industry, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

 

 

“You’ll be back. Nobody ever leaves.”

 

This is what they told me the night I quit working at the strip club.

 

My experience told me they were right. The only woman I ever saw leave the club married a rich costumer that had become a regular of hers. Not exactly a fairytale ending. More like a life-long commitment to a transactional relationship.

 

Regardless, my desire to leave broke through those invisible barriers my co-workers reminded me of, those barriers that keep so many of us trapped, and I left for good.

 

Today, for the first time, I saw The Weekend’s “In the Night” music video (I know, I am so late to the party), and was reminded of that night I finally walked away from the red lights and fast cash, from leering customers, and the smell of body spray and cigarettes.

 

In the song, he shares a story that mirrors my own… it is a narrative many of us share: A victim of childhood sexual abuse who was “forced to be a woman” and now she “dances on the minute” to relieve the pain, “dollar bills and tears keep falling down her face”.

 

The video captures an element of the “glamorous” life inside the walls of a strip club I have rarely seen portrayed; an internal monologue of violence and rage among the woman.

 

Perhaps, the Quentin Tarantino style scenes of women stabbing, suffocating, and beating men with stilettos* (something I did in real life more than once…the stiletto part, that is) was intended to be a literal part of a story he is telling… but I believe this imagery was intended to show the internal life of the women in the club. If this was his goal, he got it right.

 

I can’t tell you how many nights, as I was faking perfect smiles and a bubbly attitude, I was absolutely overwhelmed by raging thoughts and images of violence towards the very men I was smiling at. And I am not the only one. If men really knew what was going on in many of our minds… if they knew the depth of the pain that leads to that sort of rage, I don’t think they would be as quick to fork over their hard-earned cash for another lap dance.

 

“I don’t think you understand.” The Weekend sings again and again. And I think he is right. Most people don’t. And that is part of why Treasures exists—to educate.

 

We want people to understand. The decision to enter sex work doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Often it is influenced by a history of sexual abuse, by pain and vulnerability. By hardship.

 

And if people really understood, I believe they would be provoked to a place of compassion. I believe we would see a great reduction in the demand.

But there is one thing The Weekend is wrong about… It’s his belief that “She’ll Never Walk Away”. It’s the same message my co-workers gave me the night I quit.

They were wrong, and so is he.

Not only is it possible to walk away from the industry or the life, it is possible to walk in wholeness and freedom. I believe that we have the capacity to not only overcome the pain and trauma from the circumstances of our past, but to allow our stories of triumph, and the hard-earned wisdom we have gained, to bring freedom and inspiration to others.

Some of the bravest, healthiest, most tenacious women I know are those who have embarked on the journey from survivor, to overcomer, to liberator.  They are women who have walked away.  Women who kept walking, with hearts committed to healing and heads held high— and in doing so, they have paved a path for others.

I left. I overcame. And I am not an anomaly. Many women do leave the industry. If and when they are ready, Treasures is here for them.

 

 

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Founder  |  Exec Director of Treasures
Author of Scars and Stilettos

 

*This video contains violence and sexual imagery.

 

 

“In The Night” Lyrics

 

All alone she was living

In a world without an end or beginning

Baby girl was living life for the feeling

But I don’t mind, I don’t mind

And all the wrongs she committed

She was numb and she was so co-dependent

She was young and all she had was the city

But I don’t mind, I don’t mind

 

And I know that she’s capable of anything, it’s riveting

But when you wake up she’s always gone, gone, gone

 

In the night she hears him calling

In the night she’s dancing to relieve the pain

She’ll never walk away (I don’t think you understand)

In the night when she comes crawling

Dollar bills and tears keep falling down her face

She’ll never walk away (I don’t think you understand)

 

He sang a song when he did it

He was cold and he was so unforgiving

Now she dances to the song on the minute

Yeah, all the time, all the time

It made her weak when she hear it

And it got her on her knees like religion

She was young and she was forced to be a woman

Yeah, all the time, all the time

 

And I know that she’s capable of anything, it’s riveting

But when you wake up she’s always gone, gone, gone

 

In the night she hears him calling

In the night she’s dancing to relieve the pain

She’ll never walk away (I don’t think you understand)

In the night when she comes crawling

Dollar bills and tears keep falling down her face

She’ll never walk away (I don’t think you understand)

 

I don’t think you understand [4x]

 

In the night she hears him calling

In the night she’s dancing to relieve the pain

She’ll never walk away (I don’t think you understand)

In the night when she comes crawling

Dollar bills and tears keep falling down her face

She’ll never walk away (I don’t think you understand)

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