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“Diablo Cody” on The Letterman Show

WWW- Brook Busey-Hunt, aka Diablo Cody, was on The David Letterman Show Monday night flogging her book Candy Girl.

According to the Associated Press: Busey-Hunt seemed to have it all. A college degree. Two loving parents. A job at an advertising agency and a supportive boyfriend.

So how in the world did she end up on the stripping pole?

In her words, boredom. She was 24. With her Catholic upbringing, she had never been on a motorcycle or thrown a drink in someone’s face.

She was a drag.

So on a whim, Busey-Hunt decided to sign up for amateur night at a strip joint in Minneapolis. While she didn’t win, she was seduced by an adrenaline rush she had never felt before. She continued to strip, eventually giving up her day job at an advertising agency to strip full time.

“I think that for some people just doing the amateur night was enough to fill their curiosity,” says Busey-Hunt, who writes under the name Diablo Cody. She grew up in Chicago and moved to Minneapolis for a man she met on the Internet and later married. “It was so transgressive, I became addicted. It was liberating for me.”

Busey-Hunt, now 27 and a TV critic at an alternative weekly in Minneapolis, recounts her year dancing on the pole in “Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper.”

The book chronicles her adventures in the sex industry, with intimate details about why clubs are kept cold (customers like it when strippers huddle together), why strippers who wear white make more money (good girls wear white), and why men wear sweat pants to the club (you’ll have to use your imagination).

“There are a lot of books that go into the melancholy of stripping,” Busey-Hunt says. “I wanted to write almost a traveling guide, where people could read it and almost have fun in the adventure.”

Still, in the end, she thought stripping devalued women. She answered a few questions for the Associated Press to explain how her walk on the wild side turned into its own kind of drag.

AP: Sounds like this was more about rebellion than money.

Busey-Hunt: It was definitely rebellion. It was a huge adrenaline rush because I wasn’t accustomed to it. I think more people tend to get addicted to the money and freedom as opposed to the sheer rebellion of the act. I never did well with the white-collar 9-to-5 profession. I was in a career downward spiral when I was at an age I should be advancing. I was able to … do something fun.

AP: I have always wanted to know this. Do women really become strippers to put themselves through medical school?

Busey-Hunt: No, I think that’s a common misconception. It’s a fantasy perpetuated by a lot of strippers. I met few who were actually using the money for education. They were using it to survive.

AP: Were any of them hoping this would help them launch a singing, dancing or acting career?

Busey-Hunt: Most of the girls were pretty jaded and not that starry-eyed. I think they knew that kind of dream was impossible. The biggest dream was to meet a rich guy and get out of the business. That happened once in a blue moon.

AP: Do strippers sleep with the customers? (In her book, Busey-Hunt describes other sexual acts performed at the club.)

Busey-Hunt: It’s not terribly common, but it does happen at every club. You might want to convince men it may happen to lure them into the VIP room. I only know a handful of girls who were actually prostitutes inside the club.

AP: You say you failed as a stripper. How do you measure success?

Busey-Hunt: I was always a pretty low earner. I was never able to propel myself into the upper echelon. I am not a natural born stripper. I am a geek. I think there are women who have this amazing innate geisha, where they can talk to men and make them feel like pampered creatures. I think a lot of times my personality was challenging to men.

AP: What happened on the day you decided to stop stripping?

Busey-Hunt: There were 10 or 15 girls working, and they were going around asking, “Do you want to dance? Do you want to dance?” It seemed so sad. It was a miserable scene. I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be a part of this, where we’re almost robotic.” I saw the power struggle right there in front of my eyes. It’s really my essential problem with the entire sex industry. Women are not appreciated as much as they should be. Women are really treated like meat.Busey-Hunt on:

•Her customers: “Most of them were married or total loners who had a lot of difficulty getting dates. I think they were there because they were disempowered in regular life. Going to a strip club enables them to get some of that power back.”

•Most she ever made: $800 in a night, which was low, considering some women brought in $3,000 to $4,000.

•Biggest surprise: “I think stripping often gets portrayed as a glamorous profession. People look at strippers as being pampered and making thousands of dollars. When you get to see it from an insider’s angle, it becomes apparent it’s hard work. It was some of the hardest work I have ever done.”

Diablo Cody writes on her blog: I’ve returned to Minneapolis, but this weekend I have to fly back to New York. No reason, really. A niggling press commitment, you might say. (dry cough.)

Oh, to blazes with composure! I’M GOING TO BE ON DAVID LETTERMAN!

Fire up yr Tivos, cowpokes: My interview tapes Monday afternoon and will air either Monday night or Wednesday night. The other guest is some unknown fellow by the name of Denzel Washington.

Cross your labes that I don’t wind up being bumped– I’ve seen it happen to the “third guest.” And I am the thirdiest third guest ever; I think “author” ranks even below “chef” and “Regis” in the late-night guest hierarchy.

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