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Playboy TV host, an escort, an exotic dancer: Valerie Baber escapes her traditional upbringing


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Father reading the Bible to her every night and enrolling in Bible school as a child, Valerie Baber made a living off her stilettos in the adult entertainment industry, as an adult.

Baber, current sexuality writer and sought after dating coach, made it her life’s mission to explore today’s biggest taboo topic. Learning from men as an escort and an exotic dancer, she felt the need to share. Her career choice was a complete contradiction as to how she was raised. Then again, she felt she was raised in an environment where spiritual leaders contradicted the purpose of religion by evoking fear and judgment.

In a game of word play the paradoxical gets a littler clearer. Baber’s responses to each word: Bible = “fear,” Oklahoma = “repressed,” escort = “need,” stilettos = “power,” and Eliot Spitzer (New York’s 45th Governor) = “hypocrite.”

Forced into making a decision to either return home at age 19 or join the adult entertainment industry to make a living, she chose “the lesser of the two evils.”

 Childhood

Originally born in Virginia, Baber’s family moved to Oklahoma when she was five. She refers to her childhood as “not a happy memory.”

Enrolled in Bible school, every night her father read her the Bible. Her father was even in “The 700 Club” with the famous evangelical television personality Pat Robertson. As a self-proclaimed “spiritual person” she said the problem with her childhood was that she lived in fear. Knowing the Bible didn’t teach people to judge she found the religious leaders in her community doing the opposite.

“Religion is supposed to be about love,” she said. “[Not] making people feel guilty.”

Tired of living with the fear thinking anything she did would send her to “Hell,” she separated herself from an organized religion. Abiding to the golden rule as her only life compass.

Deviating from subjects the family was uptight about, such as relationship with boys, she lost her virginity at age 15. She was raised to wait until marriage. Although her experience was “pretty terrible” she said she made the right decision.

“It wasn’t [terrible] because of guilt, it was because it was with a 17-year-old boy,” she said. “I’m 36 and not married. At this rate I’d still be a virgin.”

Entering Adult Entertainment

valerie baber
Valerie Baber (photo: James Creighton).

Enrolling at University of Oklahoma for acting was a difficult process for her. With no family support morally or financially she had to drop out in her first year. By the time she was 19 she landed in Los Angeles.

Working as an underage hostess making $7 an hour, working three nights a week, she realized she couldn’t make a living. She faced two options. One she could go back to live with her family in Oklahoma or two, become an exotic dancer. Exotic dancing it was.

“I was on my own just grasping for anything,” she said.

Joining the club was a culture shock to her, however, being a young blonde in that club was a main attraction for the audience, as the elder Asian audience desired young dancers, she says. Having to work until 4a.m., six days a week made her feel like a “vampire,” but there was one thing that made her feel alive.

“It thrilled me to have this secret nobody knew except the bartender,” she said. “It really made me feel alive.”

As much as she despised her upbringing she made sure she had Sundays off, in respect to her prior religion.

Although she never quite felt comfortable dancing she did what she had to do to survive, says Baber. Needing to pay bills, with little education and no work experience, society forced her to make a living this way, says Baber.

Playboy

Valerie Baber (photo: James Creighton).
Valerie Baber (photo: James Creighton).

Again, grasping for a better job Baber submitted an entry to Playboy’s “Sexy Girl Next Door” contest. She won. Hosting Playboy TV she worked in a professional environment where she no longer had to work the “vampire” schedule and began to drink less, recovering from a bad habit she picked up dancing late nights at the club.

“Playboy was life and uplifting,” she said. “I learned about human nature and I enjoyed performing.”

Simultaneously while hosting Playboy TV she played a recurring character in erotica series Emmanuelle.

In the midst of this she realized men she dated had issues with her line of work and wanted her to change her occupation, without offering opportunities or connections to do such.

“It’s difficult to date,” she said. “Men love the idea of dating a stripper or Playboy model but when it comes a reality they have a much different reaction. They become possessive and jealous.”

Becoming an Escort

In 2006, Baber moved to New York to branch out and try something different following a network shakeup at Playboy. Needing to find a job to make a living in the expensive city she found work in an area she dreaded, dancing.

“I went back to what I knew, which was dancing,” Baber said.

An irritated Baber, bossed around by her manager about her dancing techniques, told him to “go fuck yourself.” She lost her job but landed her favorite gig afterwards. And that was working as a paid companion for Emperor’s Club.

“It was the best job I ever had. I was happy,” Baber said.

Through the experience she served people from rich businessmen to athletes. Making nearly $1,500 an hour, she noticed her clients mainly desired companionship rather that sexual intimacy. During some appointments she spent more time maintaining conversations than physically having sex.

“They’re not bad people,” Baber said in regards to the men she serviced.

The Aftermath

Valerie Baber (photo: courtesy of Valerie Baber).
Valerie Baber (photo: courtesy of Valerie Baber).

While she was having the time of her life working a year for the service, the tides suddenly changed. FBI began to crackdown on the escort service after it was revealed New York’s Governor Eliot Spitzer, married, was involved with the service. All of a sudden the joy in her life turned into fear.

“I thought I was going to get sent to prison,” Baber said. “I couldn’t believe my freedom was at risk.”

Her face and bio on the web was all over the media, as well as other paid companions. To this day, Baber still doesn’t see how the service her company provided was a crime. The service was between two consenting adults and she felt the service was providing a need for men who needed companionship.

Fortunately for Baber, she was not brought up on charges and fled to London after the incident. There, she graduated college and received her master’s degree before returning to the state’s to fulfill her purpose.

“If I have the tools to make someone’s life easier why wouldn’t I apply this tool,” she said.

Now working as a dating coach, Baber’s appointments range from critiquing dating profiles to performing mock dates with clients. As an author she wrote “Notorious VIP: Confessions of An Emperor’s Club Companion,” and continues to publish essays as a sexuality writer, covering topics such as sexual intimacy and exploring dominatrix. As an actress she recently appeared in Showtime’s “Submission.”

Baber didn’t grow up knowing she’d enter this line of work, but it was how she managed to survive; and eventually, she used her expertise and experience to help others deal with today’s largest taboo topic.

By Gino Terrell

This article originally appeared in MCXV January 10, 2017.

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