When you are first becoming a stripper, you meet all sorts of new challenges. When it comes to almost all things, the motto is “All things are difficult before they are easy.”
One of the most difficult relationships to master is the one you have with the DJ. There are tons of great DJs in the industry that know exactly how long a song should be, which girls dance to what, and keep rotation nice and equal, but you already know how to handle those guys. Here are the two most frustrating types we’ve encountered and how we deal with them.
The “god complex” DJ
This person sits in their booth all night like it’s the royal throne. They decide the music so respect them, or expect to hear, “Oh you mere mortals try to tell ME what to play? You want to hear T-pain??….hahaha here is Toby Keith!” He doesn’t care what’s best for you or the club, just his own ego. What is even worse is when you don’t tip him, he will refuse to ever play your music. The natural response to this egomaniac is, “Why should I tip a DJ who didn’t play my music, or verbally abused me before playing a song or two I like?” The natural response isn’t the most effective, however. We are professional entertainers, and as professionals, we have to simply: Suck it up, be humble, tip, and hope that you can change the course of the relationship.
The “forgetful” DJ
At the beginning of the night he is personable, life of the party, you want to hear that song hell yeah I’ll play that! Then a few hours into his shift things start to go down hill. Those shots of Patron’ that everyone was buying him are starting to kick in. His speech is a little incoherent (did he call Katie or Casey?!?!) and all of a sudden the club turns into what HE wants to rock out to all night. Usually these guys are pretty nice, so if you can, before your set leave him a list of songs you love so he can queue them up on the computer. I try to do this two girls before my set so I don’t have to rush to stage. Some girls will try to tip him at the end of the night, but he’s usually pretty hammered by then, so I find that tipping him at the beginning of the night for the day before works best. He remembers that I did tip, and that puts him in a great mood to start out his night. Bitching about this guy or to him will do no good. I just joke with him, and if I end up dancing to something I can’t stand, I try not to let it ruin my mood; my mood makes the money, not my music.
The “I’m grandfathered in” DJ
There are some DJ’s that are just part of the boys club. They are friends with every male staff member and have slept with half of the girls. They basically create drama everywhere they go, and none of it effects them in the least. Girls fight over him, he calls girls names, he forces himself on girls and actually gets away with it. Unfortunately, this is business and your personal beliefs need to come second to your money. I say be cordial to this guy, even though you probably hate him. Tip him $5-$10 above the minimum every night consistently, and keep your distance personally. Don’t gossip about him and definitely don’t develop a crush on him. He has the upper hand, and you need to get this money, girl! No one is saying put your morals on the back burner, but definitely save your emotions for something that you can control. Just pay him to do his job, leave the character judgement to the silly girls who go to bed with him.
The one thing I try to remind all girls, new and old, when dealing with anyone who works in the club is that this job is exhausting. No matter if you’re a Dancer, DJ, Bartender, or bouncer this industry can wear you down. Cut people some slack. If the DJ is grumpy, let him be grumpy, don’t penalize him because today he wasn’t in the best of moods and so instead of your rock music he felt like hearing some R&B. Is it fair to do to you? No. Think about this though, most strippers make their own schedule. If we are having an emotionally or physically exhausting day. We can choose to stay home. If the DJ is…he still has to show up. Just that fact alone, I try to empathize the best I can, and I encourage you do too. This may make your relationship with your DJ just a little better, and could turn a god complex DJ into a friendly I’ll play what you want DJ.
written by: WiscoStripper @wistripper
Got a red bull and cousins!!! Ready for guys to fall in love and empty their bank accts #StripperProblems
— wisco stripper (@Wistripper) January 5, 2014
Biased out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin I was born and raised in southeastern WI. Though I only started dancing a year and a half ago, I have used it as an ally of self expression to push my way into other performance arts. I currently practice the Arial hoop, or Lyra, and have begun to compete and showcase my talent in it. I also am an avid fan of burlesque dancing. My recent interest into burlesque has led me to begin to practice with a burlesque group out of Kalamazoo, Mi. I thoroughly enjoy performing, but just like everyone else I can get burned out pretty easy. One way I find to deal with that is to write. My blogging, and podcasting, in the past has been an outlet for stress from my environment. This has brought me to http://www.SurvivetheClub.com. I hope that with writing I can not only find an outlet for myself, but to inspire and assist others to share their experiences and to improve their situations. Through Twitter, blogging, and in the future podcasting I hope to create a network of outreach for entertainers across the globe.
Q: I work at a very nice club. I live conveniently close, and I get treated well by management and I love all the house girls .. Here lately they have been hiring some less classy girls and the energy and vibes in the club have been off. I’m finding it harder to stay positive and stay all night and work. Please help!
A: If you really love your club, try and talk to the managers. Go in and speak to the GM specifically, and be humble. Understand that strip clubs are a business, and dancers are the club’s best customers. If a club has 20 dancers a night and charges $40 a night for each girl, they will make $290,000 each fiscal year.
I feel like this statement needs to be shouted from the rooftops of every building in every city in every country, and in every language, but especially it needs to be said to strippers and sex workers. You are not a whore no matter what anyone says about it. Your job DOES NOT determine your character, and it does not eclipse your values. Many of you have had arguments with close friends and significant others in which the person/people you love most will tell you that you’re worthless. ”You’re a whore and no one will ever want you.” is something I wish I could say I’ve only heard once, and only heard from one person I loved. Talk about something that could cause a person to start to die inside. But no matter what they say, don’t self stigmatize, do not believe it. I wish one blog post could undo that feeling for those of you who have had it (and will in the future). I wish it could undo it for me.
This is the second best thing. I can teach you what I’ve learned and I can show you how I’ve grown. When people cut you down, when society does it to you over and over, when dead hooker jokes are on primetime television as though that girl is not a person, it’s easy to start considering it, even in the back of your mind. When people say things like that it is because they feel weak and they need to kick you down. Then they use your broken spirit as a step ladder to their own validation. Do not give anyone that power. Refuse to lower yourself to the “you” they want you to be. Elevate.
The truth is that who you are is based on your character, which can suffer from being in this industry, but it’s mostly because of the associated lifestyle, not from the job itself. I can sit here for hours and go on and on about how it’s the oldest job and that there’s nothing wrong with using your body for money, but you already know that. If people you love are cutting you down, you don’t have stripper problems. You have boyfriend problems, girlfriend problems, family problems, and maybe even identity problems, but being a stripper, escort, sugar baby, cam girl, dominatrix, or any other type of industry performer is not the problem, and it’s definitely not who you are.
Your job doesn’t need to demean you, and if you feel like stripping makes you less of a person–you should quit. Now. Even if you don’t know what you’re going to do or how you’re going to do it; trust me-you’ll figure it out. Work one more shift, make it a money night, and call it a day because really, you deserve so much more. Maybe you can be a waitress or maybe a customer you know can help you find a 9-5, maybe you can live off of your savings until you figure something out (because you saved, right?)
If you are a stripper and you’re having a hard time with your identity, you can figure it out. You can determine what is going to define you. Instead of going shopping for your 100th pair of cheeky panties, you can make a plan to implement some community service or charity into your life. Instead of sleeping in bed all day and ordering delivery every night for dinner, learn to cook, or at least get great at dining out. Developing your other “non-stripping” skills and values is going to be essential to feeling like you are a real human being with a real purpose in life.
At some point I stopped being a stripper and became an entertainer (when I learned to dress myself and perform on stage and give a great lap dance). Next, I graduated from being an entertainer and became a hustler (when I learned about sales, especially in the commodity industries), and now I have a day job in a luxury industry, because instead of seeing me as a useless stripper, smart people saw that I was a well developed individual with integrity, honesty, work ethic, intelligence, knowledge, and hustle.
If you let it, money will replace passion and drive in your life, so don’t coast. Spend your time defining yourself, and it will be much easier to identify the TRUE problems in your life (like the people who drag you down and diminish your self worth) and get rid of them, or better yet use them as a ladder and climb.
happy hustling, you beautiful humans
As 2013 comes to a close, I think it’s time that we look back at the mistakes we’ve seen strippers make, mistakes we have ourselves made, reflect on the changes in the industry, and adjust our hustle to make the most of the year ahead. Strippers have been directly affected by sexualization of mainstream media, and strippers, instead of being a part of a “secret society” are now front and center in television, movies, and of course, music videos.
When something changes, everything changes, and although it moves at a slower pace than the real world, strip club culture does exist, and we DO evolve. So what things should we retire in 2014 to make this year our most lucrative yet?
1. Asking, “Wanna Dance?”
We KNOW this doesn’t work. We do it anyway out of laziness. Most dancers come into work more than they want to or not enough, which results in this “I don’t wanna do this tonight,” sort of feeling. The trick is to find the sweet spot. For me, it’s always been either 4-6 nights a week, but for some girls it’s 1-3, some can push it to 6-10 shifts even! But the reality is, when we don’t want to be there is when we do the “wanna dance?” thing. If you can’t do it tonight, don’t do it! Don’t get in lazy habits and become the “wanna dance” girl just because $100 is better than nothing at all. Take those nights to yourself and make an EXTRA hundred on the day that you DO feel like it, and nix the “wanna dance” crap FOREVER.
2. Looking homeless on the floor
I know it’s cold out. Get a catsuit, a cute shrug, cropped jacket, or wear long sleeved dresses and leg warmers, but for the love of everything holy, please stop wearing your PINK hoodie on the floor. The general rule to stripper wardrobe styling is, “If his wife would clean the toilet in it, don’t wear it.” (plus, you look so sad!)
3. Tracks/Bad weaves
You get paid to look nice. If you messed up your hair or you prefer the look of a extensions or a wig, please invest in quality hair and have it put in by a professional. If you bought it at Sally’s and your brother’s girlfriend’s cousin did it in her kitchen? It’s not good enough for the strip club.
4. Booty Work
No more. PLEASE no more booty, and no more booty poppin music!) The butt tricks of 2007-2013 are over. Miley does it, Beyonce does it, everyone does it. It’s too mainstream for us, so let’s take this opportunity to class the joint up a bit. Unless you work at Club Onyx or Magic City, we really don’t need the strip club to look like a rap video. Every club that I have worked at that allows pretty little blonde girls to twerk around on the floor to Gucci Mane has run off it’s good money customer base.* To be honest, it just looks trashy. Sooooooo let’s make an initiative amongst us to embrace the return of 90′s fashion and 90′S MONEY into the strip clubs by making whales feel comfortable there, and to make them feel a little less like they are looking at their highschool daughters on stage. Dance to less abrasive songs this year, do a little less ass popping, and try sensual on for size. It’s a new year, time to re-choreograph your stage show anyhow!
*There is a difference between “Bootylicious” and “Bust it Open”. Please keep dancing to R&B forever.
5. Using your cell phone on the floor
Why this is permitted at any strip club is beyond reason for me. If you are making excuses in your head right now, do yourself a favor and STOP THAT. There is absolutely no reason to have your phone on you in the strip club. If you have kids, their sitter should know the number to the club and be able to retrieve you at any time. If you are bored, too bad. Stay bored. Your cell phone is making you complacent, and what’s worse, it’s keeping you checked into your real life. You need to leave (insert your birth name here) at the front door, and fully become (insert your stage name here). You cannot do that if you are texting your boyfriend or your homegirl or scrolling on instagram. Plus, you look like a huge asshole to your manager and your customers. Entertain yourself by devising plots to run the world with your favorite stripper friend.
Honorable mention: The pussy flip.
Stop. Turning. Upside. Down. In. Guys. Laps. If I have to explain why you don’t need to do this, email me. We need to talk.
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Written and recited by @ayjshane for Survive The Club
Images by Chase Kelly and Tony Stamolis for Survive The Club
I’m a nosy person, so I keep an eye on what y’all google that lands you here at SurviveTheClub.com. Mostly it’s “How to be a stripper” “Become a stripper” “How to strip” “Learn To strip” “Stripper Tips”, etc, etc. but today I saw a really interesting search that landed a girl here, and maybe it’s something we need to talk about. This girl googled “can stripping ruin my career?”
While what you do in your personal time SHOULD be your business, and you shouldn’t be judged for it, the reality is that if you want to keep your life a secret, find one of those jobs filling out online surveys online and NEVER LEAVE YOUR HOUSE. If you want to get into the adult industry in any way, I have to tell you that people WILL find out, and they WILL have opinions. Whether it’s your coworkers or your family members, the risk is high that people will at some point condemn you either publicly or privately for being a stripper. In my years in this industry, I have seen girls get thrown under the bus by siblings, stalkers, former classmates, frenemies, nemeses, and my personal favorite: their boyfriends. The fact that you dance, if you choose to keep it a secret from your coworkers or family or significant other, will inevitably become ammunition for anyone who ends up “in the loop” of your life. Your secret can become your greatest weakness, as secrets often do.
Maybe if you traveled to work and told no one about your job, you could get away with it–maybe–but this job is very isolating and not having anyone you can talk to about it could drive a sane woman mad. If you decide to dance and you don’t want people to know, I highly recommend a therapist who you can vent to about work. If you ARE going through this experience all alone, you might consider getting active in some online communities. Rebecca has forums for girls who are in enrolled in stripper school and there are also some forums on stripperweb. I have met a couple girls who swear by sticking to yourself at the club and in life in order to keep yourself as “normal” as possible, but if you’re like me, normal isn’t as important as happy. I feel blessed to have experienced the good times and the bad with friends. Having the freedom to be “out” about my job has made me less vulnerable to stigmatization and self-hatred through this leg of my journey. I’m not sure if I could have handled juggling dancing and building a career. The stress of being found out and taken down would be too strong.
The great conundrum about dancing is that it’s too “grown up” for most girls under 24, but a good chunk of girls over 24 are too “grown up” to jeopardize their reputations with the label. Do you have experience juggling work and a job? Share your stories in the comments. We need to talk!
The thing that I hear strippers complain most about and also probably is the most emotionally draining part of the job (when you first start stripping, at least) is that guys insist on touching, grabbing, pinching, licking, biting, and blowing on you. Not only does it feel like a complete violation of your bits, it’s also really ridiculous for a guy to expect to touch you like that for a measly $20. Once upon a time, strippers could just dominate guys out of doing that, and sometimes the dominatrix act even made them more money–but this isn’t the nineties. These days there are LOTS of entertainers and way fewer fetishists in the clubs. There are tons of lawsuits (don’t believe me, google it), and the popular image of women has shifted back to “fun girl” from “fierce girl.” Beating a guy off of you and yelling at him is going to hurt your money, especially if the dances at your club are on the floor where other guys could witness it. No matter WHO was in the wrong, you are going to look like the crazy one. He isn’t insane for trying to touch you. You are hot, he is a dog. He can’t help it–so use your grace and charm and smile to keep your boundaries firm.
A young girl I used to dance with would jump up and say, “OMG, I just really didn’t expect you to touch me like that!” and guys would feel awful. They would see her as a “good girl” and many would pay her for her time after that.
I like to say, “Oh no baby, you can’t touch me like that out here, I’ll get in trouble. We have private rooms though, where we can get a little closer.” Next thing you know I am in a VIP room, and I honestly spend the majority of the time talking.
Does yelling at him to sit on his hands save you? Yeah, it does, for that song, but the likelihood of that guy stacking dances with you diminishes (and if he likes you enough to lick your nasty stage body, he likes you enough to spend money on you) the second you cop an attitude. Successful strippers know that keeping his desire alive is what makes him pay you and it’s what makes him upgrade. Biting his head off might make you feel better for the moment, but controlling your impulses is integral to boosting your sales. You might hate this guy right now, but if you handle things with finesse and grace, you just might end up turning your horny dog into the guy who pays your rent every month.
It’s been a little over a year now since I started teaching girls how to be safer and more mindful during their time in the adult entertainment business. I have talked to girls who are dying to learn to become a stripper, girls who want to learn how to quit stripping, girls who are happy dancing and miserable with everything else and those that live dream lives but don’t feel comfortable in their occupation. The more I speak with girls, the more I realize how different all of our stories are, but also how many universal truths exist within our community. Survivetheclub is on a mission to unite us and make us stronger and better. I hope that by sharing the stories of the women I meet along the way, we can inspire and teach each other.
JS: 3 years and three months
STC: Are your long term career goals the same or different than they were when you first started dancing? How have they changed?
JS: They have changed a lot. When I was going to school I realized my particular field of study was not the most lucrative, so I decided to drop out, take a vacation and find a new field that I liked. I had the typical expectations, telling myself I would only dance for 1 month, then go back to school. Well that turned into 6 months, a year…. Now I’m 22 and still don’t know what I want to do for career.
STC: If you wanted to quit dancing, would you be able to? How easy or difficult would it be? -
JS: It would be easy to quit, but hard to stay out of it. I have financed a car for myself and one for my parents, leased a condo, signed expensive cell phone contracts, used credit cards.. it would be very hard to keep the promises I’ve made and pay for the things I have financed if I only had a regular job, even two jobs.
STC: Are you open with your friends and family about what you do? -
JS: Most of my close friends now are dancers. When I first started I told most of my fiends, but slowly they have lost contact.
I told my parents I bartended at a popular strip club in LA to explain the fact that I can afford to pay their rent for them.
STC: What is your earliest memory of “money” in your life? What experiences in your childhood shaped your concept of earning, saving, or spending money?
JS: My earliest memory was that my dad had a piggy bank for me, my sister and my brother, one for each of us. He kept them on his dresser and put change in them every day. We would sit on the bed once a month and he taught us to count the change. If my siblings and I wanted to buy something we could combine our money, but usually I saved mine and my siblings bought ice cream and video games and things.
My experiences with money were shaped from my parents, who had very different spending habits. Growing up my dad had a great job and liked to spoil us every now and then. He taught us to appreciate when we could have nice things. My mom stayed home and was very frugal. She taught me how to double coupons at the grocery store and how to be crafty at home and about saving money by doing things yourself.
JS: It’s hard to keep girl friends that aren’t in the industry because usually they just look down upon it.
And it’s hard keeping friends that are dancers because they come and go, sometimes never to be seen or heard from again. Most times you never really get to know each other personally, I have a lot of girl friends that I can call up to party with but I will never know their real names or anything about them. That can be lonely.
JS: I have changed from the spoiled baby of the family to the sole provider, which is stressful and difficult. But dispite that I have grown very distant from my family. I hate having to lie to them over about where the money comes from.
STC: significant others?
JS: Dancing ruined my first real relationship slowly over a two year span. He was cool with it then I grew me confident in myself and sabotaged our relationship so I could make more money. Now I feel like men don’t take me seriously as a potential partner due to my job. So I pretty much stay single now.
STC: What has been your biggest challenge since starting dancing?
JS: Trying to get guys that I like to see me as a human being in lieu of a stripper slut.
JS: Financial independence and confidence I could have never achieved by any other means.
JS: Go back to school
JS: No, never have been
JS: I wish I was a better liar! :p
JS: Save your money. Don’t let yourself get stuck.
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