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By Dre Dee

The answer of course is that they are both important!  You can be flexible without being strong and you can be strong without being flexible, however, both of these scenarios will set you up to get injured.  It is important to find a balance of being flexible AND strong, especially in pole dance, which is one of the reasons I find it so challenging sometimes.

Honestly I feel a little weird writing this blog because as you can see in my pictures – I am not very flexible (yet)!  It’s something I have always struggled with – even when I did dance when I was young I was never able to do the splits.  As soon as I turned 18 I started doing strength training and cardio in gyms and have always been very strong.  The stretching I did was pretty minimal – obesity runs in both sides of my family so my priority was always to get my weight training and cardio in to maintain a healthy weight.  When I started doing yoga and then pole, I started realizing just how limited my flexibility is.  Unfortunately I have a full time job so it’s still hard to find time to add flexibility training in when I am already spending so much time doing interval training, yoga, and pole, but I am working on developing some flexibility programs and workouts (check out my Yoga Shoulder Stretching Sequence) and scheduling them into my weekly workout routine more.

A lot of my knowledge about flexibility and strength training actually comes from my training as a therapist and years of working with many different types of patients.  One of the areas I specialize in is strokes and brain injuries.  When a person has a stroke or brain injury, muscle tone is often affected – the person may have decreased muscle tone, which makes the arm and/or leg limp and flaccid, or he or she may have increased tone, making it difficult or impossible for the muscles to relax.  One of my many goals with this type of patient is to strengthen the arm if the muscle tone is weak or stretch the joint to increase range of motion if there is increased muscle tone.  In Cleo the Hurricane‘s Rockin’ Legs N Abs (which is a GREAT hip flexibility program – I mean have you seen that woman’s splits??), she talks about PNF stretches.  I was so excited when I heard her use this term because that’s a technique I’ve been using with my neurological patients for years.  For some reason it never occurred to me to use it on myself.

There are many additional techniques to use as well.  The more I learn and the different exercises I see, the more I realize that flexibility is just as much about strength as it is about stretching.  One key technique is to strengthen the opposing muscles to whatever area you are tight in.  For example, if your inner thighs are super tight in center splits, you want to strengthen the outer hip muscles as much as possible.  Fast, active range of motion or resistance exercises are most effective (for example, to increase range of motion in front splits , when all fours put an ankle weight on one ankle and squeeze that heel towards ceiling to strengthen your glutes.  This will help to increase flexibility in the hip flexor).

Here are some key points to remember when working flexibility.

1) Do not compare yourself to others.  Flexibility depends on sooo many factors – your age, your natural flexibility level, muscle tone, what types of exercises you have done in your lifetime, and many other things.  That being said, almost anyone can dramatically increase his or her flexibility level with proper training.  The down side – usually the more strong and tight your joints are, the longer it will take and the more work you will need to do.

2) Stay consistent.  Your muscle memory retains information from previous sessions and when you have too long in between sessions of working on that particular area, you can lose the hard earned progress that you have made.  You should stretch whatever area you are working at least once or twice a week to see progress.

3) Warm up!  It’s very important to be thoroughly warmed up in your joints before you try to stretch – especially if you tend to be pretty tight.  Properly warming up maximizes the benefits of stretches and prevents injuries.  You can check out my videos for warmup and stretching sequences for various body parts.

4) Flexibility takes time.  Be patient with yourself. Don’t force it.  Trying to force flexibility is a quick way to get injured which can set you back months or years in your progress.  Not worth it!

5) Breathe.  Using your breath is the best way to achieve maximum benefits from static stretches.  Try to relax your muscles during the exhales.  Take a deep breath and hang in there – it’s worth it in the end!

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How Young is Too Young?

Chase Kelly —  February 20, 2016 — 2 Comments

ROOKIE STRIPPERS, HEAR ME OUT!  Unless you are in a dire situation that you absolutely need to get out of, in my opinion, there is no reason to strip if you are under the age of twenty two.  A beautiful sense of immortality often accompanies youth, and though there are many reasons teenagers shouldn’t strip, the “it can’t happen to me” attitude is number one.  When we are young, we assume that everyone’s intentions are pure, we are blind to red flags.  We learn how to be adults from falling on our faces, looking around and seeing these flags, strategically placed around the areas in our lives that we have hopelessly flubbed.  In time, if we are perceptive, we stop falling on our faces because we learn to see the flags as our warning.  If you haven’t learned what to look for yet, how can you keep yourself safe in the fast pace of the strip club world?  The traps at strip clubs are worse than the traps in the normal world.  If you haven’t learned how to keep your eyes open for super sketchy situations, take your time.  Once you start red flags pop up  around other people and especially around your own behaviour, that’s kind of a decent indicator that you will be able to keep yourself safe.

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Starting stripping too young won’t make you grow up faster either, even though that’s what people who know nothing about it will tell you.  Being a dancer can actually stunt your growth or stop it all together.  I know strippers who are fifty years old who dance because they have no other choice, and I don’t mock them when I say that.  There are of course some women who stay working into maturity because they like the work, or that it’s still lucrative and it is supplemental or funds their passions.  Those are different stories.  I am talking specifically about women who never learned another way of life and have been kept stripping or escorting for much longer than they wanted to be.  In a normal setting, a person moves past that ‘whatever’ mentality as they mature.  They get accolades and responsibilities that give them pride and purpose.  You’ll never have that in a strip club.  This industry enables and encourages irresponsibility and immaturity.  There is a lot of money to be made off of young women in this world, and the longer you stay in, the better you get at making sales, even if you aren’t fresh and nineteen anymore.  If you start working in an environment that encourages (and profits from) your recklessness before you learn your own personal limitations, it restricts you from making that adjustment into the life you want.  Your goals at eighteen are so set in fantasy, you haven’t tried your hand at them yet.  No matter what your age is, if you’re unsure, start by getting a different job at the strip club, like waitress, door girl, or bartender.  Start having a little bit of contact with the girls and customers, but not too much.  See how it makes you feel first, and take your time making the adjustment into dancing if you like it.

4dd549e82610b-preview-620I Remember that I only speak from personal opinion and experience, and of course all things are objective, but I believe that most young dancers are unprepared to make such a life altering decision, even if they are emotionally mature.  One of the recurring themes of this book is habit and pattern. The likelihood of building abnormal habits around love and sex are all too real if you spend the years that you are building a concept of normalcy in a strip club.   Sex should be at least somewhat sacred, and when you put a dollar amount on it, that can be really confusing to a newcomer to the adult dating scene.

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More unnerving than the weird things that can happen to your sex life based on habit is the negativity that can come from trauma in the line of duty.  There are most certainly predators in this environment who consciously target young and inexperienced girls and prey on their naivety, and the outcome can be devastating.  They aren’t always customers, either.  Some of them work with you and are very good at hiding their snakelike intentions.  To young people interested in the adult industry, I always say, “We’ll be here in five years.”  I know many of you nineteen year olds are reading this and shrugging it off, but I can’t stress it enough.  Sometimes I wish I had those extra five years of income, but I would have wasted the money anyway. Nineteen-year-old girls rarely invest in their retirement funds or spend their cash on tuition. If you’re young or unsure if you’re ready, I’ll tell you that I did fine as a waitress and bartender.  It is most certainly generous wages and bottle service waitresses crush most strippers in annual income.

Lots of single moms strip.  It’s not a new concept, we all know how expensive and exhausting it is to be a mother, and there are few jobs as flexible and lucrative as stripping  to help you along the way if your sperm donor isn’t holding up his end (and even if he is.)  It’s not a crime to dance and be a mom.  It’s normal for lots of people, and really it’s better than exposing your children to poverty.  Children shouldn’t have to handle that reality.  There are other realities that come along with it that they shouldn’t have to handle either, frankly.  I am not a mom, so I have been hesitant to post about motherhood and stripping, but a discussion I walked in on last week has backed me into a corner.  I have to write this or my conscience won’t let me forget it.  I hope it helps someone out there.

I’m not a mom, but I had a mom.  My mom did some sketchy shit, let me be really up front.  Her dating life was weird and I was privy to more of it than I should have been, to be honest.  The older I get, the easier it is to piece together all the weird things she got involved with that likely eclipsed the parts of her that I was aware of.  As a kid though, everything in my life seemed normal.  That’s really true for all of us.  When you’re a child, you lack the range of experience to be able to compare yourself to what’s actually normal.  This is the kind of thing that follows us throughout our lives.  The stuff your mom let you be a part of molded you, and the stuff she excluded you from, if she was good enough at concealing it, hopefully didn’t infect your young mind and distort you.  Ideally, your mom’s weirdness doesn’t become apparent until you are old enough to be able to digest it…in other words, until you have the scope you needed in order to determine if it’s right or wrong.

 

I was protected from a lot, thank god, but the stuff I wasn’t protected from has formed the core of my own personal struggle.  Relationships were the weak spot my mom exposed me to, and now forming a healthy one has become greatest challenge. My mom tried to hide things from me, but of course, kids are SMART.  Not everything was concealed as well as she thought it was.  Nevertheless, her intentions were good: adult stuff was for Mom, and kid stuff was for me.  I have my suspicions about what my mom did while raising me to supplement her income, but I have no proof at all.  No part of my childhood includes memories of my mom as anything but my mom.  Whatever she did for work was a blissful mystery to me.

In my fourteen years in the industry, though, I have seen some other approaches to parenthood.  Some were bearable, although you do feel bad for the thirteen year old boy who knows his mom strips in the town they live in, but technically, not illegal, and definitely not the worst case.  I have seen toddlers with Daddy playing in the parking lot at two thirty AM, waiting for Mommy to come home.  I have seen babysitters storm into dressing rooms drunk, screaming, “Your kids in the car!  He’s been in that bitch all night!  Get your ass home!” and thought to myself, “Is this it?  Is this when we call CPS?” (CPS stands for Child Protective Services, for those of you who don’t know.)

Last week, I walked in on a dressing room convo between two girls I don’t know at all.  I was guesting at a club I don’t usually work at.  I was touching up my face next to a couple girls talking about Seeking Arrangement, and my nosey ass opened my ears up for the convo.  I’m going to name the girls Pink and Green for the colors they were wearing.

Pink: I didn’t really have a choice, I had no babysitter.

Green: You ALWAYS have a choice.  Listen to me.  Don’t EVER bring your kid on a date with a dude.  Ever.

Pink: No it’s cool.  She’s only two and a half, she don’t know what’s going on.  She just sat and chilled while we ate.  It’s not like we did anything, it was just lunch.

Green: Yo.  Seriously, kids are smart.  That’s not cool, don’t do that.

Pink: We weren’t fuckin or nothing.  It was just a date to talk about maybe if it was gonna work, but that site is wack.  It probably won’t be anything.

Green: You’re not really listening to me, so fuck it, do what you want, but listen.  I’ve been a ho.  I’ve been a two hundred dollar ho, and I’ve been a two thousand dollar ho, but none of it has had anything to do with a kid.  I’m not judging you but you cannot bring your kid on dates with tricks.  A trick is a trick, and you cannot involve your kid with any part of it.

[OK THIS SHIT IS RAW AND PINK LEGIT IS IGNORING HER.  I interject because I can’t keep my mouth shut ever.]

Me: Listen to her, dude.  She’s right, this girl is smart.  You should thank her for taking the time to talk to you, she could save your kids life.

Green: Your daughter is smart and you are writing on her soul.  You can’t undo that.  She is a little girl.  If you want to write on your daughters soul, that’s your choice, but she will live with what you teach her for the rest of her life.

I think it stuck with Pink.  Really.  It stuck with me.  I hope it did, because what she shows her baby will certainly stick with her.

Your kids are only young once.  You think they’re tough, you think they can handle reality, you think you’re doing your best all the time, and I hear that.  Parenthood looks hard as hell and I commend every one of you who handle it like the bosses you are, but a little discretion goes a long way.  It is your job as a parent to protect your child from things that might hurt him or her.  Your job is most certainly one of those things.  The more you do it, the more normal it becomes for you, but this line of work is not normal for most adults.  Don’t poison your kid’s soul by making it normal for him or for her.  Sex is for when we understand it.  No two year old, five year old, or ten year old needs to know about it.  In fact, when you DO start talking about sex, please make sure you’re doing it for him or for her, when he or she is ready.  Your sex life does not have to be a part of your child’s life. To Ms. Green, thank you.  You are the realest one.  I wish we had gotten to know each other better.

To Miss Pink, I hope you heard her.  I hope you hold your baby close and keep her safe from all of it.  If I were a mom, I wouldn’t even bring my shoes home, y’all.  For real.  My prayers to her and to you and to all of your babies.  Keep them in their blissful youth for as long as you can, quit this job, and let them see you shine in whatever your dream job may be.  Inspire those kids, man!

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Stripping into Luxury

Chase Kelly —  November 4, 2015 — Leave a comment

“I’m thinking about moving into a loft,” my nineteen year old stripper consult confessed in our session this week.  “I have been making a lot more since we started [our consultations], and I feel like I deserve it.  My boyfriends house is so nice and I always feel like I’m slumming it around him.”

I was quiet for a second.  I’ve heard this before.  I’ve said this before.  I traced my thoughts back to a time when my best stripper friend and I decided to move into a loft ourselves, one that lasted the full six month lease and was quickly abandoned for another massive mistake of a rental.  “Twenty six hundred dollars!” we reasoned, “that’s only one good night of work each!” and in fact, it was.  The elation of getting approved for such an incredible place made us feel rich and fabulous.  We had made it.  We had been dreaming of living somewhere so magnificent all of our lives.  We moved in without hesitation.

Our loft was gorgeous, two beautiful stories of warehouse heaven, and inside of it sat five whole pieces of furniture: one brown Pottery Barn couch against the back wall, two ikea stools (where we ate the zero meals we had at home,) one mattress (with headboard) on the floor in her room, and one mattress (with box spring, no headboard) on my floor.  We considered buying furniture, really, but we set our sights on chandeliers (10 nights work for a $10,000 piece of lighting heaven, plus our friend Riot had one!  If she could do it so could we.  Maybe even a customer would buy it for us!), a giant movie poster for Metropolis (neither of us had seen it, but it just looked so great.  It was only $1,500.  Easy!), Design Within Reach couches (starting at fifteen k,) and hand made coffee tables off of etsy, because we wanted it to have a personal touch.  We never bought any of those things, though.  It seemed actually a lot more difficult to come up with ten grand than we had originally anticipated!  We had clothes to buy, manicures to get, lip glosses to collect!  Plus bills, and starbucks, and food every day (we never really cooked).  It was kind of seeming like we’d never decorate our loft.  Three months later the lease was halfway up anyway.  “Next time, we should get a house.  This is too hard to manage!” we said, but mostly we were stoned so we didn’t really care.

Looking back into the past, I tried to think about what I would say to Clarissa (my client) to explain to her the mistake I had made.  It really didn’t sound so bad when I looked back, but I knew it was and I searched for the words to say it.  Instead, I pulled out my calculator.  $18,700 in six months.  Almost twenty THOUSAND dollars we spent so we could feel like a couple of boss bitches.

“Clarissa, I did that once.  You shouldn’t do it, you know?  If you’re comparing yourself to your boyfriend in a way that makes you feel inferior because of what you spend on housing, he probably isn’t right for you.  Dating and friendship shouldn’t feel like a competition,” and she told me I was right, but I knew in her heart, she was still thinking LOFT.  “Even if it was a competition, though, would spending rich person money really make you feel like you won?  You’re not a rich person.  You could break an ankle tomorrow and be screwed, but your boyfriend has job security and a wealthy family and a retirement plan!  He is winning even if you live in a mansion.  I mean as of right now, you have barely enough money in your savings for a security deposit on a loft and you’re already trying to spend it?!”  I was starting to feel kind of guilty.  I love Clarissa, and I wanted her to have everything she had ever dreamt of.  I knew living in a beautiful home would increase her self esteem and make her feel more powerful, but I also knew that in six months my friend and I spent over eighteen thousand dollars on rent in an apartment we couldn’t even afford to furnish.  I didn’t want Clarissa to make the mistake we had.  There is so much we could have done with that money that we never had a chance to do.  We could have put a generous downpayment on a house with that much, or we could have started a savings that would turn into a future investment plan down the road.  We could have lived for a few solid years in Thailand.  We could have opened a yoga studio and lived a zen lifestyle with real happiness and not the hollow kind that comes from twenty thousand dollar couches.

That loft was six years ago, and I still shake my head at my foolishness.  I didn’t need to keep up with my rich friends.  I didn’t need to prove that stripping was the right choice by flossing out of control.  I needed to chill the fuck out.  I needed to spend half that money and live in a cute apartment with my friend and decorate from thrift stores and cook at home.  I needed to let myself be a kid.  Instead, I made myself hard to relate to by my non-stripper friends, set myself back financially, and ended up ashamed of selling my sexuality for such a temporary thing.  Women and children are literally sold at auction for a tiny fraction of that amount into sex slavery for their entire lives, and here I was spending it on six months of rent.  I was not Paris Hilton, and I didn’t need to live like her.

“Clarissa.”  I said sternly.  “I know you are agreeing with me but still you have your heart set on that Miami Beach luxury lifestyle, but I need you to listen to me.  This is serious.  Please don’t strip so that you can impress people with all the shit you have.  Be better than that.  Stop caring what your boyfriend thinks.  If he thinks you are anything less than a brilliant, beautiful young woman with a great head on her shoulders, he doesn’t deserve you.  No one worth their salt would value a person who spends frivolously what they don’t actually have than one who saves and plans and lives beautifully within their means.  Spend money on creating sanctuary in your home no matter the size.  Spend money on giving what you can afford to charity and save the rest to support yourself or your family through sickness and tough times that inevitably impact all human lives.  It won’t cost but a few hundred dollars to decorate with things that make you feel strong and proud.  Flossing when you live a fast cash lifestyle is nothing less than stupid, and if your boyfriend knows anything about life on the planet, he knows that only a fool would give money away rather than paying ones self first.”

Stripper in Solitude

Chase Kelly —  October 5, 2015 — 2 Comments

Even if you are a really great stripper and a really great person, there will be a time in your stripping career that it seems like every person you work with hates you.  It’s a thing, I think, that happens to most every woman at some point, whether you’re a stripper or not.  Girls do this community thing that can be really beautiful, but the dark side shows when you are the one on the outside of the clique.  Sex work is alienating enough, so when you combine the discomfort of being naked for strangers with feeling unwelcome at the club, it can send you into an emotional whirlwind.  Being the lone soldier can feel stifling, but you aren’t stifled.  You’re good, girl.  There are healthy ways to deal with this kind of stuff that actually work in your favor.  There are also very unhealthy ways to deal with it that will leave you broke and questioning every choice you’ve ever made.  No matter which direction you focus your energy, a domino effect is bound to happen.

1408681384222When we do something positive in one aspect of our lives, it tends to have a positive impact on other parts.  In these scenarios, when you’re feeling totally alone and depressed, there are things you can focus on that will make you feel better which will in turn make you a better person and in turn will make you more money.  You don’t have to turn self conscious, you don’t have to let it ruin your money, and you don’t have to deal with it at all, really.  You can control your emotions and your actions to get the results that you want from your life, and like 50 said, “If they hate then let em hate and watch the money pile up.”

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The simple answer, obviously, is to find another club.  Unless you live somewhere that you are at the only nearby club, you could just go somewhere else where you don’t know anyone.  Eventually, people will find someone else to pick on and you could go back to your old club, but who knows, by then maybe you’ll love the new club more.  Maybe you love your club or have no other options, though!  Maybe you have regulars, feel safe, comfortable, and happy!  It’s probably the case, actually, because no one picks on the girl who isn’t a threat.  That’s the simple solution, but life isn’t as simple as it should be, really.

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Being the new girl is always a bread winner, and it’s good to feel uncomfortable at a strip club.  The feeling of “home” keeps us from working.  If you’ve been at your club for more than a year, you know you are guilty of putting your feet up and gossiping in the dressing room instead of working.  You know sometimes you straight up ignore customers so you can finish your conversation.  Don’t kid yourself!  You could be making more money and dealing with fewer haters.  People aren’t always welcoming to the “new girl” but best believe they don’t have any dirt on you!

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Maybe switching clubs isn’t an option, though.  Maybe it’s not appealing to you at all and you’re staying put no matter what.  Cool!  I applaud your resilience.  You have no choice but to be on top of your game.  You have to look great and let the haters be your motivation…this should be your truest test of how great of a dancer you are.  If you can smile the warmest smile to that fifty year old finance exec in the Prada loafers and look through your enemies as though they aren’t even there, you have officially made it.  There is no reason to bring up people’s distaste of you unless the customer notices it and brings it to your attention.  At that point, laugh it off and drop it!  “Yeah, girls can get a little jealous sometimes, but they’re all nice enough girls.  Im just gonna stay with you until they find someone else to pick on!” ::wink wink::

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Don’t fuel the fire.  Don’t talk about it at all.  Let their anger hurt their money, but don’t let someone else’s negativity take cash from your hand!  No one has control over you.  You came to work to work, and you aren’t letting a bunch of girls who don’t pay your bills determine your income.  Girl, you’re doing it.  You should be top earner every night you are the most hated.  If not, stay home.  Find another club.  Figure out why everyone hates you and fix it.

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Images of young girls accompanied by the words “Fuck it, I’ll be a stripper” have been littered all over the internet as of late. Our generation has adopted a belief system that says that women are too weak, stupid, unmotivated, or damaged to assimilate to modern society. The strip club offers a lucrative alternative in which financial planning isn’t necessary to immediate survival, so it’s expected that girls who have an underdeveloped sense of self-esteem, body issues, or a history of trauma will just “give up” and become strippers. They don’t know what else to do.  Although these women actually exist, there is a serious imbalance between the “stripper princess” and “lowlife stripper” ideals that are being portrayed in the media, and it’s up to us to set them straight. They are BOTH inaccurate.

For me, being a stripper does not mean giving up on life, but I also know that being pretty and getting paid for it doesn’t make me royalty. This industry is full of amazing, powerful women, many of whom have been soldiers from the day they sashayed out of the womb, all pink, bubbly, and ready to take on the world. They have done everything but given up, they have found a new model for success. However, despite the fact that being a dancer will not make you weak, pathetic, addicted, or ‘slutty,’ in large part, making this decision requires awareness that other people will see you in a negative light when they find out what you do, and if you are running the risk of becoming the girl who dances because she can’t do anything else; it’s time to change that.

The reality is that a lot of dancers do start to embody awful things, because they fail to plan, prepare, or take responsibility for their lives. Dancing is a cop out for a lot of people who can’t figure it out any other way. You need to make sure that it isn’t you who turns out badly, all while dealing with the fact that some people will always confuse you for those strippers who really can’t get it together.

Perhaps you are thinking, “I have already been labeled my entire life, I really don’t care if people think I’m a stripper whore or not,” and that is a realistic sentiment. Chances are, if you are beautiful, you have already been labeled a ‘slut’ or a ‘bitch’ for your entire existence, whether or not you’ve promiscuous or rude. You have learned to live with being judged, and in your short life you have grown accustomed and calloused to being hollered at, coveted, objectified, targeted, and dumbed down. It’s your right to do what ya wanna, and I hold the ability to customize my lifestyle very near and dear to my heart. I just wanted to remind you all that you are in charge of yours, and no matter what anyone thinks, if you’re setting proper goals and hitting them, it’s of no consequence what anyone else thinks.

Weigh in: CUSTOMER CONVOS

Chase Kelly —  February 27, 2015 — 6 Comments

Strippers deserve good customers, and today I received an email from a strip club regular asking what he can do to enhance his experience as well as yours.  While I am going to answer him personally, I also wanted to open up the comments section so you all can weigh in as well.  Below is the email I received from John.  You can view my response and leave your own in the comments.

Hi Chase;

I wandered in here through looking at strip club ettiquette because I quite enjoy it even if I don’t make enough to partake very often.  I found Mounting and Counting blog and then came here.  I like that you bring a healthy but safe veiw of stripping.  I share your thoughts that it shouldn’t be something to be embarrassed, insulted, or demonized.  I also appreciate that you take it realistically since it will affect ones position in society, no matter how wrong society’s position is.

After reading your post with the rape warning, I definately want to be as respectful as possible next time I go.  I didn’t see post with eittiqutte for guys so I’m asking here.  I’ve got the don’t stalk, ask them to come home with you, or calling out insults.

I’ve thought that maybe slacks would be politer to wear than jeans since the preformer will be rubbing against me.  Do you have a prefered outfit for your clients?  Slacks and polo for casual nice, but suit to indicate that one is there to spend lavishly and be treated the same?
Are there ways to know if your dancer is ok with touching or should I specifically wait for her to say so?
Do you have any other advice that would make the night more enjoyable for both parties?
Thanks!

John

Safety First

Chase Kelly —  August 1, 2014 — 4 Comments

Amidst all the glamorization and stigmatization of strip clubs, sometimes what gets glossed over are the the dangers of stripping, or more accurately, the violence that sometimes burdens strippers and the vice industry in general.  A few weeks ago nine people were shot on Bourbon Street a few blocks from where I work.  Last week one person was stabbed and 6 people were murdered overnight. In 2010 there was a shooting INSIDE a club I worked at, and a few years before that there was a drive by at my club in Connecticut.  I’ve seen entertainers decked in the face by grown men, subsequent stabbings, and heard more dancers confess to leaving the club with customers and then being raped or drugged than I’d like to really remember.

Some of us work in small suburban areas, but due to our desire for community and anonymity and to access a larger clientele, many strippers choose to live in cities, and with that comes violence, especially against women.

Despite the risks, most of us are still dancing, because we are either blind to the possibility of it happening at our club/to us or because we have consciously decided that it’s a risk we are willing to take.  With the rise of strip club culture, more and more young women are getting into the industry.  It’s our duty to be aware of the dangers that do lurk around and do what we can to keep ourselves safe and how to stay away from the drama.  More safety tips here.

 

 

by Dre Dee

No matter how carefully you warm up, or how much you stretch after you’re done with your pole dancing workout, you’re bound to injure yourself at some point while doing pole tricks. Although injury is inevitable, how you care for your injury can make all the difference in whether the injury heals or becomes an ongoing problem.

Here are some common issues strippers and pole dancers face when working the pole and how to care for them.*

1) Pulled Muscle (Muscle Strain)

Muscle strain is usually an acute injury (meaning the onset is sudden) and occurs when a muscle is torn. Strains are usually caused from stretching a muscle too far, but can also be caused by exerting the muscle too forcefully, such as lifting something too heavy or pulling too forcefully. In pole, commonly pulled muscles include muscles of the neck, upper back, and arms.

What it feels like: Pain from a muscle strain is usually present right after the injury occurs and is sharp. The severity of pain can range from mild to severe. In more severe strains, bruising and swelling can occur.

What to do:

– Rest the injured area for 1-5 days, depending on how badly the muscle was injured and pain level.

– Consider an anti-inflammatory to help reduce swelling and pain. Ibuprofen is a common anti-inflammatory and I’ve been told to take 600 mg in order to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Your dosage should be determined by your doctor as dosages can be different for different people. Generally, you should not take more than 2400 mg per day. Taking Ibuprofen with milk or food can avoid stomach issues that can occur.

– Avoid immobilizing the injury – gentle active range of motion and stretching with little to no pain is best. Be sure to move the injured area slowly and avoid movements that increase or cause pain.

2) Tendon or Ligament Strains

Tendon or ligament strains are generally more serious than muscle strains because ligaments and tendons take longer to heal. Tendons and ligaments connect muscle or bone to bone and have less blood flow to them than muscles do – this is why they take longer to heal. The length of time it takes for tendons or ligaments to heal obviously depends on how badly they were injured, where in the body they are located, and how much they are used during the healing process. Generally, it should take 4-6 weeks to heal if rested and stretched properly.

What to do:

The course of treatment for tendon or ligament strains can vary greatly. Generally, right after the injury RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) is the best way to reduce initial inflammation. After inflammation subsides, alternating heat and cold, gentle stretching and active range of motion are best.

3) Wrist Pain

Wrist pain is very common in pole for obvious reasons, and is also a common symptom of floor work. To prevent wrist pain, remember to always warm up your wrists before doing any level of pole and stretch them afterwards.  Also try to distribute your weight evenly when placing your hands flat on the stage.

What to do:

Follow the RICE protocol as long as pain and/or inflammation is present (Rest Ice Compression Elevation). Depending on what is injured, it may take a couple days to a few weeks for pain to completely go away. An elastic wrist support is a good way to provide compression and reduce inflammation, especially if you have to continue using the wrist. Be careful not to leave a wrist support on for too long though.

One type of wrist injury is nerve compression. There are three nerves in the wrist – the ulnar, median, and radial nerves.

Compression of the ulnar nerve is common in the bottom hand in bracket or split grips. Tingling or numbness are usually signs of a nerve compression or issue. The best thing to do is to avoid movements that are going to cause further compression, follow RICE protocol, and give the nerve enough time to heal before attempting further activity.

Performing gentle wrist stretches and active range of motion may also help. It is important to have ongoing or persistent pain in the wrist looked at by a doctor.

For All Injuries:

Remember to take it slow as you return to activities and work on strengthening and stretching the affected area gradually. Once fully healed, it is important to continue to strengthen and stretch the injured area to avoid future injuries.

Do you have an injury you have a question about? E-mail me.

Also, don’t forget to check the site later as I add more info!

 

*Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor before taking any medications or following this or any medical advice. A doctor is the only one qualified to diagnose your injury and decide on treatment.

Hey y’all
Sorry for being MIA lately–I have been focusing so much on personal projects and dancing 5-6 nights a week, so I haven’t had much time to write about it, but some things keep coming up that I can’t help but address.  Recently I had a run in at my place of business.  A customer spent a ridiculous amount of money (5 digits) on me and another entertainer.  During that time, I had mistakenly given the customer my phone number; a thing we all do from time to time even if we preach against it and even if it’s against the rules.  In this case, I had used the customers phone to send myself a photo that he had taken while we were in our champagne room.  It’s a good photo, you can see why I’d want it.

vixen

At the end of the night (7 AM) the customer got angry because I asked him for a tip instead of asking for the name of his hotel.  Tens of thousands of dollars in, this guy wanted a cuddle partner or two in his bed.  Neither she nor I are offer extras, so that was out of the question.  The problem is, now this guy had my number and he was sort of unstable, and he wasn’t getting what he wanted.  The argument is that I shouldn’t have asked for a tip at the end from both his and my clubs point of view, and perhaps they’re right, but I think the bigger mistake was giving out my number.  Had I not done that, he would have still spent the money but he would not have had the opportunity to do what he did next.

The texts started about 15 minutes after I left club property.  Asking me to go on vacation.  Telling me he fell in love with me.  Asking when he can see me again.  Referring to himself aptly as “needy boy.”  Talking about how we “connected” and al of a sudden I realize that my home address and last name are attached to that cell phone. I never answered or responded to his texts; quite frankly I wasn’t feeling so safe anymore.   Then the call from my club came: the customer is disputing the charges and I might be losing my job because of the exaggerated (read: bullshit) story he painted to the management when he realized I wasn’t going to be his girlfriend for the evening or in the future and wouldn’t respond to his messages.

text

I got to the internet and started asking my twitter followers if they had had any similar experiences.  Immediately I had responses like this:

 

It should have been common sense to me, but I was still living in 2010.  Immediately, though, a lightbulb went off in my mind.  It isn’t the same as it was a few years ago; personal information is accessible to common people through the internet if they know where to look and are willing to pay a few bucks for it.  The mental health crisis is in full, glaring effect, and where do crazy people go to be “understood?”  To sex workers.  That’s me.

In the texts that followed, psycho custie made sure to let me know that he had “fallen in love with me that night” and that I was so good at my job, “maybe too good,” and it gave him feelings he didn’t know how to deal with.  I am still in the middle of the fiasco, but in the end the moral I think will be the same, whether I have to find a new club because of this nutcase or not, it will be the last time I give out my number for real.  In the wake of the Elliot Rodger tragedy and all of the other terrible crimes against women, it’s important that I take care of myself first.  The mental health thing is the major argument in this case to the civilian world, but what does it mean to women?  Does it matter if a perpetrator is “sick” on paper to the person who he murders?  Young men posting on the forums that Rodger posted on talk about their experiences with sex workers; we are sometimes the only women mentally ill people get to feign intimacy with, meaning that we are directly in their field of vision.  We want to believe that our customers are normal, and most of them are, but some are crazy and we have to account for that.  We also have to account for the fact that the craziest ones can often manipulate us into trusting them.  You might be quick, but sociopaths are quicker.

The money and the job are cool, but my safety is priceless.  I urge dancers who plan to give out their numbers to get google voice or a burner phone that cannot be traced to your home address.  The days of having fetish customers over to clean my living room are far gone.  We live in a more terrifying and woman hating world than ever, I’ve even taken back a “fake real name” that I’ll be using again.  I’m glad my wake up call didn’t leave me dead or hurt.  It’s still unfolding but I will probably change my number shortly.  Please cover your tooshies as much as you bare them!  Safety always first.

chasekellysig