Archives For be a stripper

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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Stripper in Solitude

Chase Kelly —  October 5, 2015 — 4 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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by: WiscoStripper

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.

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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

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.

When I first realized this, I was really angry, but then I realized that business is business, and if you can’t beat them (I for one am very angry with the girls suing clubs for charging house fees), join them.
We are in a partnership with management, so when approaching them, make sure you keep this in mind.  Be articulate and let them know that you understand the business and money is everyone’s objective.  Understand that more girls for them equals more money, but explain that when they saturate your market and lower their standards, it hurts your money.  Desperate girls can really hurt your profits.  Once your manager knows that you understand his or her point of view, they will be more likely to hear you out on yours.  If you have always been professional and you are consistent and polite to your coworkers and have been a generous tipper throughout your career, this is when it pays off.  Then ask your manager if you can work at a discounted house fee.  There are clubs where I have never paid to work, just tip outs, and I have never had a manager deny me a negotiation.
Also, without getting too involved, try and be kind to the other girls.  Unless they are the tweaker girls who latch on and will never leave you alone, a kind smile and a little bit of understanding may change your whole perception, and if you are nice to them and they see you making a lot of money, you can help them clean up their acts a little just by setting a positive example.  Remember that a lot of the most depressing girls in the industry have a really shitty story, and what you are dealing with them is NOTHING compared to what some of them go through on a daily basis.  With this understanding of the entire situation, you can change your mindset.  Also, if you are nice to the new girls, they are more likely to listen to you.  You can say, “Hey, girl, you don’t have to do all that, here.  These guys will pay you just to talk!”  or “I just don’t understand why girls get so close to guys on the floor.  If you make him wait until he’s in VIP to touch, the time passes so much quicker!”  You are going to get more flies with honey than vinegar.  When girls who have a rougher life perspective, they’re just doing what they think they have to do to get money.  Show them a better way; EVERYONE wants to work smarter instead of harder.  You can tell them about my website and other dancer websites–I am about to get some stickers ordered and you can plaster them on the lockers-maybe they just need someone to take the time out to teach them a better way.
Don’t repeat to yourself over and over that there is no money because of xyz, just stay your positive, beautiful self.
If none of this works, you can always considering looking for clubs in other cities and going away for weekends to work.  Lots of cities are still doing well, find one you love and go there often.  If you’re a top tier girl, you should have no problem getting hired!
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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.

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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.

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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.

Untitled 6At 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

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5 Things to Retire in 2014

Chase Kelly —  December 30, 2013 — 2 Comments

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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?”

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Despite the cash that is overflowing from their coach bags, most strippers have a fair amount of unmanaged debt that they do not know what to do with.   Borrowing money is part of our culture, and since most everyone we know is drowning in debt, maybe you jumped on the bandwagon of irresponsibility.  Maybe you got screwed in interest, and now you’re paying 10 times as much as you spent originally, now you are taking a stand against them and vow not to pay them at all.  Maybe you are a little lazy and paying them means doing a bunch of things you don’t feel like doing right now, but you swear you’ll do it “later,” and maybe you think you are being good, you pay all your bills on time, but you pay the minimum due and your balances never seem to go down?  (Maybe you have no debt at all and this post doesn’t apply to you, in which case, please comment how you managed your debt and give yourself a hug!)

Whatever the reason is, if you carry ANY debt as a dancer you are doing yourself a grave injustice.  Strippers should be investing and MAKING money in interest on all the cash we make (even if you’re a low earning stripper, you can be providing for your future more capably now than possibly ever.)  Right now, you make the cash that it costs to earn a Ph.D.  Even if you have NO IDEA what you want your future to be like, trust that one day a plan will show itself to you (please watch this video).  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to quit dancing and dedicate 40 hours a week towards YOUR DREAM?  You don’t have to run in the rat race like everyone else.  If you pay off your debts and manage your money, you can live the life you want to live, without many of the limitations that keep people down.  You don’t need to have a plan for the rest of your life right this instance to prepare yourself for a comfortable life, and there’s something you can do RIGHT NOW instead of browsing the internet to improve your life.

IF YOU PAY OFF YOUR DEBTS AND SAVE YOUR MONEY, THE LIFE YOU WANT IS YOURS, so the first step is to gather a list of all the people who you owe money to.  If this seems daunting, just answer every blocked call, 800 number, or unknown call for a month or two.  Also, check the mail daily and open everything that looks like a bill the second you get it.  Write down all of the information from each-what you owe, whether the account is in collections, if not, what the interest is on the balance, and how much they want from you.  Then start going through them one by one.  Lots of places will settle your debt for less, and if it’s in collections I say do that.

Please don’t go getting student loans, either.  If you have one, pay it off, if you don’t, get on a payment plan, work more shifts, put a little more work into refining your hustle so you make more money, and pay for school up front.  “Dancing your way through college” is a bullshit excuse for what you’re doing if you are graduating with the same debt as your cousin who works at Whole Foods.  Don’t take loans for ANYTHING but a home if you can avoid it (which you can).

I am not a financial advisor, but there are ton’s of books on debt management that can help you.  I definitely recommend Suze Orman, I got through all of my debt while reading Women and Money.  Lots of the advice in personal finance books don’t apply to dancers because we make cash, but paying off your debts is a must for all people, it just so happens that it’s actually POSSIBLE for strippers.  The bottom line is, even though you can’t see it, the interest on those cards is eating away at your hard earned money.  These credit card companies are in business to make LOTS of money off of you, and if you aren’t paying attention, they will.  Carry a low balance on your cards, and pay it in full each month.  Don’t borrow money you don’t have.  Save.  Pay for everything you have up front.  I never tell someone to “bill me.”  and ALWAYS pay cash when possible.

I will post more on earning back interest with IRAs, savings accounts, and mutual funds later on, but while you wait, pick up the phone and cancel that Victoria’s Secret Card.

xxx

Chase

related post: Control your Credit

 

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No matter what your job is in our economy driven society, it defines you-so when you become a stripper (or sex worker), that means something pretty serious.  Everyone asks you what you do, and every time, you have to agonize over what to say, or choose to just blurt it out and take the social consequence (Read So, what do you do?).  The worst part isn’t the strangers, though.  It’s your friends, and sometimes even your family.  The feeling of being a novelty to the people you love is really hard.  I remember a conversation I had with an escort friend, in which she said she felt like a girl we both knew kept her around to be able to say, “This is my escort friend, ____.”

People have a bizarre curiosity when it comes to what we do for a living.  It can make it really hard to feel cared about when you have a job like ours, the only people who understand are other girls who do what you do, which makes you feel crazy, because then all of your friends are strippers, and what does that say about you?!  Being a social outcast is something that NO ONE wants to be, especially people who have never really felt “normal,” like us.  Finding a balance between your identities can seem almost impossible sometimes.  I have googled obsessively to figure out how to keep my professional and personal life separate, but like everything else, the results were aimed towards young professionals in an office setting.  Being that we are a fringe tribe of people, most “stuff” won’t apply to us.  We need to create it ourselves and embrace that we are a little bizarre, a little different, and beautifully unique.  That’s what Survive the Club is.

So, all of your friends who “get you” are strippers, big deal!  Strippers need to stop beating themselves up for liking each other.  Somewhere along the way we were told, “Strippers are junkies and liars and thieves, and they will fuck you over, steal your customers, steal your boyfriend, and kick your dog,” and, “women never get along.”  Despite being women and strippers OURSELVES, we still assign these qualities to others, thinking that we are the only ones who are cut from a different mold.  This kind of “strippers suck” (or “sex workers suck”) (or “women suck!”) attitude just adds to our own self loathing and keeps us divided, and keeps us from making progress!  I don’t know whose idea it was to make strong minded, empowered women hate each other, but it’s a bad idea.  We, more than anyone else, need a little love.  Maybe no one else can see it, but we can recognize in each other that strength and independence are born out of hardship and loss.  More than anyone, we deserve a little tenderness, and there is no reason not to give it to one another.  Of course, avoid the girls who are life sucking leeches.  In this industry you need to learn who those girls are and recognize them (and be mature enough not to talk shit, just to ignore them!) and who can help you become the woman you want to be.  This is a job that lacks mentorship, and that sucks.  I would have done things SO MUCH differently if I had someone I could ask questions to, bounce ideas off of, and adjust my behavior to not repeat their mistakes.

Outside of work, explain to your friends that you don’t really want to talk to much about it.  Tell them not to ask how much money you make, ask them not to probe about your customers and how they act.  Encourage your family and civilian friends to treat you the same way they did before, do your best to act the same way you did before, and tell them that you’ll let them read your memoir after you write it.  When you need to vent, know that there is a community here for you to do that to.  You can email me anytime with your thoughts, concerns, questions, or ramblings and I promise to respond.  Keep hobbies outside of work that you love, whether it’s learning a new language, going to school, making jewelry, painting, yoga, WHATEVER, but something else that has a community that you practice with.  I am a loner, so many of my hobbies are “on my own” hobbies, but I have learned that the community ones really keep me much more grounded in reality.  Thank you, girls, for being part of my community.  I am SO lucky to have you.

xx

Chase

**featured image by Lee Jinju