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In order to be a successful stripper, you need to have acute awareness of your body language and also pay attention to that of others. When your product is yourself, it’s important to be aware of what your body is saying to your customer and to be aware of what his body is saying to you. Work gets much easier when you get out of your own head and start using a formula to steer towards a sale and read when you’re getting close.

When you’re there, the customer is asking himself if your time is worth what you are charging for it. I think one thing that girls do when they’re first learning how to strip is slump their shoulders and act shy. Even veteran girls do this when they’re stressed, discouraged, or “over it.”  This effects your wallet! Fake it til you make it!

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Shoulders back, head up.

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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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I got an email today from a sweet young woman named Dallas who recently started learning about becoming a stripper.  She is having a problem deciding what to tell her ultra-religious mom what she is doing for cash.  I am blessed (and cursed) to have a mom that could honestly care less what I do for money, but I know exactly what I would do if I weren’t.  I do have a couple of adorable grandparents who would never, ever understand and so far white lies have worked for me.
I don’t think it’s OK to lie to your family, really, even if you think she should be ok with your decisions.  In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to, but in this case I think a white lie might be the best policy.  Hopefully you will live to be one-hundred.  Hopefully less than 10 of those years will be spent being a stripper.  You only have one family and you need them.  They need you. You can’t build a new one, and sometimes you can’t mend something once it’s broken.  It will be less than one-tenth of your life that you spend on the pole–If you will break your mom’s heart and risk your relationship with her by telling her you dance, just don’t.  Why would you?  You wouldn’t sit down with her and tell her about that time you tried anal, or acid, or a threesome.  It’s not lying, it’s editing yourself for your audience.  You don’t need to talk about your mom to your customers, and you don’t need to talk about your customers to your mom.  If she doesn’t understand, she will blame herself.  She will think you are degrading yourself and it’s because she didn’t teach you any better.

Sometimes dancers think they need to be 100% real all the time.  It’s a thing that we do to protect ourselves-we puff out our chests and say, “Fuck you if you don’t like me.” In the real world, that doesn’t have to be the case.  You can be real.  You can be close and honest, but you don’t need to be transparent. There are truths that you are allowed to keep private.

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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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Should you be a stripper?

Chase Kelly —  September 1, 2012 — 1 Comment

 

If you have never danced before, the questions you have are infinite, and so is the advice I have to give.  Deciding to become a stripper is a very big decision and one that will affect the rest of your life; ie: please don’t take this decision lightly!  I know what you really want me to address is what to wear, how to give lapdances, what to do on stage, how to talk to customers, other dancers, and club management, and I promise I will in future posts, but this being the first time I address new dancers, I really want to focus on the big picture.  It’s definitely the most important part.

You need to take an honest assessment of yourself if you are just starting out dancing.  Even if you’ve been working for a couple weeks, months, or years, this is a good thing to go back and do.  Given the fact that negativity is contagious, and you are a good person, it is the right thing to do to handle your business appropriately and not spread around the toxicity of your demise.  The maturity to determine if this is really what you need to be doing right now is the first thing to focus on.  You need to be honest with yourself, for your own well-being and the well-being of others.  I ask you to always bring that self awareness with you when you read my blogs.  I don’t like denial, it keeps us from achieving greatness!

The very most important thing you need to survive as a dancer and to generally be a happy person is integrity.  Do you feel like you really know who you are? When you say or think something, does it come from a place of sincerity?  Do you consider the facts and adhere to them without altering the “truth?” Do you feel like you have a solid, firm, stable, and mature character?  It’s totally ok if you aren’t there yet, but making it a goal is a necessity.  People who go their whole lives without ever committing to a life that they deem worthwhile usually live under a veil of darkness.  When you put a shaky character like that into a strip club, very bad things are imminent, and those things are the only things the public sees.  If you are going to dance, please do so as a liberated, free, and independent woman (or man, or trans person!)

The next thing I’d encourage you to have is a sense of clarity.  Do you have a pretty good grasp on reality?  It’s important that you are the kind of person who does a lot of analyzing and soul searching-someone who can see when things are taking a turn for the worse and come up with a creative solution to the problem.  If you are the kind of person who shuts down when she is afraid, or the kind of person who lies to herself and tries to keep up appearances when you’re falling apart inside, you should take some more time to think about dancing and work on that.  If you have a hard time with this, I suggest meditating.  Exercises on mindfulness can really help you evolve.

How do you really feel about yourself?  Do you feel beautiful?  Would your heart be broken if a customer told you that you were fat or a girl made fun of your c-section scar?  This might happen.  Even if you think you are perfect, people will find something to pick at.  If you are the kind of person who obsesses, please don’t dance.  If you have an eating disorder, this job also isn’t for you.  The strip club takes everything that is wrong with how society views women and amplifies it times a million, and as someone who is already suffering as a result of a sick culture, the last thing you need is more negative body image shit.  You need to feel really comfortable, and realize that when people say awful things about you, it has nothing to do with what’s wrong with you, and everything to do with what’s wrong with them.  Inner strength is really key.

If you are touchy when people say things you don’t like and often find yourself in confrontation with the people you are involved with, you will probably have quite a few problems at the club.  It really is best to be a level headed person.  You have way more strength if you solve problems with logic than if you solve them with anger or rage or violence.

The qualities above and a generally positive attitude are going to be the most valuable weapons you can wield against the taxing environment you’ll be working in, and actually will be pretty useful tools for surviving life in general.  Remember that just because you are reading this and will take these things into consideration, not every dancer (or person) does.  You will encounter a lot of difficult people in this industry and knowing how to handle them is important.  Do not measure yourself against other girls, and do not bend your morals for anyone, whether it’s in the name of agreement or disagreement.  You know it’s a bad idea to do cocaine, and you also know nobody listens when you are irrational, so keep your head on straight and be able to handle confrontation with grace.

Not having all of the qualities you need to be a dancer right now doesn’t mean that you can NEVER be a dancer (or that you’ll never be happy.)  You are an ever evolving being, and knowing what your weaknesses are gives you the ability to make a clear cut plan to improve.  Stripping is a fun and exciting job, and it will have lots to offer you for many years if you allow it to, but just like you wouldn’t want to see Paris for the first time with a significant other during a break up, you don’t want to see financial freedom for the first time while you’re in the middle of a break down.  If you are unprepared mentally, you will not only squander your entire income, but you will ruin the image of this awesome profession for yourself and never be able to return, not to mention add to the negative stigma we are trying so desperately to shake!

Thank you so much for visiting, and I hope this helps.  Keep coming back!

Chase