Archives For privacy

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

I was talking to an industry friend today about ploys to make money, and how strippers manipulate customers into spending.  My friend, who has been dancing for a year, said that it’s a guaranteed good night if you say it’s your first day. I have known strippers who have a birthday every month, and those who have made up elaborate crises on a weekly basis to get money. While I know that it’s true that these things DO work short term, I have found that in the long term it really messes with you and your money to use hard lies like that to hook customers in, not to mention the type of customer it attracts.

This kind of money is “easy come, easy go” money.  Fortune favors those who show it respect.  I love money, truly and deeply.  I treat it like I treat a lover.  I protect it, spend it on things I truly cherish, collect it in neat stacks, NEVER waste it, but loving the money isn’t enough.  You have to love the source.  Imagine you had a chicken who laid eggs made out of gold (bear with me here), if you fed the hen hormones to make it lay more often, shocked it into laying cycles by starving it or dehydrating it, you would get more eggs for a little while, but eventually, your hen would die or the quality of the eggs would suffer.  Your customers WANT to give you money, they are already going to do it, but if you treat them poorly and milk them too often (switching barnyard animals), eventually they will be drained.  Not only will they stop responding to you, but they may avoid the clubs all together from then on, labeling strippers as “manipulative, lying, thieving assholes” who don’t deserve love, attention, or financial help.  For the good of your money and the good of the lovely people in this industry, don’t paint us that way!

The strip club offers you a marvelous opportunity to meet people who can and will definitely help you in your future.  Business men from all over the world hang out in strip clubs, looking to find that perfect stripper to give their money and affection to.  If that person is you, and you make a goal of showing that person a good time, letting them get to know you a little, and building a relationship based on trust vs. manipulation, you can keep these guys.  Don’t be so cocky to think that you will magically “find” this right guy if you don’t show respect for your customers.  The rich guys will pass right over you, whales know a snake when they see one.  If they are suckers and fail to see it, in time your true colors will show and they will either become hopelessly addicted to you (check back tomorrow for an article on this), or leave you in the dust.  If  you are a snake, will be stuck nickel and dime-ing suckers for your entire career, eventually getting too old to make money that way (or any way) and you will have built NONE of the sales techniques that stripping provides, which are the things that qualify us so well for PR, marketing, entrepreneurship, psychology, public speaking, sales, and countless other “customer centered” business ventures later in our lives.

When you don’t respect your money, and you don’t respect your clientele, your money doesn’t stick to you.  Although the strip club seems like a place where all the laws of nature stop applying, it’s not true.  Karma is real in all places.  If you are an asshole, life will be shitty to you.  If you are good and genuine, life will be good to you.

Like I’ve said a million times before, your habits determine who you are, and while “hustling” might get you ahead for the moment, being manipulative will in the long term destroy your money AND your character.  Am I saying never lie?  Of course not.  White lies protect your identity, your safety, and your privacy.  (Read Maintaining your Privacy)

Are some of the guys in the club assholes who deserve to be robbed?  Maybe.  I guess there are quite a few bad apples in the club, but in my experience avoiding these customers all together rather than ripping them off seems to improve my overall mental health, which I think is the most important thing, but the other thing I want thing to stress here is that without lying (much), without stealing, manipulating, or selling hard extras, my money has actually improved quite a bit over time, and I rarely have to “hustle.”  It’s so often that I have a regular who I don’t even dance for.  I just hang out and have a good time, tell jokes, and laugh.  I have one customer in particular who I have stayed close with for YEARS who still regularly gives me money, often times without even seeing him.  I have countless others who I could call if I ever really WAS in a bind (unlikely).  They will always be there for me because they know I won’t take advantage of them.  I won’t fake a crisis to get money, I will respect them, care about their well-being, and stay in touch.  When these customers “help” me, it’s with my tuition, my car payment, putting new tires on my vehicle, vet bills, etc.  I don’t fake things, and I CERTAINLY don’t create crises in order to sucker someone.  Don’t purposely ruin your life so someone will feel like they need to save you.  That logic is so illogical, that I can’t even call it logic.
Everyone knows that all regulars have a shelf life, but how do some girls keep their regulars for years?  How do the hose people you have heard of who have gotten houses and cars?  They have built relationships that last with people who are happy to help.  When you are the kind of person who exploits people’s loneliness to make a cheap buck, you poison yourself and your golden egg-layin’ hen.  When you share a moment, uplift your customer, and see yourself as a positive force, you are nourishing your hen, ensuring that it lives a long life, and maybe even survives long enough to support you during a career change.

You’re easier to love if you’re a good person all the time.  Your actions define you to your customers AND to your real life friends.  Make them virtuous, you will be happier.

xx

Chase

Maintaining your Privacy

Chase Kelly —  September 28, 2012 — 8 Comments

Once you become a stripper, your privacy means more to you than most anything else.  When you share your ‘private parts,’ your private information takes on a whole new meaning to you.  It is easy to get angry with a prying customer; even “What’s your real name?” has set me off a few times.  This week alone I have been asked what part of town I live in on two separate occasions, and what my last name was once.  I get asked my last name quite often, actually, because my strip club character is 100% Italian, people want to hear my funny last name.  The most obnoxious thing about the prying is probably the civilian obsession with the industry as a subculture.  I don’t really want to explain the inner workings of sex work to a customer.  If you want to know how to be a stripper, read my website.  The more your customer knows, the less advantage you have, but talking is key and this is where they want to lead the conversation.  To formulate a plan, I did some research.

I think the most important part of sales, especially when you are learning how to be a stripper, is the ability to understand your client’s needs, and so instead of incessantly worrying about my own, I started considering where he was coming from.  Instead of the instinctual, “Why the fuck are you asking me this?” I started asking myself, “I wonder why he’s asking me this?” and the answer appeared, right under my nose.

Just like women, men want intimacy, and despite popular belief, they too know that intimacy is more than just sex. 

Sometimes guys just want to get to know the person that is grinding on them, it alleviates the guilt of objectifying someone’s little girl.  Now, please don’t think I am saying all customers feel guilty, but some do, and those are usually your money customers AND the ones who will treat you with the most respect.  These true gentlemen are your bread and butter, so don’t push them away!  This certainly isn’t stripper 101, but it’s something every stripper should know how to do.

My natural hustle turned out to be the best one and I am so glad I returned full circle to it.  When I first started bartending in strip clubs, I was 18 and I was worried about my safety, so I made up a story.  I used my real name, but I told people that I traveled 2 hours from upstate New York to work, because I didn’t want anyone to find out.  I formulated a fake hobby (horse back riding) and was going to school (I lied about which) and explained that it was why I worked in the industry, to fund my passions of intellectual success and equestrianism.  My candidness and sweetness set me apart from the other girls in the club who would protectively withdraw.  Even now that I have become a stripper, I still see those customers every time I go back home (about once a year, and it’s been 10 years since I was their bartender).  Although I don’t get much money from them, I appreciate their loyalty and their welcoming smiles; it definitely ups my hustle!

A girlfriend of mine was telling me that she admits to customers that her stripper name is not her real name, but when pressured, refuses to give out her “real name.”  Man, I know you want to establish your dominance; I understand the desire to be frank with guys.  During my first year actually dancing, I threw away my hustle for chaos and would even say things like, “It doesn’t matter, you don’t care about that, let’s just treat this like the transaction it is,” and although those guys usually still would get dances, they rarely stack them, and they NEVER become regulars.  This kind of hard ass, protective mentality makes you seem wounded, jaded, rude, cold, and ugly.  Guys want to see you shine.  YOU want to shine–So shine!

Say your real name is your dancer name, and that fake names are so 90’s, or have a fake real name on deck!  Chase Kelly is my dancer name, and Chase is short for my real name, Chastity.  Still sound strippery?  It’s ok.  Lot’s of girls have stripper names in real life.  Why isn’t my name italian?  I’m adopted.  Duh.

All you have to do is formulate a character.  It will make your life SO much easier.  Keep it consistent so you never have to remember who you told what.  Your stripper character should be as much like real life you as possible in personality, but all the details should be changed to protect your identity entirely.  You will feel protected, because now you are selling your character’s identity and time instead of your own, the customer will be pleased because he will feel like he is getting some special part of you that the other guys don’t, and you will have been morally sound throughout the entire process, despite your white lies.  These guys know that we are actresses as much as they want to deny it, so act, but do it well enough that they CAN deny it.
Happy hustling, ladies.

Chastity “Chase” Kelly