Archives For psychology

Taming your emotions

Chase Kelly —  January 20, 2013 — 5 Comments

About 3 weeks ago I finished a book that had been on my list for awhile.  Between having a childhood that lacked guidance, running this blog, and being an entertainer myself, I often turn to books to answer the difficult questions this industry has brought up.  Over and over in books like The Power of Now, The Road Less Traveled, The Secret, The Art of Loving, The Dance of Anger, Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Power of Positive Thinking and a ton more finance and self help books proclaim the same thing.  You cannot act in response to your emotions.  You need make your emotions respond to you.

After weeks of contemplating, I have rewritten the concept (with the help of my trusty steed–a 5 year old Pomeranian), and I am now passing it on to you.  This WILL help you make money, and it will help you to preserve your sanity.  Guaranteed.  I am going to break it down Dr. M Scott Peck’s way, but instead of using the awful analogy he used (if you read it you know what I’m referring to), I will call you the master, and I will call your emotions your pet.

A good dogs sits, stays, and comes when commanded.  They don’t beg and they are ready to defend you from an intruder.  A good dog knows it’s place and can help it’s master accomplish many things.  The best dogs can sniff bombs and rescue babies from burning buildings and even serve as eyes for those who cannot see.

Bad dogs, though, they jump up on children and scratch them.  They bark at every passerby, out of fear or aggression, or a simple compulsion to make their presence known.  They sit next to your chair and whine while you are trying to enjoy a meal.  They chew your Louboutins and piss on your new couch and they tear up your beautiful garden.  The worst dogs attack people or other animals.

But when you think about the dog, are they really bad or good? Or is this just a matter of discipline? Seeing eye dogs and canine units go through extensive training to achieve all of the wonderful things they achieve.  Is it ever the dog’s fault that it lacks a sense of purpose, that it must act out in order to get noticed?  Of course not.  It is up to the master to set boundaries, to choose battles, to show her pet when it does not need to fear.

Have we, as young women, not acted out when what we need is guidance, love, support and understanding?  Can we not understand this behaviour?  When we are longing for something, security, happiness, money, love…these are the times that our emotions get out of control, when they act for us.  This longing is our enemy, it messes everything up.  What we need is self discipline.

A dog’s place is at the end of it’s human’s leash.  It’s sole desire in life is to bring you happiness, to serve and protect you, but in order to reap the benefits that this infinitely generous creature can offer you, you must speak to it with kindness and firmness, train it, show it it’s purpose in life.  Your dog WANTS to make you happy, but it only has the tools that you give it.

So learn, like you train your trusty BFF, to train your emotions.  When you feel your blood boiling, your temperature rising, your hands trembling with anger or disgust, sternly say to your anger, “Nooooo.” and pull on it’s leash.  Give it a firm hand, show it that you are in control, and it can trust you.  And in return, show trust in it.  When your dog is sad or sick, treat it with understanding and tenderness.  Reach down a hand and give it a comforting pet on the head.  Say, “Good girl,” when it’s earned.

We have all heard the stories of the amazing animals that have saved their families from burning buildings or the peril of drowning.  It’s true, like golden retrievers, your feelings can warn you and protect you from harm.  It is up to you to spend enough time with your emotions to understand which bark is just chatter and which is an alarm.  Like a well-loved pet, your must get to know your feelings…become comfortable enough with them that you actually hear what they’re saying, not just try and quiet the barks, ruffs, and whimpers.

So what does this have to do with stripping?  Probably a lot.  You need to harness excitement, happiness, and approachability to make money without degrading yourself.  People DO like sad strippers sometimes, but those people are not people you need to come in contact with.  Avoid them.  Additionally, most girls in the industry often let their emotions get the best of them, which is why they are best suited for a job that takes them in all their erratic and irrational childish glory, and this inability to control one’s emotions is what keeps them stuck in the industry forever.  Not that this job isn’t REAL, because it’s as real as it gets, but in the COMMON world, no one is going to tolerate your outbursts.  You can’t say to a client at a law firm, “Don’t TALK like that, you are SO GROSS,” throw a drink at them, and walk away.  In the strip club, though, your craziness is tolerated.  It shouldn’t be tolerable to you, though!  You can’t let yourself get that way, just because your job allows it….of any occupation, this one will stretch you to your max and having control of your emotions will determine if you sink or swim.  It will be the deciding factor between those of you who start successful business and those who down into a hole of addiction and defeat.  If you ever want out of this kind of work, if you don’t want to become this industry, you need to learn about your emotions, you need to learn to love them, to be kind to them, and to discipline them so that they can best protect you from this scary world.  Hope is a girls best friend.  Good luck and be safe out there this weekend.

Chase K.

http://www.survivetheclub.com

Over Exposure

Chase Kelly —  October 24, 2012 — 8 Comments

If I had all the answers, I would give them to you, but this site is about more than just how to be a stripper.  The reason I started SurvivetheClub was not to teach you how to make money, although I am happy to do that.  What I really wanted to tell you about is how to stay sane in such an insane world.  The long and short of it is, you kind of can’t–the more of an explorer you are, the more attraction you have to the bizarre, the longer you stay in the industry, and the more money hungry you are, the higher your exposure is going to be to really unsavory things.

The sex world and kink world are strange.  Some of you love it and live for it, but as far as strippers go, I’ve met more that are baffled as to why someone would want to buy their socks than those who understand it and know exactly how to work a fetish customer.  In time, most of us figure it out whether we want to “get it” or not.

Consider this post a warning.  You don’t need to “get it” if you don’t want to, but that needs to be a boundary that you set on your own.  Is sex dirty?  Not really, but sometimes people’s kinks can be scary, disgusting, demeaning to women, violent, or just plain weird.  Sometimes they are just too grown up for you.  I think the girls who get this the worst are the very young ones, and they are the girls who should avoid it the most.  You should still have access to “normal sex fantasy” in your brain, and too much bizarre will wipe that out.  Additionally, some of us are victims of sexual abuse, some of us aren’t.  You need to respect your past and realize that some stuff CAN get in your head and mess with you.  Consider where you are in your head before you decide to take on “weird” customers.

The strip club is just one of the places that people come to live out their fantasies.  Some people would argue that the hard core kinksters know where to go to explore their fantasies and it’s not a strip club, and they’d be right, but let’s talk about how dangerous a fetishist can be WITHOUT training, or the specific creeps who only like girls who don’t know what’s going on.  They target strip clubs, and they go for the youngest and most scared looking girl they can find, and they expose her to their weird kinks because they are into how “green” she is.  When I was 18, this was the majority of my customer base and I had NO CLUE what I was doing/how much I should be charging to dump food down my customer’s pants or burn his tongue with my cigarette.  I also had no idea what an impact all of this stuff would have on my personal life down the road.

I had so much experience with fetish was when I was young, and some of it was awful and terrifying.  I was stalked, tricked, lured into places I shouldn’t have gone, attacked, manipulated, and slightly damaged.  Later, I set out to understand this lifestyle and take my power back.  I started taking private BDSM clients as a way to assert myself and make extra cash, and I wish I hadn’t ever felt that I needed to.  Hindsight being 20/20, fetish is really meant for the people who choose it, it isn’t meant to be chosen for you.  Customers don’t care about your psyche–they will expose you to whatever weird shit lives in their brains.  Some of them are crazy and don’t care about your physical well being either.  Some of them are loose cannons, and honestly if you don’t know how to deal with them, they can get in your brain and mess with you, or they can physically harm you.  If you don’t know how to handle these customers and want to learn, I will help you, but if you DON’T want to learn, and don’t want to think about this stuff, that is your right and you should keep your head clear of all of it by avoiding it.

I feel like most fresh strippers never consider what their exposure will be like, they think it’s just normal guys who are bored of their wives, but please be aware that there is A LOT of other stuff happening in the sex industry, things that you will eventually be exposed to.  Some of you will welcome that, and that is, of course your prerogative.  Those of you who value your innocence, who don’t want to become jaded, who don’t want to “know to much” or be spoiled with too much candy, those of you who want to live a “normal” life outside of the sex industry in the future, those of you with small children or plans to have them, may want to rethink your role in this industry or what you allow yourself to be exposed to.  You are an independent contractor.  Don’t EVER think you need to spend time with a guy just to get his money.  If he freaks you out, walk away, there is more money.  I don’t care how bad you need that $200–don’t infect your subconscious with things you cannot handle!  Sometimes it’s best to leave the freaks to the pros, and realize that there is NO SHAME in not being a pro in this industry (there is no shame in being one, either!)

To leather!

Chase Kelly

 

RELATED POST: Stripping is not child’s play: controlling your conditioning

Getting Unstuck

Chase Kelly —  October 15, 2012 — 1 Comment

If you have become a stripper that really can’t handle life or responsibilities, it’s time to come clean with yourself.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with you if you want to be a stripper to help you get through a tough financial time, or if you want to be a stripper to help you achieve your goals, pay for school, start a company, etc.  There is not even anything wrong with being a stripper simply because you like it!  Often times, though, all being a stripper does for girls is support their dysfunction.  If you are one of these girls, it’s best that you at least admit the problem.  It may seem weird, awful, uncomfortable, and a huge affront to your self-esteem to admit that you simply cannot function in modern society, but truly, the first step in fixing a problem is identifying it.  Admitting that you are stuck doesn’t mean that you are doomed for life, it means that you are self-aware, that you have the clarity to admit you need some guidance, and that you at least are aware that your lifestyle could use some tweaking.  Admitting a problem means that you are not insane.  Ignoring it means that you are.

Have you ever met someone who is bat shit crazy and everyone knows it but the actual crazy person (Hi, Mom!)?  That is the result of self-denial.  That is what happens when there is a problem with your personality and you choose to ignore it, say, “It’s fine!” or joke about your bad life decisions.  Like cancer, early detection is the best cure for a diseased lifestyle.  If you catch it, you can change it.  If it goes ignored for too long, though, it spreads like wildfire and mental illness comes in and grabs you.  Let’s not pretend that the strip club will be around forever—eventually we will be too old for this shit.  Let’s also not pretend that crazy people are a scarcity in the industry.  And while we are at it, let’s not be so pompous to think it couldn’t happen to us.  Lifestyle dancing is dangerous because it is unrealistic.  Unless you LOVE the industry and plan to be in the adult industry for the rest of your life (eventually you will have to quit stripping, at which point it will be the cams, porn sites, escorting, or Dommeing) you need to be able to function outside of it.  If the only people who “get you” work in the club, it’s time to reassess.

Some of the problems I see most often are ones that I have myself struggled with from time to time.  Some girls are lazy, can’t get out of bed in the daytime, others literally have no idea what to do with authority-they lack the social skills to follow direction.  Rage issues, no “filter,” inability to maintain a schedule, inability to connect with people, no desire to do anything that doesn’t result in monetary gain, addiction, codependency, and battered women’s syndrome are just SOME of the  many things that strippers have to overcome.  You add a career that encourages your behavior, and managers that turn a blind eye, are completely oblivious, or simply don’t care what happens to you, a peer group that has adopted the “sink or swim” approach to life, and a shit ton of untaxed income, sexual assault and complete disregard for your humanity, and you have a recipe for disaster.  It’s no wonder most all dancers suffer from PTSD at some point.  You are not alone, but you will be if you don’t do something to change the direction of your actions.

Women have SO much more responsibility than men do when it comes to being emotionally stable, if only for one reason.  Most of us are already or will be mothers one day.  We will literally take on the responsibility of another human life at some point, and like many bad moms, those who end up totally crazy won’t even realize it.

I am asking you to take a look at yourself and do something about it if you are one of these girls.  Thinking about it is great, spend some time on that, but start making a plan as soon as you’re ready.  During your thinking process, take notes.  Your journal is your best friend when making life changes.  If your’re writing it down, you are making a commitment.  Do that!  Commitment is good, failure to commit is a really common stripper problem, so now is a great time to work on that.  Start small, do the things you know you SHOULD be doing, but don’t.  Something as simple as keeping your bed made when you aren’t in it, keeping an empty sink, or cleaning up after your pets will bolster your “I can do it!” esteem pretty much right away.  Taking care of the basics is essential to being able to take care of the extras.  The things you need to do to get the ball rolling vary from girl to girl, you know what you need to work on.  Start small, don’t give yourself a panic attack, instead reward yourself for your achievements, and counter some of your bad habits with good ones.  If you suffer from anxiety, this is seriously one of the best things you can do to alleviate some of that.  When “I can’t do it,” is constantly playing in your head, OF COURSE you have anxiety.  As of right now, you are broken up with “I can’t.” Your new mantra is, “I’ve got this!”

And you do.  You’ve got this.  Now get off the internet and go clean your kitchen.

Lots of love,
Chase Kelly

 

*Featured Image by Klaus Kampert

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Making a Regular

Chase Kelly —  September 13, 2012 — 2 Comments

Anyone who dances knows that the best money comes from being a stripper who attracts regulars.  I want to tell you how I do it.

The other night I had a customer the who was really sweet.

He had been going through a really hard time.  A bad divorce, some time locked up, lost his kid to his ex, working 60 hours a week at a job he hated, and NO strip club experience/etiquette.  Typically an annoying guy, but since it was early on a Sunday, the club was really slow, I decided to go talk to him.  It seemed like everyone was avoiding him because he was sitting in a kind of unapproachable spot, but I assume that’s only because he wasn’t really comfortable.  He had heard about my club on the radio and decided to come out for our Sunday happy hour special, which is $10 dances all night.  People with no strip club experience make the perfect regulars, because n one has gotten in there and burned him, given him too much for too little, or fucked him up some other annoying way.  I decided it was a perfect opportunity to take on the project of converting him to my regular.

I was really sweet and patient, showed him a great time, gave him some heartfelt advice, and took 2 shots with him (a serious limit for me).  On $10 dance nights I still always charge $20, but a lot of customers who hear the ad expect to pay the “sale” price.  Here is how I get around that.

“So this is really only your second time at a strip club?  Do you know how it works here?”

Even if he knows, he is going to prompt you to tell him.  He wants to hear your menu.  Dances here are typically $20 anywhere in the club, but options are key.  People gravitate towards the middle ground, so 3 choices is best.

“So, since it’s Sunday, we are running a $10 dance special.  They take place here in your seat, there is absolutely no touching, and I leave my top on.  We can also go against the wall back there, and those are $20.  We also have private VIP dances, which are way more intimate, allow touching, and are really fun.  Which do you think you want to do?”

He chose the $20 dances, and we did a few.  Then I gave him a massage for awhile, and charged $10 a song.  Eventually I excused myself because I was bored of him, and could feel his attention wavering.  The club had picked up, so I went in search of greener pastures.  I knew I showed him a great time and he’d want to see me again, so I offered my email, even though he is FAR from a regular.  It was actually his first time in a club since the 90’s.  Today I received an email from him.  It read as follows:

Hi Chase. Hope all is well with you. This J the guy with the skull

hat. I was there Sunday.   Just wanted to say thanks alot! For taking

your time and talking and being real. You made my night. You and the

drinks got me loosen up. So I went with it and had fun. dance with

others to. Nice place! easy going. Stiil I had best time hanging with

you. Send me a line as to when you work and if its not a work night

Ill come out. dont worry I wont hang on you. I know you need to work.

Thanks very much for your email. very sweet.  Hope to here from you.

take care, have fun.

J

How lovely.  It feels nice to help someone when they are having a hard time.  Sometimes people just want to relax and have fun, and I am lucky to be professional and personable enough that I can feel okay about charging for it.  If you take someone who is down in the dumps for a ride, take all of their money, and treat them like a trick, you are a shithead.  Don’t be a part of the problem, people already think we are thieving whores, that’s why they don’t care when we get raped or murdered.  Being a good person is your responsibility, we need you to help us get the respect we deserve!  I know that I am not a negative thing for this guy, so taking his money is A-OK.  There are lots of occupations in which you get paid to help people, and dancing can definitely be one of them.  It really is one of the more exciting and rewarding parts of the job, to be able to give someone who never gets to smile a great night.  Sooooo I did that for this guy, made a regular, and then got to write an awesome blog about it to share with you all the ins and outs of how to be successful, ethical, and rich young ladies!  How good is life, can you tell me?

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Evolution of a Stripper

Chase Kelly —  September 1, 2012 — 1 Comment

As women and as dancers here in the 21st century, we been victimized by a lot of people.  We have built so many defenses against the way society and media views us.  We have built defenses against what society and media have built men to be.  We have built defenses against our parents, our lovers, and even ourselves.  Remember that post about conditioning?  We have conditioned ourselves to tolerate things that are intolerable, building all sorts of fortresses around our hearts and arming our minds with tons of weapons.  So many of these mechanisms were built under distress, though, and we have begun to see the results of these defenses as “who we are.”

By suggesting that we evolve as dancers, I am also saying that we need to evolve as people.  Each person has things that they do that they know simply do not work, but for some reason they just can’t stop.  This is because they are used to acting a certain way, continuing to do so will help them avoid the discomfort of change.  I will be the first one to admit, change is really uncomfortable.  Learning to be a better version of yourself feels so weird, sometimes it’s like I want to crawl out of my skin, but you know what?  MY LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER.  Taking the time to examine myself as a person and keeping notes about everything so I can actually monitor the change has been the most liberating thing I have ever done.  It has led me here, to be able to share everything that I’ve learned.  I know that I will help people with this project, and I chose it because I passionately believe that we can reprogram our faulty systems and make ourselves happier, and make the world a better place for young girls everywhere.

So what does this have to do with dancing (besides everything?)  Here’s one:

Our building insecurities, our diminished sense of self and self-worth, and the constant feeling of being misunderstood has taught us that we are the safest emotionally if we display our personas loudly.  We flap our mouths at coworkers and at customers nonstop, telling them about what we think, feel, believe, and especially what we hate or disagree with.  By broadcasting our feelings, we have created a simple system: the people who listen or agree are cool, and fuck the people who don’t.

This is just such a faulty way to live.  Not only does it scream your insecurities to everyone who will listen, but subliminally, you are programming yourself to be stubborn, angry, and bitter.  You are turning people off before they even have a chance to get to know you, like you, and especially pay you.  The next time you work, how about you try this: ask questions, don’t EVER talk about the club, how you feel about stripping, or how you feel about anything for that matter, unless you’re saying “omg, I totally agree!”  I am going to ask you to stop being an insecure little girl (at least at work), and for the time being, evolve into a business woman.  If you can get a guy to open up to you, you have him in the palm of your hand.  He goes home to his wife, kids, or girlfriend who all put every thought and feeling out into the world for him to process.  At the strip club, we need to give him a place to decompress from all of that.  Just shut up, listen, and dance.  Your wallet will thank you!

At work, you need to maintain professionalism, but mostly you need to protect that insecure little girl inside of you.  I am NOT asking you to ignore her, I am asking you to shelter her.  Usually this means not getting too fucked up at work.  If you are not in your right mind, you are likely to slip back into comfortable habits.  If there is a part of you that never got the love and support that you needed (I am willing to bet there is) I think you should nurture that, but I don’t think coming at customers with every belief you’ve ever had about anything ever is the way to protect her. I think you are just making her poor.

Evolution takes time.  It takes learning the basics of all the things you know nothing about but have convinced yourself you’re an expert on.  Faking it til you make it works, but not if you never make it.  Start digging at the parts of yourself that you don’t like—somewhere in there lies the trigger of what made you that way, and once you identify that, you can change it!  If you have deep emotional issues, are the adult child of an alcoholic, addict, physical, emotional, or sexual abuser, please consider looking for a therapist in your area to help you dig into this part of your subconscious, and read Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Forward.  Bringing your dysfunction with you into the strip club can be especially damaging, and unfortunately is what leads to “stuck in the club” syndrome, which slowly and heart-wrenchingly turns into “bag lady” syndrome.  I have seen it happen, please don’t let that girl be you.

If you have ever taken a basic psychology course or visited a therapist at some point in your life, you probably understand the term “conditioning.”  Conditioning is what happens to us when we make the assumption based on past experiences, that A+B will have an outcome of C.  For example, if every time you sold a lap dance, you got a lollipop along with your $20-40, you would come to expect the lollipop.  Up close, it’s easy to see the simple connections we make, “If I smile on stage I will make more money.”  If you know this works, it’s because you’ve tried it and you know it to be true.

If you take some time to reflect on your past, I’m sure you can see the patterns that have been set in your life based on your conditioning.  If your father treated your mother like shit, you probably have issues in your relationships, you have either started dating abusive people, become abusive yourself, or both.  If you had a lot of experiences traveling that made you feel free and weightless and amazing, you probably already have your next trip planned and are working on a way to achieve your travel goal.  While I think that it is imperative that we explore our pasts to figure out what we are going to make of life today,  what this post is really about is how what you do today greatly impacts the person you will be tomorrow.
Choosing to become an adult entertainer, you made a big decision.  I stress the word adult because you really did take on a very grown-up task.  Rest assured, stripping is not child’s play.  If you want to be an adult in an adult industry, it is really important that you take responsibility for how you are currently conditioning your future self.  If you have never seen a dancer in her 40’s or older who has nothing to show for her time in the club except for meth pocks and mental health issues, you know how real it is.  It is not the strip club that trapped them, it was their own minds, and often their drug addictions.  I hope you guys like bullet points as much as I do.  Here are some things you can do to keep your mind healthy and keep you from brainwashing yourself into believing that this is all you will ever be:

-Keep your goal list close.  It is important to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.

-Consistently put positive things into your brain.  Always have a project, something that you are reading, learning, working on, improving.  The strip club is pretty negative and being in the “work all night, sleep all day, party and bullshit every other second of my life” will really knock the wind out of your future.

-Hang pictures in your living room of things you really want in life.  I read this in a Feng Shui book once, the idea is that you spend the most time there and you will be burning the desires into your subconscious.

-Be aware of your subconscious mind.  When you “numb-out” like most of us do at the club, there is still some aspect that is creeping in.  Be aware of it, and find outlets to clear out this negativity.  Running, yoga, writing, being in nature, long periods of solitude, therapy, and reading are some of mine, but maybe you love painting and have always wanted to learn French.  Now is a great time.

-Pay attention to the people you are surrounding yourself with.  Do not become friends with people who you do not respect.  If your family is toxic, either keep them at a distance or start doing some ground work to improve the relationship.

-We share a collective consciousness that we cannot see or feel.  Take responsibility for your share.  Add only positivity to our shared thinkspace.

-Make a ritual of something you really love.  It can be anything that makes you smile, just commit to doing it once a day.