Archives For sex worker

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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Safety First

Chase Kelly —  August 1, 2014 — 4 Comments

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Sex workers and strippers face so many of the same issues when it comes to relationships.  Can a stripper have a boyfriend and not be miserable?  Yes.  Are those relationships few and far between?  Absolutely.  Even as dancing becomes more accepted, the stigma remains the same for the majority of men.

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If you’re under 24, you’re labeled as a person with no self esteem and daddy issues.  If you are over 25 or have children, you are a “single mom with no other choice.” We know men are going to judge us and when they are angry, we know the easiest target is our jobs.  That’s something that’s hurt me, but it’s something I can live with.  It really helps me detach from someone actually–when they are so low to call me names because of my job.  Goodbye, sir.  You are done.

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What I can’t live with is the manipulation.  What many dancers don’t realize when getting into relationships is that there is a large number of men looking for “sugar mamas” or even subsidiaries (there are stripper pimps, you know about them if you live in the South or North East) and sex workers are known for having expendable income and a lack of love in their lives.  There are wolves looking for lambs who need to be loved, and which one of us can definitively say that we don’t need it?  It’s really hard for a boyfriend to be comfortable with a job like ours, so if early on your guy seems way too comfortable or encouraging, don’t be ashamed of doing a little homework.


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A parasitic boyfriend won’t complain about your job ever, because he plans on paying his bills with your ass.  Please watch your money.  Please don’t give it to anyone, please only invest in yourself.  Please never trust someone who expects you to purchase their affection (unless, of course, you have hired them to do that, like so many men have hired us to do.)  Please know your worth (priceless) and require that your needs are met (or walk!)

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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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It’s 2014, and I am holding you to your resolutions for the year by going the extra mile. Going public with your goals on facebook, twitter, etc. DOES help you fulfill them, but in this social media world where they are *poof* gone in 30 seconds, you have to wonder if it’s really enough. So here’s to the declaration of goals! I’ve reposted you here, for all of your peers to lurk. Thanks for being my twitter friends in 2012 and 2013. I am excited to be a part of your next chapter!

And for those of you who are already gettin’ it!

Hey, Tami- me too. My new years resolution this year is to only dance the weekends. My new job starts tomorrow! Are you worried about a pay cut? How are you supplementing?

and everyone knows how much I love sassy, defiant women. You are beautiful exactly as you are.

And thank you, LoveDove. I spent my Christmas this year finding out that I had been cheated on repeatedly by girls who were well aware of my existence. We certainly can’t rely on men to keep solidarity between women, but we can pledge it to each other. Thank you for not fucking my boyfriends in 2014. I love you all! Happy new year!

For those of you who are learning to strip this year, or want to pull yourself out of your slump, I do private one on one consultations for the price of two lapdances.

Follow SurvivetheClub on Twitter for more stripper action.

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

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

Soon after becoming a stripper, you will realize that we spend a lot of time judging each other, personal boundaries become a standard by which a girl’s character is determined.  Self esteem issues and shame are abound in the club, and often girls use the “I’m better than you because at least I’m not a ho,” logic to bolster their own egos.  How many people have looked down on you unfairly because of your job?  More than a few, I bet, but that ivy league girl you went to high school with who has no daddy issues and a rich family is no better than you because she has never taken her clothes off for money.  You are no better than a girl who allows people to touch her or escorts on the side based on her boundaries.  Different things work for different people.  If you have ever met a “pro-ho” you know what I’m talking about.  These are the girls who are very professional, handle their business, are comfortable with what they’re doing, they don’t hurt the business of the club (if they work in one), and they are discreet in their business should they choose to conduct it somewhere that discretion is necessary.  They know what their boundaries are and respect them, they don’t need to take a xanax or a shot to do their business, and it’s because they are totally OK with it–the same way good strippers are totally OK with taking off their tops and/or panties.  Many girls have paid their way through school, travelled the world, or retired early on escort money, and really, if you do the same with your stripper money, how are you guys any different?  You CAN determine a person’s value based on their actions, but not based on their boundaries.

The ONLY time it is OK to judge someone based on their boundaries is if you can tell they are in over their head, and it should be less of a judgement and more of an observation.  It isn’t uncommon to see girls who are addicts, or playing a supporting role in a codependent relationship, or working under a pimp in this industry, but those girls are different.  Those girls need help, not judgement, and you are compounding their problems by shit talking them.  If you have something to say, let it be encouraging words of kindness, don’t sit in the back and laugh at these poor babies.  They are going through it, probably worse than you can imagine.  Your kindness might be the difference between life and death for someone.  Realize the impact of your words.

The truth is, in one way or another we are all extras girls.  If you aren’t charging extra money for things like fetishes, role playing, dirty talk, an hour of “chillin”,  or whatever else your market wants, you are missing out.  I am not suggesting that you should give extra mileage to customers.  I don’t think it’s necessarily the best idea to turn tricks within the club, in fact it can be a really terrible idea since strip clubs are hot spots for vice raids, and I am not saying you should turn tricks in general, but what I am saying is that there is more money in the club than just lap dance money, it’s up to you hustle it, and stop being negative towards others.  It’s not helping you or the club AT ALL.  If you are one of the girls who sit in the dressing room complaining that there is “no money because so-and-so is a ho,” you are losing money because you’re being lazy, you have a negative attitude, and you don’t have the right focus, not because so-and-so sells extras.  If the club you are in is an extras club and you don’t sell them, quit.  You will eventually get taken down in a raid for someone else’s indiscretion.  If you work at a club with a few extras girls, consider yourself a regular old stripper.  Every club has at least one, and if it doesn’t affect my money, it shouldn’t affect yours!

Stop the hate, show support, believe in UNITY.  We can help each other, and that is a beautiful gift.

xx

Chase