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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.

vixen

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.

text

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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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

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Soooo, what do you do?

Chase Kelly —  September 14, 2012 — 4 Comments

I spend a lot of time thinking about how to break the news to the civilian world that I am a stripper, and I even moreso, that I spend my days blogging about how to be a stripper!  I hate that it is commonplace to say “What do you do?” to someone right after you meet them, and I wish someone would send out a public notice to people that you just DO NOT ask that question of someone you think might be a gangster or stripper.  It’s just rude and we don’t want to answer you, guy!

Once upon a time I wore my badge with honor.  I was naked all over the internet and going by my actual name.  I spent most nights that I wasn’t working downtown getting hammered and convincing boys to fall in like with me.  It was a fun time, but hindsight being 20/20, I can see some error in my ways.  I got a reputation as a “party girl” and I realized not a single one of my friends was real.  Even my “real” friends started to view me more as a stripper or sex worker than a person, and eventually I started to define myself the same way.  I understand why I did what I did.  I am a headstrong person, I saw nothing wrong with the choices I made, and I wanted to broadcast to the world that there is a different way to live life.  I think dancing is great, but it’s something that not everyone can understand, and trying to force people to understand is just pointless.  I spent the four years that I lived like this single (and loving it) but had I wanted to settle down, I’m not sure anyone would’ve had me.  Even four years later, now that I spend more time reading and writing than anything else, when I drink Nature’s Way protein drinks instead of Patron chilled, people still see me as an aging party girl, and that’s because that’s what I showed them.  It’s honestly a fair assumption, although faulty, so these days i try and be more discreet.  If you are a loudmouth and love attention and can’t seem to satiate the thirst for it, this is probably you.  My advice?  Take a deep breath, you’re beautiful as you are, you don’t need all that “wrong kind” of attention.  Unless you are getting paid for it, all you’re doing is objectifying yourself everywhere you go and telling people it’s OK to treat you like a stripper.  Some people still get my full disclosure but only if my intuition says it’s the right thing to do.

Then there’s lying.  Lying to real people isn’t really in my constitution, I am terrified of getting caught, and I know that all of the info I have put out in the past about myself directly contradicts my lies, and if I form a lasting bond with the person, I will eventually have to come clean as both a stripper AND a liar.  Not happening.  A simple google search will tell people the DIRTY TRUTH about my SHAMEFUL LIFE.  Since I don’t really feel this way about my life, I would rather not give people the impression that I am a shameful, lying whore who is embarrassed of the choices she’s made.  Lying is bad.  Period.  Moving on.

Mystery, ah, you beautiful thing.  I love you.  I am still trying to work out the perfect answer, seeing that I look like a stripper, but you know, we can let people’s imaginations go where they’d like.  Here are some of my favorite mysterious answers to “What do you do for work?”

  • “I’ll tell you later.”
  • “Don’t we have anything more interesting to talk about?”
  • “I fucking hate work.”
  •  ”What’s (pause and give a puzzled look, like you’re searching for a word) work?”
  • “Ya know, just passin’ the time til the ol’ trust fund runs out.” (or any other highly sarcastic answer.  I love telling people I travel with the circus as a lion tamer.

BUT my absolute favorite thing to be able to say ever is, “I am the founder of a project that aims to help girls 18-30 make their dreams come true by offering them financial, emotional, and career support.”  I also get to say, “I am studying psychology.  I would like to practice sex-therapy and do trauma work, and probably write some non-fiction.” THIS is the number one reason you need to save your money.  Once you find your passion, it will be a blessing every time you get to tell someone about your plans.  Sooooo nice to not have to say, “I’m a stripper!” and instead be able to say, “I don’t believe in taking investors, I’d rather be my own :wink:” if I ever get found out.

Even if you don’t have your passion yet (you will, have faith!) it’s a good idea to keep a second job and go to school, not jut for your sanity, taxes, or future, but because it just gives you the perfect scapegoat to not be typecast forever.

Of course, if you are one of the girls who loves the attention and wants to do good, please contact me.  We can find a positive way for you to broadcast your lifestyle choices together and use your beautiful openness to inspire others to take their lives to the next level!

Happy Skrippin!

Chase Kelly

Survive The Club

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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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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.

 

Controlling the Vibe

Chase Kelly —  September 1, 2012 — Leave a comment

Most things about the typical stripper experience can be relatively taxing on your mental state.  At one time, the thing that I felt the most affected by was the customers and being on the floor, but at some clubs I’ve danced at, including the one I am currently contracting, it’s actually the dressing room that makes me feel the worst about being there.  I am not sure if it’s the degree to which my fellow entertainers are damaged, or if it’s because i falsely expect the dressing room to be a safe haven from the chaos that makes it so unnerving, but it is, none-the-less.  The “misery loves company” epidemic that has been spread through our clubs is contributing to their general decline.

There are so many things that we cannot control inside the clun, but the vibe of OUR dressing room is OURS to take.  We can make this a more pleasurable experience for ourselves, our coworkers, and our customers simply by committing to be healthier people while in the club.  Some things you can commit to that will increase your happiness and thereby increase your profit are:

-Do not discuss deep, personal issues at the club.  If you make friends with someone there, respect her night enough to make lunch plans to talk about what’s going on in your life.

-Bring headphones and use them.  Resist the urge to get involved in other people’s drama, instead get your mind into something positive (when things are especially hectic, I often listen to Tony Robbins or TED talks.)

-Be nice.  Smile at people.  Don’t start fights.  Be gentle with new girls.  They are scared, and good people don’t scorn people who are already terrified.  Remember your own first night and have empathy.

-If you choose to use drugs (not recommended) do so privately, and do not involve people who you are not already friendly with.  There is no reason to start someone else on that path, even if you’ve chosen it for yourself.

-Be considerate of the fact that there are recovering addicts in your midst.

-Report or ignore prostitution at your club.  If you are not willing to report it to management, you cannot take it on yourself to fight.  It’s not worth the war you start, and it affects all of us.  If your management ignores it, find a new club, or a new job.

-Don’t get wasted and act a fool in the dressing room.

-If you need to relax, the dressing room is the place to do it, but if you need to yell, scream, blow steam, etc. get dressed and go to your car or leave for the evening.  Do not bring your negativity on to other dancers any more than you do your customers (which I hope you don’t!)

-Don’t make fun of other girls.  Not only does it make you look mean and ugly, but if you’re so much better than all the girls at your club, you might as well upgrade, you’ll make more at a nicer place anyway.