I will never forget the first time I went to a strip club. I was 21 and in my 3rd year of college in Tucson, Arizona. I was meeting up with a few friends for drinks at an establishment called ‘Curves’, not knowing that it was actually a strip club. My first clue should have been the giant neon sign with a stripper on it, or even the bouncer asking me “Did you come alone?” with an intrigued look on his face. It wasn’t until I walked inside that the light bulb finally turned ‘On’. Surrounded by naked women on poles under black lights, I realized that I was inside my first strip club. What I didn’t know then, that I absolutely know now, was how that night would forever change my life. What started out as a night ‘grabbing drinks’ quickly turned into filling out a W-9 and getting a job at Curves the very next day.
Instantly drawn to the open non-judgmental atmosphere, flexible work hours, and great pay, my reasons for stripping mirrored many of the other women. I could work 10 hours a week earning the same pay as my previous 35 hour a week job. Not only that, but stripping transformed my naïve and timid self into a self-confident and self-assured woman. Working as a dancer is not for everyone, but if you have the right mindset and dedication you can start making some serious money. Stripping allowed me the time and flexibility to focus on school while still supporting myself financially. It can serve as a part time job to earn a little extra money, or a full-time job to support your lifestyle and save for the future. Don’t go into it blind (like I did) but keep an open mind and make sure that you’re prepared. Here’s to becoming your own boss and supporting yourself on this new journey!
1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Finding the right club is a lot like dating, it takes effort and a ‘feeling’ to find the one that’s right for you. Where you live might dictate the club you have access to, but you first want to look up all of the clubs in your city with TUSCL.NET. Read the reviews, check the score ratings, and write down a few that you want to check-out.
Visit the club as a CUSTOMER
Many clubs let women in for free or offer a discount, so scoping them out affordably should be easy. Visit during the hours that you expect to work to give yourself the best impression of what it would be like to work there. Before you walk in, check out the parking lot and see if it’s full or empty. Keep in-mind the day of the week, generally the parking lot on the weekend will be much busier than a Tuesday afternoon. Check the club’s safety, do you see bouncers outside, or walking the floor? The local neighborhood clubs may have fewer bouncers than a larger tourist club, but keep safety in-mind regardless. You always want to feel SAFE! Especially when the club closes at 2am and everyone is walking to their cars. Having a bouncer walk you to your car is a must. While you’re there talk to the strippers and ask them what it’s like to work there. Ask them about the club’s management, splits, and how long they’ve been working there. If you find that some of the dancers have been there for a long time then that’s a good sign.
Talk to the hiring manager
Now that you’ve found a club(s) that you want to work at, you need to talk to the hiring manager about getting hired! Some clubs will make you audition, and some won’t. It just depends on the club but talking to the manager is the first step. They might ask you about your experience, where you’ve worked in the past, and why you’re interested in working at their establishment. Bring your ID and social security card in case they ask you to start filling out paperwork. If they require auditions, be prepared to bring a pair of Pleaser heels and g-string/ thong in case they want you to audition right then. Here’s a recap of things to bring with you when going to the club:
- Social Security Card
- Stripper Shoes
- G String (or lingerie set)
If you’ve never danced before, practice makes perfect. Or at least practice builds confidence. Thanks to the internet, you can watch videos that can help! You don’t need to dance on the pole, but you should nail a few moves where you writhe and dance on stage. If you plan on dancing, Pleaser stripper shoes are a must! Pleaser heels last a long time and they’re affordable (under $50 - $80). Get a pair of Pleaser shoes (5” or higher) that you would wear on stage to practice with. Practice on a friend, teddy bear, mirror, anything to build your confidence and practice your moves.
The club will have a few dancing situations: stage, pole, chairs, and couches. Developing a comfort level with each will prevent any awkward situations with customers. Dancing for a customer on a tiny chair wearing 10” stilettos is a lot harder than you think!
Learn a few basic techniques about how to move your body along the floor. Keep in mind the customer’s eye level at the tip rail, so they’re looking UP at you. What you do on stage is directly in front of them and how you move your body (and shake your booty) will increase your TIPS. Watch this video for some basic tips on how to move your body on stage.
You don’t need to know acrobatics in order to be a stripper, but you should know how to work with the pole while onstage. First things first, buy yourself a pole to practice with at home. X Gen makes the most secure poles for pole dancing, so check out their full store to find one that’s right for you and your budget. If you’re planning to make stripping a career, then doing more advanced pole tricks will be required. However, you can start-out by simply incorporating the pole in your dance routine. No flips, twirls, or acrobatics necessary! Using some basic moves from your stage routine, use the pole as a prop to touch, caress, and make suggestive moves with. Patrons want you to fulfill a fantasy for them, so imagining the pole as an extension of their [insert body part here] will undoubtedly get you $$$$! Just don’t lick the pole, ‘cuz that’s just gross. Remember to use the pole as a prop and you’ll be good!
Chair and Couch Dancing
After you’ve hustled on stage, it’s time to hit the floor and start doing private dances for patrons. The goal is to get your patrons to the Champagne (VIP) room where they get 1:1 time with you, and you get more MONEY! However, on the floor is a great opportunity to dance for patrons while others watch. If another would-be-customer likes what he/she sees, then they’ll want to take you to the VIP room for themselves. Perfecting the lap dance is the best way to make this happen! Watch this video for great tips on how to give a lap dance.
3. AUDITION AND GET STRIPPING!
What’s your biggest fantasy? Figure out your theme. For many patrons, you’re fulfilling a fantasy that they can’t get anywhere else. Are you the girl next door, punk rock, housewife, the innocent, the slut, the dominatrix? Become your alter ego and own it. Just be warned, if you choose a theme like a dominatrix, patrons who want to be dominated will want you to be the aggressor. Be sure to pick a theme that you can act out if needed.
Spend money to make money
If you’ve never stripped before, then you’ll need to buy (invest in) shoes and outfits.
Every club requires you to pay upfront to rent the stage. You’re essentially an independent contractor using the club to perform. Some clubs will require a fee of $20 - $50 per stage dance that you pay before you enter the stage. Before starting your shift, remember to bring cash with you to pay for these upfront rentals. After your shift you’ll be required to pay the ‘house fee’ and other tips for club employees. My club required a house fee of 30% at the end of each shift. If you think you can ‘hide’ your tips and pay less, think again. Clubs will count each of your dances and performances all night to make sure that you’re paying the right amount at the end of each shift.
Looking like a goddess comes at a price, but it’s needed to give a good impression. Get your nails done and always make sure that your bikini line is trimmed. Your coochie doesn’t have to be bald, but a nicely trimmed landing strip is all you need. Keep in mind that these services can used as a tax write-off since they’re needed for your business!
Before you dance on stage
Pick your pole dancing music. Whatever you do, DON’T dance to the same song as another girl in the club. That’s a big NO NO. In the event another dancer chooses your song, be sure to have a few alternatives to pick from. Also, don’t forget to pick your stage name. In a world full of unknowns, it’s important to have a name that’s not your real name. You don’t want someone knowing your real name and then finding you online or where you live. Picking a stage name, and sticking to it, is important. Pick a name that suits you. If you can’t decide, alcoholic drinks such as tequila sunrise, Hennessey, champagne are all fun ones to choose from. If you can't think of something creative, good stripper names just need to be easy to remember. An easy suggestion is to choose a name that starts with the first letter of your name. If your name is Janet, then a name like Jessica is easy to remember.
Get your stripper bag in-check!
Every stripper needs a stripper bag to carry all her goodies. Every club will have a locker room and powder room to get ready. Bring a combination lock to safely lock away your goods while you’re out hustling. Sorry, we live in a world of thieves and strippers are no exception. A combination lock works the best on lockers in many clubs. Key locks are problematic for two reasons: 1) They don’t fit on narrow locker latches 2) Losing the key is a big problem. Best to use a combination lock where you remember the combination. Here are a few other items to keep your back in-check:
- Wet wipes: Keep your coochie looking and smelling nice after using the bathroom
- Combination lock: As mentioned above
- Two stripper outfits: In case you spill or rip one, you need a back-up
- Extra g-strings: Some state laws require wide g strings, so make sure to bring g strings that follow club rules
- Body spray: A girl must smell divine
- Hand sanitizer: Because strip clubs are dirrrrty
- Money purse: This is optional. If you want to carry your money around, then you need a purse to carry around your cash. If you’re paranoid about theft, then locking away your money in your locker after each dance is the way to go.
- Pleaser shoes!!
- Makeup bag: To freshen up when needed
WHAT NOT TO BRING: Lotion, body oil. Slipping on stage or worse, the pole, will only cause an injury.
Time is money and every shift will provide different earnings. Some shifts you can make $300 in a matter of minutes or leave with $30 all night. Many times, this is out of your control and a lot depends on luck. For instance, you could have a patron with deep pockets who wants to make it rain, or it could be fight night and they’re more interested in the fight than you. Making sure that you maximize your time will ensure that you maximize your earnings. While it’s important to socialize and spend time with patrons, you don’t want to waste your time on someone who isn’t going to pay out. It’s important to know when to gracefully exit a conversation when it appears that they don’t want a lap dance or time in the VIP room. Some potential customers are more trouble than they’re worth, so quickly bow out and move on to the next.
Practice good conversation skills
If you stick with stripping for the long haul, you’ll hear these questions over and over: Why do you do this job? Are your boobs real? Do you have a boyfriend? What’s your real name? Learn to answer these questions politely, but set the boundaries for your personal life. Remember that you are working, and you don’t have to tell the truth. It’s probably a good idea to come up with a few ‘canned’ responses ahead of time to prevent any awkward moments.
Never start the conversation with “do you want a dance?” That question will earn you an automatic ‘NO’. However, start with a more subtle tactic such as “Hello, where are you from?” or “Do you mind if I sit with you?”. From there, let the conversation take its own path but open with more generic niceties first. You can follow the conversation with other questions such as “Have you been here before?” or “What’s the occasion?”.
What you’re doing is akin to the job of every person in sales. You must develop the ability to actively listen to customers and then solve your customer’s problems. In this case, you’re getting to know them and what brings them to the club, and then sealing the deal with a dance!
5. SURVIVING THE GRIND
Stripping can be a hard business both physically and mentally, but if you go into it with the right mindset then you’ll fare much better for the long haul. Making sure that you find success as a stripper is my #1 priority, so here are a few tips to help:
Play nice with your coworkers: Avoid the gossip and don’t spread rumors. If others know that you’re there to work, then you’ll be first in line for the favors. Clubs that hold special events and entertain celebrities will pick you first over others if you play nice and focus on the job.
Set personal boundaries: Many patrons will push your boundaries to the limits, so it’s important to KNOW and PRACTICE your self-worth. Touching in certain areas is ‘OK’, such as the legs, arms, and waist. What’s not ‘OK’ is touching your boobs or vagina. That’s grounds for walking away during a dance, and you have every right to set those boundaries. Remember that you’re in a strip club, not a brothel. Clubs don’t want their girls being molested any more than you do, so if you need to get a bouncer involved to remove a patron for bad behavior then that’s what you need to do.
Keep hangovers and drugs to a minimum: Most clubs will put restrictions on drinking while working, but many customers will want to buy you drinks. If you want to stay on your game and focus on making money, stay away from party favors and alcohol (or at least keep it to a minimum). Working late nights and long shifts will catch up to you over time if you’re also waking up with a hangover.
Show up on time and create a schedule: Most clubs don’t set schedules, so showing up for a shift is dependent on your own self-will. Set your own schedule for how many hours and days you plan to work a week and stick to that schedule. It’s easy to become lazy or pop-in when you feel like it but developing a solid plan for success requires consistency and dedication. In turn, the clubs will notice your dedication and reward you with better positions in the club like bartending or special events.
Don’t let your insecurities keep you from your obtaining your goal. Imperfections such as acne scars, stretch marks, small boobs, flat boobs, flat butt, etc. Many patrons are looking for someone different and to fulfill a fantasy. Display your self-confidence and I promise that those imperfections won’t be a deal breaker. In fact, people LOVED my small boobs so much that certain customers would ask for me directly. Some even made me promise never to get fake boobs. I eventually got fake boobs anyway, but that’s another story for another day.
If you want to become a stripper and make more money than you ever dreamed, then you must stay focused on your money. Stick to your schedule, refine your conversation skills, develop your pole skills, and HUSTLE!