I started the task of putting together an index of questions I’ve already answered. Click here to see the project in progress.
Patience, though. This is going to take me forever.
Keep checking that link if your question was never answered, or if you’re waiting on an answer.
I’m working on putting together a much bigger FAQ. The blog is well over 800 posts of personal experience now, and I think it’s time I had a bit of an index.
I keep seeing questions I’ve answered in one way or another, but I know plenty have been buried under the sheer volume of posts.
If you have something to ask, or have asked a question recently, please be patient. I’ll get this expanded FAQ up and post a link to it in the next few days.
Of course, the night I show up with greasy hair, stubbly legs, razor burn, bruised like all hell on my knees, exhausted, weak and dizzy, with yesterday’s makeup on and sweating from the club being so hot…
…that’s when I have a queue of people waiting to do dances with me and am the only one to get heavily cheered on onstage. That’s when I can’t stop making money.
What the fuck?
On another note, I’m off to continue banking and not going to ponder my own question too heavily.
What do you mean? You’re at work to rake in money.
Do the dollar dance, pick up the dollar, and either toss it toward the center of the stage or stick it in your garter. It’s not “greedy”—it’s the way I make a living.
They understand the way it works. They pay you, you dance.
That I’m dancing because I “can’t” do something else, whether it be because of lack of education, drug use, abuse, or ability socially or intellectually.
After you’re hired, your real name is pretty much irrelevant at most clubs. I call my coworkers things like “Dreamy” and “Lexus,” because keeping two sets of names straight for each of the 150+ regular dancers at my club would be impossible.
When you call, use your legal first name if it’s needed. If not, they’ll scan your ID, ask your stage name, and you’ll forever be “[Stage Name].”
I don’t recommend telling customers your legal name (or that your stage name is your legal name) because you start losing anonymity. Being anonymous helps to keep you safe.
At work. Not feeling that great, but I just keep moving. Everyone else goes to work feeling shitty once in awhile, and I work so much less than most people. At least, I think I should keep working and not be a wimp about it.
My belly has been hurting—all of it, from ribs to hips. I haven’t been making much urine for a week (despite drinking enough), I’m exhausted, I’m not at all hungry, and I’ve lost a fast 15lbs. I’m on antibiotics for a UTI (which I don’t think I have—had ‘em before, and I don’t have the symptoms I always have), and I’m just hoping I feel better.
I need to pay my Internet (I’m posting from my damn phone again…), rent and insurance are due soon, and I need to replace my savings.
I just found out one of my coworkers has bedbugs. I had some choice words for her about preventing bringing them to work (“or else”).
Lame in here so far, but the sun hasn’t gone down yet. Cross your fingers and toes I can make a fast $500 and leave early.
It’s a tricky one. I don’t often drink at work, and when I do, I’ll have one beer. You don’t have to drink to be good at the job, and you don’t have to tell them why you don’t.
Unless I think the truth is the ticket to starting a conversation (it makes it much harder for me to get up the next day and run), I tell them:
“I’m slowing down for the night right now…Already had PLENTY. Don’t want to get wasted this early in the night.” (If it’s late, it sounds like a joke.)
“You’d better catch up. I’m already drinking water…”
Or some variation that makes it seem like I’ve already had enough. You can avoid drinking and avoid looking “uncool.” And, by the time you get up from the table or dances, no one will remember and you can use the same line all over again at a new table.
I’m glad you stepped in with your own experience! Thanks for throwing this out there to someone who will probably really appreciate it.
5’6” (167cm) barefoot; 6’1” (185cm) in stilettos.
Holy cow. That’s a lot of reading! I hope it was a little helpful, or at least a general picture of my reality.
If they’re not very noticeable, you shouldn’t have a problem. If they’re a little noticeable, the club’s lighting should hide it (black lights and other colored light, or a dim room, really hide a ton of stuff—bruises, scars, a few stretch marks, etc.).
If you’re self-conscious about it, throw on a pair of stockings (thigh-highs) and use a little concealer or foundation.
Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it at all, if they’re old and faded.
And if someone comments, ever, just throw out the old, “I fought a bear once,” and change the topic. People are especially invasive with questions in the club, and changing the topic often helps.
Hope that helps. Good luck!
Round two, seems like begging for punishment. My knees are bruised and swollen from being on the hardwood stage.
I don’t feel very well tonight, oddly. Not like sick, but just generally really, really off. I haven’t been able to pee much for a few days (despite drinking decent amounts of water and only one beer).
I don’t feel like eating much, and felt badly that the boyfriend took me out tonight and all I could get down was a few bites of a tamale and a handful of corn chips.
What is going on with my damn body? Not nowwww.
Last night, the bouncers made the dancers collectively do three cartwheels before we could leave. I did two beautifully. Only in a strip club.
I danced happily all night.
I fucking smiled, genuinely, at work. I danced my little heart out and tricked out on the pole when I felt like it and didn’t miss a step or fall out of my well-worn stilettos.
I made okayish money, but didn’t have any regulars and was mostly just trying to get back into the swing of things without falling on my face.
An old customer of mine gave me a copy of his first album that he made. He’s been playing a lot of coffeehouses/open mic nights, and he worked hard on it for the better part of a year or two — we keep in touch a few times a month. Anyway, I finally got around to listening to it, after his repeated requests for my feedback. I kept meaning to give it a brief listen, just to give enough feedback, and I finally had a 30 minute drive on my hands to do so today.
I actually liked it. I was shocked. He’s got a mature voice and uses it well, and the music is decent.
After realizing how happy I was to work today, I think I’m going to try to take a month off out of each year, during our slowest season. Customer-free, no dinner dates, no work, no expensive vacation time, just a month of expenses-paid time off. It really cured my burnout and gave me a new perspective on how much time I need off to really detox from the stress of work.
I really need to just start throwing money at my student loan debt. Starts now, I guess, if I’m ever going to get around to really knocking down the debt, so I’ll be making an extra payment to my highest-interest loans and medical debt. Boo. Less fun money. But I suppose life would be significantly less fun in 10 years if I don’t start doing this now, the way my job allows me to help myself.
Ugh. The Future. I dislike all of this forward-thinking, but it’s really an ultimate necessity.
Barely dragged myself through an hour of running singletrack trails in 95F+ degree heat, eventually sat down on the trail. I started to kinda get to the point where I might have passed out.
Managed to get up a 150ft hill to my car a bit later, ate some food and had plenty of Gatorade/water.
Dragged myself into the shower. Shaved off a patch of pubic hair I’d been growing for five weeks, plus legs and armpits. Destroyed that razor.
Off to work. Wish me luck on my first night back.
Tuesday will mark the end of my 3rd year of dancing.
This all has only just begun, really. It seems to me like I’ve been dancing so long; an eighth of my life. But each year, I’ve learned an enormous amount, about myself, about my job, about others, about people, about touch, about everything.
The first year was really just the foundation of learning what the fuck a private dance was and how to wear stilettos and shave my asshole without a mirror and not to stare too long at the other girls’ pussies in fascination. It was learning to deal with stage fright and drinking it off, and my own boundaries and what it meant to set them, about how I felt about my own job (yeah, look back through the earliest posts of this blog — my thoughts have changed dramatically!). It was dealing with the regular hassles of trying to get anything done (housing, taxes) as a stripper, trying different clubs to see which I liked, watching a close friend balance her work and her addiction demons and seeing the darker side of the industry in full light. It was coming to terms with the difficulty of dating. It was learning an entirely new social code, new rules, hearing about parts of girls’ lives I’d never wish on anyone. It was learning to keep my mouth shut and my eyes open and keep my back to the wall. It was jumping into the whole goddamn thing headfirst without looking back, really. I invented “Piper,” the persona I dance by, the sister-like id I’ve come to love for certain things and be irritated by sometimes, the piece of me that has grown exponentially over the past three years.
My second year, I (naively) befriended a coworker, but upon hours and hours and hours and hours of discussing the job, came to a much better understanding of it — emotionally, physically, financially. I dealt with violent sexual assault at work (not that unwanted touch doesn’t happen frequently, but some of it feels extremely violating, and some of it feels only mildly irritating), and had to consider my own shitty past in making the decision to go back. I learned to manage physical and emotional pain. I dealt with some highs and lows and money and both rolling in it and starving (literally) for it. I started believing that the money, the job, the sequins…they were all for real. They weren’t going away, they weren’t just going to get taken away from me one day without warning. I could budget for them, I could finally have a place I like to live. Upon that realization, I started caring more about my job; I started running and vowing to quit smoking (the quitting didn’t happen for another six months); I started really trying to plan a future and make the most of what I had, by the end of my second year, accepted to be a career.
My third year has been about getting serious about my job. The first year was fun and I made more money than I knew what to do with; the third year, I started treating it like a means to an end. I started budgeting for future expenses, paying down debt, accruing a savings, considering a down payment on a house, dreaming about how I could use dancing to seriously advance myself. I stopped living work-night-to-work-night (the dancing equivalent of paycheck-to-paycheck). I started brushing off some of the bad nights; I started allowing myself to be money-high for a few hours on the good ones without the fear that it would all disappear. I sold (my horse) a huge piece of my “previous life,” and in doing so, realized the freedom of not holding on to the things that reminded me of much more difficult times. The coworker I befriended ultimately became a headache, and it was a big lesson: mixing competitive and high-stress business and pleasure is an absolute recipe for disaster. A lesson in keeping people distant, in trusting fewer with both the details of the underworld and the details of personal life. I learned, in my third year, about taking time off for myself, about having more to my life and conversations than my work and entertaining myself with new hobbies. I learned that bodies adapt to the work and the exercise and that structured workouts become and ultimate necessity. I learned that drinking and smoking at work are avoidable, that quitting those things is possible, that giving up doing those things gave me the ability to keep my head on straight and my emotions tucked away. I learned just how much I love and hate this job; I learned that admitting that there are parts I dislike is okay — that defending my job and leading the Stripper Crusade isn’t really my responsibility or my job. I learned to have a realistic perspective about what I do, and I learned again how to be a whole person and not just a stripper (finally).
What will the fourth year of dancing bring on? Into the unknown I continue, yep.
I mean, I’m always nervous before I head to work. A twenty minute drive, and I used to chainsmoke through it. Now I chew multiple pieces of nicotine gum at once. I fidget with pens or my phone or a small scar on my right shoulder. The anxiety of walking into an unknown night: a huge crowd to perform for? A slow night, trying to please each one and make a little cash? A bunch of girls I don’t know and don’t trust? A manager in a great mood? A dressing room explosion of tragedy or dramatic catfighting? I walk into the unknown every night, but it’s all tamed by the time my hair and makeup and done.
This is different.
I haven’t been to my club in five weeks — the longest I’ve ever been away. I spent the last week working in a rural topless club/bar/restaurant, and although it was kind of like a stripper haven, I miss my home club. I miss the money, the raised stage and lights, the dressing room with large mirrors, the girls I’ve grown to know in the past years.
The Club That Serves Food (the rural club I mentioned) was a haven: the girls are all educated. They’re all very friendly; I really connected with a few I wish I could work with always. The clientele is extremely…nice. All of them nice, most of them area locals. No one tried to do anything they clearly knew they couldn’t, minus the single individual who put his thumb through the side of my g-string near my hip in pleasure (touching below the waist prohibited in this club) and looked very, very apologetic as I told him that wasn’t allowed. One person asked me, shyly, to go to his hotel room: an out-of-towner. One. One person. That’s it. I usually have so many quick irritated refusals to give in a night that I feel like it’s half my job at my Home Club.
The manager is an upbeat, sober, hardworking, empathetic bartender who lays out the rules and generously dishes out respect to those that follow them. Clean tennis shoes are appropriate after-10pm stage/floor attire. The poles were clean, grippy; one spinning and two static. The food turned out to be absolutely delicious.
It was like everyone went out of their way to make sure I was happy there. Fed, treated well, made some money, and made some friends. I know I’ll go back for respite from my Home Club — from the girls at times, the staff and management and the crazy ever-changing rules, difficult customers, night-after-night of feeling uncompensated for the hassle and headache.
Unfortunately, it’s two hours away and I didn’t make enough to ditch my Home Club permanently.
I did miss, though, the great layout of my Home Club. I missed the raised stage in the center of the large room, calling attention to dancer after dancer with the full bells-and-whistles of various lighting to use. I oddly missed the shitty poles I’ve spun around and around and around and learned to cope so well with. So well, in fact, that I stick far too much to appropriately grippy poles and awkwardly climb my way down, inverted. I miss the rowdy girls, the loudmouths, the troublemakers. I’ve been missing the money.
Yeah, the money.
The reason I go to work. I can’t go to work just for the food, or the sweet girls with equally large vocabularies, or the jovial manager, or the grippy-awesome poles. Because, bills.
Monday, I start back at my home club.
I know I’ll have a million questions to answer about where I was. I don’t really want anyone to know, or care, or whatever. I just want to go on, like I wasn’t gone, like I had a few days off. It seems like it would be so exhausting to tell the same story, over and over.
I don’t really provide detailed spank-bank material or lengthy accounts of how I give a private dance, because it’s what I sell for a living (just like an accountant won’t give you detailed financial advice online for free).
My first dance was awkward, yes. My dances were awkward for about two weeks, if I remember right. I don’t remember my first dance, other than the booth it was in and that the guy knew it was my first.
My dances are much, much different. It’s a skill that’s honed over time. My dances change, depending on the person I’m dancing for — I can’t straddle someone who is obese, for example.
Apologies if I misread your question; you’re more than welcome to clarify. If you come off of anon and specify that you don’t want the question posted, I’d be happy to keep it anonymous or answer you privately.