Beyond Stripping 101

I had the following conversation at work the other night with a 30-something dancer who rejects normal stripper-wear for short skirts and turtlenecks of the WalMart variety. This has always puzzled me because she sells stripper clothes, so I know she knows how to get them.

Her: I wish the stuff I sell would look good on me, but it never does.
Me: Why not? You’re in good shape, I’m sure it would look better on you than that turtleneck does.
Her: I know. Customers can never tell that I work here.
Me: Well you’ve got that long platinum hair and bright pink lipstick, why don’t you wear one of those pink outfits you’ve got for sale? You could totally pull off the barbie look.
Her: But I don’t look like barbie. I’m too old to look like barbie.
Me: Look, customers see what you project. Look at Ecstasy, she’s fifty years old and has a beer gut, but when she puts on the wig and rhinestones and bright slutty clothes that’s all the customers see. If you barbied it up a little, that’s all most of them will see.
Her: Huh. You know, you’ve got this crazy stage presence, all the time guys that I’m sitting with look up and say how sexy you look on stage.
Me: See? When I project sexy you don’t notice my pudginess or pale skin or flat ass, cause I’m projecting sexy and that’s what you see.
Her: I always thought you just really liked dancing.
Me: Um, I do, and I also project sexiness so I make lots of money.

This is when I realised: beyond stripping 101 there really isn’t a set formula for making money. Every stripper, every club, and every customer is different.

A big part of it, though, is finding a sexy archetype or image, and tapping into it. You wanna really hit a big turn-on in the morphogenic field. It can be that muscular wild cave woman image, or it can be a sultry dark beauty, or it can be high glam, or it can be barbie, or… well, anything. But whatever it is, it should be a natural element of your personality, and you should project the hell out of it with your image.

When projecting your image, think about the details: outfit, jewelry, make up, and the way you carry yourself. Beyond that, I don’t obsess. Although one of the most successful strippers I know (in terms of having a huge fan base everywhere she goes), obsessed about the details enough to train herself to say “golly gee” when wearing her daisy dukes.

Another major element to being happy and making loads of cash is to not engage in situations that make you unhappy. I know it sounds so simple, but very often we don’t even realise that a person or place is bothering us until we’re really really bothered. So tune in and pay attention to yourself. If you’re not happy, leave. Never work at a club you can’t leave, and never feel obligated to sit with a customer you don’t like.

Just in the last month, I have stopped dealing with customers that I didn’t like at all. I used to walk away from them only if they actively offended me or were rude. Now I excuse myself even if they offend me in tiny, barely noticeable ways or if I just don’t click with them. Guess what? My income has gone up even more. Even in a really slow club, where you’d think I shouldn’t turn away any paying customer. I just have that much more positive energy for the customers that I enjoy, and they seem to be compensating me accordingly. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but so far it’s holding true for me.

If you’re a new dancer, you’re probably spending too much time talking to the customers for free. I can’t say this enough: if you aren’t getting paid after sitting with them for 1-2 songs in a busy club or 2-3 songs in a slow club, move the fuck on. There are two reasons that this usually happens – either you’re not building rapport quickly, or you don’t feel confident enough to close the sale.

Building rapport is usually easy. Smile, have lots of happy energy, and find something that you have in common. It can be as small as wanting to go where they went on vacation last summer or a favorite song, or as big as a shared profession. Whatever it is, find it, talk about it, get them talking about it, smile, touch their leg or arm, and ask for a dance. If it hasn’t happened after a couple songs ask for a dance anyways. Sometimes they will suprise you and say yes, and if they say no you can move on to a paying customer.

If confidence is the problem, you just need to do it anyway. Take any opportunity. If they say you’re pretty, tell them you’re even prettier when you’re dancing for them. Hell, take any chance you get to get a word in edgewise to tell them you want to dance for them right NOW. The more you do it, the more confidence you’ll have, and the more natural it will seem.


  1. Just like sales — project confidence, KNOW that you don’t kneed to waste your time and energy with someone who’s not paying, and work that positive energy into the relationships that can pay off.

    Actually, it basically is sales, huh? You’re selling a certain image to the customer, and they decide how much that image is worth?

  2. I must admit that I envy your freedom. If only the rest of us weren’t slaves to a society that forces us to have 9-5 jobs only to barely survive. Someday I hope to strip free of this corporate bondage. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are happy doing it. That is also something I must admit I envy, you are happy. Stay happy, I’m always around miserable people worried about the things that don’t really matter and the things that can be replaced. No one knows what holds real value anymore.

  3. A great way to build rapport with a shy person is to touch their elbow for a second or two. You don’t scare them off by getting too intimate too quickly.

  4. Yup. I discovered this counter-intuitive little secret myself a few weeks ago. When I was new, like every other new girl, I spent way too much time grinning my head off with guys I couldn’t stand, trying to talk each and every one of them into a dance as if my life depended on it. Then a few months ago I secretly decided that customers should make me want to dance for them, or I’m not going to bother. If they’re rude, cold, grouchy, or inappropriately behaved, I’ll leave them where they sit. Then I watch the new girls go over and sit on their laps and grin their heads off. Aw. Suck to be new.

  5. Even though I’m a peepshow dancer, I’ve noticed the same thing in my private booth shows. As soon as I started getting rid of the regulars I had whose fantasies or general attitudes needled at me (or, let’s face it, downright pissed me off. Can you say asshole pedophiles?), my other, nicer regulars started coming in more and spending more money. Go figure.

  6. Your talk about how the image you project of yourself is effective or ineffective in bringing you money and that the archetype image has to be right for you. Am I correctly understanding that this image should be something natural to you and not affected. Other times you talk about project confidence in your own beauty. How does this work against what the image the custumer is projecting on you as a woman? Mother, virgin or whore? Or are you just recommending that the dancer be happy with who does repsond and forget the rest.

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