Life Lessons From Stripping: Entitlement and Value

“You’re really beautiful, you know.” He is slightly balding, wearing comfy shoes, with subtle gold jewelry, and he was stuck staring at my eyes, lips, and cleavage.

“Aw, thanks,” I lower my eyes demurely for second, then grin. “I was born that way.”

He smiles, of course. The guys who think it’s a joke never spend much, but the ones who smile and appreciate the truth are always big spenders.

“It’s even better when I’m in your lap,” I tell him.

“Yeah, how ’bout a lap dance?”

I restrain my eye rolling and laugh to cover my brattiness. “I don’t do that cheap stuff, honey. If you want me it’ll be in the champagne room.”

“Oh, of course.” Definitely: of course. You’re worth is whatever you project it to be.

He buys an hour in the champagne room, and when the waitress comes I giggle and tell him to order the expensive champagne. At the end of the hour he pays for another hour, and then another. In the end I break his credit card (there’s a certain kind of stripper pride and status when you max out a guys card), and make close to a grand off him, just because I told him I was entitled to it.

One of the reasons that I love stripping is because it is such a true little replica of real life. Whatever you need to learn about life, you can probably learn it in the strip club. It took me a few years of dancing to figure out why those certain women always sold the whole nights worth of champagne rooms. You know what it turned out they had that I didn’t? A sense of entitlement. This is why young women from richer backgrounds will almost always start out making more as a stripper than young women who grew up with less: they grew up knowing they were entitled to it all.

So, if you don’t know, let me tell you: whatever you can believe and project to others that you are entitled to, you can have. Try it. It’s fun.

At first I went crazy with it. I was entitled to everything, from anyone who happened to be around, and it worked! It wasn’t that I was entitled because I was hot. I would never be that superficial. No, I was entitled just because I existed. (It’s a joke, people, hold the hate mail.) I think a few people tried to clue me in to what an annoying brat I was being, but I was too busy with my entitlement to notice. I took it very seriously. It was a matter of survival, practically, getting all these things. Being able to get them was a measure of my ability to survive whatever the next catastrophe was.

I don’t remember when, exactly, but eventually I realized how awfully I was behaving and became very ashamed of my constant entitlement. It might have been when I pressured a sweet young boy into blowing his rent on me, and then ended up feeling bad and paying his rent for him. I was acting just like the people I’d always disliked. So I dialed it down to zero when clothed, and just a dull roar at work. Still, if you’re in sales it’s a great tool, and even in real life there are times when it will serve you well.

If you’re a new dancer, get entitled, you’ll make more money and have more fun. If you’ve just discovered your entitlement or are one of those strippers who seem unfortunately stuck in a permanent state of hyper-entitlement: tone it down, honey. It’s a hustling tool, not a universal truth. But here’s a universal truth: valuing yourself highly will give you the same income boost and make it more fun for yourself and other people to be around you.


  1. I am so going to work on this in the coming week of work. I had never thought of it this way before.

  2. and for the retired strippers, it’s a great reminder.

    This truth applies to the film industry as well.
    Thanks for the wisdom.

  3. wow, thanks for this one, tara. I’m in a different area of selling, and this is just the attitude I need to confront my boss, who has been taking advantage of my extreme flexibility in terms of scheduling at work. You are a wise wise woman please keep it up!

  4. I learned this lesson a few years ago, when I discovered that self esteem is worth more than all of the fake glamour in the world. All girls should learn this lesson.

  5. I am currently using that “power of entitlement” in my DJ Service Company. I’ve seen amazing results. You truly get what you want if you really feel that you deserve it, or are entitled to it. Of course, being the new year, I have new goals, entitlements, that are a bit of a stretch of the imagination. But I am entitled to them.


  6. I think you just illustrated all that “The Secret” hoo-hah without the books, DVDs, etc…and I have to say that I LOVELOVELOVE what Nina wrote above me–“…I discovered that self esteem is worth more than all of the fake glamour in the world.” Would that I could bottle that insight and anoint the heads of every teenage girl in the country.

  7. Thanks guys! Remember if you like something, you can always stumble it (if you’ve got the StumbleUpon toolbar) or use any of the links at the bottom to let people know about it on social media sites. 🙂

  8. I totally agree! It wasn’t until I started feeling a bit entitled that I was able to travel as much as I do. Now I think I deserve to go off whenever I damn well please. And people seem to agree! Thanks for the post 😀

  9. Of course this is excellent advice, but there’s a downside to it you only hint at.

    I’d like to make part of that downside explicit.

    What you didn’t explicitly say is that when you’ve ramped the sense of entitlement up to the max and are working it for all it’s worth, you’ll be getting what you want from most of the people you want it from, but there will always be some people who are not buying it. And many of these people will despise you for what seems to them to be your outrageous sense of entitlement. Especially if they see you (from their perspective) taking advantage of their friends.

    It may well be that in a strip club on any given night, there aren’t a lot of people whose good opinion of the ladies is a matter of concern. Indeed, it sounds like it only takes one good customer to make a good night, and everybody else in the club can go hang. But using this tactic elsewhere can really backfire, especially in sales and financial contexts. It will often work to achieve the short term sales goal, but it can build barriers to achieving longer-term business and financial goals that depend on the good will of many different people.

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  11. Just FYI–For anyone I mean anyone ever thinking or interested in stripping DONT DO IT@!!! Please Go get some self esteem -and Dont LOOK Back….I was in it for 8 years -Ive seen everything imaginable danced from Hawaii to Florida Minneapolis etc..The only Life lesson your gonna get from that world is your soul will forever be changed!!!And Not for the better!! They should tear them all down!!! Its a sexual charged bad place for girls ..Im a lesbian so i could separate myself to DEGREE…Still Dont do it!!!!!You want lots of Money? Get a degree and you will have money !!! Im sooooo dam sick of people Trying Glamorize an industry that is so destructive to all women and people…..

  12. PS…This shouldn’t be an experiment -Ive read countless books on women who just went and danced at a strip club to write articles on it?? huh? why? why would you subject yourself to that world to write an effin book!!! WTF- is this world coming to? i DID WHAT I DID BECAUSE IT WAS MY DRUG!!! and im happy to say Ive escaped yes escaped !! and never looked back .have a corp position and have always had to hide my past……But the reality is nobody wants to know you were an ex-stripper..!

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