Moving On

I worked another night in that city and made $8. People swore it was the worst two nights in the entire history of the club. It was still pretty fun, even if it wasn’t profitable. One dancer brought her girlfriend to work on a leash and she followed her around, being obedient. They were both all cute and puppyish about it, and I don’t think the dancer talked to a single customer all night long (not that we had many paying customers).

There were so many non paying customers it was comical. They came in groups, mostly, and did all they could to squish in with the other groups as far from the stage as possible in the little room that was the club. One group of well dressed college students (I can spot $300 shoes from a mile away) explained to me that they had actually come for the juice, not the strippers. See, they had heard that this was a juice bar, and they were on a quest for rhubarb juice.

“Um, I think we just have orange and cranberry?” I said.

They nodded, sipping their cranberry juices and cokes, and lamented the lack of rhubarb and passionfruit juices. I considered asking why they’d been there for two hours if the club didn’t even have what they wanted, but decided against it.

Eventually, some wise cheeky stripper got on the mic and announced to the customers that if they didn’t want to tip the dancers, they might consider not coming to a strip club. It worked! Two of the big groups left.

There were still a couple people sitting, alone, at the furthest tables, texting on their phones. Both of them explained to me, when I approached, that they were “just chillin.” Whatever that means.

Two customers came in at the end of the night, real customers. Another girl got the best looking one first, and I was on the second-in-command like glue. But he really preferred this extremely thin girl over me. It was closing time anyways, so I got dressed and left.

The bouncer was standing on the sidewalk in front of the club, and said he’d just watch me over to my van instead of walking me. Beggers can’t be choosers, and I really wasn’t that worried. Right as I got in my van, some guy popped out from behind a trash can (seriously) and demanded to see my parking ticket. I was like, hell no and fuck off, and then he started begging me for a ride, and then freaking out as I drove away.

I’d like to say that was the end of it and I drove straight out of the city (yay for dramatic endings!) but I didn’t. I stuck around and had breakfast with a porn star and a famous screenwriter in the morning. They were also having trouble making money and on their way out of town, but first they fed me chicken fried tofu and threw the ball for Bro. Bro, in return, ran into their sliding screen door and knocked it off it’s slider and barked at their maintenance man.


  1. Chicks strip for cash and dudes come to strip clubs to see naked chicks. We like nakies and chicks like $20’s. Often agreements which go well for both people can be met. Sometimes I go and just watch because lap dances are just a tease so I would rather keep the cash. I guess I am not an ideal customer. Oh well.

  2. Boy, I had the exact opposite of this experience in a club in Columbus, Ohio last weekend (the Gold Fox). Went in, nobody dancing, there’s a stage and a pole in the middle of the room. A dancer comes out and starts doing a dance at the pole, even though no one is paying attention to her from the bar. Meanwhile there are 3 or 4 of us sitting by the stage, and nobody ever comes up and dances near, you know, the customers. It’s like the room was designed to keep anyone from seeing the strippers close enough to ever want to tip them. Really, it was like they read about strip clubs somewhere but didn’t quite get the concept.

  3. A word to the testosterone-charged men herein: it’s simple – if you go to a strip club, tip. If you haven’t the money, stay home and don’t crowd me at the rail, asshole.

    I make less than 90% of the people who enter a strip club, yet I always try to leave as much money in that place as I make (as a teacher!) in the same time I spend there. If I stay an hour, I leave $20-$25. If I stay two hours, double that. When I started teaching, I made less, so I left a bit less. You earn more, they earn more. It’s karmic economy – pay up.

    Of course, I don’t count the fifteen hours a week I spend grading shit as part of my hourly wage – just like a stripper doesn’t count the myriad hours she spends shopping for sexy clothes, traveling cross country, practicing her craft, or putting on the makeup that you cheap pricks want to see in action … BUT NOT PAY FOR! She deserves whatever you deserve. Nothing’s free!

    So … pay up, or stay home. Anyone who looks and doesn’t pay deserves a swift kick in the nuts.

    ~ Irish

  4. I wish everybody factored in the unpaid time nudey girls put into their jobs the way Irish does; why are most of the great customers making blue collar wages? Sigh.

    Being a teacher definitely puts a person into a woman’s shoes in some ways (viewed as women’s work and similarly devalued). I think (good) teachers are good at/enjoy rewarding people, too. Kudos to Irish for modeling & teaching good behavior!

  5. With the rising price of gas and food, you may very find people not being able to afford things they once did.

    Sort of like a poor starving man drooling while looking at pastries through a plate glass window, these guys are still drawn to the clubs but, alas, cannot eat.

  6. ryan, if you go and watch and don’t tip or buy lapdances you are stealing. Plain and simple. It’s theft. If you don’t at least tip, please stay home and rent a porn because you are just terribly rude. Ugh.. makes my skin crawl.

    Irishman, you’re awesome!! I wish everyone knew the etiquette as well as you.

  7. I am just really perplexed as why someone would look for fresh squeezed, obscure juice at a strip club. It’s exotic dancers, not exotic juices!! Jeez.

  8. Davka,

    I have to disagree with calling it theft. (what was the item/service stolen)?

    I believe that if you go you should tip simple as that. Unfortunately when you are in a profession that depends on tips (stripping, waiting tables, whatever) you will have to deal with the three types of people. 1) the ones who tip well 2) the ones who do not tip well and 3) the ones who do not tip. It simply seems that this club had way too many of type 3 and not enough type 1’s.

  9. >>Bro, in return, ran into their sliding screen door and knocked it off it’s slider and barked at their maintenance man.

    Bro has the whole Dog thing down pat. Whats not to love about a Dog????

  10. cr, it is theft. Stripping is pay per view. At almost any strip club in the world you can go and sit at the rail and it will cost you $1 song. If you don’t tip at least that, you’ll be told to get off the rail. If you’re not sitting at the rail, then one presumes that you’re not watching. But if you stand there three feet back from the rail and stare, you are essentially trying to get the same services as if you’d sat at the rail without paying for them. That’s called theft.

  11. I understand the argument, but I have to disagree based on the definition of a tip. I won’t look it up for a formal definition, but I’m pretty sure it’s optional, and ideally, supposed to be for appreciation of the service. I realize manners and society have forced most of us to tip even when we don’t really want to. I can actually think highly of a person who is expected to tip and doesn’t because he/she doesn’t feel it’s tip worthy.
    Depending on the club, I tip the stage when I’m sitting there for every song, or come up to the stage when I like a certain gal. I’ll tip all if they come by and ask “if I appreciated the dance.” It’s mostly out of respect though and at higher end clubs I consider it wrong.

  12. I think that with or without knowing it, men who don’t tip have entered upon some bizarre sector in the realm of sex trafficking. When I danced in clubs full of cheap guys, I often felt this sinking sensation that all these men were somehow congnitively linked to alter the business economics of stripping and force nonverbal persuasion of prostitution onto the dancers. It was like they all thought, “If I don’t tip and he doesn’t, and he doesn’t, then eventually we’ll have a silent customer protest in order to get the girls to open up to what we all know they “really” came here for, not dancing, but fucking us, the costomers.”
    I think cheap guys in clubs think that sex is the only thing worth paying for from a stripper, or that dancers are there just to advertise sex on the side for money they can’t make if no one is tipping. If they can’t afford to pay for sex, then they are hoping for a freebie lay, and that’s no lie.
    I will counter this p.o.v. and say that it’s also possible that if one guy decides to “window shop” at the club, then there are like twenty more who have the exact same idea the same night, and it’s really more innocent than costomer econo sex power exchange bullshit. Men sometimes think that they can get away with being the only guy who isn’t tipping and go unnoticed in a club where the majority of like minded customers assume the girls make great money all the time. The clubs make money regardless of whether the dancers do, and guys know that. They won’t ever be turned away at the door for being cheap in midgrade establishments.
    I guess it’s best to avoid juice bars and hope that in a place where this bizarre phenomenon is going to occur next, there is at least some liquor to horde off of the guys for your time and conversation. We all know that there is never a shortage of men who are willing to drop money for exorbitant alcohol prices to get sexy women floated.
    If your a non drinking dancer like I was, most of the time, then I’d like to know how you stop yourself from wanting to kill everyone, because that’s how I felt around people who were stupid drunk most of the time.

  13. Patrick, I agree entirely.

    This is why I have trouble calling it theft, a tip is supposed to be for service above and beyond.

    btw the formal defination (from websters dictionary)

    something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service

    Now once again I do stress that I think that one should tip if you are in watching the show, my only disagreement here is calling it theft. (I would consider it rude, impolite, being a jerk, just not theft).

  14. At a restaurant, you are paying for food. The server brings you the food, which is the product. At a club, the product is what you see- the naked girl. She is not a server, she is the product. If you go to a club and watch naked girls WHO ARE WORKING and don’t pay them for their product you are stealing. We use the word TIP because we lack another word for what you should be doing. You know the nature of this profession complicates the issue of the definition, so please don’t refer me to webster and think that satisfies this argument. Not tipping at a club is like taking the food the waitress brings you at a restaurant, eating it, and walking out without paying. It’s stealing. If any of you go to a club and don’t spend money- you are stealing and you are insulting the girls and all dancers everywhere.


  15. Davka is right, of course. Amazing how some stingy folks just pretend not to get it..

  16. Using your analogy, you tip the server for the service of bringing the food (hopefully before it gets cold) keeping the glasses full, etc. The food is paid for when you pay your bill. Unfortunately you can be the best waiter/waitress in the world and you will still be stiffed from time to time. Is it wrong? Absolutely. Is it theft? Not hardly. It is simply the nature of the business.

    We have plenty of words to describe what you are saying (the selling of a service, and entertainment are simply 2 that come to mind). Instead the word we use is “tip”. Why is this? If it is theft then why do we not setup this transaction as we do for most other shows (in that the customer has to purchase a ticket to see the show)?

    I see the club and the dancer as 2 different businesses. Yes they do depend on one another (just like many other businesses) but they are separate as well. The club exists to sell over priced drinks, food (possibly), and yes to provide a place for strippers to strip. The strippers come in and provide a separate service (for tips). No where does it say that you MUST tip the dancers (although common sense and decency say you should).

    So how do you respond to someone who comes in to a club, has a few drinks, pays for the drinks and leaves. Did they “steal” anything?

    Sheesh (just because you did it) :>

  17. Pardon me, Tara, for what I am about to post, and to the others herein … but CR … you are a cheapskate, quasi lawyer, first class annoyance. I’ve met guys like you before. You get off on semantics. You make me laugh. I bartended for 15 years before I was a teacher. I tossed shits like you out of my joint quicker than lightning. They all argued about the same shit you bring up here. I didn’t feature their crap then, nor now. Too bad I can’t toss you here, boy.

    Remember your Latin – “De gustibus non est disputandum” – “In matters of taste, there can be no argument” ~ you lack taste – hence you don’t get what the concept is about. You lack the quality to get to see a naked girl for free. You argue the point, but that’s because you don’t get it. You know what’s right, too … yet you argue, just to be a prick.

    You’ve obviously never worked a day in your life. Never fails – you types come out of the woodwork like roaches. 🙄

    There! I feel better. Sorry, Tara. I just hate guys like that. They fuck up the whole scene for the rest of us.

    ~ Irish

  18. “Theft” is a bit tall, I think. I paid my fee for admittance, that’s all that’s strictly required. The system is set up so I reward performers I like and don’t ones I don’t like. If you like the customers who follow that to one extreme, you can’t really call the ones who follow it to the other thieves. Cheap bastards, maybe, freeloading dirtbags, but not thieves. The system made it voluntary, not me, and on the whole, that’s because voluntary pays off better than set fees would.

    That said, I agree with your underlying principle, that it’s only right to reward the working gals fairly if you go in a club at all. I always give even the most zoned-out, 1000-yard-stare dancer SOMETHING, and am much better than that to anyone who puts on a good show or, even better, chats with me as a person rather than as a mark. In fact, I think the incident I mention above is the first time I ever saw a dance and didn’t reward it. Of course, it’s also the first time I ever saw a dancer dance for nobody while ignoring perfectly viable customers ten feet away, so I don’t really think I’m the one who didn’t get how the system was supposed to work.

    I sure enjoyed my $11 Budweiser ($5 with tip to barely civil bartendress, plus $6 cover charge), though!

  19. Irishman,

    It amazes me how someone can know someone else over the internet simply by reading a few posts.

    Never worked a day in my life (I am currently working 14 hour days, 6 days a week).

    Cheapskate (hardly, if you had read what I stated above I said that I do tip (quite well as I have been told) or I stay away. I simply cannot call it theft if one does not tip.

    The rest of your post is simply a rant. Not even a good one.

    Since this simple disagreement seems to be getting your blood pressure all worked up, I will simply let this die out.

    Have a good one,

  20. Wow. We adore men like Irishman. So few of them out there….thank you young man.

    To the boys who are defending not tipping and worried about semantics to boot:
    tsk tsk- pity abounds for you.

    Goddess bless you.

  21. Reciprocity is a wonderful thing, check it out sometime.

    When you enter an Urban Fertility dancers realm, you can be aware that she is providing (in addition to what you are already aware of) an opportunity to make an offering to the Goddess of fertility/ abundance.
    Fertility for your crops, abundance for your business…it’s happening on another level, whether you are aware of it or not.

    Many of you may not be aware or believe in how these energies work, so in plainer terms let me explain.
    A woman has brought herself into the club going against what society and culture defines as wholesome to excite you about sensuality and sexuality. An aspect of ourselves that is vital and yet, stigmatized, hidden, devalued and shamed. She is employing more than just her bodies image (as in photographs). She leaves having felt grabbed at (even if it was just visual) and she feels the energy sap from men who choose to be like vampires and take take take (claiming they are “only watching”) without giving back.
    It’s a visual art gentlemen. Now that there is an added layer of physical contact, I understand how that may confuse you, however, the visual aspect is still there. It affects you and it affects the women who are WORKING.
    The fact that you will pay more for the soda Coca Cola provides says so much about you.
    It’s a sad story.
    I wish you an awakening. I hope Go(o)d(dess) is blessing you with the lessons necessary for awakening.

    Reciprocity is beautiful.

  22. CR,
    You’ve exposed yourself as at least a bit of a sexist. Your work is valuable and worthy of payment.
    The term “tips” doesn’t come from the women, it comes from a society that like to pretend it doesn’t pay for sex or sensuality. If you do not value the work these women are doing enough to reciprocate, then do yourself a favor- Stop taking from them.

    Sorry for the multiple comments Tara.

  23. Boy, a lot of people talking past people here, refusing to see the other point of view for a moment.

    I am all for tipping. I explicitly said I always tip, even for the lousiest, most catatonic show. And to hell with freeloaders who come to a great show, sit on their money and nurse one beer for two hours. Nobody’s defending that behavior, so you can stop insulting everyone as if they are.

    But I ask the dancers here specifically about the experience I had, which I described in detail. Would YOU have tipped in that situation? In other words, would you have gotten up from your chair by the (non-active stage), walked fifteen feet across a room where no one was paying any attention to a dancer, and attempted to give her a few bucks for a show which was not being performed for you, by a performer who seemed to be trying hard not to acknowledge your existence? Would you reward any performance, no matter how uninterested it was in delivering what it’s supposed to?

    As I say, in 20-some years of attending clubs sporadically, that’s probably the only time I ever had occasion to not tip. But it seems amply justified. If there was theft involved, it was the $6 cover charge for something the club proved incapable of delivering– and which, if they had delivered it on even the most minimal level, I would have added to gratefully.

    Can anyone say they would have tipped in that circumstance?

  24. Ed-U … you asked dancers, and I am not one, but I’ll say this much. I’ve been to clubs like that you describe. Not often, but once or twice. I’ve seen dancers who are, for whatever reason, less than engaged.

    I know I’ve had days at various jobs where I was less than engaged myself. I still did what was asked and hoped my overall character in the long haul kept me around. I figure, on any given day, that happens to dancers, too. I still expected to be paid when I had off days. So, I’d say, short of tipping, you could just leave.

    You said yourself, after 20 years, that’s the first time you ever felt like not tipping. So, clearly, it’s certainly less prevalent than those who come to a club for something cheap, free, or “extra”. Those types are far more common than dancers who go through the motions.

    Anyway, I’ve felt like not tipping. When that has happened, I just take my leave. But because I have dated dancers at one point, and gotten to know others personally, and because I have a positive attitude going in, I rarely ever have had a bad experience in a strip club.

    Anyway . . . I am sorry if I brought the blog down. I just have a unique viewpoint. I’ve been in a position most have not. It’s been a blessed life for me, take my word. Most of the dancers are great ladies. Some are not. Just like in the real world. It’s just that in an insurance office, your 50 year-old man boss isn’t wearing clear heels and grinding your groin to Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” . . . if he is, let me know. I’d love to work there. ~ Irish

  25. “When that has happened, I just take my leave.”

    Which I did (although I had a certain investment in a rather pricey Budweiser to recover; I did that as speedily as I could, because I sure wasn’t getting anything else out of being there).

    So that’s my point, which I think we basically agree on, I think. Tipping is obligatory, if you’re going to sit there and enjoy the show. I might not call not tipping “theft,” but I’d certainly call it “scummy.”

    However, if you’re plainly, blatantly not being given a good time, then not tipping is one way to express that. Often the only way (let’s face it, a strip club at 11 pm on Friday night is not really the kind of environment in which you ask for the manager to express your concerns over the customer experience, at least if you like having all your own teeth).

    And how did you know about my boss? I hate it when he does that (although it’s usually to “You Can Leave Your Hat On”). 😆

  26. I just read all these comments, this is how I see the spectrum:
    -tipping is optional
    -tipping is good, but bad service does not get tipped
    -tipping is expected for everyone out of respect
    -tipping is an understood obligation
    – not tipping is thievery

  27. I’m in with Irishman on this one, myself. Well said, sir.

    When I watch or listen to a street busker’s performance, I’ll put something into the hat. Yes, it’s a ‘tip’ or a ‘donation’, and they aren’t getting paid by anyone in particular to be there.

    If strippers were being paid by the club to be there, I could see solely tipping exceptional service, but from what I’ve ever read or been told, that’s not the case. So the artistry of the performer has to be rewarded entirely via handing over cash to her, and not the barkeep or bouncer or anyone else.

  28. orgasmic high.. mind blowing sex… yeah I want some of that… I will do my part…

    more seriously.. you are right though.. it takes 2.. 2 with that ‘connection’ elusive it is..

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