Stripping 102: Your First Night

In the long term there’s a lot of stuff you’ll want to know about selling psychology, make-up, outfits, money management, etc. But your first night you might as well just jump in – if you knew that stuff now you wouldn’t really have the schema to integrate it into anyways. For now you just need to know how to make some money and avoid drama. Remember, these things vary a lot from club to club, so this is very general.

You’re probably really nervous about stage dancing, but in most places stage is the least important part (totally disregard this statement if you’re in Portland, Washington DC, or someplace else with a huge emphasis on stage dancing). All you need to do on stage is move slowly and confidently and don’t break any laws. Make eye contact with the customers and make sure you know what the tipping customs for your club are so that you can maximise your tips (in some clubs you won’t go over to someone at the tip rail unless they put money up on the rail, in other clubs you’ll just go do a little dance in front of them and hold out your garter to prompt a tip).

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s focus on the important parts.

The very most important thing you’ll need as an exotic dancer is the ability to set and enforce boundaries. If you can’t do this, don’t even think of being a stripper (on the other hand, if you’re a concious learner, stripping will teach you boundaries like nothing else can). Understand that people are often going to want more from you than you want to give them. You also need to understand that wanting to have sex with you isn’t a predatory thing, it’s just a want. If you feel like you’ve been assaulted every time someone wants to have sex with you you are going to be totally traumatised by dancing. Most of the time they’re asking because other girls at your club or a club they’ve been to have offered sex or they’ve read about it on the internet, or because hope springs eternal and you are naked in their lap. Usually you say no and that’s the end of it. But sometimes (and again, this varies regionally) they’ll keep pressing or try to manipulate you.

As a new dancer, I recommend that you find out what your club rules are (for example: no touching during lap dances, outer thigh/back touching only during champagne rooms) and give a long thought to your personal boundaries. Decide exactly what you will and won’t do, and then stick to that. Once you’ve been dancing for a few months you can have more flexible boundaries. For example, you might dance for a sweet guy whose hand’s you really wouldn’t mind on your boobs, and he might offer you an extra hundred to let him touch your boobs. Twenty minutes later you might be dancing for a rude, grabby guy who demands to grab your boobs or offers you a good tip. These waters can be tricky, so unless you’re very in touch with yourself and confident just set some static boundaries and stick with them for a long time.

The number two most important skill you’ll need is selling. In most clubs you won’t really make any money on stage. It all comes from lapdances (at the begining of the night, ask the housemom/manager/nice girl in the dressing room if someone can show you how to do a lapdance). This is why there are so many really incredible performers who make hardly any money. You’ll want to work the entire room. Unless it’s really slow, do not sit with one guy for more than one or two songs. Sit down and introduce yourself, then ask what they’ve done that day, if they’ve been here before, where they’re from, what they do for fun, etc. Try to keep it light and look for a topic that’ll allow you to develop some rapport. After a minute or two, bring the conversation back to the dance. Don’t say, “Do you want a dance.” Say, “I’m ready to dance for you now” or, “Let’s go play.” A confident statement, not an open ended question.

If it’s really busy, don’t even bother sitting down to talk to them. You can use a total hit and run hustle. Just say, “Hi, I’m and I want to play with you in the VIP room.” Yes = “lets go.” No = NEXT! “Hi, I’m let’s go play in the VIP.”Once you’ve got them back to the lapdance/VIP area, or if you’re doing the lapdance right there where they’ve been sitting, sit down and cross your legs over theirs sexily and say, “it’s $xx, and we’ll wait for the next song, okay?” If that doesn’t prompt them to pay you, tell them you need to collect first, then smile and add “business before pleasure.” A lot of guys will resist paying first, but as a new dancer you need to get your money up front most of the time at least for the first few days. A lot of times if they are resistant to paying first I’ll tell them that I’m throwing in the rest of the current song for free, and as soon as they pay me we can get started.Whatever the contact norms are at your club, start out slow. Make lots of eye contact, arch your back and make sexy faces, play with their hair at the back of their neck, drag your fingernails along their arm or chest, that kind of thing. Take your clothes off slowly and gracefully, and work up to the more intense parts of the dance. At the end of the song you should be in your sexiest position. Don’t stop dancing. Lean into their ear and whisper, “You don’t want me to stop, do you?” Of course they don’t. If they say yes, try again. It’s a lot easier to sell this guy a second and third and fourth dance than to go find an entirely new guy. Say things like, “I’m not done with you yet.” “I was just getting started.” “I don’t want to stop now.” etc. When he paid you for your first dance you got a peek in his wallet, so you know how much more he can afford. Wait and charge him at the end, or every five dances.

Then repeat, over and over and over again. Try to sell around 20 dances a night, 10 in a slow club.

Then there are random little things you’ll need to know.

The Drink Hustle: Some clubs want you to sell drinks. Occasionally you get a drink commision, occasionally there is a drink quota, and occasionally they don’t give a shit at all. If they want you to sell drinks, just talk to the bartender and ask her to fake yours (a great one is a sea breeze – sprite instead of vodka). You don’t need to get drunk at work and especially not on your first night. If you find yourself having to down a bottle of Champagne, take small sips and keep refilling your customers glass. Dump yours in the ice bucket when he’s not looking, or if you hold your glass at an angle over the ice bucket with the stem down in the bucket a little ways and overfill the spillage won’t be noticable. It sucks to be dishonest, but you really can’t have 20-30 mixed drinks a night, it’s just not healthy.

Customers: Sometimes they’ll be great, and sometimes they’ll be awful. Either way take it for what it is in the moment and then leave it behind. I swear I meet my soulmate at least four or five times a night, but I’ve learned not to take it seriously. Likewise, I mostly ignore the assholes, too.

Stage fee: Ask if your first night is free, but expect to pay a flat fee or a percentage of dances at the end of the night.

Tipping out: The manager or housemom will tell you what you “should” tip out. Ask some of the other girls how much they tip out to who. On your first night you’ll want to tip out really well, even if you haven’t made good money. Think of it as an investment, because these are the people who will point customers to you, point you to customers with money, skip you on stage when you’re with a big spender, and defend you when the crazy drama goes down. At most places $10 is standard, $20 on a good night, but in some clubs it’s traditional to tip out a larger portion of big sales – like if the champagne room host upsells for you and you end up doing a thousand dollar champagne room becauase of him, you should probably throw him ten percent so he’ll do it again.

Eating: Bring some trail mix or a protein bar or whatever you’re inclined to eat in the middle of the night. Don’t think you won’t be hungry, dancing will make you ravenous.

Talking to other strippers: Just say no to drama! Be pleasant, be superficial, be a little aloof so they know you can’t be fucked with, and get your ass out of the dressing room and start making money.

Leaving: Make sure a bouncer walks you out to your car. Pay attention so you’ll know if you’re being followed.


  1. I just signed up for it. I don’t really remember, but I think there was like a 24 hour wait while they approved it…?

  2. 😉
    In my home town Calhole(Calgary) you can supposedly make ten thousand a week striping here. No wonder there are some many homeless men here we guys get 500 a week for working our asses off, not that girls don’t but they are just not silly enough to be a laborer.
    Would’nt be weird if girls were as horny as guys and paid for sex and watched stippers and porn until they get so old and ugly from being lonely and cut off from the world knowing they never get laid unless they pay for it, welcome to BEING A NICE SHY GUY.
    Sorry 10 years of not getting laid will make any 30 year-old bitter.
    Legalize the Homegrown, Later

  3. Hey there…I came across your site ocasionally while googling…
    I’ve just started dancing…and with NO experience at all…
    I’m pretty confident about myself though…I win because of my body (legs and just the way I look like)…I’m not great dancer AT ALL…

    The problem is that I work at the place where OTHER ladies come and sell their bodies…
    Seems like I have no connection with them at all…BUT it turned out into really big problem…
    Seems like they really do NOT like me…
    All customers who come there…well almost all…go to me…talk to me (I speak few languages and I find myself pretty communicative)…of course all those drinks and private dances…

    Lately those “ladies” GOT AT me in a really bad way…I never heard so many awful and mean words thrown at me…laughs and even threats…
    I’m trying to pretend that I don’t give a flying f*** about it…but it all HURTS ME so much and even scares me…
    I understand that they R trying to get me off there…

    I just don’t know what to do…HOW to act…
    I never said a bad word to them…and never was rude…and I don’t even wanna try to become like they R (not all of them of course…there R couple of nice ladies though)…

    I really have no clue…
    What should I do???

  4. Candy,

    QUOTE: “The problem is that I work at the place where OTHER ladies come and sell their bodies”

    Be careful about clubs who’s management is so lax that illegal activities are happening. You’re risking your own reputation by working in places that cant keep a handle on such activities.

    This business is not bad,.. but there is some bad management in this business,.. You have 2 legs and a brain,.. use them. You have no obligation to stay at a club that does not notice that their dancers are giving justification for the negative stigma our industy has.

    Use your legs and walk away,.. find a club that is concious of its obligation to run its business ethically. They do exist.

    A couple of clean dancers will not make a dirty club clean,…but rather whats clean will get dirty. Find a clean club to work in.

    I am speaking as an ex-dancer, and current club owner/ manager. Dont waste your time working in that kind of surroundings,..find a club that keeps the dancers and surrounding community in mind when conducting its business.

    Sorry HoboStripper, hope I didn’t step on your toes with this posting.

  5. holly,

    Thanx a lot for replying…it makes a lot of sense…
    As I said that I never ever have danced in my life before…not sure if any other good club would like to have not professional dancer…
    As I said I only win because of body and the way I can communicate with people…

    I think I’ll try to take some strip-dancing classes…probably find a place to work at other club…

    Thanx a lot, holly!!!

  6. Good luck w/ everything candy. Dont get discouraged!
    Hey, if you’ve got communication skills,.. you’ve got the most important part down!!

    below is a link w/ an article titled “making yourself valuable to a club”

    I dont know what state you dance in,.. this article was published over a year ago in Extreme Entertainment Magazine (now called Midwest Nights). It was written for the dancers of Wisconsin style clubs, who’s owners and managers are quiet involved in their local communities.(like myself and many of the other club owners I entangle myself with.) The blog has not been kept up,.. but the article is the last one one the page if you scroll down.

    Sounds like you have it together,.. and If you ever decide to do any traveling,.. a lot of the clubs in wisconsin dont have a lot of “house girls”. Here in wisconsin we welcome the traveling dancer. I can recommend some good clubs if ever you make it this way.

    Much success to you.

  7. holly,

    Thanx a lot…
    Actually I’m not from states…
    I’m Russian from Estonia…and this is where I work now…:)

    In article U gave me link to was such part – “Several dancers were sitting at the bar and yes it was slow. Most of the dancers were whining about how they weren’t making any money. But one dancer said to the other girls, “see that man alone over there? He has a soda in front of him, that tells me he’s not here to get drunk!” She walked over to him, started talking, and within moments they were strolling to the private dance area.”

    This is SO TRUE and this is exactly what those “ladies” don’t let me doing…and if I try – I already wrote what happens in my first comment.

  8. Candy,

    Its interesting how people, for the most part, are the same no matter where you are from. (“people are people”)
    It’s a shame the other dancers don’t have the wisdom to see the example you are giving in HOW to get more customers ,..and money.

    There is an expression: “a new broom sweeps clean”
    Management should be smart to see that the stale faces (dancers), are getting too comfortable and becoming less productive.
    Management should also see that those same petty, jealous dancers will be the ones chasing away possible good money makers for the club.

    I know how you feel, ..really I do. That is why I have my dancers understand what the GOLDEN RULE is in my club:

    “Treat other dancers the way you would want other dancers to treat you. And Treat the customers the way you would want to be treated if you were a customer.”

    I send away any dancer that makes my dressing room uncomfortable for the other girls. (no matter if she is a big money maker or not)
    Entertaining customers takes a lot of emotional energy, you shouldn’t also have additional energy drained from a bad work environment. Hopefully there is a club in your area that understands this and runs its dressing room accordingly. Best of luck!!

  9. holly,

    That’s a pleasure communicating with U…as with a human who knows and understands it all…
    If I lived in US I would be willing working in your club…honestly…

    See…probably strip clubs and public houses R two different things…
    As a dancer I’m working alone in shift…so there R no any other dancers with me…BUT as I said there ARE BUNCH of prostitues around me (I swear there R few sweet girls among them)…exactly those who 5-6 people at once can get at U in smoking room or even in the hall throwing mean words and phrases like I’m not doing private dances but going there to do blowjobs…
    I’m sick and full of it…
    Management won’t do anything about it ‘cuz this is how they make money there…

    IF THEY hire me as a dancer in one good club here – Imma be happy lady…:)

  10. 🙂 Awesome post! I love them all….. Did u ever have a problem approaching guys?

  11. This is AWESOME! Hobo you are the answer to my prayers – I have been working up the nerve to start dancing the past month (maybe at UJ’s in Portland) – I love to go to the clubs, and have been told many times I could make great money – love to dance, love the idea of working for myself. Just wondering if you have danced in Portland and how you find the scene – best club for a newbie?

    Thanks for writing so well – your insights are incredibly refreshing!



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  13. This is my problem…I start looking down and talking down to ALL the guys, cause some are “nasty” or “jerks” and I’m pretending to like them. I guess I need to brush-off the nasty guys so I can work better, for the others, huh? Thanks for the advice, H.S.

  14. I think this is great! My question, I’m confident and sexy and love making money but when I’m getting dances am I trying to take him just to the VIP room or start with a floor dance thats usually a 10 dollar dance. I so would rather VIP all night

  15. Hi,
    tomorrow is my first day of dancing.. I’m really nervous. This article helped a lot. To be honest I am mostly afraid of the stage dancing.. I’ve never danced before and I am going to be working at one of the more well known clubs.. all the girls dance really well and know how to work the pole. I however do not… so I am going to to the best I can, but I’ve never been so nervous in my life!

  16. Thanks, Holly, and Candy for all the advice. I start tonight a lil nervous, but I’m ready for a new line of work. Holly u sound like a smart manager, wish I could dance at your club. Thanks again, Monica

  17. I just wanna say I love your page it’s helping me a lot to get prepared. I’m researching clubs around my area and have them narrowed down to the ones I want to visit. I have my mind set and I want to do this so bad, but only thing that is holding me back is money. I have no idea what to wear. I have no job and no money and so I don’t really have “sexy clothes”. If you could please give me some insight on what to wear I would greatly appreciate it. I have no other options than to ask you I’ve been googling for days and no one has anything at all to offer.

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