Stripping 104: Stripper Etiquette

I had the dubious good fortune of starting my stripping career in an old school titty bar, with old school strippers. Old school, in this case, meant you respect the hell out of everyone or there’ll be a blanket party after work. It also meant rules like, if a customer likes two dancers, the one with the most kids (ie, mouths to feed not counting boyfriends) got him, and if you were the one with less kids, you excused yourself. Despite the threat of violence, it’s mostly a really good way for women to work together, and I often miss it now.

So, here are some ways you can act like an old school stripper who respects other strippers. Of course, if you work in one of those big city clubs with a hundred girls you don’t know, none of this probably applies.

Sitting stage side. In many clubs, you aren’t allowed to sit with customers at the stage, but if you are allowed and you do sit with a customer at the stage, have some consideration for the woman who’s naked up there. When she comes around, prompt him to tip, and to give you a dollar to tip her too.

If someone does this consistently for you, you can return the respect by encouraging the customer she’s sitting with to get a dance with her. Say, “oooh, you two look so cute! You really need to get her naked!” Or something like that.

Borrowing shit. Nobody likes a moocher. Well, unless they already know and love you. If you have to ask for a baby wipe, tampon, whatever, offer a couple dollars. She might not take it, but it’s a way of showing your respect and appreciation for something she didn’t have to give you.

Talking to customers.Don’t talk badly about your fellow strippers, it makes you look like a drama-tastic junior high bitch. If you know any personal details of other peoples lives, don’t share them in the club. If you have common acquaintances outside the club, don’t share details from her club life.

When she sits with the guy you were sitting with… It happens to all of us all the time. You go on stage and head back to that high roller only to find another stripper at his side. You don’t want him to forget you, but you don’t want to piss her off. Go over to them, smile, put your hand on her shoulder so that she feels teamed up with you. Apologise for interrupting and let her know that it’ll be a short interruption and you’re not stealing him. Then tell him that you enjoyed your time/drinks with him, and that you’d love to dance for him when he’s done enjoying this pretty ladies company. Keep an eye out for him, but also get over it and move on to the next customer.

When someone buys him a dance, but… You know how it is. Someone buys the birthday boy a dance and points him out across the room. When you get there you see that he’s been talking to another stripper, and you don’t want to be rude. Don’t just grab him and take him away. Tell her that his friend bought him a dance, and (in a little, slow club) promise to return him to her when your done. If you have any ability to get along with the other girl, ask the customer if he wants to make it a double dance with the two of you. In fact, that’s the answer to many awkward situations: double dance!!!

We’re all working here.If you have drama or a problem to talk about with another girl, wait till the end of the night. There’s no reason to bring any negativity or bad energy into the titty bar, so if you have any of that hang onto it till the end of the night. Similarly, if you feel the need to whine about the crowd, scream or cry on the phone to your boyfriend, or otherwise be negative, take it in the bathroom. You have no right to bring down everyone’s mood when we need it to make cash.

When doing double dances: I can’t believe this needs to be said, but don’t bite your fellow strippers (unless you’re Hat-ma. Hat-ma can bite me any day). Don’t finger them, lick them, suck them, or do anything of the sort unless you’re already fucking each other or something. We’re DANCERS. It’s FAKE.

Drugs and other illegal things, except 420. If you do it, it’s your business. Keep it to yourself, and understand that doing illegal things in or out of the club threatens the club and the income of everyone who dances there. If people find out, they will probably be very pissed, and you might get hurt.

Strippers, add your own in the comments. 🙂

(Also see Stripping 101: The Audition, Stripping 102: Your First Night, Stripping 103: Beyond The First Night, and Beyond Stripping 101).


  1. My 2 cents:
    The hardest times to be polite and nice (which is always on a dead night when there are significantly more dancers than customers) is the time when it’s most important to be polite to the other dancers. I found this out the HARD way and lost my job at the best money-making club over STUPID drama that was only there because no customers=bored dancers=drama

  2. Just curious about the “except 420” part. Has that now become so commonplace that you don’t need to worry about it being a risk to the club/individual? Or is this something that varies from club to club?

  3. D, yeah, it’s regional. In Alaska, it’s technically illegal but not something you can get prosecuted for (google the Raven decision if you’re interested). In dressing rooms all over the country it’s not a big deal to step in the bathroom and light up. In other ones, it is. And I really think it’s best to work fully sober. But really, who can hate a stoner?

  4. I’m going to second what you said about never insulting fellow dancers in front of customers.

    And I’ll add:

    About contact: Respect the rules about contact in the club. If you insist on offering more contact than your coworkers, than at least charge significantly more so as not to undercut anyway.

    About hygiene: Wash your hands frequently. Be wary of what parts your rubbing there. For example, if you work in a nude club, do your fantastic slide into the splits before your take your g-string off.

    And finally: be very, very nice to the wait staff and bartenders. They work just as hard as everyone else but do not have the option of relaxing the dressing room if the customers become too much.

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