I realised on my way here that I wasn’t going to make it in time to get a stripper license, so I slowed down. Cooked liver and onions, played with Bro. Why rush? I got into town just after dark, and established myself in a good parking spot at the local truckstop. Since I’m probably going to be here for a while, I just payed the money for a month of wi-fi at the truckstop, and then I settled into the back of my van and got a bunch of writing and web stuff done.
In the morning I called Hat-Ma. Whenever I am in a strange place and need something, I call Hat-Ma. Everyone loves her, and I don’t have to network because she networks enough for her and all her friends. I learned this one time when I was rolling through South Dakota in a breaking down bus, looking for a place to make money and fix the bus. In SD you can’t just walk into a club and work. You’re supposed to book yourself months ahead of time. I called Hat-Ma and she arranged for me to work at a club that was already booked up, because they loved her. Then she gave me the number of a good mechanic who let us park the bus behind his shop and take it apart without charging us anything. My first night at the club, an older gentleman walked in and said, “are you Hat-Ma’s friend? She called me. Here’s two hundred for dances. If you need a shower here’s my address and house key. You and your girlfriend can come anytime, but I’m out of the house from nine to five and you might be most comfortable then.” A week later our bus broke down on the main street of the town. The cops were threatening to have it impounded if we didn’t get it out of their road in the next ten minutes. Just when we thought we were really screwed, a guy pulled up in a big truck. “Are you Hat-Ma’s friend? I heard she had friends in a bus and then I heard you were broke down on the scanner. Hey, I’ll tow you somewhere.” This is the value of networking. Or, if you are slightly antisocial like me, having friends who network.
So I called Hat-Ma this morning. “Do you have a friend here with a freezer? Cause I got buffalo meat and it’s thawing.”
There’s a little pause while she thinks. “Yeah, I’d have to call him though… oh, wait! We don’t even need to bring that much testosterone into it, you can stick it in the freezer at the restaurant Bob owns.”
So I did, and Bob was thoroughly nice and drew me a map of the town. Then I got a free shower at the truckstop (friends who network with truckers), and went to get my stripper license. They were really cool about it here, as opposed to the last few places I’ve gotten them, where the clerks have stared at me like, “whore!!!,” the whole time. The cop who fingerprinted me was even nice.
By the time I got to the club I’d talked to three other strippers who’d been there in the last few weeks and had the full scoop. I walked in and said to the doorman, “hi! I just got to town! I brought my license, ID, and boobs, and I wanna dance.”
“Cool. Lemme copy your shit.”
Five minutes later I was prancing around their mostly empty club half naked when my hardcore ho friend walked in. We did the girly shreek and ran to each other. We did it totally ironically. Harcore ho (HCH from here on out) is an incredible hustler. Unlike most incredible hustlers, she wants to spread the knowledge, and I’ve learned so much from working with her all over the country in the last few years. She filled me in on the prices. Like most clubs, it was twenty a dance, but like in most clubs HCH was charging more for a “better” dance.
It was slow in the begining. I talked to every single guy and none of them wanted dances. Some of them immediately went for dances with other girls. I saw HCH in and out of the dance area several times, and started to think I had lost my hustle. “Don’t worry,” a sweet old school stripper told me in the dressing room, “it’s late money here.” Late is one thing, I thought. Having six dollars at 10 PM is another. The DJ was really rude to me all night. She used to be a dancer and she’s got a shittastic attitude. I just stayed out of her way as much as I could and told her to play whatever she wanted for me.
But then it started to pick up. Using HCH’s method I was able to mostly get fifty dollars a dance, although there were a few twenty dollar ones. She pulled me in on one double dance, I pulled her in on another. We hustle good together cause I’m all subtle with the neurolinguistic programming and she’s all in your face with doing dances.
This is a pure booty shaking in your face sexuality-not-sensuality kind of club. There is none of the seduction, none of the sweetness, no cuddlers, none of what I usually love about dancing. But I don’t seem to mind. I am engaged in pure capitalism, and it feels good after being broke for the last couple weeks. You want more? You want this? More money. You want that? Hell no, but I bet you really want this. The cash just stacked up. Like always when I’m in a new place I was very conscious of my boundaries, how I felt and what I was okay with. If I have learned anything from stripping it’s that we have an absolute responsibility to ourselves not to do anything we don’t want to, and that there is no excuse (other than force) for doing something we don’t want.
I was suprised halfway through the night to find myself doing more contact than I’ve done probably since I was fifteen, working at crazy little bars that would hire a fifteen year old who pretended to be sixteen. I kept double checking, am I really okay with this? I really was. I thought of this bar I worked at one time, all black and white stages and floors and it was light enough to see and the music was quiet enough to hear, and people sat around at shiny tables with flowers watching women dance on stage with fancy lights and smoke and if they wanted to talk to us they had to buy champagne and tip us. It’s a convoluted universe away from this dark club, girls booty popping off the stage into customers laps, music so loud you have to yell, and guys who just ask “can I touch here? How much?” But there is no straight up hooking. The bouncers watch and if you raise your hand they’re there in a heartbeat. They throw out one drunk guy for me who keeps trying to get a blow job and falling into my cleavage.
It’s almost the end of the night when I see him. You know, that magic customer that you have great chemistry with who also has tons of money. I hear violins and see money signs over his head. He’s there with his wife. She’s bi, and heÂ promises she’s not jealous. We bring her some drinks and head straight for the couches. After a few dances he goes to the ATM for more money, and I grab HCH and drag her over to him. “Look, isn’t she hot! Don’t you want both of us in your lap? Get double the money out and you can have us both!”
Of course he did, and when we ran through that money we went back to the ATM again. By the third ATM trip he was a little reluctant and I would have lost him, but HCH works her magic. “Let’s do another… that sounds good… yes, let’s do another… mmm, we’re having so much fun… yes… that sounds good…” she repeats, nodding, until he gets more cash. It’s like magic.
At closing time some girl puked in the other dressing room, causing a mass exodus of drunk strippers to the sober dressing room. These are the smallest dressing rooms ever. Like being in tiny closets with twenty other women. We’re supposed to tip the DJ ten percent. I could get away with giving her less, she doesn’t know how much I made, but I give her eighty. She’s still rude. I’m totally tipping her twenty from here on out.
So, there it is. Capitalism rules, and networking is awesome.