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This post is going to go hand-in-hand with my previous post about preparing to be a stripper. While that post was geared towards people who are pretty certain they want to become a dancer, this one is going to be for the people thinking about becoming a dancer. This post is going to be me telling you the truth about what the job really is, what the industry is really like, and what the clubs are like.
This will expose you to the good, the bad, and the fucking nasty. That said, I can tell you the ins-and-outs of the job all day, but until/unless you truly experience it for yourself, it’s not going to be the same. But hopefully I can give you a heads up so that if you decide to dip your toe in the stripper pool you can be somewhat prepared, at least more prepared than I was. I want all of you aspiring/baby/even veteran dancers to be SAFE and to have all the knowledge you can because knowledge is power and in this industry you need to have a firm grasp of your power and know how to use it or else you’re pretty much guaranteed to get taken advantage of in some way.
DISCLAIMER: This is MY truth and what I know. I know it’s not the same in every city or every club, but my guess is that some things in this industry are universal. If I can even guide just ONE dancer with this post then it’s worth it.
What Stripping Really Is
🗣 YOU CAN’T DO SEX WORK WITHOUT DOING SEX WORK. Yes, strippers are sex workers. A sex worker is someone who works in the sex industry. A lot y’all may
not like it disagree, but it is what it is.
What I mean by saying “you can’t do sex work without doing sex work” is that you CAN NOT be a stripper (who makes any money) without 1) taking your clothes off, 2) touching other people, mostly men in a sensual/sexual way. So no, you can’t make money as a stripper without shaking your goodies on a man’s dick or without having someone touch your ass.
Some of y’all don’t know how stupid you sound asking “can I be a stripper without doing lap dances or getting naked?” 🙄
TALKING TO PEOPLE
Any decent stripper knows you generally have to talk to people to make money. The amount of talking needed varies by what type of club you’re dancing in (more on that later). The more social and personable you are, the more money you’ll make, I promise you.
You have to talk to these customers like they’re the most interesting person you’ve ever met and you have to act like you’re loving every seconid. Strip club customers are the biggest whiners and need their egos stroked. You’re selling a fantasy. Especially in “white” clubs, it’s A LOT of talking. Like… a lot. The general rule of thumb in white clubs is to talk for a maximum of three songs before closing a sale. You have to know how to hold a conversation. In black clubs it’s a little different, but I promise you having a personality will help you in any club.
This is the part where your hustle will really come in to play. If you know how to finesse people and make them feel special you’ll make bank, if you don’t… you better learn 🤷🏽♀️.
Yeah, you’re going to be touched a lot. Especially here in Houston, it’s VERY high contact. You’re going to be touched in places you don’t mind and you’re going to be touched in places you don’t want to be touched. I’m sorry, but it’s one of the major downfalls of the job. Mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for this. Generally, your boobs, ass, and outer thighs are fair game.
Be prepared for wandering fingers. Stand up for yourself and enforce your boundaries. You don’t have to continue if you feel you have been violated in anyway AND still demand your coin if you stop mid-dance. It’s what you deserve and management SHOULD back you up on this.
Also, these nasty ass men think it’s okay to lick, kiss, smell, etc. a complete stranger so watch out for that too.
THE PHYSICAL STRAIN
Bitchhhhhhh. I leave the club sore and bruised af on a good night.
You’ll be in six to eight inch platform heels, literally dancing for hours on end, and if you do floor work your knees and legs will be bruised (especially in the beginning). Dancing also has a physical impact on your joints, especially the knees. Think about it, you’re hovering, grinding, twerking, etc. on a person for at least three minutes at a time, often times a lot longer than that. IT’S JUST NOT NATURAL.
Also, the club is grimey af. You’re gonna be dirty af by the time you get home just from the general grime and sweat of the club. You’ll also probably smell like club, especially if they allow smoking inside. So wash ya self (check out this post about all the hygiene tips that a grown woman should know). This is especially important if your prone to body acne. Bumps on ya booty is not a good look. Bumps on ya booty are also easy to get thanks to rolling around on stage, sitting down in a public place in a thong, dirty customer hands, etc.
Additionally, it’s pretty much required that you stay on top of physical appearance. The better you look (whatever that means to you), the better you’re going to do $$$.
Hoe tip: start getting or doing your own mani/pedis. It makes a difference and it’s good for you.
Listen, all I’m going to say on this is that if you cannot work without drinking and/or doing drugs then you NEED to find a new profession.
That being said, your job is to give the customer a good time which probably means drinking and partying. I would refrain from doing drugs (besides smoking weed *emoji*) on the club floor. BUT, it’s probably in your best interest $$$ wise to have a drink or two or three. Not only does it loosen you up, but I’ve had a jackass customer tell me he would of spent more money on me if I wouldn’t have declined his offer for a drink. I haven’t declined a drink since.
Also, watch your back. People are scum and spiking drinks/lying about what it is they’re giving you is a real thing.
Basically, have a good time, but be safe, ladies!!!
COMPETING WITH EXTRAS
Straight up: a lot of men come to the club to find someone to have sex with and there are girls who do extras (by extras I mean they do more than just dancing).
I understand that it’s hard to compete with a girl who’s willing to do morethan you, but if that’s not your thing, just stick to your guns and make your money your way. You’ll just have to hustle a lil harder. That’s life 🤷🏽♀️.
BEWARE OF RAIDS
Yes, raids are an actual thing. Generally, an undercover or two will come into the club, observe, engage, and take notes. Then they come back with their buddies at a later date and start arresting people.
Whether you do extras or not, be aware of this and always play it safe. No amount of money is worth a prostitution charge.
IT’S A HUSTLE
If you don’t know how to hustle you’re probably not going to make much money and that’s the truth.
A bitch who looks great, but doesn’t know how to hustle will lose to the mediocre bitch who does. Every time. It’s the classic “hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard thing.” (Not that I’m equating being attractive with having talent, it’s just a metaphor).
I can’t tell you how to hustle, it’s just something you know/learn. You CAN learn, most of us do!!
What the Industry Really Is
This mf’in industry, man.
IT’S PAYING TO WORK
Literally PAYING. So, in most places, an exotic dancer is an “independent contractor” who “rents” out space in a club to do her “independent work.” This is your house fee or tip out (depends on you region) and it’s totally not a scam by club owners to get as much money as they can by the end of the night.
Your house fee is what you pay to be able to work and in Houston generally runs from $10-$200 depending on the club, day, and the time you start your “shift.” It’s generally due as soon as you walk in the door and you can’t work without paying it all upfront (although some club managers are super lax and will work with you if for some reason you can’t pay it). On weekdays during the day shift is when tip out is going to be the lowest. It’s going to be highest during prime time on a weekend. Your club should have a price sheet.
AND THEN after your shift you have to tip some of the club employees. In my experience, it’s pretty much required for you to tip out the DJ, the house parents, and the guy who sweeps up all your money (if your club has one of those).
Generally speaking, you tip these guys based off of how well of a night you had. If you did good and secured your bag, then show them some love in return. I personally don’t have a problem tipping these people out since I wouldn’t be able to do my job without them and they directly impact my earnings. If the DJ keeps it popping and puts me on stage when there’s money in the club, then he deserves to be tipped for that. I always pay the sweeper because his hands are literally on my money and I’m trusting him to keep it safe. I love my house mama, she’s always got everything a dancer could need and even has snacks, rillos, and capri suns for us in the locker room *emoji*. She rocks fr fr. Some clubs also suggest that you tip the managers. I don’t know about all of that, BUT you don’t want to get a bad reputation at your club for being cheap/greedy/selfish/whatever so ask the other dancers what the norm is.
AND THEN most club management take a percentage of your earnings. This varies by club, but make sure you know up front to avoid any surprises. At my current club, it’s 5% of every bag you make.
Hoe tip: Taking care of your DJ/other club employees means they will look out for you more and put you onto money over the girl who doesn’t tip as good. Plus it’s karma, what you put out will come right back to you.
RESPECT IS HARD TO COME BY
From club staff, other dancers, customers, civilians, etc. You will constantly have to prove yourself over and over again.
Your manager might grab your ass while he’s talking to you, customers will straight up ignore you when you talk to them, dancers might laugh in your face, etc. It’s hard out here, ok.
Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the misogynistic game that we play.
Take solace in the fact that we’re #defundingthepatriarchy one dollar at a time.
FAME + EXTRAS
If you’re in a big city and working in an established club, chances are there are going to be some “famous” strippers walking around. I’m talking about girls with 20K IG followers or a basketball player’s side chick.
There will also be girls who sell pussy.
Either way there’s always going to be someone who’s better than you and who seems to be making more money than you. That’s not your problem, don’t compare yourself, focus on YOUR grind, and you’ll do just fine. You may even become “famous” yourself one day.
PIMPS + SEX TRAFFICKING
IDK how it is in other cities, but there’s a pimp (if not multiple) just chilling in every club here in Houston. They might try and talk to you every now and then, but just stand your ground and you’ll be fine. Most of the time they’re just there to watch over “their” girls.
Other girls will try to approach you as well. Use your best judgement and common sense when befriending other dancers, especially if you’re in a club that has a high amount of extras going on.
Your club should provide you with resources to combat sex trafficking. If you feel unsafe at any time, report it immediately and/or get yourself out of there. It is NOT worth your safety.
What the Clubs Are Like
There’s really two types of clubs. White/mixed clubs and urban/black clubs.
The clientele in these clubs are majority white (obvi) with a few other types of customers sprinkled in (hence mixed). In my experience, the average age of a customer is higher in these clubs.
Most white clubs are open during the day (this is the number one way to determine what type of club it is).
The dancers are majority white, with a few brown and black girls sprinkled in. The general look of a dancer in this club is slim/fit with sexy lingerie. Good luck getting hired at a white club if you’re black (you’ll literally need luck cause most clubs have a quota and are extra picky when it comes to looks). There will be ten busted looking white girls for every one black (and obviously beautiful) dancer at these clubs.
The main type of dancing in white clubs are lap dances. The price of a single lap dance varies by city, but generally go for $20-$40. Each dance lasts for one song and the goal is to sell multiple songs in a row to a single customer. The amount of contact varies by city (read up on the laws in your city/state). If you need some inspiration check out different lap dance tutorials on youtube! That’s what I did as a baby stripper when I worked at white club. Generally speaking though, these clubs are pretty high contact (especially compared to black clubs).
In my experience, not a lot of money is made on stage at these clubs, but that obviously varies by club.
VIP and Champagne rooms are a big deal in these types of clubs. This is how and where you’ll make hundreds of dollars at once. VIP/CR cost the customer extra and are private rooms that are sold in blocks of time (usually thirty minutes or one hour). A customer takes a dancer into the private room and you’ll dance for them in a more private/intimate setting. The time in VIP/CR is spent talking, drinking, dancing, etc. The amount you’ll get for this time is set by the club and you. It NEEDS to be in the triple digits, though. Be ready for the club to take a percentage as well. Also, it’s in these private rooms that extras occur. If your club cares about you at all, there will be a hostess or security guard who will check in on you periodically during your time in VIP/CR.
It’s because of VIP/CR that I say these clubs have more extras going on IN the club than urban/black clubs.
White clubs are usually the most legitimate when it comes to business practices (more on that once we start talking about urban clubs). At these clubs you’ll most likely go through a hiring process (like an audition), clock-in, fill out tax paperwork, go through a background check, etc.
Also, be prepared for these clubs to have a strict “no hip-hop/rap” rule. They’ll also have a “dress code.” 👀 White/mixed clubs are anti-black AF.
AKA after hours club AKA the booty club AKA make it rain clubs.
Urban clubs don’t usually get popping till after 2am (at least in Houston).
At these clubs you’ll be dancing to hip-hop/rap. At all times. And you’ll actually be dancing and not just giving lap dances. You’ll be twerking and grinding for those dollars! Since you won’t be giving many (if any) lap dances at an urban club, it’s mainly low contact. It’s wonderful.
Instead of VIP/CR, the club will have VIP sections. These sections often come with bottle service and are where a ton of money will be thrown. The catch is that each section will often have multiple girls which you’ll have to split the money with at the end of the night. BUT there’s often enough money that you’ll at least see a couple hundred.
The type of dancers you’ll see will be 99% percent black with a brown girl mixed in somewhere. At my club there’s not a single white girl *shrug emoji*. The body types are mostly thick, big booty women, but little booties matter too. As long as you know how to work what you’ve got then you have a chance.
These clubs don’t really have a hiring process and the rules are pretty lax. Like, weed is smoked on the club floor, city ordinances regarding dancer conduct are often ignored, etc. There’s really no audition process either.
Stage sets at these clubs are important. Niggas love to show out and make it rain on girls on stage. So work on your stage presence if you’re gonna work at a black club. There’s nothing like having a thousand dollars in ones dropped on your back while on stage *day dream emoji*.
Celebrities. This is a pro and a con. Celebrities who go to strip clubs 9 times out of 10 go to an urban after hours place. Celebs can be hit or miss though, some spend 10 racks (shoutout to a certain Atlanta music producer) and some just watch other people throw money.
Obviously, it sounds like an urban club is where all of the money at, but beware cause there will be A LOT of competition at these clubs. Your hustle has to be stronger here than at a white/mixed club. You can’t get away with just looking good.
It’s time to conclude this encyclopedia of a post.
My parting words are:
This is not for everybody!!!
I know stripping is hella popular in pop culture right now, but it is NOT easy and it CANNOT be done by the average gal.
Again, sex work… means doing sex work!!!
Yes stripping is sex work, @ me if you want.
And finally, the need for more regulations in this industry and for more PROTECTIONS for dancers is SO necessary and SO real.