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So you want to be a stripper—Part 2

Go back to part 1 here.

VIP Room Rules

So now, let’s talk about VIPs! These are their own beast but something you will encounter (but probably not on your first day, and to be honest, I don’t recommend doing one on your first day because a dude will know you’re new and try to take advantage of you). Unless the club you work at is cool with it, DO NOT HAVE SEX IN VIP. Also, you are worth more than $200. Seriously. Okay so I will do my best to summarize how VIP works. Again, time frames can range from 15 minutes to a few hours. If there are actual VIP ‘rooms’ the customer will have to pay a room fee and a fee to you. The house mom or manager will usually tell you what rates to charge for different amounts of time. You can charge the customer whatever you want but don’t aim too high or sell yourself short either. If the customer thinks your price is too high, you can negotiate but don’t go below what the baseline is. Make sure the customer pays the room fee upfront and then pays you upfront. DO NOT START A VIP UNTIL THE CUSTOMER PAYS YOU FIRST!! If they don’t have the money, you can leave the room and tell the bouncer as well. Do not take IOUs, even if the customer is a regular to the club. If your club accepts card payments for YOUR fee, you will receive your payment at the end of your shift. Note that because there is a processing fee involved, you will not receive all of the card payment. As such, if the customer is paying with a card, you need to tell them and up your price slightly to cover the cost of the fee.

Once you’re in VIP with the customer, a lot of different things can happen based on club rules, your comfort level, and your relationship with the customer. Most clubs allow for you to be naked, the dude should never be undressed, with excessive groping/touching, and HJs. But, these again these rules vary by club. Some clubs only have a VIP section that is open, and they are just slightly more private areas with slightly more touching than a lap dance. Even if they say they don’t, pretty much every club has a camera in the VIP area. You can get fired for engaging in sexual activity that they deem inappropriate. Especially if you are new, refrain from doing so. Someone may offer you a grand, but it is not worth losing your job. If you get fired from a club, you can potentially find it very difficult to get hired by another one as some are owned by the same people. So, keep that in the back of your mind at all times.

Helpful Tips

Other things to keep in mind is that some clubs have dress codes. Some require a certain amount of your body to be covered, to carry a prop with you, to wear a gown when not giving a dance or on stage, etc. You will always have to abide by these rules as well. Additionally, you can keep your money in a garter (and empty your garter from time to time when it gets full) or a small money bag that you can carry around with you during the shift. Some clubs may sell these things along with outfits and garters that you can buy if you forget them or misplace or damage the ones you own. You can also buy outfits at places like sex shops, Yandy.com, Victoria’s Secret, and dance stores catering to strippers. There are probably some local designers who also work with dancers to create outfits. They’re pretty easy to find on Instagram. Again, keep all your receipts for tax purposes.

When the DJ calls your name to perform, he or she will usually give you a one or two song warning. If you are in a VIP, you will not be called until the VIP session is over. Note that VIPs can be extended if the customer and you both decide to stay. You don’t have to stay in a VIP if the customer makes you uncomfortable. Once you get on stage, remember to engage the crowd. They are the ones who will be tipping you! Depending on the club, you will probably be on stage for a three-song set. As a good rule of thumb, don’t strip unless you’ve been tipped. You probably will get some tips, but if it’s only a couple bucks, then don’t give a basically free show. Make sure to wipe the pole before and after you get on stage out of respect for the girl going on after you. Some clubs will let you do pole work once you’re nude and others will not. Also, your comfort level. If you don’t want your bare cooch touching the pole, then don’t do it. It’s not required. As when performing, make sure to test the pole before doing any tricks on it. While tricks are great, let’s be honest, dudes are coming to see you get naked. Incorporating tricks that you can do WHILE stripping is strongly encouraged (ie taking your top off during a layback). Make sure to also smile and have fun!

I know I’ve gone over a lot of things and now you might be thing, OMG there are so many rules and I have to pay money to work, is it even worth it? The answer, for me anyway, is yes. Depending on the club and how much effort you put in to it, you can make a grand a day. But you have to put in effort. VIPs and lap dances require customer interaction, especially when you’re new. No one knows you. Occasionally people will come in and ‘make it rain’ on the whole club, but that scenario is not a regular occurrence. You definitely have to hustle the customers that come in to make it work for you. Trying to set daily goals is helpful. For example, if you have bills due that week, try to set your goal for $100 over what you owe so you can also have some fun money or money to put away for a rainy day. Know how many lap dances you have to give or VIPs you have to do to make that happen. It is much easier to sell a dance than a VIP because they’re a lot cheaper. If you are vibing with someone, they will ask, or you can ask, if VIP is an option. Also, don’t feel obligated to do a VIP with someone if they make you uncomfortable. Don’t give someone a dance if they make you uncomfortable. You are an independent contractor, so you are not technically obligated to do anything while you’re there. Some girls literally just make enough for tip out and then have customers buy them drinks and food all day. You have to decide going in how you want your day to play out.

Forming relationships with the other girls that work there can also be helpful but seek out the ones who have similar goals to yours. If you see girls who are hustling every day and you want to learn from them, they will (hopefully) be willing to help you out. They might introduce you to their customers, help get you dances and VIPs or even take you to VIP with them. If possible, try to return the favor when you are able.

The Hustle is Real

A couple things to note about being an independent contractor should also be noted here. You are not required to work every day. Some clubs may require a minimum number of days, but you can decide which ones to work. Some clubs will let you set your own hours. Some clubs will charge you a late fee if you’re not on the floor by a certain time. You typically can take a break whenever you want, however, some clubs may not let you leave the premise until your shift is over. They do this by taking your keys at the beginning of the shift and not returning them until you’ve proven you are good to drive. While you are required to tip out at the end of your shift, you can decide how much of your tips to keep above what you are required to pay. Most clubs require a minimum $10 tip out to the DJ or ten percent of whatever you make. The DJ will know how many VIPs you’ve done but not necessarily how many lap dances you’ve given. As a frame of reference, if you did $300 worth of VIPs, you technically only have to tip the DJ $30. However, it is encouraged to tip more than that. Also, it’s good to have allies in the event that an incident at the club happens and your character is called into question. Tipping everyone else an extra buck or two is also encouraged when you are able to.

Lastly, while the job is fun, not too hard, and simple, it is not always easy money. As mentioned earlier, you definitely have to hustle. You have to buy outfits to wear, shoes, makeup, etc. However, keep all your receipts because these and things like waxes, haircuts, and manicures are all tax write-offs! Work on building a strong client base so if you have to leave a club for whatever reason, or it closes down (which can happen), you can bring your clients with you. Also, you can strip while on vacation as long as you have the time to go get a permit to do so (if your club requires one). Get recommendations of friends (or go online and search) good clubs to work at in the area you’re going to be. You can also call the club in advance and see if they will schedule an audition. If not, you will just have to go in person and try your luck. Once you’ve been hired by one club, you can probably get hired somewhere else.  Have fun, make friends and enjoy the experience.

Got more questions? Come to our popular sex worker panel at #polecon2019! Buy your ticket now.

Lily T.

Leigh 'Lily' Takata has been dancing and writing since she was a small child. Takata currently resides in the Atlanta area where she works as an actor/model/dancer/brand ambassador and filmmakaer. She has been pole dancing since 2011 and has performed and competed throughout the South. She has also appeared as a featured dancer in several music videos and TV shows. Takata earned her MAPW (Master of Arts in Professional Writing) in 2013 from Kennesaw State University. During her graduate program and since, her writing has been featured in textbooks, blogs, poetry journals and screenplays. For her most recent film, 3X, she wrote, directed, acted in, choreographed, and performed as a stripper. She is also an occasional contributor for the Bad Kitty blog.
Lily T.

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