People like to think that strippers are always raking in lots of cash. I’d like to think that too. But the truth is, every work night is a gamble. There have been nights when I have walked out with eleven hundred dollars and other nights when I’ve left with eleven.
Strip clubs are fun any time of the year. However, we get the most business in the months leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. You’d think people would be busy doing family stuff or trying to save their money to buy gifts. But nope. They tell their wives they’re Christmas shopping and go hang out at the strip club. Come January, we hit a slump when everyone is paying off the holidays. We do well again in the spring but then we see another dip in our income during the summer months when everyone is spending more time at the shore and going to barbeques.
I don’t see what’s so great about standing outside eating burgers and drinking beer while being bit by mosquitos, but whatever. It’s something lots of people like to do so we’ve come to expect it.
One slow night, not long after Memorial Day, I was trying to milk a not-so-promising crowd for all I could get out of them. I picked one of the four guys who were sitting at the bar and approached him. He was a familiar face. He has always been friendly with me in the past but never gone for dances with me. But he was wearing basketball shorts which is a sure sign that a guy is looking to do dances. I just hoped he was wearing underwear. (LOL :-/)
I rubbed his back and ran my nails up the back of his neck while speaking softly to him. I asked how he was doing, what was on his mind tonight, and if he was enjoying himself. He was easy to talk to.
We somehow got to talking about threesomes. After a few minutes I asked him if he was interested in going for a dance. “I’m working up to it” he replied.
“Well, I’d love to have you.” I said.
We talked some more and I rubbed his back a little longer. His arm was around me and the warm weather was making it feel sticky on my skin. “So how about that lap dance? You ready?” I asked.
“Um…” He began. “Nah…” He paused for a moment, contemplating before speaking again. I had sex today. I’m thinkin’ I’m not quite in the mood for a lap dance tonight.”
WTF. I wanted to say, “Well, then WHY ARE YOU HERE?” There are other bars who serve drinks and have outdoor patios. You don’t have to hang out here in your basketball shorts and watch us dance if you aren’t in the mood. But of course that’s not my style to go off on customers or get pissy because they don’t want to do dances. Rejection is just part of the job so I can’t let it get to me. Besides, I’ve been rejected for worse reasons.
“I can’t get a dance from you because you look too much like my ex-girlfriend.” What am I supposed to say to that? Clearly, we are two separate people and it’s not like the guy had a problem staring at me while I was on stage.
Another one is, “Your name is the same as the girl who broke my heart. I just can’t do it.”
My reply to that is “Well that’s not the name on my birth certificate anyway so how about you make up a name for me and it will be my name for the duration of our time together?”
One of my biggest pet peeves about stripping is the way some guys will show us pictures of their yachts and tell us how they’d like to buy the new iPhone for us but when we ask them to a couch dance, they say no. Couch dances usually range from $20-$30 in this area. So, wait… You own a yacht and you like to buy girls designer bags and iPhones but you can’t do a twenty five dollar couch dance?
When guys do this, strippers want to scream, “Well then take your damn iPhone with the pictures of your motha-fuckin’ yacht and get the hell outta here!” For all we know, that yacht might not even be yours. But don’t worry. We know better than to do that.
“You should come to my house and give me a dance. You’ll get to keep all the money.”
This is a good one. I want to say, “Well, gee. That sounds like a great idea but the problem with that is…well… I’m not trying to end up being one of the bodies buried in your basement. You’re probably a great guy and all. But you’re still a strange man asking me to go home with you. Sorry.”
For every guy who comes up with detailed excuses for not going back for dances, there is a guy who will overcome all odds to get dances. Sadly, they rarely seem to show up on the same nights.
Unfortunately, our building is not fully handicapped accessible. The main area is as we have a ramp at the side door for wheelchair entrance. However, the private dance and champagne room areas are not.
A gentleman in a wheel chair wanted a dance with me one night. I offered to get permission from the management to do the dances in the sitting area toward the back of the club but he declined. “I can make it. Don’t worry.”
I watched this man park his wheel chair, climb out of it, and scoot his way down the hall, the stairs, and into the couch room. He pulled himself up onto the couch and awaited his lap dance.
I couldn’t believe it. I had offered him help on the way down but he’d refused it. After three lap dances, he shimmied down off the couch and made his way back to his wheel chair the same way he had come.
Another gentlemen came into the establishment a couple days after having shoulder surgery. He told me how much pain he was in but he still wanted to go for a lap dance.
On the way to the couch room, he reached for his shoulder and winced in pain. “You sure you’re gonna be alright?” I asked.
“Yeah, I just have to be careful.”
When I sat in his lap, I realized that I had nowhere to place my hand. The neck and shoulders are good places that provide leverage but it wasn’t going to happen tonight. I turned around and leaned back into him. Just my weight leaning on him caused him pain. “Do we need to stop?”
“No, keep going.”
We talked as we danced. Just before our time was up, I turned around again and leaned forward, putting my chest closer to his face. Without realizing it, I put my hand on his shoulder. The poor guy cried out in pain. Shit, shit, shit! I thought. “I’m so sorry!”
Wincing, he clutched his shoulder and said, “It’s not your fault. This was just a bad idea.” I couldn’t agree more. I bid him farewell and Get well wishes and told him to go home and go to bed. “Maybe next week?” I added. “Just kidding. When you feel better.” I watched him make his way toward the door still nursing his sore shoulder.
It’s pretty funny. One guy will make up excuse after excuse for why he can’t go for a dance. But some other dude will say, “I’ll go home and get money and then I’ll come back.” I’ll shrug it off and assume I’ll never see him again. But lo and behold, he’ll be back just an hour before closing time and tell me that he left, took a cab, a bus, and a walk in frigid February weather to get home and back with enough money to buy a couple lap dances from me.
My girlfriends who don’t dance often ask me what it’s like to be stripper. I tell them that you have to grow a thicker skin to do this job because no matter how pretty you are, rejection is an everyday part of the job. I also tell them that to be good at it and have fun doing it, you have to fall in love with the process, not the result.
I meet dozens of new faces on a regular basis. Each person is different and each individual will bring something different to the table. It might be the funny way he rejects you, “Sorry sweetie, you’re just not black enough for me”, “Hell no, you look like my bitch ex-wife!” etc.…, or the way he requests exactly six lap dances, but never seven. It might be the way he always shows up with a deck of cards, a magic hat, and pulls quarters out of your ears to entertain you on slow Monday nights in the summer. These are the things that make stripping such a colorful experience.
Getting turned down for dances kind of sucks. We spend a lot of time getting comfortable with the guys we meet at the bar. We talk to them, we listen, and we devote our time and energy. It bums us out a little when we ask for a dance and the guy says, “Nah, I’m good. Maybe next time.”
But the other side of that coin has the opposite effect. When a guy borrows and saves his money up, takes a bus, a cab, and a frigid walk in the cold to come see me, do you know how good that makes me feel? When the poor guy shows up with his ear freshly stitched back onto his head after a terrible work related injury, or comes in the day he is medically cleared after having a brain tumor zapped with radiation, I’ve got to admit, I feel pretty damn special!
He’ll stand at the wall, one hand in his pocket, the other holding a beer, one side of his mouth curling up into a smile. His eyes will sparkle as the strobe lights flicker. He’ll flash a full grin and wink, as if to say, “Here I am. Nothing could stop me from coming back for you, not even cancer!”
Well, that makes me feel pretty fucking good!