Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Thoughts from strippers
January 30, 2014 7:44 AM   Subscribe

A former stripper asks imgur if they have any questions about her previous profession.
A four-part FAQ ensued. 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
[NSFW images & text] [IMGur links]

This is, naturally, not the only stripper FAQ you'll find online.

There's one here, that goes along with a blog written by the same people about the nuts and bolts of the exotic dancing industry (not updated in a while but the archives have some interesting gems). (The same people even wrote an article on eHow, linked in their FAQ).

Then there's the FAQ at Stripper Tips Blog, which also includes plenty of helpful tips on how to enter and navigate the industry, including tips on safety (1, 2). The front page of the site currently includes an interview with Jessica Simmonds, reportedly the top-earning stripper in the world with annual income of $400K. She has her own site, with a pretty aggressive hard sell for her book on how to strip.

If you're interested in delving deeper into the world of exotic dancing, this site, by Sassylapdancer, a dancer based primarily in London, has a list of what she views as the cream of the crop. Be sure to poke around her site, you might find some interesting things. (Note: she moved from free hosting on Blogspot to her own domain, and it doesn't look like everything got moved over).

Stripper-faq.org (thanks, rue72) is one of the original sites, but has been down for some time. Navigable via archive.org, though some bits are somewhat broken.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering (99 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am terrible at tagging so feel free to suggest others
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:47 AM on January 30


[folks, please do not edit comments for content. Just drop us a note if you need something deleted.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:57 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Interesting. Why Imgur, though? Make those pictures animated gifs and this is a Buzzfeed artcle.
posted by theweasel at 7:57 AM on January 30


. . . strip clubs are filthy. Forget the pole, look where you're sitting and putting your hands.

This woman is awesome.
posted by bukvich at 8:08 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


Interesting. Why Imgur, though?

Imgur seems to be an easy way to put together a list of photos and text. The cool fpp the other week about native fashion used an imgur list as well, I think.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:16 AM on January 30


Thanks for this. Very interesting, and thanks for recovering a deleted post.

I only know amateur pole dancers in the scene, so I'll refrain from commenting. I think amateurs who have other jobs too and only compete in amateur competitions are possibly doing the same art but pursuing it for very different reasons and possibly in different contexts, but I've been to one strip club myself (felt uncomfortable, left as soon as possible) and never to an amateur contest.
posted by kalessin at 8:22 AM on January 30


Interesting. Why Imgur, though?

I love a good reddit AMA, but the site isn't all that well suited to them. If as the answerer you reply in thread then none of your comments are top level, and you don't have any control over their order; moreover the more popular/visible your answers are, the more inane attention-seeking replies they get. I fully expect that effect to be magnified given the subject.
posted by topynate at 8:24 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


I miss Mika The Stripper. She had a funny Twitter account where she told terrible stories about the dudes she dealt with.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:27 AM on January 30


I was also addicted to G-String Divas, like the stripper in the first links mentions. Partly because the club in the series was near where I grew up, but partly because it really felt like a very honest behind-the-scenes documentary. You really got to see the "cold-calling" aspect and the salesmanship of stripping. I can still remember a scene where one of the highest-earning dancers phones regular after regular trying to improve her slow night.
posted by gladly at 8:29 AM on January 30


Interesting. Why Imgur, though?

Maybe it's my age, but that Imgur interface sucks ass. It's so bad I gave up procrastinating and started getting actual work done.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:30 AM on January 30 [4 favorites]


Imgur seems to be an easy way to put together a list of photos and text.

Stolen images with no attribution. How does a site like imgur get away with using other people's content on a piece like this and not get sued out of existence?
posted by photoslob at 9:00 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Relevant article in today's Guardian: Strippers are not the problem – they're just doing a job
posted by Megami at 9:02 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


I liked this part:

~Q: I'm not a fan of strip clubs, but have been dragged to them. Is there any good way to signal "I'd rather be left alone"

~Listen, dude. You’re in a strip club. Girls are going to approach you to sell dances because YOU’RE A CUSTOMER. If you’re not tipping and you’re looking at beautiful naked women, you’re cheap and a mooch. “Dragged there”? Yeah, riiiiiight. If you don’t want to spend money on strippers (not even a $1 for the girl you’re ogling?), please do us a favor and don’t come to the strip club.

~ETA: Holy shit, I had no idea some of you guys were LITERALLY forced/coerced to go with threats and consequences like being passed over for a promotion at work if you didn't go with your coworkers. Literally, NO IDEA this shit happened. You guys taught me something, and now I wish I had been nicer to those dudes who said "I really don't want to be here" That is fucking terrible and is a form of sexual harassment!


That describes me at the last office job I had. My department head was a clean-cut church-going, married 30-something who harbored some deep, dark fetishes. One of which was going to strip clubs behind his wife's back. He would strongarm the rest of the guys in the department to go to a club with him at lunch time. Dude didn't even drink, but he'd drop big bank for trips to the VIP room.

There is nothing more pathetic and sad than a lunchtime buffet at an eastside Indianapolis strip club. At least the girls were pretty quick at understanding the looks and motions I would give them, trying to let them know I'm not interested in anything.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:05 AM on January 30 [28 favorites]


I don't mind the Imgur interface in general, but I can't read that much white text on a black background. After skimming three answers my eyes started to melt.
posted by aaronetc at 9:06 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


This is my favorite part:

You know who would be a perfect stripper? A vampire. They’re forever young, always awake at night, some of them are effortlessly beautiful, and they have nothing better to do but suck the life out of people.
posted by floatboth at 9:06 AM on January 30 [5 favorites]


Not much surprising in the FAQ: Stripping is a job that can pay well and can be shitty because you are interacting with people as a salesperson.

photoslob: "How does a site like imgur get away with using other people's content on a piece like this and not get sued out of existence?"

It's key to note that imgur is just a hosting service. As long as they comply with DMCA take down notices they are fine.
posted by Mitheral at 9:15 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


Oops, missed this: Stripping is like naked “Groundhog Day.”. Classic.
posted by theweasel at 9:20 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


You can get hired as a stripper SOMEWHERE even if you're fat and ugly.

Yay!

You need to...be able to walk in heels, not fall over constantly, not cry when you get naked, and have a thick skin about jerks.

Damn.

This is a really interesting read. Some thought-provoking points, particularly about the attitude towards lesbian strippers. It was good that it was neither glamourising it or totally condemning it, just matter-of-factly saying that it's hard work. My own impression after reading is that it's essentially a boring high-pressure sales job where you might get thrown up on by a customer and everywhere needs a good clean. Which I could cope with, but a job that requires a workout followed by full-makeup? Lord no.
posted by billiebee at 9:22 AM on January 30 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I don't like strip clubs and the only times I've gone are when I've been peer pressured to or near dragged. If I want to see naked ladies there are lots of cheap ways to do that online. The whole idea of strip clubs never appealed to me, just creeps me out. Now hookers, that at least makes sense.

The last time I went to a club was when a female family member relentlessly hounded me to go with her and her friends in the middle of an Eagles game. There is literally nothing else in the world I care about in the middle of an Eagles game besides the Eagles game. Obsessive level fan here. Well, I might appreciate cheerleaders but that's part of the show.

So anyway, it's a bar so the game will be on but it's not like you can exactly focus on the TV. So, I'm miserable of course and the person who dragged me there and friends disapear into the back with a stripper friend or something and I'm left there alone and annoyed in a place I didn't even want to come to. I make polite conversation with and tip the bartender/stripper because I'm used to making polite conversation with and tipping bartenders but since this is a strip club such an action was interpreted as flirting or more than just appreciating drink service. So, as a sign of appreciation before I know what is happening or signal it isn't necessary she has touched my junk. Pretty much the most uncomfortable Eagles game ever.

Now I put my foot down on strip clubs. I don't have any problem with folks who like them or work in them but there are a lot of other things I'd rather waste my money on.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:34 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


Secondhand smoke, late nights, being on a different schedule than the rest of the world, not feeling normal anymore, difficulty relating to non-strippers, difficulty maintaing family relationships, loss of social credibility, poor working conditions, lack of worker benefits, loss of enjoyment of sex… I could go on and on. It's a tough job.

No, Secretary of State is a tough job. What you are describing is a shitty job.
posted by dgaicun at 9:37 AM on January 30 [13 favorites]


I'm one of those guys that needs to get dragged there. I just don't get the appeal; it's a very awkward thing for me. I've been 3 or 4 times for bachelor parties, and for my own my friends knew not to even bother which was nice. But the best way to not get bothered is to sit with your friends at a table a bit further from the stage and "perverts row" as it is referred to in these parts. Buy your mandated drinks, tip, and people will get that maybe you're not there just to gawk at boobies but to spend some time with the people you came with.

I am a bit surprised this woman had never considered people might not all love being there or got dragged. Like you've never been dragged to a play or movie you didn't want to see, a restaurant you don't care for, or a club that plays music you don't like?
posted by Hoopo at 9:41 AM on January 30 [7 favorites]


Yeah that surprised me too. It kind of comes from the same place she talked about where some men might get pissed off that the stripper wasn't turned on by him. Like, what do you mean you don't want to look at the nekkid??
posted by billiebee at 9:49 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


. . . strip clubs are filthy. Forget the pole, look where you're sitting and putting your hands.


Ha ha, yeah. I once worked on a case where some government agents raided a strip club and seized a bunch of stuff. Allegations of prostitution and whatnot. The agents made a video of the raid. And for part of the video they used a blacklight to illuminate the private dance area, the booths, the benches, the floor. Let's just say, those booths had, uh, seen a lot of action.
posted by bepe at 9:50 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


Government agents demonstrated that a strip club was covered in jizz? That's an excellent use of tax dollars right there.
posted by billiebee at 9:52 AM on January 30 [17 favorites]


My grandfather used to say "There ain't no use in gettin' the motor runnin' if you ain't got nowhere to go."

So I don't go to strip clubs.

I did not know so much sex was happening in strip clubs. I legit thought there was no sex in the champagne room.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:58 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


Every sane man dreads having to go on a stag night. I've been in these places where the men are hating it just as much as the women, but it's packed. Obviously: alcohol.
posted by colie at 10:06 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


When I get my motor running I head on down the highway.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:09 AM on January 30 [8 favorites]


I love this woman with like, big pink puffy hearts and unicorn rainbows. She self-identifies as a (former) sex worker, she's incredibly articulate about her work, she's feminist and progressive while being completely cognizant about working in an environment that is overwhelmingly not, and she is upfront both about the money, the lifespan, and the exit plan. She's also hilarious.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:09 AM on January 30 [20 favorites]


At my brother-in-law's bachelor party, I felt like I was watching a courtship display or something. His brother actually started arm wrestling guys at the next table in the middle if a strip club. HELLO LADIES CAN YOU NOT SEE HOW STRONG I AM COMPARED TO THESE LESS FIT POTENTIAL MATES
posted by Hoopo at 10:13 AM on January 30 [14 favorites]


Government agents demonstrated that a strip club was covered in jizz? That's an excellent use of tax dollars right there.

I know, right? And even getting lap dances on the taxpayer dime. That's some nice police work there, Lou.

I did not know so much sex was happening in strip clubs. I legit thought there was no sex in the champagne room.

Well from what I saw it's not common at every club, and even in the clubs where it happened it was a small minority of dancers. The really regular customers knew who to approach for that sort of thing.
posted by bepe at 10:27 AM on January 30


But just so we're aware, UV light is kind of a broad spectrum detector of anything that fluoresces, so it's not all jizz. It could be, um, other things too. Yeah, that's the ticket. Honestly it could be anything, including substances not pee, jizz, or other mucusal substances, but at this juncture it's hard to imagine something it could be that's not disgusting.

Let me use Google. Here's an About page that shows other non-nasty things that glow under blacklight.
posted by kalessin at 10:37 AM on January 30 [4 favorites]


Actually it looks like some cleaners and surfactants (chemical oil breakers down, including soaps) also glow under blacklight, so it's not an automatic conviction that something nasty got sprayed around.
posted by kalessin at 10:39 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


We use a black light to find hidden cat pee.
posted by exogenous at 11:00 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


I use a black light to find hidden stripper pee.
posted by item at 11:04 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Thorzdad: "There is nothing more pathetic and sad than a lunchtime buffet at an eastside Indianapolis strip club."

How were the wings?
posted by Chrysostom at 11:05 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


There used to be a strip club just outside the City prison in Baltimore. Their distinguishing feature was an advertisement of the $3 Steak! Not sure if they're still in business.

Needless to say, most commuters who saw the sign were deeply skeptical. I could never get a report from anyone who'd tried it.
posted by kalessin at 11:08 AM on January 30


Ass zit plague is now my number one fear.
posted by planetesimal at 11:12 AM on January 30 [5 favorites]


Actually it looks like some cleaners and surfactants (chemical oil breakers down, including soaps) also glow under blacklight

Laundry soaps and some fabric cleaners, in particular. have "optical brighteners" in them to do exactly this. This is why people who wear bright colours---whites work excellently---seem to glow in dark dance clubs. This was an integral look to 80s fashion.
posted by bonehead at 11:21 AM on January 30 [4 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: "When I get my motor running I head on down the highway."

Looking for Adventure?
posted by Sphinx at 11:34 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


Nah, just whatever comes his way.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:37 AM on January 30 [10 favorites]


Uh... fire all of your guns at once and explode into space?
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 12:00 PM on January 30 [6 favorites]


BTW, if your pee is fluorescing, you probably should see a doctor (PDF).
posted by bonehead at 12:08 PM on January 30


Only if they're born to be wild, I would think.
posted by mr. digits at 12:11 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


The last time I was at strip club (I feel so STUPID just typing those two words) a friend of mine and me sat in a corner booth purposely not facing the main area but rather the bar. We had a fantastic time drinking our five dollar bud light and playing Advance Wars while the rest of the birthday party we were with were...doing something? I don't know. I guess going to this VIP thing or something. Is that the same thing as the Champagne room from that Chris Rock thing? Anyway, it was honestly one of the worst experiences of my life and I just had this nauseous feeling for a few days after. I couldn't even look at my mom or my grandma for a bit because I just felt so skeeved out.

Anyway, I am glad no one strippers came up to us and got upset with us for not participating. I think we both would have just gone outside and waited in the cold. I am also really surprised that this lady didn't think it was possible for some men to not want to go to a strip club. Why wouldn't that ever enter in to the realm of possibility for her?
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 12:29 PM on January 30 [7 favorites]


How were the wings?
No wings. A slab of roast "beef" and rubber chicken breasts in an as-yet unidentified "white sauce".
posted by Thorzdad at 12:40 PM on January 30


huh, I'm surprised the FAQ didn't mention a dumb naive question I haven't seen answered before, which is: What exactly happens in a VIP room and how much do guys spend on that stuff? I was dragged to a few clubs in college and I hated every minute I was there, but I've heard lots of references to VIP rooms in culture but still have zero clue if that's private dances or sex or what.
posted by mathowie at 12:42 PM on January 30


I am also really surprised that this lady didn't think it was possible for some men to not want to go to a strip club.

The impression I got wasn't that she thought every man wanted to be in a strip club, but that if you were a man in a strip club, you wanted to interact with strippers. Which is not that bad an assumption, if you don't think about social pressure upon men by other men.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 12:47 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


Stripper privilege?
posted by Sebmojo at 1:00 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


mathowie, I know from heterosexual, mostly mainstream porn that there are a couple of porn production houses that capitalize on the idea that VIP rooms are where anything and everything happens, mostly hardcore sexiness, etc.

From what I gather (not being a direct participant but from knowing folks in other sex trades and from reading up on it) what happens in the VIP room is a sort of hourly clock where on every X minutes or hours, you pay another $XXXX (yes, 3 digits, e.g. $300) for another bottle of cheap champagne and you get whatever the legal level of sexiness is for the state you're in.

I'm not even going to guess what those levels of sexiness and intensity are that are legally allowed in whatever jurisdiction. Also given that there is often a big difference between what's legislated and what's enforced, as well as what the fines are that are being risked by various participants, even a close legal reading won't get you an accurate idea of what's going on in every VIP room.

I do think that typically what you're looking at is a sort of private intimate lap dance, usually no touching allowed with hands between anyone. Certainly no grabbing allowed by the non-stripper. But it's possible that the laws and levels tolerated by stripper, club and client alike are very different in, e.g., Nevada (I don't know, just a guess based on the prostitution laws.)

Here's hoping that someone more knowledgeable than I can bridge the gap here.
posted by kalessin at 1:06 PM on January 30


I think also her expectations are skewed by the very large number of men who want to come into a strip club but don't want to pay for dances, preferring instead to just watch the naked ladies for free. These guys will also apparently wave the girls off by saying they "aren't interested in that," so she may have assumed that every B is also A.
posted by KathrynT at 1:08 PM on January 30 [3 favorites]


Also have only ever been dragged to a strip club and only once. I felt massively out of place and uncomfortable there; didn't really get the attraction at all.
posted by octothorpe at 1:30 PM on January 30


I think also her expectations are skewed by the very large number of men who want to come into a strip club but don't want to pay for dances, preferring instead to just watch the naked ladies for free. These guys will also apparently wave the girls off by saying they "aren't interested in that," so she may have assumed that every B is also A.

Yeah, I think this is probably right.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:39 PM on January 30


You can post in this thread without having to prove your bona fides by saying how awful you found the strip club experience. It is allowed!
posted by Justinian at 2:15 PM on January 30 [12 favorites]


But would it be as amusing?
posted by mr. digits at 2:17 PM on January 30


You can post in this thread without having to prove your bona fides by saying how awful you found the strip club experience. It is allowed!

I guess this needs to be done now.
posted by dgaicun at 2:24 PM on January 30 [5 favorites]


I shot a man in a strip club, just to watch him die.
posted by bonehead at 2:41 PM on January 30


Ok, Justinian, thanks. Anything else or...?
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 3:00 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


but I've heard lots of references to VIP rooms in culture but still have zero clue if that's private dances or sex or what.

I think that's partially be design. As a strip club, you can't just say, "Yeah, we're totally offering sex here, so bring your cash!" and not expect to be busted by the cops. Any illegal activity that may occur is going to be heard as a rumor or an open secret, basically unconfirmed. This way clubs or strippers that engage in illegal activity will hide among legit clubs and strippers, so the chance to be discovered is less.

But, I genuinely think this sort of activity is dying down among strip clubs, chiefly because the Internet provides so many alternatives for both hooking up and prostitution.
posted by FJT at 3:17 PM on January 30


Stripper privilege?

I suspect strippers know a lot more about the headspace of their clients than vice versa.

Every person is in some respects blind to what's going on in the life of every other person. However, it's a survival skill for people on the bottom to try to figure out what people on top are thinking, while people on top can safely coast by in blissful ignorance. That's why we have the word privilege. Blindness to the problems of other people is not symmetrical, for people in positions of power and safety can afford to have a lot more of it.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:21 PM on January 30 [4 favorites]


I guess this needs to be done now.

wow
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:51 PM on January 30 [10 favorites]


To be honest, I had no idea that people's jobs were threatened or promotions withheld for not going to strip clubs with the boss, either. I knew (in theory) that men sometimes got pressured into going to strip clubs but I had no idea the pressure was so forceful! I'm a woman; not only have I never been pressured in that way, but nobody has ever even referred to being pressured in that way in front of me. I think there's a lot about how men are socialized and the pressures they face that I don't know about. Maybe that's part privilege, part naivete?

I have no doubt that this woman does a very good job reading and responding to her customers, and that it has been a survival/job skill for her. That doesn't mean she's omnipotent, though, there are still going to be things going on with them that she can't know (actually, I think that's what makes being able to read people a skill -- you have to make those judgments *without* a lot of information). I thought it was great that when men told her what was up that she believed them and changed her opinion -- gave her a lot of credibility in my eyes.
posted by rue72 at 5:09 PM on January 30


Yeah, I've gone to strip clubs sometimes as part of a male bonding group, and sometimes because I just wanted to, you know, look at boobs. One office where I used to work was around the corner from a strip club, and on the Friday of every long weekend, all the male staff used to knock off early and troop over to the club. This caused no end of resentment among the female office staff.

But I agree with the dancer who wrote the Imgur post - the dancers are working in a service industry. They are under enormous pressure to sell! sell! sell! a fantasy to random men, most of whom they would really prefer not to interact with. I think it's healthy to see naked people, but the commercialised context of the strip club just makes me feel sad and hardened.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 5:50 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


To be honest, I had no idea that people's jobs were threatened or promotions withheld for not going to strip clubs with the boss, either

I'm not seeing the comments in the imgur thread where anyone actually claimed this happened. Or examples of men LITERALLY (sic) being dragged into strip clubs. But if it will help them "win" an argument on the Internet... with a stripper, I'm sure there are plenty of dudes out there willing to invent or exaggerate their experiences ("Henderson, you're coming to Tit Palace with us, OR .....").
posted by dgaicun at 6:12 PM on January 30


To be honest, I had no idea that people's jobs were threatened or promotions withheld for not going to strip clubs with the boss, either

But if it will help them "win" an argument on the Internet... with a stripper, I'm sure there are plenty of dudes out there willing to invent or exaggerate their experiences

I also can't speak to LITERAL dragging, but have no problem whatsoever believing that there are workplaces where plum clients and assignments are given out solely to men who play along. And I did know at least one person who was required to take clients out "on the town" for whatever said client wanted, no questions asked. The vast majority of said clients were middle aged dudes who, yes, wanted to go to strip clubs. I don't actually think my friend had a huge problem with this requirement, but it was definitely Not Optional.
posted by like_a_friend at 6:22 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Are you really doubting that guys who are friends with the boss are more often promoted/kept working/benefit in other ways? At least in some cases? And that sometimes that might mean going to these sorts of places. Because I can tell you that is for sure that is the case from personal experience. I'm actually surprised anyone would find the incredulous or surprising. Do these people also think the bosses girlfriend always get their new job at the company on their merits?
posted by Mitheral at 6:27 PM on January 30


I am not male, but I definitely am friends with men who were either explicitly told or had it heavily implied that their job security and professional advancement depended on the kinds of "team building activities" that happen in the presence of boobs. Hell, at Microsoft, one group threw a mandatory-attendance ship party with strippers.
posted by KathrynT at 6:33 PM on January 30


Also, the cold-calling and constant rejection is grueling. We hear “No” (not even “No, thanks”) much more often than we hear “Yes!”

If a Metafilter post is considered successful if it gets us to look at the world in a slightly different way than we did before, this one is a winner. It now dawns on me that my job (technology sales) is not unlike being a stripper.
posted by The Gooch at 6:49 PM on January 30 [3 favorites]


My highschool boyfriend's dad quit his job when it became clear to him that all the networking and high-level decision-making was taking place informally at the strip-club most of the guys went to together on Friday nights. He refused to go and was always the last to know what was going on, the last to be invited to participate in new initiatives and so on. He wasn't getting promoted, while more junior people who did participate in the strip club events were. So it wasn't that he was afraid for his job exactly if he didn't go to the clubs, but by not going, he did indirectly lose out on promotions and eventually a career at that company.
posted by lollusc at 7:40 PM on January 30


It now dawns on me that my job (technology sales) is not unlike being a stripper.

When a potential lead refuses your solicitation, are they rejecting your company's product or are they literally rejecting you? Do you watch that lead turn around and purchase the exact product you were offering at the same price from a less-experienced younger and prettier salesperson in the next cubicle?

Strip club threads on MetaFilter are dismal because it's mostly an excuse for IT guys to get together and talk about how they would never patronize this kind of place except on the rare occasion when Pointy-Haired Boss literally forces them to sit awkwardly by the stage for a half-hour. And you know, I'm sure that's true. I'm sure it does happen. But it's not exactly the crowd these clubs are filled with, and harping on that weird circumstance like it's common creates an unfair depiction—both of these clubs, and of the girls who work in them.

MetaFilter likes to hammer on the below-minimum wage paid to waitstaff. Try talking to dancers. They pay to work. It varies depending on the club but there can be a weekly fee, a per-shift house fee, tip-outs to the bartenders and DJs, plus a cut of every sale you make (private dancer, VIP rooms, etc). If you have a bad night, you lose money. Let's repeat that so it's clear: if you have a bad shift, you go home with less money than walked in with. And if you can't pay it, then you owe on your next shift.

Then there's the safety issue. Will today the shift where a customer tries to rape you? Depending on your definition of the word, that might be every single shift. Some clubs have bouncers who patrol the private-dance area, while other clubs have doors and curtains. Some clubs have VIP rooms that lock from the inside. Read that sentence again and use your imagination.

Maybe you're a dancer who doesn't perform "extras" and you work in a mostly clean club. Now you have a different problem: some of the girls working your floor are providing extras for that additional bit of cash. In the short term, that cuts into your sales because customers would rather get bang for their buck (so to speak) and it makes your working environment less safe because if one girl is doing that, then people will assume you might. In the long term, her illegal activities are risking your livelihood: the police come in, your club gets shut down for a month, and the club next door won't take a risk on hiring you. (This is not hypothetical.)

Finally there's the stigma. You would think this wouldn't be an issue in the club, but no. The bartenders, waitresses, cashiers, shot girls, and massage girls all look down on you, and they all tell their friends, "Yeah I work at a club, but I'm not a stripper." Nevermind you're the reason they have any customers to sell to. There's even stigma among the dancers themselves, because the day girls think the night girls are uppity, and and the night girls think the day girls are whores. And then there's the outside world. Good luck explaining the past two years on your resume.

I don't mind the typical "we're too enlightened for this" condescension these threads yield. But no, working in IT is not like being a dancer. It's a hard, dangerous job. If you are young, pretty, and also lucky, then you can do it halfway well for a couple months/years and leave with minimal scarring. To excel at it long-term requires charisma, constitution, savvy, and resilience that most other salespeople can't begin to imagine.
posted by cribcage at 7:46 PM on January 30 [37 favorites]


To report a perspective: the stripper I've known who also did sex work activism believed strip clubs should be OK and prostitution should be OK but there were good reasons the two should be kept separate.

Also, I have gathered the general sense that the strip club is one of the few places in society where a woman's word regarding a minor sexual assault is likely to be accepted without question or investigation & physical correction applied as necessary.

I went to the strip club in Montreal this weekend, I had a good time, met a new lifetime favorite stripper, and unburdened myself of my remaining plastic money. I go to the strip club like 1-2x a year and Montreal like 1-2x a year - little reason to bother with an American strip club. Except I just found out apparently there's a slightly underground itinerant progressive amateur quasi-strip club here in NYC so I'm definitely checking that out to at least add that claim to my life experiences.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:52 PM on January 30


What exactly happens in a VIP room and how much do guys spend on that stuff?

Legally, what happens is a private dance within the limits of what your jurisdiction allows (more or less clothing, none or some touching, etc). Less legally, in some places and with some dancers there are extras that can be negotiated, and your imagination is probably a good limit for this. In both cases, guys spend a ton of money, easily hundreds and sometimes more. It's not hard to find descriptions of clients being scammed -- thinking you are there for one long song and finding out you are being charged for many short songs, say.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:26 PM on January 30


The last time I went to a strip club, I went with a former stripper and a couple of mefites, and a few other people. It was weird and fun, both. Stripping is not easy work, and I am impressed with the women who make it look easy.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:42 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


When a potential lead refuses your solicitation, are they rejecting your company's product or are they literally rejecting you? Do you watch that lead turn around and purchase the exact product you were offering at the same price from a less-experienced younger and prettier salesperson in the next cubicle?

But no, working in IT is not like being a dancer. It's a hard, dangerous job. If you are young, pretty, and also lucky, then you can do it halfway well for a couple months/years and leave with minimal scarring. To excel at it long-term requires charisma, constitution, savvy, and resilience that most other salespeople can't begin to imagine.

Sure; working in IT is not exactly like being a dancer. But The Gooch is not claiming that the type of sales rejection experienced by a technology salesperson is precisely the same as the type of sales rejection experienced by a stripper, nor that the two jobs are equally difficult or dangerous. You can draw parallels between two things without those things necessarily being identical.
posted by polychora at 10:36 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


You can draw parallels between lots of things. Sometimes doing so is enlightening, and other times it displays a facile and shallow understanding of something outside one's experience. There is nothing necessarily wrong with the latter, except when it is mistaken for the former.
posted by cribcage at 10:44 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna LATFP/RTFA but this reminds me of an oldie "Best of CraigsList." Warning: contains many problematic elements

Best of CraigsList - Stripper Rant
posted by lordaych at 1:17 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


When I get my motor running I head on down the highway.

Stay out of the median and slow down when there are men working.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:42 AM on January 31


Stripping is primarily a sales job, not a dancing job, so yes, you can draw a parallel between stripping and any other sales job. However, I can name only a handful of sales jobs where you have to pay to work, where the environment is so routinely problematic that your employer staffs bouncers, where your ability to make money is directly tied to your physical appearance, and where the standard uniform is vacillates between "bikini" and "naked."

Given that, the parallels are going to be about as tired, tropey and useless as the "corporate whore" analogy, and the entire exercise is probably best skipped.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:34 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Stripping is primarily a sales job, not a dancing job, so yes, you can draw a parallel between stripping and any other sales job.

Totally agree that "just like the office, amirite?" isn't the most insightful possible response, and get why it's frustrating. But I don't think it's altogether irrelevant/pointless to frame stripping as a sales job as opposed to a sex job -- because I would figure that most everyone is stripping for money as opposed to for sex, so to frame it with an emphasis on sales is probably in better alignment with the perspective of the people actually doing the job rather than the customers (hopefully) paying to see the job done. I think emphasizing the POV of the stripper in the interaction reinforces that strippers are actual people doing actual work using actual skills, which is a good thing seeing as there is such a huge stigma to the work.

To be honest, lumping work like stripping in as "unskilled labor" is something that bothers me not just because it is such a difficult job (not just to do but even to qualify for -- you pretty much have to be within a certain age and gender, and you actually do need skills even beyond what you're doing on the floor, people aren't just born knowing how to "do" hair/makeup/dress/present themselves, those are learned skills), and it also actually doesn't fit into how labor/wage supply and demand work for unskilled labor generally (and you can see that in how the pay is very different and the elasticity in terms of "hiring" and "firing"/quitting is much higher for strippers than w/r/t "other" unskilled labor (for example, someone who does "support" (ie, folding) at a department store)).

MetaFilter likes to hammer on the below-minimum wage paid to waitstaff. Try talking to dancers. They pay to work. It varies depending on the club but there can be a weekly fee, a per-shift house fee, tip-outs to the bartenders and DJs, plus a cut of every sale you make (private dancer, VIP rooms, etc). If you have a bad night, you lose money. Let's repeat that so it's clear: if you have a bad shift, you go home with less money than walked in with. And if you can't pay it, then you owe on your next shift.

This came up in the porn performer thread, and I thought that it was a sort of mixed bag to not work for a wage or salary -- on the one hand, you don't get the protections of an employee and you can get completely screwed if things go wrong, but on the other hand, you get a lot more freedom (can pick up some work quickly and pretty much anywhere you go because you're often no risk to "hire," etc) and in general make very good money compared to people (who would be otherwise comparable to you) who do work for wages or a salary. The money also usually seems to go up with inflation a lot better than wages and salaries do, which I guess is another aspect of freedom from controlling employers. Plus, hitting the "jackpot" and having a great night or getting a great tip could be the most rewarding/best part for some people -- I mean, if you take the salesmanship aspect of it out completely and people are working for wages, I think this kind of "affective" drudgery could be even more soul-killing (and frankly, maybe even more dangerous for people already dealing with difficult customers or insensitive management). I don't know, what do people think about the payment system (esp. its effects on work conditions and safety)?

I doubt that strippers would be gung ho about implementing some kind of salary/wage, but maybe lots of people would? I know that it's hard to get waitstaff interested even in tip pools unless *maybe* you're in a very specific (small, expensive restaurant) situation, and there is just no way that I can imagine waitstaff on a large scale getting behind a salary or wage job because most would see such a large cut in earnings and freedom. To me, what makes it an especially important issue is that it's near impossible to organize workers who are all basically individual contractors (which is probably why a lot of these jobs treat workers as basically individual contractors in the first place) but there are enough perks with working "independently" that a lot of workers now prefer it/are entrenched in that system -- which means they have no way to leverage other shitty work conditions getting improved (because they can't really organize) (and that's also where things like stigma, treating these jobs as "unskilled," etc comes in I think)...I don't know, what would be a better system of payment, and what would people be interested in, do you guys think? Also, do you think organization is impossible (or even desirable)?
posted by rue72 at 10:55 AM on January 31


1. I met my now-husband at the home of our local strip club chain owner (in high school). His son was in the same band.

2. One of my best friends got a job as a chef at that same club after culinary school. I'd go hang out on my days off and eat steak. The food was killer, the women working we're nice and clearly liked my friend a lot.

3. Later, my boss asked my (male) coworker and I to take a big client out on the town. They joked about going to the club. I said hey, I know people who work there, if you want to go, that's fine. Work reimbursed us for all our food and dances.

4. Years later, my husband got talked into going to the same club with coworkers. I got called to pick him up, and walked past the bouncers, nbd. Meh. Not a fan of the interior decor now. It was more fun when I was younger.

In short, it's a workplace like any other, and honestly, knowing what I know now, if I'd had the body for it I would have been better off stripping for two years than working for Smith Barney. You want a *degrading* job? Go be one of the only women brokers at a large regional office.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:01 AM on January 31


rue72, your thoughts on organizing labor pools among strippers and waitstaff are almost in total opposition to my own. Mine are developed from talking with a broad spectrum these folks (across different earning verticals) directly about their experiences with their pay/wage system versus the norm they see in other industries. I consider myself pretty well informed on the temperature of the discussion about whether strippers and waitstaff (and indeed other service oriented industries) would be interested in normalizing their income system so they could earn/be paid in a way that's more in keeping with the way other part time and salary employees in other industries get paid. For the most part, unless I talk with folks who are wildly well compensated and are already saved up for an eventual retirement (and in my experience this is pretty rare, even among folks who are/were stars in the industry as youths), it seems like most folks are genuinely interested in getting paid according to a wage or salary structure with the possibility of health plans and retirement plans and so on.

Your thoughts come from where, exactly?
posted by kalessin at 11:09 AM on January 31


rue72, your thoughts on organizing labor pools among strippers and waitstaff is almost in total opposition to my own. Mine are developed from talking with a broad spectrum these folks (across different earning verticals) directly about their experiences with their pay/wage system versus the norm they see in other industries.

Ten years or so working food service/waitressing (among other things, but that's primarily how I've supported myself). I'm currently in grad school studying public policy with a focus on poverty policy, and haven't worked full-time since October. It's honestly OK if you don't agree with me -- I'm interested in different opinions and insights, obvs lots I don't know.
posted by rue72 at 11:18 AM on January 31


MetaFilter likes to hammer on the below-minimum wage paid to waitstaff. Try talking to dancers. They pay to work. It varies depending on the club but there can be a weekly fee, a per-shift house fee, tip-outs to the bartenders and DJs, plus a cut of every sale you make (private dancer, VIP rooms, etc). If you have a bad night, you lose money.

Cribcage, that's all true, but it also leaves the wrong impression that dancers are usually barely scraping together two bucks to buy food with. The former dancer I talked with a couple weeks ago said the same thing; there were good days and very bad days where your fees were as much or more than you made. But, and this is the part you're leaving out, in general the average money they make is much, much higher than the money you can make at equivalent skill-level jobs. This dancer actually quit because she was only averaging $600 a night when the economy went south.

So, yeah, it's a tough job. And as with any profession there are going to be people who make more money and less money. But you can't compare the money made by below minimum wage waitstaff to exotic dancers. They're not in the same ballpark.
posted by Justinian at 11:22 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I am a stripper. I love my job.

Stripping is challenging and certainly not for everyone. There are very real negatives, many of which are touched upon in the Stripper FAQ and this thread as well.

I've been happier since I started stripping. It's not just about the money. I have lucrative days and I have days that aren't especially lucrative, but I don't have boring days. Ever.

I would love to chat with the woman who wrote the Stripper FAQ. I agree with a lot of her responses, though I'm surprised that she didn't place a bigger emphasis on the regional variations of the job. Stripping varies wildly from city to club to shift, including licensing, club rules, and culture.

But aside from my personal answers to the questions, the author of the Stripper FAQ is smart and articulate and snarky, and I dig that. There isn't enough of it in the industry.

I debated for a long time about whether to make a sock puppet account and talk about stripping. I feel overwhelmingly understood and welcomed by the MetaFilter community on my other account and I don't want that feeling to change.

The majority of users commenting in this thread about first-hand experience are describing how they were dragged to the clubs and disliked the endeavors. That's fine. Strip clubs don't have to be your cup of tea. But that's not where the interesting conversation is, and I also don't believe it to be reflective of the community as a whole. Just because the strippers and enthusiastic strip club patrons aren't hugely vocal in this thread doesn't mean we aren't here.
posted by Peppermint Snowflake at 11:43 AM on January 31 [17 favorites]


> It's honestly OK if you don't agree with me -- I'm interested in different opinions and insights, obvs lots I don't know.

I know and I appreciate that. I don't want a fight about it. What prompted my question of where you get your perspective was that you seemed to be writing extemporaneously, so I couldn't tell if you had real conversations/experience behind your discussion or whether it was a thought exercise for you.

Your experience is yours and mine is mine of course.

For my part I've worked really low end (busing/skullery) as well as some sous, and that mostly for pop-ups. My primary career is in IT, where I have 20 years' experience. But through various good friends and partners have met a variety of folks in both sex work. Surprisingly, I've not met a lot of strippers, mostly porn and BDSM and a few in the illegal trades, as well as in food service, hospitality, and other related industries.

Also I am a screamingly progressive liberal type so I generally don't meet the high-earning star performers type with any high frequency - more like what seems representative for the industry. The workaday workers - the majority of those I've met with and spoke with about wages - all of those and some of the folks I've known who were stars in their industries are/were interested in the very least in a living wage where a baseline expectation (a minimum wage if you will) would be met by employers and the difference made up in tips. Beyond that minimum, most of the folks I've spoken with about wages (I don't talk about it with everyone) have been in favor of a straight-up non-commission-based compensation, though some have expressed doubts about where all the stars would then go. And whether that would be good for the industry.
posted by kalessin at 11:49 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


This dancer actually quit because she was only averaging $600 a night when the economy went south.

It varies by region. That's one of the things that red-flagged the original interview for me. (I'm not saying it's fake, just that I noticed a couple red flags.) If you've been in the business for ten years and you've worked all over the country, then you know clubs vary widely. In Miami, it's not unheard of to make $1,000 every night for a long streak. In other cities, you might expect to hover around $200–300. Your good nights might regularly top $500, and your bad nights could be negative, and you will have both. By the way, all of this is presuming you're good at selling. Plenty of girls aren't.

Having said that, you're absolutely right: dancers work in clubs because they can make exponentially more money than waiting tables. There's a common misconception that girls are attracted to dancing because it's "easy" money. It isn't. As you say, it's tough work. What's addictive is the money. For women who have bills to pay and mouths to feed, it becomes difficult to justify going back to school or taking a lower-rung corporate job when chasing those long-term goals means giving up, in the short term, what is to them real money.

What makes it worse is, these girls realize there's a ticking clock on their ability to make this kind of cash. Why spend those hours in a community college classroom that'll still be there when they're thirty? It becomes difficult to see that the longer they keep dancing as their sole employment, the deeper they dig.
posted by cribcage at 12:10 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Ah, okay, we agree pretty much completely then.
posted by Justinian at 12:43 PM on January 31


But I don't think it's altogether irrelevant/pointless to frame stripping as a sales job as opposed to a sex job -- because I would figure that most everyone is stripping for money as opposed to for sex, so to frame it with an emphasis on sales is probably in better alignment with the perspective of the people actually doing the job...

I framed it the way the woman who wrote the Imgur FAQ framed it. She considers it a sales job, called it a sales job, and wrote about it as a sales job.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:51 PM on January 31


The Gooch: It now dawns on me that my job (technology sales) is not unlike being a stripper.

lmfao this is one of the most internet nerd clueless comments i've ever seen on here. I mean people already explained why, but seriously, wow. I mean we all make mistakes and make un-apt comparisons or analogies or whatever sometimes, but just... how about no.

That said, 3 friends of mine(none of which i still really hang out with more than once in a long while, but for unrelated people drift apart reasons) were or are strippers, two still do it.

I really really really wish i had written down some of the stories they've told me. Seriously.

One of them paid her way through community college, then a state school, and got a CS degree with a focus on web dev stuff. She quickly climbed up the corporate ladder hopping between a couple jobs and now owns a house and has a kid and is pretty much set in her late 20s. She settled down in life with a completely normal dude. Most of the time she was stripping though she was doing tons of blow and pills, and was already into that when she started doing it and kinda started out with that as a plan to pay for partying all the time. She snapped out of it mid way through with some sort of family intervention/come to jesus moment and has been doing pretty good ever since(although, the basis of us being friends/hanging out was going to shows and slamming handles of vodka.... so... uh)

Another girl i knew because she was dating my friend started out as a waitress, and they convinced her to become a dancer. She moved in with one of the other girls from the club in a really nice apartment and got vacuumed into tons of bad girls club type drama since that girl was way into drugs, and so were all her friends. She ended up moving out of state a month or so later, and has bounced around between different states and even hawaii stripping ever since. She seems to be doing alright, but in an almost scooby-doo fashion seems to always find trouble and drama and then move somewhere else to get away from it.

The final girl plays it pretty straight, and moved up pretty quickly to an upscale early 20th century themed burlesque-ish kinda club. Every time i see her though, she introduces herself to my friends who haven't met her with a different fake name.

The one thing they had in common, or at least two of them, is they have to make all their online profiles private, change their profile pictures to some random arty stuff or a cartoon or whatever and have fake facebook/etc names because creepy guys from the club will try and cyberstalk them. It's always funny when i'm looking at my timeline and go "Who the fuck is Lynn Minmay?" or something. And they always change to a new name a couple weeks later. I have no idea how the dudes find them despite them using a fake name at the club and not using their real names online, but yea, online harassment is real. Fucking 21st century.

Another thing was that it was really, really hard for them to maintain a relationship. Not because they were "attention whores" or couldn't be serious about it or whatever other stereotype bullshit you can think of that's just misogynistic fantasy, but because guys would always act like they were ok with it and then get weird and jealous. It always went through the phases of "nah i don't care>yea, my girlfriends a stripper ;)>I'M JUST NOT REALLY OK WITH THIS". It's a very similar problem to what a lot of my friends in non-monogamous relationships deal with, where it's seemingly always the hetero guy who becomes not ok with it even when they were likely the one who initiated it.

A final thing i forgot was the constant fear or some creep from the club trying to get at you when you were going home. Rape, sexual assault, violence, hannibal lecter basement ground hole shit, who knows. All of the girls mentioned often calling a cab from the back room, and having a bouncer walk them to the car. I think there were even stories of customers waiting in their cars and then following the taxis, but it's all kind of a blur in my head because lots of alcohol was always involved when i was hearing these stories and it's been a couple years. Public transit or walking home if they lived nearby was definitely out of the question though. Lots of 5-10 minute taxi rides.

If i was going to compare it to any job, i would say it would be like the oil and gas drilling in middle america. It can pay good, but it's inconsistent and you can definitely tell it won't last forever. There's a very real risk of physical injury/assault(although in different ways, and in different types it's a constant thought) and various aspects of it can make it very emotionally and generally mentally draining. You work long hours and only ever have free time when lots of other people don't, and end up isolated from your original community. They also both have aspects of "here's a bunch of money, but here's how we screw you over and take a bunch of it back" with the egregious housing for one, and the club fees for the other.

I liked that stripping in the gas drilling town article a lot, and wished it had compared the parallels between the two more. It was definitely the first thing that came to mind when i was reading it.
posted by emptythought at 3:30 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


mathowie: huh, I'm surprised the FAQ didn't mention a dumb naive question I haven't seen answered before, which is: What exactly happens in a VIP room and how much do guys spend on that stuff? I was dragged to a few clubs in college and I hated every minute I was there, but I've heard lots of references to VIP rooms in culture but still have zero clue if that's private dances or sex or what.

The lefty answer is that what happens depends on the guy and the girl. The more complicated answer is that only private dances are allowed, but customers usually expect extras from the VIP area, everything from a hand job to a blowjob to "full service," i.e. sex. In pop culture, VIP rooms are most often a euphemism for something on the spectrum of extras.

Lap dances are charged per song, whereas the VIP areas are a flat rate per half-hour, hour, etc. Tips are not mandatory, but expected for VIP. The "flat rate" numbers for the VIP areas differ from club to club. At the clubs where I have worked, you're usually shelling out around $400-$500 per hour, not including tip.

There are clubs where extras are the norm, and others where extras are the exception. I work in a club where the culture and clientele allow me to make solid money without ever doing extras. The club management handles extras differently depending on the particular club, dancer, manager on duty, and act. Sometimes management actively discourages extras. Sometimes they genuinely don't know extras are happening. Sometimes they know but look the other way. Sometimes they give the dancer a warning. Sometimes the dancer is fired.

Fun fact: You've heard of a champagne room, a VIP area that includes a bottle of champagne? Pretty prevalent in pop culture? I've done many champagne rooms but never drank the champagne, and neither has my customer. Ever! I don't believe that this is typical. I don't drink on shift and I'm picky about with whom I will do a VIP room.
posted by Peppermint Snowflake at 8:55 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I used to go to strip clubs a few times a year from the time I began college until just before I met my now wife. It's fun and a way for lonely or awkward guys to have some level of sexual interaction with females they will not get through normal channels. I was very overweight and anxious at that time. Hell, I went through all of college without having even the slightest hint of romantic interaction with a woman. Strippers have to work hard for their money because they're often dealing with people like the early 20s version of me.

The town I lived in during college had an all-nude club just outside the city limits. The first few years I went, I would mostly ask the dancers what I could and couldn't do. They were happy to tell me what the boundaries were. For the most part, the girls don't blow you off out of hand. The only time I experienced that was on a busy night when one of the girls would only give dances to white men.

I never went often enough to cultivate relationships with any dancers. However, I went to the club one year, and the dancer I was spending the most time with kept running her hand through my "fuzzy" hair and commented that she wanted to have fuzzy haired babies. I went back about 9 months later and got a dance from the same girl. Before the dance began, she whispered, "I still want to have fuzzy haired babies" in my ear. Either she had a mind like a steel trap, or I was grotesque enough to remember all those months later.

A few years after finishing grad school, I moved back to my college town. Being lonely and in a bad place mentally, I began frequenting a different club somewhat regularly. I decided to try and push the boundaries. Most girls would slap my hands away, but there was a night when I went to the VIP and was allowed to penetrate the dancers with my finger. I spent way more than I wanted to. An available ATM and the lure of sexual reward are often a bad combo. They gave me their number on the sly and indicated that they were available for "private off site dances". After that incident, the strip club lost its luster. Before, there was always a certain forbidden element in the experience, a sense of the unattainable. Once I was able to do whatever I wanted, it broke that illusion.

My wife now is fine with me going to strip clubs, but I can't touch anyone. This negates the whole purpose of going, because you can watch naked girls from the comfort of your own home any time. I went with some buddies a few months ago, but the magic is definitely gone. I bought them all dances, not wanting to be the freeloader the stripper in the main article detests. But I don't think I'll be going back anytime soon.
posted by stedman15 at 11:05 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Not a fan of peeler bars myself and I've worked most years construction so let's please disabuse ourselves of the classist notion that only IT boys are uncomfortable in the presence of strippers and any mook who carries a lunchbox and wears a hardhat relishes the opportunity to see wide open beavers as close to his nose as possible.

The Author is an amazingly poor salesperson if she doesn't recognize that there are men that want to be there and men who don't.

The notion that "lesbian" sex is sexist is as well simplistic. It's possible to want to see a woman enjoy being stimulated, with the help of another person, while not wanting to see the woman having sex with the average overly large male porn star.

Re: The VIP room, it can be anything from being teased to being ripped off to grinding to release to oral sex to PIV to going "home" together for the purpose of sex. This according to my neighbor who works as a dancer here in New Orleans.
posted by vapidave at 4:15 PM on February 1


There are clubs where extras are the norm, and others where extras are the exception.

This helped me remember an interesting exchange I read a few months ago. It's not something I have an opinion on, but it's fascinating reading for me, the power dynamics that exist between dancers and how much of what's "normal" is unspoken and changes from club to club.

An Open Letter to the Extras Girl
An Open Letter from a Detroit Extras Girl
posted by gladly at 4:38 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Huh. Both of those open letters strike me as very reasonable and interesting. Worth reading.
posted by Justinian at 6:32 PM on February 1


The other two letters in the series were also very interesting, easily worth an FPP for example.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:47 PM on February 1


To be honest, I had no idea that people's jobs were threatened or promotions withheld for not going to strip clubs with the boss [...] I'm sure there are plenty of dudes out there willing to invent or exaggerate their experiences

I came across this on ESPN:
Recently suspended guard Richie Incognito held meetings for fellow Miami Dolphins offensive linemen at a South Florida strip club and would fine them if they didn't attend, according to a report.

People can be pressured in lots of ways; "fining" people is probably more blatant than other techniques. It could be that other people at work go there and discuss business, which means that you lose networking opportunities if you don't go. Even if there's no business discussed at the club, it can be hard to turn down an invitation from your boss. LittleQueenTrashMouth was totally right to describe this as sexual harassment, of course. I don't know how big the strip club culture is here in Australia; I drive past a couple of them but I think they're really the same establishment. I've never gone, or been pressured to go, but I don't think people are lying about their experiences.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:03 PM on February 1


Your company's sex harrassment compliance legal people will not approve of you inviting your male subordinates or all your subordinates to a strip club. Some employees consider that making a hostile work environment. I bet you can't put it on an expense statement unless you are like Lloyd Blankfein or his greasy ilk.
posted by bukvich at 8:24 AM on February 2


I bet you can't put it on an expense statement unless you are like Lloyd Blankfein or his greasy ilk.

I have seen, in the same industry and in the same location, people be able (and encouraged!) to expense strip club visits with clients and coworkers, and other people be fired for intersecting business and strip clubs. This is something that seems to vary wildly on a company by company basis, presumably at least partly based on an explicit tradeoff between increased legal liability and the benefits of doing business in strip clubs.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:03 AM on February 2


A couple weeks ago, some businessmen came into the strip club where I work. I didn't inquire about the details but the group was half salesmen and half clients.

Head Salesman spent around three grand, and a chunk of it went towards sending me to the VIP area twice with Head Client. "Make sure he has a good time," Head Salesman told me.

Head Client enjoyed the VIP area. He asked me multiple times to go back to his hotel room with him. He threw some numbers at me. I wasn't sure if he was planning on paying or if he assumed that Head Salesman would cover it.

I politely declined. I'm curious if Head Client ended up buying.
posted by Peppermint Snowflake at 10:37 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I bet you can't put it on an expense statement

Strip clubs often show up on credit card statements as something totally innocuous and unrelated to the name of the club, i.e. "Entertainment USA."

I had a co-worker who got away with putting visits to strip clubs on the company plastic for quite a while because of this.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:59 PM on February 2


« Older Western Digs is a source for "dispatches from the ...  |  LEGO's Cuuso system (previousl... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments