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Exotic Dancing Facts and Fiction

All dancers have this in common.. (and maybe ONLY this) the want, need, & goal of making cold hard cash, quickly.

I am an ex dancer. I danced for 3 years. This was my experience.

It was like any other life altering moment. One random Wednesday afternoon I sat in my apartment, unpaid bills stacking up on the coffee table in front of me. I was leafing through a paper, half-heartedly looking for jobs. I came across an ad for an “Amateur Night” at a strip club. “Winner-$500.” I decided in that instant that I would go, I would win, and at least I could pay my rent.

I tried not to think too much about what I was about to do. I got ready, and I went.

I remember when I first stepped out on the stage, my hands were shaking as I held the pole. One of the things the man who was running the contest told me was “Just smile.”
I tried to smile, through my fear. At this particular club, you had two songs in your “set.” During the first, you were to get topless. During the second, your bottoms were to come off as soon as possible. It was a full nude club.

I feel starting out in a full nude club had it benefits. I became so incredibly comfortable with nudity. The biggest benefit was that because of Michigan law, there was no alcohol. I later worked at topless only bars, where alcohol was served, and the differences were remarkable.

The night I did the contest, I did win, and I was offered a job. I agreed to try it out. Even after one night, the money was intoxicating. It’s commonly referred to in the clubs as “new girl money.” Customers see a fresh face, (or smell new blood?) a not worn down attitude, and they bite.
Before I knew it, a night became a week, then a month, then 6 months. My bills were current! (Imagine that!) And I had lots more to spare! I quickly realized that spending money to dye my hair, get my nails done, go tanning, and the like, were investments well made. I made a huge profit by investing in the product. (myself)

I made friends, with the other girls, the staff, the management, and even some customers. I realized that at the end of the day, it was a job like any other in most regards. I had a schedule, I had to be on time, I had to look nice, I was on my feet almost the entire shift, and at the end, I counted my money, and I went home.
I had a boss, I had rules, I had co workers, and customers.

At times I really felt like it was a sales job. I had to make the customers like me, before they were going to spend any money. Just like any salesperson, if you don’t like them, you aren’t going to buy from them. But, it wasn’t the typical 9 to 5, that’s for sure.
For me, it was perfect because I needed a lot of money, as fast as possible. I like staying up late, dancing, being naked, receiving attention, listening to loud music, and meeting new people. Plus, all the coca cola (my number one addiction) I could drink, and the freedom to have a cigarette,(my number two addiction) go to the bathroom, or take a break at my discretion!

Dancing also put me in the best shape of my life. I was sore & bruised for months from the poles, and the stage..and I freaked out when I realized I had gained 12 pounds..until I realized it was all solid muscle. It takes amazing strength and coordination to not only walk, but dance! in 6 inch heels. The poles became my artistic outlet. I danced my moods. If I was happy, I’d dance to upbeat pop and smile, wink, and be playful on stage. If I was angry, I’d dance to hard rock and whip my hair around. I always tried to send a message with my stage performance. Who I was speaking to, I’m not sure, I think it depended on the day.

The majority of guys I danced for were good customers, meaning they talked with me, they got a dance (or sometimes 10) and they left. I always focused on the money. I’d be dancing with my back to them, and I’d stick my tongue out at the manager walking by. I’d be thinking “one more dance and I can pay this bill,” Yes, I exploited my sexuality for money. I was also exploiting them at the same time. They exploited us, we exploited ourselves, we exploited them, whatever. It’s all business!
If a customer was talking to me, and I realized he wasn’t going to spend anything but my time, I’d politley tell him that I need to get back to work. What people don’t realize is that you don’t get paid hourly. So I’m sitting there for free unless I get dances. Would YOU want to sit at work and not get paid? No. If I didn’t care about making money, I would have stayed home on my couch. Sometimes I had to explain this to customers. Some of them came in there acting as if it was a singles bar that we both just happened to be at, and were there just to try and pick girls up. They apparently bought in to one of the many stigma attached to strippers. I think there is also a stigma attached to the men that got to strip clubs.

While my experience wasn’t bad, I still want to try and sway young girls leaning towards this job in another direction. It isn’t glamourous, and you have to have the right mind set to not fall into any of the pitfalls.

The reason my experience was mainly good, was because 1. I went in there with my head on straight to begin with, and I knew it was the means to an end. 2. I never did any drugs, and I rarely drank, so I knew that wouldn’t be a problem. 3. I was 23 when I started, so I think that helped as well.
The only problems I ever had, were with other girls I worked with. I think it’s inevitable, any job where there are 10-30 girls working together constantly, there is going to be some form of tension. In a field where you are basically competing for business, that tension evolves into all out drama.

I sat one night in the locker room thinking about how ironic it was that we would fight with each other. The irony being that we must have at least one thing in common to have all ended up working there. I don’t think any of us planned it. I don’t think any of us were realizing a dream. I thought we all shared one common thread that bound us to each other. I will always remember my time spent dancing, and the girls I worked with.

I eventually was fired because while I was making a lot of money for myself, and the club, the tension was outweighing it. Some of the girls outright hated me, and there were more of them than there was of me. I was re hired a fwe months later, and things were better. I layed low. I made my money, and I tried to keep my “friendships” with the other girls to a minimum.

In November of 2005, I had a few different girls instigate arguments with me, and again I was given my 30 days notice. I left that night and never returned. I felt I had been an asset to that club, and they betrayed me.

I danced for a few months at a different topless bar, but I hated it. The alcohol provided a whole new crowd, a whole new dynamic. I didn’t know how to make money in that enviornment. I was never a “dirty” dancer. (Meaning I just danced, you weren’t going to touch me for $20, or $20,000.) I had always relied on my “girl next door, college chick” persona.

I quit when it didn’t work for me anymore. When it wasn’t fun, when I dreaded going, when I stopped making great money..(because I wasn’t going to continue to get naked, or even half naked for less than great money.) I quit and I never looked back.

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