"Some men have called me an ecdysiast. Do you know what that means? An ecdysiast is one who, or that which, sheds its skin. In vulgar parlance, a stripper. But I'm not a stripper. At these prices, I'm an ecdysiast!"
Strip Club 101.
Before I worked as a stripper at my favorite local club, I visited numerous times with my boyfriend. Even though I no longer strip there, for ease of reading, I will refer to it as 'my club' throughout this article. I would like to share with you my experience both as a worker and patron to help out newbies as well as strip club vets have the best time possible. Are you ready? Let's do this!
Types of Strip Clubs and What to Expect.
There are three types of dance clubs out there. Depending on the laws in your state/country you may not have all of them available to you. These types of clubs are: Go-Go/Bikini, Topless, and All Nude. All three will be broken down and explained in this section.
There is no nudity in these types of clubs. Girls in bikinis or sexy revealing outfits serve drinks and food. They also may dance on the bar or a stage, do pole tricks, dance in cages or entertain through light conversation. There is not usually a private dance area and the girls do not get as friendly and close as they might in a topless or nude club. Tipping style is at the discretion of the venue. As opposed to putting your money in a dancer's thong, you might be asked to hand it to them, or leave it with your check. In this type of club, the dancers may also be working as waitresses, so you may not get the attention you would at other types of clubs. The bouncers will most likely be more strict as well and will not put up with any off color behavior.
I would recommend this type of club for anyone who isn't sure if they are comfortable going to a topless or nude bar. It is a good way to get a feel of what goes on without having it right in your face, so to speak. Keep in mind, most of these clubs are at least 18+, 21+ if it has a bar serving alcohol and minimal food. If in doubt, call ahead or check out the club's website if available.
Topless clubs, like my club, are the most common type of strip club. There will be two types of girls working. The cocktail waitresses and the dancers. The cocktail girls are usually dressed provocatively and will flirt, but do not dance. The dancers entertain on stage, do pole tricks, visit with patrons and provide private dances. Tipping is standard, and full details will be discussed later. A dancer will typically dance to two songs, three if there are not many girls working. They are usually fully clothed for the first song, then the stripping happens in the second and/or third song. Depending on state law, even though they are topless, they will have something covering the nipple area, whether it is a coat of colored latex or pasties. This was required in my club. After they dance, they work the room, giving small teaser dances if allowed and talking with clients. In some clubs, the girls are required to wear evening gowns when not performing. This is mostly in larger, fancier cities. You will be kicked out for rude behavior and possibly banned if the bouncer catches you or a dancer complains about you.
These clubs are great for anyone who loves to have fun, talk to girls and has some extra money to spend. These clubs are typically 21+, as they are a bar setting and serve alcohol.
The rules for all nude clubs vary by state. They also have separate cocktail waitresses and dancers, like at topless clubs, and almost all the other aspects are the same. In the all nude club in my town, the dancers only get all nude during private dances, which cost more than a regular private dance. In all other aspects, it is the same as a topless club as far as what is offered by the dancers.
These clubs DO NOT serve alcohol, with the exception of The Palomino Club in Las Vegas. Because there is no alcohol, the clubs are typically 18+. The Pony is a popular chain of all nude clubs.
Basic Dos and Don'ts.
It might be tempting to grab a stripper's boob or smack her on the booty. Tempting as it is, you will want to refrain. Here is a list of basic rules on how to behave in a strip club, keeping you from getting bounced out the front door or left alone for the night.
1. Be Polite. That means to everyone...the bartender, DJ, the dancers, the cocktail waitresses, other patrons, and especially the bouncer. Drinks flowing and naked ladies dancing is not an excuse to act like a rude idiot. It is the quickest way to not get any attention and earn yourself a reputation.
2. Keep Your Hands to Yourself. This is the fastest way to get kicked the f*$# out of a strip club, especially a well known one, like Sapphire (formerly Scores) in NYC. Small town clubs may be a bit more lax about it, but don't take any chances until you get a feel for the club and the dancer you might be talking to. Never grab or smack a booty or boob, grab a dancer or waitress or otherwise be rough with them, or you will find your way to the door via a very large and unfriendly bouncer. You may also be banned from the club. This goes for the private dance room as well. If the dancer gently pushes your hand away, take it as a warning and don't repeat the behavior.
3. Don't be a Party Pooper. The strip club is a great place to have a bachelor or birthday party. However, that does not give the bachelor or birthday boy free reign to act up. Be good, and you might get free drinks, a free dance or more attention.
4. Don't Monopolize a Dancer's Time Yes, the dancers are there to entertain and keep guests feeling welcome. However, they are also there to make money. It's nice to get a drink or two from a client, but if the club does not give the dancer a percentage for drink sales, there is really nothing in it for them. If you enjoy the company of the girl you are talking to, show her a little monetary appreciation, whether it be on stage or when she takes leave of your table. Don't expect her to sit with you all night if you are not tipping. I have been nicely tipped for my company before, which was a nice treat to be appreciated for both my body and mind. Even if it's just a few dollars, it could make the difference between paying a bill or not.
5. Don't Ask for Something Inappropriate. This occurs most often in the private dance area. I have been solicited for sex and asked other inappropriate things while in the middle of a private dance. I know some girls would provide other services for patrons, and would bend the rules for them, but that only makes it harder for those girls behaving appropriately, and abiding the law, to make money. This also puts the dancer in an awkward and uncomfortable position. A girl being a stripper does not make her a prostitute. Asking for any service outside of what the club offers is out of line, and could also be illegal. This also includes asking for a dancer's phone number. If the dancer reports you to management, you could be banned or turned in to law enforcement if they feel the need.
6. Have Fun! Have a good time. Talk to the dancers. Ask them questions they don't get every night, like "Do you go to school?" Be original and they will remember you next time. Tell jokes and have a good time and you will have a great experience, and get more attention.
Money and Tipping.
If you don't have any money, don't come to the strip club. No matter how nice or witty you are, you will get minimal attention without a little cash. If you do have a little extra to spend, it is best to come with your cash already on hand, as the ATMs at clubs are very pricy. The one at my club runs $8 to withdraw. Having ones is not necessary, though as they usually have plenty of change on hand at the bar, or one of the dancers would probably be happy to make change for you.
Don't sit at the seats around the stage unless you plan on tipping. If you have a favorite dancer, and only want to tip her, just go to the stage when she performs. While sitting around the stage, try to give at least $1 to each dancer who performs. You will also get less attention during the stage performance without tipping. Think about it this way: They are working for no hourly salary, and the standard tip has stayed at $1 for a heck of a long time...no cost of living raise for dancers! Choose a seat away from the stage or at the bar if you are not sure how/who you would want to tip. If you decline to tip, be polite about it. I've had a guy or two not even say anything and just wave me away or lightly push me aside to see the dancer on stage. Dancers have feelings too!
Don't tease the dancers with your money. Don't pull it away to try and get her to do more for you. It will only make her annoyed. Hold up your tip for her to see and let her come to you. She will either direct you where to put the bill, such as in her thong, or between her breasts, or she will take it from you however she desires. After you tip, she may talk with you for a few seconds before going back to dancing. The more you give, the longer she will stay.
Keep an eye on your cash. Keep your stack of bills in eye sight, preferably with a hand on it at all times. I would also suggest keeping your wallet or money in your front pocket, even if it's just for the night. It's harder to get to and you will be more likely to notice if someone is attempting to take it. It's a shame to say this, but not all dancers are honest. This goes for other patrons as well. It is very easy to get distracted in a strip club and to loose track of your money. If your cash disappears, I doubt anyone would confess to taking it.
The Dollar Dance, The Table Dance, The Private Dance and VIP Room.
Depending on the club visited, there could be a number of types of dances offered. They could take place out on the floor of the club, in a separate section of the club or a private room. The following is a breakdown of the types of dances offered, apart from stage entertainment.
The Dollar Dance.
The Dollar Dance (name may differ from club to club) is offered by a dancer as a tease, in hopes of getting a patron to buy a more expensive dance. In my club, we only offered them on the day shift, and some clubs may not offer them at all. After the dancer completes her set on stage, she will go around the club and ask the patrons if they would like a Dollar Dance. After a dancer's set is usually the ONLY time they can do one of these dances for you, so no asking for one randomly. If the patron agrees to it, they will get a short lap dance at their seat. There is no obligation to get one of these dances. I have had patrons who have politely declined, but tipped me anyway. Remember, this is just a tease, so don't expect anything longer than 30 or so seconds.
The Table Dance.
The Table Dance is one not offered in my club. It is usually offered in clubs with a good deal of floor space. The dancer will either dance on the table for you or give a lap dance at the table, depending on the set up of the club. It is more lengthy than the Dollar Dance, but not as intimate or private as a Private Dance or a trip to the VIP Room. The cost will vary based on the club.
The Private Dance.
The Private Dance takes place in a room separate from the main club. It is usually not completely private, however. It is often a room off to the side, lined with couches and mirrors. There may be more than one patron getting a dance at the same time. There also may be a bouncer stationed at the door of the room, or at the very least a bouncer or DJ will make the rounds to check and make sure all is on the up and up. Payment may be asked for upfront, depending on club rules, and tips for good service are customary. Some patrons choose to tip with ones during the dance, or give a tip at the end. Couples can get a dance together, but most likely they will be charged for two dances. The cost varies based on the club and is sometimes set by the individual dancer, and it is not advised to try to bargain.
The VIP Room.
Some clubs call their Private Dance space the VIP Room, but more often it is a truly private room. It may also be referred to as the Champagne Room. These are usually found in larger clubs or all nude clubs and the fees concerned are much higher. A bottle of champagne or other alcohol may be a required purchase to enter. Keep in mind, just because the room is private, that does not mean there is no one watching. More than likely, one of the mirrors is two way and a bouncer or even the club owner is just right on the other side, should the dancer need assistance or engages in inappropriate behavior. The cost varies based on many factors, and this is the most expensive type of dance to purchase.
Who's Ready to go to the Club?
I know that there are clubs, especially in smaller towns and in bad neighborhoods, where many of the rules I've mentioned tend to fall by the wayside. Some of the don'ts I mentioned occur in my club, mostly on the day shift. I found it hard sometimes to compete with the rule breakers, who always denied anything unless directly caught. Just remember, the club has set rules for EVERYONE'S safety, which is why they should be followed. You can have a good time, and follow the rules. I know I have. My favorite dancer at my club plays by the rules, and is always busy. I can't say the same for the girls who bend and break them. The operative word is tease...Strip Tease. The strip club is a means to get away, to talk to girls you may not talk to out on the street or in a bar. It's a fantasy, and should be treated as such. Be respectful and as generous as you can be, and I promise you will have a wonderful time!
I hope that this article was helpful and informative. It has by no means covered every aspect of strip clubs, but based solely on my experiences and observations. Every club is different, as is every dancer, so use these words as a basic guide and build on that with your own experiences. Strip clubs are not for everyone, but the only way to find out is to visit one. So, grab your wallet and some friends and take the nearest strip club by storm!