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Knowing the Game

July 15, 2013

I realized that although I’ve written about becoming a stripper, some of the double standards in the industry and some of the body image stuff I haven’t actually explained how strip clubs work. I’ll do that now.

I am not employed by the club. Or well I’m not considered an employee. I do not make a base wage or salary. I don’t get paid hourly. I don’t make minimum wage.

I pay the bar.

Yep, that’s right, I pay the bar.

How it works is I pay the bar every night I work to dance.

You read that right, I pay to work.

How much you pay depends on the bar. Some places call it a stage fee, other places call it a tip out. I personally consider it tip out. At Babydolls tip out is $15 bucks. To put it in perspective a lap dance costs $20. The bar doesn’t take any of my lap dance money or stage tips out side of my tip out. At other bars it’s different. Really expensive clubs will have a tip out up to $150 and dancers will also fork over some of their VIP room or lap dance fee’s. Those girls do this because they will still walk out with more than I usually make on a weekend even if they’re working a slow Monday night. There are a few clubs that offer a base pay or an hourly pay but in those clubs you’re generally considered an employee.

Now there are pro’s and con’s of this system.

Pro’s, I choose my schedule. Every Sunday the owner of the club texts me and asks when I want to work. I book whatever days for the coming week that I want. Say I have a huge midterm that I have to study for; I don’t have to request the week off. I just don’t book any days. On the reverse side if I’m short on money due to unforeseen expenses I can book the entire week if I need to. Plus if I’m having a good night I’m very very well rewarded.

The con’s. I’m not guaranteed to break even. Some nights I walk out of the bar with more than I know what to do with. Other nights I struggle to walk out with a hundred bucks. It also means that I have to leave all my shit at the door. In a normal job you can have a bad day and you’ll still get paid. For me, a bad day can come between me making or breaking rent.

There are other cons, say I’m chatting someone up and actually truly am enjoying and engaging in the conversation. I enjoy my job but sometimes I have the same conversation fifty times in one night. Every now and then however I find myself truly enjoying a refreshing conversation. The bad thing is, I’m on the clock with out a paycheck. My time is my money because that’s really all I have. Even if I just want to sit and chat, I cant. I have to push up a dance because I’m not guaranteed a dime. I can’t waste an hour chatting because I need to make my rent.

Of course there are some customers who understand that. Friday night I had a young guy, 22 years old. Not a huge fan of the strip club scene but his buddies wanted to come in so he tagged along.

We get debating Buffy the Vampire Slayer and comic books of all things. I’m not at all ashamed to admit I’m very very very geeky/nerdy at times.

Now this kid, I know he’s technically older than I am but fuck it in the club anyone under thirty is a kid, understood that in the club my time is what pay’s my rent. So he hands me forty bucks and we talk for half an hour.

Could I have made more trying to hustle other guys in the club?


Did I make enough to justify taking a long break like that?


Because sometimes at work I need a break. I need to be Delilah the 20 year old college student and not Delilah the stripper. Delilah the stripper is very similar to Delilah the college student. Because at the end of the day they are the same person- me. But Delilah the stripper does have to pretend she’s interested when the fifteenth guy tells me how he could have made it big if he hadn’t blown out his knee in college. Delilah the college student can take a bit of time to have a conversation that she enjoys.

It’s nice when Delilah the college student can come out to play and get paid to do so.

  1. emeraldjewelsparkle permalink

    Sometimes when we chat i forget your age. This update is really interesting, its far from the stereotypical ‘every guy is just there to see some breasts’ and from the sounds of it you do get people that really just want to talk. I love reading your blog 🙂

    • Truth is you’re right. A lot of men come in for a thousand of reasons including wanting to see boobies. I’m glad you like reading this and next update will be on Wednesday!

  2. Danielle permalink

    well that was very nice of that guy! and thank you for explaining! I love your blog!!! can’t wait for the next post! 🙂 ❤ xoxo

    • It was. I’m lucky. Most of my customers understand that hey I am at work and do need to be able to pay my bills and are very understanding. Of course I get some who are jerkfaces but best part of my job is I can walk away from them. Next blog post Wednesday! Thanks for reading!

  3. wishuy permalink

    Love reading your blog. Fascinated with your world. Can’t wait for the next update.

  4. chloedancerva permalink

    Interesting what people’s imaginations make them think about certain jobs/fields. My boyfriend has a great memory of a lap dance he received in Vegas about 3 years before we met. The dancer was one of several working his friend’s bachelor party at a club on the strip. She was about the same age as him at the time, possibly 23-24, and had a Jack Kerouac quote from “On the Road” tattooed on her back. He said as she danced/grinded, etc. they maintained a conversation about the book. He ended up spending $200, but says he remembers the encounter mostly due to the great conversation.

    • That is so true. Obviously I see all kinds of customers. I get the ones who truly enjoy conversation and the others who just want some one hot to shake her ass on his lap. I’ll give you three guesses as to which I prefer. Either way I find the ones who like conversation tend to spend more so it works well for me.

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