Blond Leading the Blind

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image via flickr user Brendan Riley

Beach season is upon us, which means it’s time to exploit the opportunity to read trashy books free of judgement. Gone are the days when it was protocol to leave ashtrays out for your houseguests, but you’d have to hide your copy of Valley of the Dolls. Nope, these days sexless secretaries commuting in pantyhose and sneakers can ride public transit proudly rocking a real (not Kindle) copy of Fifty Shades, because she’s advertising her deeply buried kinky side.

If a terribly-written BDSM novel by a layperson is at the top of the bestseller list, I’m thinking ACTUAL sex workers can do better; or we can simply indulge in penning one of these cheesy hypothetical sex worker reads (warning, political incorrectness to follow).

The Hooker Booker: Sympathetic tale of a former escort who is washed up and is now a phone madam.

From Slippers to Stripper: A clichéd downward spiral tale about a classically trained ballet dancer who started stripping.

Whore in Times of War: The exploits of a traveling prostitute who follows areas of conflict to service sex-starved military men and United Nations workers.

Phone Sex Train Wrecks: A collection of phone sex blooper transcripts.

Highbrow Hooker: The story of a well-bred WASP whose is left to her own devices when her family disowns her.

Gold Digger Pulls the Trigger: A wronged sugar baby gets the ultimate revenge on her deceitful “daddy.” [READ MORE]

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Remember the first time you watched Nomi Malone lick the pole at Cheetah’s? Weren’t you all “Ew, who does that?” as you decided Windex was one of the better things coming into contact with her tongue? Have you seen a new girl at the club cruise by in a mullet tutu and been like “What just happened?” I die a little on the inside witnessing less glaring hustle mistakes. One of the most humbling things about stripping (besides the constant rejection) is that you’ll still be fine-tuning your sales skills and learning from your mistakes even after working long enough that dumb regulars call you a “lifer.” Maybe you’re all business in the front resulting in not enough party in the back. Here are a few cringe-inducing moves I know I’ve been guilty of.

Next On Stage We Have Amnesia: My number one personal problem is consistently forgetting about customers who express interest. Thanks to garish carpet, lasers, loud music, and other things designed to disorient patrons into spending, my attention span seems to clear and reset approximately every thirty seconds. If I’m collecting my stage tips and a guy tells me to come talk to him, I’ll go straighten up in the dressing room and get back on the floor with the interaction erased from my memory. He’ll watch me walk around, cold-calling other men like his money isn’t good enough. By the time I work my way to him and say that he looks familiar from somewhere, the damage has been done. So remember your medication, write on your hand with eyeliner, and set a phone alarm for three minutes in the future. Mostly, don’t get sucked into dillydallying in the dressing room. [READ MORE]

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Burnout is a beast with which anyone doing emotional labor is all too familiar. It can be devastating when you pay to work and your income depends on appearing… not burned out. Isn’t it wild how you think everything’s cool and then out of nowhere you find yourself paralyzed by the mere thought of approaching customers because you just know they’ll say something stupid and ruin your night?

Maybe you strip in a city where 60 strip clubs compete for a small market by continually raising stakes and lowering prices, desperately trying to lure business with $9.99 surf ‘n’ turf, $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon, dollar dances, free buffets, free porn, midget features, topless bartenders, topless waitresses, topless DJs, naked violinists. Your peers are diving headfirst into laps chasing single dollar bills like retrievers, two-girl tangoing, butt-plugging, Tootsie Pop-penetrating, and that’s just on stage.

Maybe you think about how much money you spend on the costs of being a Responsible Adult and divide it by $20 lapdances and it hurts your heart. Or you hear “Young Turks” and you think about how many times you must have heard that song when it was on the jukebox of your first club in 2003 but now you really understand “life is so brief/time is a thief when you’re undecided,” and the thought of having to shave is reason enough not to try today.

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find out that I’m describing myself. But you might be surprised to know that I’m still a decent earner. All it takes is just a consistent conscious effort. I’m out here fighting the good fight against burnout. If your shifts are wastes of makeup and sometimes you make a U-turn in the strip club parking lot, I feel your pain. This list is for you. [READ MORE]

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Strip tripping can be fun and lucrative, or you can come back with less money and an ego so bruised that you’ll change the subject whenever anyone asks about that trip that you wouldn’t shut up about before you left. There was the time that I went to Indianapolis during the Indy 500 because a lonely juggalette stripper on the Internet told me I’d make like ten thousand dollars, minimum. And then there was the time that I just showed up in Hawaii and had to eat Burger King and Subway for a week. I would like to think that I know what I’m doing by now, and since I’m not nice enough to tell you where the money’s good, I’ll at least share tips that have made my life easier. This list is inspired by badass seasoned road stripper Story’s advice, so please look at it first.

Through Being Cool: If Vegas is on your stripper bucket list, or you can’t stop looking at everyone’s Guam Facebook pics, then I won’t stop you from going to the popular stripping destinations. But I think you’re going to have more luck at the club in the middle of nowhere that you’ve never heard of. You know why you’ve never heard of it? Because strippers keep the best places to themselves. Get rustic. Is the customer riding a horse around the parking lot not a big deal? Do the dancers pee in the dressing room trashcan? Go there. [READ MORE]

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You’ve met someone. Ask him if he has a business card (so you can google that shit and make sure he doesn’t have a wife…or worse, a LinkedIn profile). When he asks for your number, just give him your email address and explain that you have a smart phone so it’s basically the same thing as calling you. Pretend not to hear him if he tries to point out that it’s not the same thing at all. Shake his hand to see what kind of handshake he has. Then use some hand sanitizer because he could have been masturbating or doing that tucking-his-boner-into-the-waist-of-his-pants-thing in the bathroom. Offer him some so that you don’t hurt his feelings.

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