Letter From An Extras Girl: If It’s So Easy, Why Haven’t You Done It?

by Valentine on April 25, 2013 · 54 comments

in Strippers, This Time, It's Personal

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Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.—Yoda

Hola Hater,

Thanks for the helpful suggestions in “An Open Letter to the Extras Girl.” You know, for telling me how to do my job. Don’t take it personally if I ignore them. This is business, girl, and if you can’t wrap your head around what we—you and I—actually do for a living, it’s no problem of mine.

I know times are tough. This recession settled in on the whole country and it’s not going away anytime soon. I’ve been at this job long enough to know that the legendary monsoons of cash in the aughts—when girls could flash a titty and a smile and walk out with one large in their pockets—aren’t coming back. If you want to ply your craft and still turn a profit, sucking and fucking is going to be part of the deal, eventually.

I can hear you now: “Where’s the fantasy in that?” The fantasy is that the customer is deluding himself that he is special because a stripper fucked him in the VIP room. He has a mental hang-up about paying for sex directly, but if the sex is free and he pays for lap dances he can hack his psyche and let the good times roll. You and I, Stripper Sister, have a symbiotic relationship. Don’t believe me? You allow the customer to tell himself that strippers aren’t hookers, that he wasn’t paying for sex, he was paying for dances. The sex was free. He sees himself as a giant stud who seduced the dancer in the the VIP. He sees himself as a giant stud and suspends his disbelief that I don’t do this for anyone with a $100 bill despite the fact I have condoms at the ready.

You are selling the fantasy of sex on a planet populated by seven billion humans, all a result of actual sex. Sex is not a rare commodity. Even the most pathetic schlubs manage to get their dicks wet on occasion. Oh wait, I forgot…you’re a special snowflake who schlubs feel obligated to pay for the privilege of gazing at your otherworldly beauty. You have a magical stripper pussy that men can’t help throwing money at for a glimpse of the fantasy of sex with you. If just us extras girls would stop giving it away in VIP, the world would be perfect and your bank account full.

Keep telling yourself that. Not that it’ll help once you cross the river into Extras Girls Land.

There are some career strippers who don’t ever sell sex. They may have a boyfriend or husband who supports them financially. They may have other means of financial support, like their parents, or maybe they daylight as a kindergarten teacher or screenplay writer or…you get the idea, some other form of income. In my experience, if your livelihood is dependent upon your ability to earn money as a stripper, sooner or later, you will trick. I know. I was the clean dancer at one time, too. I had the holier-than-thou attitude towards the extras girls in the club. I thought just like you do now; that I’d make more money if all the extras girls just ceased to exist.

CondomMoneyI was a gullible idiot. After six months of dancing full time as a house girl in a nice, clean club, I decided to take my newfound career to the next level. Somehow I managed to get myself booked into a thinly-veiled brothel thousands of miles from home. Come to Alaska, they said. Money grows on trees here, they said. Yes, the house fees were high at $200 a shift. The ladies’ drinks were $20 for soft drinks and we were required to sell 10 each shift. But the management promised that a good hustler could still walk out with a thousand a night because there was just that much money and no girls available to take it.

The place must have been full of Nigerian lottery winners, because the longer I stayed, the more in debt to the club I got. We—the other dancers and I—were in the middle of nowhere, living in overcrowded apartments, under bouncer supervision 24/7. The fee to live in the crappy dancer dorms was $25 a day (a bargain compared to the sleaziest hotels in the area, going for $109 a night, cockroaches and meth heads included, no extra charge). I’m not stupid: I knew what the place was within the first hour of my first shift. But I was that special snowflake and thought I could somehow bring in a grand a day with my booty shake and my smile. By the end of my second shift, the Asian-tiger-lady cocktail waitress was “helping” me by telling me “You make no money ’cause you not dirty enough. Customer want blow job? Sell blow job!”

I didn’t sell a blow job that day, but I did sell a hand job to Sweatpants Boner Man. He was a seasoned connoisseur who enjoyed partaking of the nervous “virgins” in the club. He was a self-styled Mr. Miyagi of the stripper world, training up young things into sexual powerhouses in the VIP. He spent twelve hundred bucks on me that night. I was just the right girl to help him indulge his fantasy: to mold young strippers into full fledged sex workers under his kind yet firm tutelage.

He wasn’t paying for the sex; he was paying for the ego trip. I sold him several more ego trips before I left town for good. Trust me, he got his money’s worth. I paid off my club debt and then I paid off the bouncer to look the other way while I caught a cab to the airport. I had a pocketful of cash but it wasn’t enough to cover the moral bankruptcy I was experiencing.

I went home to my “clean” club and realized it wasn’t as clean as I had thought. The extras girls were there, working in the shadows with ninja-like skills to get guys off discreetly. I was now aware of why I didn’t have any high-dollar regulars while other girls seemed to be making money from the same dozen guys, week after week. They may have even thought they were selling hand jobs or blow jobs or straight up fucking, but what they were really selling was the fantasy of power, a much rarer commodity.

openflyThe clean dancers have a social bond among themselves. They are united in hatred against us extras girls. They view our presence as a threat to their earning power. They think we’re stealing their regulars, but we aren’t even selling the same product. Clean girls are the organic farmer’s market and I’m the fast food drive-through. Both have their place in the market, but who is more profitable (and hated)? In the case of both the farmer’s markets and the clean dancers, you hold the moral high ground. The extras girls and the fast food joints? We hold the key to instant gratification and profits. Health and safety be damned.

Don’t get me wrong, if I could go back to being a clean dancer again I would. You can’t unring a bell and you can’t unsell your soul. I knew what my job description was, and I behaved accordingly. Most of the customers were nice or maybe just weird but harmless. But some were soul-eaters. These customers treated me like a two dimensional thing that existed just for their pleasure. These types were cold and transactional. Poking and prodding my body, with fingers and dicks and tongues, in any way they pleased. One even had a strange idea of what erotic asphyxiation was all about and nearly choked me unconscious in a VIP room in Vegas. The VIP host then blackmailed me into giving him half of the fee I earned from the strangler for “saving” me. First I get fucked, then I get choked, then I get fucked again. Good times, I tell you.

The soul-eaters get their power trips from their wallets. Power eliminates their compassion and their humanity. On those nights when you see that extras girl shitfaced drunk, it is likely she had a soul-eater filling her garter that day. You think she’s brilliance walking? The extras girl is a lightening rod for sexual depravity. The cash is her cold comfort that she uses to buy alcohol-fueled amnesia.

This was my experience and not every extras girl is going to feel the same way. The money was heady and addicting. I thought I could handle it

I’ve lost my capacity to enjoy sex as a recreational activity. Sex holds no pleasure for me. It is a transaction that I engage in to keep me housed and fed and the internet on. I quit dancing after nine years. I got to a place where it was impossible for me to do my job. I got a job as a stripper booking agent and finally had that additional source of income that no longer required me to put on my O-face for money. I’ve sold this most intimate of human bonding experiences for a few dollars. No amount of money can buy that back. They say time heals all wounds. I suppose we shall see.

I just ask you, Clean Dancer, to think on this: if it is so easy to make money by sucking and fucking, why haven’t you done it?

Remember what I have said here when you look at the extras girl’s bulging garter with envy. You say I’m making your job hard. You act as if we are taking a shortcut by sucking and fucking our way to some magical pot of stripper gold at the end of the VIP rainbow. I hate to break it to you, Sister, but you ARE the fluffer girl and I’m taking it up the ass on camera so that this porno sells.

You call it the easy or lazy way to riches. I call it walking through hell in seven inch platforms.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Elle April 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I love hookers, but I don’t want to work/dance with one.


You will get my club shut down.

(Why do Extra Girls ignore this?)

Putting dozens or a hundred people out of work for a month seems incredibly, more than selfish.


You will subject all of the less ‘determined’ girls to the demanding behavior that comes from men who are get used to the extra treatment.

Have some compassion for others, and take that hustle elsewhere.

Otherwise, the honesty of this is pretty stark, so thank you for that.


Steve the strip bar lizard October 20, 2014 at 1:50 am

Some clubs condone extras girls until the vice squad comes.

I dunno if the cops want that to be known.


JessicaGBanks April 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I love how you think that all strippers who don’t do extras must be broke or doing something else for money. Speak for yourself. The fact that YOU couldn’t make money as a stripper and turned to hooking just backs up what I’ve said for years: those who don’t know how to sell as strippers start hooking because they don’t know how to make money stripping. I made a good living as a stripper for 15 years without hooking and plenty of other strippers do so too. I always had myself to rely on and stripping was always my bread and butter. There are always good days and bad days, but the good outweigh the bad if you know how to sell. Even if some girls are hooking right beside you.

Not every girl who takes her clothes off or a living has to “take it up the ass” to get by.

And yes, no matter how you like to try and justify your actions, you DEVALUE THE SERVICE by selling and giving away sex in the strip club. I never cared to morally judge hooking, but FFS take it out if the club and charge more! Maybe the extra money will make you feel better, since cash is proven to have positive effects on people’s moods.


B April 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Ugh, really? Is this secretly a jerk-off piece for abolitionists who insist we are all so very damaged by our work? Or just an intentionally inflammatory essay specifically designed to snipe *at other sex workers*? And yes, I read the original article, which was NOT intended to snipe and belittle other sex workers, according to the author, who later apologized–right or wrong. Is this why Tits and Sass is?


story April 26, 2013 at 12:06 am

you write your details well but i don’t get your argument.

are you suggesting all dancer-only dancers fuck and suck?
or are you suggesting that they never suck and fuck because you have regrets yourself?

i’m honestly asking.

i don’t understand, “I hate to break it to you, Sister, but you ARE the fluffer girl and I’m taking it up the ass on camera so that this porno sells.”

what porno? the strip club experience WOULD sell without extras – it has and does in many, many locations throughout the united states. you taking it up the ass, is not helping me by selling our joint porno flick. aren’t you in fact, earlier in your article, suggesting that the fluffer girl helps you sell the ego trip?

i’m glad your tone matched the first letter that started this fire storm because the other two were actually quite conciliatory. i think the heated debate has been most heated by tone.


Red April 26, 2013 at 3:09 am

i did enjoy the overwrought after school special tone but lord, am I the only one who thought this one actually did read as slutshamed (by herself) and whorephobic? It’s so emo! And which is it, is her life and sexual health irrevocably ruined by the (truly not inevitable) choice to do extras or is she actually better and smarter and edgier than us prudes?
I gotta say, I have given handjobs for money (not in years and not in the club) and I never felt the moral devastation projected here. This totally bummed me out for her. I make bank despite setbacks from extra girls and her grim vision of the future is especially depressing given she’s now a booking agent. Jesus I hope I never work for her.


Michelle of many names April 26, 2013 at 12:36 am

So, you’re totally okay with being McDonald’s. That’s fine, if that’s what you want to do. But notice that there are no McDonald’s franchises operating in the confines of farmer’s markets? Hell, this may be my urbanite privilege talking, but I don’t even think I’ve ever seen a McDonald’s on the same block as a farmer’s market. The two businesses operate in mutually exclusive locations.

To run a bit further with your fast food analogy, all the personal liberty and free market talk in the world doesn’t change the fact that you are operating under a principle that is economically and environmentally unsustainable not just for anyone in the club with you, but for yourself, when you drive down the price of sexual services.

You state that you have sacrificed your ability to enjoy sex as if you were some sort of martyr. But however much pressure you may have felt (and seriously, we’ve all been there) nobody forced you to do this. In doing so, you’ve also sacrificed MY safety if I’m working with you, and nobody forced you to do that, either.

Once, when I was a new stripper, I found myself in a club where I was far out of my depth in terms of what services were offered compared to what I was used to. So I tried to roll with the punches, and got myself into VIP with a customer who I had promised some serious mileage to. Things went pretty far, although not nearly as far as he’d have liked. I got my $200, hightailed it out of that club, and never went back. And guess what… in the 6 years of stripping since that incident, nothing like that has ever happened again, because I chose to continue enforcing my boundaries. I went back to being a “clean” dancer after doing extras, because that IS totally possible to do.


Gypsy May 23, 2013 at 8:26 am

I adore this comment. I particularly love the first paragraph, as its true. Strip clubs and brothels are different places selling a different service – Or food, as your metaphor suggests. Quite frankly I wouldnt expect to get a salad from McDonalds, and I wouldnt expect a burger from the farmer’s market.

Strippers do NOT have to sell sex to get by – If you have to have the extra cash, and you have no moral qualms about selling sex, go do it! Im in full support of that. But do it where it’s supposed to be done. As another girl pointed out, its unfair to the Clean Dancers. You get caught, you WILL put all of the other dancers in your club out of work if the venue is shut down. Frankly, I dont see you offering to share your extras money with us as savings to put by for when your actions make us unemployed. Its the height of selfishness.

You also give all dancers a bad name. Its extra’s girls like you that mean my mother cried when I told her what I do for a living, imagining me feeling as used and degraded as you say you do. If NO strippers ever did extras – And there is no need for them to do so – Then nudity? whats the big deal with that? There isnt one.

I also agree with JessicaGbanks – I make MORE than enough money from dancing, and im clean as a whistle. Thats because im a great dancer and a better saleswoman. If you couldnt make enough from dancing alone, that means either it wasnt for you, or you were working in a shithole. To be honest, Im thinking its the latter, as quite frankly, in my club, some girls may TRY to give extras….But I tell you now, Honey, they’re out on their ass without so much as a goodbye within the week.

Try becoming a clean dancer again. Its harder, but its so much more worth it. And then, maybe, you wont feel like you’ve just walked through hell in seven inch stilettos – You’ll feel like you’re floating again.



Beatrice September 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Eh, I’m with you right up to “giving other dancers a bad name.” Strippers get a bad name because sex work is stigmatized, period, and if neither lap dances nor handjobs were frowned-upon ways to make a living it wouldn’t be an issue. I’m a non-extras girl too, and my parents were also worried about my work environment. I don’t tell them about how, occasionally, I find my income dipping when there’s an influx of extras girls, or how I’m fending off more gropey hands and boundary-pushing BS from customers, because I feel like I’m handling myself okay and that is just not a frustration I need to share with them. But I think my parents’ worry came from the ideas that all sex workers, including strippers who don’t provide extras, must be woefully exploited or that they must have damaged me somehow or failed to give me enough support to “avoid” stripping, rather than from the mere fact that extras girls exist. Fortunately, they’re getting over it.

That said, my club’s liquor license is up for review right now. I don’t think that’s a situation the extras girls created — I think it has more to do with the local businesses wanting us out, and they’ve been playing this game with us for many years — but if an undercover cop or someone from the liquor board walked in at the wrong moment we’d all be fucked. We could get screwed for a number of other reasons — dress code violations that are related to the license, the truly stupid number of sales techniques considered solicitation here whether or not they include even the *implication* of sexual services, etc. — but historically, around here, when those are the reasons cited for a club getting closed down, the club has ALSO been notorious for extras.

And I have noticed a pretty direct relationship between who’s on the schedule in any given night and customer behavior. I still think what the customer chooses to do is on his shoulders, ultimately, but I think it helps a lot when the other girls are standing firm with me on what is and isn’t for sale in this joint. When I’m schmoozing with my regular and another non-extras girl, he tries to get away with a little and we both smack his hand and tell him he’s being naughty and he’ll get us in trouble, and then he scales back a little. We order another round of drinks and collect our “asshole tax” — the apology money we get when he realizes he’s crossed a line. When I’m sitting with the same guy and the new girl who’s doing extras . . . he tries to stick his fingers inside my thong and attempts to french me when we say goodnight. Yes, clearly, the biggest issue here is HIS rapey behavior . . . but when the dancers present a united front, it really helps with reducing pressure and enforcing boundaries. I know it’s just my experience, but it’s something I’ve been experiencing for a while now.


Aja April 26, 2013 at 1:37 am

I really disagree with the opinion that it’s somehow harmless for some strippers to do extras, as if it’s at all comparable to free-market capitalism.
We are independent contractors, and in my club, we all work together under one roof where we are supposed to follow the same club rules. I don’t think it’s slut-shaming to say “It is wrong and immoral to do extras in a strip club”. I am not against prostitution, escorting, sugaring, etc. But I don’t want to do those things, which is WHY I am a stripper. That’s why most of the dancers I work with do what we do: because if we wanted to have sex for money, we’d do that instead.. In my opinion, if a woman wants to be a prostitute, then she definitely should do that and more power to her. But PLEASE don’t treat a strip club like a brothel or Backpage. PLEASE instead go work at an establishment that exists specifically to provide THOSE services, or do your own work to advertise yourself and find clients without using and putting a legal business at risk.

When a girl in my club does extras, it negatively effects everyone else. Dancers get sexually assaulted by men who assume since they’ve been allowed before, they can do it to any girl without her consent. We get verbally abused for refusing to do extras. We get harassed and followed around by guys begging to come home with them after work, and I know it’s because they’ve paid dancers for sex before. I’ve been groped and spanked and licked by guys who told me “But [dancer] let’s me do it,” or “They’re okay with it at [club name]” even when I told them to stop and they’ve continued to try. And not only does it hugely detriment my and other dancers’ ability to earn money and be safe, it puts the club at a HUGE risk of being shut down. It is very likely for a strip club to be closed by the BBB or police because just ONE girl was engaging in activities that are beyond the scope of what strip clubs provide. One girls’ actions could result in not only dancers losing their jobs but bartenders, bouncers, DJs, cooks and managers. THAT is what is immoral about doing extras in a strip club.


Aja April 26, 2013 at 1:42 am

*Edited to add: I wonder if these proud extras girls would be okay if another dancer offered every service that they did PLUS provided free joints or lines of coke to anyone who bought a lapdances. Because that’s pretty much how it feels to be someone who doesn’t provide extras.


goodtimesally April 26, 2013 at 1:38 am

What she’s trying to convey isn’t too difficult to understand:

(What you really mean to say is you do not agree with her points, and you may even find them condescending, however I think this is a very solid piece of writing answering an extremely ambiguous question.)

1.Do not judge the extras girl. I’m sure if that girl could make enough cash to satisfy her monitary needs with out the “extras”, she would. You never know, one day; the extras girl could be you.

2. The extras girl isn’t taking the “easy way out” so-to-speak. Far from it.

Wither you like it or not, the x girl isn’t going anywhere. The OP down below states she just wants to “understand” the extras girl. I find her intentions hard to swollow ;), that would be like me asking my fellow whores why they choose to be hookers.

To put that to rest:

There is no unanimous answer.

Elle- you’ll have to excuse my typos, I’m on an iPhone, is that OK with you?

JGBanks- I love it when a person starts a sentence with “I’m not a racist but—”

” I never cared to morally judge hooking, but FFS take it out if the club and charge more! ”

Moving on-

“And yes, no matter how you like to try and justify your actions, you DEVALUE THE SERVICE by selling and giving away sex in the strip club. ”

First, is she selling it, or giving it away here? Two different topics.

Anywhoo, that comment has to be one of the silliest I’ve read through out this entire discussion.

One girl selling a sex act does not devalue another girl selling a sex simulation, or lap dance.

In all honesty, if you have all that money rolling in from dancing, then allow the xgirl to do her thing, let her “devalue” her self while you do your own thing.

If I do massages, and the girl next to me does the same, add happy endings – this does now devalue my massage. I will attract men who aren’t looking for a “release”, just a good clean massage. And while miss happy hands might be slightly “annoying” me— “that’s the way the cookie crumbles”.

I see everyone’s point here, but I will just say this again:

Unless you plan on going to management, there is noting you can do about a girl wanting to give hand jobs (or what have you) in the VIP room. All you can do is stay true to yourself, and do your own thing, or you know— quit.


Red April 26, 2013 at 4:22 am

LA said this in an earlier post but don’t like it quit is the nearly most patronizing and shitty advice ever. I notice you aren’t saying whatshername above should have quit although she was clearly unhappy!


goodtimesally April 26, 2013 at 4:33 am


The “you” in my post wasn’t a general. Thanks for pointing that out though.

Not everyone works the same, I’ve noticed (atleast for my SWer friends) we are a develops bunch anyway.

If escorting ever gets to me, when the other women’s actions are inhibiting my ability to be shake my ass, or suck that cock 🙂 with a smile on— it’s time to quit.


Tesla April 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm

“Wither you like it or not, the x girl isn’t going anywhere.”
Actually, yes, she is going somewhere. She would get kicked out of the places I work. I work with great bartenders, DJs, and bouncers. I would not endanger their jobs, and I wouldn’t be quiet if someone else did.


Gypsy May 23, 2013 at 8:34 am

@Tesla: Agreed. I wont stay quiet and allow someones selfishness to jeopardize my job, safety, and social reputation. The clean dancers are the ones following the rules. The Extras girls are the ones breaking them.


Elle April 26, 2013 at 2:19 am


So, if her actions jeopardize all of the other employees in the business, that’s okay?

If her actions jeopardize the physical and mental health of her stripper-peers, that’s okay?

If her actions affect the income of the other strippers, that’s okay?

Sally, are you a stripper?

And yes, some of us DO go to management. And if the management is smart, the girl is fired. I’ve happily been responsible for that before. And I dance, and smile, and we all get harassed less, and make more. To those girls, you’re welcome.


Feminist Stripper April 29, 2013 at 6:31 am

YES! THANK YOU! All the most valid points, succinctly put. Yes yes yes!


goodtimesally April 26, 2013 at 4:13 am


“So, if her actions jeopardize all of the other employees in the business, that’s okay?”

Is it “okay”? If by “okay” you mean right— right and wrong exists on a spectrum, few things in life are black and white. Does it suck? Sure. Is it fair? –What is?

“If her actions jeopardize the physical and mental health of her stripper-peers, that’s okay?”

To answer this and the last question, I am a hooker, whore, prostitute, another women offering uncovered full service in my area may inconvenience me, but it hardly puts my “mental and physical” wellness at risk, anymore than me servicing a client who has uncovered sex in his regular day to day life.

All you can do is protect yourself, and stay true to number 1. If you are doing those things and you feel mentally unstable, maybe this isn’t your gig.

Men are always going to try to push your boundaries.

“If her actions affect the income of the other strippers, that’s okay?”

Many things can effect your income, if a new prettier, younger girl comes in with nice hair extensions, and the men flock to her, should she be fired as well?

“Sally, are you a stripper?”

See above.

“And yes, some of us DO go to management. And if the management is smart, the girl is fired. I’ve happily been responsible for that before. And I dance, and smile, and we all get harassed less, and make more. To those girls, you’re welcome.”

Good job Elle, looks like you’ve got it figured out. Keep on smiling.

Obveously it seems like you just feel as if the xgirl isn’t fighting “fair”, and I honestly don’t think it’s up to you to pick and choose what is fair and what isn’t. The girls are doing what they feel like they need to do, end of story.



Feminist Stripper April 29, 2013 at 6:35 am


Nicely done. You conveniently sidestep the issue at hand here: the extras girl is ruining sex worker solidarity by bringing her illegal acts into our legal establishments, and the consequences are severe. Working at a club where extras girls were very common was traumatizing, physically and mentally. Please stop insinuating that we aren’t tough enough mentally to deal with the competition of extras girls. What you’re doing in our place of work is illegal, and it’s entirely selfish to threaten the jobs and well-beings of an ENTIRE ESTABLISHMENT so you (and all extras girls out there,) can turn tricks. Sex work is a mobile business. Take it elsewhere.


Gypsy May 23, 2013 at 8:41 am

@ Goodtimesally : Women in your profession who offer uncovered services actually do put your mental and physical health at risk. Those customers that do that then see you could possibly have contracted some health issue that is easily passed along through nothing more than a small cut in your mouth or get you warts on your gentials or somesuch, even if you work covered. And im sure your mental health could be affected by worry about that.

The difference is, you cant do anything about that.I doubt all working women in your area have signed one contract agreeing to a certain set of behaviours. In a strip club, all girls there have signed that contract. It isnt about ”Fighting fair”, its about a group of strippers being unwilling to allow one girl to break rules that are there for the safety of all. SHE AGRRED TO THEM. If she cant keep to those rules anymore, she should rip up her contract and go somewhere where the rules are more to her taste.


Aja April 26, 2013 at 5:27 am

“One girl selling a sex act does not devalue another girl selling a sex simulation, or lap dance.”

For the sake of simplicity, imagine a hypothetical town in which all the dancers sell lapdances for $20. In this town there is also a brothel where prostitutes charge $80 for a handjob. Now a woman (Girl X) comes along and sees an opportunity. She gets hired in the strip club and then, along with her lapdances, starts offering customers a handjob for $40. Because of that, customers stop buying lapdances from the other strippers since, for only $20 more, they can get an orgasm instead of half that to be teased and titillated. And johns stop going to the prostitutes in town because they can’t beat Girl X’s prices. So this one woman single-handedly (hah) took away business AND drove down prices from all the other sex workers who were actually play fair while staying within their comfort levels AND respecting the boundaries of other SWs. That’s not to mention the fact that customers start coming into the stripclub DEMANDING that the other dancers give handjobs as well, and some dancers are sexually assaulted in the process. So not only did Girl X drive prices down for everyone, she created an environment that was extremely unsafe for strippers and created a sense of entitlement in club customers.

You say you’re a hooker/whore/etc. So that means THAT is your comfort level and you’re okay with doing that as a job. As a stripper, I don’t judge women that do those things for a living, but they are not within my personal comfort level. Stripping is. When women come into MY space calling themselves strippers but offering way more than I am capable of or willing to, thus taking away my money and sense of safety at work, I am threatened. My livelihood and the livelihoods of every staff member of my strip club is threatened by your lap dance hooking. Working as an independent pro and offering different levels of service than others out there is not the same as working as a stripper under one roof with other girls. Yes, stripclubs CAN be a cut-throat, one-upping, basically-a-brothel establishment in which every girl is only looking out for herself, but those places are NEVER pleasant for anyone to work in AND I’ve found everyone makes less money in general that way. Where I work now, where girls have each others’ backs, there is minimal drama and we act as each others’ allies instead of competition. It is the difference between night and day, or being miserable and loving your job I suppose.

To me, being an extras girl at a stripclub is cheating, just like a heavy-weight boxer claiming to be lightweight and only fighting people half his size would be cheating. Be honest about what you are and don’t get defensive when strippers call you out on ripping off everyone else of their hard-earned money because you are unwilling to put in the hard work of being EITHER a stripper or a pro. As far as I’m concerned, in this context, there is no middle ground. Sex work is a hard job, and half of that is the stigma we deal with from society. Sex workers need to unite, not infiltrate and run each other out of business.


Roxy April 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I’m a libra, which (fortunately/unfortunately?) means I can see both sides of an argument pretty well. But something with the reasoning in this article didn’t sit well with me.

It sounds as though you walked into a bad situation (new club, high fees, not enough customers/income, shady living situation) and folded to pressures from other people that didn’t necessarily suit your comfort level.

The ensuing comments about you not enjoying sex at all afterwards read of dissociation and more. I’m not really sure why you are arguing the “positive” to being an exras girl when it reads so clearly that you don’t genuinely enjoy it yourself. Sure, we are really good at putting on a face and pretending like things roll off of us and nothing hurts, sticks, lasts, affects us but the truth is we are actresses on the surface and real people under it all. Unlike actresses in movies though often what we play out follows us home and isn’t just “reading from a script.”

This isn’t meant to be a criticism, but perhaps just reassess why you are doing what you are doing. IMO and experience it isn’t that stripping inherently means doing extras makes you more money, but really about working at the right club that has the customers to support you working however you really feel comfortable (whether that means being clean or doing extras).

I work as a clean dancer (out of no moral judgement of those offering extras, just knowing that for me I don’t feel I would be comfortable offering them myself) but have had to change clubs to find the right one. Funny enough I work at a club that encourages extras, and I make a lot more money than previously at a club which discouraged extras but didn’t have a strong enough customer base either way. So when we would have an extras girl show up for a time girls were unhappy like the original “open letter” author was.

If we don’t take care of ourselves, at the end of the day no one else will. Much love.


Roxy April 26, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Also, to the arguments about cost of services in competition with one another… that really (I feel) cuts out the fact that we are all WOMEN of value. And what we are offering is more than just a service, really, because if that was the case then the cheapest stripper/sex worker/etc in town would be the busiest and no one would pay a higher rate. The truth is we are individuals and under all of the services we offer (be it a lap dance, hand job, sex or just a conversation) we are selling ourselves and what is unique about each of us.

Yes, there are customers who could care less and just want something fast and cheap. Personally I don’t waste my time on them and often will turn them down when asked to give them a lap dance. Why? Because I don’t value myself as being fast or cheap, and at the end of the day it CANNOT be just about a dollar amount in my purse. At the end of the day I have to be satisfied with how I allowed customers to treat me at my job, with what I offered in services and so on. Want to talk about burn-out, focusing solely on the money is an easy way to get there.

Yes, customers want to get the best bang for their buck. And it is our job as saleswomen to inform and educate them on why they ought to spend more money on us than they originally perceived the value to be. If they had it their way it would all be free anyways, lol.


Gypsy May 23, 2013 at 8:46 am

@Roxy – You’re brilliant. Well thought out and couldnt agree more.


Paris April 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm

I really enjoy this thread but i have to admit i am so distracted by what seems like so much pain and suffering. If you are using this as a rhetorical device, yes please save it for the Polaris Project. Why didn’t anyone tell you that you can even be an ‘extras girl’ go so far as to be a ‘hooker’ and sell what ever the hell you think a soul is, but you can always always always set limits? Every ho has a don’t list. This is what you are entitled to as a human being. you can fuck for money, but damn girl you still have bodily sovereignty.

i felt this way when i first started being an extras girl, too. my addiction was out of my control and i needed to make ends meet. i felt ashamed at first, but more ashamed about how little shame i felt. Once i TALKED to other women doing the same things i learned there was ways i can be a proud business woman, keep myself safe, protect my boundaries (no i wont take it up the ass, ever!) and process my bad days at work – like anyone has.

What resonates me most in these posts are the fact that this fight about extras is a red-herring in building solidarity as workers. I am most sorry you never found a community with which to skill share, process, and save you self a great deal of pain.


Caty Simon April 27, 2013 at 9:44 am

Not sure if I agree with all of this post but “save it for the Polaris project” is such a brilliant line. Can I steal it?


LoriAdorable April 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I’m surprised none of the three rebuttals has brought up the ways racism, sizeism and several other -isms plays into strippers, dommes, and other non-full-service workers feeling pressured to do extras. I think there was a comment on the original post about this, but it deserves being explored more fully. From my experience working at a commercial dungeon, it was the women of color, fat women, and older women who were most likely to do extras, because, even if they were just as beautiful + talented as the rest of us, they were considered ‘niche’ and so had to offer more to compete. And while we’re on the subject of race, the author of this piece calling the cocktail waitress ‘Asian-tiger-lady’ is a (probably unintentional but nonetheless) super racist thing to say and is very much not okay.

Another thing that’s not okay is the way this comment thread has turned into a wave of concern-trolling for the author. Guys, I’m sure she can evaluate how (un)healthy her choices are and does not need a bunch of other sex workers calling her sad. There are certainly other factors going into her decisions than a desire to self-destruct, so let’s give her the benefit of the doubt that she’s making some pretty difficult calculations and choosing the least shitty path.

There are valid points to both sides of this argument, and I’m not sure there’s an obvious right or wrong answer. I just wish we could be more supportive of one another while hashing it out.


Michelle of many names April 26, 2013 at 10:26 pm

“… brought up the ways racism, sizeism and several other -isms plays into strippers, dommes, and other non-full-service workers feeling pressured to do extras.”

That’s because they don’t have to play into it. I’m at the fatter end of what most clubs I’d want to work at deem hireable. Even with that, there always seems to be a couple of girls who are larger than me and make money without doing extras, AND more often than not, the girls who *are* providing extras are substantially smaller and conventionally cuter than I.

Personally, I’m really shocked that you (and others) are even playing this card. What happened to speaking against the shitty stereotypes of how awful and marginalized all of our lives are?

I’ve worked with extras girls who were attractive and spoke good English. I’ve worked with extras girls who do fall into the stereotypes, too; not pretty or thin, girls with pimps, desperate young Moms. I know of a club in my home state where all the girls drive BMWs and own real estate, and they are all blonde, thin with big titties, and American, and I recently worked in a club where the ethnic divide on extras was so stark it was like two clubs in one building.

Most of the women I’ve worked with are sociologically disadvantaged in some way. And yet most of them don’t do extras.

My point here is that there are extras girls and non-extras girls in every sociological and physical class, and while I may feel bad for the women who do have existing situations that lead them to think that $150 for full service is a good idea, the fact remains that stripping != hooking and it’s beneficial for both sides of that equation if it stays true.


LoriAdorable April 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm

When I said, “*had* to offer more to compete”, I was referring to the specific women I know who were offering more because they honestly felt they had to in order to ‘keep up’. I was not referring to all women of color, fat women, and older women, nor did I mean to imply that 21-year-old White chicks never give hand jobs. There are a lot of reasons to give or not give extras, and there are a lot of ways to succeed and fail in this business. I simply meant to point out that structural discrimination is rampant in this industry, and that it creates pressures for many women to the extent that it definitely should be factored into the ‘extras’ debate. Calling attention to the fact that many of us *are* marginalized is not playing into “shitty stereotypes”. Hell, even those of us who are having an awful time of it are not ‘stereotypes’– we’re real women who are being swept under the rug by are more presentable co-workers in order to gain respectability points. How about not playing THAT card?


Johanna April 27, 2013 at 1:13 am

Great points Lori. I particularly agree with your comment re concern trolling, and just want to add that I think part of sex-worker solidarity is welcoming all voices and experiences. It is okay for someone to really really hate parts of what they do and make the decision to keep doing it anyway. I don’t think we should judge anyone for that, or mimic the kind of pearl-clutching responses we see from antis to our work.

Also, smart comments re ‘-isms’ – I would love to read perspectives on this (and other related issues) that tease some of that out further. I don’t think that’s ‘playing a card’ at all, Michelle. I think there are layers and layers of complexity here, and they’re all worth examining and honoring.


OtroBaboso April 26, 2013 at 7:34 pm

I could be wrong about this, but what I get from Valentine’s post is desperation and self-loathing. She doesn’t seem to be explaining why she provided extras so much as she seems to be using anger to fend off feelings of shame. Most of us, sex workers or not, have done that at one time or another. I don’t want to evoke shame, or make her feel that she has to defend herself. All I’m going to say on that is that selling sexual services doesn’t turn anyone into a shameful, contemptible monster.

There may be some truth in the idea that selling higher priced extras draws in customers for lower priced dances, but for most businesses, it works the other way. They draw in customers with low priced goods or services, and then make a profit by upselling some customers to higher priced goods or services. They don’t get the smaller number of high profit customers without the large group of low profit customers. Strip clubs may be an exception, but the business model for strippers seems to be to make themselves available for free ogling and brief conversations in order to sell longer paid conversations and lap dances. Calling non-extra strippers “fluffers” does suggest that they are necessary for the extra strippers to sell extras. And if a large number of customers are not buying extras, that seems more like the upsell business model than the downsell model. In that case, the extra strippers need the non-extra strippers, but the non-extra strippers don’t need the extra strippers. Even so, it’s not clear that the non-extra strippers are losing anything. The extra strippers aren’t causing the number of customers to decrease. Perhaps customers choose between paying one stripper for a $200 extra or eight strippers for $25 lap dances. Or perhaps customers who buy extras just spend more money. I don’t know.

If there are customers who get upset when a stripper won’t sell extras, then that doesn’t sound like either upsell or downsell. That sounds like there are two different groups of customers who want different things. In that case, the non-extra strippers are losing out only if the customers who want extras are crowding out the other customers. My impression is that most strip clubs aren’t that crowded most nights, so it doesn’t sound like there is much crowding out.

On the other hand, customers don’t introduce themselves by saying “I’m Jeff and I buy extras”, so if there are two groups of customers and two groups of strippers, they have figure out how to sort themselves out before they can do business. Ideally, non-extra strippers would work in one place, and extra strippers would work in another, and no one would be confused. If extra strippers could make more money working working someplace other than a strip club, I’m curious about why they don’t. I assume there’s a good reason, but I don’t know what it is.

And finally, there’s the law. I used to share a house with a guy who filled the house with marijuana fumes. I think marijuana should be legal, but I don’t want to be busted for someone else’s drugs. I had a very loud, emphatic conversation with the guy and he stopped smoking in the house. So I understand why someone might have no moral qualms about prostitution but not want it in their workplace.


Lydia October 15, 2015 at 4:21 am

“Ideally, non-extra strippers would work in one place, and extra strippers would work in another, and no one would be confused.”

The other place you’re thinking of is called a brothel. (or a dungeon… etc.) My point is that they ARE different places, which should be for different types of business.


jemima101 April 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm

It seems to me that if we are to kill te happy hooker myth, and i am one a large majority of the time, having a go at posts like this, or as someone has suggesting it is fake and written by the antis actually plays into their hands.

I have made the comparison with anti abortion campaigners/pro choice so many times now people must be getting bored but once more for those in the cheap seats. It doesn’t matter is someone hates their job, or has bad experiences or makes choices others deem unhealthy , just as it doesn’t matter why a woman wants ana abortion, her body, her choice.

One person having shit does not change the arguments re decriminalization/ sex worker rights, they are not based on anecdote but research and facts.


Fox April 27, 2013 at 7:48 pm

This article made me really sad. Sad that you couldn’t have more variety and time in the industry before deciding extras were the only way to make money. Travel contracts like yours in Alaska are often traps, and in practical terms you probably did what you had to do to get out of there, but if you had better researched your trip and not relied on the word of the booker, you could have avoided a dangerous situation. Not trying to place blame, but more to caution young dancers that get in over their heads. There are many clean dancers that make a good $200-800 a shift on average, which isn’t crazy money, but more than enough to live off of. I also know escorts that work within their limits, for screened clients, for agencies, or for brothels, where they don’t get raped and ripped off by VIP for “saving them”. I am so sorry your experience was hurtful and scarring. I hope other girls don’t feel like they “have to” do extras to survive. If you draw on the supportive community around you, and find a way to preserve your own boundaries, you can make a living in the sex industry without it damaging you for life, and that’s all I want for any sex worker, extras girl, clean girl, escort, anyone.


Fox April 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I also wanted to share this story RE: you can never go back, and also RE: most extras girls are minorities, larger, etc.

I worked in a lingerie parlor in Oregon for a short time. Lingerie parlours are peep shows without the glass seperation. You are in a booth type room, there is a bouncer outside, and the customer pays a rate to be able to maturbate while you (seperated by several feet) strip, dance and/or masturbate as well. This is clearly an easy venue for extras to take place. My “manager” also worked there, she was a larger African-American woman in her late 30’s. She took a lot of pride in telling me as a newb that I did NOT have to sell sex, hand jobs, or blow jobs to make money, and I shouldn’t do things I wasn’t comfortable with.

Her story was, she started out at a dirty club where she felt forced to give hand jobs/blow jobs. Years later she started working at the lingerie parlour, one of her regulars came in, and as she was giving him a blow job, she felt so uncomfortable she stopped midway, and told him she didn’t want to do it anymore. He was polite about it, still payed her and left, and she started hustling more verbally, and stuck to toy shows at a distance. She bragged that she made MORE money now than she used to doing “extras” because she was firm in her boundaries and comfortable in herself, and how much money she was worth. Her pride and happiness have always stuck with me and I have thought about her in tough nights in a dirty club when I felt my boundaries slipping.


Red April 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm

To semi-address the isms and issue of intersectionality that got brought up before–strip clubs are a place that privileges certain bodies above others. I think the basic ideal is some variation on the thin white young girl; that said, there is room in the strip club industry for maneuver and others can and do profit. Because there literally is a customer for everyone, although there are less customers for some bodies than others, if that makes sense.
I don’t know exactly how to talk about this and I think it’s a conversation that should happen. Strip clubs do enforce a certain beauty norm, though customers may have wider tastes. In that way I can see the argument that a girl who fits the norm less in any one or several ways, may think she has to do extras to remain competitive.
I still argue that it’s wrong. Because the main reason for working in a club is not doing them. A poster above is correct: we are not the fluffers for extras girls. I don’t even know what’s going on with that statement, I just think it’s so off.
I don’t know if there is a correct response or way to deal with the body policing of strip clubs and the sex industry as a whole, which does largely adhere to the normative beauty standard. But I don’t think that offering extras is doing anything but at best in evening the playing field to make occasional awkward situations for the rest of dancers, and at worst fu king them over entirely. Like, I don’t think that being at a disadvantage beauty-wise is an adequate reason to come into a non-sexual services space and sell sexual services. For all the reasons every other dance-dancer has outlined above.

But I do want to talk about this.


Josephine April 27, 2013 at 11:27 pm

This was a painful read. But goodness gracious, I don’t think I made the argument that selling extras is easy — only that it looks easy. Fundamentally, the author agrees with what most of us have been saying: that extras girls and strippers are selling two entirely different products. The author also suggests that to stay competitive, we will all end up having to sell extras. This is a terrifying scenario for me. I just don’t have the privilege to risk breaking the law at work. It also proposes an interesting question — what happens to the market then, when we are all selling extras?


mistressmatisse April 28, 2013 at 1:03 am

A thought about defining terms: Most of the strip clubs I’ve ever been in WERE, in fact, a place where sexual acts were sold. I have seen a very few places where private dances were total look-but-don’t-touch air dances, although not many. So if someone is doing full-on sex in a strictly-no-touch club, I can see where there’s going to be an issue in that situation.

But rubbing your ass on a guy’s covered crotch, or letting him fondle your tits – those are sexual acts. So if it’s a club where all the dancers routinely have any physical contact with the customers, then everyone in the club is selling sexual stimulation. The question is how much/what kind of contact, and for how much money.

Everyone should have their personal boundaries respected about this. It’s not okay for guys to try and grab, or to pressure dancers into doing things they don’t want to do. And people should be respectful of their coworkers in terms of not leaving a mess that another dancer has to deal with.

But many strip clubs are very much an acknowledged marketplace for sexual acts.


LoriAdorable April 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Speaking as someone whose experience with sex work seems to be closer to the author’s than some of the commenter’s in terms of how I feel about it + how it makes me feel (read: NOT SO GOOD a decent amount of the time): seriously stop it with the concern trolling. I’m aware that I’m, like, totally sad and making your respectability politics pretty difficult, but I’m getting by the best I can, and I very much do not want any condescending pity. I can’t speak for the author, but I imagine she isn’t thrilled with all the “oh my god this poor girl, I just feel sooooo bad’ BS either. We deserve respect as sex workers just as much as you do and certainly we deserve it from our colleagues.


Fox April 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm

can’t we express sympathy or concern without it being “pity”?


LoriAdorable April 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I’m not usually a fan of analogies when it comes to talking about sex work, but I think it might actually be useful here to transpose this situation to a different sort of work environment. For the sake of being all twee (and also just because I think it’s one of the few analogies that will work), let’s say it’s selling your homemade jewelry at a flea market. One of the other vendors there, Jane, decides she’s going to sell stolen jewelry at her booth on the side. That puts the whole flea market at risk of being shut down, and it probably lures some customers away from your booth, because how can your handmade creations compete with those professionally-crafted necklaces? It seems Jane is being pretty shitty by breaking the rules, especially if she could be selling her stolen necklaces elsewhere. But there are mitigating factors. Maybe Jane is about to be evicted and really needs the extra cash, and maybe she couldn’t attract the same number or kind of customers for her stolen jewelry if she were selling it over the net. Maybe Jane is getting fewer customers for her handmade stuff, because she’s 45 and they’re ageist, or she’s Black and they’re racist. Maybe the management advertises mostly the gold jewelry sellers and Jane is selling silver, so she has to find some other way to attract customers. Maybe the management condones what she’s doing, or even promotes it. Maybe you’re one of the few people *not* selling stolen jewelry, and so you’re actually the one going against the norms and unwritten rules of the venue. Maybe the management has a deal with the cops, and so Jane isn’t putting you at risk the way you think, and maybe the kinds of customers her stolen jewelry attracts aren’t the kind that would want your handmade stuff anyway.

In short, I think whether or not it’s wrong to sell extras isn’t a black-and-white question, and I think how wrong it is varies on a case-by-case basis. Since all of us get shat on by society for being “jewelry peddlers”, maybe we should have some more compassion + solidarity for the extras girls and vice versa.


Feminist Stripper April 29, 2013 at 6:20 am

Problem #1: What made that cocktail waitress an “Asian-tiger-lady,” other than the fact that she was Asian, and apparently spoke broken English. I realize you write in a beautifully illustrative fashion, one not unlike my own, but let’s keep racial stereotyping out of this, thanks.

Problem #2: Sorry, but I don’t think you get to call yourself a “house girl” when you had only been working 6 months ever.

Problem #3: If you somehow arrived at a place that sounds more like indentured sexual servitude/slavery, (I’ve worked the better part of a decade and NEVER heard of “club debt.” EVER.) in my opinion, it was your duty to yourself to get yourself out of that situation, and ideally report that place to authorities, pointless though that may have been.

Problem #4: No wonder you describe experiencing “moral bankruptcy.” You became an Extras Girl, something you clearly didn’t want to do. You sit here defending it, while talking about how demoralizing and soul-crushing it is.

In conclusion, after fully reading this article, you’ve come full circle and confirmed to myself and probably every other “clean” dancer out there why we don’t do what you did: I’d like to keep my soul, however tattered, intact, thank you. I would like to continue enjoying sex as a recreational activity, and at times an intense act of love. No amount of extra money would EVER be worth it to cross over to what you yourself deemed the dark side.

P.S.- I work at a club where touching is limited to the VIP, and even there is limited to arms, legs, and backs. There are cameras everywhere, and I once got my job threatened for putting my tits in a guy’s face. THERE IS MONEY TO BE MADE CLEAN, NO SUPPLEMENTARY INCOME NECESSARY. I don’t have a second job. I make a lot. And you could have too, if you just kept looking. I’m sad for you that you hate sex and probably men now. Of course there are plenty of moments where I feel dead inside, but at the end of the day I love to fuck. I love to have orgasms with a partner, and if that was robbed of me (by myself,) I too would be getting shitfaced drunk on the regular, and probably smoking heroin again. But, I am here to tell you: I work at a clean club and make good money, and I also have been sober from every substance but caffeine for almost 7 months. It. Is. Possible.


Feminist Stripper April 29, 2013 at 6:58 am

EDIT #2 was trite, and I apologize, and I sincerely hope that the rest of my challenges can be read and treated with validity.


Feminist Stripper April 29, 2013 at 7:05 am

This all comes down to solidarity, which I myself wasn’t exhibiting much of, but when this author comes out, guns-blazing with “Thanks … You know, for telling me how to do my job. Don’t take it personally if I ignore them. This is business, girl, and if you can’t wrap your head around what we—you and I—actually do for a living, it’s no problem of mine.”

I intended to not concern troll (I hadn’t even read any comments yet when I wrote mine;) but to posit to any and all who are facing the internal debate as to whether to stick to your limits or not, that it’s possible to stick to them.

Case in point: I just worked at a club one night in L.A., and dances there were fully nude in a bed. If that was the legal option, it’s pretty obvious to me that the tiny leap to full-blown hooking was one that most dancers working there took. I simply couldn’t. It really is possible to uphold your boundaries. I didn’t do any dances that night, I left with THIRTY THREE dollars from not doing a single dance, but I feel good about the choice I made. I’m trying to promote what someone above smartly called “bodily sovereignty,” and solidarity amongst all of us….


Irony Butterfly April 29, 2013 at 8:16 am

I think maybe part of the reason this conversation gets out of hand is the way it is framed. Perhaps if we just approach this from a position of enlightened self interest instead of like moral right and wrong, it would go better – or at least go SOMEWHERE. I don’t think solidarity and respect for extras girls necessarily has to be feeling that extras themselves are good or benign. I fail to see why I would have to say “I have no problem with extras” to extend respect to my extra-y colleagues; and if I do, to me that would just smack of silencing dissent, and I’m not cool by that.

Interestingly, what I have read here generally seems to suggest that that “extras girls” make the choices they make because they can inflate their earnings because customers are “fooling themselves” that they are not “extras girls” for anyone but them? So essentially the reason being an extra girl is so lucrative is because she can masquerade as a non-extras girl. So from where I sit that does not seem sustainable – like you don’t have a legitimate market niche if it is dependent on other people following rules you don’t follow – if it will all collapse if it is acknowledged and/or other people start competing on the same basis. Like right now there is some debate with the presence of online degree factories – are they in fact giving better value than actual schools? Yes, they are – but the reason they have any value at all is because at this moment in time a lot of people can’t tell the difference, and so they look like a “real” school with a fraction of cost and virtually none of the work. It isn’t because they are offering a better or different service – they are (pardon the loaded term, but I didn’t come up with it) cannibalizing an existing one. The pro-extras arguments seem to fall into this general category – it is an artificial subset of a market, that depends on nobody else making the same variations – it is, in short not a real or sustainable market, and it would collapse under any real competition. Is this inherently a bad thing? I dunno – like, if strip clubs are in a slow multi-decade slide, is it bad for a few enterprising souls to be all “I really ought to cannibalize this market while it is still around?” I don’t know – who’s to say? But it is not surprising that that the souls being cannibalized resent it either, is it? Like to me it doesn’t make any sense to tell them “don’t mind” while it is happening.


Kitty Stryker April 30, 2013 at 8:05 pm

This conversation makes me feel really sad because I feel like it sounds a lot like the judgments I heard if I dare said I had a bad client as a prostitute, or if I complain about having to hustle twice as hard for less money to get half the work of other sex workers in my area sometimes- “well, if you don’t like the work, why do it?”, or “you should just charge what your value is an not undercut other workers!” As a fat prostitute, when I was doing that, I *had* to charge less and do more than other workers in my area because I had to make up for my “defects” of being fat, tattooed, whatever else was considered a “defect” that week. I was also pretty angry and pissed off when other sex workers would tell me how I should do my work or how I should feel about it, so I have some empathy for this piece- I did what I had to do to survive, and yet my “community” made me feel just as crap about that as everyone else sometimes.

The thing is, I feel like it’s not actually the extras girls even at fault, here. It’s the stage fees you have to pay to *go to work*, which is ridiculous to start with. Maybe if capitalism didn’t start dancers from a place of desperation and scarcity to begin with, the question of whether or not to do extras at the club to get by wouldn’t come up. And this competition between “extras girls” and “non-extras girls” feels to me more like yet another way to keep women at each others throats instead of organizing to attack the system that keeps everyone scrambling to make livable wages. But then, I’m not a dancer (as a fat girl, I will never be allowed on stage unless it’s for a comedic novelty amateur night), so my voice is probably totally invalid.


Evie May 1, 2013 at 1:32 am

Hey Kitty Stryker,

I’m a dancer (among other things), and I say – right on, sister.


thewhorepoet May 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Whoa, why the hell are we not talking more about the abusive labor situation? She – and her coworkers – were isolated and living under guard after being lied to about their working conditions. OP, I am so fucking sorry you were forced into a kind of sex work that leaves you feeling soulless. I’m also sorry that people are getting defensive about their own labor and using that to discount something traumatic for you. Can we not remember that labor abuses exist in every industry, and that those abuses HURT workers, often in longstanding and pervasive ways, while fighting stigma against sex work particularly?


nina June 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm

“Sooner or later, you will trick” is simply NOT true. Not every clean dancer will succumb to extras. Not every girl is cut out to be a stripper. Those who do extras because they can’t make money stripping obviously are not good strippers, since a stripper’s job title does not include providing sexual acts such as blow jobs and sex.

I am a stripper, have never done an “extra” and can say with certainty that I never will. I work in Detroit, which is one of the worst cities in the country in terms of extras. I’m surrounded by extras girls at work and still manage to be a top earner here. I have to hustle harder, and devote all my work time towards making money, but that’s what every top salesperson should expect to do.

There’s a difference between working at a brothel or escorting vs doing extras in a strip club. When you do extras at a strip club, you are ruining the strip club’s economy for dancers who are doing their job legally. As far as being jealous of an extras girls stack of money, that’s laughable. If I wanted their money so badly that I’d be jealous over it, I’d be doing what they do for money. Plus, I work in Detroit, where the extras girls have to constantly undercut each other to compete with each others’ low prices. The going rate in Detroit for extras is so low that my $500-600 average makes me a top earner, including the girls that do extras. To assume that a girl has to turn to extras to make money is just ridiculous. I know how to do my job.


Eff August 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm

From my experiences, prostitution is the ultimate outcome of exotic dancing. This is mainly due in part to escalation. First it was just stage shows, then it’s “private dances,” then it’s overpriced VIP rooms…. Club owners and the industry ganged up on dancers and turned the tables against them. Made them pay to work, made them pay other workers at the club (the whole “tip-out” BS). Escalation made “extras girls” exist. Escalation is absorbing many women and turning them into prostitutes because they don’t know the reality behind exotic dancing. It is a path to prostitution. Extras Girl, you are the present of dancing, and very soon you will consume the future completely – all while lining the rich club owners’ pockets. I discovered this truth years ago. I am now leaving exotic dancing behind for good, as the Clean Girls can no longer make high level income, plus the thought of paying someone else to work while they’re taking a percentage of my sales is nauseating. It is not easy to be an Extras Girl, so I must retire from exotic dancing because I simply cannot make that choice. Believe me, I’ve tried to, but ultimately I just can’t do it.
DENY IT ALL YOU WANT, STRIPPERS, BUT STRIPPING LEADS TO PROSTITUTION. Clean Girls don’t have regulars anymore. They don’t get tipped for dances or VIPs. I know. I’ve been there.


Jane November 18, 2013 at 9:37 am

wow, I gotta throw down here just because my own experience runs entirely parallel & I feel like the true freak of the sex worker world.
I started as a dominatrix because I was truly interested in it. I got bored & went into some fairly kinky/sometimes vanilla full service sex work independently. I did this on and off for 7 years and got into dancing at 25. The first club I worked at was a super divey extras club. And here..yes, I know I must be truly deranged- but I ENJOYED doing extras. I thought it was awesome that I could get paid and get off. I live a pretty low key lifestyle so I never felt desperate about the money and just saved it and went traveling. I learned more about clubs…worked at a bunch…now I’m 28, I still dance but don’t do what I consider any ‘real’ sex work. I’m actually engaged and bought a house and working at a clean club where nothing more than lap dances happen and am making good money. I’m not at all traumatized by doing extras in the past, I do realize now the strain it creates for clean dancers- the customers figure out which clubs are which- so at the least do extras at the dirty club & be clean at the clean club.
Your shame comes across as a bit romanticized, maybe that’s a way for you to cope- but try to distinguish how much of it is actually your disappointment in yourself and how much is looking at yourself through other peoples eyes. Makes me think of this quote: “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
I’ve been prodded by plenty of strangers, some of it I wasn’t really into and sometimes it felt great. (Can anyone tell me why it seems to be such a stigma in sex work for the women to actually sexually enjoy herself!!?!?)


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