Blond Leading the Blind

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On Common Stripper Hustle Fails

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.

Blond Leading the Blind: How To Go On A First Date Like A Stripper

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.

On Stripper Burnout

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.

Working While Pregnant Is About Survival

(Photo by Pierre Galin via Flickr)

Yes, I saw the coverage earlier this month on pregnant Nevada brothel worker Summer Sebastian blogging about enjoying a few months at work at the Bunny Ranch while her (former) millionaire partner watches their beautiful twins at home.

No, I didn’t get the promised message of empowerment and normalization or a real heart-to-heart on what it’s like to be a mother and a sex worker.

This woman lives in a fantasy world where she’s the personal star of her own little reality show. She has safeguards, privileges, incentives, and motivations that even the most successful of us more marginalized sex workers lack.

I’m not going to applaud her for working full-service during her pregnancy and sharing it with the world, because she isn’t sharing it for me.

We don’t even need to talk about any risks posed to her baby because, let’s be real, she has the security of open access to medical care, stable housing and food, security personnel protecting her at her legal brothel, virtually no risk of being blackmailed or arrested, andmost invaluable to every pregnant personshe has a solid system of support in other workers. Sex work is lonely and isolating by nature and having a tribe physically present is a vital resource that we should all have access to.

This woman has access to literally anything in the world that a pregnant hooker could ever need.  

Including a platform.

Blond Leading the Blind: Dating Secrets From A Stripper

1. Don’t get too comfortable. Or rather, do get too comfortable, but don’t let him find out just how comfortable you are. I’m not talking about clipping your toenails in front of your boo. (If you think that’s ever acceptable, you deserve to die alone. I even hide my PedEgg™ in a tampon box.) I’m referring to passing gas in front of a significant other. Strippers fart during dances all the time. All. The. Time. However, we take precautionary measures to ensure that our customers are never the wiser.

The two elements of a fart that alert people to its presence are noise and smell. Take those away and your gas is a tree falling in the woods. Make sure that you blast loud music at all times. Anything by artists with ice cream cones or ultraviolet stars on their faces will do just fine. (Songs about butts happen to have the best bass for disguising sounds emitted from butts.) You have to douse your chest region with body spray every hour on the hour. Think powerful enough to mask that spray tan barbecue sauce smell or trucker sweat (or in the least, transform it to cucumber melon trucker).