Home Labor Law Pop Quiz: Can You Do This Stripper Math?

Pop Quiz: Can You Do This Stripper Math?

(image via Flickr user mauradotcom)
(image via Flickr user mauradotcom)

This post originally appeared in Maggie McMuffin’s personal Tumblr, All Jazzed Up Like A Catsuit Monarchy.

Here are ten basic problems that I frequently encounter at work. If they aren’t daily problems, they come up weekly or bi-weekly.

Remember to show your work as it appears in your head because you will be doing this math in the dark, in a hurry, with loud music playing.

If the question pertains to a club that works on percentages rather than a flat fee, please show your methods on paper so that if the manager tries stiffing you for 40 bucks you can show them your records. You may not get that 40 dollars but you can at least let them know that you keep track of your money so that they’ll be less likely to stiff you in the future.

Remember to keep track of each and every dance in your head in case a customer tries to argue about how much he owes.

  1. House rent is 130 dollars. Dances cost $20. How many dances you have to sell in order to make house?
  2. If house is $130 and the first thing you do that night is sell an hour long private room at $400 (where $100 goes to the club) and a half hour private room at $275 (where $75 goes to the club) how much money have you made?
  3. You work at a club that takes 15% of stage tips, $5 from each dance ($20 a dance), and $50  from each private room. At the end of the night, you have made $137 in stage tips, sold eight dances, and three private rooms for $150, $175, and $300. How much money should the club be giving back to you at the end of your shift?
  4. You tell a man that you charge $350 for an hour long room. He begins to haggle for a lower price. If the club takes $50 for the room and charges you a 10% fee for running the man’s credit card, what is the lowest you can go on your price before doing the room is no longer worth your time?
  5. Your monthly bills add up to $2100 a month. You work 15 days a month. How much, on average, do you have to earn each shift to keep from stressing out? Bonus: how much do you have to earn to be able to put money into savings and disposable income?

    No so fast.
    This meme is incorrect.
  6. You have sold a man three $20 dances, four $40 dances (but told him he could get three for $100), and one house special dance of three for $40. You are on stage next and need to wrap up this transaction, how much does he owe you?
  7. A man buys three $20 dances, hands you a fifty-dollar bill, and asks for change. How much change do you give him?
  8. If house rent is $130 and you plan to tip out $5 to the two door men, $10 to the bouncer, and $15 to the DJ because he did you a solid, how much do you actually need to earn before you start earning money for yourself?
  9. You and another dancer perform a doubles dance where each dance with each girl costs $40. If the two of your dance for four songs, how much does the customer owe total and how much of that do each of you get?
  10. You need to earn $300 each shift in order to make your bills. For two nights in a row you make $70-$80. You have nine more work days this month. How much extra do you need to earn on those shifts in order to pay all your bills?
  11. A man goes to the ATM with you before getting dances and takes out $200. How many dances can you sell him before his excuse of “I don’t have the cash” becomes true? Please show different combinations of $20 and $40 dances and private rooms.
  12. House rent is $80. You sold two large ladies’ drinks (which takes $10 each off your house rent) and one small (which takes $5 off your house rent). However, you also sold three dance specials, which adds $10 to your rent. What will you be paying out to the club at the end of your shift?



Maggie is a Seattle-based sex worker who spends way too much time on tumblr. Her hobbies include burlesque, netflix marathons, and being awkward at parties.


  1. 3 I’ve never seen a club take stage tips. Fyck that.

    7 they get kicked in the dick.

    12 what kind of club does this. You’d have a lot of bloated drunk girls sitting around. What an odd hustle.

    I’ve worked all over the east coast. I’ve not encountered stage tip cuts drink hustles or tipping door ppl. Interesting. Stop reminding me of how much I hate paying the club. Lol.

  2. VIP’s in Chicago, Illinois takes stage tips. They take 20% of them and sometimes the bouncers will take the entire pile to the money counter in the back office, take out the 20% cut and return the rest to the dancer before she has even finished putting her clothes back on after her set.

  3. You forgot to add the dimension of time to the equations. I was always doing stripper math while looking at my watch, breaking it down into hours and even minutes. Work becomes a frustrating Einstein-ish hell.

  4. 1.hour private 400 -100 -130 =170

    2.half hour private 275 -75 -130 =70

    3.stage 137 -15% =116.45
    dance 20 -5 =15 x8 =120
    privates 150 -50 =100
    175 -50 =125
    300 -50 =250
    100 +125 +250 =475
    total 116.45 +120 +475 =711.45

    4. this boils down to how much you value your craft.
    350 -10% -50 =265
    300 -10% -50 =220
    250 -10% -50 =175
    200 -10% -50 =130
    150 -10% -50 =85
    100 -10% -50 =40… anything less and screwing yourself

    5. 2100 /15 =140
    140 +32% =184 break even on bills
    5.b. 250 x4 x32% = 1320
    1320 /15 = 88
    184 +88 =272

    6. (20 x3) +140 +40 =240 plus tip

    7. he still owes you 10 plus tip

    8. 130 +(2 x5) +10 +15 =165

    9. 40 x4 =160 each x2 =320 total

    10. 300 -70 =230
    300 -80 =220
    230 x2 =460
    220 x2 =420
    460 /9 =51.1
    420 /9 =46.6
    between 46.6 – 51.1

    11. 200 /20 =10
    200 /40 =5
    200 /100 =2
    20 +(40 x2) +100 =200
    (20 x3) +40 +100 =200
    and many of other combinations

    12. 80 -(10 x2) -5 +10 =65

  5. Ya’ll need to come to Canada. There’s different rules for different cities and bars, of course. But mostly; the bars take a small fee and leave you the fuck alone. It’s wonderful.

  6. James, you stumbled out of the gate, skipped #1 and split #2 into two questions when it wasn’t but finished strong… sort of. What’s with 32% ? on #5?
    1. 7 is the answer Rent is $130 (7 Dances @ $20 = $140) so in the black $10
    2. ($400-$100)+($275-$75) – $130
    10. $50 more per shift. Eleven days at start (11x$300) = $3300 Make $75 1st night and $75 2nd night
    $3300-$150= $3150 and there are 9 nights left $3150/9 = $350 So $350-$300= $50 need to make $50 more each night

  7. I may be assuming something bad about gender here, but I do find it awful precious that a man read this and was like “aww lemme show the ladies how to do maths now!”


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