One of the great perks of stripping is the opportunity to make your own playlists for the stage. And soliciting others’ opinions on what they think strippers should dance to is a great icebreaker. But some of my Twitter friends have balked at my requests, claiming ignorance of what makes a good stripper set (clue: a good stripper). For them I present these examples of great setlists I was given by four people who hadn’t met me in person. They all instinctively followed these guidelines: maintain genre consistency, don’t pick songs that are too slow, too fast, or have weird time signatures, and think about your stripper.
Nearly two years ago Sasha Frere-Jones became the first Twitterquaintance of mine to give me work recommendations. This dubstep stripper set was ahead of the curve—with the exception of some SF/burner types, it didn’t show up in strip clubs until recently. This set is aggressively weird and I’ve used it with great care. DJs tend to really like it.
Before Justin Boreta made me a work mix, he asked me if I’d ever dance to “Windowlicker.” My response in the affirmative might be why his picks are incredibly well-suited to the way I dance. Either that or he’s inspired by the many strippers in the crowd at Glitch Mob shows.
Visual artist Libby Lynn, the woman responsible for turning my ass into gallery art, managed to send me a batch of music from which I drew two complete and completely different playlists. One was mellow R&B and the one I’m sharing here included Fugazi and Jawbox.
Matthew Lawrence has a whole blog titled after music and sex work—Mixtapes for Hookers is named for mixes designed to help escorts time their sessions with clients. I loved that his “strippercore” mix included my beloved Walker Brothers track, “Deadlier than the Male.” It also introduced me to these fantastic disco gems. Matthew can DJ any damn night I’m working.
These sets have thematic unity, are danceable (by my flexible standards), and each one nails a different aspect of my personality. The diversity here is also in line with my personal work desires. When a club requires you to spend a lot of time on stage, having a lot of different sets at hand is mandatory if only to avoid repetition. I’d love to know what other dancers are rocking on their nontraditional setlists; what do you play to amuse yourselves? Do you ask for recommendations when you’re tired of the same stuff at work?