Think About How You Dance
Strip clubs today are about selling - plain and simple – if you don’t sell any dances (or your time) you won’t make any money. As those dancers who have worked in the clubs for any length of time will tell you, it doesn’t matter how ‘beautiful’ you are you still need to sell your services.
So, what are you selling? How do you sell it? This might seem a really obvious question in a strip club, but as a dancer you have a number of services that you sell and a choice of ways to sell them. What determines these factors are the club rules, licensing regulations and, ultimately, your interpretation of your job. As a dancer you sell your nudity, your conversation, your company and an erotic performance. Dancers may see their job as simply getting naked; or to create intimate, sensual, experiences for customers; maybe even to create the impression that they are sexually available to customers and attracted to them; or finally , simply as entertainers.
Choosing how you approach customers on the floor and sell your services determines what customers think you are selling. Dancers choose a variety of ways to sell their services on the floor of the club.
- Some dancers pretend that they are instantly attracted to the customer and will use traditional flirting methods (such as flattery, smiling, caressing themselves) to get the customer to spend their money. Dancers who use this type of strategy will often say things like ‘Oh, you have got such beautiful eyes - I would love to look into them while I strip for you’, or ‘You make me really hot, I really want to get naked for you’. Cheesy and predictable - yes, but also surprisingly effective, however, these can have drawbacks for dancers’ personal safety.
- Other dancers will simply ask customers: ‘do ya want to see me naked?’ or ‘would you like a private dance?’ One dancer for example had a system whereby on busy shifts she would walk from one end of the bar to the other asking each customer in turn ‘do ya want a dance?’ - no conversation, no niceties, just that question - and on average she calculated that one in ten said ‘yes’.
- A lot of dancers will ‘turn-it-on’ when they start their private dances, but on the floor of the club they will use very upfront simple sales strategies, like asking customers if they want a dance. This makes most customers aware that you are ‘acting’ when you start to dance in the room - it also makes them realise that you are doing a job.
Before deciding what it is you are selling, or how you want to sell it, you should be aware of who you are selling it to. Don’t assume that the customers understand what is actually going on in the club, while most understand that you are only talking to them to get them to give you money, not all do; it is hard to believe, but some really do think that you are sexually or romantically interested in them. Many dancers see customers as just that, customers where their job is to get as much money as possible out of them and they will do whatever it takes to get that money without any regard for them as a person - customers are ‘fair game’. And yes, those dancers are right - your job is to make money, but you have to be aware of the risks. If you choose to use a sales strategy where you are pretending you like them/are attracted to them and might want to carry on that relationship outside the club, some may realise that is part of what you think your job is, but some may believe you - and that becomes dangerous.
High Risk Sales Strategies:
- From the moment you meet the customer pretending that you are sexually and/or romantically interested in them and that there might be a chance you can carry on the relationship outside the club.
- Telling a customer that if they have a certain number of dances or give you a certain amount of money you will meet them outside the club.
In both these types of scenarios you are putting yourself and the club at risk. Customers who think that you are genuinely interested in some form of relationship with them could, if they don’t understand it’s just an act, take you seriously. They may try to wait for you outside the club, or even follow you home - the former in particular happens fairly frequently. You might think it is as easy as just avoiding them, or telling them to get lost - but that may make them angry. They may feel like you have taken them for a ride and made a fool out of them. Not only does this put you at risk, but also gives the club’s security team a nightmare. This is particularly the case in the latter strategy.
If you are using the first strategy, which a lot of dancers use to get VIPs or to get customers to spend money over a long period of time (often called ‘the girlfriend experience’), then you have to work out whether the customers understand that the relationship is never going to go anywhere and that you are just playing a role. For some customers part of the thrill of coming to a strip club isn’t to see someone get naked but to have someone be nice to them, flirt, laugh at their jokes and stroke their egos - and for it to go no further. The idea that the second their money runs out the relationship is over suits many customers, they like the pretence and they understand it is all a game. However, it is important to recognise when customers don’t understand it. There are tell-tale signs for when a customer doesn’t understand this. These are: frequently asking you to meet them outside the club; getting annoyed or angry when you dance with other customers, or getting jealous when you are dancing for other customers; telling your colleagues and other customers that they are in a relationship with you; following you around the club and constantly watching you in the club; waiting for you at the club before or after your shift.
The bottom line is if you pretend that you are sexually or romantically interested in a customer who clearly doesn’t think you are pretending and you do not make it clear to them that you are pretending you are putting yourself at risk. So, how do you minimise the risk to yourself:
- If you are using the girlfriend experience/VIP strategy just be smart, if a customer shows signs of not understanding that it is an act stop dancing/talking to them and tell them that you are ‘uncomfortable’ about dancing for them. Yes, at the time it might cost you money - if you get a ‘funny feeling’ about someone or they ‘creep you out’ then trust your gut! If you then feel threatened contact club security and make sure that you are extra careful travelling to/from work.
- Tell customers that it is an act. This might seem a very stupid thing for a dancer to do, but if you sell it in the right way it means that you can have long-term lucrative club-based relationships with customers, safely. Selling the ‘act’ is a great way to make customers understand your job and their relationship to you. Telling customers that you love the fact that you get to act and be someone else when you are working in the club is something customers are often fascinated by. Some of the ways in which dancers can sell idea of the ‘act’ positively is by saying things like: ‘I love dancing for customers, I get to let out the naughty side I can’t do in real life’; ‘let’s you and me go for a dance and fall in love for five minutes’; ‘in here I get to be someone else, and I love it - go on, you can have a stage name too’; ‘let’s have a moment, you and I, and then like a good affair it’s over’. This allows you to be honest and upfront with the customers, while still creating an environment where you can make them feel good and for you to make money.
Remember you are there to make money - but be sensible and don’t put yourself at risk.