Despite your impressions when you first started working there, your experiences may be telling you that the club where you currently perform your exotic dance shows is not up to par. Several factors come into play when deciding whether a club is for you or not. Sometimes a club may appear to be perfectly fine to outsiders, but have several things about it that encourages you to move on down the road.
Pay attention to these clues that you need to find a new place to work as an exotic dancer:
- You are paying too much money in house fees. Typically, the more you pay in fees, the nicer the club is. Your house fees pay for your dressing room space, any wardrobe offerings the club provides, a make-up artist, security and DJ services. If you work at a club with a higher fee, you will probably be making more money, due to better clientele and upscale surroundings. The best way to determine if you’re paying too much is to calculate your earnings for a month. Assume you made $6,000 in one month dancing three nights per week. And, if you paid out $50 per night in house fees, it means you’re only paying out 10 percent of your income to the club. Anywhere between 10 to 20 percent is usually pretty fair. However, if you pay over 20 percent repeatedly, it might be time to look into moving to a new place of employment. If it happens once in a great while, don’t sweat it, though. You may have had a rough month or the economy was bad.
- You are required to give “extras” to customers. Your job as an exotic dancer is twofold: 1) Dance on stage in a semi- or totally-nude state after removing your clothing; and 2) Entertain customers when you’re not onstage. However, no club should ever make you feel that you are required to do more than to talk or dance with a customer. Many clubs prohibit lap dances, because there is too much risk for the dancers. But, if you work at a club that offers them, you should never feel required to allow anything more than the contact expected through a dance. That means you shouldn’t be obligated to offer more intimate contact, such as oral sex, sexual intercourse or anything else that is beyond the limitations of a lap dance. If you do dance at a club that expects its adult services providers to give clients a “good time” in more ways than a little bumping and grinding, move on to a new club. You’re a dancer, not a prostitute.
- Experienced dancers make very little money. When you’re a beginner, you’re still learning the ways of successful performers. Getting those tips, working the room and learning how to make the most of your assets is all a work in progress that requires practice, among other things. You shouldn’t expect to be bankrolling huge sums of money in your first few times on stage. However, experienced dancers should be bringing in some considerable coin, especially if they’ve danced at a club for more than just a couple of months. It can be a little uncomfortable to talk about money with the “queen bee” dancers, especially when you’re new. But, if you hear through the grapevine that one of the premiere dancers at the club isn’t making much more than you are, it’s a definite sign that the potential for a good income may not be present. Your club may not have the clientele who is capable of tipping as well as what you want to be, once you’ve served your time as a newbie. There just may not be the right kind of crowd who will help you advance past your novice state and allow you to adjust to an increased income.
- The owner pressures for personal favors. Never, under any conditions, should you oblige the owner of a club by giving him sex or other intimate favors. If an owner expects you to deliver a BJ at the end of your shift or wants you to dance for him when he’s bored (for free!), get out of there. He’s taking advantage of you and the other dancers. Some owners or managers will pressure a dancer into giving him “special” treatment with the promise of headlining her or giving her other privileges at the club. Don’t buy into it. Often, these promises are made and never delivered. Anytime that an owner starts expecting intimate acts from his dancers, it’s a big sign that he’s unprofessional and looking out only for his own interests. Additionally, if anyone at the club attempts to pressure you into sex or other acts for favors at the club, refuse to follow through. It’s pretty common for a bouncer or DJ to hope to get freebies from dancers. Don’t allow it. Again, you’re a dancer, not a prostitute. And, a prostitute wouldn’t give it away, either.
- You are working too many nights per week. When you become an exotic dancer, you make that choice for many reasons. Possibly, one of the reasons is the flexible schedule. Most dancers show up to work at their clubs three (maybe four) nights per week. A nice, long shift is usually in order, where leaving at closing time is the norm. Working this kind of schedule can be taxing on your sleep routines and family functioning, but it’s doable for only a few nights per week. However, some clubs expect a lot more than that. If you’re putting in five nights per week, it’s too much. Dancing is hard work; those high heels are hard on your feet; and you need the flexibility the career promises. If you repeatedly see yourself on the schedule for more than four nights per week, seek out new opportunities that won’t require your presence so often.
- There are very few regulars at your club. A strip club is just like the Cheers bar from television. It’s the place that some guys/gals can go where everybody knows their names. Regulars are bread and butter to exotic dancers. While good customers may wander in from time to time, it’s the regulars who are there rain or shine who offer tips or pay for lap dances. If your club doesn’t seem to have any regulars, it’s a sign that nobody is too pleased with the overall climate of the club. If you’re looking to move on to a different club, this is definitely something you should check out prior to committing anywhere new. A quality club will have several regulars who visit after work, on the weekends or other time periods that fill gaps in their schedules. When you see them, it’s customary to offer a warm greeting and catch up on what you’ve missed since the last time you visited. Remembering details will earn you bigger tips. Regulars are certainly important to ongoing success as a stripper.
- Your club seems to be lacking in the security department. All exotic dancers need to feel safe where they work. And, while most customers are completely harmless, there are others who have ulterior motives. Adult services providers at dance clubs need to know that policies about physical contact will be enforced by security personnel. For instance, if customers are not allowed to touch a dancer during a lap dance, a bouncer needs to respond when he sees a customer attempt to embrace her. They need to be observant and diligent about their jobs. Clubs with lazy bouncers aren’t protecting their dancers, who often end up violated or assaulted in other ways. Additionally, all worthy clubs should offer security to their dancers as they leave and go to their cars after their shifts are over. Warding off lingering customers is one of the best things security personnel can do at a club to ensure dancers’ safety and state of mind.
- You feel the club has a bad environment or atmosphere. Unless smoking is prohibited in your club (which many states now enforce), you are going to have to endure the cigarette smoke fog as part of your job. The lighting is usually terrible, except for on stage. And, it may seem cold when you’re not performing, being warmed by the lights. However, these issues are really trivial compared to genuinely feeling like the environment at the club is a bad one. Patrons who don’t respect the dancers or their performances can make it miserable to work through your shift. An atmosphere where you know that most of your customers are overly drunk or high is definitely a strike against your club. And, an environment that is centered around blatant attempts to get customers separated from their money can leave a bad taste in your mouth. If you feel that your club is a drain on your good vibes, due to the negative feelings you leave with every shift, consider finding a new club that fits your expectations better.
- The other girls don’t like you. There may be several reasons other dancers aren’t terribly fond of you. New girls are often targeted with animosity, because you’re taking the attention away from more experienced dancers. (Along with tips from their regulars.) If you’re making more money than the other dancers, it’s a good reason why they might feel unfriendly toward you, due to jealousy. And, if you they feel that you’re receiving special, unearned privileges from the manager or owner, they are likely to shun you. It’s not fun working in a club where you feel like you don’t have a single friend. And, while you don’t have to be chummy with everyone there, it’s nice to have a welcoming face in the crowd at work. If you’ve tried to make amends or to work out any differences you may have with the other dancers to no avail, it’s certainly a sign that you may not be happy continuing to work at your current club. Consider trying out the climate at a new place, and attempt to make some friends your first few days there.
- There is no dressing room or backstage area. Some clubs are so small or old that they don’t have any place for a backstage area for their dancers. Getting ready in the bathroom is a standard protocol for dancers who work in these tiny clubs. However, it’s not a preferable set up, because you have nowhere to leave your street clothes or belongings, you’re not guaranteed privacy as you prepare and you have no place to hang out after your on-stage performance. Some managers see this as a good thing, so dancers have to be out on the floor when they’re not on stage. But, sometimes you need a quick break and a place to regroup either before a performance or right after one. If your current club doesn’t offer any space for preparation or a dressing room, go looking for one that does.
- You are the victim of a theft. Experienced dancers know not to bring their valuables to the club with them. Even though it’s a dancer’s “code” to never steal from one another, you don’t know what one of the other girls might do if she’s desperate for rent money. Bring only the things you need with you to the club. But, sometimes, that’s still a recipe for disaster if you’ve got a thief among your ranks. If you feel that you can’t leave your coat or favorite pair of running shoes in the dressing room when you’re on stage, it’s a good sign that you should look for new employment. If you find that your tips are missing, don’t stick around. And, if you discover that someone is swiping your make-up or favorite g-string, get out of there. Also, if you don’t feel that leaving your car in the parking lot is safe, due to break-ins, reconsider where you’re working.
- Bad bartenders are the norm at your club. Even though it’s pretty common knowledge that customers don’t come to a strip joint for its fine drinks, you still need a bartender who is talented with the sour mix. If he can’t successfully mix up a standard cocktail, your patrons are not going to be happy campers. After all, the libations they indulge in at the club loosen them up for enjoying your onstage performances and grease their palms with generosity when it comes to tipping. Rude bartenders are just as worthless as unskilled ones. No customer wants to be treated badly at the bar when he’s ordering his favorite dancer a “special.” If the bartenders at your club don’t seem to be up to par, think about finding a club where the barkeeps are fun to be around and can fix a generic beverage with ease.
- Your club has a bad reputation. If you hear on the street that your club is known for easy girls who give it up in the back room, you might want to rethink where you work. If your club has a reputation for being a center for drugs or hiring dancers who are always high, walk away from it. If your club is known for being a front for prostitution on all levels, get out of there. You want to work for a club with a reputation of hiring classy, beautiful women who put on stellar performances. If you feel that the club you dance at has a negative reputation at all, step away and find a new place to work. Being associated with a bad club will taint your reputation, as well. Don’t put yourself at risk.