… I learned in the strip club: Lessons in Dating
Strip clubs can be fun and magical places. The combination of women, music and alcohol make for a highly sexualized fantasy world in which both men and women can get their needs met. The exchange of currency for titillating entertainment and attention are the same everywhere but depending where you are the experience can vary in a major way. Some clubs give you the feeling of being at a wild glamorous party where all the women are baddies and the champagne flow likes water. Others make you want to go home and bathe in bleach and leave you feeling sad & disheartened.
Luckily for me the primary club I worked in over my 10 year run as a stripper was the former. Touted as the “World Largest Stripclub” it was open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There were hundreds of beautiful women working at any given time, they had a pool for day parties, and a full service upscale restaurant attached serving organic non-GMO Mexican fare.They have champagne bottles on the menu that cost more than my rent. It’s the Disneyland of strip clubs.
Working in that environment was super competitive and I didn’t realize it at the time but I was learning a lot about how to be magnetic and appealing while still being myself.
In the beginning of my career in adult entertainment I tried to develop a completely different persona. That lasted a whopping 3 days. It was excruciatingly exhausting trying to embody a whole different personality and it was also more transparent that I thought. Apparently my small roles in musical theatre productions as a teen did not adequately prepare me for portraying an empty headed, sex starved, giggly, girl with no life outside of the 4 walls of the club. I’m naturally reserved and observant so once I settled into a way of being that felt natural to me I was able to hustle and flirt while surveying the scene and taking mental notes on the behavior of the various types of men I encountered,
The great thing about the men in the real world vs.the one in the strip club is that they are looking for a real person to connect with, not paying for the attention of a woman whose job it is to sell a fantasy. There’s no reason for a woman to try to be anyone else but who she is when dating. When I found myself in the dating world again after 15 years these observations from the club stuck with me and served me well:
- Men will use your kindness to get away with doing the bare minimum because they understand that society has conditioned women to be selfless to the point of exploitation. The club is a fantasy world in which women have no obligation to be ‘kind “ to men and observing this dynamic at play for years allowed me to recognize a man looking to exploit me very quickly.
- Crack the mask quickly. Women usually spend the first couple dates pussyfooting around real topics sticking to polite “what do you like to do, how many siblings do you have?” surface level conversation. In the strip club the getting to know you process is condensed and the conversations are bold. Skip the small talk and quickly ascertain if this was someone you want to continue seeing based on how they answered certain questions rather than projecting onto them because you aren’t receiving any real information about their character
- You are the Prize. Never forget that. Even though I was competing with hundreds of other women a night for the attention and subsequent cash from men my mindset was that I was the ultimate prize and whoever had the good fortune to be in my presence was winning. I had to believe this or I would’ve been broke! No man wants a participation trophy or an honorable mention. Don’t carry yourself as such. Remind yourself that you are indeed the gold standard!