Sunday, 25 September 2011

When a stripclub feels like the Door to Hell

Last night my stripclub, where I have worked on and off for several years, felt strange and alien to me.  The mood, usually filled with jovial first-timer's and plenty of testosterone stag's 'n' lad's, was bitter and misogynistic.  Everyone was leering, ready to spend their pocket money on the plucked and plumed piece of meat which strutted around the club in their skimpy fantasy outfits.  The club was full of guys, and there were only about 50 girls on the floor (during the week you can get up to 70, or even 100).  So theoretically we all should have got along together swimmingly, with everyone earning money and having a good time. The guys would have a chance to enjoy their night out and catch up with their pals without being constantly hassled by hungry women, whilst the girls would have enough chaff to wade through and not much waiting around to do between dances.

Except last night, something wasn't right.

There was a build-up of pressure gradually throughout the night.  The guys weren't biting as per usual - dance here, two more there - and the girls were beginning to get desperate after the chorus of knock-backs.  But that can happen anytime, any night.

The crowd wasn't just stag parties of mainly white commuter 9 - 5ers, but was much more varied than usual.  There were several large groups of black guys, swaddled in bling and loud shirts, nursing bottles of Couvousier, and several more of Asian & Indian guys, who are usually a mixture of clean cut, ironed creases in their button down shirts, and hairy types with funny beards and ponytails.  I'm afraid to say that many stripper's don't like this.  Hmm, how to explain....  Firstly they don't tend to spend as much as their white counterparts, and secondly, well - a lot of stripper's in London are from previously isolated regions of Eastern Europe, or countries without a large ethnic population, and don't like some types of people, and.... I find it really hard to write that some stripper's are racist, as it make's me just as judgemental as them, but I'm afraid it's pretty darn true, goddammit!  So anyway, this was pissing off many of the dancer's, as they couldn't approach as many people as freely as they would like without  compromising themselves, and the guys were really peeved at being ignored by many dancers whilst the remaining gave them a sneer and a super-quick lapdance.

But I think what really freaked me out last night was the music.  It was deep, heavy, and minimal - fine for a rave when I am surrounded by happy gurners who want a cuddle and a lollipop to go with their warm pint, but horrible when you are approaching lot's of strange faces in a dark room and then trying to turn them on by showing them all the crevasses of your naked flesh.  A bit of happy disco or some sing-a-long rock can really help me turn on the charm, and lyrics give the customer's something to relate too.

I remember staring at the mirror thinking 'who am I?' as my mood darkened to the point where my beautiful Mac red lips with extra Lancome gloss seemed to turn into a leer from a child-bride in a clown's outfit.  I got even more sketched out when a really drunk guy who had spent all his money on another girl in VIP early on in the night began to follow me around the club, hovering nearby as I talked to another customer and even trying to join me on stage and at tables.  Thankfully, before the carnival atmosphere got too much and I fell into a complete and utter stripper meltdown, I met an Indian guy who  gave me a couple of hundred over an hour or so.  He was nice to talk to, there was a nice bottle of Bollinger at his table that I could help myself too, and he left a good hour before closing.

As the club was still filled with a weird, menacing vibe, I didn't even bother with my customary tour of the place.  I'd only had a couple of dances apart from the Indian guy, so after tip-out and taxi fare I'd scraped half of what I would consider a usual Saturday night, but I'm not greedy.  I know that when the most familiar stripclub in the world feels like the doorway to Hell, it's not good for my stripper psyche to hang about.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Achey-Breaky lapdancer

As work has been slow I've had to pull a lot of shift's in and run - nay, sprint - around the club pouncing on customer's as soon as they walk through the doors.  I am now feeling very achey-breaky indeed, not a nubile and lithe lapdancer who has made pots of money very easily and can get daily massages by horny Chinese women in back alley parlours.

Boys and Men, you are not helping me with my achey-breaky predicament.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, I got asked repeatedly to bend over whilst giving a lapdance.  I know you want to see my pussy - hell, I know you paid to see it - but do I really have to bend over at your say so just so that you can all have a look?  Whilst pussy's are very interesting and pretty, my spine is not liking this up and down bendy thing, especially as I have also been battering it in bouts of extreme Bikram yoga.

My spine has written a formal letter of complaint, which is currently written in pain all over my shoulders.  Like most letter's of complaint, I am going to ignore it for now, as I have a Friday and Saturday night to get through, and the drunken louts who come in on the weekends will be raring to see girls who are bendier, flexier and more willing than their wives and girlfriends at home, who are quite rightly probably holding all forms of sexy time back, and are not willing to pander to all their dirty fantasies when there is washing up to be done.

After these Olympian feats of prowess I am now one achey-breaky lapdancer, and feel like singing Father William "Oh, alas, my bone's are old, my knees are weak"

Luckily for my tired ol' bone's, I have a lovely freestanding bath which as I write is filling itself with bubbles and steaming hot water.  I am going to jump in it right now, and transform from achey-breaky lapdancer to my usual sexy, sassy little self.

Monday, 12 September 2011

My stripping buddy returns!

I'm very, very excited.

My stripping buddy, my favourite partner in crime, the girl that I just seem to make hustling magic happen with - IS BACK!!!!


She has spent the summer in Ibiza, which I'm sure must have been really difficult for her.  You know, the best nightclubs in the world, beautiful people on the beach, beautiful people in villa's, beautiful people getting wrecked......

She has come back looking gorgeous - tanned, skinny, .... and broke.

She's so hungry for money that she jumped straight on the phone to me to tell me to stop being such a lazy hippy and book into a shift with her.  In fact, when I told her how it had been lately at my stripclub - imagine slow, dead tumbleweed rolling between nests of empty tables, and desperate girls beginning to offer extra's - well, she told me that we should try somewhere else.

I love a bit of occasional stripper migration, so yeah, I might just fly the coop for the winter and tether my G-sring to another pole.  If I do make the leap, I'll be auditioning at a new club tomorrow and will tell you all about how it went in a juicy blog post.  Sorry, but the identity will have to be secret, as par usual....

The great thing about working in a city as big as London is that there are loads of clubs to choose from.  Most of them fully expect girls to move without warning, and there are auditions every week - every day - in a variety of clubs.  If you want, it's possible to switch jobs in 24 hours.

As long as I pass the audition that is......

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Lapdance from Hell

Last night I had a lapdance from hell.  It was hellish because as well as taking ages to go have a dance, and continually trying to grope my bottom before we even got in there (attempted groping on the main floor, especially when you are standing mere feet away from where the manager's like to hang out, chat & be king of all they survey, is a BAD idea. if you want to break the no-touching rules, at least do it in the dance booths, as then I'll be getting a little sugar and you won't get told off as it's practically expected there)

Anyway, I digress.  Why was this a lapdance from hell - trust me, I've had many - but this was hellish because.....

he had a huge GROWTH on his face

that was probably CONTAGIOUS..... and he had been trying to put his obviously extremely filthy paws on me.

It was on his lip - well, it was bigger than his lip. It was a good inch across and a half high. It wasn't a cold sore, it wasn't a mole - it looked more like a BOIL.

A big, ready to burst bubble that was brown and purple - the nastiest BOIL ewwww

I hadn't noticed it out on the floor as we had been talking in a shadowed corner, but the dance booth we went to was a brighter than usual one, and so that's when I saw it.

I bet he saw the look of horror cross my face, and I tried my hardest to  dance as far away from his wandering hands as possible.  I didn't want to refuse the dance as it was a slow night and that would be nasty - it's probably not his fault he has the beginnings of an alien form growing in such a prominent on his face, but there was no way I was catching that thing.  End of my career or what?

I washed my hands afterwards a million times.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Really Rosamund? The clubs that strip women of their dignity

I got told by a fellow tweeter last Thursday that there was 'a rather misinformed article compared to the one you were in in the Evening Standard the other week' (thanks @K_Pilch)

I followed her link and found a rather opinionated article on a female journalist's visit to Secret's in Covent Garden.  Read it here

I was surprised by how offensive it was.  The author, Rosamund Unwin, has written very funny and sharp article in the past that I have really enjoyed, but this wasn't clever at all, just nasty with a hint of snobbish bully about it.  She calls herself a 'self-declared strident feminist' but derides a ladies night - the first one the club had held (in that location).  I tried to look at the website to see what 'ladies night' entails but I couldn't find any information.  Nonetheless, a stripclub making an effort to be more attractive to female customers should be applauded.  In America, girls visit lapdancing bars all the time - why not here?  Besides, the lesbian scene in London has been decimated with the closure of Ghetto and Trash Palace, and is now a figure of fun in the sleazy Channel 5 documentary imaginatively titled 'The Candy Bar'.  (I've been there, it's great, and much better than channel 5 portrays it.)

She says that the dance was 'as erotic as taking out the rubbish' and complains about feeling the dancer's 'leg stubble'.  She also says that her female friend was laughing throughout in 'embarrassed hysterics'.  Poor girls - doesn't Rosamund realise that we are not all Dita von Teese, and have to try and be 'erotic' without personalised lighting, special effects, a hair and make-up team, and a chereographer?

I was really pleased to see that the majority of comments were in favour of lapdancers and thought that the piece was 'one-sided' and 'bitter'.  It's certainly very different to the Striponomics article which was based on an interview with yours truly a few months ago.  There are also lots of reader comments on my blog piece on the article

I suppose that it's the job of newspapers to explore professions such as mine from all angles, and that the Evening Standard should be lauded for presenting such different views by such different columnists.  London's sex industry is a huge heaving underground mass and it's great to see insights into the sex industry in London get some press - even if it's a bad review of a lapdancing bar.  Still, it's a shame that Rosamund Unwin complained of lapdancing bars stripping women of their dignity, when she goes on to strip the lapdancers of their dignity in her article.

Why do I have such a big stripper outfit wardrobe?

I have a HUGE suitcase under my bed which is filled with all of my old stripper outfits. Like a perverted hoarder, I just can't seem to throw them away.  (To be fair, I'm still the same UK 6/8  that I was when I started).

The reason why lapdancers will have a lot of outfits - anything between 5 and 50 - is not because we are all stereotypical shopping mad women with a lingerie fetish.  (Quite the opposite in fact.  Many dancers will scrimp on their outfits, wearing the same old favourites until they fall apart, and save their earnings for shopping for clothes to wear in the 'real world'.)  We build-up a selection because the rules for what we are allowed to wear are constantly changing.  Yes you heard right - strippers have rules on what is and isn't acceptable to wear in the workplace!!!  Each club will have it's own 'dress code', which covers everything from the shoes on her manicured feet to the type of thong that clings to her pubis.  These rules will get updated (read changed drastically) every year or so for several reasons;
  • The girls stretch the rules so that they can reveal as much as possible.  Show me a girl in a floorlength dress and I'lll show you a dress with slits all over and only the thinnest trail of ribbon touching the floor.  Still floorlength!
  • The dressmakers that sell directly in the clubs get the rules changed so that most lapdances are forced to buy a different outfit to adhere to the new regulations.  The managers that changed these rules will probably get a cut of this income.
  • The boss will see something he really doesn't like and will change the rules to something more draconian in a knee-jerk reaction.  Stripper lore is that Peter Stringfellow once insisted that all girls wore delicate mesh/lacey underwear, till he saw a girl on stage in such a sheer thong that you could see her bits in perfect clarity.  He immediately banned anything that was sheer, so all of his 70+ dancers had to buy new underwear - difficult in London which at the time had nil stripper supply stores.  Annoyingly, the rules were changed back months later.
  • A new house mum/manager will start and blitz the girls dress code in an effort to make it more classy/user friendly/inventive/fantasy.
In addition, most dancers will work at a variety of clubs in their dancing career, and need a selection of tempting outfits to accommodate the variance.

Of course, we are girls, and girls can be extremely picky, so even if we buy a new outfit, if it doesn't 'feel or look right' when we are out on the floor, or if it's a nightmare to dance in and take off, then it will get resigned to the bottom of the heap with all the other rejects....  many strippers wear the same dress night after night, buying an identical replacement when it falls apart, as it's the one which works for them!  

I pulled out my suitcase this morning to go through them and see if there was anything that took my fancy for tonight.  I'm surprised by how much fabric my early dancing outfits used to have.  I've obviously got a lot more confident in showing off my body.  Now I'm happy in a little lingerie set with dental floss knickers.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

When a lapdancer doesn't fit the bill

I was sat at a REALLY great table the other day.  It was the table of my dreams.  We all got paid bundles of cash for several hours of VIP.  There were several girls to each man - one had FIVE LAPDANCERS!!! (greedy sod)

But when I went home I felt miffed.  Really miffed.  Why?  I had made good money and had a great night, but..... I was originally sitting with the boss guy, and he told me to go sit  with his friend as he walked in.  In the cab on the way home, I was in agonies as to what had been wrong about me to be palmed off so.  Was it my hair?
My outfit?
Too fat,too slim, too small, too tall?
Was it because I wasn't cool, or pretty, or sexy enough?
My tits were too big?

I compared myself to the girls he kept sitting with him.  Several were part of that elusive cool crowd I've spoken about in previous posts.  It was his first time at the club, but is it that obvious that I am an outsider?  In my drunken state I went over my perceived failings as a lapdancer.  That I was a crap hustler.

Thankfully, the next morning I had slept and sobered up.  Drinking my first cup of tea of the day, I went over last night.  I figured it out.

It wasn't me. It wasn't my hair.  It was my outfit.  It just didn't fit the bill.  I realised with glaring accuracy that all the girls he kept were wearing black stockings and underwear, like they had just stepped from an Agent Provacteur boudoir.  I, on the other hand, was wearing a garish novelty stripper costume.  Men like consistency in their harem - he wanted to look at varying shades of the same classy girls.

I'm glad I figured out that personal crisis.  There is no point in going into work as a lapdancer if you don't feel good enough about yourself.