Saturday, September 3, 2016

How to make a dancer really angry

One of the fastest way to piss somebody off is to tell them how to do their jobs. While I’m hardly telling dancers how to do their jobs, there are a few things that some dancers never truly get. I’ve been friends with many dancers through their entire careers. From baby dancer, to the now it all yearling, to the I own this pro dancer, to burned out veteran. Some dancers exist in spite of their customers, not because of their customers.

I’m so much sexier when I dance to a song I love
No, no you’re not. You are just not. You either understand stage presence, know how to move to a beat, and point your toes or you don’t. Loving song will make it more enjoyable for you, but for the customer (me) not so much. I’ve watched dancers perform to songs the hate, so much so they take off their heel and hurl it at the DJ. But a good dancer is a good dancer. Naked or not, they know how to dance. They can make the hokey pokey look sexy. Bad dancers, not so much, they usually look like somebody being tasered to a sound track. I imagine most dancers use the “I’m so much sexier when I’m dancing to a song I like” rational to justify playing a song they know the crowd will hate. You are not sexier. Who am I to judge what’s good and bad? I’m the customer. I’m the one tipping. Name one activity that’s better when you’re forced to listen to a song you hate at ear splitting levels? There isn’t any. Your set isn’t sexier. It is worse. Like, I’m going to skip your set and go to the bathroom worse. It’s much more enjoyable experience for me when I get to listen to a song I like at ear splitting levels. Do I tip more when a dancer plays a song I like? Absolutely I do. It’s a much better experience.

I’m a middle aged professional. I tend to hang out at the club early evening with a lot of other middle age guys. Playing Hip Hop for this crowd is a waste of time. To me hip hop is just beat poetry, with one beat and no poetry. I don’t like it. A lot of people hate the music I listen too. That’s fine. The difference at the club is I’m paying for the experience. People aren’t going to pay for a bad experience, no matter how sexy you think you are.

They didn’t say anything so it must be OK
One thing dancer’s do I really hate is pulling my glasses off when I’m sitting at the rail. I can’t see without my glasses, so I can’t see what see what she is doing. I need my glasses to drive so I feel exposed when some stranger taken my glasses and start to play with them. They also are really expensive. One slip of the hand and I’m out several hundred dollars. The last time a dancer tried to take of my glasses. In the past I would just smile and go along with it, this time jerked my head away and asked her not to do that. She was completely shocked. So much so she stopped her set and proceeded to start lecturing me. She explained in great detailed she had been dancing for six years at several clubs and everybody else loved it when she took their glasses off.  She ended the lecture by telling me I was really weird and walked off stage shaking her head. Did some of her customers like having her play with their glasses? Some did undoubtedly. I would bet that most were like me and disliked it but didn’t say anything.

I hear a lot of dancers complain about losing a regular to another dancer. The usual snarl is “I wonder what she’s doing in the VIP?” I think a lot of dancers would be surprised to find out it isn’t what she’s doing, but what she isn’t doing. For me VIPs are expensive, I really don’t want to spend it listening to a dancer bitch or spend time on her phone. If you make me wait, or play little games trying to cut short the time. Or it may have nothing to do with the VIP at all.

I hang out at a strip club to relax and have fun. Not to nag people not to do things, more so since I’m paying them for the pleasure of their company. It’s harsh, but it’s a lot easier to move on to a new dancer than try to talk to the offending dancer. When I’ve tried in the past they usually smile, apologize and keep right on doing what they’ve always done. That’s their choice, my choice is to move on to somebody who doesn't give me heart burn.

Fuck you pay me, Fuck you do something
It’s not how hot the dancer looks, its how she makes you feel. Normally when a really attractive person pays attention to you it’s a wonderful thing. It makes you feel good about yourself. The flip side when somebody really attractive snubs you or treats you condescendingly it really strikes a nerve. I don’t know how many times I’ve had a really hot dancer plot down next to me, let out a long sigh, then proceed to treat me like I was customer number 7241 at the DMV. Later I’ll overhear her complaining at the bar that nobody wanted to buy dances from her. If you think I’m going to waste your time before you sit down then why bother? I can go to bars all over the city to get snubbed by women for free. I’m certainly not going to pay for the privilege.

Looks only go so far, you are going to have to talk to the customer. A lot of dancers will take on a stupid girl persona when talking to customers. A lot of times they do better this way. Yes, a lot of strip club patrons don’t like talking to women that are smarter than them, but I think something else is at also at play. When a dancer looks at a customer vacuously and acts like her last thought died of loneliness, she forces the conversation to be about him. He’s now the center of attention. It’s his ego or his problems that are important.  Somebody attractive is now paying attention to him.

If you think you are so hot that breathing in my general vicinity is enough to get me to pay you then you’re probably not going to make money. Granted, that last statement is a bit of an exaggeration but it isn’t that far from the truth for some dancers. I know a lot of these dancers are just burned out on trying to hustle customers. But they need to address the burn out, not bitch about customers. Just sitting around complaining about the customers will just burn her out further.

It’s ok, I’ll apologize later
This is relevant to sales in general, not just strip clubs. Regardless of what you sell, you will form a relationship with your customers. Just like any other relationships there are good and bad ones. I try to be very conscientious about being a good customer. Most dancers initially try to be conscientious as well. As the relationship progresses over time things will change with some dancers. They aren’t quite as prompt returning from the dressing room. They will slowly drop the act of actually giving a rip about your life. Eventually conversations devolve over time to being exclusively about her, and how you giving her money will fix these problems. Not all dancers fall into this category, but some do. I think a lot more dancers fall into this category than most would admit too. You can hear them at the bar talking to other dancers, explaining that they know their regular is here, but they have something else to do. They’ll apologize later. I don’t care what industry you’re in, taking your customers for granted is the first step in losing them.

I know what my customers want
Actually the correct statement is “I know what my customers eventually want”. There’s a difference and it’s actually a big difference. The issue is people will only work so hard to get something. If you make what you’re selling to difficult to deal with people won’t. The classic example of this is Microsoft and Apple. I’ve sat in meetings with Microsoft product managers who “knew what their customers wanted”, but they were convinced that customer would put up with 10 minute boot times, bloatware, updates, random adds, etc. They were wrong. Apple came along and made a very specific point to make their stuff to boot quickly and minimize any distractions from the customer task. 15 years later, Microsoft’s desktop business is still big but declining, they have a token presence in the mobile market, and have been chased out of the embedded market.

Many dancers have a similar attitude to Microsoft. They think they have a lock on their regular and they’ll put up with whatever bullshit they throw at them. People will only try so hard to give you their money. There is always somebody who will do the same thing for less hassle.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Not just a stripper.

If I told you I have a friend who is in their mid 20’s, self employed, keeps her own schedule, and makes good money you’d probably be impressed with them. In this era where a lot of folks coming out of college with a mountain of student debt, marginal job prospects, and end up living with their parents. In my twenties I had already flunked out of college once and was working at a gas station. By anybody’s standard my friend would be a success. Yet if I told you she was a stripper your opinion would mostly likely change. You’ve never met her, yet you draw conclusions based purely on a label. DiabloCody wins an Oscar, yet she still gets referred to as a “former stripper”. As if she somehow being a stripper was a great obstacle in her life.

I have another friend who I’ve known since the mid 90’s from when I lived in Texas. He works for the defense industry. His specific skill is designing bomb racks. Making a clamp that can hold 2000 lbs of high explosives to the wing of an airplane through all the stresses of flight then release it at the exact moment needed by touching a button is a really difficult task. It takes a lot of engineering and meticulous planning to make something so robust and reliable. Yet, when all the careful calculations are done, the precision parts are built and installed, the end result is death. When everything works correctly somebody dies. Property is destroyed. Parents have to bury their children. Children become orphans. Suffering is brought to the innocent. I know the ethics are more complicated than that. But a lot of folks would consider my friend a hero. He makes America strong in their view. I suspect most of the people who think that are currently at a Donald Trump rally somewhere. The vast majority of people would consider him a success though, someone to be respected for his accomplishments.

Why is the stripper looked down upon but the engineer is respected? If you could wave a magic wand and have one profession removed from planet wouldn’t it be better to get rid of the weapons designer? Would you rather have you children live in a world that doesn’t have strip clubs or planes carrying 2000lb laser guided bombs?

Strippers can be the worse in denigrating their own profession. I often listen to girls talk about having to get a real job. If you pay real bills, take care of real dependents, keep a roof over your head you have a real job. Considering dancers aren’t guaranteed a penny when they walk in the door of the club it’s a more real job than most. Every dollar she makes is because she did something for it. It she does nothing she gets nothing. No paid vacation or paid sick days.

Sometimes dancers make ridiculous amounts of money for nothing. If a dancer can make money like that then good for her. She isn’t running a Ponzi scheme or committing armed robbery. In most cases the customer is perfectly happy handing over their money. If you have a job where you can make a lot of money with a little work, that’s not just a real job but it’s a good job.

Motherhood is another subject where being a stripper suddenly can change a person from admired to reviled in the time it takes to apply a label. She took a job she hated in order to get the financial and scheduling freedom to take better care of her children. Enduring a necessary evil to make a better life better for your family is self sacrifice. Why does being a stripper make this bad? I’ve met women with master’s degrees who were terrible parents. Most strippers I know will do anything for their children. It is the primary reason they are dancing. Not because they want to, but because it’s the best way to take care of their kids. Being a stripper has nothing to do with their parenting skills, yet people will condemn them out of hand. There is nothing worse than willful ignorance, and this is one of the worse.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Back from nowhere

I did two things tonight I haven’t done for a long time. First, actually write something in my blog. It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually done anything with it. Second, I spent the evening reading about strip clubs. I just got in the mail “They call me Rocket, stories of a rose citystripper, volume one”. It’s 24 page folio (or zine I guess is the more contemporary term). More importantly, I really enjoyed the work.

It’s a series of short biographic stories about her stripping career. All the stories are compact and stand alone. They make for a very enjoyable read. The stories are entertaining and occasionally poignant. I was amused to find out her stage name Rocket was partially inspired by a gas station I worked at, though I was probably long gone from there when she first noticed it.

The price is cheaper than a typical strip club drink and was delivered faster. It was definitely worth the money. You should buy it if you are interested an inside look at the Portland strip club industry.

It also had the effect of inspiring me to start writing in my blog again. I realized that most of my view of the strip club world has been reduced to 140 character tweets or instagram pictures. These bite size glimpses into the stripping world are utterly without depth. No shit Sherlock, but I never realized it until I read the folio. I suppose I shouldn’t use the term folio, makes me sound like something from Shakespeare’s time. I’m not quite that old, I fall somewhere in between.

I’m still writing. For me writing is almost a form of therapy. It forces me to think about situations in my life that aren’t quite so clouded by my biases. For those of you who still have links to me in your RSS reader or are hopelessly lost on the internet I’ll be posting new essays from time to time. And I'll also be eagerly awaiting volume two. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Stripper time Vs. Civilian time

One of the more difficult things about being friends with a dancer is the schedule difference. Most dancers are sleeping while the rest of the world is up and vice versa. It always seems a dancer schedule is at odds with the rest of the world. So decided to make a chart so compare what a civilian is thinking and what a dancer is thinkingdsuring the course of a typical work day.

12:00  midnight Wow, it’s a little late probably I should think about going home  Work 
1:00 AM it’s time to wrap things up, I have to work tomorrow It’s primetime!
2:00 AM This isn’t a end well if I don’t get to sleep soon. Work is almost over, time to think about what next.
3:00 AM This is way too late. Work is going To suck tomorrow Where do we want to eat?
4:00 AM Why am I still awake? Time to head home
5:00 AM God its late/God its early   God I hope I set the DVR so I  
6:00 AM It's about time to get up, I should be asleep
7:00 AM I should be getting ready for work I really should be asleep
8:00 AM I don't want to work, but I should head in This isn’t going to end well if don’t get to sleep soon
9:00 AM Work Oh my god its late/Oh my god its early
11:00 AM Work Why am I awake, kill me now
12 noon Lunch This is way too late. Work is going to suck tomorrow
1:00 PM Work Who the hell is calling this time of the day? Die
2:00 PM Work must sleep
3:00 PM Work Its about time to get up
4:00 PM Work I need breakfast
5:00 PM Work is almost over, time to think about what next. I neep a nap
6:00 PM Heading home Still need a nap
7:00 PM Where do we want to eat? I should get get ready for work
8:00 PM I wonder who's working  I don't want to work, but I should head in
9:00 PM Let's head to the club I'm tired, I need an energy drink
10:00 PM I should think about going home Finally, customers and energy
11:00 PM It's getting a little late Time to get serious

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Monday, December 23, 2013

Just messing around

Just wasting time, playing around with the Nikon.

Friday, December 20, 2013

To Twerk, or not to Twerk?

I recently saw a Twitter rant about club that banned rap music, even though there are Rap songs specifcally written about strip clubs. Rock, rap, or opera the only thing that matters is is it any good? Honestly, most strip club specific songs are terrible. Once you get past the novelty of the song, they suck. They really suck at the ear splitting strip club volume levels. A song written specifically for a strip club, so what? I’ve riffed a Doctor Seuss poem into strip club specific version. Why not some other things? Maybe I can get these banned from strip clubs. Though I've never seen a stripper do a dramatic reading on stage.

How about Shakespeare for strip clubs:

To twerk, or not to twerk, that is the question—
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous customers and crazy strippers,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of unpaid bills,
And by opposing end them? To spin, to twirl—
No more; and by a sleep, to say we don’t want to be bothered before 1pm
The Heart-ache, and the thousand random fines
That dancers are heir to? 'Tis a consummation and really unfair, and mostly illegal
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep, to eat Taco Bell
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there's the rub,
For in that extra day of sleep, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, and hit the snooze button and hope it rains next time

How about the Bible for strip clubs? I supposed this is blasphemous, but I really don’t care. Blasphemy is the original victim-less crime in my atheist opinion.

Genesis 1

New International Strip club Version (NISCV)

The Beginning

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the strip club. 2 Now the club was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the stage, and the Spirit of God was hovering over in the manager’s office.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and then added a smoke machine. 5 God called the light “day shift,” and the darkness he called “night shift.” And then he created shift fees, and a mid shift for girls who didn’t want to stay too late.

6 And God said, “Let there be a brass pole between the floor and ceiling to separate the strip club stage from all others.” 7 So God made the brass pole and separated the strip club stage from all others. And it was so. 8 God called the seats around the stage “the rack.” And there was evening, and there was morning—and there was late fees.

Maybe Poe’s the Raven, for strip clubs:

Once upon a strip club dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious songs of forgotten labels,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my corner table.
''Tis some dancer,' I muttered, 'tapping at my corner table-
Only this, and nothing stable.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate single dollar wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the server;- vainly I had sought to flag her
From my tips surcease of whiskey- whiskey for the lost last chance-
For the rare and radiant dancer whom the broke me from my trance-
Nameless here “wanna dance?”

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple lycra
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
''Tis some dancer entreating entrance to break my trance-
Some late dancer entreating entrance to break my trance;-
This it is, and wanna dance?.'

It doesn’t matter what it’s written about, it’s good or it ain’t. I work in engineering sales. There is nothing more annoying than a monumentally self-righteous customer. The customer is seldom right, they always want more for less. But the customer is paying the bills, so you have to listen to them.