Added: Kenyanna Stpeter - Date: 23.07.2021 13:44 - Views: 33288 - Clicks: 2346
For the thousands of women taking their clothes off for a living in cities across America, it is a job, and they say it is one of the toughest sales jobs on Earth. A real job pays real money. And I am able to provide for myself, my family and my children," said "Butterfly," who dances at America's largest strip club, the Sapphire Gentlemen's Club in Las Vegas. But as we listened to them talk about competing against other women and avoiding abuse and exploitation, we realized their stories were echoed not just by other dancers, but by women throughout the work force.
On top of the competitiveness and sometimes threatening environment they deal with, the dancers also deal with the shame they feel from disapproving family and friends. Butterfly spends all day with her children, then leaves them with a baby sitter when she he to work at night. And then I started feature dancing," she said. My son is in bed by the time I come to work. This is, for better or worse, this is probably the best-paying job I'll ever have," she said.
And then I'll fly home Sunday or Monday and go back to school," she said. But once they made that choice, almost all of them said they had no idea what they were supposed to do. Very, very scared. I didn't know what was expected of me," Butterfly said. The women said nobody took new dancers under their wing and mentored them, or told them how to survive and how to make a lot of money.
And what they learned quickly was that the job was more complicated than just dancing topless around a pole. To make real money, the women said, you have to work the room -- chat up the customers and persuade them to pay you for a private dance or just for your time and attention. I believe that you're either born with it, or you're not," she said. Somebody who feels comfortable in this type of setting," Feinstein said. But what's going through a dancer's mind while she gives such an intimate dance to a complete stranger?
My second thought is how much money can I get out of this person. I'm sorry, but this is my job and that's what I am here for," she said. The most successful dancers, like Trina at the Hustler Club in San Francisco, combine the physical confidence of a runway model with the verbal skills of a used-car salesman.
Some of the dancers said the sell had to be personalized. Some said they treated all of the clientele the same. But they all agreed that sizing up customers, to determine who the big spenders are, was critical. You want to look at the guy who probably doesn't get that much love or affection or whatever. And then you try to fulfill that need, you know? You try to make them feel better about themselves -- smarter, stronger, whatever. And then you are compensated for that.
And that compensation is earned whether the customer wants lap dances or just a pretty girl to sit and talk with him -- what they call "GFE," or Girlfriend Experience. And they want to get to know her," said Eric Langin, president and chief executive officer of Rick's Cabaret -- a publicly traded company that owns gentlemen's clubs in cities across the country. And they don't have to work hard to get the attention. If they pay, they get a woman who'll sit and talk and be charming.
Over and over again, people will pay you just to sit there and listen to you," Butterfly said. She said her clients talked about everything from work to their wives to their kids. And it can be incredibly lucrative for the dancers. Butterfly works in Las Vegas, where the steady stream of tourists makes it relatively easy for her to support her family. Instead, they're labeled independent contractors, and they earn their money from stage tips, selling one-on-one lap dances, or persuading customers to buy time in a VIP room. And sometimes in the fiercely competitive world of a strip club -- with dancers chasing after the same customers -- some women can feel pressure to sell not just a sexual fantasy, but sex.
But most dancers make much less, sometimes even going home with less money than they started with. There is no compensation or anything. And you just have to suck it up and hope that the next day is better," she said. Most of these so-called independent contractors must "tip out" at the end of their shift -- which means paying money to the other people working at the club -- from bouncers to DJs to the maitre d's in the VIP rooms.
On top of all that, the dancers get none of the protections or benefits, like workers' compensation and health care, that are offered to everybody else working in the club. I believe that we should get insurance. You know medical insurance, dental insurance, vision, workers' comp. Anything, where we work -- we pay them anyway," she said. The rules about how intimate the contact can be between dancer and customer can change from state to state and city to city. Clients can touch the dancers' arms and legs, Butterfly said, "and our belly if they're careful.
If they start moving up, we absolutely have to have to move their hands away," she said. And that apparently happens frequently. Butterfly said she had ended dances because a client wouldn't follow house rules. And a new trend, started in San Francisco, could be making it more difficult for dancers to keep clients' hands at bay.
Increasingly, clubs across the country are building private booths where the dancer and customer are alone. These booths are where dancers make the most money, but in San Francisco, the district attorney says it is also where dancers are potentially the most vulnerable. Langin acknowledges that sex can occur in clubs, but says the clubs try to prevent it with surveillance systems.
If a client is having sex with a dancer, Langin said, "They're going to have to do it really fast. Because there's going to be somebody coming around checking on that room. And if they get interrupted they're going to be thrown out. They work in a world full of scorn and moral condemnation. They have each made a choice about what is best for themselves and their families.
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What It’s Like to Work as an Exotic Dancer