NIGHTLIFE—Melbourne has a magical array of nightlife, you can expect to see kebab shops full of wordslurring, eyerolling, wobblykneed drunkards fumbling for their cash, nightclubs where the bouncer has it out for you even though “I swear to god I’ve only had two bikkies I promise, please let me in mate”, girl’s holding onto their heels as they throw up in a gutter whilst simultaneously taking 300 selfies, and last but not least, stripclubs, beautiful, wonderful, glorious, splendid stripclubs. These days anyone can go to a strip club, whether you’re a 60 year old man who hates his wife or an 18 year old girl on her first night out. So as it’s becoming more acceptable, maybe it’s time people learn the ins and outs. Having worked in the industry myself, I wish I had been told a few of these things before visiting a stripclub and before becoming a stripper. So whether you wish to be a patron or a participant, I am here to guide you through the Melbourne strip scene.
Tips For Participants
The first strip club I ever worked at I had never before visited, and if I had visited it before hand, I would have never worked there. Melbourne has heaps of stripclubs, so visit them, check out the environment, talk to the girls that work there, read the websites, see what kind of customers they attract. Make observations, for example; you may notice that none of the girls there have tattoos, so if you do have tattoos they may not hire you.
Make smart shoe choices
When it comes to stripper heels, do the exact opposite of what I just told you. Spend as much as you can, you only need one pair, and when you are standing and dancing for 8 hours 4 nights a week, you’ll need a good pair. Spend well and they will last you (I’ve had my pair of Pleasers for 5 years and they are still going strong)
Out of all the girls I have ever met while stripping, only four (including myself) had any knowhow on the pole, the rest just wiggle their butt and shake their tits for 15 minutes. This was one of my biggest fears before starting stripping “How am I going to keep it interesting for 15 WHOLE MINUTES!? EVERY HOUR?! AM I EVEN FIT ENOUGH FOR THAT?!” To be perfectly honest, it helps, but most men really don’t give a shit if you can go upside down or do the splits, they just want to see some ass.
Know your boundaries and stick to them.
When I was just starting out, I was poor and I would drink too much at work, and most importantly I didn’t know where my boundaries were. So when a dirty old man held an extra $50 in front of my face and asked to lick my nipples, I said yes. Then I would go home and feel disgusting. People assume there are many negative psychological effects that come with being a stripper, and that can happen, but as long as you stay in control and stick to what you are comfortable with, it’s unlikely it will. I cannot stress this enough, THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP I WILL GIVE YOU.
Pick a simple stage name
If I hear one more girl say “Hi my name is Cinnamon/Malibu/Candy/Coco/Venus/Cleopatra/Misty/Electra/etc” I’ll go insane. Stripping is a customer service industry, and the aim of customer service is to create a relationship, however temporary, with the customer. If the customer instantly knows your lying about something a simple as your name (no mother would ever name their child Vixen, please), that relationship has already been broken. And by the same token, don’t EVER make overthetop fake sex noises during a lap dance, the customer knows it’s fake, we know it’s fake and it makes us all want be be sick.
Don’t expect to be a billionaire overnight
Let’s get real, we live in an age of Tinder, internet porn and nightclubs where all it takes to get laid is buying a girl a few vodka raspberries (no disrespect ladies, I’ve been there too). So what man in their right mind would spend $50 for looking and no touching? Another aspect is there is much less of a stigma attached to being a stripper these days, which, don’t get me wrong, I think is fantastic, but it means more and more girls are trying it, so there’ll be 70 girls working and only 20 customers, you do the math. Also the price of a dance hasn't been raised for inflation since the 80’s. And finally let’s not forget the $50-100 you have to give the venue every night just for being there (that’s right, it’s called a house fee). When I started stripping I thought I’d be living the high life; Louis Vuitton and snorting cocaine through a hundred dollar bill for breakfast, and while I was still earning a fair bit more than I would have been at a normal job, it was more like, Just Jeans and white wine for lunch. And yes, there will be nights where you go home with nothing (sorry).
Have an exit strategy
I have seen women working that, I swear to god, would be 40, and it makes you think “why/how is she still doing this?” I’ll tell you how, she had no exit strategy. While you're a uni student, being a full time stripper with no other job is not such a big deal, because when an employer looks at the three year gap on your resume you can just tell them “I was studying,” or “I was travelling” also when you’re this age you have to start from the bottom with jobs anyway. But when you’re 28 and have that gap, it’s a little harder to explain, and when no one will hire you and you have to get a job at McDonalds on tuppence an hour where you’ve been used to $400 a night, it’s far too easy to go back to what you know and stay there until you’re 40. But an exit strategy is super simple; just have another job at the same time and don’t develop a taste for an expensive lifestyle.
The big one
You might expect me to tell you that the worst part of the job is sleazy men trying to grabass you (they don’t actually do that that much), or wearing heels all night (you get used to it), but I’m not. The number one worst thing about this job is secrecy. The only times I’ve ever felt dirty while being a stripper is while I was lying to those I love. Parents might be angry and upset, potential boyfriends/girlfriends may get jealous, but it is far easier to deal with that than the months of guilt you have to go through if you’re not. I told my family (conservative christians just so you know) and at first they were shocked, but once they could see that I was safe and happy, they learned to get over it.
If we say our name is Melody, don't ask what our real name is, it's Melody (it's not).
Tips For Patrons
Don’t be a tight ass
If you are expecting a night at the strippers, don’t bring only $50. The amount of people that don’t understand that we don’t get paid by the club and that the only money we make is by giving lap dances, is astounding. These girls can only pay their rent and feed their cat if you buy a dance from them. Yes, you will be pestered by 50 girls and yes, I understand that it’s terribly annoying, but if you wanted to go somewhere for a quiet drink and you don’t want to spend money, go to a bar, not a strip club.
Please don’t smell. We are very open minded women and we will do everything we can to be polite and charming and sexy, but it is very hard to do that when we are holding back gags from the odour of your breath or pits.
I shouldn’t tell you this, but don’t get tricked into group dances. Girls use this to get double/triple/etc the money for the same amount of time dancing, while you only get half/a third/a fourth the amount of attention. Only agree if each person is paying less than they would in a one-on-one dance. By group dances I mean where one girl dances for more than one customer, not the other way round. If you are paying more than one girl to dance with just you, you’re getting your money’s worth.
We mean what we say
If we say no touching, please do not touch us. If we say we are not allowed to give our number to customers (we’re not), please don’t ask us 6 more times. If we say our name is Melody, don’t ask us what our real name is, it’s Melody (it’s not).
I shouldn’t tell you this either, but if you don’t want to get pestered by other girls for a bit, go sit at a table/stage where a girl is dancing. It is a rule at every strip club that girls are not allowed to talk to a customer while he is watching another girl dance at a table, this is because that is that girls opportunity to “advertise” herself. You’ll still get pestered a little by the girl dancing, but one is better than 20.
Taylor’s Top 3
This is without a doubt my favourite stripclub, it has a nightclub vibe to it and it always feels like a party. This is where the younger guys in suits tend to go. It is a big venue with dark lighting and 3 metre tall poles, they also have some of the best performers in melbourne, from acrobats to contortionists (look for Vicky Aisha). $20 entry and reasonably priced drinks, only open at night.
This club is very popular, which can sometimes be annoying if you go on a Friday or Saturday night because you can barely move! But the reason it is popular is because the women there are classically stunning with minimal piercings or tattoos (which tends to attract an older, but richer clientele), they also do some really unique shows on Fridays and Saturdays, like fire shows and bubble bath shows. If you go, check out my best friend Elloise! $20 entry, drinks are slightly overpriced, open basically all the time.
Showgirls Bar 20
A much more intimate feeling club as it is a slightly smaller venue with burlesque style decor (red velvet and tassels etc.) The girls here are a lot more diverse than the other two clubs (from dreadlocks and full body tattoos to delicate girls with nothing at all) and as such the clientele is quite mixed as well. Bar 20 does allow touching and if you go make sure you see Isabelle Deltore! She holds the title of Miss Nude World 2015. $20 entry, regular drink prices, only open at night.
Well I hope these insider tips have been helpful.
Love your body and the bodies of others, happy ventures!