The Life of a Stripper

iStock_000004674551XSmallBy Marianne Cook

Most people are aware of strippers and that their job involves getting naked for entertainment. The common misconception is that strippers are “prostitutes in costume”. This is utterly wrong. What most people don’t know is what is involved in preparing for the job, and the day-to-day pitfalls faced.

The challenges faced when working as a professional stripper include dealing with society’s stereotype and negative misconceptions, safety and crowd control, time limit on career and earning potential, unethical industry operators.

Women who choose to work as strippers come from all walks of life. Many are single Mums, some are happily married, while others are looking to have a source of income while studying. Whatever the reason, stripping for a living is hard work.

A lot of strippers have a background in various forms of dance, and now that pole dancing classes have become so popular, many strippers get their start after having mastered the pole. Most commonly these days, any woman wanting to work as a stripper will get her start working at a strip club venue. It is here she can observe other strippers and learn basic “stripper” moves. Each stripper will then incorporate their own personality and style to develop their individual shows. When working in clubs becomes boring, many strippers will move into doing private bookings through an agency. Even more common these days is for strippers to combine club and private work to maximise their income.

Choreographing and rehearsing a show is somewhat difficult.  A good stripper needs to be able to tailor her show according to her audience. Before presenting a new show strippers will familiarise themselves with the music, marking cues in the music for when each item of clothing should come off. Often they will have a basic format in mind, and create new moves and routine on the fly during a performance. Possessing this versatility and ability to improvise defines a good stripper versus a great showgirl.

Stripping is predominantly about “eye-candy”, looking good for clients. Clients are buying a sexy fantasy, this means a lot of work must go in to personal grooming and body maintenance for any stripper to be successful. Watching what you eat is vital, any extra kilos can’t be hidden when you get naked for a living.

Essential parts of daily body maintenance include keeping legs and underarms hair free, neatly trimmed and shaped pubic hair, all over tan and of course regular exercise to keep their body slim and toned. Any stripper that doesn’t maintain a strict regime of body maintenance will soon find their earning potential drop dramatically.

However, the challenge of keeping up with a fairly intensive body maintenance schedule is not the worst part of being a stripper. Personal safety, the stripper stereotype and avoiding unethical agents/venues are by far the worst issues faced by a professional stripper.

Strippers use a variety of tactics for crowd control when doing private bookings. Most important is to conduct themselves professionally. A professional attitude counteracts the misconception of strippers being promiscuous, an easy target for guys looking more than a show. It is also an essential component in keeping a crowd of drunken males in line and encourages them to show respect. Humour also heads off a lot of potential problems, as does the presence of a security chaperone.

The unfortunate truth is the stripping industry is fraught with dodgy operators. Agents and clubs prepared to do anything to make a dollar, most often to the detriment of the strippers who perform. Strippers must be savvy and have a keen sense to pick the right people to work with.

Given that the average career span for a professional stripper is 5-7 years, it’s important to have a game plan in place and work towards retirement goals. Smart women use stripping as a means to an end. A source of income while studying, a way to develop contacts and network to further their own interests.

Despite the fact the downside to stripping, many women use it to successfully create a springboard for alternative career and life achievements.

Author Bio: Marianne Cook is the owner and founder of XXXTC Strippers & Showgirls. XXXTC was founded in 2008 in response to many complaints from showgirls regarding the use of unethical practices within the industry, and the use of intimidation to compel them to succumb to unfair pay and working conditions. It has fast become Melbourne’s leading adult entertainment agency, and the agency of choice to showgirls who desire to work with a dedicated and professional team. Showgirls are treated with respect and professionalism, clients receive unsurpassed levels of customer service.

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