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A Stripper Explains the Methods That Get Us “Binge-Watching the Booty”

A Stripper Explains the Methods That Get Us “Binge-Watching the Booty”: Hair and Makeup by Emma Parkes

Hair and Makeup by Emma Parkes

Playboy.com is proud to offer this second installment of The Tasteful Nude, a new series in which stripper, comedian and writer Kasey Koop gives us an unvarnished and often hilarious look at life onstage and backstage in L.A.’s strip club scene. Check back every Thursday afternoon for more.

The strip club can be as seductive to a dancer setting out on her pole journey as it is to a young man walking into the real-life equivalent of his wet dreams. Before I got my first stripper job, I spent a month perusing forums to get an idea of what this world was about. It didn’t make sense: How could dudes convince themselves that these hot naked girls were interested in them, and how could women play into a role so clearly created for the benefit of men?

Setting my cynicism aside, I auditioned, shaking my cake to get a piece of the pie. A former Business Minor, I was determined to master the business of hustling. Of course, getting there doesn’t happen without some hard lessons, so I want to pass it forward—to spread what I’ve learned so far as a graduate student in the School of Hard Knocks.

Here’s a quick rundown of six core concepts of the hustling business.


CLIENTELE
Be careful where you step in your seven-inchers: The strip club can be a minefield of crazies. Friends frequently express pity for my having to deal with “creepy old guys” at work, but older men are usually appreciative of affection and don’t give me trouble. (Plus, they’re more likely to be wealthy.) Time is money at the club, and there are real time-wasters to avoid—the worst being ironic twentysomething hipsters. I would rather babysit an extra chatty meth head fresh out of prison for murder than talk with one of these fools for five minutes. They’re generally attractive, in the way that plastic fruit is enticing when you are hungry. And they’re usually getting laid regularly, making them mere tourists in the club. These fellas are not eager enough for the human contact of lap dances to spend money on you. But they are eager to assert their brilliance, and they love calling blasphemy on your stripper name. A visit to the world of sex work, for them, is an ironic field trip that affords them sincere spank-bank material.

Other groups to avoid include the drug addicts who practically live club to club. Tweakers are hyper-paranoid, constantly reassuring you of things you weren’t worried about until they mentioned it. Almost as irritating as these broke-asses are the men who come to the strip club girlfriend shopping. These weirdos prey on the new girls who haven’t yet been informed of their notoriety. You can spot a girlfriend-shopper by the big stack of ones on their table that never seems to shrink—it is planted there as stripper bait. But the only money girlfriend-shoppers really spend is on drinks for the dancers in hopes of getting us drunk enough to go home to their broken futon with them.

SALES
A common misconception is that stripping is customer service. In reality, we work in sales. Our product is lap dances, and the pitch is both our personality and our physique. Sitting with guys is a precarious act of matching their energy and/or manufacturing chemistry. Of course, men have varying desires, so seduction is not a universal process. I have found the majority of customers prefer quiet girls who nod and listen. I never get told that I’m smart as much as I do by customers I hardly say anything to. Apparently, being intelligent means agreeing with everything dudes have to say.

The strip club’s appeal isn’t bare bodies so much as it is the girlfriend experience—fine babes obliging a guy’s every whim. Seduction does have a time limit and, because I’m sober, there is only so much self-serving babble I can absorb before asking if he wants a lap dance. My max is sitting for two songs before pulling the plug on Mr. Maybe. In the club, no means no and “maybe later” also means no.

KaseyKoopArt2

REGULARS
Cultivating regulars is an essential part of the hustler’s skill set. I don’t even know half of my regulars’ names, but I sure as hell remember their life stories. These guys pay my bills, and in exchange I play their sexy therapist. Having stripper names and personas sets a tone of anonymity that makes guys feel comfortable disclosing personal information to us. My non-stripper friends recoil at the perverse notion of club regulars, but I consider mine to be buddies. I even talk to them about things I can’t discuss with anyone else in my life.

Keeping regulars is a dangling-the-carrot-before-the-donkey act, and strippers must be careful not to break the fourth wall by dating or sleeping with their customers. The reason is simple: Guys lose interest once the fantasy is fulfilled. When I was a stripper novice, I made the mistake of boning a famous musician I met at work. He didn’t last long—although the worst part wasn’t losing him as a client so much as it was having sex while a Chris D’Elia standup special played in the background.

REJECTION
One valuable key to becoming a top hustler, in stripping as in any profession: Don’t take rejection personally. If a customer doesn’t want a lap dance from you, he could be broke or have his eye on someone else. Letting a rejection trip you up spoils your mood, thus sabotaging potential sales the rest of your night. Rejections aren’t personal; these people don’t even know your real name! Perhaps he is fiending for a girl with cartoonishly large tits to fulfill the Jessica Rabbit fantasies of his youth, or maybe he wants the company of an hourglass-figured lady who reminds him of his flirtatious married neighbor.

The strip club is the HomeTown Buffet of women, and I have come to accept that not every guy is into spunky, flat-chested Suicide Girls. Not that having small tits makes me self-conscious; working at the club is a constant reminder that men are attracted to anything that moves and, well, doesn’t. Guys stick their dicks in Fleshlights, for god’s sake.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media plays a bigger-than-ever role in drumming up business, and sex work is no exclusion. Gone are the days when being a stripper brandished a scarlet letter upon one’s chest. Thanks in large part to online porn, the latest sexual revolution is happening in the palm of our hands. More and more strippers are outing themselves as such via Instagram and Snapchat to attract customers and fans. Some enjoy such large followings that they actually have people who buy items off her Amazon wishlist that the dancers then show off in sexy IG selfies. Other girls use Tinder to draw boys in, advertising the club in their bio and telling matches to meet them at work when they are on shift. Although most guys align this sort of promotional behavior with Tinder porn bots and never actually come out, it occasionally works for getting new faces in the club and the hustler a few free drinks. Business hoes work around the clock.

THE VICTORY LAP
Let’s circle back to lap dances. In the hustling game, these babies are the championship round. Taking a dude to the lap dance room feels like walking down the aisle because I’m married to the money! Seriously, though, it’s the kind of victory strut every man who has ever taken me home from a bar probably felt. Personally, I love giving lap dances. Even as a virginal, straight-A student at high school dances, I would slut-crawl across the gymnasium floor on my hands and knees whenever “Pour Some Sugar on Me” played. My friends always called me the Samantha of the group, which I didn’t understand until years later. I solidified this role in college when I would get plastered and force lap dances on friends and strangers alike.

Basically, stripping is in my DNA and straddling folks is a bit of a sexual release for me, even if only for the sensual expression. Lap dances are strippers’ bread and butter, so we have to find ways to keep selling them once we begin. A solid trick is to end each dance in an arousing cliffhanger position so that when I coo, “Want another?” in his ear, he can’t resist binge-watching the booty.


Come back next Thursday for the Tasteful Nude Part Three, in which we’ll peer inside the Secret Sorority of Stripping.


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