Twitter Facebook Instagram Google+ Tumblr YouTube E-Mail WhatsApp Sign In Check Close snapchat
Search
Exit Clear
The Tasteful Nude The Tasteful Nude

The Art of Failing Gracefully, Stripper-style

The Art of Failing Gracefully, Stripper-style:

Welcome to The Tasteful Nude, in which stripper, comedian and writer Kasey Koop gives us a point-blank look at life onstage and backstage in L.A.’s strip club scene. Check back every Thursday afternoon for more.

Two of our most primal fears as modern humans are public speaking and clowns; by that logic, stand-up comics are both horrified and horrifying. Another biggie is undressing in public. No wonder guys are afraid to date me, considering the size of my metaphorical balls.

Being a comedian made the transition into stripping easier, since I had already clocked hundreds of hours of onstage rawness for little more than chuckles. When all the world’s a stage, the failure integral to growth is on public display. It’s not a matter of if you will bomb during a set, or if people will reject you for lap dances, but which Taco Bell items are most absorbent of tears. That constant rejection, compounded by the standard strip club seediness, can make it difficult to navigate the industry gracefully.

Here are few things than can make even the smoothest stripper fall on her face—and the skills that help her get up again.


ROUTINE REJECTION
It’s bad enough when you approach a potential customer and he declines your offer of a lap dance; it’s even worse when a patron’s buddy has paid for him to get one and he still doesn’t want it. In this case, I usually drag the guy back to the private room and force him to sit through the prepaid dance like he’s in time-out.

The customer’s decisions hinge on his nerves, finances, the odds of popping a boner and the good humor, patience and sobriety of his girlfriend. Whatever the reason, strippers get a lot of, “I’m not a lap-dance guy.” Some of these looky-loos visit the club specifically for the power trip of turning down babes who are out of their league. It’s a practice in restraint to be told by a man who looks like a toad that you’re not his type—although, in most cases, I take that as a compliment. The rest of the time, the key is making up your mind to compartmentalize the workplace rejection so it doesn’t cause the inevitable damage of personal rejection. In comedy and stripping, I sell carefully crafted versions of myself, which creates a separation between the personal and professional and softens failure’s blow. Most of the time, I don’t take the rejection to heart. And making easy money compensates for the occasions it does trip me up.

SHADY CHARACTERS
You can’t talk difficulties of stripping without mentioning the dangerous side. There are no letters of recommendation required to become a stripper. I recently watched an audition where a girl tied her neck to the pole with a belt. She got hired and worked the same night. The strip club can feel like a halfway house with an open bar. Comedy clubs are no different, having criminal origins and no shortage of creeps. In both contexts, I draw upon the iron-clad good cheer I adopted over the summer I spent as a candy striper, when I’d deliver documents to the psych ward and try not to jump every time I heard the barred doors clink shut behind me.

DOWNTIME
Keeping your head above water in both strip and comedy venues necessitates staying busy and utilizing the space for practice when there’s little or no audience. Since I don’t drink, I’m as professional about my job as someone who grinds for a living can be. People ask me what it’s like to strip for no people or dollars. Downtime is par for the course, and it’s when I use the stage as my gym, stretching and practicing new moves. When guys actually do arrive, they’re like my personal trainers who keep me motivated with cash and compliments, which is much more inspiring than being yelled at. Sometimes they’ll ask if I’m too exhausted to keep going with lap dances, but a ho never gets tired.

BALLERS ON A BUDGET
Eating shit on display wouldn’t be so bad if not for all the game-playing. During comedy shows, folks heckle when my jokes fall flat, just in case I didn’t notice the resounding echo of my own failure. Stripping’s equivalent is a man saying he can’t afford lap dances before buying them from another girl. Being turned down is a typical part of my job, but please: Don’t lie about running out of money and blatantly spend it on someone else. The rejection is not personal but lying is just insulting. I’ve watched a group of guys tip hundreds to a select few dancers, going so far as to walk onstage with them like they were in a rap video. The ostentation wouldn’t have bothered me had they been tipping every girl but it was clear they were Ballers On a Budget—guys who worship Scarface and act like big shots without the funds to back it up. I’ve seen a B.O.B. throw a stack in the air before immediately picking it up off the ground. If we’re committing to this fantasy, fellas, you better too.

Customers play countless games—favoring certain girls, ignoring their go-to strippers in the hope that we’ll fight over them—but we know better than to fall into that trap. You can’t play a pro.


Find more installments of the Tasteful Nude here.

RELATED: STRIPPERS TELL US THEIR SECRETS


More From The Tasteful Nude See all The Tasteful Nude

Playboy Social

Never miss an issue. Subscribe and save today!

Loading...