Hobo Stripper is always good at providing a level-headed view of life “behind the scenes” in small-town strip clubs. This post has more info than usual about money, and how she makes it. But I’ll start with my dude, WTF? moment in the post:

I realised on my way here that I wasn’t going to make it in time to get a stripper license, so I slowed down. Cooked liver and onions, played with Bro. Why rush? I got into town just after dark, and established myself in a good parking spot at the local truckstop. Since I’m probably going to be here for a while, I just payed the money for a month of wi-fi at the truckstop, and then I settled into the back of my van and got a bunch of writing and web stuff done.

[The next day] I got a free shower at the truckstop (friends who network with truckers), and went to get my stripper license. They were really cool about it here, as opposed to the last few places I’ve gotten them, where the clerks have stared at me like, “whore!!!,? the whole time. The cop who fingerprinted me was even nice.”

Something about the concept of “stripper license” is making my little head hurt. Is this like, a revenue measure, a way to tax the itinerant and untaxable? But if it were about money, why the fingerprints?

I honestly had no idea that there was any place in what we used to call “the land of the free” without irony, where you had to be licensed and fingerprinted in order to dance and take your clothes off for money. My mind is expanded, and not in a good way.

And speaking of “for money”, here’s what I found to be the real interesting meat of the post:

Five minutes later I was prancing around their mostly empty club half naked when my hardcore ho friend walked in. We did the girly shreek and ran to each other. We did it totally ironically. Harcore ho (HCH from here on out) is an incredible hustler. Unlike most incredible hustlers, she wants to spread the knowledge, and I’ve learned so much from working with her all over the country in the last few years. She filled me in on the prices. Like most clubs, it was twenty a dance, but like in most clubs HCH was charging more for a “better? dance.

Using HCH’s method I was able to mostly get fifty dollars a dance, although there were a few twenty dollar ones. She pulled me in on one double dance, I pulled her in on another. We hustle good together cause I’m all subtle with the neurolinguistic programming and she’s all in your face with doing dances.

This is a pure booty shaking in your face sexuality-not-sensuality kind of club. There is none of the seduction, none of the sweetness, no cuddlers, none of what I usually love about dancing. But I don’t seem to mind. I am engaged in pure capitalism, and it feels good after being broke for the last couple weeks. You want more? You want this? More money. You want that? Hell no, but I bet you really want this. The cash just stacked up. Like always when I’m in a new place I was very conscious of my boundaries, how I felt and what I was okay with. If I have learned anything from stripping it’s that we have an absolute responsibility to ourselves not to do anything we don’t want to, and that there is no excuse (other than force) for doing something we don’t want.

I was suprised halfway through the night to find myself doing more contact than I’ve done probably since I was fifteen, working at crazy little bars that would hire a fifteen year old who pretended to be sixteen. I kept double checking, am I really okay with this? I really was.

It’s almost the end of the night when I see him. You know, that magic customer that you have great chemistry with who also has tons of money. I hear violins and see money signs over his head. He’s there with his wife. She’s bi, and he promises she’s not jealous. We bring her some drinks and head straight for the couches. After a few dances he goes to the ATM for more money, and I grab HCH and drag her over to him. “Look, isn’t she hot! Don’t you want both of us in your lap? Get double the money out and you can have us both!?

Of course he did, and when we ran through that money we went back to the ATM again. By the third ATM trip he was a little reluctant and I would have lost him, but HCH works her magic. “Let’s do another… that sounds good… yes, let’s do another… mmm, we’re having so much fun… yes… that sounds good…? she repeats, nodding, until he gets more cash. It’s like magic.

Three trips to the ATM sounds like a bad day at the casino, to me. I had one of those, once, when I was younger and more foolish, and I’ll never forget that terrible stupid/screwed feeling I had the next morning. This is no slam on the strippers, of course, nor my casino either; there’s no censure to be found in tempting grownups to spend their money. It’s just interesting to hear what the transaction “feels like” from the seller’s end.

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