My name is Skye and I am a stripper in Sunnyvale, CA . I started dancing this year when I decided I no longer wanted to see female sex workers excluded from feminist groups. I figured the best way to crush stigma was to rid it from my own life. I stepped out of my comfort zone and made a power move. I was largely inspired by Jaq-the-tripper, a stripper, feminist, artist, and writer. I'm currently stacking bills and applying glitter at many sports bars near you. Much love -Skye
Was it easy getting started?
No, but it was easier than I’d thought it would be. Just in case you are considering it, I'll break it down for you:
You need to walk into the club during the day and ask the manager to audition. This is the first screening process (tip: Don't bring a resume)... When you go in to ask… look like a snack and a half. Clubs are always hiring, but they don't have to let you audition. Don't take it personally and don't give up if they weed you out!
Every body type, look, and gender can do this job, but some clubs may only want specifics. If you get an audition day, take that whole day off. To prepare, get stripper shoes, an outfit, and whatever else you may need to look, smell, and feel perfect.
Take a long luxurious shower like a goddess in a body wash commercial. Shave until you are baby dolphin smooth and do your damn hair and nails. Do your makeup super extra. Before you leave pick a name but have a backup in case it's taken. When you audition on stage, remember: your dance moves are pretty irrelevant. Just be seductive and channel your inner tease!
On average, how much do you make in one night?
One of the more frustrating things about this job is the inconsistent income. It's all tips and no hourly. There's a possibility you go home with nothing. I know plenty of girls who make only like $50 a night on average because they are mean, shy, or pick bad music. The strip game is so dependent on sex appeal but even more on personality. I make anywhere from $300 to $800 a night. I also only work short shifts and have a lot of rules (no touching, no grinding, etc.). I've never left with less than $200.
What were you most afraid of when you first started dancing?
You have no idea. I was actually a stripper-hater most of my life – and before the night I stepped on that stage with my candy pink 9 inch heels, I had never even been to a strip club... not even as a customer. I had no idea what to expect. I was shaking in my little pink outfit with my cat eye smudging from sweat. I’d had a full-on, crying panic attack in my car earlier that day. I have been riddled with stage fright all my life. I got up there and Rihanna (long live the queen ) started playing. I ran at that damn pole and spun like a ballerina. I pretended no one was there. I could feel bills falling through the air. I owned that room and I wasn't scared anymore. I made $80 in three minutes.
Always remember that you never know how capable you are until you make a choice to rise to the occasion. I haven't always been a powerful vixen or even a risk taker of any kind. I hope that you get a chance to do what scares you.
Is it fun?
Absolutely! If you can imagine going to a workout where you look adorable, the music of your choice is blaring, and a room full of people are all yelling how attractive, sexy, and amazing you are for three straight hours and give you a fat stack of money when you leave... yeah. That's pretty much my Saturday night.
How many days do you work in one week and how many hours do you work in one night?
I, like many strippers, get to make my own hours, so it really depends. Being a private contractor also means there are no labor laws limiting my work hours and flexibility. Typically, I work three days a week and I work for about three to six hours. It's really hard to answer this question because I leave and show up when I want. I'll just estimate three days a week, four hours per shift.
Hey, I have never been to a strip club. My friends are taking me next week for my birthday. Any advice?
You are too adorable! You are going to have a great time! Bring lots of ones. If you want a dancer’s attention, keep tipping. Don't haggle with him or her! Be respectful! The order of things goes as follows:
No pictures or videos and STAY OFF YOUR PHONE. You'll get a lot more out of the night if you are nice to the dancers. Make sure you look and smell nice. Happy birthday, Newbie, xoxo
What's your go-to stripping song?
I love this question! It's good to remember that your music usually runs hand in hand with your persona, look, and style. I'll goof around or play party anthems to pump up the crowd. Dad rock is also a money maker. My signature sets are:
Chainsmoking by Jacob Banks
Desperado by Rihanna
Soap by Melanie Martinez
Gasoline by Halsey
Lana Del Rey is always a safe bet, though. If you want to shake that ass I'd suggest Play by David Banner. Make it rain!
Do you also have sex with your patrons?
I'm going to answer this question the same way I and all the other strippers I know answer when customers inquire about it. No, absolutely not, and you're a little gross for asking. You know that's illegal and not in our job description so why would you ask?
Prostitution is illegal in California and a solicitor can do up to 15 years in prison for that. If you were referring to consensual or free sex… that's still a no. We don't use this job to date, flirt, or get laid. Patrons are our paycheck; the flirting is just acting. They are a friend at the very most and nothing more. I know some women who use stripping as an escort or sugar daddy advertisement but that's going to cost you upwards of $5,000 per date (no guaranteed physical contact) and a possible trip to the big house.
Remember, we are selling a beautiful, glittery, spray-tanned, oiled up fantasy… not pussy. Xoxo
Are you open about your profession to all your friends?
Yes and no. I'm so proud of my hustle and I'll tell my more open friends but won't offer the info’ up to others unless they ask. This isn't because I'm ashamed, because I'm honestly not. I'm a sexy mother fricking goddess with hella money. I just don't owe anyone any information. Also I don't have time to watch people get awkward, judgmental, or ignorant. Anyone who doesn't support your talent and tries to judge what you do with your body isn't worth your time Boo.
How do you deal with germs in the workplace?
I'm so glad you asked! Some girls are more sanitary than others. I know a girl who doesn't wash her hands after she goes potty and then she hits the pole (ew) and I know another babe who takes half a song to scrub down the stage with bleach wipes (what a doll). I carry a mini, yummy smelling hand sanitizer on a keychain on my money bag and use it all night. I also wipe down the pole with a spray bottle and towel if I'm dancing right after someone who has been sweaty or tends to not wash their hands. I, and many other girls, go to the back frequently and wipe our bodies with baby wipes. People's hands are dirty, the money we roll in is dirty and we get sweaty.
Where do you buy your shoes? How can you dance in them?
You're so cute I just want to take you shopping with me OMG! I buy from Hustler Hollywood. They are the best in town and they can order in for you if you want. I get all my outfits there too. If you are going to buy shoes BUY “PLEASERS” BRAND. Don't buy knockoffs. Don't. Do. It.
Remember to buy shoes with ankle straps so they don't fly off and kill someone. As far as dancing in them, it takes practice but it's way easier than you think. Walk with confidence. It helps! Seriously! Pretend you're the hottest thing in the room and your feet won't fail you. If you happen to stumble, be charming and say “pretend I didn't do that” and waltz away. Works every time.
Do you regret starting stripping for money?
I'm going to start by answering your question as best as I can. You should know that I don't do this job for the money. I have a well-paying career that I went to college for (I graduated as valedictorian, by the way). I did it to change myself and how I felt about sex workers. It was frustrating that we are often excluded from feminism in the public eye. I continue because it's fun, rewarding, great exercise, and I'm damn good at it. No, I don't regret it at all.
Now, let's address your condescendingly-worded question. Watch your mouth. I'm a real person and you're being ignorant. Why would I regret it? I'm not doing anything shameful. I'm so glad, on your behalf, that these questions are anonymous. Otherwise, everyone would know how classist and discriminatory you are. Just know: when strippers ever do cry over our jobs, we wipe our tears with Benjamins we got from your dad. Don't be surprised if your tuition payments are late, Boo. Stigma kills.
What do you like most about your job?
My favorite part of the job is probably the sisterhood of gorgeous, strong women that have my back. You would think that there would be a lot of drama or competition but there really isn't. We all help each other, we watch out for each other, and no one messes with my work wife. I work at an all women's club, so it's really empowering to see a bunch of goddesses working as sisters. It's actual magic.
Is there a lot of harassment in the workplace?
Security is really good about protecting us. The minute a customer crosses a line, they are out. We girls are all over each other, though. Grabbing some booty or boob is like the stripper secret handshake, but you have to be a stripper on a first stage name basis to do it. That's definitely not harassment but when it comes to coworkers; it's a touchy job.
Overall, I would say no, not a lot. I have heard of DJs or bartenders getting handsy but it's zero tolerance.
Is this a long-term career for you, or just temporary?
There's no telling what the future holds. Maybe something happens or I get injured and I quit tomorrow. Or perhaps the CEO of Peppermint Rhino offers me a huge pile of money to be a traveling dance goddess and I'm immortalized as an enterprising mega babe.
For now, I take it day to day, save money, invest, and enjoy it. For the time being, this is not my career. I have a day job and a degree. I'm not about wasting that tuition money I paid, honey.
Complete the sentence: I am a stripper, but I am also a…
I am a stripper, but I am also a person, a good friend, a daughter, a sister, a medical professional, and whoever else I want to be.
It's important to remember that sex workers, like strippers, are capable of anything you are. Being a baddie doesn't mean we don't have regular lives. We are people with feelings. We are just like you, but richer. ;)