Club Patron: You showed a lot of interest in becoming a stripper even before you were of legal age. What expectations did you have of stripping?
Mary Jane: I expected to make a ton of money doing really fun stuff. I knew that it wouldn’t be oodles of money every single night—my sister was a stripper too and told me about the harder parts of being an entertainer.
Club Patron: Now that you have some experience, how has the reality compared with your expectations?
Mary Jane: The reality is a lot harsher than I expected, even knowing more than most girls do when they first start. I still have fun at work, and pole dancing has become my obsession lately.
Club Patron: What aspects of the job have you experienced, either positive or negative, that you didn’t anticipate?
Mary Jane: I still didn’t really expect slow nights for a whole week, the corruption in management, both in club and out, and genuinely liking some of my regulars. Sometimes the only people in the club are guys looking for extras. Sometimes the director will try to tell you you owe more money to the club than you really do, or look the other way when they see a girl performing extras because she boosts alcohol sales. And I’ve definitely become aware of some more unusual fetishes! I’ve met guys who wanted nothing more than to massage my back because they have a muscle fetish and I’m petite and muscular.
Club Patron: Do you consider yourself a ‘veteran’ yet? What parts of the job have you mastered most, and what do you still think you need more experience to learn?
Mary Jane: Not by a long shot. I’m only eight months into this. However, I’ve put so much work into pole tricks that I’ve gotten awesome at it. I think what I need more experience with is lying to customers; I’ve lost out on quite a bit of money because I didn’t feel like lying to a guy. It takes a while to realize that it’s necessary with some guests.
Club Patron: Any advice for a young lady who is considering entering the field?
Mary Jane: Think long and hard about whether or not you can deal with that kind of scrutiny every time you go to work. Watch pole dance and floor work videos online; there are a ton of them on Youtube. Don’t listen to anyone to tries to change your mind on prices; you’re worth every penny of what you charge. Don’t get involved in dressing room drama—if shit starts, it’s not your shit and you don’t need to get yourself in it. Have a back up plan for when money’s slow. Save back money every single time you have a good day. Don’t buy cheap shoes; they’ll break while you’re on stage three months into wearing them. Cheap perfume makes you smell cheap. Don’t listen to the girls that tell you pole tricks are unimportant/a waste of time, because if you’re having fun on stage, it shows and you make more money, and some people will tip you and tip you well purely because you did a cool trick. Smile a lot. Point your damn feet every time they aren’t on the floor. And take the good times with the bad.
Club Patron: How would you sum up your thoughts on your experience with stripping so far?
: It’s harder than I thought it would be, even with trying to prepare myself by reading girls’ blogs. Sometimes I have to just close my eyes and pretend I’m somewhere else for a song or two with some guys. It’s a habit for me now to yank someone’s hand away or jerk back when they try to touch me, even with my husband occasionally. I have regulars that I dread and love at the same time because I know they’re going to try to suck my nipples or try to sneak a hand down my panties but they’re going to give me a lot of money for putting up with their bullshit.
All that said;
I’ve really come to love pole dancing. I’m getting pretty good! I’ve met amazing dancers, Djs, and customers. My self confidence is through the roof most days. I make as much money as I possibly can, being eighteen with no job experience or college education. And not all guys are horrible. I quite like my job :)
The lovely Mary Jane can be found at dreadfulstripper.tumblr.com.