No, not being racist here against gipsies, but if Shakira can sing a song about being a gipsy so I can write about it, right? Someone told me that we, strippers, are the gipsies of the modern world. And I must say I agree with that person. If you hear the word “gipsy” what other words come to your mind straight away? Let me help. Entertaining. Music. Dance. Thief. Magician. Travel. Bags. Free. Wild. Nomad. No agreement, no commitments. No rules.
Dancing and entertaining don’t require further explanation, I guess. As a negative aspect, some might think we also have a dark, criminal side and the dancing business linked to the underworld. I don’t think I tell a big secret that you can’t open a strip club without knowing the local mafia or if not, sooner or later they will appear and introduce themselves to you. Once I worked in a club when the manager asked me to steal my drunk customer’s credit card, and then he can charge him more bottles of champagne – of course, the most expensive one. He was very generous, and he reminded me I also could get more money after this action. Luckily it happened my last days in that club, so I refused to help him do more business in that way, and I left with no trouble. But I can understand where this negative stigma is coming from.
Sometimes we also need to develop some magic skills to disappear after our shift. Just like Houdini! I remember once I had a customer, a lovely man from Belgium. He was a nice guy until he started to get drunk and became aggressive and abusive. By the time when we finished work, he was screaming outside of the club, kicking the rubbish bins and making the possibly biggest noise around 4 am in a residential area. Because he thought I would go home with him. (That time I’ve already learned the lesson not to promise such a thing like “I see you after work if you buy me a bottle of champagne”, but in his mind somehow it was a different case.) He was angry, and nobody could make him calm. My manager tried to talk to him, no success. So one of my friends called a taxi for herself and for my safety she offered me to take me to the bus stop. It was like in an action movie. My friend went ahead, talked to the taxi driver, who drove the car to the entrance as close as he could. Then my friend opened the door and when my manager waved with his hand that the guy doesn’t pay attention – probably he was busy kicking the metal bins – I covered my head with my jacket, jumped into the car and we left. OK, Houdini could do better tricks, but I wished I could disappear and get out of the situation just as he could. So magic, yes, we also use it sometimes.
And my favourite part is the travel. Sometimes I even leave my clothes in the suitcase. I don’t see the point to put them in a wardrobe, and I get dressed straight from my bag. I use to say that I don’t have a home, but I’m home everywhere I go. And it’s true. After the second week, I got used to the new place, the new environment and I start to feel I could stay even longer. But I don’t stay. There is always a new place waiting for me to discover. And once you got the taste of this lifestyle, this kind of freedom, it’s hard to give it up. So yes, I feel like a gipsy travelling from town to town, from country to country to entertain with my dance. Never stay long for one place, never settled down. And I make my own rules.
I remember when my yakuza friend asked me:
“When do you stop this lifestyle? Taking risks?”
“You know I think we are very similar in that. Probably never. Being free and taking risks is in our blood.”
Also, the common belief is that gipsies were mining the gold just like strippers are golddiggers — another common social stigma. And we trust no one. I could tell you stories about having trust issues mainly towards men. But that would be a whole new post here.
Yesterday one of the customers told his friend as he passed by:
“You can say anything, I think it’s a fucking hard job.” I really wanted to stop him and talk about it, but he was already about to leave. He is right. We’re constantly interacting with people using our private zone. Not like a waitress who takes the order, serves the customer and leaves the table. We let any drunk, ignorant, drugged person enter our comfort zone, so easy to collect all the negative energies, emotional rubbish from them. We have to deal with rejection, more than one time a night, and we have to participate in mind games. Easily lead into burn out, alcohol or/and drug abuse.
If you don’t make money, men are your enemies because they don’t pay. If you make money, your colleagues are your enemies because of jealousy. And the management also can give you hard time. Usually, when the club is not so busy – like here now–, they drive the girls crazy to sending them to customers. “You have to go to every client! You came here to work, not just to sit!” Which is true, but let me decide who I want to work with. I often don’t see the point to go over the table if I already know the guy won’t pay. But still, they want me to go the guy in the corner who almost sleeping because he’s so drunk or the one who didn’t buy a single dollar to give out to the girls. Pointless.
I tried to find out why I was so stressed and not so successful at work lately, but mainly I blamed others. (Of course, it’s always the easiest way!) Doesn’t matter how hard I tried, the end was always disappointment and failure. If something didn’t happen as I wished, I called the guy an idiot and left him. But lately I took the time to stop, I investigate my emotions, get rid of the old, useless things and habits and go ahead with a lighter heart. Now I just smile when a girl shut the door in the changing room with anger saying “These are fucking idiots!”
You know everything is okay when you sit and smile, then go on stage, shake your booty a bit and men start queueing to have a chance to talk to you or take you to the private. I know I’m okay and balanced when guys come to me at work. I don’t need to lift up my pretty bum from the chair, they come to me asking if I want a drink or a dance. (Hm, let me think about it.) They come to me because I’m smiley and easy to approach. I like when work is that smooth and I enjoy myself. I don’t need to pretend I like people, I really do and I enjoy talking to them. I’m radiant. But it took almost 3 months emotional cleansing. When nothing happened on the surface but a lot inside. You know the feeling when you just want to hide from people. Low energy. Lost motivations. Like stepping in the mud. The more steps you make, the deeper you get. In the mud, I was searching for helping hands but forget about my own. Some could help and lift me up a few inches and hold me there temporary, some just pushed me even deeper.
Enough! Let’s see what is under the water! I let myself to swirl into the deep emotions and I went through all the stages of anger, blame, despair, self-pity. But as a result, I came out as a stronger person. And now I enjoy the fruits of my work on myself as others can do. Last week I went shopping and realised men stop and staring at me. One guy literally stopped and turned as I passed by. No, he didn’t check up my behind, he looked my face. I was wearing the same radiant smile as at work. With these feedbacks, I know I’m okay. But maybe this time it took so long. Maybe this is a sign that I better stop doing this job, I have nothing left to learn from it. I must grow. Life is much more than wake up in the morning, go to work and pay the bills (maybe because of this way of thinking I never had lots of money although all my bills are paid.)
In this sensitive period, I had someone who pointed out my negative side, someone who pushed me down in the final. I believe everything happens for a reason and every person who enters our life has a message for us. This person disappeared from my life without knowing that he gave me an amazing gift. He held a mirror for me that I had to look into and face with my own self-destruction. But his job is done. Message delivered. The rest is up to me what I’m going to do with it. There is still much work, but the first step is to realise which part of your life you need to work on. At least I stopped destroying the things around me. Now I’m more centred and can focus on building up.
Some people are still wondering how I get the jobs in all those amazing countries. And when I say I work with different agencies, they scratch their heads. Yes, there are agencies for strippers! So here is a little explanation.
If I know the agency, I go to the website and check all the clubs they offer, I pick one or two and email them if there is free space in that particular club or if I can fit in the frame. Usually, they answer relatively quickly. I don’t pay a commission to the agencies, but usually, they get money after me from the club. For example, in some clubs, if I go with an agency, I get let’s say €10 less daily salary than the girls who don’t work with an agency. But at the same time, I save energy to apply to each clubs separately and asking about details of work. As I mentioned in December going to interviews was a nightmare and it was lots of time wasters. With an agency that all, I can avoid. Also, I have to be careful about which agency I can trust. Here are some I worked recently and I’ve got what they offered on the site.
It’s not happening always. Like in Pescara the agency told me there is a private dance in the club and it was not, also in Paris the agency offered me fix daily salary and when I was there I figured out there is no fixed salary at all. If I knew it before I wouldn’t have applied because that time I didn’t want to take a risk trying a new club on a commission base only (simply I just couldn’t afford it) and I even told the agency yet they still sent me there. It was not nice at all. It was some misunderstanding between the club and the agency and even in the contract they were talking about two different clubs with two different systems, but still, the agency has to be clear with the contract and the conditions before sending anybody there. But my worst experience was in Luxembourg. The agency told me to call them when I arrive at the airport and they will let me know if I need to take the bus to the city or someone comes to pick me up. I tried to call but nobody picked up the phone or answered my messages. I was there maybe an hour and I decided to get to the city. I had no contact number of anyone from the club, the agency didn’t give me any details except the address. I found the club and I tried to make a phone call again at the front door. Again silence, no answer. I was waiting with luggage half an hour in the rain outside of a strip club – people gave me funny look on the street – when luckily one girl came back from her shopping and asked me if I’m the new girl so she let me into the apartment. But I was very upset with the agency!
They can be also quite funny with age limits. When I applied to Macau, I kept getting NO’s because the club wants younger girls. I tried with a different agency later and they accepted my application. So now if I really want to go to a place (like now I’m keen on trying Norway as I’ve heard lots of good about it) I will try different agencies. Conditions can be varied depending on the contract between the club and the agency. So it’s worth to try.
Now I’m trying to find a place in Germany, so I spend time emailing the agencies and asking for more specific details of the clubs there. Once I have the answer, I can buy my tickets as proof of a serious booking and I can focus on other things. So I’m not resting between two contracts and I also do the photoshoots as I always need new photos to my portfolio and for the applications. A good photo is a half success to get hired.
Also, I have lots of info about clubs and agencies from the girls I worked with, we share our experiences with each other. I often got messages from girls if I would recommend a club to them or not, questions like how was there with work, money, management, other girls etc. when I worked there. It’s always difficult to tell because it so depends on the personality and the work style. Even clubs have ups and downs, maybe I worked there in a not so busy period and the girl went there in a good time. It happened before and later I got the feedback that I was lying to her because I didn’t want her to make good money. Obviously, she didn’t know me well and all I did was telling her my honest experience with that club. (By the way, she didn’t even say thank you.) But since then I’m more careful with girls I don’t know that much both way taking or giving advice. That’s why it’s also good to double check with an agency.
I met a girl in Paris who told me she’s studying on university and how she entered the whole glittery pinky stripper world was that she went interviewing a few dancers in a local club to write an essay and she started to like the atmosphere and decided to work in clubs afterwards. See, not every girl’s doing it for money or because they have been forced to do so, but some also realise it’s such a good job to learn about our own sexuality and express ourselves. So after talking to her, I got an email from a lovely girl – let’s call her Laura – who asked my help to write her dissertation. “I am doing research for my dissertation, which is looking into the ways in which lap-dancing is empowering for women, but I also want to learn about the difficult parts of the industry! Basically, I just want to give an honest story. I have never done lap-dancing before so I cannot write from my own experiences, and I came across your blog and it is so interesting! You seem very honest about your work and you seem to have travelled and worked in many countries.” I thought such a brave girl to write about this subject and I’m happy to help if it doesn’t cost money so I said yes to her. And some of her questions are so intelligent and worth to write a whole post as an answer.
“How did you feel when a customer breaks the rules and touches your intimate area when giving them a naked lap dance? “
When I read this question the stories started to come to my mind. But I’m telling you the best one. I was working in Toronto, Canada where the club had a totally unique system. The customers chose the girls from a photo album with the help of the bookers. Those guys were walking around with a huge album in their hands any anybody wanted to have a lap dance, they suggested the girl who suits the best for them. We girls were not allowed to talk to customers, it was a sitting area for us or we could stay in the changing room (even for a quick nap). So because of that, there was no previous agreement on what I do in private and what I don’t. It was a whole forum on an internet site about which girl is a giver in the club and it was so popular amongst the customers. If I find it, I will link it here because it was so funny and entertaining to read. So basically the guy who booked me for dance was never so sure what he can get from me.
Once I got booked by a young guy for 30 mins. He was around 20. We went down to the private area, I seated him and started to dance. Without asking or saying anything, he started to unbutton his jeans. I didn’t say anything but gave him a bad look. He didn’t get the signal – or didn’t want to understand – and his hand slid down inside his trousers. I don’t let the customers jerk themselves during my dance so I told him to stop. He said OK. And then I changed my position, I danced a bit facing the wall and when I turned back his willy was out and it was a huge grin on his face.
“I told you not to do it!” (Jesus, this half an hour dance will be difficult!)
“OK, OK! I apologise.. but a little bit?”
But some really like testing the waters. I thought finally he got the message, I turned again to the wall. I bend over to take my panties off when I saw him between my legs what he’s doing. Of course, his trousers down on his hips and he was jerking. I really hate when I have to repeat myself again and again, and it seems this bloke was deaf or something not to hear what I was trying to say. I found a more effective way. I grabbed his beer from the small table where he put it, suddenly turned back and put it upside down into his trousers. The cold beer poured down on his erection and on his balls.
“Now I hope you understand what I was saying to you!”
He immediately jumped from the sofa and called me on every name you can imagine. I gave him back his dance tokens and left.
Dear man, if the dancer says not to do it, it means NOT TO DO IT! Once I had to listen to 30 mins lecture from my manager because my customer did the same when I danced showing my butt to him. My manager passed the curtains and she saw what’s going on and interrupted the dance. I told her I’m wearing my eyes on the front and I can’t see what he’s doing behind my back but she thought I let him do. Seriously I almost got fired just because the guy was not listening. Same with touching. In some clubs, they are very strict about it and I can get in trouble if they see it on the security cameras. What? If there are security cameras??? Of course, there are! Who would believe that there is no control over what’s going on in the VIP room? The clubs have to protect themselves if anything happens there.
But answering the question, it happened to me that the customer touched me in an inappropriate way – again I was showing my back to him and I did a sexy bend over. He thought it’s funny if he touches me between my legs. As I felt his finger on my private area I turn back and suddenly gave him a huge slap on his face.
“Never do it again!”
“I’m so sorry.”
“But I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”
“Get the fuck out of here!!!”
I was cold as ice and he understood the fun is over and he left. After the security guy came to me asking why I finished the dance sooner. I told him what happened and he just shrugged his shoulder. “Hm, OK.”Of course, it was OK. It was no argument about paying back the dance or anything. Security can help to kick out an angry guy or step between the dancer and customer if it’s necessary. But behind closed doors (or curtains) I’m in control. And I have to make sure that nothing happening there that can harm me. I remember working as a hostess. Once we had a beautiful girl who never worked in this field before. She got chosen by a “good” customer and the guy paid her champagne bottle after bottle. As it was her first night, she easily lost her limits. And the control. After she was crying in the toilette because the guy tried to finger her through her tights and panties and she felt violated. That was her first and last night.
That’s MY body, I make the rules! I understand there are different clubs and in some clubs, you can get more, I also understand that the temptation is big, but if the dancer says NO, it means NO. It’s always better to ask than walking through the whole club with wet pants and it looks you just peed yourself during the private dance.
“Where are you from?”
“Are you hungry, hahaha?”
“No. But I’m quite thirsty. Are you going to buy me a drink?”
I heard this joke a lot so I developed my cheeky answer and it never fails. But sometimes it can be so annoying, especially when you hear it more than once on the same night. We, Hungarians are very bored with it, so it’s time to forget about it. Deal? Although I’m fully aware of the situation back in my country and it’s sad but Hungary is heading to be a hungry country indeed. (But no political comments here.)
“I’m from Hungary.”
“Really? I just ordered some sushi! Would you like some?”
”You know what? I’d love to give you 2 books at this very moment. One would be an English dictionary to know the difference between hungry and Hungary, and a European travel atlas. (And f*** your sushi!)”
This guy thought he’s so funny, but I was not in a good mood to listening to this joke again. We ended up arguing and he got very angry. Even wanted to call my manager because I was rude to him!
“I’m from Hungary.”
“Are you Hungarian? You’re so white. I thought people in Hungary have dark skin like me!”
From a black guy in Toronto. Well, there are so many gipsies in Canada from Hungary, they are all there as refugees because they say Hungary doesn’t want them. And usually, they have darker skin. But apparently Canada made up the law and they send them back to Hungary because their lifestyle was not acceptable to Canadians. But it was funny that some people in Canada thought we are all the same.
“I’m from Hungary.”
“So do you have horses?”
Anybody can explain why I heard this question a few times? In Switzerland and also in Iceland. What is the link between Hungary and horses? It was a long time ago when Hungarians were riding horseback across the Carpathian base and scared the hell out of Romans. But the question is like me asking an Icelander: “Are you from Iceland? Do you have a Viking boat?”
“I’m from Hungary.”
“Do you know that originally Hungarians are from China?”
From a Chinese guy in Macau. Yes. Everything is made in China.
“Where are you from?”
From a Greek guy in Loutraki. I think he was the best. He tried to pick us up on a street and followed us asking questions when I was walking around with Giselle. I have no idea what he heard as my answer. Hungary and Congo have a slight bit of different pronunciation, not to mention we both don’t look exactly like Congolese women. But we still laughing at him. (No surprise, when I was on the train and asked if it goes to the airport, I ended up at the port. Airport and port are also almost the same.)
“I’m from Hungary.”
What is basically not true but I’m laughing at the surprised faces. (I picked up a difficult one to pronounce it) Like no other city exists in Hungary expect Budapest. And Budapest, not Bucharest!
Some situations I feel ashamed, just like in Canada, according to so many gipsies there, I saw a paper on the front door of a shop “Don’t steal!” written in Hungarian. I was not so proud but again, no political comments here. Lots of boss and club owners like to work with Hungarian girls because as they say we are more respectful and there is less drama. But I can say it generally, not only in the nightlife. (Of course, exceptions are everywhere.)
So yes, I’m from Hungary. And I’m proud of it even I live in London now. And I always try to do my best to represent my country.