A million years ago, Tina Fey said something about strippers:

“I love to play strippers and to imitate them,” says Tina Fey. “I love using that idea for comedy, but the idea of actually going there? I feel like we all need to be better than that. That industry needs to die, by all of us being a little bit better than that.”

And here I am, fashionably late, with a YES AND.

The whole industry of consenting adults having a good time without the social constraints of marriage, children and all that other unreasonable, responsible-grown-up shit like monogamy has to DIE? But Tina! The Entertainment Industry can and will not ever die!

Tina Fey also said,


Every woman knows men are babies.

I can imagine that Tina’s experience with getting naked for money may not be as comedically thrilling as mine. In fact it’s quite possible that Tina’s never actually been a stripper! And that’s totally ok. Tina can hate what I stand for and I will always love her. I’m really into the whole unrequited-love-from-our-idols kind of masochism, anyway.

In an effort to become more like her, this one time I took an improv course. It was really fun, but mostly I was terrible and found that for the first time ever I felt like I was trying too hard in front of an audience. Which is totally weird, because improv is all about NOT trying too hard. It’s about being yourself. Being as average as can be, which in turn makes really great fucking comedy.

But I’m so used to being myself with high heels and glitter that being myself in a dry t-shirt was totally jarring.

After my course was complete and I totally BOMBED as a bona fide, clothed improv star, I realized that I’ve been an improv actress - and a successful one - for FOUR FUCKING YEARS. Stripping is basically the highest paid improv acting gig you can find in New York City!

What follows are Tina Fey’s Rules for Improv, and how they are also Rules for Successful Strippers.

Rule #1 — Agree

The first rule of improvisation is AGREE. Always agree and SAY YES.

When a customer says something like, “I can tell you like anal sex” I say YES. Because horny men ARE TOTALLY UNORIGINAL and because that is the fantasy he wants to play out. And I am here to work out these fantasies without any actual anal sex ever occurring! MAYBE I AM A SUPERFREAK BUT TO ME THIS SOUNDS FUN.

The Lesson: Respect What Your Partner has Created

“The benefit of ‘agreement’ is an open mind, an environment where ideas can thrive and innovation is welcome.” Everyone has fantasies and it’s healthier to talk about them and act them out in a consenting environment. Confession: I’ve never had a dick up my ass. But this is an opportunity to learn what this man likes about it so much. Learning is fun!

Rule #2 — Not Only Say Yes… Say Yes And

To keep the ball rolling (and the money flowing), I need to add to the fantasy that he is sharing with me. I have two choices:

1. If I think I will make money out of this transaction, I will cater to his desire.

“Anal is my favourite. It’s how I like to start every time.”

2. If I think he is a cheap pervert, I will follow with something for my own personal entertainment.

“No preamble with the pussy, no lube. Just dry, hard, painful ANAL. It helps loosen my bowels when I’m constipated!”

Either I am having fun and making money, or just having plain old potty humour fun. You would be surprised how much money I make off poo jokes. I make them so uncomfortable that they CANNOT LOOK AWAY. Horny boners, awkward boners, shame boners… they are all BONERS and they all turn a profit.

Rule #3 — Make Statements

Sitting on his lap, I sip on the glass of shitty champagne my customer just bought me - a signifier that he likes me and would like to continue spending time with me. I state the following: “Anal sex is highly underrepresented in porn.”

To which my customer replies with “Yes AND it’s a tragedy because I don’t think the female audience is aware of how much they don’t know that they want it!”

Lesson: Don’t Ask Questions All the Time

Just like I don’t want to be asked where I’m from, or how old I am, my customer doesn’t want to talk about his job, his wife, or his kids. So I don’t ask! Instead I strike up an NSFW conversation. Because he is NOT AT WORK AND DOES NOT WANT TO BE.

Rule #4 — There Are No Mistakes… Only Opportunities

So now my client is happy, aroused, and buying a zillion lap dances, and apparently now I really like anal sex. And you know what, maybe I will one day! Now I’m inspired to go home, whip out my dildo, and slip it in the other end. Because WHY NOT? The reality is that I probably won’t, but it doesn’t matter. Entertainment is kind of isolated in the way that being turned on by a certain fantasy can often mean not wanting to replicate it in the bedroom.

Lesson: Stay Positive, Learn to Adapt

The incessant curiosity I have for human desire keeps me good at what I do. The day I started stripping, my sex life and overall confidence skyrocketed. All sorts of beautiful, uncanny and fascinating things continue to fall into my lap as I go on plopping down in the laps of others.


I’m going to go and re-watch Mean Girls for the millionth time. And maybe try again at IMPROV:102 now that I get it.

How to Lose a Stripper in 10 Seconds

In honour of Matthew McConaughey's early days and Kate Hudson's inability to get cast in decent roll since Almost Famous, I'd like to provide an instructional guide for people who want to have a bad time at a strip club:

How to Lose a Stripper (read: High-Powered, Self-Respecting Woman in a Hurry) in 10 Seconds:


Ask her age. Better yet, GUESS! Be sure to vocalize your hypothesis with everyone within earshot - especially the woman whose age is in question. Be that asshole at the carnival who guesses age and weight, and if you don’t have a prize that’s fuzzy and plushy waiting to gift her when you’re WRONG, she might up and leave even faster!



Ask how much money she makes! If you try to make yourself seem like less of an ass by quickly following up with “On average,” don’t worry, she will still walk away!


Tell her that her stage name is coincidentally your mother’s name. She already has enough laundry to do.


Don’t shower!


Tell her you’d love a dance, but if she’d wait a minute so you can go to the men’s room to switch into your sweatpants and rearrange the boner you’ve been sporting all night.



Ask her out for coffee! (Lose her even faster if you ask this before you even give her any money!)


Don’t offer her a drink!


Don’t make eye contact with her - ever! Especially when she puts out her hand to introduce herself! Be sure your eyes are fixed on Sports Center and she’ll be gone in a flash!



Talk about how much money you make!


Lie to her - tell her that you hate strip clubs, that you don’t usually visit them,  in spite of the fact that you are in that very moment sitting in a fucking strip club, all by your damn self on a Tuesday night!

And there you have it! How to alienate yourself from Enterprising Goddesses in ten easy steps!


(originally posted on www.thesapphicstripper.com )

5 Things Every Stripper Should do Every Morning*

*And by morning I really mean afternoon.

Forbes Woman wrote this insanely boring article that makes me really happy and grateful for the career path I have chosen for myself. Don’t get me wrong - I’m totally into following and ‘liking’ Forbes Woman on Twitter! It’s just that a lot of it doesn’t apply to me, in spite of identifying as a bad-ass working girl in this great city of New York.
So I’ve crafted a more Demi-Moore-friendly version of what I think every hustler needs to do when she peels her peepers open at the crack of two o’clock:

1. Hydrate
Even if Management does water down the drinks for a) your own personal health or b) the deep deep pockets of the Establishment, you are probably dehydrated from hustling on your feet, in heels, for at least 8 hours. You may or may not be hungover. You may or may not know what the difference is anymore.
My club doesn’t serve drinkable water that’s readily available and free of charge. This, like many things at my club, is illegal. But I want to go on living without being tethered to a cinder block and dropped in the East River so I’ve resigned myself to writing passive-aggressive blog posts about it instead.
Totally jealous that this babe has a water cooler in her place of work.
2. Stretch
I don’t know about y’all, but every morning after a long night of twerking and shaking my finger in the face of drunk men, telling them “NO TOUCHING” like I’m their mother at a goddamn children’s museum, I can’t feel my legs. I’m whipped. My feet hurt, and my quads are tight from trotting around in six-inch platform heels and doing periodic squats (read: a lap dance).
I’ve found that the best remedy is to stand up tall, bend forward, and hang my head as I reach for my toes. And then do the Happy Baby pose, or the more interesting version of that, pictured above.
And since we never like making appointments or going anywhere on time, there is no fucking way we are ever going make that 4pm yoga class. So get your shavasana on in your living room!
Bonus: For the business-minded-even-in-her-downtime hustler, make a video to sell for a few extra buck$.
3. Re-count your money.
Everyone loves to do this. It feels good.  Money is sexy.
3.1 Wash your hands
3.2  Masturbate

4. Write down anything and everything you remember from the previous night. This shit if GOLD, ladies. You will want to tell your grandkids these stories. Plus there are just so many gems that if you don’t write them down on a daily basis you will surely not remember them all. POSTERITY IS PRICELESS.
5. Go back to bed.
Originally posted on www.thesapphicstripper.com

The Semiology of Stripper Style

The Semiology of Stripper Style

(Spanish burlesque star Evita Mansfield; Credit: Flickr/Ivan Gonzalez)


By Michelle Lhooq

It’s nearly midnight on a Friday in Times Square, New York, and I’m huddled outside one of the city’s most infamous gentlemen’s clubs.

My friend Iris Greene is a dancer there, and since the club tends to stop single girls from barging in on their own (they’re wary of prostitutes  poaching their clientele), she’s preemptively told the bouncers that I’m applying for a job. After I introduce myself, the two burly men, who look like they’ve stalked straight off a Boogie Nights set, 70s moustaches and all, radio the manager to come pick me up for my “audition.” I have no idea how I’m getting out of this one.

As it usually does around this time of night, the mood in Times Square has started to shift from early evening exuberance to something more seedy, if not downright sinister. The theater types exiting their Broadway shows have long cleared the streets, the jet-lagged tourists have stumbled back to their hotels, and the crowds thronging outside the club seem looser, baudier and definitely drunker.

“I would take your coat off if I were you. You’ll never get a job here with so many clothes on,” one of the bouncers tells me, his eyes greedily unpeeling the layers of fabric sheathing my skin. My pulse quickens. In the awkwardness of the moment, I become keenly aware of how greatly clothing — or the lack thereof — defines the power dynamics of a strip club.

Simply put, those in control have the great privilege of keeping their clothes on. The clothed then exchange that other symbol of power, money, to exert their will — and what they want, desperately, fleetingly, is for the beautiful creatures around them to take their clothes off. To relinquish my coat then would also mean losing some of my agency; I pull it closer around me.

After a few minutes, one of the bouncers finally escorts me to the bar, where I’m told to wait for the manager. “I hope you have experience,” he mutters, casting another disdainful look at my incontrovertibly unsexy clothes cocoon. I’m surrounded by girls wearing far, far less.

All strip clubs have some kind of dress code. Most of the clubs in New York, especially in Times Square, are upscale establishments that require their girls to wear “gowns” — a euphemism for skin-tight tube dresses that wrap around their bodies and end slightly below their buttcheeks.

Seedier joints are called “bikini” clubs, which means exactly what you’d think: girls are only required to wear patches of cloth just around their naughty bits. What those patches of cloth look like — the color, the pattern, the cut, its aesthetic appeal — is rarely considered to be of much importance. After all, the thinking goes, she’s just going to be peel it all off anyway.

More than a fashion statement or an avenue for self-expression, stripper wear is fundamentally utilitarian. As my friend Iris puts it, “When the goal is to make as much money as possible, you need to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I wish I could give men more credit for having more interesting fantasies, but they really don’t seem to. The blonder, more tanned, toned and droney you look, the more money you’ll make.”

When it comes to general standards enforced by the club’s management, the rules are pretty simple: “Whatever it is you have on, it better look slutty, sparkly and easy to take off.” Thus, the vast majority of gowns have straps that tie around the neck — easily unraveled with a simple tug, allowing the stripper’s breasts to spill out effortlessly. Form follows function.

Back at the bar, the manager storms out of a back room, visibly coked out. Before I even have a chance to stutter my half-baked excuses as to why I’m not, in fact, ready to take my clothes off, he makes a neck-cutting motion with his fingers. “I’m not taking any more auditions tonight,” he barks, coke flecks flying from his flared nostrils. He swivels back to his den. Thoroughly relieved by this deux ex machina, I slide off my barstool and head to the pulsing main room where the topless girls are dancing.

Taking a seat between two French tourists, I gaze up at the shimmying bodies from my seat in the area right by the stage — the delicately-named Pervert’s Row.

Patrons at strip clubs are nothing if not fidgety, attention-deficient gazers; each girl gets just 15 minutes on the pole before a fresh body is trotted out. Therefore, every part of the routine is primed to maximize the profits reaped from her short performance. That, after all, is exactly what stripping is at its essence: a deliberate, choreographed act. Too much is at stake to leave up to chance — or creative expression.

Later in the night, Iris slips out of a $2000-a-night private room, looking resplendent with her blonde curls, red lips, and plunging white dress. “I’m so sorry I can’t hang out with you, I’m with an amazingly generous client who just wants to massage my toes!” she cooes. Her resemblance to Marilyn Monroe is hardly accidental.

“I once bought this stunning white dress that all of my colleagues loved, but it didn’t show enough boob. I had to shelve it,” Iris later tells me. “Now I make sure whatever I wear shows lots of boob and lots of leg, [and] I opt for a cleaner look. I try to keep it as simple as possible. That way I can mold my personality into whatever kind of fun a client is looking for. Versatility is key.”

Iris’ stripper costume is not an expression of her individuality, but a business plan calculated to maximize profits. And even though Iris and her coworkers flaunt different dresses, thongs, and sky-high stilettos in dozens of cuts and colors, their outfits are all merely different iterations on a shared them —  all exaggerated expressions of traditional feminine sexuality.

For even though strippers are constantly transgressing social norms of sexuality and moral behavior in their line of work, their attire seldom challenges the boundaries of gender and the so-called “feminine ideal.” Ultimately, this adherence to classic modes of female sex appeal is central to their performative role within the walls of the strip club — a space that, as the Russian critic Mikhail Bakhtin put it, can be described as “carnivalesque.”

Strippers and porn stars, says Marcel Danesi, a professor of semiotics at the University of Toronto, are examples of “modern-day carnival mockers who take it upon themselves to deride, confuse, and parody authority figures and sacred symbols, bringing everything down to an earthy, crude level of theatrical performance.”

By pitting the sacred (say, the sanctity of human body) against the profane (the bald-faced lasciviousness of a strip club), Danesi argues that the “carnival” form aims to “critique traditional mores and idealized social rituals, bringing out the raw, unmediated links between domains of behavior that are normally kept very separate.”

Thus, by satirizing sex, gender and sexuality, strippers — in their hyperfeminine costumes highlighting boobs and bum — may act as court jester: revealing and challenging these entrenched norms from behind a mask.

“Through costumes and masks, these transgressive individuals take on a new identity, and, as a consequence, renew themselves spiritually in the process,” Danesi says.

This transformation, however, is only temporary. When the carnival is over, the catharsis is complete — and sexual norms (and bras, jeans and sweaters) quickly snap back into place.

MICHELLE LHOOQ is a writer and stripper shoe-enthusiast living in New York City.

Originally posted on: http://shop.sweetlyinked.com/blogs/kiitc/10716001-the-semiology-of-stripper-style#

14 Things I Used to Hate and Now Love Since Becoming a Stripper

1. My ass.

a) Wearing heels while doing squats and hip undulations (these two moves are the basic steps when performing a lap dance) has turned my sad white girl booty into a slightly less-sad white girl booty. I’m about six light-years away from a shelf, but that’s a hell of a lot closer than I was before I first showed a stranger my yoni and demanded 50 bucks in return. And I feel like that is progress.
b) Contrary to every Cosmo sex-tips column you’ve ever read, stripping teaches you that Jiggle = Good!  If you are in doubt, please refer to #9.
2. Men who ignore me when I’m walking down the street. (Or at least the ones who make no mention of the fact that I am a person they would like to fuck.)

You see, there was a time where I yearned to be sexually harassed on the street. It made me think that boys liked me. I was sixteen and would giggle with my best friend when cars would honk at us as we walked the two kilometres to the nearest Tim Horton’s:
Me, Age 16: Oh my gosh that truck driver totally thinks we’re hot!
My BFF: Oh my gosh oh my gosh do you think they go to our school?
That was ten years ago. These days, I prefer being gawked at in my work environment, where it’s profitable.  Everywhere else, I like to be left alone. So thank you to men everywhere who leave me the fuck alone. I like you. But not in a like-like way; in a keep-up-the-good-work-by-continuing-to-leave-me-alone kind of way. Thanks!

3. Informal Education.

I used to be Joey fucking Potter. I loved school and thought the only way to measure one’s worth was by getting a full scholarship to Harvard.
Then I went to university. There, I learned how to get completely fucking obliterated on five dollars, and maybe a thing or two about punctuation and Socialist Realism. I was young and stupid and it was fun but there is no way in hell I am ever going back to school unless it’s fucking circus school. It’s expensive as fuck, you never sleep, pour endless hours and letters and words into a paper that no one will ever give a fuck about, and then you get a SINGLE LETTER GRADE telling you it kinda sucks. Then you get a diploma written in Latin so you can’t even fucking read it. Who is Zizek, you ask? IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. Go to a bar, chat up a stranger and stock up on some of the good shit.

4. My low-numbers bank account.

Cash is King, and that shit is in my mattress.* Having met every depressed and coke-addled Wall Street guy in Lower Manhattan, I know never to trust those bastards with any sort of investment. But don’t worry, I’m not one of those assholes who collects the dole while making a mint under the table.

*It is not in my mattress. I am not telling you where it is.
5. When people think I am a heathen or bad person or best of all - a SLUT.

During my Joey Potter years, I wanted everyone to think I was pretty, pleasant and smart. Now I get off on people thinking I’m dumb as rocks or spreadable like peanut butter. Maybe it’s a phase. Whatever it is, it’s FUN.
6. Cotton briefs.

When my mom used to buy me six-packs of Hanes briefs, I was mortified. I’ve wanted cute lacey thongs to wedge up my ass since I was nine. I know, it’s fucked up. I’ve since come around. Cotton briefs are comfortable and hot in a virginity-losing kind of way:

7. My scent.

That’s right - I love the smell of my pussy, and you should love yours too. It’s been identified by keen sniffers as ‘salmon,’ ‘puppy’s breath’ and ‘hot musk’ and it’s the fucking best. I used to think if my cunt smelled like ANYTHING and someone were to *GASP* smell or taste her, I would certainly die a thousand deaths unless I lathered her in Dove or better yet - just left the whole fucking bar of soap wedged up in there for the entire session of hanky-pank. Thank god those days are over. Come at my laundry hamper, panty-snatchers!

8. Gossip.

Gossip used to make me really nervous:
Me, Age 14: Oh my gosh are they talking about Sarah Sawishkison because if they are that means they could be talking about me, too because I just swapped Civics notes with her after third period. I hope they’re not saying anything good or bad or totally irrelevant because I don’t want anyone thinking of me, ever.
Now I just fucking feed off it like a leech on a boner. I hang out in the dressing room just to touch base with who’s pregnant and who got busted for dealing coke to customers and subsequently getting in a cat-fight with the Queenpin.
Gossip is totally fun. And terrible.

9. Porn

It’s not that I’ve become a keen porn collector, but I can appreciate it now. Before I started stripping, I thought porn was gross and silly. A huge part of me still believes most porn to be hilariously gross; if I ever watch it I am laughing for at least 75% of the program. But being in the sexy business has inspired me to have this reverent sense of gratitude for it. Like, ‘Hey, look at how crazy awesome our fantastical imaginations are! Isn’t it nice to have some talented and generous actors to act it out for our viewing pleasure?’

10. Body Hair (and by body hair I mean my bush)

When I first caught sight of a single curly strand down there, I chopped it off with safety scissors. It’s been an itchy, painful and bumpy ride ever since. But now that hair removal is not so much a chore but a money-making necessity, I feel differently about my ghost pubes. I never really get to see my bush in full bloom. Nowadays, if I have a few weeks off I’m really into having that tuft of fluff at the pearly gates of my lady bit. It’s pretty! It’s soft! It reminds me what my natural hair colour is!
To my dismay, most of my clients are not of the 70’s-porn-watching variety. Consequently, I persist with the shave-job.  I leave a little bit to remind myself and others that I am a woman, and not a four-year-old, but really it is my heart’s desire to grow some serious bush one day. And when that day comes I shall blow-dry it. With mousse.

11. Hot Pink

I used to think hot pink was tacky. I still think it’s tacky, and this is precisely why I find it so fun. When you wear hot pink you’re giving yourself license to be fucking ridiculous. This is a *severely underrated* freedom.
12. A day without alcohol.

Don’t get me wrong - I fucking love alcohol. It’s fun and silly and slutty and Shoshana is my new favourite character on Girls after last Sunday’s Mean-Drunk-Girl episode.

But a day without booze is so fucking rare when your job is to be perpetually drunk, and when your non-stripper friends think you’re ‘so fun’ because you’re essentially a professional fun-haver. And they never see you having fun because that would be AWKWARD. So, when they do get to hang out with you, it’s like NO YOU ARE NO WAY ORDERING THAT SHIRLEY FUCKING TEMPLE. WAITER SHE WILL HAVE A LEMON DROP SHOT AND A TECATE.

13. Strippers


It’s quite possible that every woman hates the idea of strippers until she either meets one, or becomes one. I thought they were drugged up attention whores with daddy issues. Now that I’ve seen the light, I know that we TOTALLY ARE attention whores with daddy issues (and of course there are drugs, but drugs are everywhere so let’s retire this strippers-are-the-only-addicts hypothesis once and for all). And we are taking these needs, wants and Freudian complexes and spinning them into GOLD. We are modern-day Rapunzel-stiltskins with expensive hair extensions.

This is quite possibly everything I could ever want in life: Gina Gershon as Donatella Ver-sayce

14. Nickelback

Nickelback makes men want to spend money. So now, whenever I hear one of their tracks (I couldn’t tell you which one; they all sound the fucking same) I am fondly reminded of having money thrown at me, and this makes me happy.


originally posted on www.thesapphicstripper.com