How to avoid exploitative strip clubs and red flags to watch out for

As discussed many times, strippers, strip clubs and strip club owners come in a variety of outlooks, genres, levels and limitations. Locality, experience, prejudices and preference can greatly impact work. There are some super professional clubs and supportive owners in the industry. Conversely, there are, unfortunately, those that intend to exploit naive or desperate women. We, at Strip Magazine, are committed to providing an informative resource to help prospective and experienced dancers navigate the industry. Whilst some of this advice may be new to some, it never hurts to get a refresher on important red flags to look out for, so you can avoid ending up in exploitative situations.

The basics

Basics matter. Never let anybody else hold your passport. Always travel with the means to get home, be that with a return tickets, savings or a credit card for onward travel. Always leave your destination details with somebody else. Make sure you have a mobile phone or access to social media. Finally, vet and research your prospective venue before you even consider buying a ticket, or leaving.

Follow your gut

The single most important piece of advice that can be given is Follow. Your. Gut. Humans have evolved over thousands of years to survive. If your instincts are telling you something is up, listen. If somebody is making you feel uncomfortable, a situation doesn’t add up, or seems too good to be true, stay alert to your surroundings. Do not allow yourself to be gaslit if you know something isn’t right. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Especially, if you are travelling to a different country or on your own.

Life is about calculated risk. If you are the personality type to become a stripper, or even further, a travelling stripper, you are inherently a risk taker. Have that adventure, you will regret it if you don’t. However, be smart, be calculated and do your research to minimise danger.

Do your research

As mentioned, research matters. Wherever possible, find out as much about your destination as you can. Speak to other dancers, read reviews, join stripper social media groups, search for the background of the club such a notable news articles and look at specific stripper forums such as Strip-talk.com. All of these avenues can provide a number of data points that can help you build a good picture of where you intend to go. Be mindful that opinions are always subjective. Therefore, gather as much information as possible. One girl might have had a terrible experience but there is an overwhelming amount of positive experiences as well. Knowledge is power and keeping on top of feedback and information could save you a wasted trip.

Remember professionalism

You are offered a contract, you heard the club is good and you find yourself working your first shift in a venue. Being abroad does not mean you should do, or be pressured, into something you aren’t comfortable with. Remember you are there to work and to make money. You are not there to go for dinner with the boss, do free dances for his friends, entertain his clients for free or generally be a trophy. A good working relationship means everybody is making money and profiting from the situation. Putting in your hours for free should never be expected by any professional and reputable club owner. If they expect you to go to after parties or work out of hours, be wary. A good boss will have the wellbeing of their dancers in mind and respect the hustle. If they don’t respect the fact you have a job to do, they are unlikely to respect your safety and well being.

Maintain boundaries

Some strippers are strictly no touch. Some strippers have no issue with full contact. Some lap dancers can’t work without a warm up wine. Some strippers are fully teetotal. As long as it is causing no harm, is legal and of no risk to the venue, and within personal boundaries, everyone has the right to work as they see fit, or are comfortable with. Club owners should respect that. If a club is a touching club, this should be divulged. There are dancers that are comfortable working in these circumstances so recruitment should be no issue, if the club has a good reputation.

It is very important to be aware of owners that pressure dancers into doing more than they signed up for. Again, this indicates a deep lack of respect for the dancer as a woman and for their sexual consent. It is never acceptable for anybody to feel that they can force, coerce or manipulate you into providing a more explicit service than you originally provided. If you go to a venue as a non touch dancer, stay that way unless you decide to change what you are willing to offer. Never do it because you feel you won’t have a job otherwise. There are thousands of clubs and there will be plenty that work within your personal limits. Again, research is key and will ensure an informed and realistic choice. Any club owner that mentions doing extras without you asking, is not on your side and this red flag should never be ignored.

Remember everything is temporary

Unfortunately, the pandemic has resulted in many clubs being closed and lockdowns with no projected end date. With this, comes a large number of out of work dancers, and very limited clubs open for business. There is no doubt, the industry will bounce back. However, it also means that not all clubs, nor all dancers, will be able to afford to ride out the storm. Savings will only take you so far so now is the time to diversify, even just temporarily. Selling content and online work is very popular. If that isn’t for you, we have a range of tips for how to put stripping on your resume.

What is important, is not doing something you regret, out of desperation. Being a stripper makes you fearless, resourceful and a born hustler. These are skills that you can’t teach and many people wish they had. Nobody is stronger in the face of adversity than a stripper so be smart, think ahead and get creative. We will ride it out and we will get to the other side.

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