Las Vegas is known for lots of things. Buffets. Spectacle. Quickie Weddings. Shows featuring bendy French-Canadians. All that and more.
Las Vegas is also known for its exotic dancers, commonly referred to as strippers. In many ways, strippers are just like the rest of us. Except in the ways they’re completely unlike the rest of us. We recently visited Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club to see if we could learn some inside skinny on what it’s like in a stripper’s world. Here are five surprising things we didn’t know.
1. Strippers Pay to Skip the Stage
It’s pretty well known strippers are independent contractors. They pay to play, meaning they pay the strip club to be able to work the floor on a given evening. At the Hustler Club, the women pay an $80 flat fee.
Here’s the thing we didn’t know. The dancers have the option to pay an additional fee so they don’t have to dance on the club’s stages. In the case of the Hustler Club, they pay $50. While appearing onstage can be a good marketing tool for these young women, it’s not nearly as lucrative as lap dances or the private rooms, so it’s often worth the money to avoid being pulled away from a potentially profitable client.
2. The Earning Power of Ovulation
It sounds a little weird, but strippers make more money when they’re ovulating. No kidding.
We had to investigate this rumor, and there’s actually scientific proof it’s valid. According to a study by the University of New Mexico, dancers make an average of $30 more per hour when they’re ovulating. Women on the pill, who don’t ovulate, make significantly less. Here’s the study (.pdf format).
How much do strippers make, you ask? Well, we were curious about that, too. We asked a dancer at the Hustler Club, and she said, “I made about $175,000 a year, but things have slowed down a little bit.” Even when things are slow, Las Vegas strippers do exceedingly well.
3. Shoes, Watches, Manicures
Strippers have a very refined sense of which clients are going to be a good return on their investment. When a dancer scans a room of customers, they have a few things they look for in order to tell if a man has money. The top three are a man’s shoes, watch and nails. (If he has had a recent manicure, he’s probably pretty well off.)
Ultimately, though, having wealth doesn’t always translate into a dancer making more money from that customer. Men of more modest means can often generate the most rewards.
Not surprisingly, dancers often watch for how much cash a man’s wallet contains as he opens it to purchase a drink or tip a dancer. Most won’t make a trip to the ATM, so his investment is likely to be limited to the cash he has on him.
Oh, one more interesting insight into the world of tip-spotting. Dancers seem to agree that overweight men often end up being the best tippers. Nobody really knows why.
4. Pole Competitions
While dancers make a fine living doing lap dances and private room interactions (one dancer at Hustler Club, Princess, recently had a $30,000 private session), many augment their income with pole dancing competitions.
Come to find out, there’s a whole cottage industry around pole dancing and contests, with contests often having prize pools in the thousands of dollars. A bonus, at least for the performers, is these competitions also require no nudity. Who knew?
5. One Foot on the Floor
It’s one of the weirder policies we’ve heard about at strip clubs, but at the Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club, a dancer must keep at least one foot on the ground while giving lap dances.
While we couldn’t get the security staff at the club to say so, specifically, we suspect this rule is to prevent enthusiastic dancers from going overboard, opening up the club to legal issues related to prostitution or indecency.
If you end up partaking of Sin City’s exotic dancing experience, please be nice, and tip well. Because while there’s a lot we don’t know about strippers, we do know they’re people merely doing their job, like the rest of us. Just with far, far fewer clothes.