We spoke to a King’s student who worked as a stripper in Paris on her year abroad
Not your conventional student job
We’ve all been there as students. It’s the end of term, rent is due, bills are piling up and you’re living on a diet solely consisting of beans on toast and reduced Tesco’s sandwiches. It can be difficult to make your student loan stretch, so most of us will turn to a part-time job bartending or waitressing to make ends meet.
However, one King’s student had a different idea while studying in Paris on her semester abroad, opting to become a stripper.
We interviewed her to do a little bit of myth busting about what it’s like to be a stripper, but also to find out how she coped with having a job not as conventional as working late nights at Sainsbury’s.
How did you decide that you wanted to be a stripper?
I suppose it is something that has been at the back of my mind for a while. I’m not someone who is terribly nervous or uncomfortable being naked or expressing my sexuality. After suffering with an eating disorder during my teenage years I have managed to pull myself back up and be as proud of my body as I can be, although it’s not always easy of course! Since I recently moved to a new city I thought ‘what better time to give it a whirl?’ and went for it!
What was the audition process like?
Casting was pretty simple – I applied online with a few pictures attached and was asked to come for a casting in the same week. It consisted of dancing on stage with and without the pole involved for the duration of a couple of songs. The second song I was asked to take my top off. I was told I got the job immediately despite having no pole dancing experience which was exciting.
What’s an average night like on the job?
I arrive at about 10pm to start at 10:30pm. I normally have my hair and makeup done already but a make up artist is available if needed. I get changed into my lingerie, stockings and ‘stripper shoes’ and head down to the floor.
Most of the night consists of talking with clients, with the aim for them to ask for a dance – either a lap dance, private dance or VIP dance. Throughout the night the girls take it in turns to dance onstage striptease style with the poles for the duration of three songs. I normally finish around 5:30am or 6am.
How much do you make per night?
This really depends massively on how busy the club is and how I’m feeling in myself, but I tend to get more dances and earn tips on weekends. The most I have made in a night is about £400, but I know for a fact that some girls who have been working for years can earn considerably more.
What was your first shift like?
My first shift was nerve-wracking for sure, but it turned out to be a very successful night for me because I managed to get several lap dances and private dances. I even got a VIP dance – 20 minutes in a private room, nude – which gets us £150 in cash, plus tips.
What has been the craziest moment of your job so far?
There are a lot of men who request sexual favours for significant amounts of money, but I remind them I am not here for that and if they persist I let the security or other staff know.
What is the hardest part about the job?
The hardest part is how exhausting it is. By the end of the night the sun is coming up and my feet are throbbing from the heels, plus I’m feeling pretty sweaty and gross. Also, dealing with unpleasant, drunken men is shit. I suppose they see us as nothing more than a pair of tits and an ass so some people treat us as just that, although it is worth mentioning that this is a small percentage of clients!
What do you think of the stigma surrounding stripping?
Of course I understand. People assume it is degrading, dirty and that we must have little respect for ourselves, but I disagree. I find it empowering and sexy being able to stand up on the stage naked and embracing my sensual side in front of lots of people. It’s definitely an adrenaline rush every time.
Are there any myths about the job that you want to dispel?
The biggest myth is that all it consists of is being pretty and taking your clothes off. The most important part is personality and conversational skills. Without talking to, engaging with clients and making them feel comfortable, you will go home empty handed!
If you have taken anything away from being a stripper, what has it taught you?
My self confidence has definitely been boosted, I feel a million times more comfortable in myself as a person. I also want to highlight how I am not ashamed of myself for being in the sex industry. I have always been a very sexual person and now I feel like a have a sort of outlet for my sensuality, which also makes me happy and pays my rent. Empowering is the word I would use to sum up my experience so far.
What advice would you give to somebody else who is considering becoming a stripper?
I would say take your time looking into striptease clubs in your area, reading up on the reputation of each place as you want to feel comfortable in the environment, and the quality of bars can vary massively. Also consider how well it will fit in with your lifestyle, working nights means that it can have an effect on your social life.
As a student this job is pretty perfect because it is so flexible, and I can take time off during the exam period, for example, but keep in mind that it isn’t ‘easy money’, as they say. It is likely to be overwhelming at first, but give it a try if you are serious about becoming a stripper-you can always leave if you feel unhappy or uncomfortable.