Look, if you believe that the gorgeous woman on the stage is actually named Persephone von Allura, you’re probably not exactly the most strip club-savvy dude at the rack. But sometimes, even the most die-hard clubgoer tends to believe a set of lies about what really goes on under the neon glow.
That’s why we asked author, activist, and dancer Elle Stanger to identify eight lies patrons still believe about strip clubs — and reveal the truths behind them. Turns out Persephone might be the smartest one in the room.
The lie: Strippers are selling their bodies
The truth: They’re renting their time
I go home intact. I don’t carve little pieces of myself off in exchange for cash. Just like a therapist rents their time to listen and speak in an office, I rent my time to listen and dance in MY office — the private dance room — or the stage.
The lie: Strippers are trying get you off
The truth: Good lord, please don’t get off
I don’t care how you orgasm, but I don’t need to be there if/when you do.
The lie: You can always pay more for “extras”
The truth: There’s no price for that
Nope. Just nope.
The lie: Strippers are stupid
The truth: I’m basically Hannibal Lecter
No, I don’t want to eat you; I can psychologically dissect a potential patron in minutes. I know that if you ask me to guess your age, you are looking for a compliment. I know that if you tell me how much money you make, you are a terrible tipper. I know that if you compare me to your daughter, you need therapy. Not everyone picks people apart for fun, but if you’d like to add to the titillation, just consider that the beautiful naked woman in front of you is also brilliant. Now, that’s intimidating.
The lie: Strippers thirst for your approval
The truth: They’re hungry for money
After the recession of 2007, there was a boom in people rushing to the adult industry, and it wasn’t because there was a scarcity of compliments. Fiscal reasons are the primary motivator for most people who enter into adult trades. But they’ll never tell you that at the job fair.
The lie: Strippers have daddy issues
The truth: You have daddy issues… and probably mommy issues too
As in, your father didn’t raise you well enough to understand that a woman’s body is her own, and the Madonna-whore dichotomy is a lie. Just because you don’t want to think about your mommy getting busy doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t want to. And there is no shame in that. Sex is natural, and nothing to be ashamed of. You wouldn’t be reading this if sex didn’t exist.
The lie: Strippers have pimps
The truth: She does not have a pimp
I have a day planner, a safe, two savings accounts, an IRA, and 720 credit score. Not many pimps can probably say that. If I was going to have a pimp, it would make more sense to be smuggling blow in balloons stuffed up my hoo-ha, because that would probably be more lucrative.
The lie: She has insecurity issues
The truth: Insecurity and the confidence to be naked aren’t compatible
Like the rest of you, strippers have good days and bad days. If I eat a burrito too close to my shift, I’ll look like I’m carrying a food baby, but otherwise, that new ab routine has been doing me justice. Human bodies are never “perfect,” however, as Scarlett Johansson once said, “I know my best angles.” And besides, neon or red light makes you look more handsome, too.