A few days ago a girlfriend of mine told me that she and her boyfriend decided to go to a strip club together for the first time. As someone who frequents strip clubs, I was instantly interested. I asked how she liked it, to which she responded, quite nonchalantly, that it was “okay.” Now let me just take a minute to say, that if you aren’t excited about the experience you had at a strip club – something is off. I prodded her a little for the full scoop.
Mandy and Brian had been talking about visiting a strip club together for awhile now, and when they finally decided to bite the bullet and do it, they went to Play It Again Sam’s. Mandy had heard that George Clooney liked that club, so that’s where she wanted to go. They got a few drinks in them and settled in to enjoy the night. She wanted to sit at the stage, and Brian enthusiastically obliged. He handed her a few ones, to which Mandy said she would not be tipping the girls on stage. She thought it was demeaning and wanted no part of that. From there, the night went downhill. As I listened to her tell me about their experience, I began to pinpoint behaviors of both Mandy and Brian that made it quite clear to me why they their night was considerably less than the fantasy they expected.
The sad part is that I really don’t think this situation is unusual. I see couples in strip clubs all the time where the female looks completely uncomfortable and the male looks frustrated. In fact, thinking back on the many experiences that I’ve had with my boyfriend, there are times that haven’t been great for us either. This got me thinking about strip club etiquette and whether or not following some simple “rules”, per se, would help people to have a better experience. My boyfriend and I frequent strip clubs often enough that we have picked up on some of the dos and don’ts through our experiences and have actually made some good friends at these clubs. So I decided to consult a few of them, along with some industry veterans, to help me out. The consensus is that there are a few simple things strip club patrons can do to have the time of their lives.
Before you go:
Do your research. Strip clubs run the gamut. There are really nice ones and there are also not so nice ones. For your first experience, as a couple especially, you probably want something in the middle but leaning toward the higher-end clubs. But talk to your partner, and decide together, what kind of experience you want. The great thing about Vegas is that the sky’s the limit. Make sure to look at which clubs are fully nude and which are just topless. Look at cover charges and if they serve cocktails, and check out their prices. Finding out these seemingly small details is so important. It can give you an idea of what you are walking into and help take some of the edge off of a new, perhaps uncomfortable, situation.
Communicate and set your own rules. Don’t depend on the club or the dancer to make all the rules when you’re going to a strip club, especially if you’re going with your significant other. The two of you need to talk about the kind of experience you hoping for: do you want dances, or do you just want to watch? If you both are comfortable with dances, what kind of girl do you want? And what kinds of things are appropriate for that girl to do to you and your partner. Your rules could be completely different from your partner’s, who could be totally different from your dancer’s. Getting all this out in the open will make the experience a lot easier, more comfortable, and better for everyone involved.
“Going to a strip club can be like taking baby steps,” says Krissy, a dancer at Badda Bing Gentlemen’s Club. “Just go and watch your first couple of times. Then, as you feel more and more comfortable, you can start to get dances or whatever. It’s your experience. It’s up to you what you want to do.”
Set a budget. In my experience, strip clubs aren’t cheap. But when my boyfriend and I go, we set a budget, pull out cash, and more often than not, we stick to it. Set a realistic budget that incorporates the needs of your night – drinks, dances, tips and taxi.
“Don’t go to a strip club not expecting to spend money,” says Adam Gentile, owner of the Palomino, Las Vegas’ only fully nude club that serves alcohol. “It’s like going to the movies without the popcorn and soda. It’s part of the experience.”
Remember, cash is king at a strip club. Try to pull out enough before you get to the club. Credit cards are usually accepted at the bar, but it’s all about the cash when it comes to getting dances. And although there are usually ATMs at the clubs, they will charge you additional fees.
Establish a code. I remember the first time my boyfriend and I decided to go to a strip club together. We discussed the possibility of getting in situations that may be uncomfortable. We were newbies after all, and had no clue what to expect. We decided that we would have a secret tap that meant, “I am not comfortable.” He could use it on me at anytime and vice versa. Whatever was going on would stop as soon as possible, no hesitation, no questions asked. Having this code instantly made me feel better and more secure about going.
Be comfortable and confident. If you are going to a strip club with your significant other, it is extremely important that you are both comfortable and confident and in a secure state of mind. If your partner is feeling insecure for any reason, even if it’s stupid to you, going to a strip club should not be on the agenda. Trust me. It will not bode well.
Now that you have some tips for before you go to the club, here are some tips for once you’re there.
INSIDE THE CLUBS:
Ladies, take initiative. I’ll admit this is hard for me. I like my man to be in control, but I have come to realize when I take initiative, primarily with the dancers, our experience is far better. If the dancer is smart, she will tend to the woman. Men: If your woman is comfortable, having fun and enjoying herself, you will have the same experience. And it’s more likely that you’ll be back again if your woman enjoys herself. “Girls have to have control. They have to step up,” Gentile explained. “And guys have to let that happen.”
Ladies: it is important for you to know what you want and to be able to say it. If you want to talk to a certain dancer, try making eye contact with her, or next time that dancer is on stage, go up to her, tip her and ask her to come find you guys when she has a few minutes. Dancers love that and will more often jump on that. If you don’t want a dance, you’ll have to say that too. Your man is not a mind reader, and chances are he’s on cloud nine sitting with you and a half-naked lady. If you can’t communicate your discomfort, then this could lead to a bad situation.
Your body language says it all. If you are sitting there with your arms folded with a scowl on your face, no one is going to approach you. But if you are there talking, drinking, and you have a big smile on your face, you are the person that dancers want to dance for. It’s all in the attitude.
“If you’re sitting at the stage, tip. Don’t be a dick.” This advice comes from Gentile. When you sit at the stage, expect to tip every girl that gets up to dance at least a buck. If she gives you a little personal attention while she’s on stage, give her at least two. If you just want to watch, that’s fine. But do it from a distance.
If someone provides you with a service you like, tip them. This carries from the doorman to your dancer.
“Tipping is not mandatory,” says Rick Belcastro, owner of Badda Bing Gentlemen’s Club. “People gotta earn that. But that being said, if you like what they’ve done for you, tip them.”
In my experience, tipping has made all the difference in the strip club experience.
“Take care of the host,” advised my friend, Moxxie Maddron, porn star and bartender at the Palomino. “He’s going to make sure you get exactly what you want.”
We have found this to be exceptionally true. When we’ve tipped the host, we’ve gotten good seats out on the floor and he made sure to send dancers over to us. Additionally, tipping cocktail waitresses has made our drinks come faster and seemingly a bit more alcoholic. Tipping dancers that we’ve liked has ensured that the next time we come back they’ll remember us and give us a damn fine dance.
Honesty is the best policy. “Be direct and to the point, whether it’s good or bad,” Gentile advises. Cammy, a dancer at the Palomino, agrees: “If you don’t want a dance from me, just tell me. I won’t take offense to it. This is a strip club. I realize that I’m not going to be every man or couple’s fantasy. Plus, I would rather you just tell me, so I don’t waste my time. I’m here to make money.”
Strip clubs are not brothels. “Remind yourself, there’s a difference between a dirty dance and a hooker,” Maddron said.
There are rules and there are things you can’t do. Don’t expect that a girl is going to get down and dirty with you. Sure, there are girls who may get a little more risqué than others, but never expect that.
“Girls will rarely break the law,” Gentile explains. “But they will certainly push it if they legitimately like what’s going on.” So if you want your girl to get a little dirtier, Belcastro advises: “Kill them with kindness.”
So there you have it – a few tips to help you have the time of your life at a strip club. But the best piece of advice I’ve heard comes from Gentile who said: “If you’re going to a strip club, you’re going to have fun! If you’re not there to have fun, don’t go. Having fun is the whole point.”
I think that sums it up quite well. If you want to go to a strip club, go and have a good time. If you have that mentality, everything else will slip into place. xoxo Lilith Diana
For more from Lilith – like strip club reviews, sexy events in Sin City, and a peek into her own sex life – visit www.sincitysexblog.com and follow her on Twitter@LilithDiana. SLV
Title-Pic: PALOMINO - Bartender and Porn Star Moxxie Maddron
Issue 50 featuring: Lela Star, Faye Reagan, Carli Banks