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Strippers Are Sharing Wild Secrets And Stories From Their Jobs, And It's So Eye-Opening

"Straight women at bachelorette parties are the WORST customers."

We asked exotic dancers in the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the wildest secrets and stories about their jobs. Here are the eye-opening results.

Everyone's experiences are different, so the following stories shouldn't be seen as representations of the entire industry or its workers as a whole.

1. "I stripped for about three years when I was in my twenties to pay off student debt. Toward the end, I became pregnant with my daughter. During that time, I made about double the money I normally earned. You would NOT believe how many men were more into me because I was visibly pregnant."

A dancer walking backstage with her outfit filled to the brim with ones
STX Films


2. "I worked as a stripper for 2.5 years. We had this one man who would come in and buy a few hours in our private VIP room. He would pay hundreds of extra dollars in tips for me to step on his balls in my heels and hit him with a riding crop. As bad as I felt about hurting him, he loved it."

Natalie Portman in a pink wig standing on top of a customer in "Closer"
Columbia Pictures


3. "Straight women at bachelorette parties or on a girls night out were the WORST customers, and we all dreaded them. They always thought they were entitled to get in for free because they were women and we were female dancers (which doesn’t make sense, since they're not the main attraction here; nor will the club make money off of them)."

Rebel Wilson getting a lap dance in the movie "Bachelorette"

"They’d often get catty toward the dancers and women waiting tables and say things like, 'I’m so much hotter than her!' They’d also expect free drinks simply because they were 'a group of hot girls.' On top of all of that, they were consistently terrible tippers."


4. "I was fresh out of high school and working as a stripper so I could afford to feed my two kids (a 3-month-old and a 15-month-old). I was onstage and looked out and saw my dad's best friend. He took me home, we slept together, and I left with $20,000. No regrets."

Jennifer Lopez wearing a fur coat in "Hustlers"
STX Films


5. "Most people outside of the industry don’t realize that there are a lot of folks whose intimacy needs aren’t entirely sexual, and if it weren’t for strip clubs, some of these people might never be hugged, hold hands, or have a chance to flirt and hold the attention of another person in the way that they desire."

Regina Hall and a stripper in "Think Like a Man"
Screen Gems

"Many customers are happy to pay for these interactions because at least the boundaries/expectations are clear and nobody wants to feel 'hustled' (and in my experience, most of us don’t want to engage in harmful hustling). For example, I have several regulars who are on the spectrum, and traditional dating is either not an option or not something they desire. I truly care about them, and I'm glad I can help fulfill their intimacy needs in a safe way."


6. "I danced for 12 years. We often took water shots while supplying the customers with actual vodka shots. I've also dumped so many glasses of champagne into the champagne bucket when the customer wasn’t looking to make them think I drank it all myself. Some customers didn’t like dancers who wouldn’t get drunk with them (we weren’t as easy to take advantage of, in their eyes). Many of my champagne rooms included men who just wanted someone to talk to or to hold them while they cried. The job was sad at times."

Jennifer Lopez's "Hustlers" character sneakily throwing away her shot
STX Films

7. "Some clubs make customers buy 'funny money' to tip everyone with. It's basically just fake money that's exchanged for real money — this way the club makes whatever percentage they charge the customer who buys it, and they also make a percentage off the dancer who later exchanges it. It's an interesting racket."

Jennifer Lopez's "Hustlers" character rolling around in money
STX Films


8. "If you can, only work in places where they have decent food and where drinks aren’t watered down. If the customers have a quality experience, you’ll get a better-quality clientele, meaning your tips will be better and the people will return more often."

Two female dancers onstage in "Showgirls"

9. "Occasionally we get random gift bags at the club from nice Christians who are 'praying for [our] souls.'"

Lizzo as a stripper in "Hustlers"
STX Films


10. "In my experience, the older dancers always make the most money at the club. It drives younger dancers absolutely wild."

Tarzan onstage in "Magic Mike"
Warner Bros. Pictures


11. "I’ve been a stripper for over a decade. In my experience, I’ve found that customers are way more likely to lie to us than we are to them. I have no reason to lie, and I often tell customers my real name after I’ve known them for a while and can trust that they aren’t predatory. Us giving a fake name is for our own safety."

Alex Pettyfer doing his first routine in "Magic Mike" with a woman onstage
Warner Bros. Pictures

"There are so many incorrect assumptions about the job! I find that people assume all strippers are liars who don’t care about their customers. That's simply not the case."


12. "I danced for years and years. So many people think strippers are broken, damaged, or drug addicts, but I didn't see any of that. I loved dancing and loved the money — it literally paid for my first house. I was the only one in my friend group who actually owned my own home by the time we were 21."

Channing Tatum as a stripper in "Magic Mike"
Warner Bros. Pictures

13. "My sister's friend was a stripper in college. She told me that the money isn’t as great as people always think it is. Sometimes there are definitely phenomenal nights, but the money just isn't consistent, which can be an issue."

Jennifer Lopez dancing on a pole in "Hustlers"
STX Films

"Also, as a sidenote, you have to be incredibly strong to do a lot of those pole tricks. They're super hard to learn and can even take years to master. Mad props to those people. Make your money however you need to! 💁🏻‍♀️"


14. "My club had a kitchen in it, and a few customers would buy me dinner and eat with me because most of them just wanted someone to talk to. Some even said they were practicing to be on 'actual' dates."

A dancer eating a sandwich backstage in "Stuber"
20th Century Fox

"Not everyone who goes to clubs is creepy or weird (of course those people do exist, though). One guy had just been divorced after being married for 20 years. He said he needed practice before he 'got back out there again.' Sometimes people are just shy. What better way to practice than with someone you *know* isn't going to be a jerk to you?"


15. "I stripped until I was 22 as a way to keep myself off the streets. I worked for a company that sent dancers out to bachelor parties and frat parties, and we always had a security guard with us, but we'd be responsible for paying them (I was happy to — they kept me safe). The frat parties tended to be more respectful. They'd offer me bottled water (we never accepted them, for safety reasons) and tipped me very well."

Carey Mulligan dressed as a "hot" nurse
Focus Features

"Whenever customers ordered me alcoholic beverages, I'd secretly drink orange juice and claim they were tequila sunrises. Honestly, stripping was fun and lucrative, and I met some amazing women."


16. "I was a top earner at the club I worked at. I never wore makeup or got a breast augmentation, but a lot of people outside of the business think those are the only ways to be successful. It's really just all about your hustle."

A stripper and Kevin Hart in "Ride Along"
Universal Pictures


17. "I was a dancer for a bit in Washington, DC, when I was in my early twenties. I don’t want to talk shit, 'cause there are definitely good people in the industry, but there was this one incident that I’ll never forget about a man who came into the club during the day."

A group of women onstage while money rains down on them
STX Films

"The man was a regular but usually came at night. He told me he’d left work to come to the club. His girlfriend of a few years had just broken up with him, and he was not feeling great mentally. He gave me his debit card and PIN number to withdraw any money out of the ATM that I wanted. The other dancers kept making fun of him and told me to zero out his account. Never. I would never fucking do that to someone. I just talked to him for the most part and paid attention to him while onstage (thinking maybe he would feel a bit better?). You could just tell he was really going through some shit. There are definitely amazing women at these places, but at that particular club...they were jaded and catty."


18. And finally, this incredible story: "I was a dancer in a gay male strip club that had amateur nights (dancing really did put me through college). Usually the guys who try the pole for the first time on amateur night fail miserably. Our job was not only to make the club money but also to find cute guys who would get up and dance. One night this BEAUTIFUL muscle guy was sitting off to the side, and the bar manager tasked me with getting him to get up on the pole."

Matthew McConaughey dressed as a cowboy
Warner Bros. Pictures

"I danced for him after each set. He said he was in town visiting family but lived across the country for law school. It took a few dance rotations to finally convince him, but he agreed to dance in front of everyone if I did it with him. That wasn't the norm, but the house manager approved it. He had some moves and won the amateur competition and was invited back to be a PAID guest dancer that weekend. I gave him my number for advice and for help with underwear, since he had on boxer briefs that night. I even let him borrow some laundered thongs for his paid gig.

"He went back to law school 1,000 miles away, but we kept in touch via email and phone calls. Six months later, he called me and said he loved me. I felt the same way. I graduated from college and stopped dancing. He graduated from law school. We'll be celebrating our 14th year together in a month and our sixth wedding anniversary in June."


Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.