Working on Valentine's Day

I went to work last night at the club, not sure at all what to expect. It was either going to be tons of lonely guys (and lots of lap dances) or a bunch of couples doing something "exciting" for Valentine's day instead of the usual candy hearts and hallmark special dinners.

It turned out to be a combination of both, of course, which made for a really strange night.

I'd say that most of the customers there last night were not people who regularly frequent strip joints. Probably around half of them had never been to a strip club before. Instead of lining up at the tip rails as usual, staying with a stack of ones for a few songs, people would walk up, give a dollar, and then go back to their tables.

There is nothing more awkward, or that I hate more, than dancing for a room chock full of aptly watching customers who don't come up and tip. Generally when I'm dancing, I do so to get a reaction: the reaction of giving me money.

Sure, there's some satisfaction in getting people to smile or having their attention, but in the club the way to show appreciation is through money. It's one dollar increments. It's not a whole lot to ask for or give, but what it really signifies is enjoyment, applause.

If no one's tipping, it feels like you're doing something wrong. When there's no customer sitting close by waiting for attention, you're just standing there on a large empty stage. There's no real interaction to use as a show, to get people's attention. You can't speak or sing a song. It's just the movement, just the dance, just your body.

I'm never more aware of my lonely self, exposed on that stage, than when fifty people are watching and not a one comes up to show me I'm doing a good job. A tip is such a small thing, but it does mean a lot when you're under that spotlight.

Last night, I did a good job of keeping my energy up and continuing to work despite the discouragement. By the end of the night, I even got people to come to the stage during my sets. It took a lot out of me, though, because I was working twice as hard for less than half the money. I don't think I'll be working a Valentine's Day again.


On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

Creative Commons License
This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.