A (realistic) guide on how to become a stripper—written by an actual stripper

Sign up for the Pleaser newsletter + follow us on Twitter.

Sparkly rhinestones. Sky-high pleaser heels. Sipping champagne as you fold fat stacks of cash into your bag. That’s what being a stripper is, right? 

Striptok, the side of TikTok that shows off what it’s like to work in the club, has given many new babes a window into the world of stripping.  While many dream of the bad-bitch, girl-boss lifestyle, it is not for everyone. This industry is heavily glamorized because it is built on fantasy. 

Even I, a veteran stripper who privately tracks her income for taxes and research purposes, have trouble writing down how much I make on bad days. I hate to acknowledge the hard times even though I know it’s a part of the work… and, I’ve been in the industry for 7 years. It’s funny how quickly I’ll say to myself, “Well, that day didn’t count,” or “the club was dead; it was out of my control” when the truth is, yes, that day counted, no, I can’t get that time back, and it is all important data to track.

When women get a chance to talk about their work, they gravitate to the good days, they show off their new bags, new cars, or new BBLs without showing the months of post-op struggle and compression outfits, knee pain, and everything that sucks about the work.  We flash cash more than horror stories about bad customers because we take pride in what we’ve earned. Equally so, we hate thinking about the annoyances and bullshit we’ve had to put up with to get there. 

While there’s nothing hotter than getting paid for being hot, becoming a phenomenal stripper is a serious, even scholastic pursuit if you want to do it right. There are consequences and trade-offs you must consider if you want to explore this potentially lucrative career.

How to become a stripper: The risks

If you want to get into the industry, be aware that it does involve some risks:

Show me the money

What you make at the club will depend widely based on your location, confidence levels, sales skills, and your physical appearance. You are selling your time, attention, and presence, and if you’re shy you may struggle to close the deal. In my experience, the average baby stripper makes between $60-600 a day depending on where they are working, what they’re wearing, what day it is, what events are in town, etc. Wearing an Agent Provocateur lingerie set at a high-end club in Miami will likely make you more than panties and a bra from Target at a low-end club off the highway of a smaller city. 

The audition process

The audition process varies depending on the type of club you’re trying to work at. Some clubs require you to pick a song and dance, while others require a license, like in Las Vegas. Other clubs just ask you to get dressed, take off your top, and turn around. They will then give you a yes, or no, and send you on your way. Dehumanizing? Yes. Is objectification what you signed up for? Also, yes. Stripping isn’t meant to be this empowering, girl boss statement. It’s a job, and one you need to be prepared for.

The best way to nail the audition is to visit the club as a customer, ask a dancer and tip her for her time.  You can also call or visit during the day and ask a manager what you’ll need to bring and be expected to do. If the club requires dancing, sign up for a few pole classes so you don’t look clueless. 

How to become a stripper: The baby stripper starter kit

  • A pair of pleasers, or clear-heeled platform shoes designed for exotic dancing. Pro-tip: Don’t go too high when starting out unless you like the idea of tripping and eating shit.
  • A stripper bag or garter to hold your riches.
  • A few outfits and a few thongs. (Remember different locations have different outfit requirements, New York City often has a dress or “gown” policy where you must audition and work in a dress.)
  • A lock to keep your things safe.
  • Any cosmetics or perfume you might need.

Still want to be a stripper? Alright… then, follow these steps.

Step one: RESEARCH: Know thyself

Go to a club, see if you like the environment, the music, and the space. Do any of the dancers look like you? Every club is different, and as much as I believe everybody is beautiful, every club has a certain look they value. Your body and your face is your product… and that can make rejection harder. You can be rejected for tattoos, your weight or body shape, your makeup skills, any number of things. It could be they hire you because you’re wearing glasses and they could also turn down the next girl who auditions because they “already have a glasses girl.” Sometimes they’re looking for an Asian girl or a blonde girl or fake breasts. While my look does great in NYC, LA, and Vegas, I’ve definitely had girls in the locker room laugh about how I would never make it in Texas or Atlanta because I don’t have a dump truck of an ass.  Such is life. You will be objectified, scrutinized, and rejected, and you must be OK with that. They will never tell you why they didn’t hire you for legal reasons, so be content in not knowing. Check out the Dancers Resource for reviews of many popular clubs around the U.S. 

Step two: INVEST: Go all in

Do not half-ass your audition. Becoming a stripper means investing in yourself.  

The obvious ones include hair, nails, and outfits, but equally important are books on marketing or courses on sales and business, finding time to meditate so stupid men don’t take you off your game as easily, having hobbies and knowledge of niche things so you’re interesting to talk to. Like the iconic stripper Jacq Frances says, “Your ears are your biggest money makers.” You’ll also want a gym membership so you have the strength and endurance to dance all night. After all, strippers are the athletes of sex work. 

Step 3: EXPLORE: Who are you today?

Part of why I love stripping is because I get to choose what part of myself I’d like to explore every single day. Upscale better-than-you-bitch? Alternative girl? Dream girl lover? A cosplay of Sailor Moon

I saw a girl wearing a band shirt just covering the nipples and she had the new AirPod Max headphones…. She looked SO different. She was giving straight-off-the-subway Natalie Portman in Garden State vibes and it was so hot. I have never once seen anyone wear big headphones like that at the club and her entire look captivated me. Now’s the time to figure out what works for you. 

Step 4: CREATE CONSISTENCY: Be good to yourself

Once you’ve discovered what works for you, make healthy habits part of your routine and be good to yourself. I often see baby strippers try to work every single night they can because they’re seeing more money than they ever have before. Not taking time for yourself can lead to burnout as the work is both physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding. Be good to yourself AND YOUR MONEY. Real hot girl shit is becoming financially literate, paying off any debt you might have, and learning to invest so you can truly build wealth. 

How to become a stripper: 3 pro tips

  1. Never let someone turning you down get you down. Men are clueless. A customer’s perspective of you has nothing to do with you. Their opinions do not matter whether positive or negative. Don’t let their praise get to your ego either. Stay humble. 
  1. You will be excited to hustle and secure the bag. Keep in mind that there are men who are actual pieces of shit who will try to hustle you. I once had a drunk idiot steal from me in front of security cameras ON MY BIRTHDAY. Yes, I got my money back, but it’s insane how trash some strip club customers can be. Be prepared to see all sides of men, the good, the bad, and absolute scum of the earth—undeserving, entitled, how-unfortunate-you-inhabit-this-planet ugly. 
  2. Oftentimes, the hottest new girls don’t make as much. Why? If they happen to be insecure, they will take “no” personally.  n normal life, men will generally approach you. At the club, you are the one who will be doing the approaching. Don’t ever forget that. 

Enjoy the hunt and secure the bag,
xoxo Miss Orion