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Tales From The DJ Booth: The Best & Worst Types Of Strippers

by DJ HazMatt

[ED: we are excluding male dancers from this column, because they’re too busy getting their private parts yanked on by drunken bachelorette parties.]

I spent ten years of my life working as a strip club DJ, getting to know dancers and earning my dressing room pass. Unlike most people, I can say "stripper" with a hard ’R’ and even know a few pole tricks. Years ago, I penned a similar column, but times have changed and the awards have new nominees. Thus, I’m not just another douchebag who thinks he can put women into categories. I’m an established douchebag who thinks he can put women into categories, which are as follows:

The Best Types Of Strippers

The Good Tipper

This is a no-brainer to most readers (and dancers), but it’s worth mentioning, simply because most strippers don’t understand exactly how little effort and expense it takes to be a "good tipper," from a DJ’s point of view. For dancers, most customers are only able to level-up from "a few bucks per song and a private dance" to "sugar daddy" after dropping a few grand. On the other hand, as a dancer, you only have to tip your DJ a few dollars more than the average, in order to end up on the list of Best Strippers Ever. And, if your club employs fifty dancers per shift, understand that even a five-dollar-per-girl increase will make your DJ the easiest person to work with (one who listens to your requests, reminds your stage dwellers to tip every song, etc.). Strippers who don’t tip are a lost cause, but the ones who tip well are a rare breed. Dancers, it’s simple math: the extra ten percent you add to tipping out a DJ will end up yielding at least twice that from the services he or she provides.

Traits: Reserved, dances to whatever the crowd likes, always shows up early.

Barbie Doll Fantasy Girl

Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar. On the same token sometimes, strip club customers just want to stare at a good ol’ fashioned, sexy-ass, no-tattoo-having, natural hair color, girl-next-door type. Look, I love my alt-strippers and inked goddesses. In fact, I prefer a woman who is covered in body art and dances to Ministry. Still, the "steak and potatoes" dinner has a frequent place on my dinner table, regardless of my typically exotic tastes. Every single straight or bi dude (and most lesbian women) that I know, has a deeply ingrained fantasy about the basic bitch from Ikea. Yes, even the title of this publication suggests that there is something sexy about mystique and exotica, but we’ve all rubbed one out while thinking of a former babysitter or the girl from church. When a stripper can pull off the hoodie-and-gym-shorts look without appearing homeless (or, just lazy), she’s a contender for Barbie Doll Fantasy Girl. This dancer won’t bother discussing politics with her stage customers, orders a strict regiment of flavored-vodka-and-soda drinks, tips big bills and wears expensive perfume that smells cheap enough to pass in working-class clubs. On the downside, her definition of "heavy metal" includes The Rolling Stones, so be careful with the music selections.

Traits: Natural blonde hair (regardless of race), red lipstick and blue sweatpants that say "pink" on the backside.

The Also-A Stripper

This is the dancer who also has a bartending shift, works as a DJ, schedules the dancers and/or otherwise micromanages a certain aspect of the club, in addition to dancing. Another variety of this type is the parent, college student (stem field and/or business degree) and/or small business owner. The Also-A Stripper is respectful to her DJ, bartender and other dancers, because she’s worked in their shoes. Plus, she tips well and tends to know how to work customers. Better yet, when the shift is over, she’s calling a taxi because of her real-life priorities, as opposed to hanging around and chatting up drunk hipsters for free. Also-A Stripper may spend her downtime working through calculus homework or checking in on her Facebook business page, but she’s never caught up in dancer drama because she’s got tuition to pay, kids to feed and/or a business loan. While often referred to, this variety is rarely seen in the wild, because she’s either on stage, in the dressing room or in transit.

Traits: Cheap purse, expensive outfits, amazing with customers, knows the owner and can make shit happen.

The Acrobat

This dancer is cute, humble and pretty nondescript, until she pulls some Jackie Chan stage jumps, lands on the pole using only her toes, triple flips in the air and lands on a piece of paper that the owner just set down, which outlines the legalities of being an "independent contractor." From handstands to swords, I’ve seen The Acrobat incorporate it all. Folks forget that "stripper" is a derogatory term, because it implies that the mere removal of clothing qualifies someone as an exotic entertainer. The Acrobat is the reason that "dancer" is the preferred term, as she gives it meaning. Also, for bored DJs scrolling through Myron Danus’ Facebook posts just to pass time, The Acrobat provides a much-needed break from monotony. She’ll never ask for slow music, always gets the crowd hyped up and honestly earns her tips (which are more "use this to pay for your broken neck when it happens" dollars, than mere gratuity).

Traits: Athletic, up-beat, ankle brace, arm cast.

The Worst Types Of Strippers

Miss Other Contest, 1992

So, it’s no secret that Miss Exotic Oregon is a title that requires several weeks of blood, sweat and self-promotion, in a competition that produces more controversy and accusations of vote-fixing than anything a group of Russian hackers could ever hope for. Miss Beautiful Vagina is another title that deserves clout, having run for nearly a decade and becoming a nationwide meme. However, there are some...how shall I put this...less than reputable crowns floating around, as a result of half-assed, now-defunct knockoff contests? And, sadly, a few of the winners are still working—and, they’re not afraid to boast about it. Things were much better when DJs had to use CDs, did you know that? Miss Other Contest, 1992 will remind you of that era. Also, Rick doesn’t book here anymore, but he’s doing well now that he’s in Vegas. Did you know Rick moved to Vegas? Oh, that was before your time. Bartender, I’ll have an RC and whiskey. So, DJ, did you know that I’m personal friends with the original guitarist of .38 Special? We shared a trailer in Reno. My daughter just had her second kid. Here’s a six-dollar tip—I assume it will cover the next few shifts.

Traits: Gray roots, Led Zeppelin tattoo, tickets to the .38 Special show next week at Clark County Fairgrounds.

The Fifth-Wave Feminist

If you thought female anatomy was confusing, wait until you get a load of her arbitrary list of conflicting beliefs and incompatible world views. Do not treat her like an object or a piece of food, unless she’s on stage dancing to "Cherry Pie." Don’t ever let anyone know her real name, but make sure you like the photo of her son on Instagram. During busy shifts, validate her success as a strong, talented woman, but during slow shifts, agree that her lack of income is the fault of toxic masculinity, the patriarchy and song lyrics. Honor her requests for the latest Yeah Yeah Yeahs song, but don’t suggest that the customers leaving the rack are doing so because it’s another Yeah Yeah Yeahs song. Anticipate a 76% pay rate from The Fifth-Wave Feminist when she tips out, but be sure to thank her with twice the gusto typically reserved for The Good Tipper, otherwise you will face a potential sexual harassment claim. Of note, never, ever allow yourself to be alone (dressing room, patio, parking lot or otherwise) with this dancer, lest you risk a series of rumors, lawsuits and/or accusations of verbal "abuse." On the plus side, The Fifth-Wave Feminist doesn’t need security and reminds her own customers to tip, every song.

Traits: Weekly haircuts (above the neck only), hatred of Barbie Doll Fantasy Girl, avoids black dancers, has a blog.

The First-Year Veteran

This stripper is willing to show all the other dancers the ropes of the industry, using all the knowledge and connections she’s acquired over the span of six or seven months. First-Year Veteran is the stripper equivalent of the iPad DJ or celebrity politician; no one takes them seriously, but we all still smile and nod when they pretend to be experts, because it’s cute. Strippers in this category include (but, are not limited to) ex-ballerinas, minor dancers who present themselves as house moms, newly divorced real moms whose kids just became dancers, cam girls who are "giving this stripper thing a shot" and anyone using their stage earnings to pay for a degree in Gender Studies.

Traits: Caucasian, dances to new rap and bad indie pop, becomes The Fifth-Wave Feminist after five years.

The Natural Disaster

Up until this point, I can see how certain types of dancers could be taking offense to this column, thinking "What the fuck, Ray? You can go ahead and call me out like that, but you don’t take a look at your burnt-out, over-the-hill, patronizing ass for one second? What the fuck, dude, I thought we were on the same team?!" Well, slow your roll, Destiny, because there is one type of dancer that we can all agree needs to be removed from the scene entirely: The Natural Disaster. This dancer takes one look at a functional club—one with a staff that gets along, quality customers and drama-free dancers—and thinks, "How can I cover this in gas and set it on fire?" This type of stripper is like the definition of obscenity, even beyond being obscene—she’s hard to define using words, but you will know her when you see her. Perhaps you’re a club owner who has had a hot dog thrown at them. Maybe you’re a dancer who had her lipstick stolen, used and then replaced. Or, you’re possibly a security guard who has broken up a fight between The Natural Disaster and a broken cigarette machine. This is the dancer who actually brings staff members together, as it’s hard to fight over DJ tip-outs and song choices, when the cops are interviewing everyone about how the buttplug got stuffed into the deep fryer to begin with and how this ended up leading to a stabbing in the parking lot.