Sassy by name, Sassy by nature, I write to explode the myths which surround the lapdancing profession - standing up for the clubs, the girls and the customers. Its not always drinking champagne and playing with my tits - it can be hassle, hustling and hangovers. At heart I'm just a regular twenty-something posh cockney living in London who likes taking her clothes off...
We are all experiencing the transition from a cash based economy to a card based one, which means that industries which survive on tips are trying to find ways to navigate this so that they do not suffer a drop in earnings.
With the recession hitting the exotic dancing industry hard, as less customers spend less and the club’s commission goes up, dancer’s are feeling the squeeze. I am definitely on a lower average wage than when I first started. Whereas before I could make several hundred on even a bad shift, now I regularly make under a hundred, sell less dances and pay more both in commission and the costs involved – travel, beauty expenses, a packed lunch.
The article discusses how clubs offer easy and convenient ways to pay by card through the purchase of ‘funny money’ – in-house casino style chips or branded notes. This has been standard industry practise for years, but in my experience it can both be a blessing and a curse. There is usually a hefty club commission to be paid on top by the customer – the average in London is 20%, plus the dancer converting the club money into real cash at the end of her shift may also have to pay a commission, often 20% again. Thus the club is making 40% on each transaction – a £100 spend would see a profit of £40 to the club operators.
Shady management may also deny dancers the opportunity to change up their money and be paid in full at an agreed time – usually that evening, the next day, or in a weekly lump sum. Many also bully girls into tipping the manager changing the money up, and sneer loudly if they feel that they haven’t received a big enough share. In the UK tipping the management just isn’t the done thing, unlike the USA, but with more flexing the plastic payments it could become a nightly reality.
Other incentives that I have seen in action to encourage customers to spend on their cards are ATM machines permanently out of order, whilst in a more positive light, prominent adverts and placement of club money booths, and of course sexy ladies to do the transactions.
I fear that as we move towards a cashless economy, many clubs will squeeze increasingly larger commissions from the dancers. The lapdancers will in turn try and negotiate higher rates of pay from their customers, and many may feel ripped off and not come back. Frankly, the striponomics speaks for itself – the club managements desire to squeeze every last penny from transactions of both sides of the stage may end up killing the industry.