Fraternities are known for their stripper parties. We all kind of wonder what goes on behind of the closed doors of private shows. Sure we’ve heard stories, and we’ve rolled our eyes when our boyfriends said they didn’t find the girls as attractive as us (yeah, okay). But how much do they tell us? Do the girls really let them do whatever they want? Is it scary?
I can’t speak for all girls, but I will admit that I have given exotic dancing a thought. Racking in thousands of dollars a week for doing the same shit I do when I’m at a bar doesn’t sound half bad. So when I met the owner of one of the private strip companies (that caters especially to fraternity parties) out here in my college town, I had to ask her a few questions. I interviewed her and went to a few practices and decided it wasn’t for me. But hey, I gotta give these girls some props. That shit looks hard.
- How old were you when you started stripping?
I started dancing just after I turned 18.
- Why do you prefer private shows to dancing at a club?
Dancing at a club is much more difficult. In a club, you have more competition compared to private shows which are much more based around teamwork.
- Did dancing ever affect your social/romantic life?
Dancing had an effect on my social life but I didn’t really have a romantic life until far after I started dancing. I lost some friends who had bought into the stigma that surrounds dancing.
- Getting booked for private shows seems very competitive. Was there ever any drama between the dancers?
At the company that I worked for, there was constant drama between dancers. We were basically pitted against each other and compared to each other by the person who ran it.
- Were you ever put in any uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situations while working?
I don’t think that I was ever really put in a dangerous position, but there were times where the work environment was very uncomfortable. Our security had been told to only step in if there was danger, so we were expected to handle a lot of the situations ourselves. This is one reason I wanted to start the company that I did — so that the dancers could feel more safe and comfortable at work.
- Why did you decide to quit dancing?
I decided to quit dancing because the person that I was working for had let the standards for that business slide and when I brought it to his attention, he told me that I had gained too much weight to continue working, even though I only weighed 110 pounds.
- How old were you when you when and your partner started [private stripping business]?
We started [private stripping business] just before I turned 21.
- What are the biggest challenges of hiring new girls?
The biggest challenges of finding new girls are young women that try to come into an interview and tell me what they are going to do. It is difficult to explain to them that all of the shows are exactly the same and all of the girls have very specific responsibilities. Then, on top of that, there are women who do not understand that dancing and prostitution are very different and that the latter is not something we tolerate.
- How do you handle drama between your own employees?
The main way that I handle drama between them is by calling them in together and trying to get them to talk it out. If it is clear that someone is just being awful for no reason, it can lead to suspension of their contract or the termination of their contract, depending on severity.
- You danced mainly for private fraternity parties. Was it significantly different than dancing for other parties (such as old men?)?
Other than the music, the only difference was that the fraternities had significantly less money to be made and that they were more in it for the fun than for the tease of the dance. The fraternities were also generally more hospitable whereas older men were generally nice, but not as willing to change the environment to make it more dancer friendly.
- What kind of fraternity events do you do?
All kinds. Mostly “Big Brother” nights and Rush events, but there were a few parties thrown for the pledges who were crossing.
- Are frat guys better or worse than other clients?
It depends on how you look at it. They don’t have as much money, but they are usually nicer than any other type of customer. The houses are usually pretty gross, but they make up for that with how much more fun they can be. It just depends on the dancers attitudes.
- Describe a general night for you at a frat house. Do you go alone or send multiple girls?
Most of the time it’s two girl shows with one bouncer. We would go in and get a dressing room set up while the bouncer sat the guys down and explained the rules. Generally the guys would give us some kind of complementary bottle of alcohol and we would go about the show. These shows are never big money shows, but they were definitely more fun. The music was more fun to dance to and they were really into the humor aspect. The more you loosen up and just treat them like you would any group of slightly drunk guys, the more likely you were to make more money.
- Do young, drunk, frat guys ever think they can parlay your night into a hookup? How do you handle that?
Not really. That is something that you see more with the older crowd who think that if they pay enough, they can get a dancer to do things that aren’t in her job description. The younger guys seem to have a better grasp on why the dancers are there and at most will slip a girl their phone number.
- Do you ever dance for anyone (specifically, fraternities on our college campus) that you know?
No. I refused to ever dance anywhere that I may have known people. My current dancers have rules and one of them is that they cannot knowingly dance for someone they know in their personal lives. It could lead to some very icky situations and potentially put them at risk.
- Did you ever hear stories about shows you were involved in that were untrue?
Hell yes. I have heard guys tell stories about doing drugs with/off of dancers, not realizing that I was the dancer and that I knew they were lying. That kind of thing happens all the time. You just smile and nod and laugh inside, as calling them out would make a really awkward situation.
- Was it ever awkward seeing fraternity boys you had danced for at parties or in class?
Not really. With the makeup and the fact that they are usually drunk, they barely ever actually recognize a dancer they had seen, even if it was the night before. Guys don’t usually make the connection seeing a dancer out of context.
- Did you ever favor some fraternities over another?
Not really. They are all basically the same. Loud, slightly obnoxious (even though they are pretty fun), with a nasty grimy house. There is always the one house that is worse, but not really any that are better than the rest.
- I have hooked up with a few frat boys in my day, what happens when you’re dancing for a boy you would totally bone?
You pretty much get into a work mindset. You are already flirting with pretty much everyone to make tips, so you really don’t treat them any differently. Most companies have a policy about giving your phone number out, so you have to decide if a one-night-stand is worth losing your job. I never ran into a guy who was THAT attractive.
- Was the general attitude of the members different during these events than they act during open parties?
A little. You see a lot more “secret” stuff. They are still rowdy ad there to have a good time, so not much changes there. One big thing that I have noticed is that guys who are the biggest jerks are the nicest to dancers and vice versa. Not sure why, but considering the attitude towards women that runs rampant at fraternities, this massively worked in our favor as dancers.
- In reference to the story our friend told us about the time a dancer paddled him during a private show in his fraternity, what was the funniest act you have ever preformed on a fraternity member?
That’s tough. I would have to say the Ass Whoopin’ party favor where you whoop his ass with a studded belt was my personal favorite and I once did it on a guy who was attempting to recite his Greek alphabet. That was as hilarious as it was disappointing, as he was the president of his fraternity and got the alphabet wrong…and no one caught it but me.
- Did you ever feel pressure from your boss/coworkers to perform acts/wear outfits/change your body in ways you were not comfortable with?
Mostly it was just a constant struggle to lose weight, although looking back, I was not at a high enough weight to even be considered average. The outfits really didn’t matter to me because we never really wore them for long, and the acts were fairly simple (show up, dance, leave). The biggest pressure I saw happen was that if one girl was taking it a little too far, another girl would kick it up a notch, even if she was uncomfortable, to compete.
- Was it awkward?
As far as striving to always lose weight, yes. I knew even then that the person who ran the company was asking me to do something potentially bad for my health, and when I didn’t do it, he would make work very awkward and make snide remarks about my body. It slowly became the worst workplace environment that I could imagine for a dancer.
- What was the reaction from your family when you told them that you were dancing?
My mom was just happy that I was happy and paying my bills, and my dad hated it but loved me enough to accept it. Working as a dancer, I realized that the rest of my family might not always actually be there for me. I guess they thought they were too “pristine” to be associated with a dancer. They actually called me one Christmas to make sure I didn’t think I was invited. I am thankful that my parents did not think the same way.
- How do you feel about the stigma around dancing?
There are a lot of stigmas surrounding exotic dancing, but I think the most widely known is the stigma around “extras.” I have never, and will never, take part in prostitution. My dancers won’t either. I really don’t think I ever worked with a girl who would have. It is sad that people judge adult dancers for making ends meet. It is a job, albeit sometimes a fun one. They deserve the same respect as any other job.
- What do you look for when hiring a new dancer?
When hiring a new dancer, looks have to be considered. Although I’m a strong advocate for young women being body positive, my customers are not. After that, I look at the reason that they want to dance to make sure that they are really committed to sticking with the company. The absolute last thing I look at is whether or not they can actually dance as this is something that can be trained.
- What are the differences between your company and other private dance companies?
At my company, we are very strict in our rules. They sign two contracts, one that just outlines the work and pay and everything like that, and a second one that is just pages of rules. Really, at the company that I worked for previously, the rules were very loose and not really monitored. We have mostly the same rules, but we actually enforce them. Also, the rules about splitting tips here are different than any company that I have ever heard of to keep them from being either too lazy or too competitive. The whole set up is used to promote teamwork and the security of the dancers.
- How does it affect your girls?
So far, this set up has kept the girls from being catty, from being lazy, and has kept them all comfortable. I also have an “open door, open ears” policy, so that if someone is uncomfortable with something, they can talk to me with no fear of repercussions.
- What advice would you give any girl considering dancing?
Find somewhere that is dancer friendly. Managed or owned by a dancer is great because they know all the issues that could affect the workplace environment. Next, remember that at no point should you feel forced into something that you are not comfortable with, but at the same time remember not to mix up your emotions with the stigma. There is nothing wrong with dancing. It is hard work and it is very empowering. And lastly, be kind to your fellow dancers, they can teach you amazing things and they are just trying to make money. Mainly, though, remember that you are the only person who has to live with you. Never do anything that will make it hard to look yourself in the mirror in the morning.
Fuck it, maybe I’ll give it a shot after all..