Looks Can Be Deceiving
by Jamie Armstrong for Dancerwealth.com
Working in this industry for as long as I have, I am asked frequently by women thinking about becoming an exotic dancer, “Do you think I’m hot enough to be a stripper?” This question comes up in our seminars from time to time also. There is a very strong pre-conceived notion out there that being “hot” is the key to making money in this industry which is a complete myth. All of us know a girl in our club who consistently makes money by the wheelbarrow despite ranking low in the looks department comparatively to ourselves. The typical tendency some is to first wonder if she is an “extras girl”. Sometimes, granted, it could be the case and yet what if, however, you could rule that out? How could her mass money making skills be explained then? I worked in a no VIP Room/no touching club where one girl made tons of money sitting and chatting with guys by the bar. Clearly she was not doing extras. Working at this particularly prissy club meant, by definition, you were not doing anything remotely over the top. Clearly this girl was doing something right though. I am sure all of us would agree that to some degree looks are not everything in this business. I will take it one step further to assert, however skeptical some may be, that looks have very little do with this business. Take Spearmint Rhino in Las Vegas for example. 95% of the girls you see on night shift on the weekends during the busy seasons are 11′s – perfectly manicured, toned, and tanned. Interestingly enough, 95% of the girls do NOT make a lot of money (at least not by industry standards for Las Vegas). The 80/20 rule is in full effect there – 20% of the effort produces 80% of the income. 20% of the girls make 80% of the money in the room (this rule is called the Pareto Principle as discussed Dancerwealth). Hence, the smartest, savviest, and wittiest always earn their positions as top producers.
Sometimes being too perfect looking can work to your disadvantage. Let’s take a more diversified club for another example. Not all clubs can or even want to have all aesthetically extraordinary women. The average looking girls are put there for a reason. This reminds me of a story about club dynamics through the eyes of one infamous Las Vegas club owner (who must remain nameless). When sitting around with some buddies one replied to the club owner, “Hey dude, why the average lookin’ girls ’round here?” The club owner snickered and replied “See that group of guys over there drinkin’ a beer after laboring on the jobsite in the sun all day? That 6 can sell them where that 10 can not. While that 10 will only serve to intimidate those guys, that 6 will be able to gain rapport with that group easier, sell them easier, and as a result get 3 or 4 dances out of each of those guys.” I have at least two friends who are strikingly beautiful but hardly get asked out on dates. Two walking examples of when looks work against you. They just have that intimidating look that many guys might shy away from.
Using your wit, smarts, and overall personality (not to be cliché’) will sometimes (not always) attract nicer customers. If you win them over by making them laugh, making them feel good about themselves, or creating a connection through a cool conversation you will find yourself complaining about jerks at work less. You will get stiffed on money less. You will be overall more satisfied with the quality of people you end up spending time with. Although you can not foresee the guy that is going be a chauvinistic ass the moment you walk over to him, you can win over the guy that maybe is predisposed to being difficult unless given a reason not to be (you go over and immediately intrigue and impress him with your social skills) Remember, many guys have preconceived notions about our character or worthiness of being trusted. It is up to you to set yourself apart.
So many exotic dancers focus on the wrong thing in this business. They spend countless hours in the dressing room by the mirror and countless dollars at the makeup counter, plastic surgeon, tanning booth, clothing store, salon etc fussing over their looks. They justify the money and time spent as necessary for their job. While general appearance is important, it is more true that most dancers could save a lot of time and money just focusing on sharpening their sales skills. You might still spend that time and money because you enjoy it, and yet to make substantial money in this business you should never need to feel enslaved to vanity consumerism.
I hope some of these things will serve to boost many girls who maybe feel overwhelmed by unforgiving and superficial remarks and pressure to look perfect. The club owners want you to look your best and yes the customers notice if you don’t comb your hair but there should be a reasonable limit to the lengths you will go to under the premise that you will actually make more money because you are a “10″. Balance is key. I am a girlie-girl myself who enjoys getting her pedicure – I just do it for me and work everyday to be a more effective communicator knowing that the words that come out of my mouth, the persuasion techniques that I use, and the fact that I am on top of my mental sales game is what will truly pay off in this business.
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