Since working in a strip-club entails an up-close and personal view of every bizarre or loathsome characteristic known to man (and uncovering a few new ones), observation and human analysis is pretty much unavoidable. So is witnessing envy, greed, misogyny, undiluted stupidity, but mostly, the glaringly obvious. From narcissism, to sexual spastics, to awe-inspiring ignorance, it is a rare night at work when at least one trait isn't more on display than our boobs. I've learned these observations from both clients and co-workers alike. Strangely, some seem to think idiocy comes with the territory, whilst prancing around naked for a living. Yet, how could we (strippers) not learn a thing or three about life - when the night-time world we inhabit is a parallel world to daily life? Most lessons take time. But in the land of stripping, discord often presents itself first, before unraveling the good - if any. More shocking than our first lap-dance, is that so many civilians didn't seem to know, nor had even thought of the glaringly obvious tidbits below that every stripper picks up naturally along the way.
*Don't ever try to fit in. Every newbie that joined our ranks, thinking that all strippers were shallow nymphomaniacs with a gold-medal in hair-twirling, made the mistake of conforming accordingly. And we not only disliked them immediately for the bimbo act, but smelled a rat too. Yet they've earned a room full of friends if they'd been honest from the get-go about their love of knitting, adoration for guinea-pigs, talent for tarot. Because strippers love individuality - and so does the rest of the world. People are fascinated by interesting new information, and your very existence is just that. In the presence of brand new company, you don't have to shout about religion being bullshit, and how anyone with a varying political standpoint can go suck balls. But always stay true to yourself, quiet yet firm. Your differences are actually jewels, and when new friends get to know you, they'll want to polish them. (No pun intended).
*Don't pluck your eyebrows too thin. Because you won't have any left when you're older. Thick eyebrows have thankfully made a comeback, so if your blessed with a pair of caterpillars, shape them and own it. Cosmetic tattooing only looks good if you have some coverage to work with first. Unless you're lucky, you'll wind up looking like an extra from American Horror Story; Freakshow.
*Don't film yourself having sex. Unless you plan on making a career out of it. Especially if you're eighteen, and he's eighteen too. There is a more than likely chance it will end up on the internet. It's too good for a young male not to share. Particularly when you break up. It only takes a second to upload, and a lifetime to chase down pop-ups.
*Look after your teeth, knee-caps and designer labels. This goes without saying.
*If you suspect he's cheating, he probably is. When you ask this question outright for the first time, you'll know. Your guy will act as though you've gone insane. And rather than comfort and convince you, he'll berate you for being a paranoid ball-breaker. Because your feelings are not even figuring into the equation. His defense is reactionary to him shitting his pants and hiding his guilt. Then he'll turn the guilt on you for doubting him as a person. All this gives him time to think and worm his way out. It always helps, during an accusation, to have proof. If not, you can always make some up. I knew my ex was cheating, so I told him the following story; I went through your phone, fuckface, and rang that girl's number. And guess what? I said I was your flatmate, and we needed your share of the electricity bill - did she by chance know where you were, or was she planning on seeing you soon? I was friendly enough for the bitch to melt like Camembert in the sun, and she told me everything, you two-timing, cock-sucking piece of shit! Sure enough, his resolve melted like, well, Camembert in the sun. Yet in actual fact, I had nothing but my wits to trap him with. If a man isn't cheating on you, he'll laugh at the question and take true interest in why you think so. Provided you haven't asked 1,572 times beforehand, in which case, he has a right to be pissed at your pathological insecurity. But always listen to your instinct. Ego and fear will challenge this, but here's the thing; a sure-fire way to know if it's your heart or your mind telling the truth. Intuition will always come first. Fear and ego will speak second and over the top of your instinct's voice to try and drown out your sixth-sense.
*Never put your face, neck and decolletage in the sun. Ever. An all-over, chocolate-milk tan may look marvelous in your twenties, and even your thirties, but you'll pay for that shit when you hit forty & look like a combination of a chorizo, and someone Hansel and Gretel are attempting to flee from. Even your foundation should contain sunscreen. Word.
*Do not try and pull off a ring from a swollen finger. It will only make it worse, and possibly earn yourself a trip to the emergency room. Instead, thread two pieces of sewing cotton on either side under the ring. Slather finger in moisturizer, then slowly lever upwards. You may need a friend to help. Which brings me to my next point...
*A friend will be there when you need them. Sure, there will be times when they can't drop everything and leave their work/children/grandmother's golden anniversary to comfort your broken heart/job-loss/raging flu. But mostly, they will. So is she a friend or frenemie? If you have a friend that is there through the good times, and vanishes during the bad, she is not a friend. There are Girl's Girls, and Guy's Girls. More than likely, a Guy's Girl will drop you like a used condom every time there's a better offer (i.e, a guy). Guy's Girls have no use for other females, except to ensure they don't go fishing alone. She likewise has no loyalty, and therefore no qualms in making a move on a guy you've got the hots for, or she'll even go out with your ex. Because this girl not only ignores the 'Girl Code', but it may as well been written in hieroglyphs for all she cares. Another frenemie trait is the hand she holds out is the one that holds you down. 'I like you better in pink', she'll say, while both of you very well know, you look appealing as a newborn crustacean in the color. 'As long as you like your hair that style, that's the main thing.' And, 'It's great you got the promotion, if you're capable of the work load', are other orchestrated manipulations. They are delivered to not only make you doubt your potential, but never outshine hers. A frenemie wants you in the wings, and not in her spotlight. You are her springboard to feeling superior, and what good is superiority if you don't have a lesser serf to compare it to?
Sound familiar? A true friend shows respect, loyalty, empathy and concern. It is a very small gesture to take half-an-hour to call someone and sympathise, but the gesture lasts forever. Important note here, concerning both guys and girls; never treat anyone as a priority, when they treat you as an option.
Nail polish will take off nail polish. Who hasn't run out of remover, right when your polish is chipped and an event looms an hour away? You'll have to wear the same color, but smearing nail polish on these ragged talons will remove the chipped varnish. Just paint it on, and remove immediately.
Don't diet, duh. Starving yourself, or going on a 'one egg-white in the morning, followed by two glasses of lemon-juice and cayenne pepper for lunch, half a Japanese sea-urchin (boiled) for dinner, while snacking on two shakes of a lamb's tail. Feel free to wash down with all the fresh air you like! kind of diet will not make you happy. Following any strict eating regime that is not demanded due to illness is pure stupidity. Plus, any rapid and brutal change in your eating habit will cause your body to panic and store fat. Eventually you'll lose weight of course. But you'll have to maintain the fresh air diet, because once you begin eating normally again, you'll pack the weight back on. Instead, eat healthy, use balance, and exercise. Strangely, I've met many people who complain about being overweight while stuffing pizza in their pie-hole, night after night. And I've rarely met a happy, bulky person. I certainly wasn't, when I was carrying 15 kilos more than my recommended weight. But I ate shithouse food to feel good, because I felt like crap. My silver lining in a viscous cycle. Yet nobody is particularly sunny while depriving themselves either. So here's what I decided to do; indulge in all the cakes, burgers, coke and fatty goodness I liked two days a week. Then salads, veges, lean meats for five days. Two days of feeding the brain, five days of feeding the body. And believe me, if you go a week without baked cheesecake, while storing it in your cheat day list, it tastes all the better when the days comes to pig-out. I'm not a nutritionist, but the rationale of balance worked wonders for my thighs and ass.
Freeze Your face...
Usually, cold is a shitty, uncomfortable element that starts your day in a Brenda Spencer mood, and makes you consider Satan wouldn't be a bad person to bargain with if it means going back under the blankets. Sometimes however, ice is our best friend. Yep, you heard right. Surfacing after a hangover or flu, our skin generally resembles an aging bratwurst. And long before Botox, it was my grandmother who taught me a quick-fix - used by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin. Ready for this complicated procedure? Half fill a bowl with cold water, then fill it to the top with ice. Stick your face straight in it until you feel like screaming louder than a Harry Stiles groupie. You're welcome. Another facial life hack for a blistering hot day is shoving your face in the freezer. While I worked as a stripper in the Top End of Australia, in metal-melting temperatures, no amount of air-con could stop my make-up from melting under hot lights. And so as I didn't look like something Ru Paul would have disdain for, I'd simply go to the bar freezer, stick my head inside, and my make-up would instantly reset. Now, I know you probably don't have a Gentleman's Club handy, but your nearest Coles, Woolies, or even ice-cream freezer at the servo will do nicely.
Yes, there's a 90% chance your man has been to a strip-club, and it doesn't matter... Correct, there is a large likelihood your fellow has caved in to curiosity and ventured into our realms. Either that, or he just wanted to see a new pair of tits. Simply because of a particular little rule in life; men are primal and driven by variety, women are the poor creatures that god gave a brain in which to work overtime. For the same reason we worry about whether our boobs hang too low, and if our ass looks like two basketballs fighting under a blanket, (which in turn prompts us to walk naked backwards out of a room). We stress ourselves with the question; what the fuck is he doing in a strip club! The truth is, nothing but having a look. There is no emotional attachment to it. Seeing a new pair of tits is the equivalent of us girls loving mud-cake best, but occasionally contemplating the brulee. The good news is, strippers don't really like the men who frequent strip clubs. We actually hold a combination of pity & disdain for regular customers. Yet a one-off visit from your boyfriend restores our faith in humanity. Why? Because he may be ogling our breasts, or even peering at us naked in a lap-dance, but he's also busy sharing how much he loves you. I've even had a few young men tell me how much nicer his girlfriend's tits are than mine. And I like to hear it, because it means he's happy enough getting an eyeful, but is not a cheat. Mostly, he'll come home all the keener, and full of sexual tension to bestow on you - not because he's thinking of us, just merely due to his imagination being sparked. The other great news is, (kinda) if you are going out with a bastard who wants to try and sleep with a stripper, there is zero chance. Strippers in Australia don't have sex for money. We are so repulsed by the suggestion, we would rather snort our own vomit before sleeping with an attached man we met at a strip-club. Strippers are actually on your side, believe it or not. I remember a lady once stalking through the door to find her partner sitting at the stage getting a topless show. The woman screamed, 'I knew I'd find you here!' then punched him in the pants. Every stripper in the place stopped, let out a booming cheer, and bought the lady a drink while protecting her from security.
PS. For those who do back out of the room naked, try and remember this; I rarely saw a man come to a club and immediately go for the perfect, sinewy girl. Men like meat. Men like cushion. Some men like a behind you can park your bike in and rest your beer on (though this is not offered at a strip-club, by any stretch of the imagination). But all men love self-confidence. So if you're worrying what he's thinking while you're on top or bent over, stop right now. He's not thinking at all. He is simply loosing himself in sensation and the flesh of the goddess in front of him. I promise. Beauty comes in all sizes 8-18.
*Lamb will make you fart grotesquely if eaten the night before a date
*After applying your own fake tan, rub ankles, knees, elbows and feet with moisturiser
*0.1 Retin A is illegal in Australia, but not illegal to buy from overseas on Ebay. Never use 0.1 Retin A more than twice a week though!
*it's possible to read something you don't agree with on social media, scroll past, and move on with your life
For more life hacks and stripper secrets, why not grab your copy of Sunshine; the Diary of a Lap Dancer?