You’re Not In Pole Class Anymore, Dorothy: My Thoughts On Dancing At A Strip Club

Strip clubs, at their best (when they’re regulated, rules are enforced and monitored to be safe for the dancers), can be places of celebration and appreciation of feminine sexual energy. I’ve danced in a terrible club where rules are lax as well as in a club with great management and bouncers / security.

It has felt like such a healing experience to be given a safe environment that lets me: be playful, flirty and adventurous; feel vibrant and energized; enjoy freedom of personal sexual expression; explore creating beauty, connection, presence, affection, and even tenderness through the language of sensuality; and fulfill my love / desire / need for dancing and performing.

Even encountering stigma and disapproval has helped me to recognize that another person’s way of viewing the world is simply that: their opinion, shaped by the personal experiences they’ve had. I’ve been told that I’m supposed to feel shame about what I choose to do with my own body and my sexuality. That may be their reality… but it’s far from what my experience feels like to me.

One of the things that surprised me most about dancing at a strip club is that, for the most part, the guys who come in as customers don’t belong to the stereotype of “sleazy scumbags”. Most of the time, I haven’t felt aggressive or ill-meaning energy coming from men. In my interactions with customers, they are actually sweet, appreciative, in awe, even adoring. Another thing that surprised me was that, on the flip side, being a dancer at a strip club can be a profoundly positive experience, and both the physical and emotional safety of the dancer can be maintained.

My First Time… Dancing for Amateur Night at a Strip Club

Image Credit: Vixen Photography / Scott Saw

I walked into my friendly, local, neighborhood strip club with my eyes on the prize. I wanted a job! I wanted to be a dancer. See, I’d been taking pole fitness classes for a little over a year. I didn’t start taking classes with the goal of becoming a stripper, but the idea started to seem appealing to me. Dancing had become my favorite hobby, I found performing in small showcases at my dance studio to be a thrill for me, I loved getting all dolled up and wearing cute little outfits, and I thought, I could do all these things and get paid for it!

A few friends I’ve made at the studio have worked or currently work as strippers. After asking them every question I could think of about their experiences being a stripper, I started to feel like it was something I could do too. They talked about how they loved the connection, rapport, even sweetness in interactions, that they were able to create with clients.

They talked about how they loved seeing clients’ moods improve. Part of what’s so rewarding to them is being able to light someone up. It’s about helping clients to have fun and relax, appreciating them, giving them present, focused attention and being affectionate. The way they talked about their work experiences didn’t make any of it sound sleazy.

Bouncers at this club will kick guys out for even looking too creepy or suspicious, even if they haven’t touched the dancers or done anything outright weird. Bouncers are constantly watching and they step in as soon as they see guys touching the dancers, since touching isn’t permitted. Basically, they do an amazing job keeping the dancers safe.

My friends genuinely enjoyed going to work, even missing it on days off and excitedly anticipating getting to go to work again on their next shift. They talked about how they never imagined themselves working in this sort of adult entertainment setting or loving it as much as they did.

Every month, the strip club has an Amateur Night. They hire most of their dancers through Amateur Night, so it’s like an audition too. I thought, why not? I’ll get booty-fabulous onstage. I’ll shake my tail feather, make it rain, and see what happens!

You’re not in pole class anymore, Dorothy… 

Dancing at a strip club and taking dance classes at a pole fitness studio are two thoroughly different animals. The energy is different.

In pole class, it’s about working out. Sometimes, it’s about interpreting music through dance and acrobatics. It can look more like an art form. You can be lost in your own world, if you want. Pole dancers can dance for themselves, without having to cater so much to a lusty audience.

When you’re dancing at a strip club, though, you want to be making much more suggestive eye contact, connecting with the strip club patrons in a flirtatious way, and focusing on more provocative dance moves.

In the fine words of Ludacris, “Shake that money maker like somebody ’bout to pay ya!” 

About ten dancers had signed up to do Amateur Night. Our mission was straightforward: We would dance to one song of our choice, and we had to take our top off sometime during the song. After the song, one of the bouncers would sweep up all the cash people had thrown onstage and the dancer would be given a bucket pail filled with the money she had made.

About ten judges who had been chosen from the audience would rate us on various criteria. After the scores were tallied up, all the dancers would come back onstage. The top three would be announced and would receive additional cash prizes. Whoever won first place would give an encore dance performance. The manager was watching each dancer and would offer jobs to his favorite performers.

I was terrified about Amateur Night, because I’m so used to doing choreographed dance routines. Choreography, I can totally rock. But coming up with moves in the moment? Making it look fluid and gorgeous? Dancing for one full song without pre-planned choreography?

I had absolutely no idea what I was going to come up with while I was onstage. What if I froze up? Or what if I looked awkward and unsexy? I could feel my whole body trembling.

I wasn’t the first dancer to go up onstage, so I was able to see what other dancers were doing. Most dancers who work at strip clubs or who want to work at strip clubs don’t have pole training, but they don’t need it. Many of them learn on the job… and you don’t have to do crazy acrobatic pole tricks to be sexy. If you’re wearing a sexy little outfit and heels, moving your body slowly and sensually, making eye contact and oozing seductive energy, you’ll do fine.

At long last, the DJ called my name. Well, my dancer name. I came to the side of the stage, and the DJ asked me for my favorite sexual position. He asked that to every dancer and announced it to the audience while introducing us to the stage. The majority of dancers at every Amateur Night say doggy style.

I said, “In between a man and a woman.”

“Like, a threesome?!”


“Welcome her to the stage, everybody. She loves threesomes and group sex. She loves orgies!”

He really took that idea and ran with it. The crowd roared. I laughed. He put on a Rihanna song for me, and I booty popped. I slithered across the floor. I danced near the edges of the stage, close to the audience, and made sure to dance on each side of the stage to connect with as many people as possible. I felt showers of dollar bills fluttering onto my body.

It was awesome to hear all the cheering, and to see the looks on guys’ faces: a mixture of awe, appreciation and delight. Halfway through the song, I headed toward the pole in the center. I did pole tricks, and while I was spinning around upside down, I stripped off my bra.

The song was over before I knew it. When they announced the top three, I had been voted third place! Even after tipping the DJ and bouncer, I got to go home with $200. Two hundred dollars for dancing to a three-minute Rihanna song!

They didn’t offer me a job that night, because I hadn’t dolled myself up quite as much as I could have and they wanted to see me with full makeup and hair done. They encouraged me to come back and try out again. Still, my first time dancing for Amateur Night was a positive experience.

My First Time… Joining a Couple as a “Unicorn”

In the land of swingers and polyamorous folks, the term “unicorn” refers to an attractive bisexual woman who will join an existing couple during intimate experiences. Those experiences may be purely sexual, or for those who are poly, an interest in connecting deeply on an emotional level and the possibility of longer-term dating or commitment may be in the picture.

I went on a blind date with a petite yet busty Asian girl. We hit it off because of our similar bubbly personalities, love for the unconventional life (open relationships and consensual, multi-partner sexual adventures), and shared interest in threesomes. We were alike in our tendencies to be impulsive, to get a wild hair and go forth into all kinds of strange experiences as a way of life. I thought she was gorgeous, super sweet and fun to be around.

She told me about her hot husband, the excitement and fun they experienced in their relationship, and their strong desire to explore, to fully support each other’s individuality and to connect with additional intimate partners. We agreed to meet again soon so that she could introduce me to her husband. She emphasized that the meeting with her husband would be centered around my comfort levels. If after meeting him I decided that I’d prefer spending time with just her, she promised to whisk me away so we could do our own thing!

Fast forward through the date with her and her husband, conversations about sexual histories and safer sex, to the three of us at their home for the first time. We decided to satisfy our curiosity about being together intimately. They focused their attention on me during the evening, and even though she was self-conscious about her lack of experience with women, she did things that made me feel amazing. It was the first threesome for both of them. I had already had a threesome with a former boyfriend and one of my really good girlfriends, but it was my first time being the one joining another couple.

Even more than the physical aspect of our interactions, the dynamics of their relationship fascinated me. I would glance over at her, checking to see how she was doing while her husband and I were together. They were affectionate and attentive with each other, and those characteristics also crossed over in the thoughtful way they treated me. Their relationship really inspired me and showed me a healthy example of what consensual non-monogamous exploration could look like for a couple.

My First Time… Using a Strap-On During a Girl-On-Girl Experience

Who wears the pants? Well, me. I wore the pants, and “I was the dude” during my first girl-on-girl, strap-on experience.

We used what basically looked like a double-ended dildo, except that it was in the shape of an “L”. One end was designed to provide g-spot and clitoral stimulation, and the other end was all about rocking someone’s world with both deep penetration and g-spot stimulation. The toy was a strapless strap-on, so after sticking the shorter end inside of me, the longer end of the dildo protruded from between my legs like an erect penis.

The toy stayed in place inside of me while I used it to penetrate her, moving it in and out of her just like I was a real boy! After my first time using a strap-on with another girl, I have to give a shout-out to dudes everywhere. Guys are total champs; it’s so much work to be the one pummeling the woman. Being the penetrator required moving my hips in an entirely different way than they were used to. (Not gonna lie, I got pretty winded.)

It was fascinating to look down between my legs and see everything from the guy’s perspective. Like, seeing the penis slide in and out of her, seeing her body, her physical excitement and the signs of her arousal coating the penis. I thought, “Oh, this is what guys see when they’re doing this! This is super hot!” It was like watching a porno that was shot in “POV/point-of-view” style, but even better since I was having sex and seeing from that perspective in real life.

I still prefer manually using dildos on a woman more than using strap-ons. Wearing and using strap-ons can actually turn me off because I don’t actually want to be a guy or feel like I’m physically manly. Strap-ons tend to make me feel less attractive, sexy and feminine.

The novelty of it definitely adds an element of newness and excitement, so it’s nice to bust out of the treasure chest of sex toys every once in awhile – but I’ll take making out and having other sexy fun over using strap-ons, most of the time.