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Whoreshoe

Valentine

Gateavisa: Hey there, this is Valentine talking to Spike about what it’s like working in the strip club industry.

Spike: Hello, I’ve been dancing at the local male review in the «Gayborhood». I originally got into GoGo dancing or dancing at clubs in between drag events and for friends parties. I first did it because I was dead broke and I realized that I have this hot body that I could make money off of and that’s always an option, like, thank God or whatever. So I worked at a restaurant for 6 years then I quit and it was hard to like fill the fridge and eat food, which is necessary, so you know, I slapped on a rock strap and went in and auditioned at Luck Horseshoe and got in. I work there Mondays and Thursdays which is usually ok because there are less dancers. I have a good time it’s helped me get over a lot of nervousness and body dysmorphia as well because if you see dollars coming at you it’s like, Oh! people think I’m hot.

What was your audition like?

The tryout was just like whoever showed up at 7, they played one song and they pretty much looked at your body and how you moved to whatever song they played, that was it and then I signed paperwork and showed up. We don’t pay the club to go in, it’s a private LLC so the club pays us just a little bit under minimum wage because sometimes it’s slow and there’s no private lap dances or VIP areas, pretty much just hospitality. That’s like most money that you don’t get, make on stage, which is still a good amount of money from whoever wants to tip. How that works with no lap dances or anything is usually like, if people want to see more or touch you more, you usually say it’s «X» amount of dollars to touch this fucking ass.

And for your time to hang out or have a conversation…

Yeah and like usually get people to buy me drinks or whatever, because that usually helps conversation a lot.

Mmmmmm because people are boring but you aren’t!

Thanks! So yeah usually just talk to people and I do get that it’s a gay club because these older gay men, you sort of hear their stories like, «When I was your age…» And a couple of my regulars still have wives but they’re divorced and they have kids and stuff because back in the day there was even more of a stigma to be openly gay or they just found out later in life, I’m not really sure but it’s all gay there. Except a couple of the straight dancers, which usually are the more muscular guys that are so narcissistic that they’re in the gym every day. That’s hilarious because they’re usually like, «It’s 20 dollars to touch my dick…» I usually do enjoy having conversations with people and yeah if they do want to touch it’s usually touch this booty give me the cash.

For the straight guys that work there, what’s that like? You’ve talked about them working with gay men, are they ever homophobic or pretty excepting? Do they ever make more money because they’re straight? Do they tell the clients or keep it a secret?

I think they do tell some of the clients, but I don’t they’re ever homophobic because they’re the ones out there getting their dicks touched and whatever, but it’s their sexual preference. They would have to be a little more intelligent to work at a gay strip club and if you’re homophobic you shouldn’t be working there. It’s all gay all the time, just a bunch of butts and dicks walking around. Everyone is there for a reason, to make money and customers are there to see butts and dicks. It is funny to hear them talk because I feel like they’re just an inch away from being gay… like everybody. I realise the more muscular guys or machismo motherfuckers are really just kittens, they’re all nice and everyone gets along really well. It is funny though when they gay guys team up against the straight guys just because I don’t know, the gay slang or whatever and they’re out of the loop because, hetero ha ha! People do ask me if I’m straight or gay and sometimes when I say I’m gay people are like, oh you’re just a fairy and people tend to want more masculine men. There’s something for everyone there, but I do realize that I’m the more twink fantasy, the barely legal. I did a stand-up routine about this recently where I talk about I’m the barely legal girl and maybe pedophiles are attracted to me but hey, I’m still like getting all their money so that works out. People sometimes want to do stuff outside of the club, more like sexual acts and usually just lead them on and tell them yeah we can do this and this, get them all hot and bothered and then I leave. Then they go home horny and rub one out like everyone else does.

Do they ever come back for that?

Yeah totally, I tell them when I work and they come back. A couple of my regulars that come in, I’ve gone on escorting dates and stuff like that with them and it’s always fun.

So you said you have other jobs besides the club, what other jobs do you have and how often do you do them? Do your co-workers know what you do or do you tell them or it is any of their fucking business? Have you had any negative responses from that and if so what do people typically say and how do you respond?

I haven’t had any negative reactions, I have had a couple of friends be like, «Oh! You’re too pretty for that!» It’s like, well that’s why I’m doing it.

It’s the point!

It’s why I AM there.

Too pretty to NOT make money off of this.

Yeah you can touch all this skin if you give me hundreds of dollars, if you’re old and decrepit that’s like usually the people I go for because they have the most money and they’ve been on this Earth for so long and they’re horny and gay so give me all your money. But yeah I have two other jobs, I work at 2 different bars alternating on the weekends so I work at the strip club during the week and I started that because I was literally starving throughout the week after my bills were paid and it’s worked perfectly. I’ve been able to save money, this is the most financially secure I’ve ever been in my life I think and I’m really happy about it. At the end of the night sometimes you have to take your second shower at the strip club because you feel like a little bit eew, but I fall asleep like a little baby on a stack or pile of ones. My other jobs know about it and they call me Spike as well, they think it’s awesome. You’re like, you are your industry and people respect that you’re doing stuff with your body or creative ways or making money. I feel like a lot of my friends respect that and a lot of them come into the Horseshoe, and see and I love it when that happens. I’m just like come in but if you don’t want to see my dick imprint… forewarned.

And then you do like drag on the side too, a lot of entertainment kind of work?

Yeah that’s how I started like GoGo-ing for dollars but I do drag which is also dancing for dollars but as a lady and it’s an art form at least in my eyes like a beautiful art form that I’ve been inspired by former and I’ve been doing for about four years now and I do that whenever people want to throw me a gig. I love performing and making outfits which is how I’ve been making money and at the strip club I dance to make money for outfits and I’m like I have to make money for this and I have big dreams and goals and I have to make money towards this stuff and other times people just give it to you because you’re doing a bunch of weird crazy cool stuff and I’m not boring or straight or machismo so people think I’m interesting in that way and make more money because I do have dreams and goals. I tell them and try to keep things positive but other times people think that I’m just a bottom but the gag is, honey, I’m a lady that can top. Sometimes people are turned off but like well, shut up.

Do other drag queens frown upon the fact that you’re a stripper?

I doubt it, I don’t think it’s ever been brought up. Usually you just get a quick yaaaas. I always go to this club called Berlin down the street after work and I go to support my friends with the dollars I’ve made. I feel like I’m paying them with the money I’ve made from my thong when I’ve seen their shows so they better not be mad. I’m out there supporting them so they should support me too.

I’d be happier, like I know where this has been! It’s worth more actually, worth double at least…

I’ve been doing it for about seven months now, dancing, it just makes a lot of sense to me like I own my own industry.

Do you make your own schedule? Come in whatever days you want? Do you see yourself doing this longer? What kinds of things have you gotten to do that maybe you otherwise wouldn’t, do you feel like you have more freedom than like a 9-5 job?

I think so totally, 9-5 is a set schedule and you can’t dance around in your underwear in an office and I fucking love to. Dress for the job you want, that’s like a leather thong with chains.

Are you allowed to take extended time off of work, you make your own schedule, so like several weeks and come back?

Yeah like give a two-week notice but I only work two days a week. The more career guys that do it as their only job do it more days. It’s only 8-2 Monday-Friday. There’s like 50 dancers there but they alternate days.

On a weekday you say there are less dancers so how many would you say on any given night? What would be the most at any one time?

Probably like 20, which is a lot. You would have shorter sets because you get on stage for 5 minutes once an hour which kind of sucks because it’s high rotation. We don’t get to pick our own songs either so sometimes when you get up it’s Steal My Sunshine by Len which is a fucking drag. We do have 90’s nights and shit like that.

Didn’t you say there was a drag night last month?

There was a talent show and we usually have an underwear contest at the end of the month too so any of the customers could get in their underwear and dance and yeah it’s cute.

That’s awesome! So it’s a gay club but do you ever get women?

Sometimes but this one time these Beckys came in with the same highlights came in and they asked me how much money I make and I’m like that’s none of your business, and like it depends on how much YOU give me… And then they gave me more money and then they were like, «Are you in love? Does your boyfriend know what you do, does he approve of this?» I’m like, I’m married to God, they didn’t think it was funny but I thought it was fucking hilarious, thank you. I’m single right now but if I didn’t have a relationship, you better support my things because I’m just talking to old men and dancing around. Love is a hormonal imbalance anyway. I tried to get my ex to audition at the Horseshoe before I did because they were broke and they had a cute butt and he was so afraid, I guess I was just more ready for it and it made more sense to me.

Do you think you could have done this job when you were younger? I do this same job but I feel like when I was 21 or 23 I didn’t have the maturity to go through with it, save the money, and do it the right way. What about you? Do you think you could have done this a couple of years ago? Or do you feel like it was the right time?

I started GoGo-ing at clubs years ago, but to be in an establishment where you can do that, I think now is the right time because I was working at the same place for 6 years and felt like I’m good, stripping is always an option. I felt like I didn’t need it right then but then I got sick of my job and quit and thought kets start stripping! It’s been good. I’ve met a lot of nice people there and it’s been good talking to older gay men, making people happy. Even though sometimes I hate people, but they tell me I make them happy.

Kind of therapeutic for people.

Exactly. Sex work is also like being a therapist, %100. You can touch my booty while we talk about your childhood issues and you could give me that $20 in your wallet I saw.. and more. The management is really great too and oh yeah I have to go to work in like 10 minutes from now so I think that’s about it.

Good time to wrap it up, always wrap it up!


Chicago, Illinois

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