Ugh, jobs. Oof, economy. This week, in honor of both the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests and the addition of a Strip Club section to our site, I thought I’d explore some of the more creative and seemingly fail-safe post-college jobs. Like, well, stripping. So I interviewed the author of our Strip Clubs column, writer and stripper, Iris Greene.
Kathleen Hale (KH): What do you think makes you a good stripper—aside from the fact that you are very attractive? (Note to readers: Iris Greene is very attractive.)
Iris Greene (IG): I think I’m quite adept at asking questions to keep my customers talking. I don’t think people ask them a lot of questions. Clients need to vent most of the time.
KH: What’s the saddest story you’ve heard at work?
IG: This guy came in. He was 21 and was in a wheelchair. He couldn’t talk or really move his head. His dad had brought him in. He said he needed some fun..
KH: Do you have to pay taxes as a stripper?
IG: I’m supposed to. (Laughs) It’s very…I can’t talk…like about…it that much. You know because I’m not American.
KH: Is stripping dangerous? I feel like that’s a common perception. Along with the whole exploitation thing.
IG: As far as I can tell, the girls who work with me are there because they want to be, and because they need the money. In terms of safety, what’s important to me is to know all the security guards by their first names. And to be really nice with them. And to make sure nothing bad ever happens to me.
KH: What’s the most you’ve made in a week?
IG: 4 or 5 thousand dollars.
KH: Jesus. What about the least?
IG: The least? Oh, negative. I lost two dollars once.
IG: You know how hair dressers rent chairs in a salons? Well it’s the same at strip clubs. You show up and you give the club $100. It’s $20 a dance, so it takes 5 dances to pay back…then it’s $20 to DJ, $10 to the house, $20 for taxi, so my overhead every night is $150. So that night I made $148 including tips and whatever, and my overhead is $150, so I went home with less money than I showed up with.
KH: Can you tell me about secret stripper perfume? That probably sounds crazy. But I’ve only been to a strip club once, and the guy next to me got a lap dance, and the girl who was dancing on him smelled…so good. Like, really good. Like, this (KH smiles like baby with gas).
IG: The girl you’re talking about was probably ovulating. When you’re ovulating you can make more money. Like as a lesbian, I know this. Like girls smell way sexier and hotter.
KH: Do you use a special perfume when you’re not ovulating?
IG: Meh. I used to put a lot of effort into my makeup regime, but a lot of the clubs in New York are so dark, like you can’t even see. Like you can’t even see anything. A lot of girls spray tan, so that they show up better in the dark, I don’t. Like I said, smell is important, and I think spray tans smell like easy bake oven.
KH: You wrote a little bit about your beautification process after being on vacation for a while. What’s the most important thing for a stripper aesthetically, like on a regular basis.
IG: You gotta be ready to put a little bit of concealer on your ass. Butt pimples look like STDs.
KH: (Laughs). What’s the most common response when someone finds out you’re a stripper?
IG: Women tell me, “I always wanted to be a stripper.” Like a lot—to the extent that I tend to be very private about what I do, because I don’t want some conversation I have to be the basis—or even part of the basis—for some girl becoming a stripper.
It’s not because I don’t want to be a stripper, or because I don’t think other people should be strippers, but I have a very unique approach to stripping. I’m a lesbian for one thing, so the stuff with men, it’s never confusing for me. It’s never painful. I don’t get caught up, emotionally. Some of the girls get attached or even kiss their clients, but my feelings never get hurt. I can’t be responsible, even a little bit, for someone else choosing this vocation. And I don’t want anyone’s boyfriend coming after me because his girlfriend talked to me once and decided she wanted my job.
Read more about Iris Greene’s adventures here.