Shared Knowledge


Gentlemen’s (i.e. Strip) Club -  Primer


18 May 2007



Summary: it is all about the money.





Recently had the occasion to visit a “gentlemen’s (i.e. a strip) club in Richmond, Virginia. Having not visited such a place in over 30 years, I had no expectations but also no clue as to how the placed worked and it does have its own rules, regulations and protocols.


Now in my case, I have a daughter who lives in Richmond and actually worked as a waitress in such a club for a short while and who also has had friends that were “dancers” and thus she told me a lot about the “gentlemen’s club” business before and after my visit. What I detail below is some of what I learned about a gentlemen’s club or at least one in Richmond, Virginia:


- Take cash. Although clubs do take credit cards, if you do not want your wife or significant other to learn of your visit, best to take cash. Although all clubs have video surveillance, tapes are only used in case of violence or robbery and are not a privacy concern for you.


- Safety. No place is 100% safe anymore but a gentlemen’s club probably comes close. Because it is so easy for a club to lose their alcohol license, they go out of their way to control patrons and lock money up regularly in a safe such as to not be a robbery target.


- It’s all about lap dances. Although gentlemen’s clubs do have dancers\strippers, the whole point of the place is for men or women to get lap dances from the dancers.


- It’s all about money. When I pulled into the parking lot of the club I visited, although I did not pay a parking fee, as soon as I hit the main door, there was a well dressed, college-aged man who welcomed me and told me he would watch my car (i.e. first tip of the night). Then there was the cover charge to get into the door and the tip for the girl who took the cover charge money and then when I sat at the bar, almost immediately a cute little black girl came up and started talking to me and when the bartended asked me what I wanted, she also asked if I wanted to buy the “lady” a drink. How could I refuse? Oh, dancers have to pay to work at a gentlemen’s cub. It is my understanding that this is universal throughout the country. My point being that no dancer is going to spend much time with you if you do not give her money as that is why she is there. Get a lap dance or tip a dancer when she dances if you want any personal attention at all from a dancer.


- Alcohol Served. In Virginia, a gentlemen’s club can only serve beer and wine: no hard liquor. As I said in the beginning, gentlemen clubs are about money and at $5 for a soda and $7 for a domestic beer, even if you do not get a lap dance, you had better bring lots of money.


- Food Served. A gentlemen’s club is not about food although they are required by the Virginia Alcohol Control Board (ABC) to serve it. Load up before you go there as the food offering will be limited and will be expensive. Oh, you pay in advance for food as apparently some patrons sit close to a dance stage, order food and then leave.


- The dancers. I am sure it varies from club to club but the dancers at the club I went to had great bodies and all appeared to be in their mid to late 20’s. Supposedly the club I visited was known for well endowed dancers and some were and some were not. I do know that the dancer images shown on the club’s Internet web site are not images of any dancers who actually work there, so if you base your selection of a club on the club’s Internet web site or a billboard advertisement, you might be disappointed. Finally, it is possible that when you walk in, you might see some women, fully clothed, dancing. The story on this is that if all dancers are busy performing lap dancers, a cocktail waitress must get on a stage and dance but not strip.


- Pasties and g-strings.  In Virginia, if alcohol is served, the ABC says that dancers can not be nude, so they wear pasties and a g-string. It is my understanding that where alcohol is not served, the dancers can be completely nude, i.e. the VIP lap dance room but as I did not go there, I do not know for sure. It is also my understanding that some dancers, on the dance stage, will expose themselves to a good tipster but if they are caught doing this, they can be fined by the management.


- The dancing. At the club I was at, there were 3 stages with 3 dancers, dancing at any one time. I am sure it is me, but I never saw one dance that had any style, class or was sexy in any way. Lying on the floor with legs in the air reminds me of a dying cockroach and is not sexy. As for a sexy strip tease, never saw anything close. I suspect in the end, the dancing is just something for the dancers to do and patrons to watch, sort of, in between lap dances.


- Tipping a stage dancer. When a dancer is on a stage, you can place a tip on the stage but you can not touch the dancer in any way or place a tip in the garter they all wear to hold tip money. Funny, but you seem to be able to touch a dancer if she sits with you and you can touch a dancer during a lap dance but not while she is on stage.


-  Lap dance - in a private room. Lap dances are performed in a private room and not on the main dance stage floor so because you do not see one on the main floor, does not mean the club does not offer them.


- Lap dance - costs. In the club I was in, there was no posted “price list” and thus you just have to ask some one the cost for a single song lap dance or for an extended period dance, like 15 minutes or 30 minutes or more. Where I was, a single song lap dance cost $20, not including any tip for a great job. I think I heard a half hour in the VIP room could run between $250 and $500.


-  Lap dance - the best dancers. The best lap dancers only work Friday and Saturday night and can come from hundreds of miles away as they can easily earn several thousand dollars in a 2 or 3 day period.


- Lap dance - getting one. There are 2 ways you can get set up for a lap dance: (1) Approach any dancer not currently on a dance stage and not currently with a male and tell her you would like a lap dance from her. Note that she can refuse but usually will not as refusal is frowned upon by the management and (2) if you are alone for very long, a dancer will probably approach you and although she might not come right out and say it, she is probably near you so you can ask for a lap dance. If a dancer does come to you, do not take very long before you ask for the dance or the dancer is going to move on to another man where she might make some money and remember that a gentlemen’s club is about money. If you do get approached by a dancer but would prefer a lap dance from another dancer, you have to either tell the dancer with you, you are not interested or actually move to the dancer you want. It is a dancer rule that they do not “steal” a patron and thus if a dancer is with you at a table or the bar, no other dancers will approach until it is clear you are not interested in the dancer.


- Lap dance - regulars night. At the club I went to, Monday is “regulars night” and although it probably varies from club to club, all clubs probably have a regulars night where men who only come in once a week, come for a lap dance from their favorite dancers. It is my understanding that some of these men have long term relationships with dancers and give their dancer various presents from time to time. On “regulars night”, you might not be able to get a specific dancer because she is busy with her “regular” clients.


-  Lap dance - 2 for 1 special. While I was there, a “2 for 1” lap dance special was announced but if you listened, the tunes used to start and stop the lap dance were so short that one regular lap dance equaled one “2 for 1” and so you get no deal waiting around for the “special”.


- Lap dance – be prepared. If you “get off” quickly, take a condom with you and excuse yourself before getting a lap dance and use the condom. That way, if the lap dance is really good, you will not embarrass yourself or the lady.


- Lap dance - touching a dancer. My understanding is that during a lap dance, you are allowed to touch a dancer anywhere except for her breasts and crotch. It is also my understanding that this rule actually varies from dancer to dancer and the amount you are spending for the lap dance but always ask first before touching outside the “legal” zone as if you touch where you are not supposed to, you could get thrown out of the club.


- Getting “lucky”. First of all, most dancers are not prostitutes and if you openly suggest some arrangement for sex, this might get you thrown out of the club if the dancer is offended by the suggestion. Additionally, not only do dancers have to pay the owner of the club to work there, but the owner also has a long laundry list of rules the dancers must follow or get fined, such as: not exposing their naked crotch on the dance stage; taking their shoes off on the dance stage; being late for a shift and leaving with a patron. This is not to say that you can not get lucky, if you have enough money and the dancer is willing to meet you, well after the club closes, but do not expect any dancer to leave with you, even when the club closes.


Finally, although I am sure no one will care, but before I went to the gentlemen’s club, I wondered why such places still existed considering availability of pornography on the Internet, but upon due thought and talking with others, strip clubs continue to exist because: (1) Getting a lap dance is not considering “cheating” on one’s wife; (2) A lap dance is as close to a woman as some guys get; (3) You can not get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) from a lap dance and finally, some cities just do not have decent looking prostitutes.




Ron - Shared Knowledge Home