So you think you can dance—-pole dance that is?

Some days the DJ is in a good mood and will let me pick whatever I want. Other days, he's cranky as hell and I'm  shit outta luck. Today he's in a good mood so I tell him to play whatever rock he feels like.

Then I make my way to one of the familiar couches where I normally wait for the customers to roll in. When we're slow, I pass the time chatting with the other dancers. This is by far the most interesting part of the job. We talk about everything from family to sex, and then some. We gossip and talk shit about other girls, the guys we're dating, and the economy that is ruining our business. Sometimes we actually have intelligent conversations, but that's pretty rare. Some of the girls are actually in college, trying to lay out a plan for their lives. Some are addicted to drugs, have pimps, and are living day by day. Some are just really fucking lazy and don't want to get off their asses and do anything else. Then there are those who are so unbelievably insecure that they don't realize they can make a living that's not based on looks.

To be honest, I can't stand most of the girls I work with. The ones I like know that I like them, and the rest can go fuck themselves. I have no use for strippers outside of the club. For the most part, they're drama queens who love nothing more than to fill your ear with their latest problem. If I have to listen to one more dancer bitch about how her boyfriend is a dick or how her husband is a psycho, I'm going to shoot someone.

Our first customer comes in just as I go on stage. I slither around the pole, spiraling through trick after trick, while trying to maintain eye contact with this guy. Seems to be working, because he can't take his eyes off me. Going in for the kill, I crawl over to him and give him a little tease. When I hold out my garter for an appreciative dollar or two, he opens his mouth instead of his wallet.

"If you want me to tip you, you gotta do more than just dance!"

You mean it doesn't matter to you that I perfectly executed pole tricks that took me months to master, or that I meticulously picked out my makeup and outfit just for you? Maybe you didn't consider that I just burned $200 at the salon to get my hair done or spent 45 minutes in a gut-wrenching spin class to look my best for you?

Maybe you misunderstand what our roles are in here. I get on stage, do my thing, and you tip me. NOW.

I flash a smile and politely respond to this douchebag. "I'm on stage, honey. All I can do up here is dance. How about we go in the VIP room and I'll show you what I can really do?"

This gets his juices going and he accepts my invitation. Thank God. There's a new pair of shoes at Nordstrom's I have my eye on, and he's about to donate to the cause.

The VIP is where you make your money. Make him happy and he'll make you happy. Those shoes are going to make me VERY happy. I tell the guy how much the dances are and of course he tries to negotiate. This isn't a fucking swap meet.  Don't try to get me to do a $20 dance for $10. If you wanted to be a cheap ass, go to Wing House and have fun eye-humping the women in gold tights.

All this time I spent schmoozing him and being playful and nice. What did it get me? ONE dance. Jesus, could you have wasted any more of my time? Get the hell out of my club and quit breathing my air.

The rest of the day goes pretty smoothly, as I'm able to make a few bucks and pay my house fees. Now I'm ready to get the fuck out of here. I'm going to buy those new shoes, go home, shower this place off me, and spend some time with the people I REALLY care about.

I'll be back in this black hole, where the universe of lights and eyes and skin spin around the pole, doing it all over again tomorrow...

Today is one of those days. We don't get a single customer in for the first three hours—not even a cheap bastard sitting at the stage clutching  singles like a fistful of lottery tickets.

The day starts as usual, in my corner spot of the dressing room. A couple girlfriends are putting on makeup, blow-drying their hair, and lacing up their latest outfits. I hesitate over which eye shadow to wear, then decide on purple to match my top.  Some thick black eye liner, fake eyelashes,  a quick spritz of nice perfume, and I'm out on the floor.

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