Thursday, October 13, 2016

Emerald Coast Entertainment

Earlier, I talked about the shady and crooked things that stripping companies do to both their employees and customers alike. Now I'm going to list one company that treats its customers and its employees well.

They mainly specialize in the Southeast region of the U.S., but they are expanding outward. On top of that, they charge customers reasonable rates and its employees never pay more than a 35% booking fee. I highly recommend aspiring strippers in the Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi areas to apply; likewise goes for customers seeking strippers.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Internet Stripping Companies: 7 Things You Need to Know

For those of you who want to book a stripper for your private party, or want to strip at private parties, a quick search on Google will reveal numerous stripping companies. Most have professional looking websites and what appear to be the hottest dancers money can buy.

Here's a little known fact: Most of them are shady and crooked. I know this because I've worked for most of them at one point or another.

Now let's analyze some bullshit tactics these companies employ:

1) Overcharging the Customer

Some of these companies charge an upwards of $300 (price for male stripper) or more for a one-hour private show. The dancer will be lucky to see even half of this amount.

2) Having a Fake Roster on the Website

When choosing your stripper from the company website, you can often pick your top choices from a list of many hot candidates. This is all bullshit. First off, that company might be lucky to even have one of those guys/girls in their roster. Even if they do have that person, he or she is definitely not going to show up for your bachelorette party in the middle of Kansas.

3) Contracting Dancers Via Other Online Companies

This is a very common practice with almost every companies.

Sometimes these companies won't have even a single dancer in your area. When this happens, they don't turn the customer away. Instead, they'll lie to the customer and say they have a dancer and need to check for availability. This "checking" involves calling other Internet booking companies asking for available dancers. If another company has a dancer available, then the second company will tack on their own charge, and both companies will profit at the expense of the dancer and the customer.

In other words, Company A gets a call for a male stripper in Biloxi, Mississippi, but doesn't have a stripper in that area. Company B has a dancer available in Biloxi. So A calls B for the dancer. Then A calls the customer and assures them that a stripper will show up, but the normal price of $300 will now become $350, because B needs a share of the profit, and A is too greedy to reduce its price. Company A charges the customer's credit card, then turns over the customer's information to Company B to finish the business transaction with the customer and stripper, which involves having the stripper collect the remainder of the money as cash.

On top of all that, A has never even seen the dancer from B. Thus, the stripper shows up to the party unaware of any promises made by Company A. Also, if the stripper causes trouble, the customers cannot really complain to Company A, because the stripper works for Company B.

As a result, there is little to no accountability in this, plus the stripper makes much less in tips because the customers are already paying up the ass to both A and B.

4) Underpaying the Strippers

Like I said earlier, strippers would be lucky to see half the amount these companies charge customers.

Sometimes, it goes like this: Company A gives a price of $300 to the customer and charges the customer $100 on the credit card; the stripper collects $200 in cash from the customer and has to send $75 to $100 of it back to the company in the form of a "booking fee."

So out of a $300 transaction, the company makes $175 - $200, while the stripper makes only $100 - $125. Sometimes, the stripper makes even less than that.

That's complete bullshit since the stripper is the one doing all the work, all the driving, and causing all the wear-and-tear on his vehicle. All the company did was take the phone call and make the sale. Of course, maintaining a business and marketing has its own cost, but not enough to justify raking in most of the stripper's profits.

5) Lying to Customers

Having a fake roster is just one lie, and these companies will build on that.

For instance, if a bachelorette party requests a black guy only, and the company only has a white guy, you can bet that they will promise the customers a black guy and send the white one. I call this the ole "bait and switch."

This pisses the customers off to no end, and they often take it out on the stripper.

The companies will also tell the customers that every dancer will have every and any costume available without actually confirming with the dancer. So imagine the customers' surprise when they ask for a cop and the stripper shows up without looking like a cop.

It all comes down to this: some companies will tell the customer whatever they want to hear in order to make a sale; to hell with consideration for their customers.

6) Lying to Strippers

And to hell with consideration for their employees.

Many companies like to keep their strippers in the dark as much as possible. The more ignorant the stripper is about booking fees, then the less the company has to pay him or her.

On top of that, if the customers request a particular race (i.e. black, white, Latino, etc.), and the stripper does not fit the criteria, the companies will not only lie to the customer, but they will fail to inform the stripper of this fact. I know this, because I have stumbled upon several parties who requested a "black male stripper only." Their shocked looks were not amusing at all. I would have to do damage control or pull out every ounce of charm to calm these customers down and have them accept me. Nonetheless, some would still turn me away, causing me to waste my time and money spent on gas, which the company won't compensate.

7) Sending Shitty Strippers

All companies prefer sending their best strippers to these parties. And by best, I mean the ones who are the most reliable and least likely to generate a complaint. Once these companies make a sale, they don't want to hear from the customers again, and sending a pro is the best way to ensure this. However, if all the best are booked full, then they send the next best and so on. Sometimes they have no options and send the worst.

I call this tactic "sending a body." It means that the company has no one of quality available, but does not want to lose the sale, so they send someone they shouldn't. Basically, they're just send a living body to show up and collect the money without any regards to customer service.

This tactic hurts the industry as a whole, because it scares the customers from ever hiring strippers again. There are plenty of horror stories to go around. All because a company wants a single sale.

So there you have it... The 7 things you need to know about Internet stripping companies. Unfortunately, I'm not going to publicly list any names of bad companies here.

Keep in mind that not all internet stripping companies are bad. There are several good ones out there, which I will list in other posts (the next post will have one). However, the majority of these companies practice several--if not all--of these tactics to a certain degree.

Whether you're a customer or prospective employee, keep these things in mind when dealing with these companies so you can prepare yourself for bullshit situations and act accordingly should they arise.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Trainee - Part 1

Recently, one of my companies has been expanding its business and hiring new guys left and right. They recently tasked me to training and hiring rookies in my area. I thought this would be an easy task. Hell, I wrote the book on it, right? Well, it hasn't been as easy as I had thought.

My first trainee has a lot of potential. Let's call him Craig. I met him at the gym. Blond hair, blue-eyes, and very muscular, he has his fair pick of women. In terms of physical conditioning and height, he has me beat completely. I think he looks much better, too. In fact, he has won several bodybuilding and physique competitions in his time, and he's the one who gives me training advice.

However, all of those attributes do not translate into success in this industry... But they do help. 

He tagged along with me to his first bachelorette party. I had him watch me for a few minutes before joining in.

It was a tougher crowd than usual because most of the girls were shy and didn't want to participate. The girls, along with the bride, were still quite sober. I managed to get them to play along, but I could see an inexperienced male stripper struggle with them. Then I motioned for the Craig to join in.

He stripped out of his clothes for the bride. He was doing fine, but then he decided to try a little too hard. He attempted to execute a few acrobatic dance moves, utilizing the coffee table in the living room as a prop. He succeeded in knocking over several drinks, causing them to spill everywhere. 

I shuffled past Craig, whispering to him in a low voice, "No acrobatics or anything. Those moves will end up breaking furniture in small places like this." 

Craig nodded in response as I assisted the girls in cleaning up the mess. Craig continued focusing on the bride.

When Craig took off his shirt, the girls were impressed. His torso looked like a super hero from a comic book. The tips started flowing well for him until he became drenched in sweat. Then they didn't want to touch him. He motioned for me to take the spotlight with the bride.

I went down my usual list of games for bachelorette parties: body shots, bobbing for dollars, and lick-the-icing-off-the-stripper. Craig watched in the background and took note. In between games, I asked if he wanted to try his hand, but he declined and pointed to his body, which was still drenched in sweat.

I wrapped up the party after the last game, because the girls didn't want anything too wild. I asked the paying customer how Craig did, and she gave a thumbs up. "He was a little sweaty," she said, "But he did fine."

Before I left, I knelt down in front of the bride and congratulated her on her upcoming marriage. "You were very sweet and polite the whole time," I told her. "And you're also very beautiful, and your soon-to-be-husband is a lucky man to have you. I wish you both the best."

Tears welled up in her eyes as I spoke. She wiped one eye and said, "That's so sweet..." 

We hugged, and the other girls thanked me.

"Now I feel like we're friends," the bride said to me. I smiled and kissed her cheek.

When we left, I told Craig he did a great job. He really did. Not every guy can walk into a room full of girls and strip down to a thong and dance with ease.

"Man, I usually don't sweat like that," he said. "But I got so nervous! Those girls were hot. I wasn't expecting them to be so damn hot."

"Most parties are full of hot girls," I said. "You get used to it. Just pace yourself with the dancing. No crazy dance moves. If you have four or five parties in a row, you'd tire yourself out. Plus, you don't want to accidentally fall or kick a girl."

"Definitely. Sorry about that."

I waved a dismissive hand. "Don't worry about it. You gotta make mistakes to learn. But the girls liked you, which is good. Looking forward to the next party?"
"You know it, brother."

I continued giving Craig pointers about the job as I drove him back to his house. Teaching someone how to become a good male stripper isn't easy. Craig had a few more shows after this, and I'd have to do this all over again with the other new employees. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Stripper with the Tank Top Tan Line

During a bachelorette party last Saturday, one of the girls shared with me her one and only bad experience with a male stripper. For the sake of the story, we call the girl Amber.

The bachelorette party took place in North Carolina. Amber's aunt booked a male stripper through some random company. Amber and her friends did not know the details, even though I was curious as to which company it was.

The male stripper showed up, and the girls disliked him immediately. According to Amber and her friends, the guy wasn't very muscular or good looking. He lacked charisma and class. To top it all off, he had a horrible tank top tan line.

"Basically, once he took off his shirt, it looked like he was still wearing a white tank top," Amber said. "It was really unattractive."

Then the guy tried to do several acrobatic moves on the living room couch, which resulted in him falling off the couch and crashing onto the floor three separate times. The girls became terrified of being near him because they didn't want to risk injury from his horrible dance moves.

Eventually the girls had enough and told him that the strip show was over. This infuriated the male stripper.

"He complained that we didn't tip him enough," Amber said. "We asked him to leave, but he said he wasn't leaving until we gave him more money, so he went outside and sat on the front porch for an hour! He only left when my aunt came outside and threatened to call the police on him."

I wonder what kind of company would hire a guy like that. 

Moral of the story: Tips are a much-earned privilege; not an entitlement. Demanding tips from customers lacks class, so don't do it. Also, staying at a party once the girls ask you to leave is called "trespassing." Don't do that, either.

As for Amber, she was really sweet and quite flirty with me. So that guy must have really screwed up to get asked to leave early, because Amber and her friends were an easy and fun party as far a typical stripping gig goes.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Male Stripping - Then vs. Now

Thanks to technology, the male stripping industry has undergone many changes in the past 20 years.

Since starting my career in 2003, I have witnessed many of these changes firsthand from then until now. Some bad, but most good.

Here are some of the major changes:

Navigation - Back Then

In 2003, I could access Mapquest (the go-to site before Google Maps), put the address, and print the directions to my private parties. However, most male strippers at the time weren't so internet-savvy and relied on actual road atlases and written directions from the customer, combined with further verbal instructions via phone if they got lost. 

Even with directions from Mapquest, we still had to pay attention to all the details of the road. We constantly missed our turns and had to turn around and backtrack, losing precious time. Imagine getting lost in the middle of the woods at night with no reception on your cell phone and you're running late for your party. 

This all sucked, mind you. But I can still probably find my way around those roads I used back in 2003 and 2004 to this very day, even though I have long since moved away.

Navigation - Now

You no longer need to pull over and turn on the light.
It's easy. Just use a GPS, or load up the Google Maps app on the smart phone and punch in the address. Over 95% of the time, you'll have no problem!

No more calculating your own arrival time. No more wasting time charting your course and going over maps. No more shitty written directions from customers or wasting printer ink with Mapquest.

Younger guys take this shit for granted, but the navigational options today are a godsend in this industry.

Music - Back Then

Hauling these things around sucked ass.
Titus, the male stripper who trained me, used a big boombox with a dual cassette tape deck, powered by more than half-a-dozen D-sized batteries. The boombox was the size of a child's car seat, took up just as much room, and weighed as much as a fat child. Titus had to lug this monstrosity to the party and ask the girls to hit "play" on the correct cassette deck. Sometimes, he would have the luxury to plug in the boombox with the AC cord, which often entangled itself around surrounding objects.

Unlike Titus, I utilized the technology available at the time and burned MP3s onto a CD, and used a smaller boombox. It was still annoying to carry around, but mine was powered by C-sized batteries, therefore weighing less. I thought I was smarter than him, but CDs skip and cassette tapes don't, which I found out whenever somebody bumped my boombox.

I hated these damn things, since I was always forgetting them at parties. These things weren't cheap, often averaging $70 to $100 for the lower end models. Throughout my career, I lost a total of three. Titus ended up stealing one of mine when he left his behind at a party... then he lost mine, too!

There was only one perk to carrying one of these around: it made for a great weapon in case of danger. You could seriously smash someone's skull with one of these things. 

Music - Now

Much easier on the back to carry.
It's very easy! Buy a Bluetooth speaker and sync it with your smartphone. 

With the rechargeable batteries, I no longer need to buy those large batteries anymore. The Bluetooth speaker can clip onto the belt loop of my pants, which ensures that I will never forget the damn thing, because I never leave the party without my pants. The smartphone can play anything from Spotify, Youtube, or your personal MP3 collection, and now I can use the internet to play any song upon request! No more worrying about whether the crowd will dislike your music or not.

So not only did technology lighten my load and made everything easy to carry, it gave me more music options.

Yeah, fuck that boombox. I don't miss those damn monstrosities at all!

Booking Companies - Back Then

You can see the roster next to the mannequin.
With the exception of male revues and big brand names like Chippendales, most customers had to go to lingerie stores or other similar small companies to book male strippers for their bachelorette parties. When I was in Gainesville, Florida, there was a lingerie store called French Addiction that had a roster of male strippers on the wall for all customers to see. The customers usually lived around the Gainesville area, and so did most of the strippers.

In 2003, internet bookings were around, but not as common. Many customers distrusted booking a guy from the internet. And who could blame them? There was widespread hesitation about using a credit card on some male stripper site, or ordering a stranger from online. People felt safer getting the dancer from a local business. Customers felt that there was more accountability with a walk-in business -- if things didn't go their way, they figured they could return for a refund or complain.

Booking Companies - Now

They sprouted up all over the internet. This is mostly a good thing since there are more companies, there are more opportunities for male strippers and customers alike. A brief Google search yields one's needs in seconds. 

However, most of these national booking companies place more emphasis on sales numbers and less on quality. Unlike the local companies of the past, the chances of women getting the stripper of their choice is almost zero. These companies often lie to make a sale, and there is often no accountability for their actions or dancers. Moreover, some of these companies have never even met their dancers. They just hire them over the internet. 

Unfortunately, these national companies are the norm these days. There are a few good ones, but most of them engage in shady business practices.

Cameras - Back Then

Digital cameras were not big when I started. Women took pictures, but they had to use actual cameras. During my time in college, most used disposable cameras. Every now and then, someone had a fancy Nikon or Canon with a nice lens. Then, they had to go and develop the pictures later. Hence, I never had the chance to see their pictures.

It was rather easy to enforce a "no picture" policy, though. If someone tried to snipe a photo, chances are that you would see the flash.

Although cameras floated around at every party, not every girl had one like a phone, so they took fewer pictures as a result. In fact, I have very few pictures of my early parties due to this very reason. I'd have to bring my own camera and ask one of the girls to take pictures for me. Then I'd have to scan the pics if I wanted to show them to someone on the Internet.

Video cameras were even more scarce. Throughout my early years, I recall seeing less than half a dozen at all of my parties combined.

The upside to this was that social media blunders weren't so much of a problem.

Cameras - Now

Smartphones have shaken up the industry. It's almost impossible to enforce a "no picture" policy. Girls are filming and taking pics as soon as the stripper walks through the door. These videos and pics instantly go live on Snapchat and Instagram immediately. Some even pop up on Facebook.

For those looking to strip with a low profile, this is appalling. Tell the girls to not take pictures, and a few will pull out their phone and snap a few anyway. You cannot monitor a dozen or more phones at once.

The upside is that it's easier than ever to get pics and videos of the party! As a matter of fact, my collection of pics this month (September, 2016) far exceeds the combined pics from my first four years of stripping.

I think this is great, because I like looking at the pictures. They help me remember each individual party. 

Phones - Back Then

I can only imagine the inconvenience male strippers faced in the 80's and 90's by using landlines as their only source of communication.

Most people had cell phones when I started, but there were a few middle-aged and older customers who refused to use them. This made communication a pain in the ass. I remember trying to get a hold of one customer who would not answer the damn phone because she wasn't even around the phone. If she had a cell phone, I would have reached her to get directions. But no, I couldn't. So she called the owner up and complained on me because I was late.

Phones - Now

Everyone uses cell phones now. Most use text messaging. Almost everyone, especially millenials, keep their phones within arms reach at all times. This makes communication easier than ever!

I rarely struggle with getting a hold of the customer now like I did in 2003. Even if the customer doesn't answer the phone, I can just leave her a text message.

Communication, or lack of, is rarely an issue anymore.

Final Verdict

I'm thankful for this new technology. It makes stripping so much easier. I wish I had all this shit available back when I started in 2003! I would have saved me a whole lot of time and effort.

It's really better to be a male stripper these days. Everything is just so damn convenient. The only thing that hasn't changed is transportation. If someone could just invent teleportation, then my job would be almost perfect.