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Thread: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

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    Last edited by dancingdiva1; 03-03-2016 at 06:00 AM.

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    Aww

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    I applied the business world concept of a 'career trajectory'. Like professional athletes, professional dancers face a 'career trajectory' which take the shape of a bell curve. After first starting, income rises rapidly as you 'learn the ropes'. Income then continues to rise as you 'hone your skills'. Income then begins to level off. In order to increase income even further, it become necessary to offer more 'valuable' services. Eventually, the person reaches the limits of the types of 'services' they are willing or able to offer and income goes 'flat'. Beyond that, declining physical / emotional endurance eventually causes income to drop.

    In my own case, I had reached the point where I had pretty much covered the full extent of the 'valuable' services I was willing to offer ... travel dancing, feature dancing, softcore video, adult modeling, adult pay website, etc. To increase my income any further would have involved offering additional 'valuable' services which I simply was not comfortable with ... hardcore video, 'private sessions' with fans, etc. This led to a realization that my adult industry related career had 'flat-lined' at the top of the bell curve. And as time passed, physical / emotional endurance issues started to arise, leading to the realization that I was on the edge of the 'downhill' side of the bell curve.

    Rather than taking that downhill ride, I decided to hang up my 6" heels.
    Last edited by Melonie; 05-14-2015 at 12:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    I knew when I couldn't be bothered to make a club schedule anymore. I realized I had retired at one point when it had been a year since I last danced. I thought to myself: I guess I'm done being a dancer.

    I've "retired" from stripping 3 times now. Since I am currently stripping, the next time I retire will be #4. I don't think I've got much more mileage left in me for this career as I am 45 years old. The thing is, I've been spoiled by having so much control over my lifestyle that a stripping career provides like no other. When I work as an employee, the lack of flexibility and earnings is what eventually what sends me back to the club.

    I have no idea how women make a 50+ hour a week job at less than $20/hr work in today's world. I would wake up at 4:30am so that I had time to prepare for work (hair, makeup, pack a lunch, prep something fast for dinner because I couldn't afford to feed my family on take-out at my salary level). My commute was 40 minutes each way by bike (didn't have to go to the gym) or 65 mins by car or 90 minutes by bus/train (Portland traffic is in the top 10 worst cities in the US). I lived 9 miles from the office, so riding my bike would wear me out doing the 18 mile daily round trip, but I was in fabulously good shape.

    But seriously, how do people afford to live on wages that low? I didn't have the expense of a car, and yet I was still struggling to keep my hands off my savings every month. I had a professional position (human resources management) and the wages were pretty typical for this kind of work. In fact, I was the highest paid employee in my department (stripper hustle got me up from $12). I had to work the 10 hours of overtime every week to keep the lights on and the fridge stocked.

    So this means I was spending 62.5 hours a week dedicated to work activities (including lunch hours which were unpaid, but I usually took part in work place activities anyway-my choice-so I could leave the job before it got dark).

    I burned out on the HR job so quickly, I didn't even last a year. I spent 4 years in college to get that job, I still have almost $20k in student debt to pay back. I would have never been able to afford to repay my student loans if I kept working at that company.

    I'm so grateful to stripping for making my life livable. When I got the flu this year, I didn't have to freak out about how I was going to pay the bills once my annual sick leave was used up (3 days, no rollovers). Sure, stripping doesn't come with sick leave, but the fact that I could take a whole week off to recover, and then hit the club and make up for lost time by taking extra shifts the next week worked out so much better.

    Just know, that you can always return to stripping. Sure, you may need to travel a bit at times, but stripping is always an option (also camming and escorting).

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    I'm not completely out of the adult industry, but I remember when I realized I was pretty much done with dancing. I had been escorting for a few months and decided to go back to dancing a few days a week for extra money and because I missed it. I went into a club that was supposed to be "good," but during the entire 2 hours I was there (6-8pm), there was one customer and one dancer in the entire place - she wasn't very attractive and he was a non-spending barfly. I remembered that even at the dive I started at, there were spending people in between 6 and 8.... Then the manager gave me the rundown on the place, and the rules were just ridiculous. You had to tip everyone and their mother, you were supposed to check into the club on facebook to promote it every shift (wtf?), you couldn't refuse a drink because "that's how the bar makes money," and he kept insisting that I HAD to work 3 days a week, coming in at 6pm...

    He was so adamant about this that I asked "So how do we do the schedule then?" To which he replied that they couldn't technically give me a schedule, because I was an independent contractor, not an employee - so they couldn't tell me when or how often or how long to come in, officially, "But, ya know, if we're not happy with the way you're working, we can also cancel your contract at any time."

    Now, I may have technically known that this is pretty much how strip clubs work nowadays - all the restrictions of an employee without any of the benefits/the label of independent contractor without any of those benefits, but I'd never heard a manager be douchey enough to basically say it to my face... All the while wearing a horribly ill-fitting suit like he thought he was some badass wannabe pimp, but he was really just a scummy asshole with a failing club...

    I never went back to start my first shift. And realized that if I could make equal or better money escorting and not having to deal with that atmosphere, I'd probably never be able to bring myself to go back to dancing. Which is a shame, because I think of how it used to make me feel and I loved it back then. But now I just can't handle the idea of a manager, shifts, not being able to leave if it's slow, tipping-out entitled but worthless employees - the thought makes me sick. I wish I could go back part-time, but it certainly wouldn't be around here because I know that's how it is everywhere in the state.
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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    But seriously, how do people afford to live on wages that low? I didn't have the expense of a car, and yet I was still struggling to keep my hands off my savings every month. I had a professional position (human resources management) and the wages were pretty typical for this kind of work. In fact, I was the highest paid employee in my department (stripper hustle got me up from $12). I had to work the 10 hours of overtime every week to keep the lights on and the fridge stocked.
    Simple answer ... they don't. Or at least they don't without being forced to file for bankruptcy after their debts grow to unmanageable levels, or without a whole lot of taxpayer 'help' with grocery bills, utility bills, rent costs, etc.

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora_Sunset View Post
    But now I just can't handle the idea of a manager, shifts, not being able to leave if it's slow, tipping-out entitled but worthless employees - the thought makes me sick.
    I always tip out generously. Always, even if I'm not making much money. This comment reminded me of my shift yesterday. The DJ on duty called me to stage, and then left the DJ booth. There was a room full of customers, none of whom made their way to the stage to tip. No DJ, means that he couldn't use some gentle "reminders" to tip the dancers on stage. I made it 90 seconds into my 1st song, then just left the stage because no one was even paying attention.

    The DJ was gone for 20 minutes. I think he was fighting with his gf via phone someplace in the parking lot. Jesus! The bouncer knew how to operate the dj equipment, but he just sat at the bar looking at his phone, completely oblivious to the fact that no girls were on stage. (Normally I'm glad when the bouncer gets engrossed in his phone, as his main job is to collect dance fees. I've never had to pay my full dance fees on his shift as he doesn't count dances very well.)

    TLR, I'm tired of paying people mandatory tip outs when they are undermining my earning ability. A juke box would do a better job, IMO.

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourdefranzia View Post
    I always tip out generously. Always, even if I'm not making much money. This comment reminded me of my shift yesterday. The DJ on duty called me to stage, and then left the DJ booth. There was a room full of customers, none of whom made their way to the stage to tip. No DJ, means that he couldn't use some gentle "reminders" to tip the dancers on stage. I made it 90 seconds into my 1st song, then just left the stage because no one was even paying attention.

    The DJ was gone for 20 minutes. I think he was fighting with his gf via phone someplace in the parking lot. Jesus! The bouncer knew how to operate the dj equipment, but he just sat at the bar looking at his phone, completely oblivious to the fact that no girls were on stage. (Normally I'm glad when the bouncer gets engrossed in his phone, as his main job is to collect dance fees. I've never had to pay my full dance fees on his shift as he doesn't count dances very well.)

    TLR, I'm tired of paying people mandatory tip outs when they are undermining my earning ability. A juke box would do a better job, IMO.
    Exactly. I tip generously of my own accord to the people who did a good job and extra to those who really helped me out. But saying that I HAVE to tip every single employee, even the ones who work in the back and do nothing even related to what I'm doing - that's how that club was and I was like bullshit. Pay your own employees. Don't make the dancers "pay" them for you!!
    Don't try to win over the haters. You are not the Jerk Whisperer.

    Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.






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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    Leave on a high note. That's all I have to say. Money comes and money goes.....but the memories won't change. Make them be good ones.

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    I can't give you a real answer. I have retired 3 times now. Once I stayed out 4 years. I was a retail manager making $15 an hour. I couldn't take going to the same place every day, standing on cement for 9 hours, not being able to call off unless the other manager could cover me. I went back to dancing, making my own hours, bringing home cash, not waiting for a pay check every two weeks. Then money at the clubs got bad and was over saturated with girls and rules and fees. I left again and got a retail job making $12 an hour. Struggled raising 3 kids and paying my mortgage. Got divorced in 2010 and went back to support myself and my kids. Money sucked in my opinion, but I much rater make $40 (or 30)cash an hour than $12 ($8 after taxes).

    I am 41 and have no college degree. I refuse to go in debt at this age to get a damn near useless degree. I will dance until I start looking old and I can't get hired anywhere....or my knees give out. lol

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    I started stripping to pay for college. Along the way, I made more money than I needed, so I banked some and spent some. When I graduated from college, I quit stripping. Looking back, there were definitely some good money making years left. I could have put off having a child. I could have put off may career a little longer to make more money stripping. But, I made good money in industry and made better money at a VC. Now, I own my own business and make even more money than I ever could have stripping. And, my daughter's 11. So, it all worked out.

    When did I know it was time to quit? I really set the goal of paying for college. When I made my final tuition payment, and had just one semester left in school, I knew it was time to quit. I maximized my earnings those last 16 weeks. I worked the whole week of the farm equipment show, I worked four days before the Kentucky Derby, I sold undies and toward the end, I was selling outfits too. My last shift was the Sunday after the Kentucky Derby. I had a bunch of regulars lined up for VIPs. We had a blast. Two guys bought me dinner before I went to work. A girl, I'd done a bunch of girl/girl shows with took me out for drinks after my last shift. I made bank that week and was so happy.

    HTH
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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    When pulling creeps' hands out of my panties became the norm.
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    Close contact, for an hour, for $40? And I guess I'll have to make conversation with them too?

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    I knew when i wasn't making anymore per night than i could make in my day job per day. As a professional with a good career i wasn't prepared to put in the extra work to earn less than i would make per day in my day job. That for me was an indication of how the industry was heading and even though i came out of retirement after that i saw girls taking home less and less and knew i could make more teaching regular dance classes than stripping. It just didn't seem worth it for 150 a night when i could earn that without having to go trough the same hassle. Also, when it felt like hassle instead of fun.

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    I quit because I found another profession with a higher income ceiling.

    I never had plans to quit dancing but I happen to meet a very valuable customer that introduced me to another industry. I've retired from dancing for two years now and make the same as I did during the height of my career working less hours and not having to deal with the bullshit gross customers that I did with dancing.

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    a ton of times in my 20"s ... my 30"s .... my 40"s .... then latter for good .. money was always the reason back ... i am done now for good i put on a few pounds that fit me ok.. gray highlights .... trashed back .... time to enjoy life ... not chaseing money or being so upset when the 20 year old me is not looking back from the reflection when putting my make up on .....i made wicked good investements so life is more than ok...heels are haung up for good....

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    When I realized I had to do more to make less. When I started seeing how the industry was changing. When you start to hate what you do and the people (both the customers and staff members) it's time to leave.

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    ^ Yep...
    I'm looking at taking a job right now that pays $3200/month pre-taxes. I thought "I could make that in 40 hours stripping", but then realized that it's reaching the point where I can't even bring myself to put in 40 hours/month at the club. That's 10 hours a week. 2 shifts. Getting to where I can't do it.

    So yeah, it's time to hang up the heels (or at least do it as an occasional spending money gig) when you'd rather work 3x as many hours for the same money, just because you're sick of all the various negative facets of dancing.

    I dunno. Maybe I'll feel differently once I actually work the vanilla job for a couple months, or if I totally switch my schedule at the club to nights and less daytime BS. I figure if I miss it, I can always travel out of town for a weekend every month and dance somewhere else.
    "People jack off with the left hand and point with the right."

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    I wanted to burn my club to the ground, I wanted to eviscerate my coworkers, and I wanted to crucify the customers. I was willing to do literally anything for money - clean toilets, work in a call center, whatever - as long as it had nothing to do with sex work and came with a guaranteed check.

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    Default Re: Hanging up the heels--when did you know it was time?

    ^^OMG that's how I feel. I still feel that way. I don't think I can ever dance again.

    I applied for a job at a coffee shop. I hope to Goddess that they call me.
    "Dancing tables, making deals with devils like a drunk beauty queen"

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