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Speaking of tips — give it up for the East Coast!

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Justice

I recently signed a strip club contract that said, “Do not ask for tips. If you are doing your job well, customers will show their appreciation by tipping you.” I disagree. Sometimes, as tacky as it might be, mentioning a tip is the way to receive it. People don’t always know that they’re supposed to tip. Tipping habits vary enormously from person to person and country to country. Even people from different parts of the U.S. tip differently. On that note, I love the East Coast crowd! Foreign tourists don’t necessarily understand American tipping culture. Either that or it saves them money to play the ignorance card.

Like I said, mentioning a tip has proven to be a great tactic to gain more money. Saying things like “Don’t forget the tip!” or “You owe such-and-such amount and any tip you want to give me …” are proven methods to add a nice chunk of cash to your nightly earnings. “You totally finished. Give me more money,” is another thing that can land you more money ,but I hope I don’t have to say it too often. Perhaps the mere mention of the extra money shames people into the act of tipping. Though numbers vary drastically from girl to girl, I can easily make at least $100 more per night just by hustling tips after dances.

Yet it can feel shameful on my end, too. Stripping is a business of behavior that is inappropriate outside the strip club. I could never negotiate a tip as a waitress. Imagine you order a drink at a bar and the total comes to $6.75 and, “You better leave me a tip or I swear to God you won’t get service around here again you cheap bastard.”

I’ve witnessed girls getting downright rude and whiny. Once, I had been performing lap dances with another stripper for a single customer. When it came time to collect, the customer tipped us a $100 bill to split between the two of us on top of what he owed. “What do you expect me to do with that?” she says and tosses the money on the table. “You are supposed to tip 100 percent.” The weirdest thing is that the line actually worked and he ended up tipping us the requested (demanded?) tip. The moral of this story (this might be an ancient Chinese proverb) is: When stripping in Vegas, low shame means high earnings.

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