Some people view strip clubs as sub-par establishments where they can leave their common courtesies at the door with the coat check girl - but they couldn't be more wrong.
Although you're not likely to bump into your mother, your college professor, or your pastor in a strip club, you still have to act right. There are lots of dos and don'ts when it comes to strip club etiquette and most of them are common sense; however, some people leave common sense at the door with the coat check girl, too.
Using this guide to strip club etiquette will help ensure that your next visit to the local cabaret goes well and that you leave without insult or injury. A bad visit to the strip club can include being doused in your $9 drink, a sore bottom (which the bouncer tossed you out on), and hurt feelings all around; a good visit means you had fun, met some new people, and look forward to going back.
Strippers are people, too! It's important to remember that they're under a microscope the entire time they're working, which isn't easy for anyone. Their bodies, faces, and personalities are up for review, and they get as many critiques as they do compliments. They aren't asking for either - so it's up to you if you want to make someone's day or send her to the dressing room crying. Don't forget the golden rule: if you're nice to them, they'll be nice to you.
There are lots of ways to spend an entire paycheck in a strip club; drinks are often highly overpriced, lap dances can get costly, and tipping the dancers and waitresses really add up. Before you even step through the door, have your budget worked out. That way, you won't break the bank and have a bad time - and everyone you encounter will appreciate the fact that you know your limits.
When you see a girl on stage whose performance you're enjoying, go ahead and tip her! Make your way to the stage and hold the money up - but never dangle it in front of her to get her to do something demeaning or ask her to take it with her mouth, breasts, or unmentionables. It's true that she's there to put on a show, but that doesn't mean that she's your private dancer while she's on stage - and it's guaranteed that she doesn't want everyone in the club to think that she'll do anything for a couple of bucks.
If you're sitting stage-side, be prepared to give each girl who comes out a dollar or two (more at an upscale club). That's what the stage seating is for - in fact, it's often referred to as the tip rail - and the girls expect the people sitting there to be tippers. There's nothing wrong with sitting near the stage and getting up to tip; it's actually quite flattering to the dancer that someone will walk to the stage with the intention of tipping her.
DRINKING AND DANCING
Most strip clubs serve alcohol, and chances are you'll be having so much fun that you may have one (or a few) too many. Make sure you check yourself periodically so that you don't become the obnoxious drunk that all the girls are snickering about backstage - and so that you can't be taken for a fool. While most strippers are honest about how much you owe them, there are some bad apples who overcharge because they can get away with it.
You will probably be offered the opportunity to buy a dancer a drink - but before the waitress comes over, ask her if she'd like one. Some people are surprised that there are strippers who don't drink alcohol, but they do exist! Sometimes she'd rather you save your money for lap dances and tips, and she'll let you know ahead of time if she's thirsty. If your stripper asks you to buy her a drink but you don't want to, let her know kindly by saying, "I'd rather not." Leave out any insulting remarks that you may be inclined to toss in - although that seems like common sense, you'd be surprised at what comes out of some people's mouths.
If a stripper approaches you and you don't want her company, simply tell her no and thank her for stopping by. Please, no matter what you do, don't fake a disability or lie by saying you're gay, you're waiting for another girl, or you're just there to watch. If any of those are true, it's okay; if not, she'll be able to peg you for a liar and tell all of her friends what a jerk you are. You'll be sitting alone all night, and you'll wish you hadn't lied to the first girl who came along.
Find out the price of a lap dance before you actually get one; since the costs vary by club, you'll need to know what can fit in your budget and what can't. Remember - when you're getting a dance and the stripper asks, "Do you want me to keep going?" it's a whole new song, and you'll be charged for a whole new lap dance. Pay attention to how many you've gotten - it's embarrassing to both you and your dancer if you haven't got the money to pay for the services she's given you.
Although the law never allows it in the United States, some clubs look the other way in regards to touching, while others do not. Find out what your particular stripper is comfortable with when you take her to dance; never just assume that since the guy one couch over is either groping or not touching his dancer at all that it's okay for you to do the same. Many strippers allow different levels of contact, and by simply gesturing and saying, "May I?" before jumping all over her, you'll be her new favorite guy.
BRINGING A FEMALE COMPANION WITH YOU
Don't be surprised if you bring a woman to the strip club with you and the dancers avoid you like the plague. Sometimes women visit strip clubs with the sole intention of being mean (it happens much more than you may think), so strippers tend to shy away from tables with female customers at them just to save themselves from getting hurt feelings.
If you do bring a woman, don't let her offend or disrespect the girls; please remember that strippers have self-esteem issues and insecurities just like every other woman on the planet - and they definitely don't deserve to be hurt just because they're dancing for your enjoyment. Make this clear to the woman you're bringing before you even leave the house - it will save you both from embarrassment and potential catastrophe later.
The basic underlying rule of strip club etiquette is the same rule you abide by in everyday life: Do unto others as you would have done to you. By sticking to that principle, you'll be sure that you and all of the strippers who spent time with you have a great time on your wild night out!