Business in the Las Vegas service industry takes a nosedive in the summer. The strip club world is no exception. Sales are at a fraction of what they were during the peak season. Desperate strippers who did not expect the reduction in income (even though it has happened, like clockwork, every year for the past 12 years of their stripping careers) are outnumbering customers. It’s a terrible cycle at work during these cruel summers. Many strippers will have bad nights and since they have bad nights, they cannot afford to take the next night off. So not only is there no client base to support the ones that would be there on their regular schedule, there are also tons more strippers hanging around being extra aggressive and making everyone’s piece of the pie a little smaller, leaving only unsubstantial crumbs that leave everyone starving. This would be a good time to take a vacation, I think.
This observation might just be my perception. There might not really be more strippers flooding the market. Maybe with all this down time, I’m just sitting around staring at the same stagnant group of dancers and I’m only now noticing how depressed everyone is. I sit around drinking a pint of vodka and I tap my pen on the bar, thinking of things that I need to observe and note. I look for things that I had not noticed before, in my many hours of sitting in the same spot on many other nights. It’s familiar but not comforting. “Irritating” I scribble on a bar napkin, as I smile at an irritating girl walking by me. I’m wearing only underwear and my butt is sweaty. Doesn’t my exorbitant work fee cover the extra cooling costs for the club? Perhaps I am just staying still long enough for the sweat to collect on the barstool and to hear everyone complaining. Everyone seems uglier, too. Even me. My grimace doesn’t help.
“What the hell is wrong with me?” I have time to wonder. Objectively, I am still exactly the same as I was a few months ago when I was pulling in big money. I might even be better than ever. On slow nights at the bar, however, you have time to sit and wonder about how awkward you are and about all your other faults, real or imagined. Maybe you think about how fat you are. You might wonder if there is any other job in the world that you could take besides this one. Some people panic about their distant futures (tomorrow morning) or their dirty laundry. Like Voltaire used to say, “Madness is to think of too many things in succession too fast, or of one thing too exclusively.” I wonder if Voltaire ever spent time as a stripper.
The worse thing about this cycle of negative thoughts is that it stems from rejection by useless morons. These are people that I would barely be polite to in any other setting. Inside club walls, I give them the power to make me feel subhuman. It is easy to feel like you’re worth less because you earned less. I know that’s not the case.
We’re also on red alert for prostitution. Some girls need to offer extra to make the same money they made during busier seasons. Some girls drive the cost down by offering half-price dances or ridiculous deals. We typically don’t have camaraderie or unity or anything like that but it’s a witch hunt if someone is suspected of driving down the cost of a lap dance. There is no way that Las Vegas strippers could ever have a serious union but man, we ban together when it’s a matter of money. How about a safe work environment and health care? We’re not interested. What about an extra couple of bucks? Sign us up!