How to Become a Stripper

Last Updated on:

Ever wondered how to become a stripper?

Stripping can be an extremely lucrative career choice and as long as you have the right qualities, attitude and mindset and work smart then you can definitely earn a boat load of cash.

However, this isn’t an easy job and doesn’t suit everyone and there are many talented, sexy women (and men!) who have failed to make it in the stripping game.

So, what do you need to know about the exotic dance industry that will help you succeed as a stripper?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to become a stripper. From learning the basics, and how to get started, through to top tips and advice on how to max out your earning potential.

What Does It Take To Be a Stripper?

We’re not going to lie to you; with the exception of specialist markets for plus-size models, strippers need to be physically fit with a decent body and face, able to dance and have few inhibitions.

It helps if you have a good personality and like performing in front of people but we’ve seen many strippers in our time who didn’t and still seemed to earn decent tips.

Another quality which is often seen by clubs and customers as being as important as being a great dancer is ‘sexiness’.

Not always easy to put your finger on, this ‘X’ factor is harder to teach than how to work your way around a dance pole.

This often comes with confidence and self-esteem with performers who are assured about themselves being more ‘sexy’ to watch.

how to be a stripper

Here is something we should point out from the start: becoming a stripper doesn’t require you to be an exceptional dancer or know some ultra-complicated routines on a dance pole.

You just need to know how to move in a seductive way.

Yes, it helps if you have some dance training but plenty of professional dancers are useless at stripping.

Far more important than your dance moves is your charisma.

Being able to approach customers and make them feel special is a key skill in being a successful stripper. When you work for tips, your customer is king and you need to know exactly how to arouse and entertain them.

Unfortunately, stripping is also a young person’s game and, though there are exceptions to this, you should be aged 18-30 if you are thinking of starting out.

Anyone in their 30s, 40s and over shouldn’t be wholly put off the idea and there are opportunities in stripping which anyone can achieve so keep reading…

However, for those people who possess these qualities, being a stripper can be a quick way to earn money and for those who do it well, it can be a serious way to earn money from the adult industry!

But, not everyone who becomes a stripper will end up rolling in cash at the end of every night at work as success depends on a few extra factors; the choices you make and your commitment to the job.

You might be the best stripper in the world but if you work for the wrong club and don’t put in the right hours then your earnings will be limited.

As with any line of work in adult entertainment, success in this field takes hard work as well as some insider tricks of the trade.

guide to being a stripper

What’s Involved in Becoming a Stripper?

Taking some (or all of) your clothes off is only a small percentage of the work that is actually involved in becoming a stripper.

Depending on what kind of club or online show you are working for, there are many more things that you will have to do.

All of these duties vary by club and country with the expectations being very different in Las Vegas and New York City to those in Arkansas or Utah.

Likewise, clubs across Europe and Asia may also have different expectations of their performers.

But, in general, strippers in most gentleman’s clubs will also be required to perform additional kinds of erotic dancing which may include:

  • Table Dancing
  • Pole Dancing
  • Lap Dancing
  • Private Dancing

Obviously then, one of your main ‘duties’ will be to dance erotically to a style of music whilst taking off some or all of your clothes

The style of music used for stripping can vary by club and might be pop or R&B in some or hip-hop and rap in others.

Good dancers will be able to adapt and be flexible with their choreography to suit the club they are working for.

Strippers may also be asked to participate in group stage shows which are usually choreographed by another dancer and can often be based around erotic and sexual themes such as Soap and Shower shows or even Simulated sex shows (popular in Amsterdam and Thailand).

guide to be a stripper

However, the principle job of an erotic dancer is to take on other duties around the club such as being an adult hostess.

Similar to the role made popular across Asia with bar girls, Geishas and companions, these women are not sex workers but they are trained to spend the evening entertaining a group of men.

With many strip clubs making their money from the sale of alcohol, it is in their interests to keep their customers in the party mood for as long as possible.

This can sometimes require the addition of some of their ladies to a group to inject that extra ingredient needed to keep the energy high and the booze flowing.

It is on the club floor itself where the true success of a stripper can be measured and where they can make some serious cash.

Flirting with customers and securing lap dances and time in the VIP room is where the big money is spent. This involves creating a personal bond with customers and requires some serious social skills that, unfortunately, many strippers lack.

Get this aspect of your role down pat and you will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Types of Strip Club Jobs

You can make money from stripping in lots of different ways and it is down to you as an individual to select an opportunity that best suits your needs, matching the pros and cons of each to your lifestyle.

The most common form of stripping is as an erotic dancer in a strip (or gentleman’s) club where guests come to watch ladies (and sometimes men) perform striptease.

These adult entertainment venues come in many different guises from those that are glitzy, well-lit and glamorous to seedy, back-street bars. Many strippers aspire to work in America’s best strip clubs, but it takes hard effort (or good contacts!) to get there.

Typically employed by the club as an independent contractor, not on a salary but paid in tips (and sometimes commission).

Outcall strippers (or strip-o-grams) can either be agency staff of independents who perform at private events such as bachelor parties.

Often dancers who have learned their trade performing in clubs and bars these performers are paid by the ‘gig’ and this can suit women who want to work more flexible hours.

It is also a good opportunity for men to get involved in regular stripping work as well as women who offer something a little different to the de facto standards offered at the clubs. So, fetish and plus-size strippers as well as more mature erotic dancers.

Burlesque performers are often confused as strippers and the two do offer pretty similar kinds of entertainment however, there are some subtle differences.

Whilst strippers do remove their clothes in an act of erotic tease, burlesque performers incorporate much more theatrical methods to entertain their audiences.

Both provocative and mature in their style, burlesque shows are more elaborate, creative and highly polished. Instead of simply dancing to music they refine a character and persona and work through a choreographed and rehearsed routine.

The style of dress is quite different and whilst strippers may dance in skimpy lingerie before removing their bras, burlesque dancers usually wear stylized costumes that are quite fetishized (stockings, garters, corsets).

stripping vs burlesque

Another contrast is the fact that strippers must constantly be ‘selling’ themselves during a routine and work after their set is over to connect with their customers.

Strippers need to engage individuals in the audience to make tips and to keep them erotically charged whereas burlesque dancers will be focused on their own performance.

Though the end results may be similar, burlesque dancing is often viewed as being ‘classy’ whilst strippers (unfortunately) get the negative stigma of being, well, a bit ‘trashy’.

When it comes to money though, the strippers have the last laugh as they can earn a lot more doing what they do than the burlesque dancers can. The latter are usually on a fixed fee per show or sometimes take a cut of the door.

Cam stripping has become a popular way for models to ply their trade and offering an online striptease is convenient and easy for both the customer and the stripper.

However, the live cam industry is saturated with models who are performing everything from live sex shows and solo masturbation to fetish acts so the expectation of offering more than just an erotic dance is high.

Coupled with the lack of physical ‘presence’, models who simply strip on cam may find it more difficult to get the same kinds of tips as they could in a club.

How To Decide If You Should Become a Stripper

Despite most people in the Western world being more liberal minded these days, strippers still suffer from the stigmatisation of others.

Let’s face it, people are judgemental and this line of work (unfortunately) still has negative connotations within society.

Often seen as akin to any other kind of sex-work including prostitution, being a stripper can make people feel differently about you. Even if you don’t get physical with your customers, the chances are that (most) people will still see stripping as a seedy profession.

This can damage and change some relationships so do consider how this will affect yours if you are open with people and, if you aren’t, how you can explain what you do without putting yourself on the spot.

Being in a sexual environment as part of your ‘day’ job can also have an impact on personal relationships and some strippers report having a depleted enthusiasm for sex when they come home.

Just be aware that along with judgement from others on your career choice, being a stripper can have a negative impact on physical relationships.

problems with being a stripper
You don’t have to tell everyone what you do for a living but you should be hones with your partner.

Most strip clubs have rules that you cannot be touched but, understand this, you will be touched.

From ignorant and arrogant guys to those who have just had too much to drink, at some point all strippers will be placed in a situation where they will be touched in a way they don’t want to be.

If you are working in a club, the chances are that security will deal with it but be aware that this is a part of the job. A shitty part but a very realistic part.

All of this means that you are going to need to develop some thick skin; society doesn’t really respect the job that you do, customers aren’t always going to treat you like a princess and the work can sometimes be emotionally, as well as physically, demanding.

Another thing to remember is that your physical appearance is everything in this game so that means taking precautions when undertaking any kind of leisure activities.

So, no more ice hockey practice or base-jumping. Seriously though, you will need to look after your body and your face.

Like many careers in the adult industry, your life as a stripper won’t last forever and whilst this suits a lot of people who just want to do it for a few years to earn some big money, it is a cruel reality that this line of work can be very ageist.

And, even where clubs may be prepared to hire mature dancers, the physical demands of the job mean that not every 40+ stripper can keep up with the competition.

Which means saving money and having a Plan B is really important.

It might seem like the good times will keep rolling but income in this game can be pretty inconsistent.

Take the recent covid pandemic for example; strippers are independent workers so this whole lockdown scenario hit them hard and those girls who saved for a rainy day will have been grateful for their security buffer.

Just remember that working as an independent stripper at a club doesn’t pay you health insurance or SSI plus you will have to sort out your own taxes too.

what kind of money can you earn as a stripper

How Much Money Can You Make as a Stripper?

Ah, the million-dollar question.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite a million-dollar answer but, in short, there is some serious cash to be made in stripping.

Let’s look at the different types of stripping jobs:

Stripping in Clubs

As a stripper at a club, you work for tips and most venues won’t pay you a basic wage for performing or simply being at the bar.

In some areas, clubs are even paid a house fee by the dancers themselves for the right to perform.

Strippers aren’t employees but independent contractors so you don’t get a ‘job’, you get a ‘spot’ on their schedule.

The single most important thing to remember about what you can earn by stripping in clubs is that it is your choice of club which dictates how much you can make.

If you choose to work at a seedy back-end bar where the few regulars are all low-income earners then your income will be restricted.

By contrast, a high-end gentleman’s club with VIP rooms and a glamorous and constant stream of high-spending clientele is more likely to be filling your garter with Benjamins than singles.

The second thing which has a major impact on your earning potential is the spot you get.

Newcomers will often be given a slow time of the day/evening to test them out with the customers before they can be given a peak-time performance spot. You can work your way up to those Friday/Saturday nights over time but when you start out, expect your first shifts to be the slow ones.

Top Tip: As strippers, you will be the ones in a club who can be earning the most but it is the rest of the team who facilitate your work so most clubs embrace the culture of ‘tipping out’.

This means giving some of your earnings to others on the team such as the DJ who queues up your songs, the servers, bartender, bouncers, door staff and even the club manager.

It might not seem ‘fair’ to you but this practice can help you in the long run as these are the people who recommend to customers which strippers give the best lap/private dances!

Tipping out is definitely a sub-culture of strip clubs that is controversial but the whole idea is that the club looks after their own and those strippers who don’t indulge in this practice can very quickly become sidelined by their colleagues.

Bottom line; you want (and need) these guys to have your back so have theirs by tipping out.

There are no hard and fast rules about how much should you tip-out as a stripper but 20% of your takings seems to be considered reasonable at most clubs (shared among the employees).

Wait! So, not only do you have to pay to work at a strip club but you also have to subsidise the rest of the staff? Is it worth it?

Damn straight it is.

At a good club and on a good weekend night, strippers can earn $1,000-$2,000 for an evening’s work.

Experienced strippers in high demand working at elite clubs can make double or treble this but, and we can’t stress this enough, choose the wrong club and you could end up taking home just $50-$100.

Stripping Online

When it comes to stripping as a cam model, you can expect to make a similar amount of money and earnings of a few thousand pounds for a night’s work can be a realistic target.

However, the same principles apply to your work ethic online as they would at a club.

how to get started as a stripper

How to Become a Stripper

So, you’ve got all the right qualities and the money sounds good but how do you get started as a stripper?

Step 1…

Research The Clubs

Depending on where you are located you might have a choice of different clubs in your local area from the more upscale gentleman’s clubs with high-paying clientele to the spit ‘n sawdust bars where tips are a rarity. Consider how far you want to travel to be able to work and then get on the internet to find out which clubs are located in your chosen area.

Just remember that the gas money for travelling to a better club is worth paying for the chance of making some better bucks.

Find out from their websites, or by calling them, which ones are hiring and what their audition process is (see below).

Top Tip: You should also do a little bit of extra research using Google Reviews and online forums aimed at customers to get a feel for the club’s reputation.

Paying guests aren’t backwards in coming forwards when it comes to making complaints but not so fast to praise.

In this respect, pretty much all strip clubs tend to get some negative reviews online but see if you can spot any trends which indicate whether a venue is getting more than their fair share and why this is the case.

Some reviews are quite telling about whether the rota of dancers changes too frequently and this could be an indicator that their staff retention rate is poor and should raise some alarm bells.

Choosing the right club is essential to making the best money and you should be aiming to get work at the best venue in town. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t make the cut there on your first audition.

Get some more experience and work on your performance so you can make it your goal to try out again.

working at a strip club
Do your research carefully and choose a club that is likely to attract customers that tip well.

Choose a Stage Name

Anyone working in the adult industry will know that privacy is one of the most important considerations and having a stage name is essential.

Before you start using an online Stripper Name Generator, think very carefully about what you want this to say about you.

It should be short enough to be memorable but include enough detail to make you stand out whilst not being similar to (or the same as) another dancer in any clubs in your area.

You don’t want to spark a turf war because you accidentally ‘stole’ another stripper’s identity!

If you make a success of your stripping career then your name will become part of your brand and fans will follow you. Its useful to know if you plan on transferring to a camsite at some point as continuity in your name will mean your fans can easily find you.

Attend an Audition

Most clubs will audition their dancers during the day when the customers aren’t around and each one has a different process, so always ask before you attend and definitely call ahead on the day to make sure they are aware you are coming.

Make sure you prepare a routine that will last at least two songs but, again, check with the club before you arrive.

It is worth checking in advance what their dress code is before you turn up as some clubs expect strippers to go fully nude during their routines whilst others may be topless or with pasties only.

Some clubs also hold amateur nights in which dancers can perform for a live crowd.

Whichever way you end up auditioning, remember that this is your chance to check them out and see if they are a good fit for you as much as it is for them to see what you can offer.

Top Tip: Figure out what kind of music the club likes to play before you attend an audition.

Choreographing and practicing to the right kind of track could make all the difference.

auditioning at a strip club
Have an outfit and routine prepared and bring your own music. Image via Wikimedia via Brian Bilek/Flickr.

The Audition Itself

Most clubs will just want to see you perform to one or two songs and this is to check out whether you have the confidence, body and moves that they think their customers will find appealing.

Most clubs will either hire you on the spot and give you some shifts to work and it is rare to be told that they will have to think about it and come back to you. This either means that you didn’t get the job or they genuinely are one of those venues with a lot of women they have to audition.

Either way, don’t be discouraged and just move on to the next audition.

Top Tip: It is worth bringing along what you need for a full night of work to any auditions as some clubs will not only hire you on the spot but they may also ask you to start immediately. Just be prepared.


It might seem like an oxymoron but choosing the right outfits as a stripper is especially important and, no, most clubs do not provide you with the clothing.

First off, you need to comply with the club’s dress code (see above) and if you need pasties or a branded T-shirt then this is a given.

Beyond this, you will typically start a dance routine wearing at least some clothes. This could be lingerie or a roleplay outfit (police officer, nurse, dominatrix etc) but all should be easy to get off.

By this we mean it’s important to find clothes that don’t have complicated zips or ties and that are too tight fitting. Anything you struggle to put on will likely be unappealing to watch you try and get out of!

Adult stores are a great place to find outfits suitable for stripping but our advice would always be to choose quality items as many budget bedroom costumes aren’t made for the commercial wear and tear of regular stripping.

And lastly, consider what shoes you will wear with your outfit. These are an extremely important accessory and may be the only piece of clothing that you are left wearing at the end of a routine.

Often in the direct eyeline of your customers (either on a stage or because you are up a pole) you should not underestimate the power of sexy footwear. Remember that a good proportion of men have secret foot fetishes!

High heels do marvelous things to the female form, elongating your legs and creating defined calves.

They can also help your carriage and posture forcing you to walk in a more deliberate way with greater pelvic rotation.

However, you should definitely only choose shoes that you can actually walk in. Sexy or not, high heels aren’t always easy to strut your stuff in.

Remember that if you are working a pole at any time then you will also need to factor this in to your choice.

clothing and shoes for strippers
The sexiest shoes might not always be the most practical shoes. Make sure your soles and heels have a good grip!

A popular style is the open-toe high heeled sandal with platform base. Secured with a sexy ankle strap and featuring good grips, these shoes are made specifically for exotic dancers and can be picked up for under $60.

Top Tip: When purchasing shoes, go for something plain in color so you can wear them with any other of your stage outfits.

Black, white or clear shoes are ideal; although red is universally ‘sexy’ it doesn’t go with everything.

Also, it is worth visiting a store to try these on if you can or at least making sure that the online store you buy from has a returns policy.

There are some super-cute heels available on the internet but the quality of these can vary wildly and you need to have faith that your shoes won’t let you down.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on any of these items, particularly until you are 100% positive that this is the career for you but quality is essential so go for the best you can afford.

Hair & Make-Up

Clothing is just one aspect of your physical appearance but, believe it or not, guys also pay attention to your face!

We’re not going to go into masses of detail here but just point out a few things which can help when it comes to fixing your hair and make-up.

Firstly, remember that if you work in a club you will be working under bright stage lights which:

  1. can make you more sweaty than your dancing can make you so always make sure your choice of make-up is water resistant and stays fast under these conditions and;
  2. can make you look washed out (even people of color) so choose bold and strong shades.

Glossy make-up will give off some extra sheen and sparkle but use sparingly.

Secondly, hair has to look sexy but it also has to be practical. Some dancers have perfected how to use the sweep of their hair as they throw their head back in an effortless and sexy single movement.

The stark upswept high ponytail can be just as alluring particularly with the femdom persona but choose something that won’t get in the way of your dancing.

Wigs are also popular in an attempt to mix up the looks that each stripper can offer in a single night but make sure you don’t lose your head of hair if you are performing some strenuous routines!

Lastly, don’t skimp on the attention when it comes to your hands and feet. Treat yourself to a decent manicure and pedicure and make sure those nails are bitchin’.

how to get ready to be a stripper
Make sure every inch of you looks great from your head to your toes.


A lot of strippers like to work with props when they perform as they can give you something else to do with your hands and, if they are phallic, then these can be used suggestively to get your audience’s attention.

Popular accessories for a stage show include whips, paddles and even hand-fans. If you decide to use something along these lines then always rehearse with them first.

Body Maintenance and Self Care

Being a stripper, your sales pitch is you which means making sure that your face and body are kept in top shape.

As every stripper will know being an exotic dancer means being taking care of at least some basic body maintenance such as waxing, manicures/pedicures and tanning.

Get yourself into a routine of taking care of your appearance and making sure that you are stage-ready for your audience. This includes smelling fresh as some strippers are often up-close and personal with guests (lap dances, table dances etc.).

Top Tip: Don’t skimp on the moisturiser after you take a bath/shower. It helps keep your skin looking healthy and also feels good if you get up close and personal.

As a dancer, your fitness is also essential so your self-care should also incorporate a healthy diet and regular fitness regime.

What Else Do Strippers Need?

Once you’ve bagged a job at a club, we can recommend having your own stripper kit to take with you on your shifts.

This should include your clothing, make-up and any accessories as listed above but we’d also recommend having these in your kit:

  • Breath mints
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Sewing kit with safety pins
  • Body spray and/or perfume
  • Money bag, basket or pouch
  • Cards with your ‘contact’ details on (see below)

Top Tips to Make Money as a Stripper

So those are the basics covered but what about how to super-max your earning potential?

tips on being a stripper

We’ve got some great advice from current strippers who are making money hand over fist about how to boost your income.

  • It goes without saying that at some point during your stripping career that customers will want to get your phone number so they can catch up with you outside of the club. Never give out your personal phone number to anyone. Even regulars, high tippers and the cute ones. Instead, consider using an alternative way for them to connect with you which further monetizes any contact. You could use an adult content subscription sales site which gives them premium access to your Snapchat if they pay a monthly fee. Or if you are working online as a cam stripper, then why not give them your username and details of the site they can find you on.
  • Let regulars know when you will be working. Some clubs even have their own cards printed which you can use and fill in the details on the back but if you’ve attracted the attention of someone who likes what you do then both the club and you will be happy to see them back so promote what shifts you are doing. This personal attention can work wonders on the egos of customers and the chances are that they will return just to see you.
  • Change your appearance and outfits regularly, even on the same night. It can take time to know what works best for the customers in your club but this can change over time so reading a room and adjusting your appearance between performances could see an upswing in your tips. This can sometimes be because your quick wig-change suddenly makes you the only brunette on shift or because your sexy nurses outfit chimes with the group who just walked in.
  • There can be slow nights at any strip club and tempting as it maybe to sit in the locker room and check your Snapchat, it is really important to stay out on the floor for two simple reasons. Firstly, it’s your job and sometimes customers come in, take a look around but leave because there aren’t enough pretty girls at the bar. Staying, being attentive and working hard to attract custom won’t go unnoticed by the management and could help you bag the better shifts and high-paying regulars. Secondly, only by tracking who comes in and when can you be the first to make contact (see below).
advice on being a stripper
  • It pays, especially when you are starting out, not to be a club hopper and work at multiple venues at the same time. Showing loyalty to one strip club can pay some big dividends for two reasons. Firstly, you stand a better chance of attracting regulars by working in one place and these are the people who typically pay better, ask for you by name and come to the club on nights when you are working. Secondly, management appreciate and reward loyalty giving the best shifts to, and putting the best customers with, their top girls.
  • For the same reason, it’s also worth tipping out staff and management at your club to help this along a bit. When a customer arrives and wants a private dance from the best girl in the club, who do you think he asks? Door staff, bar tenders and servers so, it pays to have them in your corner.
  • When customers first arrive, especially during an early evening or day shift, they oftentimes don’t want to be pounced upon by a woman. Let them get a drink and settle in for a couple of minutes before you make your move. Being the first to pay them attention and take their name sets up some familiarity and even if they don’t want a dance right away, you can be sure they will look for you when they do.
  • Stripping, like any other job, can sometimes be hard and there will be nights and days when you just don’t feel like it. Unless you are sick, you have to get yourself motivated and start every shift with a positive mindset. So, get into character and focus on the money.
  • Men don’t come to strip clubs just to see a sexy body and a pretty face, they come to be entertained by women who make them feel like the center of the universe. Treat every customer as though they were your ultimate boo.
  • Our last piece of advice is to ask for tips. It is your job to entertain for money and this shit don’t come for free so don’t tolerate those freeloaders. There are, of course, ways to do this and ways not to do this! Getting up close and giving them a peek of your cleavage before whispering in a sultry and breathy voice into their ear “You want to slip a little something inside?” is preferable to simply demanding cash!
tips becoming a stripper
Making money as a stripper is done with your words as well as your dancing.

Make Money Through Stripping on Cam

How to become a stripper without leaving home?

Head online instead!

No we’re not talking about gigs on iStripper.

Finally, we have online stripping using live cam streaming.

Although not quite the same as stripping in a club, there is a lot that the two have in common.

Firstly, customers who visit clubs and those that hit up live cam sites do so for the same reasons; they want to watch a sexy cam model get naked and they want to make a connection with them.

Online strippers can make just as much money as those who work in a club as long as they know how to:

  • Choose the right cam site to partner with
  • Market their channel and drive traffic using social media
  • Engage their audience
  • Monetize their content

A lot of people think that cam modelling is all about masturbating online for an audience but there are plenty of people who make a lot of money simply through adult chat and taking their clothes off for paying customers.

Some of our previous resources that you may find useful:

earn money stripping online

Just like a club, you can charge premium prices for access to your private and VIP rooms.

The benefit with camming is that you can do this all from the safety of your own home and there is definitely no touching involved!

Making a success from online stripping requires much of the same skills and qualities as traditional club dancing and you will need to be patient, hardworking and charismatic.

Dividends are paid to those who put in the time and effort – but you need to work smart!


Mike Morris

Mike is a senior contributor to the Red Light Network and is tasked with reviewing the latest adult products, services and trends. He previously worked in production for a famous adult game and is very familiar with the growing space of X-rated titles. Mike has contributed to several other adult blogs, including Euro Sex Scene and Fetish Engine.
Photo of author