Yea…I said it. The “pole” is dead and the internet killed it. Killed it dead it did. Gone are the days of a fantasy fulfilled by a favorite dancer. Now is the time of paid companionship. I’m sure there are some numbers published by a very lucky statistical analyst that prove this, somewhere on the web. But those numbers aren’t needed to speak on perspective as I am.
I would like to think that I visit my local establishments frequently enough to make an off the cuff judgement as such. The common man usually has the most general perspective of the world. I came to the conclusion that the pole was dead when talking to a long time friend named Tyrone. He and I have spent more than our fair share of money on dancers. During our conversation we concluded that the dancers are less interested in the quantity, and more interested in quality; meaning their attention and efforts are focused on the big fish, ballers if you will, and less on the common man with $100 at most, like myself. We concluded that this particular phenomena was due to the influence of rap culture and the popularization of the phrase “make it rain”; most notably used by rapper Lil Wayne in the song “Make It Rain” in 2009. This too, contributed to the death of the pole. But the autopsy shows that the internet fired the first shots.
The “strip club” used to be a place where a man could go “see” another woman. That’s it. Nothing special. We just wanted to lay eyes on, smell, and rub up against a woman other than our wives. However, the internet has delivered that vision to the palm of our hands…literally. Whatever any man would like to see, no matter how nasty, obscure, or plain even, is just a few clicks away. At one point of time this would cost a nominal fee of 29.99/month or so. Now that’s not even true. As long as you have strong virus protection, a connection to the internet, and just a few moments to kill you can see anything. However this still leaves the other senses out to dry. There are few things better than the pungent aroma of an aroused woman. That moment a soft nipple grazes past your lips is to die for. I oft fondly think of the mesmerizing sight of a set of soft cheeks bouncing in rhythm to my favorite song, every so often revealing a glimpse of a dancer’s “whispering eye“. The internet just can’t provide those things.
So the market has changed, but I don’t think the common strip club quite understands that yet. The establishments are still set up just to “see”. There is literally no longer a need for a pole. For example: It makes no common sense to pay for a dancer to take her clothes off on stage, 10 ft away, when after her turn on stage is done, a patron can pay that same dancer the same money he would have paid her on stage, for an up close and personal lap dance. That patron has seen a million boobs at home. He’s seen million’s of snatches with a myriad of objects inserted; we all have.
So, when we come to the strip club, we don’t care to see anything…because we have already seen it all. No, we want to feel special, have some attention and preferential treatment; one on one time. We want what the internet can’t provide…yet.
If I owned a strip club, I’d make the following changes to the traditional layout:
1) There would be no poles or center stage in my club. In place of the poles I’d have a number of mini-V.I.P. rooms. The room would be just large enough for a small couch, a wall sized mirror, and a small table. I’ve actually seen a set up at a strip club very similar to what I am describing. It is pictured to the right. The picture was taken from the “view inside” google maps tour of “Peaches of Atlanta”, an establishment I have yet to visit. There would be no additional charge for the mini-V.I.P. rooms, as the focus for the dancers would be on private dances.
2) There would be no cover charge at the door, and no charge for parking. There is nothing worse than spending upwards of $4o at a strip club before you have entered the building. This is especially true in Atlanta. For commoners like myself, every dollar spent on things other than the dancers, the entire reason I am coming to the club in the first place, is a piece of enjoyment that I had hoped to have, gone. If cover charges and parking fees don’t exist, then I can give more money to the dancers, or spend more money drinking, which increases my enjoyment of the establishment.
3) In lieu of a cover charge and parking fees, there would be a four drink minimum. I am not exactly sure how legal this is, but this is all hypothetical anyway. Most strip clubs make the majority of their money from dance percentages and the bar. With a four drink minimum in place, there would no longer be a need to take a percentage of money from the dancers, or pay someone to attempt to keep up with the number of dances taking place, which by the way, I can only imagine is one of the top 10 worst jobs in America. This would also eliminate the predatory “pay to play” system that most clubs have in place for dancers. Do you know that dancers have to pay a fee to the house per shift that they work? In addition, the fee varies according to the expected number of patrons per shift. Meaning, if there is potential to make a lot of money, then the fee for that shift is higher than for shifts where fewer customers come. In addition to that fee, most dancers are also required to pay a percentage to the bar AND the Deejay. Talk about being taxed to death…oh yea speaking of taxes, the dancers are expected to truthfully report their earnings so that Uncle Sam can tax that amount appropriately. The whole system is ridiculously broken.
4) My club would be cashless. I have no idea why this industry has not adopted the cashless model yet, but they are the ones missing out. If you have ever been on a cruise, or to a Disney theme park, you are very familiar with how a cashless system of exchange works. When a patron arrives he provides his credit card or debit card number, along with a signed agreement to pay all debts acquired while in the establishments on said credit/debit card. In exchange for the patrons card information, the patron is provided with a unique token, or a local currency to be spent only in the establishment. The token is the best for a strip club because the patron has no way of accurately keeping track of how much money has been spent. In addition, the “fun doesn’t stop” until you want it to. Even if you spend more than you have available, the signed agreement grants the establishment the right to charge your card until all the debt has been covered, with provisions for debts not recovered after a reasonable amount of time.
All of the dancers would be equipped with a token receiver that could be tapped, or waved per dance and tip, set at $5 intervals. This eliminates the need to count the number of dances, as it is digitally tracked. And it adds a level of security because the dancers no longer have to keep up with their cash. Understandably, one of the main attractions for dancers is the ability to take their money home at the end of the night. This is where the club owner would have to have enough operating funds to pay the dancers at the end of every night, while recovering the money from debit and credit cards. It’s a bit of a risk, but the dancers are only being paid the cost, which is what they are used to collecting anyway. The real money comes in from the fees in collecting from the debit/ credit cards, which can easily be set at something like 2-5%. For example, let’s a say a patron has purchased 8 dances at $10 per dance and 5 drinks at $8 per drink for a total of $140. The dancer is paid outright at $80 with a convenience fee of 1%[ the dancers would have a choice of leaving with their money nightly or being paid out their tips every two weeks for no fee], however, as provisioned in the previously mentioned signed agreement, the club collects 3% of the total of the entire transaction. Meaning that the club walks away with $5 in transaction fees.
5) The dancers would wear normal clothes, not stripper wear. By “normal clothes” I mean clothes that we see women in everyday like sundresses, yoga pants, club wear, etc. This is because we are already jaded in seeing women naked. Our desire is to see what we usually can’t see. That woman you passed at the train station with the nicely fitted skirt, flowy blouse, and perfectly laid hair, remember her? Or that girl at the coffee shop that always puts the perfect amount of creme on your grande’ latte-expresso-coffee thingy, yea she’s nice. How much would you pay to see her naked? Or how much would you pay just to have their undivided attention for an hour or so? Better yet, to have a stimulating conversation turn into an intimate moment? That would be the greatest model. Pay per time interval, or pay per dance, or both [$5/10 minutes of conversation, $5/per dance]. This model allows for more dancers to work at once without encroaching on the other dancers. Once a dancer has finished their time with one patron, they can go back to casually roaming the establishment. This creates a “happenstance” or chance environment, much like how men meet women in real life. There aren’t droves of women waiting for your to pick them, there are just a few in your immediate environment and you feel lucky if one of them is cute AND receptive to your advances.
6) Each mini-V.I.P. would have customizable music via bluetooth speakers. We’ve all been to a club where the deejay was just not doing it for us. Th mini-V.I.P room eliminates all of that. With all this technology, I am shocked that know one has already thought of this. Almost everyone has a smart phone that is bluetooth compatible.Almost everyone has their own mix of their favorite songs. If not, the dancers will surely have a mix ready and available. This capability let’s each patron set their own mood, increasing the likelihood that they’d stay longer and spend more money.
7) The rest of the “club” would be a lounge, not a club. No dance floors, no awkward seating arrangements, just a nice environment with low mood music. If there is one thing that I hate, it’s ear busting, blaring music in a club. Since this is all hypothetical anyway, the “club” would be multi-leveled. The lower level would be where the mini-V.I.P. rooms are located, and the upper level would strictly be a lounge, no dances just conversations and drinks. The concept of a lounge, in itself, is lost. There is no place, that I know of, where adults can just gather and literally lounge. There are plenty of places that claim to be lounges, but they charge for seating, parking, entrance, and the music is always waaaaay too loud. Atlanta is littered with sports bars, clubs, and everything in between masquerading as a lounge. One of them even has the nerve to have the name “Ultra-Lounge”, but I digress.
There’d be no exclusivity. Again, yet another deadly sin worth of Japanese style suicide. It would be first come first serve. What is the experience really worth if the common man can’t brag to his friends about how he left work early Thursday with a phony excuse and how this place made it all worth it.
Understandably this place is far fetched, but you can’t blame a man for dreaming. Who knows, maybe someone will read this and decide to go into business with me. It all works out perfectly in my head. The regular clothes and added privacy, coupled with a really good security staff of course, would attract more woman to dance. It could even attract a whole slew of women who would just be on staff as “conversational escorts”. Jesus wouldn’t send anyone to hell for good conversations right? Right. Men would get to hone their social and conversation skills. You know, practice saying what they have always wanted to say to that coffee girl. And even if that conversation with the coffee girl doesn’t go the way they practiced, they can come right back to this place and tell their “conversational escort” all about it as she offers more advice, or a listening ear that encourages him to never give up, and try again when another lady comes along. Yep, it all works out in my head…
Meanwhile, back in reality, the strip clubs are still dank. The music is still blaring, the food is still mostly, inedible. The drinks are watered down. The seats are uncomfortable. The dancers are un-enthused, and we still attend. Yep, the pole is dead.
© Stephen R. Freshley and wordbending, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Stephen R. Freshley and Word Bending a secret but not so secret blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.