Pigdog Journal is most often to be found on the audience side of the
strip club curtain -- often on the floor, usually shit-faced drunk,
doubtlessly trying to muster enough coordination to shove one more palm-sweaty
dollar bill between heaving breasts and tight buttocks.
But for this special Porn Appreciation Issue, we gave up our sticky front row seats,
passed on that last lap dance and put the roll of paper towels aside to
give you, our readers, an exclusive behind-the-one-way-mirror interview with
a living, breathing, clothes-wearing stripper. Yeah, yeah
-- you owe us one.
"Sadie" is a 26-year-old soon-to-be-graduate of the
University of California at Santa Cruz majoring in Molecular Biology.
Sure, it was brains made the grades, but it was the
age-old art of disrobing that paid the bills.
During her four years as an ecdysiast, Sadie rubbed
shoulders -- and a few other body parts -- with
well-known women of the
stage and screen like Nina Hartley. All the while she
was making fat sacks of cash off of
hordes of horny old men just like you.
This is her story.
Interview With a Stripper
PigDog: When were you a stripper?
Sadie: From the tender age of 18 and four months until.. um
the last time I stripped was 3 years ago.
PD: How did you get started in all of this?
S: Well, I moved to California and the idea was that
I'd get a job and work for a year, gain residency and go to
school. But when I got here and
started applying for jobs I couldn't find anything. All the jobs were,
like, minimum wage part-time jobs. I was spending all my savings and
getting really scared. So I was just tired and running out of money. So I
met this girl Nikki and she was fat and ugly and told me she was a
stripper. So I thought, "Well, if she's a stripper,
then I bet I could be a
stripper." So she took me up San Francisco and got me started.
PD: What was the first place you stripped at? What was
S: The Century in San Francisco -- it was so sleazy
and dirty -- but I didn't know that, I thought it was normal.
PD: How much money did you make?
S: I didn't make that much money at first, I was more
interested in talking to everyone and looking at everyone and
running around like an idiot. I was only making 125 bucks a night,
but I wasn't working very hard -- actually I wasn't really
PD:What was the usual evening at work like?
S: Well it started when I'd get there and put on
make-up and talk and then put on more make-up and then talk talk
gossip gossip. Then I'd go get something to eat. Then maybe I'd
start to work.
PD: What was "work" like?
S: Work at the Century was mostly lap-dancing. What you'd
do is go up to some guy in the audience, and say "Would you like some
company?" And he'd hand you a five or a ten or a twenty. And it was 10
bucks a song -- or however much you could get for a lap dance. You also
made money in the booths.
PD: What are the booths?
S: Booths are dildo-shows, fisting-shows, lesbian-shows,
whatever show they wanna see. All sorts of kinky stuff -- usually guys
just want to jack off in private. The windows were one-way so I didn't
have to see any of them, but the room had this sleazy carpet, it was
dark red and with paisley on it. You could barely stand up in the room.
It was like a mirrored box. We had set show times when we had to be
awake, but the rest of the time we could sleep or read a book. I
usually did my homework.
PD: All in the booth?
S: Yeah. I'd be doing my homework -- I had school you know.
PD: How much money did you get for these booth things?
S: Well, let's see... I think to be nude I wanted
20 bucks, although sometimes I'd do a dance for free.
There's no logic to any of this.
PD: How many girls were in a booth?
S: Usually just me and one other.
PD: What were the girls like?
S: They were nice -- Oh, there was this one girl, she was a maniac. She was
a freak! She was dating the club owner, and would only dance to Julio
Iglesias or music from "The Mambo Kings." Even then she wouldn't dance, she
would just stand there in her outfit -- these little booties, a sequined
belt and this leotard thing. She would do hand-stands or cartwheels, and
she hated to have other women touch her. She would always say, "I don't --
I'm not a lesbian! I don't do lesbian shows -- I don't do that. Get back!"
She'd get all mad if you looked in her direction when she was naked.
On stage she just did the weirdest things, like cartwheels and
walking on her hands.
PD: Did the men like this?
S: No, they'd just sit there with their mouths open, like, "What is this?"
while "The Mambo Kings" played. Then she would address the audience.
"Hola. Como esta?" And the audience is made up of these elderly Asian
men. . . The rest of the strippers would just line up backstage watching
and laughing. Instead of stripping she'd just stand there and slowly
take off her leotard and then she'd put her little sequined belt back
on. And she didn't, like, shave, so she had this massive bush of public
hair that stuck out like halfway down her legs. She also had this little
hand towel and she'd lay it out on the edge of the stage and then go sit
on it, spread her legs in a V and just sit there with her ankles in her
But enough about her...
PD: What was the best money maker?
S: They had this thing called "The Playpen," I think the room was
designed for prostitution. I think it was the business's way of turning
its head because in The Playpen there were no cameras, no bouncers. The
official rules of the club were, of course, no touching, but I think that
that was the real money maker. I know that if I worked really really hard
I could make $600 in a night, but there were other girls who spent the
same amount of time there as me who made $1200 in a night. Looking back
on it now I realize where the extra money was probably coming from.
PD: Did you get a lot of offers or requests for sex?
S: Well, yah. Pretty much the men expected it. "Well, I'm in a dark room with
a woman by myself." And there I was, this naive 18-year-old, going, "No way!
I'm a stripper, not a prostitute!"
PD: Were you ever tempted?
S: No. I'd get their money anyway. Or, you know... I was just never
PD: What were the customers like?
S: OK, in the day time it was like a nursing home. It really was. It was
like an Asian-man nursing home. There'd be like lunch time businessmen,
but mostly the day was really slow. In the evening there was a mix of
business men and working class guys.
PD: Who were the best tippers?
S:Business guys had money. The Japanese had money. The black
drug-dealers had money -- but they didn't like me.
PD: Why not?
S: I guess I don't have a good butt.
PD: So after California you started doing this thing in New
York. What was that like?
S: Yeah, it's very
different. There were cameras everywhere. They really didn't want to
have sex going on. I appreciated that. They money in New York was
S: Well, to spend an hour in a booth with me would cost you 550 bucks -- of
which I got $180, the club kept the rest.
PD: So what went on in the booth?
S: Nothing! It was stupid. I could dance for them, I could give them a
back rub, they could give me a back rub. No sex, no petting, no kissing,
none of that.
PD: Ever get any good back rubs?
S: No, not to my recollection -- mostly I talked to them.
PD: Did anything weird ever happen in these booths?
S: Yeah. The first night I was in New York, I was convinced that I
couldn't handle it. I wanted to just give up and go back to San
Francisco. I had only made 70 bucks all evening and was ready to quit
when in walks this doctor guy who's totally high on something. The
management knows he's high, so they talk him into getting two girls for
two hours -- over $2,000. So I was one of those girls. We go into the room
and the first thing the guy does is grab my tits. I'm like "No, sorry you
can't do that." And I said to him "I know you're really high but you can
still have a good time." At which point he got up and left.
So I made $360 in about five minutes -- there are no refunds. At
that point I decided that maybe I'll stay in New York for just a little
PD: What were the biggest differences between San Francisco and New York?
S: You really had to look good in New York or they'd fine you. You'd
get fined like 25 bucks for everything and anything. You gained weight? 25
bucks. Your hair looks like shit? 25 bucks. We had to be on stage at 8
which meant we had to show up around 7 to be inspected. They'd check us
out to make sure we were shaved and that we smelled good and our make-up
looked go. And your nails had to be inspected, they had to be long and
nicely manicured. They wanted me to smoke cigarettes. They're like, "You
need to start smoking." And I refused. So New York was really different.
We never saw any money from the customers -- they had to purchase
tickets for everything from this machine. It was 20 bucks for a dance and
I get 10 of that. Then there were slow dances and lap dances.
PD: Did you make more money in New York?
S: Yes, in the end I made more money, but it was a lot more work.
You were always on the go. If you weren't on stage you had to be working
the floor. When you were on the floor you never knew when they'd call
your name for the stage show. They'd just announce who was next and you
had to be listening for your name. In San Francisco they had this big
list and you could see when you'd be dancing so, if your name wasn't till
then end, you could go out to dinner or take a nap or go
home -- whatever
the hell you wanted. In New York you weren't allowed to leave the club.
PD: What were the girls like?
S: In New York? They were much nicer. No lesbians at all.
PD: Were there still lesbian shows?
S: Yah, but the girls there didn't talk about it. In San Francisco
everyone was a dyke and they'd sit around talking about their wives. In
New York they were all totally straight but, we, you know, all had sex with
each other. They had a "lesbian room" which was a pretty good deal
because it was a big room and you could get a bunch of guys paying for
the same show.
PD: What did the lesbian show entail?
S: Well it was about half an hour long and you hopefully were with a
girl that you liked.
PD: Did you get to choose?
S: Well, you'd walk around with a girl that you liked and you'd approach
a group of guys and say, "Hey, how about a lesbian show?" But sometimes
they'd pick and say, "I want to see she and she together." And if you
didn't like her it was kinda difficult. You can try and fake eating out a
girl or you can not fake it.
But anyway you go into this room with all these nervous men
joking with each other. And we had some standard things to do if we were
bored like, "OK, now lets pour whip cream on each other and lick it off."
Really stupid stuff like that. "Hmmm, now I am going to stick a cherry in
your pussy and pull it out with my teeth." Whoopee.
PD: Did the audience like this stuff?
S: No, they just wanted to see two girls eat each other out.
PD: What's the weirdest thing that ever happened to you while you were a stripper?
S:[after a long pause] You want me to pick just one? Hmmm... Well, there
was this one striper who would do this... act. She wouldn't dance; she'd sit
in the giant champagne glass. A big plastic champagne glass. And she
would sit in it and dance around a bit and then fling one leg up in the
air and shoot this water she was sitting in across the room at men who
were sleeping. It was very unhygienic, people complained. But the whole
time she was dancing she was retaining this water in her pussy. She
could squirt it a good 30 feet, it was amazing. She had great aim.
This other woman did these dildo karaoke shows singing "My Heart
Belongs to Daddy."
PD: Anything else you want to tell the people out there?
S: Yeah, only that the sex industry was there for me when I
needed it. I don't think I would have accomplished so much
-- moving to Santa Cruz, getting into the UCSC -- if I hadn't done it. People don't
think of it like that -- people think it drains you. But it's only
something you can do when you're young. I used it then I got away from
it. When I moved here I had nothing -- no money, no friends, no place to
stay -- and within a week of stripping I was able to rent a room and
later a studio. I went from having 2 bucks in my pocket to going to
[San Francisco] City College and having my own place and having $3,000 in the bank. I
couldn't have done that working in a cafe where you're paid, after 2