How Not to Pick Up a Stripper


I get it. Tinder is tough. It’s 1am. Your wallet is empty and your libido is howling. From my vantage point on the stage at the strip club, I understand that it seems like an obvious option for you to try to pick up the nearest scantily clad woman. Hell, I’ve dated people I’ve met at work, but considering that I’ve met about 4,000 of them, the odds are NOT in your favor. Still, lightning can strike twice and shark attacks DO happen. But, if you think you want your next bedpost notch to be courtesy of a dancer, you should probably erase the following moves from your playbook.

Wear a fedora

Unless you’re in the Buena Vista Social Club, it’s not happening.

Make dramatic ATM withdrawals

Then, change your $50s into singles at the bar, and set them on the table in front of you. Sit there, with your chest pushed out like a cat presenting a dead bird. Or a kid who has just taken off his diaper. Look! Look at me! Unless you are tipping those papers, I don’t care how much cash you need to cuddle with in order to feel like a man.


Brag about how much money you make

It might seem counterintuitive, but really, women have been hearing guys make big-dick jokes since high school. We know that when someone is insecure about the lack of something, they overcompensate, whether it is a fiscal fib or a phallic one.

Hit on every. Single. Stripper.

Bonus points if you use the same pickup lines, so that we can compare stories in the dressing room.


Stroke her leg or touch her face

Do you want to lose a finger?! NO TOUCHING!!

Talk about all the strippers you’ve dated

It’s gross when you do this, because fetishizing a certain subculture of women is actually pretty foul.

Offer a date as a tip

“I’d rather take you out for a nice dinner than tip you.” I’d rather eat leftovers in my fridge, and pay my rent, thanks.

Ask for her “real name”

Unless you plan on taking me to meet your mother in the morning, my name is the one I gave you, no questions asked. Although I could play that game where I charge you to give you my “real name.”


Say “You could do better than this place”

Do you say that to the fast-food worker when you get your mega-meal at the drive-thru? You’ve not only degraded my industry, but simultaneously taken part in the service it provides, as if that is not hypocritical.

Say "You’re different than these other girls”

That’s quaint, because lots of women working as strippers have heard this line, verbatim, from many, many other guys. Maybe you should date them! It seems like ya’ll have plenty in common.

Start crying


Elle Stanger is a mother, stripper, feminist, activist, and author who entertains the masses in Portland, OR. She holds two university degrees, neither of which she utilizes in a conventional fashion. She prefers organic food, dark beer, and self-actualized individuals. Don’t ask her about her tattoos; she’s run out of clever retorts. Find her online at