Sex + Dating

Las Vegas Strip Club Horror Stories

Steven Clouse/Thrillist

There's no shortage of strip clubs to put a little extra "sin" in Sin City. They're prime destinations for bachelor parties, trade show attendees, or anyone looking to appreciate a sexy show of skin. But things don't always go according to plan for the patrons or the performers. Here, some of the best in the business tell all about some of the strangest things they’ve seen and experienced in many of Las Vegas’ finest strip clubs. Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

The ring is the thing

"Most people are fine, but some are just assholes."

Mandy has been an exotic dancer for a number of strip clubs in Las Vegas, including Treasures, Cheetahs, and Deja Vu, but she won't reveal which one she currently works at. She says most customer problems come down to alcohol. "The more they drink, the tougher it can be to manage them."

"The average guy is nervous in a strip club," she says. "A lot of them have trouble communicating with a beautiful woman, so it's our job to put them at ease." However, Mandy says that wasn't the case with one group of guys. They were in town for business and had tons of money to spend. They booked two tables and were handing out cash left and right. This particular club, which will go unnamed, had an area for private dances -- where in some cases, aggressive groping wasn't uncommon. Especially if the money was right.

"This one guy really took to one of the dancers," Mandy recalls. "They must've been back there for 20 minutes." The pair eventually emerged from the darkness. The dancer had an avalanche of $20 bills hanging from her waistband while the gentlemen could barely talk. "He looked like he had a few too many drinks and was about to pass out," according to Mandy. So the group settled up and left. It was about 3am and the girls were counting their cash. Ten minutes later, a man could be heard screaming from the front door.

"The group was back," says Mandy. "And the same dude who couldn't stand on his own two feet a half-hour ago was now running around screaming." He got in the face of security and demanded to be let back inside. Apparently he lost his high school graduation ring.

"How do I put this? He thought he lost it inside the stripper."

Mandy says the woman in question laughed it off, but they never found the missing ring. Security escorted the group out the club and back to their cab. One of the other guys was heard saying, "It could be worse. At least it wasn't your wedding ring."

"How do I put this? He thought he lost it inside the stripper."

Welcome to the creepshow

Regulars are a big part of any business. That includes strip clubs, and it's not uncommon for clients to get overly attached to the talent.

"I remember one customer who was a regular -- and he was absolutely in love with one of the entertainers. He came in to see her over and over again," says Emma, who has worked at both Sapphire and Spearmint Rhino. "He actually tried to propose to her in front of the whole club. He got down on one knee and everything. It was kinda sad. He couldn't see that he was just a customer. It was so embarrassing."

As for Emma, when off-duty she doesn't usually advertise what she does for a living -- unless it's to her advantage. "When guys hit on me outside of work, I actually tell them the truth -- that I'm a stripper, hoping it will discourage them. Usually it works. But sometimes it turns them on, unfortunately."

Emma turned down one of those guys at a bar on Fremont St. A few nights later, she was working at Spearmint Rhino and saw the same guy. "He was sitting near one of the stages. He was waving dollar bills around and tipping all the performers." When it was Emma's turn to dance, this same guy didn't tip at all. "Which was weird," she says. "He was just staring at me. After I was done, he disappeared without saying a word. And I didn't see him again that night."

But he returned the following night. And again the next night. He would tip the other dancers, but never Emma. "He would tell the cocktail servers and other dancers that he was my boyfriend. It was really creepy. He wouldn't even talk to me. He'd just stare at me while getting dances from other girls."

Emma said the guy showed up three nights in a row but she "wasn't going to have a guy kicked out for not tipping." He eventually stopped coming in, but Emma says he's a prime example of why every entertainer should never be alone when walking to their car after a shift.  

Other than the strange stalker, Emma says true horror stories are few and far between. "I once forgot my shoes," she says. "And one of the other girls let me borrow a pair of hers. They barely fit but I didn't have much of a choice. And during my first song, I stumbled and fell off the stage!" She says she tumbled into the lap of a customer -- who helped her back up. And yes, she finished the show. "He gave me a nice tip. Maybe he thought it was part of the act," she laughs. "I twisted my ankle but continued my shift. I'm a trooper like that."   

Bring the wife -- just not on her wedding day

Megan had just started her shift at the old Olympic Gardens when she saw a woman with a veil near the front of the stage.

"We get bachelorette parties every now and then. Girls love to have fun with other girls. It's no big deal," she recalls. "But then I realized this wasn't a bachelorette party."

It was actually a wedding party. The bride and groom took a limo straight to the strip club after tying the knot in a ceremony earlier that evening. Megan hit the stage and the groom sat down in front of her -- eager to hand over $5 bills. One right after the other.

"He asked if I would give his new wife a lap dance," she remembers. "I thought it was a little weird, but had no problem with it." So Megan took the woman -- who appeared to be nervous -- into the private dance area. "We were there for a while," says Megan. "The dude was paying for one song after another. And this poor girl didn't say a word. She was trembling the whole time."

"She was supposed to proposition me for a threesome, but was too scared to even talk to me."

The groom was watching from a nearby table, but seemed to be getting angry and agitated. He would come over between songs to pay for another dance -- and just seemed to get more and more frustrated after each one.

"He finally grabbed the bride by the arm and the two started arguing," says Megan. The whole scene was uncomfortable. Apparently they'd been having trouble for a while and he only agreed to marry this girl if they went to a strip club the same night. "She was supposed to proposition me for a threesome, but was too scared to even talk to me. Not like it was going to happen anyway."

The arguing didn't stop and the bouncers eventually told the couple to leave. "They were definitely my worst customers," laughs Megan. "But I made some good money out of it."

The ladies room is for crying customers only

"I love couples. They're my favorites to dance for," says Sarah, who spent a few years working at Sapphire. "I'm always very respectful and conscious of what the woman wants. Because her happiness is going to determine how the night goes."

And sometimes the night doesn't go so well. Sarah was dancing for a girl when her boyfriend disappeared and ended up in a VIP room with another dancer. The girlfriend was later found crying in the bathroom.

"I can tell when a girl is uncomfortable, when she doesn't want to be in that situation, and she's just going along with it to be the cool girl," Sarah points out. "You can see it eating her up inside. And it always ends up in a fight."

On at least one other occasion, it was painfully obvious that a couple didn't belong together from the moment they stepped foot into the strip club.

"This young beautiful girl walked in with this older nerdy-looking guy. She was running up to the stage, throwing lots of money around. As it turned out, she was a dancer from another club out of state and the guy was one of her customers."

Beware of pickpockets, even when wearing nothing

You can make a lot of money in one night as a stripper. Sometimes thousands of dollars. Just make sure you keep track of it. Jenna says she would never leave her cash in her locker when working at the Spearmint Rhino or Larry Flynt's Hustler Club. She would take the bills, fold them over her garter, and wrap a hairband around them. She remembers early one night, she had about $80 in her garter before bringing a customer to a private area for about five or six dances. Afterwards, she noticed the hairband broke. She counted her cash and realized she had the same 80 bucks she started with earlier in the evening.

"He was either a pickpocket or a slight-of-hand artist," recalls Jenna. "He kept putting $20 bills into my garter, but I'm 99 percent sure he kept handing me the same twenty over and over again. I was too embarrassed about it to say anything to anyone, including security."

On the other hand, customers don't always realize how much money they're spending as the night goes on especially when they're drinking lots of alcohol.

"It definitely happens," says Jenna. "Customers will spend the cash they have on them, before turning to a credit card. Then the credit card comes back declined, so they break out another card. You can see the look of panic go across their face. They pretend it's not bothering them."

Sometimes customers accuse the dancers of overcharging them. If the situation gets heated, security is quick to step in and give the customer the boot.  

"He was so pale we didn't even realize he was naked for about two hours."

Never underestimate the importance of tanning

Sapphire is famous for having its own swimming pool -- where the girls can hang out with nothing but pasties and bikinis on. But a few years before that, Sapphire briefly hosted an adults-only pool at the Rio resort.

A guy called and asked about the dress code. Someone on the phone made a mistake and told him there were no restrictions. "He got naked and was lounging around on a white raft," remembers Emma. "He was so pale we didn't even realize he was naked for about two hours."

There’s no family discount

Celebrities always get VIP treatment, but don't always tip. "They're used to getting hooked up everywhere they go, especially in Vegas," says Megan. "So they probably assume that someone else is taking care of it. Meanwhile, everyone else in the party probably assumes the celebrity is taking care of it. I've heard about this problem at nightclubs as well."

"I remember one guy who walked up to the stage with a dollar before he realized he was face-to-face with his cousin."

Beware of undercover cops. It's their job to visit strip clubs and make sure nothing illegal is going on. "They'll ask for drugs," notes Mandy who says it's usually not a problem, but considers the whole situation a form of entrapment.

Relatives. Watch out for relatives. "I remember one guy who walked up to the stage with a dollar before he realized he was face-to-face with his cousin," says Emma. "But those situations are rare. The vast majority of our customers are from out of town."

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Rob Kachelriess is a former television news producer who has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than three years. He was Managing Editor for Vegas2LA Magazine and his work has recently appeared in Vegas Seven and Vegas Magazine.