Things You Should Never Say to a Stripper

Until strip clubs take a cue from libraries and institute no-talking rules (think about it!), people are going to keep talking in them, roaring loudly over a soundtrack of clanking heels and Sevendust classics as they scream to their buddies and fire uninspired pickup lines at the ladies on stage. But there are some things that are just best left unsaid (or even un-thought), whether they're super-clichéd come-ons, overused jokes, or straight-up dickish comments. These are the things you should never say to a stripper. Surprisingly, they're also the things that strippers hear more than anything. Except maybe Sevendust.


"Can I get change for this $5?"

If you need change, ask the bartender. A dancer’s stash isn’t an ATM. Plus, you know, maybe just tip the nice lady who is nakedly spinning upside down in front of you a little extra?

"When do you get out?"

Translation: "I’m creepy as hell, and I am super good at lurking in alleys."

"What’s your real name?"

If she says her name is Chastity von Flowercrotch, then Chastity von Flowercrotch is her name. If she wants you to know her real name, she’ll tell you. As it stands, you’re likely the 40th person to ask this in an hour, and she’s not breaking character. And make no mistake: this is a performance, and she’s in character.

"Can you introduce me to that chick over there?"

Maybe you should also ask her to take the money you’re not giving to her over to her friend as well.


"What will you do for this $5?"

Definitely not make change. But also nothing different than what she’s doing right now.

"Can I tip you by taking you out?"

There’s a common misconception that dancers are actually getting all made up and enduring immense amounts of physical training because of the biggest payday of all: a romantic dinner at Sizzler with some random dude who’s too cheap to chuck a dollar bill on a stage.

Anything religious

Unless it’s “holy shit, you’re amazing on that pole,” let’s go ahead and keep theology to the confessional booth tomorrow. Sinner.

"You remind me of my sister."

Your sister must be really smokin' if you’re thinking of her while a woman nakedly grind on your lap in a private booth. Also, have you read Flowers in the Attic? Shit’s HOT.

Andy Kryza/Thrillist

"Will you marry me?"

The sheer number of times this is said by some weenus who thinks he’s being cute is astounding. It’s not really cute. It’s standard. And it's getting old.

"What’s your major?"

Not every dancer is working their way through medical school. Some are working their way through mechanic school. And some actually enjoy dancing. Either way, it’s really none of your business why they’re there. They don’t automatically assume you’re from a broken marriage, after all.

"Are those real?"

If you have to ask, you don’t deserve to know. And no, you can’t give ‘em a squeeze.

Dan Gentile/Thrillist

"Can you change the song?"

“Sure, can I get you a drink and some food while I’m up?” would be the best sarcastic answer to the question, if the likely un-sarcastic reply wasn’t most certainly “sure!”

"I actually just came in for a beer."

So, wait. Instead of going to the corner bar, you decided to go to a place crawling with naked people who work for tips, then sit at the bar and ogle without actually paying for the experience? Even if you’re wearing a blindfold, pay the nice ladies.

"Can I get the, um, VIP treatment?"

Always -- always -- listen to Chris Rock.

"What are your dreams?"

“Settling down with you, having a bunch of beautiful children. Maybe getting a boat and sailing around the Horn of Africa whilst eating fresh-caught fish and sipping mai tais provided by our personal bartender.” Oh, wait, that’s your dream. Hers is not getting harassed by you in exchange for a chintzy tip.

Jim Vondruska/Thrillist

"Do you have a boyfriend?"

She does. He’s the bouncer. And he’s gonna get super mad if you get grabby. (Also, the bouncer is every other dancer’s boyfriend, so just don’t ask.)

"I hope you know that you're beautiful."

Best-case scenario, this might inspire the dancer to request that the DJ play a little more Christina Aguilera up in this place. Worst case? Well, there's really no worst case here. It's a nice thing to say. That's why everybody else said it, too.

"What do you do for work?"

“I’m actually a sociologist who’s just doing this to get an understanding of strip-club culture so I can write a book,” says the woman who is currently on the clock and being paid not to puke on you for asking stupid questions.

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Andy Kryza is a senior editor at Thrillist who is often described as looking like "Magic Mike's doughy, awkward adopted brother." He'll take it. Follow him to the change machine @apkryza.