I keep hearing rumors about Russian strippers being literally slaves. I’m still naive enough not to know how some of these scandalous things work and I have no idea how much truth there is to the rumors. I also keep hearing that men involved in strip clubs and recruiting strippers like to get girls hooked on drugs so they will work like dogs to support the habit and put extra money in their pockets.
When I have nights off from my current club, I sometimes strip out of state. I was recruited by this Russian dude to do it and he charges a $50 transportation fee every night I work with him. That fee is sort of a bitch because obviously it cuts into my earnings, but the transportation also takes up tons of extra time on days I work at the other club. One Friday night, I was the only girl working with him. I knew that picking me up by 5pm and not getting home til 3am couldn’t just be earning him 50 bucks. I assume he does other business at the club we always go to, most likely selling drugs to their strippers, management staff, people who live in that area etc. Who knows. I just know a money minded Russian hustler doesn’t work 10+ hours per day for as little as $50.
A very common problem at strip clubs is that many “customers” come in under false pretenses; they are drug dealers who only come to the club in hopes of finding customers. Dealers tend to assume all us dancers are on some drug or another since we work late nights and they are a little too open about sharing what they have available (have there ever been Donnie Brasco-esque undercover strippers I wonder? It’s a great way to bust people, but I don’t know where you could hide a wire).
One particular dealer told me he had a customer who was a call girl who spent $300 per night buying heroin off him. He said “that escorting shit has to wear you down, mentally.” I told him I just drink and sometimes smoke weed, to which he responded “I don’t really sell weed, just crack, heroin and some pills.” Basically, just heavy shit I wouldn’t touch with a 4 story long stripper pole.
The guy kept making manipulative statements encouraging me to try heroin. I told him I had no interest. Once he gave up on talking me in to that, he told me how he flips cars the way other people flip houses. He kept asking if I had friends who wanted cars and I told him none of my friends in New York drive. He even had the audacity to a) say he needed a cosigner for something or another (with the excuse he has no credit or any kind of on the books financial records) and b) ask if he could store some of his drugs at my house because his “neighbors were starting to get suspicious.” Yeah, I’d LOVE to risk getting busted for a felony and spend years in jail, as well as become an addict because I have massive amounts of heroin under my roof. I’m sure my straight edged, sweetheart of a roommate who doesn’t even know I strip would LOVE to come home and find a SWAT team raiding our place.
The Russian who brings me out of state to strip plays mind games too. His bullshit is quite easy to see through, but it seems like he’s a seasoned pro at manipulating situations. You can develop a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome working for men as a stripper and the more I talk to girls who have been doing it for several years and seem very strung out and worn down (as well as underweight), the more I remember I shouldn’t stay in this biz for too long.
Something that annoys me a bit is that all the dodgy crap that goes on at strip clubs falls under the average person’s radar. There is such a strong taboo, I think strip club owners are able to take advantage. I’m certain drug dealing and many mob-related activities take place right under my nose. There are always random men in suits coming and talking to the managers behind the office doors. They are probably collecting some envelope stuffed with whatver cut of the club’s profits they demand. While there are certain lines I’ll reluctantly snort, there are others I refuse to cross, namely trying heroin.