Dancers are exposed to and immersed in a culture of drinking, partying and general fucking-off.
Hey, no judgement here. So do college students, bankers and plenty of politicians.
There's no universal formula or do's and don'ts list for this one. This article is meant to help you think through how to approach alcohol from the lens of your sales skills, without any sanctimonious BS. It's your life, they're your choices. Now let's get into it.
Note: while there's a smorgasbord of mind/body altering substances out there, this article will only be covering alcohol. This is because alcohol is an integral part of most strip clubs, and involves daily negotiation and vigilance to handle with mindfulness. It's also because the use of other substances goes outside of your author's expertise, and I don't want to preach on what I don't practice. It's unfair to those that may rely or struggle with substance use to give out untested and likely incorrect advice. However, I've linked to some good resources on mitigating substance use, specifically at work, at the bottom of this article.
The Role of Alcohol In Strip Clubs
From William Hogarth's "A Rake's Progress"
Booze and Boobs. The perfect combination since time immemorial.
Selling alcohol at strip clubs is, pun intended, a no-brainer. For one, clubs can set outrageously expensive prices knowing that customers are willing to pay them in exchange for the ambiance (read: the boobs). On top of that, the effects of alcohol on the body basically read like a "perfect customer potion" list. Straight from Wikipedia, the list of short-term effects of moderate alcohol consumption is actually titled Euphoria:
"Euphoria (BAC = 0.03% to 0.12%)
Overall improvement in mood and possible euphoria
Shortened attention span
Impaired fine muscle coordination"
Who wouldn't want to run into that customer? The headache of social interaction with a stranger, the anxiety that comes with using up income to pay for an experience, the fear of being rejected or disliked- all of those voices calm down, and he can enjoy a stress free dose of entertainment for the evening.
Easier for him, easier for you.
So, clubs have found lots of clever and sometimes downright hilarious ways to upsell alcohol to their customers. Many clubs have a drink minimum, or a mandatory champagne purchase to access VIP rooms. They also offer bottle "specials" and encourage dancers to sell, and to ask for, as many drinks as possible through their shifts. Some clubs have bottles of liquor that sell for up to $10,000. It's a fun spectacle, a way for the club to earn more money, and a shortcut to the satisfaction driven lizard brain that often works in our favor.
Alcohol in itself isn't really a problem. In fact, selling drinks and bottles often helps the support staff at clubs earn tips, which is how they get paid. And a happy support staff greatly helps to make the club a fun place for customers to party and for us to work. It can also ease the mood of customers, and make negotiations less tense when selling rooms and dances.
So, why does there need to be an article about alcohol and selling?
Sales and Drinking: What's in it for you?
So far, all of the positive effects of alcohol described here have directly helped everyone in the club but the dancers. This is intentional: there are no commissions, tips, or financial opportunities given anywhere for drinking on the job.
This phrasing is very intentional.
There may be incentives for selling bottles at your club. But no incentives are given for actually drinking what's in them.
There may be times where you feel like you "need a drink" or "can't make money without having a drink first." But no one is paying you for having that drink, and no one, other than you, is tying your success to that drink.
There may even be customers that are upset if you won't drink with them; but deciding that the only way you can earn their money is by succumbing to their request is a choice you make.
Every time you drink at work, you are making that decision for your body and for your mind.
Drinking Responsibly: Taking Accountability
Does that mean that you shouldn't drink?
That's a decision every dancer has to make for themselves. Personally, I don't think that drinking is the end of the world. I am comfortable having a couple of drinks at work, especially when I'm in a long room with a customer that I trust. I am comfortable having the occasional party-night under the right circumstances.
The key is to acknowledge that all of the consequences of drinking, short and long term, are on you. If you don't make it to the gym the next day, or you spend all day in bed nursing a nasty hangover, that's on you. If you leave early because you got unmotivated after having one too many, your future self will have to deal with the repercussions of that decision. And you drink, you have to take into account that all things considered, drinking lowers your inhibitions, your motivation, and your income earning potential.
It's not fair to ourselves to try to downplay the effect of alcohol on our day-to-day lives. Even if you can be the biggest, baddest shark on the floor, if you can only do so when you drink then you're not being kind to your body and to your long-term goals. And even if you have the best night of the week when you drink, if it takes you two days out of work to recuperate the lack of consistency is going to slow down your goals to a crawl.
In addition, while dancing may fund your long term goals, the money you earn isn't going to make you independently wealthy, and it won't keep you wealthy. Making smart decisions while you dance to educate yourself, to grow yourself, and to push yourself require daily effort and maintenance. These parts of your life happen outside of the club; it's the hours outside of work when you get to work on side projects, care for your mind and body, and spend time with the people you love.
If you need to spend all day at home nursing off a hangover, the clarity and discipline that it takes to push yourself forward will just not be a part of your arsenal.
The most important bit here is that while no one can tell you how much to drink or to avoid drinking, you should never have to rely on alcohol to interact with customers, to have a good night, or to stay at work when you're bored or tired. It's possible to occasionally or rarely drink and to be successful. It's possible to avoid alcohol and to be extremely confident, sexy, and excited about your profession. And it makes it infinitely easier to push yourself to work longer, harder, and to seek out opportunities you otherwise would pass by.