How Much Do Strippers Really Make? Unveiling the Truth About Their Earnings

Ever pondered exactly how much strippers really earn? The same question nagged me after passing over an unpaid internship that threatened my financial security at 20. Based on firsthand experience and a dollop of honest research, I’ve uncovered the often misunderstood world of exotic dancer earnings.

Let’s take a thrilling dive into the cash-filled world of stripping; you might be surprised by what we find!

Key Takeaways

Strippers make cash from tips and hourly pay. The average hourly pay is about $21.84.

Factors that change how much they earn include their skills, where they work, and how long they have danced.

More women are strippers than men. They also earn more money because there are more customers for them.

Strippers can pump up their income by boosting their skills, working longer hours, or choosing busy clubs to work in.

Understanding the Role of Strippers/Exotic Dancers

strippers performing 2

Strippers, also known as exotic dancers or ecdysiasts, have a special job. They use their bodies to express art and entertain people. They dance in an exciting way at clubs. Some also get jobs for private parties.

You don’t need school to be a stripper. You can start this work when you turn 18 years old. Stripping can even be your main job or just a side hustle. What’s great is that strippers are independent contractors! That means they choose who they want to work for and make money from what they do best – dancing! But there are some costs too, like rent for rooms, DJ fees, and pay for bouncers at the club.

Factors Influencing Strippers’ Income

strippers performing 3

Factors influencing strippers’ income include their hourly pay, tips, bonuses received, and their level of experience in the industry.

Hourly Pay

Many people think strippers earn a lot of money. They see the big tips and bonuses but miss other parts like club fees, rent, and the cost of upkeep with makeup and accessories. This is not always true.

The average stripper or exotic dancer in the United States makes about $21.84 each hour, according to PayScale — that’s if they go home at all! Yes, some nights, there might be more cash on hand than others, but it does not take away from the fact that every coin counts.

There’s also a huge gap between those starting out and pros in this line of work. If you’re new to being an ecdysiast (another name for a stripper), you will bring home around $19.83 as total pay for your time spent dancing provocatively on stage or providing private dances for clients who are willing to fork out a few extra dollars for your performance.

Tips and Bonuses

It’s no secret that tips and bonuses pump up a stripper’s income. Some nights, these extra earnings make all the difference! Customers may drop big bucks for an exciting dance or a dazzling smile.

It varies from customer to customer and club to club. Strippers use clever steps like amazing dances or fun talks to get more tips. But the amount you can take home isn’t just about your skills.

The rules of where you work and the people who come there also matter in how much you make in tips and bonuses as an exotic dancer.

Experience Level

The years you spend dancing matter a lot. Just like any job, the longer you do it, the more money you make. I’ve danced for three and a half years. Every day, I learn something new, which helps me earn more money.

But not all dancers stay that long. Some see this as a quick way to get money and leave after a few months or less than a year. They don’t earn much because they’re still learning the ropes of the job.

Each dancer has her own goals about how much she wants to earn and how long she plans to dance.

Gender Breakdown in Stripper/Exotic Dancer Pay

female vs male stripper

It’s no secret that the stripping industry is dominated by women, but what you may not know is how much of a gap there is in earning potential between the genders. Let’s break it down in a nifty little table for clarity.

Female StrippersMale Strippers
Percentage in the IndustryMajorityMinority
Average Pay (Hourly + Tips)Lower due to a smaller customer base and demandLower due to smaller customer base and demand
Opportunities for BonusesMore frequent due to higher demand and larger eventsLess frequent due to fewer events and lower demand

As we can see, being a female stripper tends to financially outperform being a male stripper. This, of course, has a lot to do with societal norms, preferences, and expectations. Not that the fellas can’t tear it up on the pole as well, but the market demand tends to lean more toward female dancers. It’s not all roses and sunshine, though, as this disparity comes with its own set of challenges and pressures for the ladies who rule the stage.

Ways for Strippers/Exotic Dancers to Increase Their Salary

Strippers and exotic dancers are always on the lookout to earn more money. Here are a few ways they can grow their earnings:

  1. Gain more experience in managing others: This could lead to promotions or roles that pay better.
  2. Switch employers: Some clubs might offer higher pay or better conditions.
  3. Earn advanced degrees: Having more education can open doors to higher-paying jobs in management or even outside the club scene.
  4. Agree to work longer shifts: If there’s a minimum earning amount of $500 for a four-hour shift, working an eight-hour shift may mean more cash.
  5. Choose your location wisely: A club in a busier city like New York can make you earn more than one in Kentucky.
  6. Build your physical strength and positive attitude: These traits can attract bigger tips from the audience.
  7. Polish your provocative dancing skills: The better dancer you are, the more private dances and stage performances you’ll book.
  8. Prepare and practice costumes and routines: Bringing excitement and enthusiasm to your audience boosts tips.


Stripping is a job that pays high sums. It has some sure costs though, like club fees and the cost to look nice each day. But, if done well and with good planning, it can lead to big paydays!




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I'm Crystal. I'm married to Dale, and mother to Johnny.Some might say that my life is perfect because I get to do all the cliché wife things like cooking, cleaning, and decorating - but there's more! I also have many hobbies including needlework (crochet), sewing, and reading. My son's education is important, so we homeschool him together.

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