12 Rules For Strip Club DJs (Part 1)

Published February 2020 in Exotic

I’m a big fan of cancel culture. As in, I really don’t think we should cancel anyone, but the culture that surrounds cancel culture makes for some great memes and interesting YouTube rabbit hole digging. It’s a lot like my appreciation for Slayer—themes of murder, genocide and holocausts are in no way good, but they’re entertaining as hell if consumed on a screen. This is how I found out about a guy named Jordan Peterson, who is either a transphobic, racist, sexist bigot who feeds on the blood of rescue kittens, or he’s a boring Canadian professor who writes books about cleaning your room and being nice to old people, depending on who you ask. I decided to do some research into the guy, and while the "controversy" surrounding the dude is of garden variety, the fact that his book, 12 Rules For Life, exists, is an anomaly. Basically, this edgelord convinced a bunch of 4Chan trolls to invest in a self-help guide that distills the most basic common sense into prophetic wisdom of the ancients. And, while I’d like to think that I’m not exactly a transphobic bigot hell-bent on "owning the libs," I do like the idea of making the mundane seem revolu tionary. So, I give you to, loyal reader, a two-part series designed for the strip club DJ. It is worth noting that all of this comes from experi ence and I am neither an expert nor a mentor—I am simply a guy who needed to fill some pages in a magazine.

1. Speak Legibly

This may be the most obvious thing that most aspiring dance command ers do better than the veterans. Like radio jockeys or event hosts, strip club DJs are employed mostly for their skills on the mic, with music taking a secondary role. And, while it is much, much easier to teach a person how to mix songs together on a laptop than it is to teach the art of using a microphone, many veteran DJs will end up engaging in what I like to call "mic vomit." This is where, instead of saying "this is where," I would type "thisisWhErEEEandthensaysomeotherSTUUFFF." If the dancer, bartender and door guy can’t understand what you’re saying, you can bet your tip jar that the drunk customers at the stage don’t have a clue, either. Keeping in mind that announcements should be frequent but brief, they also need to translate from "too much coffee in the DJ booth" to "passing out at the stage with a beer in hand." At the end of the day, good verbal skills on the mic can help put money on your dancers’ stages, some of which ends up in your pocket. Stop talking like a toothless toddler on cocaine.

2. Don’t Fuck The Dancers

Okay, you’ve already broken this rule, haven’t you? Well, let’s put this into perspective—dating in an office (like, one with cubicles full of salary slaves and cute calendars with kittens) is a bad idea. Having sex at the office Christmas party is also a bad idea. Having sex with the secretary while the boss is watching the camera is an even worse idea. Now, combine all these ideas into one and remove any sort of workplace protections or non-disclosure agreements, let everyone drink and make clothing optional. What the fuck do you think will happen? How do you think this will turn out??? Of course, it is much easier for both dancers and DJs to date each other than it is to attempt navigating the dating market ("Oh, so you work...in a strip club? Uhh...I forgot to pick up my cat from washing my hair because my cousin just came to town or something..."), dating bartenders ("Yeah, I’ll be off later tonight around noon...") or trying to remain celibate in a room full of hormones and booze. But, this is basically the first rule of Fight Club and I shouldn’t have to explain it. Don’t sin where you spin, folks. And, if you do, hide it like a tampon string under a blacklight.

3. Save Your Money

If you’ve ever wondered why you can rake in big bills, in cash, for doing what you love, but your wage-slave neighbor is always a few days ahead of you when it comes to rent and bills, that’s because their paycheck only comes every two weeks (if that) and these things called "tax dollars" are withheld for a yearly bonus. Put simply, your neighbor doesn’t have access to their money immediately after they earn it. You, on the other hand, finish up a DJ shift, head to the expensive after-hours spot, bounce to the equally expensive all-night diner and then hit the convenience store for the world’s most expensive snacks (and, if the person at the register is cool, purchase some expensive beer that has been marked up due to the illegal favor Beth from Stop ‘N’ Shop is doing for you). The next day, you rationalize spending a few hundred bucks on pot, because it was "just your ones" and then your car blows a transmission on your way to the only gig you have—one where you are required to find a fillin if you can’t make it in. Your fill-in isn’t out of bed, because it’s only 5:30pm, so you end up getting fired over the phone and stranded on the freeway...with an ounce, a six-pack and a few key bumps from the night before. In these situations, it is wise to have at least a few bucks in some thing called a "bank account." Look into one.

4. Keep Up On What The Kids Are Listening To

There is nothing more depressing than watching a barely legal girl try to twerk to the Nickelback that the over-the-hill fat guy in the flame strip collared shirt and fedora cap is bobbing his head to, while drinking an energy drink and sneaking vape hits, instead of looking up the latest Billboard charts to see what Tapioca would rather be dancing to. You’re supposed to be selling a fantasy, not used DVDs at a flea market—get with the times. Yeah, it sucks being white, 40 and trying to figure out what an A$AP Cardi is, but it will make you money (and possibly help you break Rule #2 in certain clubs). How do you go about this, you ask? That’s a great question, Guy From The Defunct F.M. Radio Station, I’m glad you asked.

I have three words for you, when it comes to finding out what is cool among Insta-THOTs and dude bruhs: Dutch Bros Coffee. At any given time, the Dutch Bros (and, yes, it’s "bros," not "bros." as in Mario Bros., i.e. short for "brothers") carts are blasting the latest twerk-until-your-daddisowns-you music. I learned about dubstep, trap music and drill rap from Caucasian girls whose names I cannot spell. And, the people who work these stands are constantly in a good mood (I’m pretty sure you get drug out behind the stand and shot for frowning if you work at Dutch Bros), so Chadrick or Syklarynneae will be glad to tell you what song they’re blasting, while they make sugar bombs for soccer moms.

5. Learn To EQ Your Board

If the above header is Greek to you, please quit your job as a DJ.

The E.Q. (equalizer) is what keeps the treble (hisses), bass (thumps) and mid-range (think of the hum-sounding or the loud-but-not-screeching tones) in order. I can’t tell you how many times I have "fixed" a club’s mixer by zeroing out the board. What’s zeroing out the board? To translate, the board is that thing with all the volume levels, and zero does not actually mean "zero" as in low volume, but rather, those circular knobs that go from left to right (negative values to positive values) are all set to the default zero. What’s a default? Well, the one knob that says "gain" is kind of like volume, but it’s actually more density (the volume before the volume) and default is at the same place noon occurs on a wall clock. What’s a wall clock, you ask? Well, it’s a way to tell time using two little lines that... oh, forget it. The point is, keep literally everything that isn’t volume in the middle. There’s often a little rut or a half-slot, that feels like a bump or a click when you set your highs, mids and lows (as well as your gains) to zero. Find it and pretend it’s the clitoris...wait, are you serious? Okay, the clitoris is a rare Pokemon and you’re never going to find it. Give up and K.Y.S., Zoomer. Put simply, a DJ who cannot EQ is like a stripper who can’t pole dance. And, yes, there are dozens and dozens of them who are famous and making lots of money, so just forget this rule and pretend it’s supposed to sound like that.

6. Keep Your Day Job

It is extremely, unusually, shockingly easy to burn out on a gig that involves naked women handing you piles of cash for playing music you like.

You know those stories about how lottery winners blow most of their earnings and end up back in the trailer park, in less time than it took to scratch the winning ticket? Well, that’s because people who have never had money don’t know how to have money. Broke or rich, if your day-to-day involves sitting on your ass and waiting for cash to roll in (which is what most strip club DJs do during their days off), you will not appreciate it. I quit DJing for five years or so and have recently returned for two nights a week at [I don’t want to put myself on the map, but it involves steak and I’ll waive your cover if I’m working and you tip the dancers—just drop my name], but I’m only able to retain my sanity because I kept my day job.

This provides income, as well as perspective. As for the former, there are slow months and off-seasons in every tip-based economy. To the idea of perspective, if your day-to-day is spent smoking weed and playing video games, the thought of having to drive "all the way to the strip club to spend six long hours doing favors for demanding women" might not sound like a good time. But, if you’re up before the sun on a Monday morning, doing code and graphics for corporate types who "would really appreciate it if you took down some of your social media posts," the club gig becomes a vacation, the dancers become angels who can do no wrong and your wallet stays at least half-full for the better part of your week.

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