I received an excellent question from Katrina, one of my blog readers, in my ‘Ask Shy a Question’ page and wanted to share my thoughts on the subject with you. The question was:

“The biggest problem I run into dancing is how to deal with the guys that are basically there to ask you out. It seems like the majority of them try. What is a better response than “I don’t date customers” or “it’s against club rules” that you can use to be polite and not piss off potential clients? Thank you! :)

A common situation that exotic dancers find themselves in when working is when they have to figure out how to let a customer know they aren’t interested in dating or going home with them, yet still keeping them interested in spending money.

Although there isn’t a magic phrase that can accomplish both not hurting their feelings and also ensuring that you’ll continue to get cash from your customer, the main thing to focus on is the point you’re trying to make –you’re not going to date or go home with him.

The type of customer who’s there to ask dancers out rather than enjoy the customer/dancer relationship, as it was meant to be, is generally a short term customer. He’s there to find a one night stand or girlfriend and isn’t necessarily interested in spending money at the tip rail or on private dances. I discuss this and other types of customers and how to deal with them in chapter 10 of “How To Be A Stripper: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know But Were Too Afraid To Ask.”

I’ve found that being honest, even though it might hurt his feelings, is the best way to handle the situation. Katrina’s responses are not only direct, but honest and I think they are both great ways of getting the point across. However, because I was asked to give a ‘better response,’ I think the best way to word your ‘let down’ is to say something along the lines of, “Awww, that’s so sweet of you to ask me out. I’m very flattered and if we had met under different circumstances things might have been different. I treat my job very seriously and have a rule that I don’t date customers or people I’ve met at the club. I’m sorry!”  If he asks you to break your rules, just say, “I’m sorry, I can’t do that. You can still enjoy my company at the club but I just can’t take it further than that.”

It’s very important that dancers create boundaries and make rules to follow. Usually guys accept and appreciate your honesty and are grateful that you didn’t string them along for weeks on end before telling them that nothing is going to happen outside the club.

Here are a few things to consider:

* Although you run the risk of hurting his feelings and losing potential future cash flow, it’s important that he understands that he’s not getting anything other than a dancer/customer relationship with you. This can work to your advantage in several ways: (1) Unless he’s a total douche bag, he’ll respect that you take your job seriously and are setting clear boundaries for yourself, (2) your comment shows him that if he wants to continue ‘seeing’ you at the club, that he’ll have to spend money on you like everybody else.

* If he decides that he’d rather move on and try his luck with another dancer, then he wasn’t worth your time. This just proves that even if his feelings got hurt with your ‘let down,’ he wasn’t going to be a future customer anyway.

* Consider that the guy asking you out might be trying to solicit some form of prostitution from you. What if he’s an undercover officer?

Keep your ‘business hat’ on while working and allow yourself to be selective with whom you do business with. There is virtually an endless supply of customers who’ll visit your club, so whether you get your next dance from Joe Schmoe or John Doe, the money will come. This balancing act can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that although being brutally honest may drive some customers away, it won’t drive them all away.

How to be a stripper – a how to guide for strippers