How much do male strip dancers make a year

11 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Male Stripper

Magic Mike brought the world of male stripping to the big screen, but the job requires a lot more hard work than memorizing a few minutes of sexy choreo. For starters, you have to hustle to get hours—most male strippers freelance, hopping from club to club to make coin. Befriending clients is key for raking in tips, so flexing your personality can be just as important as flexing your biceps. And while having people fawn over you makes you feel pretty damn hot, sleeping with clients is completely off the table. Some nights you’ll be showered in cash, but don’t expect every customer to make it rain.

If you’re curious to know what it takes to become professional dancing hunk, look no further: Axl Reigns and Zackery Cross are here to give Cosmo the scoop. Hailing from Texas, Reigns worked as a dancer at LaBare Dallas, the first ladies-only male strip club and bachelorette party destination for celebs like Jessica Simpson and Anna Nicole Smith. From Las Vegas to New Orleans, Cross has performed at clubs across the U.S., including popular male revues like Kings of Hustler and Men of Vegas Live. Below, find their top tips for aspiring male strippers.

You're probably not the whole package, but you're going to have to become the whole package—fast.

Everyone deals with their own challenges and insecurities. "I didn't have a background in dancing at all. So I struggled a little bit," says Reigns. While some male strippers pump iron to attain the shape that they want, others might have to adjust their diets. According to Reigns, it also requires a certain disposition. "I didn't really have the personality to be a [stripper] at the start," explains Reigns. "I had to create a persona that was more of an entertainer."

Your personality is (almost) as important as your body.

As a stripper, getting immediate feedback is pretty simple: Just look at how much money you make. If you're doing something wrong, your income will suffer. "It's a very powerful motivation," says Reigns. "If you're shy, you say, 'Okay, what are the subjects that women would want to talk about and how can I learn about these subjects to carry on a conversation?'" A self-proclaimed introvert, Reigns admits he had to learn to be a little more social. "I had to loosen up a bit, and it was great. Working as a male dancer allowed me to flourish into somebody who I enjoyed being, versus someone who wasn't as socially comfortable very easily."

Most male strippers are independent contractors.

Unless you want to perform exclusively at private house parties, working independently for multiple clubs is the best way to maximize your income. Some independent contractors, like Cross, are even willing to travel for the right job. “We'll fly places, driving, whatever it takes,” he explains. Cross and his colleagues pick locations based on seasonal demand. For example, Vegas is an ideal “summer city” for bachelorettes, while Florida is the place to be in the spring and fall. Working for a touring company is another deal entirely—strippers for popular troupes like Chippendales or Thunder from Down Under don’t make any tips at all. “You’re an employee, so you get a salary,” says Cross.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Magic Mike Live (@magicmikelive)

You have to audition to get work.

Strippers, regardless of their gender identity, have to audition for a club before taking the stage. Club managers assess dancers not only on their rhythm, but also on their physiques—some places even have height requirements (we’re talking 6 feet and up, only). Muscles also factor into the equation, so Cross and Reigns recommend bulking up where you can.

Stripping at certain clubs will cost you.

Depending on where you work, you may have to cough up a house fee in order to perform. Make sure you have some extra cash on you so you can spot the club $40 to $50, and heads-up: This fee can be larger if you show up late. Some house fees are percentages taken out of what you make each night, meaning you could have to hand over 30% of your earnings to the club in order to use their space. On the bright side though, selling VIP dances can be lucrative: Cross says he charges $400 or $500 per customer.

Stripping isn't easy money.

"There's less of a demand for [male strippers]," warns Cross. He estimates that women can earn up to $500 a night when they're just starting out, whereas guys might make $300 to $400 a week for the first few months. It all depends on the market you're in.

Building relationships with potential clients is vital for ensuring you never have a slow night, advises Reigns. "If there aren't a lot of girls there and I'm not making a lot of money, I know I could be making more," he says. "I could have called people and said, 'Hey, why don't you come in and see me?' or I could have cultivated a relationship with different people who would continually come in and support me."

You might have to work multiple jobs.

Which is honestly not that uncommon—according to the Census Bureau, about 13 million U.S. workers have more than one job. On top of being a dancer, Reigns is an author, model, and an actor. "We have a lot of guys who will personally train girls," he says. "Guys will give them discounted time if they come see the shows. It's another job, but it's also good for getting clients."

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Magic Mike Live (@magicmikelive)

You can't try to please every person in the club.

You're not going to be everyone's type, and that's okay. Don't get discouraged if you're not getting attention from the client you want, and instead channel that energy into someone else. "If a woman doesn't like me best," says Reigns, "then it's not even worth wasting my time because no matter what I do, she will still like that other guy more than me." That's why Reigns recommends finding your niche, and sticking to it. "I usually cater to an older crowd," he says. Adds Cross, "If you're good to customers and you're confident, things are gonna go well for you."

You better make friends with the other guys—they're not the competition.

It's easy to feel like you're competing for tips, but befriending your co-workers is key for attracting customers. Everyone has a different type, so if your buddy at work finds a client who's into you, he'll hook you up.

Of course, some will try to steal your clients.

Not every guy will try to step on your toes, but sometimes things can get cutthroat. "You'll be texting a girl to come by, but then another guy will be like, 'Let's grab dinner before work,'" explains Reigns. "Then, she's going to come in and get some dances from him, not you, and there goes your money."

Don't sleep with your clients.

While becoming a stripper might seem like a solid way to meet potential hookups, in reality, you're there to do your job, not collect phone numbers. Some clients might mistake your attention for affection, so remaining professional at all times is a must. "I don't want someone to believe there is a romantic relationship between us when there's not," Reigns cautions.

Hannah Malach Assistant Producer Hannah Malach is an Assistant Producer at Hearst Magazines, where she covers entertainment news, the royals, and more for brands including Cosmopolitan, Elle, and Harper's Bazaar.

Here's How Much Strippers Actually Make

  • The amount of money a stripper makes on any given night is unpredictable and influenced by factors ranging from the weather and the economy to a dancer's mood and costume.
  • One dancer who was working on New Year's Eve received $500 for talking to a man about neuroscience for 20 minutes.
  • Another dancer said it's possible for strippers to lose money in a night if they can't cover their tip out and house fee.

The number one thing that dancers like about stripping is the money. Most women expressed that, at least in the beginning, to be given rolls of cash for making conversation, drinking freely, and giving the occasional private dance was very exciting.

For many dancers, like Laura, who is 19 years old, money made from stripping also allowed them much needed financial security, and the means to provide some luxuries for their children. Laura said:

I have a little boy and I’m married. It's helped our life a lot because financially speaking — I moved out when I was 16, had my little boy at 15. Financially, I was making $7.25-an-hour and things were hard. Whereas now, in two weeks I'm doing a big haunted house for all the kids in the neighborhood. I've put thousands of dollars into it just for the kids, and we're still okay. So we’re able to relax a little more. Things aren’t as stressful outside of here. Birthday parties, Christmas, wanting to just go to the zoo, or do something — that's a possibility now, and it's really not that hard for me to achieve because our work is so flexible and we can work as much as we want. So I can just work an extra night and these things are possible.

Some of the women I interviewed also shared stories of men who gave them a large sum of money without expecting any sexual favors in exchange.

These experiences are important to dancers not only because it is gratifying to receive a gift of money but also because they reaffirm the woman's belief in the generosity of some clients. Dana's story is typical of these lucrative encounters with clients:


I had a really good customer come in, a younger guy, and I totally didn't trust him either. He always wanted to go out, and I thought he was married. I still wonder to this day if he was married. But he came in, and on my birthday last year he brought in seven or eight hundred dollars: here you go, no strings attached, no anything. I thought that was really neat. Most of them are just like that, people just being nice. An older guy — he was a car dealer — he came in around Christmas time, and I sat with him for a little bit, and he asked me what I bought for my daughter. And I said I hadn’t bought her anything yet. I wasn't able to. And he said, "You need to get that baby something, here," and he slaps two hundred dollars on the table. "Tell her this is from me." And I had just met the guy. So it’s just people who do nice things out of the blue, out the ordinary. I know it’s money things, but it's just the thought that went behind it giving you the money.

Some dancers have encountered customers who come to strip clubs not expecting dances in return for their money. via Before The Door Pictures

Recently single, and working on New Year's Eve, April was feeling a little blue until she danced for a generous customer:

I was single and I was kind of depressed. He comes in and we go up to the VIP room. We’re up there twenty minutes, and he has to leave because he’s having a New Year’s Eve party, and he gives me $500. So that was pretty cool. That doesn’t happen as much as people think—20 minutes of work—$500. And I didn’t do anything. I was a neurology major at the time, and we were talking about the structure of the brain while I was dancing for him, and it was really weird. It was actually the least sexual dance I’d ever done. We were sitting there talking about serotonin levels and dopamine levels and neurons and the limbic system, the temporal lobe, the parietal lobe, all this stuff. I’m sitting here dancing for him, and he just gives me $500 and leaves.

Like Dana, April appreciated that this customer recognized her as a person and, in her case, as an intelligent woman, in addition to giving her a large gift of cash.

The desire for money, the need for money, and the impact of money on dancers' lives cannot be overestimated. But, as April’s reflections indicate, the meaning of money for dancers goes beyond its purchasing power. It may signify, as it did for Dana, that a customer appreciates and can empathize with her struggles.

At the same time, the amount of money a woman makes on any given night is unpredictable, and influenced by uncontrollable factors like the weather, the economy, the time of the month, and the number of other performers working, as well as elements under a dancer’s control, like her mood and costume.

Beverly, who is 24 years old, has made as much as $500 and as little as $3 in a shift. Beverly also described nail-bitingly stressful days when she made no money at all for four hours and then, at the very end of the night (1:30 a.m.) collected $250 from last-minute table dances.

Stacy, who is 32 years old, wonders how girls working day shifts even survive. She said, "I’ve seen day shifts where we've had one guy come in here and buy one dance." It’s particularly distressing for a dancer to leave work owing money if she does not earn enough to cover tip-out and her house fee.

Jenny Cheng/INSIDER

STRIPPED is an INSIDER series featuring adapted excerpts from the book "Stripped: More Stories from Exotic Dancers" by Bernadette Barton. Bernadette Barton is an author and Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Morehead State University. To read more from "Stripped: More Stories from Exotic Dancers" you can purchase the book here.

Sign up here to get INSIDER's favorite stories straight to your inbox.

90,000 Stripper wages in America. Salary and tips


There are a lot of clubs in the USA where strippers dance. This is not the highest paid profession in the state, but some girls earn very well. It should be understood that the country has a very well established tax collection system. This process has been worked out almost to the ideal, so not a single stripper in an interview admits how much she actually receives. Information about the official salary, of course, is available, but information about tips, which can form a significant proportion of the funds received for a shift, is rather vague.

How to become a stripper

There are no specialized educational institutions where you can get a profession of a stripper in the USA. Pretty young girls aged 18-25 have a high chance of getting a place as a stripper in one of the country's clubs. Naturally, any employer evaluates a candidate according to the following criteria:

  • external data (figure, beauty, etc.), which must be at the level;
  • ability to dance and move beautifully;
  • knowledge of elementary acrobatic numbers is an additional plus;
  • sociability and emancipation in communication.

The ability to attract not only by appearance, but also by other advantages is only welcome. However, one must understand that respectable striptease clubs are not a brothel, therefore, it is impossible to cross the line of decency when applying for a job. By the way, you can find a place for a stripper by an ad on specialized sites, but there are practically no worthy vacancies. It is much more efficient to search through friends or on your own - just by visiting strip clubs and offering your services.

The average salary of a stripper

The range of the official average salary of a stripper in the US is quite large. It is 20-40 dollars per hour (43,000-68,000 per year). The median level is $50,000 per year. However, some girls with experience working in elite strip clubs can receive up to $100 an hour, and their annual earnings are comparable to those of representatives of prestigious professions. Tips should be mentioned separately, as sometimes they make up the bulk of the money earned.

An experienced stripper who worked in Atlanta reported that she was paid $34-$50 per shift (6 hours). However, sometimes I had to work 2 shifts in a row. In this case, the hourly rate doubled. In this club, the main income of the girls was tips - at least $ 400 per shift. There were days/nights when the stripper went home with $1,500 in her pocket. At the same time, the rules of the institution provided that 10% of the tip amount had to be paid to the club's cash desk.

Average earnings of strippers in expensive states and cities

In fact, the difference in earnings of strippers in cheap and expensive states may not be significant, since to a greater extent it depends on the place of work, traffic in the club and the experience of the girls. However, there is a difference. Below is information about the average salary range in some expensive cities and states in the country (October 2021).

Official salary without tips


In these and other expensive US cities, experienced girls can earn much more. In particular, dancing at closed parties and other events.

Average earnings of strippers in low-cost states and cities

Traditionally, the southern states of the country are considered less wealthy. Accordingly, in them, representatives of any profession, including strippers, earn a little less, but the difference with expensive states is not critical. $20-$32 $41,700 -
$61,700 $50,560

Naturally, even in relatively inexpensive states, there are strippers who earn much more, but none of them really make much more because of their high incomes taxes prescribed by the laws of the state.

Share with friends:

Belarusian strip industry: not only girls in the show | My salary in Belarus

Belarusian strip industry: not only girls in the show found out what kind of income "artists of the original genre" can expect, what attracts domestic dancers to work abroad, and how much money needs to be spent to make a high-quality show. found out what kind of income "artists of the original genre" can expect, what attracts domestic dancers to work abroad, and how much money needs to be spent to make a quality show. found out what kind of income "artists of the original genre" can expect, what attracts domestic dancers to work abroad, and how much money needs to be spent to make a quality show.

Work in the strip industry is considered to be predominantly female. However, there are many - including in Belarus - among the representatives of the profession of a stripper and men. met with strippers and their employers and found out how things are in the Belarusian world of male striptease.

Dancers for image, not income

Aleksey Ksenevich, art director of one of the Minsk clubs, confesses:

A neighbor bought a new car, but you can't afford it?
Fill out the Job Questionnaire and find out what salary you can expect according to your qualifications.

- I keep guys in our club just for the image. There is no income from them. Although there are many calls: women order dancers for birthdays, bachelorette parties. Many of our regular customers bring their wives or girlfriends here. But female striptease brings much more profit.

Lack of financial benefits is the main reason why even in Minsk clubs offering male erotic shows can be counted on the fingers.

Doing striptease because of the lack of female attention

Nevertheless, there are men in Belarus who dance at a high European level, and there are many who aspire to get into the strip industry, despite all the difficulties that such a career promises.

What attracts guys to the club scene - a professional stripper who wants to introduce himself as Alexander shares details:

- Some people just do dancing at first, and then, wanting to open new horizons, try themselves in a more frank genre, someone comes to striptease just for lack of money. Some men, oddly enough, begin to perform erotic dances due to the fact that in ordinary life women underestimate them. These guys enjoy the effect they have on the audience: you come, you dance, and you are wanted.

A thousand dollars a day for ballet

Another representative of the profession, Viktor Artyomov, speaks about the illiterate organization of business in the Belarusian strip industry.

Victor is one of the members of the Candy MEN team, showing a show with striptease elements. The team was created back in the early 1990s, and today the performers have 13 performances in their arsenal (by the way, it can take a whole year to prepare one high-quality production). According to the artists from Candy MEN, they were the first Belarusian strippers to receive an invitation to work abroad.

- The club may not allocate any money for the show at all, says the dancer. - In Minsk, there is still one institution that spends about a thousand dollars a day on the maintenance of the ballet. They keep the brand. And this is the right decision. Although they have not only ballet, but also musicians and guest artists - this is the policy of the club. And people go to them to rest. But, unfortunately, in general, this is not accepted in Belarusian clubs.

For income - abroad

Victor no longer hopes for a serious income at home:

– Costumes for performances are made to order. Clothing costs range from $100 to $1,000. For example, we have a very expensive number "Gangsters". Special props were purchased for him - copies of machine guns, hats - a special hall was rented, where we prepared. In our business, it is very important to find a special edge in order to please the public. After all, if the viewer does not like the show, he will no longer visit it.

There are also some problems with profitability. In principle, the number may not pay off at all. Although, if you have experience, you can earn money from travel. We work a lot abroad, and this is the only thing that saves us. Our team has already visited Germany, Poland, Finland, Israel. Performances in other countries can fetch between $100 and $5,000, depending on the number. For extreme incredible shows, of course, they pay much more.

According to the laws of show business

A dancer who is looking for a job often faces the need for PR. Today, striptease is a common activity, and effective means are needed in order to impress the employer.

– Promotion plays a huge role in our profession, Alexander agrees. - After all, if no one knows you, then no one will order. The specificity of the Belarusian striptease is that here you need to promote yourself well.

But art director Alexei Ksenevich does not favor dancers who have achieved fame in professional circles:

– I've never had to hire strippers with any reputation, and I don't want to. Anyway, they do not have their own audience: in our country, people go to the club, and not to the name.

Investing in beauty

To be truly in demand, a stripper needs to constantly keep himself in shape. Appearance care includes a visit to the gym (at least three times a week), special sports nutrition, tanning sessions and some beauty treatments.

- Many club goers smoke, and the skin suffers greatly from the smoke. Therefore, you have to constantly use some kind of creams, lotions, baths ... If a person wants to do striptease for a long time, then he simply must carefully monitor himself. Young guys are usually frivolous about this issue, but for the time being, says Victor Artemov.

How much do strippers earn in Belarus?

Artists of the original genre

Viktor Artemov explains:

– There are club workers, and there are free dancers performing in show programs. I can say that the show program is more powerful than individual performances. It implies a larger stage, a wider audience, and therefore higher earnings.

– We always conclude official contracts with our employees, - adds Alexey Ksenevich. - This includes a full social package, payment for vacation, sick leave, an entry is made in the work book - "artist of the original genre." Therefore, the income of strippers is mainly official. Although, of course, some clients encourage them privately.

Lateness - a fine

In addition to the reward system, the clubs also have a system of fines.

- This is a necessary measure.

Learn more