The Rules of Hustling as a Stripper (as told by Miko Dai)

Miko’s Dai-ary is a new column which reveals the interesting underbelly of the sex industry as told from the eyes of a former Asian American porn star. Follow Miko Dai at @mikodaixxx

I started stripping at a local strip club in Atlanta when I was 20, during my junior year at Emory. At first, my twenty year old self was like—What??? $10 a dance and all I have to do is wiggle my tits and ass in front of your face for the length of a Drake song? Say what else?? You want me to give you five dances and then go to the VIP room where I make $300 for half an hour and all you really do is dry hump me? That’s like, $350 an hour! I’m hot and I’m rich bitch! And you’re a sucker for giving me all this money!  I’VE HACKED THE GODDAMN UNIVERSE!

Kind of see where this is headed? But it wasn’t that simple. Lynx, my first mentor in the sex industry made that very clear.

“It’s a game. You are the dungeonmaster. You decide when it ends.” Those were Lynx’s last words to me before she walked out the door of the Purple Pony.  It was 8 p.m. and I had just finished on my 10th shift at the Purple Pony:  it was her last.  Maybe that’s why she was so willing to mentor and teach me that past week—because she knew that after that night, there would no longer be a conflict of interest. As I watched her walk through the Pony’s wood paneled doors, I got a weird, achy feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Miko Dai

Here’s what I look like…

Lynx was a petite, 5’2,  half white/half Asian love goddess. She was 28, but looked 19. Unlike the other girls at the club who shone orange under the fluorescent black lights, Lynx glowed milky white. She smoked menthol Parliament cigarettes, but there were no lines around her lips, or anywhere else on her face for that matter. I once asked her what face cream she used and she replied, “Semen facials” – I remember searching her face for some indication that she was joking, but all I could see were pursed lips and twinkly eyes.

I followed her around like a puppy for my first few shifts and watched her wallet-fuck lonely man, after lonely man. Her day-shift hustle—she would explain to me—involved more than just “pussy poppin and pole tricks”.  The objective of the game was simple: to get as much money as possible, preferably by doing as little work as possible. The rules were a little more complicated. After each shift, I would go home and write down notes about the “day shift hustle”. They are as follows:

  1. Tip the housemom at least 5 even on bad days—she’s an imperative ally, as she handles the schedules, dance rotation, and all the other “behind the scenes” stripper stuff.
  2. Always order a drink if offered—make sure the cocktail waitress knows to make yours virgin—you can usually signal her by ordering the “Purple Pony Special”.
  3. 15 minute rule—It should only take 15 minutes to build up proper rapport with the day time crowd, so it shouldn’t take longer than roughly 3 and a half songs to bring up a lap dance or VIP. Don’t lose track of the time and if a client passes on the offer- smile and tell them to find you if they change their mind. On to the next person.
  4. ALWAYS sit with the Asian business men. Asian men get drunk pretty quickly and they are more willing to spend money once they’re liquored up. Asian men also have a complex about outspending their colleagues, so it’s always nice to have a bidding war going on over you. Once their faces start turning red, it’s probably safe to call them “Oppa” (a Korean term of endearment- “big brother”) and start the money milking process. This rule may be an exception for Rule  3.
  5. NO FRAT BROs- they are cheap, and think that they can walk into a strip club and based on their unassuming Aryan looks, pull strippers without paying. “Bitch this ain’t Eharmony”—one of the funnier things Lynx said.
  6. Don’t be a prude. Always try to upsell in the VIP room… with sexual favors—the guy is obviously going to want to get handsy, which is the perfect opportunity to dry hump his cock, let him feel up your tits, and just as he’s about to slip a finger in, stop him and say—“Sorry babe, that’s extra”. Chances are he’ll pay. If he doesn’t, excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, let the security know on the way out that the guy is getting handsy and have him relocate you guys to a VIP room right next to the front door where security stands. The guy won’t have the balls to bother you with touchy feely shit.
  7. If client wants sexual favors in the back, have a waitress stand by the doorway and keep watch for security. The client tips an extra hundred to the waitress at the end of the session.
  8.  Get to know the drug dealers that hang out at the club—especially if working a night shift. VIP clients are exponentially more likely to renew the VIP room after insuffalating quality cocaine. Also, it gives the guy coke dick, so you end up playing with a flaccid penis for like 20 mins and then he says fuck it, let’s order another bottle of champagne and “talk”. I fucking love those nights.
  9. Fuck Dennis the manager. Apparently it’s quite beneficial to be on his good side as well.
  10. Don’t fall in love.

I remember chuckling at Lynx when she brought up the last rule.

“That’s a given, don’t you think?” I said, between puffs of a Newport.

“It’s easier than you think to lose control in a client/companion relationship. Try to think of it as a game. I mean, that’s what it is.” Lynx’s voice was calm as she  packed the rest of her belongings.

“Ooooo client/companion—that’s a euphamism for calling yourself a whore,” I taunted back at her. I was bickering with her on purpose, because I knew in a few moments she would walk out the door and I’d never see her again.

Lynx looked at me with twinkly eyes and crinkled lips and lifted her arms up to hug me. I put down my Newport and received her embrace. I closed my eyes and breathed in as deep as I could—she smelled of honeysuckle, gummy bears, and stale smoke.

Right before I let go I whispered in her ear, “When does the game end?”

Lynx pulled back and looked me in the eyes. Even though she was shorter than me by about a head, she reached up and hooked my chin upward with her index knuckle—a symbolic gesture telling me to hold my head high, I suppose.

“It is a game. You are the dugeonmaster. You decide when it ends.”

And she left. I never saw or heard from her again. My life continued—business as usual—after Lynx’s departure and I adapted to working in the sex industry quickly. As I worked my way “up the hoe ladder.” strip club hustling became a cake walk. However, I applied the same mentality to all my hustles—escorting, bachelor parties, madaming, porn–

It is a game. I am dungeonmaster. It ends when I say it does.

See more Miko Dai at







Written by Miko Dai