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Four Presidential Candidates Walk Into a Strip Club...

Presidential races should be relegated to a strict discussion of policy, not hypothetical character studies. But since Hillary charges $2,700 for a selfie, Trump is a walking subreddit comment section, Cruz is the Zodiac killer and Birdie Sanders is a Disney princess, this POTUS race really couldn’t be any more outlandish.

Ah, the hustle. Except for stripping, there’s no grind quite like a political race. Consider the parallels: each candidate is vying to seem most attractive and secure the most monetary donations. Televised debates seem to have as much shouting as dressing room squabbles.

Since strippers study strangers every shift, I put my hustler’s eye on the last four contenders for Election 2016. Here’s what my stripper profiling says about your favorite caricature, um, candidate.

Donald Trump: The Nightmare Customer.

That loudmouth in a suit, waving a one dollar bill at me? That’s Donald Trump. This breed of client displays every red flag behavior that indicates a psychopathic xenophobe. Within fifteen minutes, the Nightmare Customer will break a litany of rules against the establishment, and against humanity.

He arrives in a limo, which means that he probably spent all of his money on the suit he’s wearing and the limo itself. Or he’s the guy double parked, or in a handicapped space. He nervously adjusts his hair while walking past the ATM, and he slaps the ass of the cocktail waitress before ordering a drink.

When the bouncer warns the Nightmare to keep his hands to himself, he proclaims loudly, "Oh, I know the owner. They know me here. Everybody loves me." He’s not interested in conversation, but he will mansplain everything and anything, even when it’s apparent that he has no idea what he’s talking about. Besides having a total lack of empathy for other human beings, patrons like he tend complain a lot, and feel entitled to everything and everyone.

Donald Trump would be an awful client: he's entitled, has a hair-trigger temper, brags about his money but isn't generous, and looks like the guy who would let his tiny hands "accidentally" grope me.

Expect to Hear:

"You have children, I can tell. You have a stretch mark on your hip, and I know a lot of about women’s bodies."
"You’re really beautiful, you remind me of my daughter."
"I own a big company, everybody is really lucky to work for me and I’m a great boss."
"Can you play some Ted Nugent? I hate rap music."

Hillary Clinton: Fauxminist Non-Customer

Stripper gals, you know the type. The "woman in the strip club", who feels that her presence is making a statement even though she wears a mask of disdain for all of the working girls. The second-wave feminist is self-serving, and doesn’t respect women’s right to bare their bodies for money, or for fun.

She fancies herself an independent gal, although she’s married and wealthy. She was only pro-choice and supportive of gay marriage within the last decade, because she read on Tumblr that it’s cool to be an ally.

If she’s out with her gal pals, expect the Fauxminist Non Customer to smile when you walk past, and then talk into their hands, and not tip you. If you want to crack her facade, inform her that not supporting working women is totally exploitative and so-not-intersectional.

Expect to Hear:

"Oh, I have a vagina too, so I don’t need to tip you."
"I’m not like those horny guys in here, I appreciate women."
"I’m not kidding, Maddi, I could totally be a stripper if I wanted."
"I just come here to appreciate the art of pole dance, I’m thinking of taking a class."
"Do you have any Pretenders? Chrissie Hynde is such a role model.

Bernie Sanders: The Intellectual Loner

Bernie is like so many of my preferred clients; easily overlooked because he’s unkempt, and elderly, and seemingly eccentric.

This type of customer comes in when he knows that his favorite gal is working. He has allotted the amount of money that he will spend, and he likes to have a bit of intellectual conversation during the visit. He wants you to know that he values your time, and will promptly produce small tips, without flourish.

In terms of risk v reward, he’s not a big-money customer, but he’s also what strippers like to call a "safe regular". You know that he’ll give you no trouble, even if he’s endearingly neurotic and awkward.

Expect to Hear:

"You gals just work so hard, I appreciate your time and thank you."
"You’re just such an intelligent woman, and I expect you’ll go far."
"Go ahead and work, dear, I’ll be ready for five dances whenever you are."
"...but I must leave by 11 p.m, I have an early meeting in the morning."

I’ll play Run the Jewels, and he’ll discuss police profiling and racial inequality. Sure, he’s frumpy, tells dad jokes and his breath smells like scotch and his coat jacket smells like mothballs. But he’s pleasant, and always welcome in the club.

Ted Cruz: Sweatpants Humper

Strippers, you know what I mean. That customer that, within moments of talking, you are almost certain is a serial killer. There’s something you just can’t pinpoint, but it’s there. An unnaturalness. He’s clothed in sweatpants, a polo sweater, and a baseball cap, but his awkwardness radiates further than one of his painful looking smiles. Like Nightmare Customer, he loves to talk, and he hates to listen, so you’ll do better with this guy if you ask him a question about himself and let him ramble. These ramblings will be punctuated by faltering chuckles. He’s well-educated, wealthy, and insecure about the fact that he’s never in his life given a woman an orgasm, so he’ll attempt to control the interaction by passively insulting the strippers.

Expect to Hear:

"If you ever go to college, you’ll see how fun dorms can be."
"If I was your President, you wouldn’t have to work in a place like this."
"Would you like a sip of my Coors? It’s Lite, so you won’t get fat."
"I think that God intended us to meet here, so that I could remind you of your worth."
"Do you have any Creed?"

He’s worth hustling if you can keep him focused and get him in the dance room before he loses his nerve and decides to just jerk off in the bathroom instead.

The quality of someone’s character is reflected by how they treat people who differ from themselves, and unlicensed social scientists such as strippers tend to get a pretty good feel for strangers. Pun intended. How people behave in strip clubs belies how much respect they have for people who are typically discriminated against. And if you don’t think strippers are subject to horrific stigma, read the some of the comments, below.

The microcosm of a strip club includes all of the facets of society that one such candidate should have experience navigating. A good patron (and president) has an awareness of social mores, a willingness to communicate, a kind heart and wise monetary distribution plan. If you’re still reading this, don’t be mad, I’m only half serious.

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