GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

September 4, 2014

Las Vegas Weekly

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22 LasVegasWeekLy.com September 4–10, 2014 esident super- stars usually get a billboard on the I-15, but you don't see names like Peaches and Serenity next to Tiësto and Shania. You might see a strip- per's face on a club's marquee, but mostly it's her assets served up with about as much mystique as a meatball sandwich. Strippers are free agents, so seeking the Queen starts with knowing the best clubs. Of course that "best" is subjective, too. Maybe you're into the classic vibe and full nudity at the Palamino (established in '69, natch), the cozy Downtown environs of Glitter Gulch or the promise of meeting WWF alum The GodFather at Cheetahs. Dancers have their own preferences, so talent doesn't pool in just one place. I asked some patrons and industry types for their take on the hottest clubs in Vegas, and while it wasn't scientific or unani- mous, those mentioned most were Spearmint Rhino, Crazy Horse III and Sapphire. All three are big in branding and square footage, so you know you're seeing a lot of contenders. Refining the criteria for the Queen was harder. A friend who enjoys a good strip-club happy hour advised me that looks, tech- nique, charm and "manipulation abilities" are fundamentals, and that strippers fall into two cat- egories: pretty girl and hardcore performer. One looks good; one picks up a can of beer with her butt and pours it into your mouth. But the Queen would have to be both, right? Doesn't she have to be a knockout to get paid? "It is a fact that the girl earning the absolute most money almost every single night at every club is not the hottest girl there. She's not even in the top 50 percent as far as looks," says former Vegas stripper and Weekly blogger Justice. "The hottest girl is often on the other end of the earn- ing spectrum. Often, what accompanies a tremendous ego is the need to protect it. Insecurity prevents her from hustling, or attempting to close a sale with every potential customer, which is something you need to do to be the best." In Justice's view, strippers who revel in the stage perfor- mance are "missing the point of being at work." At best the stage is an advertisement, the hook for expensive one-on- one time. She says it brings real money in select spots in New York, Atlanta and Miami, but in Las Vegas it's not the thing. "If you observe top earners, most put on a minimal stage performance, just get it over with, if they don't skip it entirely." As independent contractors, strippers pay a fee to work at a club, and they can pay another to bypass the stage. It's a business strategy, as is building relation- ships with (and tipping) bouncers, VIP hosts and managers who'll steer big spenders their way. The goal is to get these clients in private rooms, where hundreds can stack up to thousands fast. That means the Queen might be someone most of us will never see. But Vegas is an everyman's playground. The ultimate stripper can't just be seen by visiting bil- lionaires and Floyd Mayweather. She has to be someone who loves to blow people's minds on the pole or dance for her own plea- sure. So I look in the spotlight. egs undulating like seaweed in current, the blonde grins and pretzels them behind her head to clack 8-inch heels on the stage. In a side room, applause breaks out for a heav- ily tatted woman hanging by one leg from the top of the pole. In punk fishnets, retro garter belts, leg warmers and the latest Victoria's Secret trappings, hot strippers swarm. That standard of beauty is a Spearmint Rhino signature, and it brought 24-year-old Dan Huber on a Saturday night, even though the rest of his bachelor party stayed at the hotel in deference to wives and girlfriends. Single and undeterred, the Coloradan took the free limo to the Rhino, on the recommendation of Spike TV's MANswers (which did the "math" and figures the club has 12,000 boobs in its arsenal). We're seated right off the main stage watching three danc- ers work. Their movement is mostly slow gyration, less about the pole than the fantasy of a woman on all fours. When their set ends they sweep tips together and make way for the next three girls. While I've seen a lot of pretty faces and hard bodies, nothing stands out. Then a heavy beat hits, and a toned brunette snaps her long spine and rolls her hips so deep as she winds around the pole, lock- ing eyes with patrons. This is not your typical air sex. It's graceful > beyond hotness "some of the biggest earners are not the prettiest girls. They know how to talk," says crazy Horse III VP of operations/gm keith Ragano. sydney has both going on.

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