When you are planning a long trip overseas under a Working Holiday visa, a lot of questions might arise and maybe the most important one is which job are you going to do. You’ve heard a lot of stories from other backpackers and how they worked hard picking kiwis in farms, cleaning toilets, working in hostels or taking their clothes off in front of strangers.
When I was travelling in New Zealand, I stayed for a while in a hostel in Auckland, just next to a strip club. There were 3 or 4 girls on my floor that always disappeared at night and I wander what did they do during those hours. Some of them were pretty open to talk about it. There was an English girl, very skinny and petit that you would never imagine that she worked as a stripper, but she did and I heard she was very good at it.
All these girls were travelling with a Working Holiday Visa and all of them worked as strippers to afford their trip or to save money. La Vida Nomade is a blog that explores different ways to travel around the world and being a stripper in New Zealand is one of them. I’m not here to judge since we are talking about a legal job that doesn’t hurt anybody. A cool girl that could be your girlfriend or you neighbour told me how she turned into Lola —her stage name and the one I will use in this article— to dance under the lights of a kiwi strip club.
01 | Why did you decide to work as a stripper in New Zealand?
I was sharing a flat with a girl that worked as a stripper and I needed money fast before my Working Holiday visa was over. I asked her how it was and after seriously thinking about it, I decided to give it a shot. How hard could it be to get naked in front of a bunch of people? It’s not that difficult, and the lights and the high heels definitely help a lot.
02 | How much money did you make?
Everything depends on how the night goes and how many hours you work a week. My minimum target was NZ $500 a night and the maximum I made in one night was NZ $2700*. But it also depends on the person. Generally speaking the travel girls did more money because they had a different type of motivation.
(*) At the moment of this edition, 1 NZD = USD $0,66.
03 | Did you even feel insecure with your body while you were dancing?
Every woman feels insecure. If a girl is thinking of stripping, she has to take in consideration that guys like different type of girls, different sizes and colours: if you have a small or huge chest it doesn’t matter, as it doesn’t matter if you are chubby. There are also clients looking for company or a good conversation. I always said that I was like a psychologist but with a thong. On the other hand you have to think that you work with girls that also have some insecurities and they are competing with you. My advice for a traveller that wants to strip would be to have a low profile and don’t pretend to be Angelina Jolie.
04 | Which nationalities were the other girls?
Most of them were European and they were others from the United States. They were also some latin girls.
05 | What were the limits?
Each club has it own rules, but the most important one is that EVERY girl should know that she is the owner of her body and she is the one to put the limits. If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, then don’t do it. You also have to understand that you are in charge, not the client. He is paying to have a good time and if he does something that you don’t like or is not allowed, you can tell him in a very good way to stop. If he keeps doing it you can stop the dance or call security.
06 | How many hours did you work a week? At what time?
In most clubs you choose how many days a week you want to work. Usually the minimum is 2 hours and maximum 6 hours per shift. I worked 4 days a week. Working at night is very tiring, specially if you have alcohol. The schedules change depending on the place. Some clubs open at midday.
07 | Would you advice other people to work as a stripper in New Zealand?
Yes, specially if they are travelling. Nobody knows you and it’s a fun job were you make a lot of money. But is better to do it for a short period of time.
Lola stayed in New Zealand and now she has a normal desk job.