Despite its scandalous reputation, the stripping industry goes much deeper than girls with “perfect assets”, as Amy put it, dancing for cash. In an interview with Express.co.uk, the successful entrepreneur revealed that her business operates with female empowerment at the core of its values.
Having built up her Liverpool-based business “Rude” from a “shoestring budget” and “tiny team”, Amy has revealed the surprising secrets of the trade.
At just 22 years old, the former trainee accountant and part-time model purchased a club with her now-husband after going on maternity leave to have their son.
Despite having never stepped foot in a strip club before embarking on her business venture, Amy has built up the club over the past 13 years using her contacts from the glamour industry and a “hunger to be the best”.
And while she feared not being “taken seriously” by the dancers due to her lack of experience, she claimed that her “woman’s touch” has been the key to building such a successful club. But it hasn’t come without its surprises.
Amy revealed that despite how it looks “in the movies”, the stripping industry thrives off of “female solidarity” and “celebrating one another”. She said: “You have normal and everything seems boring but then you leave that at the front door and anything can happen. Any kind of customers can come in but when you walk into the changing rooms at the start of the night, it’s a real kind of bond.
“It’s like all these girls work in this nocturnal world together, it’s all, it’s very much like a girls-together vibe. It’s not the competitive world that a lot of people think it is. You come in and there’s always someone there to give you a hug, everyone is very, very uplifting. Women stick together.
“Something I think that people don’t realise is that we are totally normal girls. The girls come in and we chat in the changing rooms. And I’m like, if these men could see you now, we’d all be skint! There’s Mr Men onesies, UGG slippers, the hair in rollers, McDonald’s and lots of snacks.”
While Rude prides itself on being a female-focused business, Amy did reveal that one of the obstacles she noticed early on in her career was the disparity in the earnings of the dancers. She explained that to fix this, the dancers are bound by set prices.
The mother-of-one explained: “So although the girls are self-employed, they have to all charge the same amount of money, dance for the same amount of time and follow the same rules. So no girl does any more than any other customer. And that creates a fair level playing field and cuts out any competitiveness.”
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Of course, there is still variation in how much the dancers at Rude earn, and while it comes down to who the customers choose of who they want to interact with, it’s not all about looks according to Amy.
She said: “I had this assumption in my head when I went into it that all the girls would be on big fake boobs, tiny waists and it’s absolutely not the case. We’ve had many girls come in with all those kinds of perfect assets and not done very well.
“In fact, the highest earner in our club is 47. And it’s because she is the loveliest woman. All of us are in awe of her because she’s just so confident. And I think that’s what’s most important when you are a stripper.
“This is what I’m always very mindful of when hiring new dancers. It’s why I don’t take on young girls because for me when you’re a dancer at Rude, you are at the pinnacle of your career.
“By that I mean you don’t just look and dress the best, but that you are mentally the best. You are strong enough – confident enough because that is what’s most important.”
When it comes to the average earnings of the dancers, Amy revealed that it is seasonal like most industries.
She said: “They could have a one night where they can earn £1,500 to £2,000, but then the following week there might be nothing going on and they could only earn £400 in a night.
“Unless work the floor, you don’t earn a penny and some nights you get really lucky. And this is what I think people don’t understand. They assume that you know, if you’re good at the job and you can handle the hours, you’re gonna earn a lot of money.
“But it’s also like driving a taxi. You could have a night when the regulars come in or the opposite where everyone else does great and it’s just not your night and you don’t earn a thing.
“That’s kind of like the pros and cons as when you do earn money you can earn a lot of money, but it’s never guaranteed.”
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