"It's not sleazy and creepy and we are not all on drugs - we are just normal girls earning good money in the most fun environment."
That's how a former Huddersfield stripper describes the working life of a lap dancer.
Speaking anonymously to the Examiner, Miss X, as she chooses to be known, reveals all about what it's really like behind closed doors - what her first private dance was like, how much she earned - and whether people really do get 'extras'.
We put 20 burning questions to her
1. How did you get into this line of work?
I got into lap dancing as a few of my friends did it at the time.
2. What made you want to do it?
Me and another friend were intrigued by it, so one night we decided to tag along.
3. What was your first night like?
I felt was a mixture of excitement, nervousness, and aww god what am I doing!
But as soon as I got on the stage and danced on the pole, as well as I could on my first night, I felt empowered - and it wasn't long before I did my first private dance. My legs was shaking but I got through it.
I was more nervous on my second night because I knew what to expect.
I felt the men were mad to pay so much money for such a short space of time. Getting money to dance for maybe two and half minutes in my underwear and perhaps 30 seconds fully naked.
But it was such a buzz!
4. How did you feel while you were working - was it a buzz or boring?
It was never ever routine or boring to be honest, even on slow nights we had fun amongst ourselves.
I worked twice a week - student night on Wednesdays and Fridays, and sometimes Saturdays too, if I was at a loose end - as it's like a night out with your pals but it doesn't cost a penny and you earn money too - a win win situation.
Customers pay to get in the club, and all the girls walk round in skimpy underwear. We had to take it in turns on the pole which they didn't have to pay to watch, but the customers always bought our drinks...
Then if you managed to grab their attention and they wanted a private dance we took them to one of our managers. They then bought a plastic card for £10. We kept the card until closing and gave however many cards we had to our manager to get the cash we'd earned in return.
Girls came in too, some just to watch us on the pole, but others came in with their partners and had private dances together.
5. What were some of the good things about the job?
It was fab making new friends on a weekly basis, as new girls came and went week by week. We also got to know some of the regular customers quite well too - not in a sexual way but just as friends.
6. What were the worst things about the job?
We could argue too - a LOT - especially if it was a slow night and there's not enough men to go round. That was the worst bit. But girls will be girls I suppose and we were a team so we soon made up.
7. Did you have any frightening experiences?
It was never ever scary as some people may think. The club managers and security were always on the ball, and our safety was put first always.
8. Who were the nicest customers and who were the worst?
Some customers tried it on... and it was always the older men that were the worst with manners and behaviour.
The younger ones seemed to be in awe of girls walking round in underwear!
They wanted to buy us drinks and chat with us, but the older ones certainly were more sexist.
9. What was the strangest thing that ever happened to you?
No strange thing ever happened... work was work, just like any other job!
10. How many times in an average week would you get propositioned?
Very nearly every night - numerous times a night. They wanted to take us to hotels or meet up after work. I never did, but some girls were silly, especially the younger ones, and they did but it didn't go down well with management.
It could be quite scary sometimes, especially if they were loitering about outside when the club had shut, but again security or management sorted it, and as we left we stuck together as a pack, but that didn't happen often.
Nine out of 10 times if you politely declined they accepted it. It seemed to be the older men that were persistent.
11. What made you quit?
I eventually quit after about 18 months, as I got into a serious relationship.
12. How do you feel now about the work?
I didn't want to quit really but it didn't feel right lap dancing while I had a partner at home.
13. Would you tell your children about it?
My children at the time were only young and they thought I was a cheerleader. Later on in life I did tell them about my job, as I still do pole fitness. My lapdancing days gave me my love for pole and both my children do pole at home with me.
14. How would you feel if your daughter wanted to do the job?
I would let it be her choice!
15. What did your friends and family think?
All my friends and family knew! I think my nan was a little scared and shocked but everybody else wasn't phased at all. In fact they were like, 'good for you, why not!'
16. How much did you get paid?
It was good pay, you didn't get paid an hourly rate or anything - just £10 for every private dance you did, which the club took 30% of. Some nights were slow, maybe you'd go home with £30, but other nights were mental busy, easy making £100.
17. What did you do when you're not working?
I worked at Oxfam three or four days a week and I looked after my children.
18. What were the other girls like?
Most of the other girls were fabulous! There were some that were quite bitchy, but I think that can happen in any line of work.
19. Do you class it as sex work?
That's a tricky one. As much as we are not engaging in sexual activity we are walking round half naked and being paid to take off our underwear, so yes I suppose it is part of the sex trade.
20. What's your advice for anyone thinking of becoming a lap dancer?
I would still advise this as a job I truly loved my time as a lap dancer, but it's not for the faint hearted! It's hard work, and you have to be headstrong too! But if you find the right club, the right manager with the right girls GO FOR IT!
- Do you do an interesting job? If you fancy answering our 20 questions about it, email firstname.lastname@example.org.