The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

The semi-naked truth: Strip clubs in Wellington

by Emily Fatali on July 25, 2011 in Miscellaneous, Sights, Theatre

So, you want to see some breasts. Nothing wrong with that. Where in Wellington should you go to see them? For the purposes of scientific research, we headed to Dream Girls and Mermaids to find out what you can expect. We also had a chat to a girl who’s worked in both places for the inside goss.

First though, let’s brush up on your strip club etiquette.

  1. When a girl finishes dancing on stage, she’ll come around the room to collect tips. She may even give you a little dance on your table. If you want to tip her, get her attention politely, and tuck your Mermaids/Dreamgirls dollars into whatever she indicates – her g-string or her garter. Yes, you can hold the dollars between your teeth and she might pick it up with her boobs. No, there is no other touching at this stage.
  2. If you buy a private lapdance, there might be touching, or there might not. Our dancer friend says “Places have different rules, mermaids generally during VIP you can touch, and Dreamgirls depends on the individual dancer”.  As with any other human being, you want to make sure that you ask before you touch, and respect their boundaries. But you know that, right?
  3. A lot of the dancers are students, or travelers. Some of them are professional strippers. Neither lifestyle is more or less valid than yours.
  4. Just because a girl is dancing in a strip club, and there is a brothel upstairs, does not mean that you can pay her for sex.

Mermaids is the big shiny place on Courtenay Place with the red carpet outside, and the terrible music blaring out. If you’ve seen the ads on the television for the Auckland branch, you might be expecting there to be a tank with girls swimming in it. You’re going to be disappointed in that case. Instead, there’s a central catwalk housing a couple of poles, with stools all around it, and around the edges of the room there are booths with tables with poles. Let me tell you this now: the ladies’ toilets are faaaaaaaancy. So are the back rooms where you go for the private lap dances. I’d actually like to throw a party in the back room with its starry-ceilinged courtyard and curtained-offed areas, even if there weren’t topless women gyrating on my lap. The central stage though is a bit more like a pit as it’s set down from the stools, and that didn’t sit well with the feminist in me.

Dreamgirls down the road on Dixon Street is much less fancy with its fitout, but the stage is raised, which makes me happier. The backrooms are not fancy at all, and the women’s bathroom is pretty crappy. However, at Mermaids, the cheapest bottle of wine is $500. Yes, you heard me. Fucking insane. You can buy crappy overly sweet bubbles for $50 at Dreamgirls. The admission price to Mermaids is usually $20 for guys, but entry to Dreamgirls seems to be free.

As for the girls themselves, from one visit to each bar, my impression was the girls at Mermaids are more “professional” – expect to see more pole tricks and less laughing – but that might have been because we were at Dreamgirls early on a Wednesday, and late on a Friday (peak time) at Mermaids. Also, the girls at Mermaids don’t get fully naked – g-strings have to stay on. On the whole, I’d say Dreamgirls is a more fun experience, possibly because it feels slightly seedier, but the management are nicer. Either way, I highly recommend you find yourself a friend who likes buying you lapdances before you visit either place, since they’re $180 per half hour at Dreamgirls and god only knows how much they cost at Mermaids.

Emily Fatali

Emily is a trustfund baby. She floats around the edges and chooses to remain mysterious.

max July 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

“Just because a girl is dancing in a strip club, and there is a brothel upstairs, does not mean that you can pay her for sex.”

Yeah I don’t quite buy that argument. Its a valid and legal job, but would you encourage someone to take up this line of work. No.

Joanna July 25, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Actually, pretty sure Emily meant that as an entirely value-judgement-free observation. There may be an overlap in a couple of the girls working both upstairs and downstairs, but the majority of them aren’t sex workers so it’s factually wrong to presume that they are.

max July 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Stupid me posted the wrong quote without looking. Quote should be:
“A lot of the dancers are students, or travelers. Some of them are professional strippers. Neither lifestyle is more or less valid than yours.”

Joanna July 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm

And let me then requote Tallulah’s comment back at you:
“I don’t know if you’ve heard, but many sex workers make a lot of money, doing something they love. Actually, yes, I’d encourage someone into that kind of career at the drop of a hat.”

The Masked Barfly July 26, 2011 at 8:40 am

“Its a valid and legal job, but would you encourage someone to take up this line of work. No.”

I know what you mean: I feel the same about corporate law and tax accountants. The difference being that the majority of people in the sex industry are decent and honest and meet a fundamental human need.

Groggy November 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Actually any accountant not just tax. I’m one and I actively discourage my kids from following this sad, tawdry line of work.

I just emphasise that they will end up with bad eyesight from squinting at spreadsheets, overweight from being glued to a chair, and no interesting conversation.

Oh the shame. if only they took fat blind people in the sex industry.

P November 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Access to another person’s body is not a ‘fundamental human need’.

Joanna November 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm

>Oh the shame. if only they took fat blind people in the sex industry.

There’s a market out there for all types.

anon July 26, 2011 at 12:58 am

This entire article would have set better with me if you didn’t say you were a feminist. I find it disturbing that the only problem you have is that the stage was low. Seriously?

Jobe July 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I love seeing a pair of naked tits bouncing around as much as the next guy. But condoning the specific exploitation of naked women for money and arguing for equality between genders seem to be mutually exclusive viewpoints.

Joanna July 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm

That’s not the only problem Emily had, she also thought the drinks were expensive. Duh.

You have a disturbingly narrow definition of feminism, my anonymous friend.

Tallulah July 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm

“condoning the specific exploitation of naked women for money and arguing for equality between genders seem to be mutually exclusive viewpoints.”

Why? First of all, where do you get the idea these women are being exploited? Have you asked them? Or are you assuming that all sexworkers are too stupid to know that someone is putting one over on them? (So to speak.)

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but many sex workers make a lot of money, doing something they love. Actually, yes, I’d encourage someone into that kind of career at the drop of a hat.

And actually, that IS pretty compatible with feminism. Allowing women to safely do something that they like, and making sure they are reasonably compensated for it? I don’t know where you got your feminist learnin’, but that’s pretty basic.

Jez August 6, 2013 at 7:17 am

Purely from a working conditions perspective, they are hourly workers paid in cash, no job security, no sick leave, no contract, no career structure, no bargaining power and no input into the management of the businesses they work for. As employees, they are disposable. How is that not exploitation?

And that’s all before we even start discussing a feminist critique, or the role that cash-heavy businesses like strip clubs play in laundering drug profits.

Joanna August 6, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Purely from a working conditions perspective, they are hourly workers paid in cash, no job security, no sick leave, no contract, no career structure, no bargaining power and no input into the management of the businesses they work for. As employees, they are disposable. How is that not exploitation?

So like many other hospitality workers then? Or Weta contractors? I’m not condoning that kind of treatment of employees, but I’d hardly say it only exists in strip clubs. And as for the “before we start the feminist critique”… um, we already started that. Ages ago.

Jez August 7, 2013 at 7:45 am

All true, and those kinds of working conditions are the root cause of the income inequality and insecurity that is hollowing-out the middle classes. And I think the feminist critique started with Kate Millet in about 1970, and is still getting hung up on the difference between sex workers as victims of male objectification and sex workers as oppressed labourers.

If I was to try to combine the labour and the feminist critique, then I might say something like: dancers are treated as disposable short-term staff by employers. What’s different between sex workers and other service industries is that their work is stigmatised because it is sex work, making it more difficult to organise to improve these conditions.

Actually, I think my third point there is the key point in the short term – forget all the theoretical arguments about intersectionality and who’s most oppressed how, and just recognise that the a large number of people involved in the management of strip clubs is strongly linked to the laundering of drug money. So send in the tax accountants, send some dodgy geezers to prison, and clean up the industry at that level, with benefits for everyone involved, including dancers.

Joanna August 7, 2013 at 8:21 am

It’s swell of you to come to a post where a number of dancers have commented about how they enjoy the work they do, and have talked about the financial freedoms it offers them, to let them know how oppressed they are.

Yes, the sex industry has some unsavory goings on – just like any other industry – but in New Zealand where it’s legal, to treat it any differently, that’s where the stigma comes in to play, and that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Jez August 7, 2013 at 10:09 am

Treating the sex industry as the same as any other industry ignores the present state of the sex industry, the history of the industry, the people involved in running the industry, the organisation of the industry, and the status of people who work in that industry. It would be nice if we could treat the industry like any other, but that’s a future goal, not a current reality.

Someone may be choosing to work in an exploitative industry for a variety of reasons, including the income. That doesn’t mean they are not oppressed, that means they are making a personal choice from the options that they have in front of them. Choice always happens in a context, both personal and social. Ignoring that context and treating people as entirely autonomous is an unrealistic and neoliberal approach to the world.

For instance, Joss below talks about having “danced through med school for financial stability”. Yes, that’s her personal choice about how to respond to being a poor student and may be the best choice for her in that situation, but why should someone be put in that situation? I’m old enough that my education was paid for by the state, so I was never in that situation and never had to even consider choice.

Lindsay October 28, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Though I realise this discussion was dated a few years ago and some of the responses may have covered this, I just feel the need to point out that you are slightly misinformed: strippers are not “hourly workers”, “paid in cash”, nor are they “employees”. Most strippers are independent contractors – people who sign a contract stating that the only earnings they have claim to are a commission from the lap dances and tips, minus the nightly shift fee and/or fines imposed by the club.

Fair? No. Neither is it fair that waiters in France have to pay the restaurant a fee for the area they serve and then make their earnings entirely on tips. Likewise, it’s not fair that hairdressers in the US have a similar system of paying for the hair station they “rent” in a salon and have commission and tip earnings.

Exploitive? Possibly. I would fully support changing the system in each to enable any of those contractors – exotic dancers, waiters, or hair dressers – to have guaranteed pay for their work, especially when some of those professions require a fair amount of training or skill. In terms of exotic dancers, dance is difficult to do without skill – and pole dancing impossible.

Suggesting the exploitive design of the current system should cause one to be against the entire industry is faulty. A female should be considered capable of determining what is in her best personal and financial interest. Suggesting otherwise would suggest a female is not capable of acting in her own agency.

Florence July 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm

If Emily Fatali would be so kind as to join in the conversation here, I would ask her: how is it that women dancing on a low stage is less feminist than women dancing on a high stage? Surely their mana would rise above the stage design.

Emily Fatali July 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm

It was a (drunken) gut reaction and a throwaway line – it just didn’t seem right to be literally looking down on the women on stage.

sue July 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm

if a man wrote this post it would be viewed from a completely different angle ? Because personally I think the feminist perspective around stripping is not a straight line.

You can take the line that it’s empowering and a stripper is achieving economic equality and setting her rules.

The other perspective is that women who strip, perform for mostly men in public & thus reinforce gender stereotypes.

Add to that – Who is actually profiting from a stripper?
The person who makes the most money out of it all is the owner of the club, then the manager, then the stripper. 9 times out of 10 those owners are men. So until women are owning clubs, running clubs and performing clubs i think the issue is really fuzzy.

QoT July 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Surely no fuzzier than any *other* job where the lion’s share of workers’ production is snaffled by their employers? Paul Reynolds is certainly doing well out of the labour of Telecom contact centre operatives but that hardly means we should save them from phone-answering exploitation for their own good.

sue July 26, 2011 at 10:28 pm

is using telecom the kiwi version of Godwin’s law ?

QoT July 26, 2011 at 11:25 pm

… Or you know, it could be a handy example of a capitalist organisation run for profit off the labour of its employees which one could assume readers of Wellingtonista are familiar with, but go right ahead and try to accuse me of demonizing a corporation (is it like a meta-Godwin to accuse someone of a Godwin when they haven’t even hinted at it?) while you’re busy trying to pretend that the profit-exploitation of strippers is a phenomenon unique to sex/sex-related work.

sue July 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm

well i’ll bow out here, becuase i don’t really think an argument serves anyone, and my apologies if if created one.

QoT July 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I’m a bit confused, sue – what were you trying to do, if not “create an argument”, by implying that the poster’s feminist perspective on stripping is wrong, stating that the profit going to strip club owners somehow makes stripping more exploitative than any other work, and then trying to throw down a nice “ooh, Godwin!” silencing tactic to a person disagreeing with you?

Joanna July 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I’m pretty sure that Sue was being cheeky about the Telecom/Godwin thing, QoT, not trying to silence you. And she was absolutely right about feminism around stripping (or feminism in general) not being a straight line.

stephen clover July 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I don’t understand this analogy. Are you talking about the Telecom call-centres in the Philipines? Have they been shown to be exploitative / unethical?

max July 27, 2011 at 9:46 pm

No more so than any other low-level position in a big company, necessarily. And that, I think, was QoT’s point.

Tallulah July 27, 2011 at 8:21 am

I certainly wouldn’t want to suggest that there isn’t problematic aspects to the sex industry. Of _course_ there is. It can be exploitative, dangerous and violent. However, that doesn’t mean we get to dismiss it out of hand – it means we have to work harder to make it better for the people involved.

My objection to the comments above was the dismissive tone of the actual women involved. It behooves us to consider them before making blanket statements about the sex industry.

Maximus July 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I’ve always found it odd that strip-clubs catering for a female audience – ie having mainly male strippers – seem to have a great time. Lots of laughing, teasing, giggling, daring etc. And I’d have to say, from those that I’ve been to, a fair bit of touching is encouraged.
But the strip clubs noted here – Mermaids and Dreamgirls – catering for a male audience with female strippers, are a horrible, sad, tawdry experience. There should be nothing wrong with observing a body in peak condition (let’s face it – the pole-dancers are athletes of sorts, if not exactly competitive) and celebrating the wonder that is a beautifully sculpted pair of breasts or buttocks.
Instead however, the prospect of a bunch of men sullenly ogling the sumptuous bounty of female form on view, whilst sipping a beer, talking about rugby, and pretending not to notice that there is a naked being cavorting a foot away from their face – well it all seems more than a little sad and pathetic to me.
The men concerned seem to be exploiting their own stupidity and sexuality, let alone being exploited by the club owners with their ridiculous prices.

max July 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm

“But the strip clubs noted here – Mermaids and Dreamgirls – catering for a male audience with female strippers, are a horrible, sad, tawdry experience.”

Not always, and in fact I’d have to say that that’s often far from the truth. Dreamgirls tends to feel the more relaxed, but in both it often depends upon your own attitude. Most of the dancers seem to respond well if you treat it as a fun, flirty night out, rather than a desperate excuse to gawp. It also helps if you’re in a good-natured group, especially a mixed one. And if you engage with the dancers with good grace and humour (as well as tips, of course – it is their job after all) then it needn’t be sad or tawdry at all.

Maximus July 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

actually Max, you’re right – it can be a fun, flirty night out, and I’d never treat it as a desperate excuse to gawp – mainly because I’m not that desperate. Although, others are – or perhaps they get weeded out by the door staff or the price tag. I do have to lament the loss of the “pool” although that is too optimistic a word to describe the tiny fish tank that the swimmers used to cavort in. There’s something quite mesmerising about the sight of fish swimming around, and a larger, pinkish fish would also be interesting, in an aesthetic manner. Or perhaps they should just have a couple of large crayfish, in a pot.

Wanda November 8, 2011 at 1:37 am

I am a Dreamgirl, not gonna disclose my dancing name here.
And yes, i would have been there on the night you visited the club.
Here’s some inside info, at Dreamgirls, the house takes 40% of your earnings. There is no shift fee, unlike The Mermaid and there is no hourly wage at either club.
On a bad night, you can earn $40.
As a Dreamgirl, you hold all the power when it comes to men. Security can be there in seconds, if he tries to touch you sexually, you’re basically allowed to hit them.
VIP dances are the only instance where a man is alowed to touch, and nowhere near your privates.
We have a rule where your g-string must be off before the end of your last song, but depending on personal preference, you can choose how long you would like to be naked, 5 seconds even.
I’m studying, and I am not a sexworker.
Even though the drinks are expensive, we aren’t paid a cent out of the overpricing.

Anyway, enough inside information. Decided to share because people have so many misconstrued ideas of strippers and working girls.

Miffed February 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm

All I want to know is…when will someone open a male strip club? ‘m sick of the guys getting to have all the fun.

anon March 10, 2012 at 10:48 am

Aware this is a really old thread but I only just found it.
I am a dancer from Showgirls in Auckland…I just wish that every guy that came into the club could read this article (as well as every other person who holds misconceptions about dancers).
The point Emily made about touching especially: guys often book a dance then adopt the notion that they should see how much they can ‘get away with’ i.e. touching pussy. Why should I, in my job (not a career btw – I study Veterinary Science in Palmerston North atm) be subjected to sexual abuse on a nightly basis? Just because I tease you and strip you of your money all night long does not mean that I want you/want you to touch me. There are even signs saying so.
Also, I’m so sick of people who come in and say things like that they _feel sorry for us dancers_…I love my job; dancing keeps me fit, gives me confidence and the self assurance to stand up for myself and a large income for a 20 year old – Saturday nights I average $1200 a night. Not to mention the amazing girls at the club who have developed into lifelong friends of mine.
Finally, we are hardly exploited by the club (at Showgirls, anyway). There is no ‘club fee’, and we keep _all_ of our tips. A small percentage of our earnings is taken from the money we make in lapdances but it’s not unreasonable. The club also owns an apartment which they allow the dancers to live in for free and provides free dance lessons for the girls should they want them (I realise the dance lessons are in the clubs best interests, but at some clubs you have to pay for compulsory lessons).

Hmm. Quite a rant. And I didn’t even cover half the things that guys misconceive regarding dancers. Maybe one day, people will stop holding dancers in such a stereotypical view and that would be nice.
Maybe one day pigs will fly, too.

chris December 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm

you are right , but lets talk about this misconception which seems to the topic.
what’s the point? sure the validated argument is, if you can’t handle just looking, then don’t come.
but in my opinion it’s not a form of entertainment, it’s a form of trickery and robbery
180 dollars for 30minutes? a private lap dance? look but don’t touch!
why!? what does that do for the man? nothing, but does more for the girls.
180 dollars.. GET OFF IT.. you are not worth that amount of money..sorry.
500 dollars for a bottle of wine? 20 dollar drinks, etc etc etc
sorry, but this is not adult entertainment. it’s extortion.
go to thailand, philipines and see how adult entertainment is really done!
a man pays for entertainment, a man pays a girl for drinks or a private lap dance, the pay should be allowed to touch what he is paying for.
you are in the sex industry! and you are in the industry of teasing men, and showing off your body, so money is exchanged, the man should have the right to touch what he is paying for.. if you don’t like that part of the jobs! seek employment elsewhere!

adult entertainment LOL what a joke!

Nan March 12, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Actually, in NZ the norm in the stripping industry is that though you can look generally (private dances perhaps excluded) you CANNOT touch. If YOU don’t like that part of the entertainment then don’t come! Don’t suggest that it isn’t valid and that if the girls don’t want to be touched they should find work elsewhere. It’s an industry where touching is NOT the norm, like food service for example. If I work at a restaurant do you think that I should be sexually assaulted because a man feels teased by me, or unsatisfied by my service? In both industries touching is not the norm and certainly not without consent, if you’re unsatisfied then perhaps you should go elsewhere.
Your reference to Thailand is not taking into account the different economic strength or the higher proportion of sex trafficking that goes on there than in NZ.
The stripping industry in NZ is upfront about the fact that you can’t touch and it’s generally known to be expensive (it’s a business after all!). What you are suggesting is that these girls somehow deserve sexual assault. If you want to touch, hire a prostitute – a profession where touching IS a part of the deal. That said, it’s still sexual assault/rape if they don’t consent as a recent court case held.
I think you need to reconsider your views about this issue before you end up in court. You don’t have a RIGHT to touch and you don’t have a healthy attitude at all.

miss G March 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm

i have worked at mermaids in wellington and i have to say after working in over 2o different strip clubs in australia, uk and nz they treat the girls like shit!

Beatrice April 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm

@Miss G: Have you worked in Dreamgirls? I’m thinking of getting a job there, and I’m trying to ask around and find out whether it’s a good environment to work in.

dyls May 13, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Hey Beatrice

I know your comment was from a month ago so might not be pertinent any more, but just FYI I have known a couple of people who have joined Dreamgirls and have been VERY happy with both the work environment and management.

Anecdotally it sounds as if you generally get treated better at Dreamgirls (at least by your employer) than Mermaids.

Now that Calendar Girls is opening, who knows what difference this will make.

anon.. June 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm

hey in response to your comment above.. i just spent my 1st weekend at dreamgirls and i loved it.! iv danced at nemerous clubs over nz and out of them all dreamgirls is my favourite.. the management and everyone who works there are absolutly amazing..!!!! i had the time of my life 🙂 and yes even with 40% tax it was pretty good money wise 2.. i give them a 8/10..!! and a 10/10 for hospitalitly.. everyone was so amazing and friendly and not 1 drop of drama..!!!!! worth it .. hope that helps your decision.. ill be definatly going back..

Rexi May 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm

All i can add is gooo dreamgirls ive been there 2 and a half years one of the longest time dancers and i love it i couldnt be anymore happier in a job that I love management are great and we have fun may not make as much as mermaids but at least were smiling and having fun in our job 🙂

Cherrybomb May 25, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I worked at Mermaids as a waitress for six months and hated it. I did one stage spot there and three lap dances (we could do lap dances at our discretion, I never told anyone I did them but if a guy asked and was willing to pay for it, I was okay with it). I made a lot of money as a waitress but the attitudes from management and some of the dancers made it awful. The last night that I worked, I left in tears.
I’ve been into Dreamgirls and Liks a few times, it seems like the girls at both are treated so much better by management and are much happier than the ones at Mermaids.

Dan June 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm

As a strip club patron I much prefer Dreamgirls over Mermaids. The atmosphere is much better at Dreamgirls, the ladies are good value as well as being sexy as [email protected]*k. I was there for my stag night a few months back and had a wicked night, I was in again last night and had yet another wicked night!

anon007 December 12, 2012 at 1:57 am

Elaborating on Wanda’s comment:

” We have a rule where your g-string must be off before the end of your last song, but depending on personal preference, you can choose how long you would like to be naked, 5 seconds even. ”

Most girls take their G-string off during the last few seconds only – making sure to cover/hide their bits with their hands/lingerie as they bend to collect the last tipping dollars before quickly rushing backstage.

Miss X March 27, 2013 at 10:46 am

I AM a sex worker, and I CHOSE to get into the industry in my 30’s and I LOVE it!..I am my own boss..I work when I want and I travel and make 2-3 thousand PART TIME a week when I can be bothered to work..I OWN my own home freehold..I HATE drugs and do NOT tolerate my clients turning up high..I have serviced High Profile clients and I am NOT small..I am 88kgs and 5.7 in height…I DONT smoke..I RARELY drink and I use my money to put my daughter through PRIVATE education and she is looking at becoming a PERSONAL TRAINER as she GRADUATES college end of this year…do NOT assume it is a sad life for us and that we are exploited..we are NOT all junkies and crackwhores with Pimps etc…the women that are exploited are infact the ones that go to the local pub…ALLOW dickhead losers to shout them 20 bucks ( if they lucky ) worth of booze…tell them what they want to hear and that they are beautiful..the women believe them…they take them home…the man gets what he wants and in the morning walks out saying ” I will flick you a text or ring you through the week ” and she NEVER hears from him…truth of the matter is?…she just gave HER body to a random stranger for FREE from the pub ( and probably unprotected ) and he EXPLOITED that…then she runs to her mates complaining yet does the sane thing the following week…in my world?…NO ONE exploits me..if a man wants me?..he will be paying…and outside of work?…same goes…just on a different level..respect and trust is EARNED…not handed out willy nilly ( excuse the pun ) 😀

Joss April 27, 2013 at 9:14 am

Miss X i love your referral to the boozey one night stand. I feel the same being a dancer, working is a night out but i get paid for having fun and get away with being cheekier than i’d ever dare to be outside of the club. Girls need to remember to keep the fantasy alive and keep boundaries strong for a win win experience.
Thank you for this blog emily, i start at mermaids next week. If the clubs reviews from the above posts eventuate at least i know dreamgirls is an option also.. i’ve danced for 5yrs. I danced through med school for financial stability and as a release from the pressures from studying medicine. I found that girls have much influence as to the respect they recieve from punters. They also have a choice to react or just let the dickheads be dickheads. The contraversial world of stripping breeds confidence and success if the the woman allows herself to feel empowered and is head strong. I hope that sex workers would feel the same. In some ways i wish i could push my boundaries to have done sex work -u dont have to listen to their bountiful chat.. ;-).

Foxey May 26, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Hi Joss, I am thinking about applying at Mermaids. I am traveling and I am tired of the crappy boring jobs for a ridiculous pay. I have danced in music-halls but no pole dancing. How were your first weeks there? Is the working environment good? I like dancing and stripping but I wouldn’t stand being touched. What are the rules? How much do you earn ? Thank you 🙂

anon1 May 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Just incase you were wondering – i didn’t see any other comments. Mermaids in Auckland costs 50 for a 10 min lap dance per person. (my man and i went for one and costs double)

I’m too shy to go in wellington cause we live around here though and it’s still frowned upon for women to go into strip clubs. But lets be real. People swing both ways.

Louise November 19, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Hiya. I’m a traveller who’s considering stripping. Can anyone tell me which is the best club to work at in terms of staff and also in terms of the way the girls get treated? What’s the pay rate like? And how much dance experience do you need? Thanks for any answers =)

Josh July 13, 2017 at 10:24 pm

If you are considering stripping I would recommend calnder girls mel the manager is a great guy and girls get treated better there than other clubs mainly beacuse there is no brothel upstairs

chris December 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm

The Western strip club business benefits the owners, and the girls, but not the customers., it’s a rip off business which extorts money for teasing customers.
exotic dancing? erotic dancing , is this what we are calling it now?
for those prices?

I’m sorry I don’t go to those clubs for those reasons is insane to over pay.
the prices are more than paying for STING or The Rolling stones concert.

you gotta be bloody man to think these girls are worth even remotely close to that.

I tell all my friends who are interested to save their money and book a flight to Bangkok or manilla where the industry is geared towards customer satisfaction.
sure the girls milk you there too, but at least you touch them, play with them, and have fun..
in the west it’s a BIG NO NO to touch a girl LOL get off it..
what a scam…

Joanna December 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I’m assuming you also get angry with your plumber for not letting you touch them when you pay them too, or your dentist or anyone else who is providing a service to you that is not explicitly “you may touch me in exchange for money”?

Ruby November 21, 2014 at 8:57 am

Your so right Chris, I’m sick of these uppity Western bitches that steal our money, I booked 15 minutes with the chick last week and she was all over me, touching my chest and breathing in my ear and bending over with her ass in my face so I figured what the hell, I payed this bitch $150 for 15 minutes and I’m gana get my money’s worth, so I gave her ass a good smack, lovely ass it was too, not a hard smack you know just a playful one, and this bitch went psycho, started screaming at me and called security, I tried to explain to them like “hey guys I payed $150 for her surely I can give her a love tap” but she wasn’t having it, it was totally over the top the management came over and was acting like I’d sexually assaulted her for gods sake, I was humiliated so fi said to the manager “well 150 bucks down the drain then what the hell am I getting for my money at your shitty establishment ” and he said “your paying to see the cardiologist and if you hadn’t assulted her she would have measured your cardiac output when the halter she was hooking up to your chest was finished resetting itself and I don’t know where you think you are young lady but in NZ it’s illigal to sexually assult doctors.
Honestly what a rip, I’m never going there again those guys had no sense of humour and that bitch was asking for it by being so close and touching me and shit, if she didn’t want it to get sexual then she shouldn’t have asked me to take my fucking shirt off, so I’m with you Chris, these bitches that tease us then get all frosty as soon as we make a move are exploiting us! Who the hell do these bitches think they are tricking us like that.
I cant go back there now because the police trespassed me but I wouldn’t waste my time and money on those ice queens anyway, I found that doctors linkeden and wrote a terrible review about the service and now I go to a witch doctor in huapai that is good value, she gives me crazy drinks and does bondage shit to me with knives and pins and if I grab her ass she says something cute in chinese and pushes me away I don’t know what she’s saying but I know she is just playing hard to get, so your right the west is a rip off I’ll always get my fun from asian ladies now, they know what we deserve and they don’t complain like these uppity euro girls, I’m sure thats what your talking about in Thailand too, much better when they let us have a good grope without making a fuss, let’s hope the woman’s rights and sexual harassment laws in Asia don’t go the way of the west or we’ll both be in trouble and might actually learnt to talk to women and respect them like they are human beings, the worlds going to shit tho so I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens soon, God help us aye Chris, we may never get any pussy again.

Simon May 14, 2015 at 9:21 pm

I can quite happily pay $150 for a lap dance and not feel entitled to need to grab what I shouldn’t.

Something is worth what someone is going to pay for it. People waste money on all sorts of things. Booze, cigarettes, candy, overpriced food. Not going to judge, but for me the exhilaration of an incredibly attractive woman gyrating naked centimetres from my face every once in a while is worth the price and they generally get a generous tip.

People should know what they’re getting into, but just because it’s not for everyone doesn’t mean it’s bad.

lacey June 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Love working at mermaids. Its empowering and sometimes I earn heaps. So many ppl have their heads filled with untruths and misconceptions and bigotted ideals. I meet lovely men and women every night and I love all my colleagues. I love it when ppl express their misconceptions cos then I can set them straight!

Joanna August 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

Why should someone be put in the position of having to write policy advice for a government that will ignore it? Why should someone be put in the position of having to provide legal advice to criminals? Or of selling ugly art to people or whatever other jobs people do. You’re making a moral judgement suggesting that sex work is a less worthy occupation than something else, but your morals are not other people’s.

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