A Vegas Beginners’ Guide to Birds of Prey
By now you know I like dancers and just about everything I say about them is positive. There’s so much negative bullshit written about strippers and strip clubs I’m just trying to balance it out. But I’m also dedicated to being 100% honest on this site, so this is a topic that must be covered.
If you frequent the Vegas strip clubs, you’re occasionally going to bump into a species of dancer known as the “vulture.” The purpose of this article is to help you identify vultures at a glance, so you can defend yourself from their sharpened claws before they get their beaks into your wallet.
A vulture is a dancer, often past her prime, who positions herself near the club entry to pounce on new arrivals, usually before they’ve even had a chance to sit down. She’ll immediately start trying to sell you a lap dance or private room show, and even if you resist, she’ll hit you up for a drink and, uninvited, take a seat at your table. Sometimes she’ll even plop down in your lap as soon as you’ve taken a seat in a club.
Her presence at your table then discourages other dancers from approaching—specifically, the dancers you’re wishing would approach. I learned the term “vulture” from a dancer at a Vegas strip club who didn’t think the club should tolerate them.
Even High-End Vegas Strip Clubs Have Vultures
I’ve had vultures hit on me at just about every club in town, even the high-end joints. At Glitter Gulch, I’ve gotten hit on by vultures every time I’ve gone into the place. Sheri’s Cabaret (now closed) was almost as bad. Just recently a vulture who looked at least my age (and I’ve got a Medicare card in my wallet) was trying her damnedest to drag me into the VIP. You can even find vultures in the little neighborhood joints.
Vultures are hard to get rid of because you feel sorry for them. They come off as desperate. The first time I took my wife to a strip club, we weren’t ten feet inside the place when we got hit on by one of the club’s vultures. My innocent wife, having never been in a strip club, apparently thought this was just a friendly dancer welcoming us into the club and offering to sit with us.
My wife started complimenting this woman on her beautiful hair and her lovely corset and before I even knew what was happening, we had drinks all around and my wife had pulled out a twenty to buy me a lap dance with the vulture, who was drinking the vodka my wife had just bought her.
She was not a dancer I would have picked for a lap dance. She had already been drinking too much. She had a huge boob job. She was too old to be doing a job like this. She was just not my type.
But I lived through the dance. When it was over my wife said clearly, “Let’s go sit at the stage where we can tip the dancers.”
The vulture got the message and returned to the club entrance to await fresh meat.
When we sat down at the stage, my wife said, “I’m sorry. I know she’s not your type. I’ll get you another dance later with a cutie pie. I just wanted to do something nice for her because she looked like she’d had a hard life.”
Now when I enter a strip club with my wife I know I have to steer her clear of the vultures. Otherwise I’ll be getting geriatric lap dances the rest of my life.
How to Defend Yourself from Strip Club Vultures
The trick is to say no very quickly as soon as the vulture approaches you.
Try to politely extricate yourself by saying, “I just got here, I want to watch the show for a while.” If you haven’t yet taken a seat, keep walking and don’t make eye contact.
If the vulture sits down at your table, you’ll notice that a waitress will turn up almost immediately. She’ll say something like, “Would you like to buy a drink for the lady?” You should say, “No, thank you. But I’ll have a gin and tonic.” You’ll feel like a cold-hearted bastard, but you’re facing off against a predator you’re no match for. Vultures eat guys like us for breakfast.
If the vulture is still sitting at your table after that, trying to sell you a dance, get up from the table and go take a seat on the rail and start tipping the dancer on stage. There’s an unspoken rule in strip clubs that guys tipping on the stage are the property of the dancer on the stage.
I don’t think there’s much a big strip club can do about eliminating vultures. Approaching customers and flirting with them, trying to get them to buy drinks and lap dances and private shows, is part of the dancers’ job description. And since vultures are paying the house fee like all the dancers, they’re obviously making enough money selling dances to make it worth their while to keep coming to work.
Vultures may even serve an important role in the strip club ecosystem. Their aggression makes it easy for shy guys to get dances, and they’re often blunt about the special favors they’ll dispense in the VIP room.
The downside is that they can scare customers away from a club permanently, especially in a town like Vegas where there are so many clubs to choose from. My wife is now afraid to go into that strip club where the vulture pounced because she doesn’t want to run into her again and have to turn her down. (And this is one of my favorite clubs.)
Look, guys, it’s a jungle out there, but most of the fauna are very nice.