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‘We’ve had to tell customers to put their clothes back on’: London strippers on the weirdest gifts they get to the WORST type of customer

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It’s no secret that Christmas is a lifeline for most of the hospitality industry, and adult entertainment is no exception.

Strip clubs have been hit harder than most venues by the pandemic, and after an incredibly tough couple of years London strippers are glad to see Christmas returning to something even vaguely resembling normality this year.

In a no-holds-barred chat with MyLondon, strippers Buffy, 39, and Heaven, 30, disclosed exactly what it’s like working in a London strip club throughout the festive period.

READ MORE: ‘I play Santa every year – the adult gigs are way harder, the kids are much more mature’

Each with years of stripping under their belts, Buffy and Heaven have worked in clubs from Soho to Shoreditch at Christmas time, and it’s fair to say these girls have seen it all.

“It’s normally pretty hectic,” said Heaven, who is currently deciding whether or not to push through a bad sinus infection and work a Christmas Eve stint at Ye Olde Axe in Shoreditch.

Heaven said most years she will work a stint of 20 nights back-to-back until 5am on Christmas Day, when the clubs finally close

Meanwhile, Buffy has returned from working in Las Vegas throughout most of the pandemic, where “it was all a bit ‘Wild West’ vibes, like f*** it, it’s the end of the world,” to enjoy a quiet Christmas with her partner and her dog.

“Generally the vibe of the club in December is that everyone takes the drunkenness up about ten notches,” said Heaven, who added, “I’ve got slight PTSD around December just being the craziest month.”

“It’s very, very busy,” agreed Buffy, who explained how there is generally “a lot of grumbling” from regular customers over the festive period, as the hoards of one-off Christmas crowds pile into the clubs, taking up the best seats and hogging attention from the strippers.

“You get the big clans of Northerners coming in and being really offended at how expensive everything is,” said Buffy, “then you get all the Essex lads, who are pretty excited to tell you about their watches.”

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On top of these two demographics, Buffy said there’s one more group the girls can always expect to see most nights of December – the office party.

She said: “There’s always an office party of people who’ve never been to a strip club, mixed with the old timers who always go there every year.

“And there will always be one lady who wants to really prove that she’s super cool with being in a strip club.

“She will get absolutely obliterated drunk and then start dancing to try and get attention, and absolutely fall over. Every night…I’ve seen so many faceplants.”

“Or the woman that wants to take her clothes off with you,” added Heaven, who described how staff often end up having to tell customers to put their clothes back on, “like, no, no, no, no, you can’t be naked!”

Buffy thrives on the chaos and carnage of December, while Heaven finds it exhausting and tends to take a much-needed break for most of January – but the girls do agree on one thing.

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Buffy said she thrives off the chaos and busy-ness which surrounds Christmas

“The Christmas gifts are always quite special,” said Buffy.

“I had a customer once give me a necklace that he said reminded him of me – but it just looked like a vagina,” she said, adding: “It was awful, really bright silver with amber…and I only ever wear black.

“Then whenever I saw him he’d be like ‘where’s your necklace’ and I’d be like… ‘I save it for special occasions… I wouldn’t want to lose it in here’.”

Meanwhile, Heaven fondly remembers an unusual pair of Christmas characters from back when she was working at the Sunset Strip in Soho, who the strippers dubbed ‘biscuit man’ and ‘chocolate man’.

She recalled: “They would give out just like the really naff biscuit or chocolate selections, Quality Street or whatever, After Eights – to every girl that gets off stage. That was quite sweet.”

She said the girls would all end up with “a couple of Tesco bags” full of sweets and chocolate, and you’d catch them bartering in the changing rooms after the shift, “like, I’ll give you two of these packs of After Eights for those chocolate Digestives.”

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Heaven explained how, more unusually, biscuit man and chocolate man would get the girls stockings, “as like an extra special treat around Christmas.”

“But not nice stockings from like Agent Provocateur,” she said, “they’d be just naff , from like Tesco’s…. those quite granny-ish stockings that are like, the flesh coloured ones.”

As creepy as that might sound, Heaven still thinks she got off lightly with granny stockings, as a friend of hers was once gifted a book “with no pages in it” – just the front and back cover with nothing in-between.

And Buffy remembers a man who would come into the club with homemade chocolates – but there was a catch.

She said: “He would bring you the box and then he wanted you to open it and he wanted you to eat them in front of him.

“We were all like oh, I’m really full right now. Maybe he was just excited to see us eating the chocolates that he made, but just… he was just a bit too excited.”

Heaven admitted she has lucked out over Christmas on some years though, like with a pair of Doc Martens that she still wears 10 years later, an iPhone, and on one occasion even a genuine Louis Vuitton handbag.

“I like the fact that people think I want a Louis Vuitton bag,” laughed Heaven, who described herself as the “second-hand queen” who shops exclusively in charity shops.

The strippers might have received some slightly strange gifts from their regular customers, but, as Buffy pointed out, it’s a total misconception that strippers don’t enjoy dancing for certain customers.

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She said: “You often get guys who are like ‘oh I bet you just hate dancing for those old perverts’.

“It’s like no, they’re really nice. Who I hate dancing for is like a 25-year-old who’s an absolute douchebag who thinks he’s like the hottest thing that’s ever walked in the room, and won’t even tip you or doesn’t want to pay for a dance because ‘he doesn’t have to do that’.

“That’s our worst client.”

Heaven agreed: “This is transactional – as long as someone is being polite to me and I enjoy being in their company and they’re paying the price and not trying to barter or be a d**khead then no, of course it’s enjoyable.”

She added: “Most of the people who are coming into clubs – especially regulars – they just want to have a bit of human connection.

“Like anywhere in hospitality you’re going to have people who are absolute jerks, and they come in and they behave really badly… but most people who come in just aren’t like that.”

Buffy and Heaven have their own brilliant podcast, Strippers In The Attic, exploring what stripping taught them about themselves, and what pearls of wisdom they can pass on to the world.

You can listen to the latest (Christmas special) episode, Have Yourself a Stripper Little Christmas, here.

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/weve-tell-customers-put-clothes-22557527