Chiqui has started her career almost 17 years ago, is a part of East London Stripper Collective and has been featured in a book. She has done it all, dancing from low-end strip pubs in London to world-leading fetish and cabaret night clubs. Awarded Stripper of The Year and giving gay man erections.
Ladies and gentleman here is our interview with one and only – Chiqui Love
Do you have any specific memory of weird clients?
Yes, there was this guy that used to request dancers to play with their belly button for like 10 minutes straight. Another one was a businessman who used to get really turned on by showing us he was wearing a bra underneath his suit.
I must admit I love “weird” clients as they tend to be respectful and tip extra for their fetishes.
What is the weirdest wish form a client you have received?
I’m afraid I can’t remember anything particularly weird or maybe I have just normalized the weirdness too much! (Laughs)
There was this really generous and lovely man I met at the club who helped me finance my last year at University. He used to send me a monthly check and he asked for nothing in return, not even private dances. I will be forever grateful to him for this. He used to help other dancers too. Unfortunately, he eventually got married and we all lost our own stripper version of a Saint. (Smiles)
Your ideal client?
My ideal client understands that this is how we provide for ourselves, so he doesn’t push your boundaries, does not waste your time, is respectful towards you and tips generously. If he can actually hold an interesting conversation and is funny then extra bonus points to him.
What is the most embarrassing song you have ever danced to?
I had to do a private dance to the Titanic song (My heart will go on by Celine Dion) as we had to private dance to whatever the dancer on the stage was dancing to and some of them had a terrible taste in music! But what I did was I played with the words and when the song went “near” I put my butt near the dude’s face then the song went “far” I just put my butt away from him, this followed by “wherever you are” I moved my butt in circular motions and the guy and me just ended up laughing. (Smiles)
What would you change in this industry if you had a chance?
There are a few things I would love to change, as I think the way the world is moving and how we are expressing our sexuality is changing. Also how feminism, politics and sex-related job working rights are becoming more important to me every single day.
First of all, I tend to see a lack of real communication between dancers and management and this tends to lead to a lot of confusion and frustration for both sides. I believe in working together and creating an environment where making suggestions and having healthy and productive conversations about what’s best for the business is what really will make it successful. Dancers aren’t treated as valuable assets for their business on many occasions. I have seen places that fine dancers for not wearing the right jewelry, didn’t even provide a proper changing room so they had to leave their belongings and get change on their public toilets, places where you felt unsafe and management taking advantage of the situation many of these women are in, so I would love to see places with fair working conditions and respectful towards their performers.
I would also love to see more queer spaces too, more mixed venues with a male, female and non-binary performers and more creativity in expressing sensuality with proper stage shows.
Which country do you think is the best to work in from your experience?
Australia has been the best so far, but I worked there a long time ago so not sure if still is the same. The club I worked in Brisbane had these hostesses that would help you with the talking bit for you to get private dance which made it a lot easier as sometimes guys don’t want to break the “fantasy”, they also provided us with an electronic key that gave us access to a gym, sun beds, a really nice shower room, a kitchen, electronic lockers and toilets just for the dancers.
Another one in Sydney used to bring a big tray of cheese and fruit to our changing room so we would have something to snack on during the long shifts, little details that made you feel valued and looked after.
How do you prepare for a shift?
I listen to my favorite radio program and music whilst doing my hair and make-up to put me in the mood and also a nice cup of English tea before I leave my house to wake me up a little. (Smiles)
Do you have any fears and what would be the biggest one?
Getting injured! as if I injure myself I can’t work!
Your wildest dream?
For strippers to be seen as just another job so for things such as renting apartments, applying for “normal” jobs, writing your resume or even talking to most “regular” people wouldn’t have to require editing who I am or hiding my truth, as I am proud of what I do and have met some of the most intelligent, empathetic, strong and interesting women through this industry.
Can we ask you to give advice on 3 most important things for dancers who have just entered this industry?
Focus, have a goal and go for it, be smart with your money.
Take breaks when necessary as it could be mentally and physically draining.
Work together and built each other up, working together creates a good working environment, gives you a support group and increases your earnings.
Advice for new dancers how to overcome fear and stress?
If you could leave only one advice to this world:
Be kind always, we all have struggles, be kind to yourself too. (Smiles)
What do you expect from an agency you are working with? What are the most important things in an agency for you personally?
Support if something does not go as expected and advice if needed.
Good communication with us and club owners.
Good research on the venues and accommodations they will be sending performers to, such as making sure the venues provide safe spaces, clean and apt accommodation, fair working conditions.
You can follow Chiqui Love
Homepage – www.ethicalstripper.com