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One-time Alaska stripper: Beware while being bare in Alaska

Katie Medred
Creative Commons illustration

Summer in Alaska attracts people from all over the world. Most come for the sights, others for moose turd products, but some come to capitalize on extreme seasonal work. Strippers are no exception.

Exotic dancers have a long rich history with Alaska. For decades, women have traveled north during the summer, drawn by the allure of the pole. No, not the North Pole, the stripper pole.

Despite rumors of fat tips from lap-happy tourists, Alaska also carries a neon reputation for being hazardous to the lives and livelihoods of women at work. World class dancer Melody Jai has taken it upon herself to give her sisters in sequins a few helpful tips on how to make it in the Last Frontier.

In her blog Jai writes:

I came to Alaska three summers ago on a short vacation from Atlanta. A friend of mine works on "the slope" and told me about the Bush Company. He told me that in the summer girls come from all over to work because the tourist season is huge! I called the club before I went and sent them pictures of myself. They prefer that you send pictures before you come all the way. They actually never got my pictures because the General Manager, Dawn, was out of town, but they hired me anyways.

She adds:

One more thing before I get to describing the club. Anchorage has a high rate of rape! Please be responsible drinking and if you do drugs, be safe about it. Don't go out with people from here that you don't know. Read the book "Butcher Baker" before you come. It's about a serial killer who prayed on dancers and hookers in the late ‘70s early ‘80s. I would suggest making sure someone from home knows that you are here. I am not trying to scare you off from coming, but better safe than sorry!

Interesting Jai should cite Robert Hansen. That's just the person most people think of when they think of stripping in Alaska, even more so these days with a movie being made about him.

Jai worked at the Bush Company while in Alaska and she wasn't shy about sharing her insights. Her important personal note, should one choose the world famous venue? Watch your knees. Jai writes:

I'm gonna be honest. My knees kill me when I work here! The floors are wooden and the dressing room is upstairs. Up and down the steps in heels if not good on your knees. I suggest walking down the steps backwards. It might look silly but believe me it helps relieve the pressure on your knees.

Lastly, she throws in:

Before I forget, I gotta tell you about the girls. The local girls are a trip! Some of them won't even talk to you until you come up a couple times or stay the whole summer. They will talk so much shit about you to the customers just like any other club. You will see girls do some of the craziest tricks on stage. Onyx is known for being very flexible! From time to time they also have girls that do tricks on silks. But most importantly...DON'T DANCE LIKE THE LOCAL GIRLS! THEY WILL GET YOU IN TROUBLE!!

And:

If you've heard the rumors that you will make $1,000-$1,500 a night in the summer time, you were told wrong. I've only known a couple of girls to make that and they are the local girls who have regulars. Sometimes you might make close a $1,000. It depends on your hustle. Before you make the trip up, be smart and figure out if it's gonna be worth it.

In conclusion -- and to all those who might have an eye toward stripping in Alaska this summer -- be extremely vigilant, watch you knees, don't take on local girls and bring a trick or two and you'll be fine. Just fine.

Editor's note: After attempts to get in contact with and interview Jai, we've been unsuccessful as of Friday night. She appears to travel quite a bit and only shares limited contact information.