Rachel, a.k.a Nicole adjusts her outfit in the dressing room of Tattle Tale’s Gentlemen’s Club in Bowling Green, Ky. Rachael was hired at Tattle Tale’s when she turned 19 in July of 2015 after her fiancé was laid off from work. “It was quick easy money. I was pretty motivated to stick with it because I made what my husband would make in two weeks in one night. Tattle Tales had been in town forever so I figured that was the best one to work at.”
Rachael practices her pole dancing routine at home in preparation for an upcoming competition in myrtle beach. On Rachael’s nights off from work, she stays home and takes care of her son Gabriel. Her shifts at the club start at 6:00pm and end at 2:00am. Rachael’s fiancé has expressed his disapproval of Rachael working at a club, and is expecting for her to quit soon after her pole competition. Rachael explained that even though she will be quitting at the club, she will never stop pole dancing because she enjoys it too much.
Rachael and her fiancé, Chris Basham, take a “selfie” at their son Gabriel’s 2nd Birthday party. Rachael and Chris met at a mall when they were 13, and are now 20. Chris did not approve of Rachael’s profession following him getting laid off from work. “He made that very, very obvious. If I didn’t quit my job he wasn’t gonna be with me anymore. And he really just wouldn’t talk to me about work and when I tried to tell him about it either he would ignore me or start a fight with me. So I just stopped talking to him about it. After a while it didn’t really bother me anymore.” Rachael has since quit at the club, due to an unexpected pregnancy. Her doctor advised that she not engage in any extreme physical activity.
Rachael, a.k.a Nicole, puts on make-up before her shift at Tattle Tale’s Gentlemen’s Club. All of the women are expected to be out of dressing rooms and on the floor by 6:00.
Rachael talks with one of her coworkers at Tattle Tales Gentlemen’s club, as they get ready for one of their shifts. Rachael had no experience as a dancer when she was hired, and a lot of the women at the club are hostile towards new dancers. New dancers seen as a threat to income, which can provoke some of the women working there to start rumors, or discredit a dancer in the eyes of clients. “Once I made a friend, it made my job a lot easier.” Rachael was often more kind and welcoming to new girls, and tended to stay away from drama. This helped her gain friends but also made others dislike her.
Rachael helps her son blow out the candles on his birthday cake. None of Rachael’s side of the family knows about her profession except for her mom. Rachael explained, “My family is really judgmental, and I don’t hardly talk to them as it. I just didn’t feel like listening to them bitch at me.” Rachael hasn’t been in contact with her mother for the past two months, but explained “My mom doesn’t like what I’m doing, but said I’m grown and can make my own choices.”
Rachael accept money from a client during her shift at Tattle Tale’s. Rachael’s intimacy with clients is the main point of criticism that her fiancé has with her profession. “I think it has to deal with male pride or something. I don’t know,” Rachael explained. When asked if she ever felt uncomfortable with the intimacy with clients, she replied jokingly, “more grossed out. There’s some really nasty people that come in there.”
Rachael holds her son Gabriel in the ticket booth at Chuck E. Cheese for his second birthday party.
Rachael takes a moment to rest during her warm-up routine at Tattle Tales before clients start to arrive. When there are periods of little to no customers, it is common for the women who work at the club to head over to the bar portion of the establishment. Because Rachael is under the legal drinking age, she is now allowed to step foot in the bar.
One of Rachael’s friends from the club touches her stomach when Rachael comes to clear out her locker and say goodbye to coworkers. Rachael has informed girls and management at the club of her pregnancy, and the friends that she had made there took time away from their shifts and getting-ready routines to give congrats. Rachael has explained that she will not be keeping in contact with any of the other dancers from the club. “I had friends there but not friends that I’d probably keep up with outside of work. The only person I still talk to regularly is Mason.” Mason is the DJ at Tattle Tale’s, and him and Rachael hit it off because he was “easy to talk to.”
Rachael consoles her son Gabriel, after he started crying while she was practicing her routine. Rachael works at the club to support her family, and create a good life for her son. “My profession doesn’t affect Gabriel, but it’s a huge strain on my relationship. “I didn’t every feel ashamed, because I was doing whatever was necessary to take care of my child.”