Trolls: The etiquette of tipping

On the way home from D.C. today I had an extended conversation with a very friendly, intelligent, handsome, and curious patron who was interested in knowing more about “the biz.” He expressed the concern that he was often shy of tipping dancers, because doing so would mean he was a “troll” (because only “trolls” tip). He thus often refrained from tipping, even when he wanted to, for fear that others would think him desperate or disgusting. The following is a re-cap of what I then explained to him:

There are many types of people in clubs. Some are very well-mannered and kind, regardless of their appearance. Others are not. I think the reason the “trolls” stand out in people’s minds so much is because of the way these types of people carry themselves: They are people (often older men, but not always) who make no effort to mask their aggressive sexual energy. This being the case, they draw attention to themselves. They tend to hover and lasciviously rake a dancer over the coals for a dollar. This, however, is the very smallest minority of people who tip. They are the most visible, but the least common.

All sorts of people tip. Last night alone I was tipped by three young women, an Asian twink, several upper middle class White men in their mid- to late-thirties, a reserved but kindly White gentleman who has generously offered to let me use some of his frequent flier miles, many Black men of various dispositions ranging in age from about 25 to about 50, at least five or so Latinos (one of whom was a “troll”), and also by two affluent Lebanese college students. Those are just the ones I can think of at a moment’s notice. Now that I remember it more clearly, last night there were also several older gentlemen who tipped me repeatedly; however, they were so polite, well-groomed, and gracious that they could hardly be categorized as trolls. Of that entire list of people, only ONE was a troll.

This particular Latino of about 40 years of age was a sloppy drunk who tried to finger me several times. He followed me around the bar harrassing me for my phone number. He said, “I’ve given you so much money. Why won’t you just come home with me?” He’d tipped me a dollar about four times. THIS is a troll, and it has little to do with his age/race/appearance, and far more to do with his attitude/behavior. He was scaring me.

The point is this: Tipping doesn’t make you desparate. It doesn’t make you disgusting. Being an asshole makes you a troll. I asked this person on the phone if he’d noticed, out of the approximately 500 patrons last night, anyone he thought was normal, polite, and/or attractive. He said he definitely had. I then asked if he saw any of these people tipping dancers. He said yes. He went on to say that he didn’t think less of them for tipping. He answered his own questions.

Don’t be afraid to tip, but do approach it with some modicum of respect for the working boy who has fired up your fantasies.

Author: Devon Hunter

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  1. well at least it sounds like you had a good night to end the trip on, so that is a plus. not all of us who tip are trolls. it is my opinion that if you visit an establishment that offers dancers as a form of entertainment, then you should tip the guys; after all, they are the reason you showed up at the club. i think watching without tipping is like stealing cable…..not a good thing.

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  2. very well said, joe. amen.

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  3. Agrees with Joe!
    I could most likely fit any of the “groups” you outlined in your post, but, would like to think that ‘troll’ is NOT one of them… Good tipper? I sure hope so?

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  4. big daddy – there is no way in hell you’d qualify as a troll!! i look forward to seeing you later this month.

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  5. I went to Secret’s about a month or two ago. I tipped a dollar to lots of guys and many times. I have no idea how much money I gave out in tips. At the end of the night I tipped one of the hots guys (Michael) a $5 and another (jimmy) at $10. They showed interest in me and were very nice and had short conversations with me. I hope that is reasonable. That was one of my first times in a club like this but I had a ball. From your experience Devon, did I tip correctly? I’m 38 (39 tomorrow) and pretty average guy. My partner was there with me.

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  6. from what you just described, i think you sound like a fantastic patron 🙂 thank you for being good to the boiz. and yes, you tipped like a pro. LOL

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