"Dancers in these clubs perform topless but not bottomless; law requires them to wear underwear, bikinis, or similar garments to cover the pubis. Thus, menstruating dancers can wear tampons (with strings clipped short or tucked up) and change them often during heavy-flow days, without revealing any visual signs of menstruation. Dancers typically wear very little perfume, but they often have breast implants, dye their head hair, trim their pubic hair, shave their legs and underarms, and adopt a "stage name" different from their real first name. They typically do regular aerobic and resistance exercise to maintain a fit, lean body shape.
During work, each dancer performs one to three “stage dances” on an elevated central stage about every 90 min to advertise her presence, attractiveness, and availability for lap dances. These result in only modest tip earnings (typically $1-5 tips from the men seated closest to the stage, totaling only about 10% of her earnings). The rest of the dancer’s time is spent walking around the club asking men if they want a “lap dance.” A lap dance typically costs $10 per 3-min song in the main club area or $20 in the more private VIP lounge. Dancers typically make about two thirds of their income from the main club area and one third from the VIP area; thus, average income from each lap dance is about US$14. Lap dances require informal “tips” rather than having explicit “prices” (to avoid police charges of illegal “solicitation”), but the economic norms of tipping are vigorously enforced by bouncers. Dancers thus maximize their earnings by providing as many lap dances as possible per shift.”
That’s from Geoffrey Miller, a psychologist at the University of New Mexico. Previous laboratory research has hinted at a link between a woman’s fertility and her attractiveness. Women are most fertile during the period just before ovulation (called estrus), which lasts about a week. During this stage women are thought to become more attractive to men through improved body scent, increased symmetry, decreased waist-to-hip ratio, perceived greater beauty, and better flirting skills.
Miller and his colleagues wanted to find out what effect, if any, ovulation had on a stripper’s earnings. So he took his experiment out of the lab and recruited 18 strippers from the Albuquerque area who kept track of their earnings and menstrual cycles.
Surprisingly, Miller found that strippers who were in the estrus phase made $354 per shift compared to $90 during the luteal phase and $170 more than during the menstrual phase. The use of birth-control pills didn’t help results, with woman on oral contraception earning about $80 less per shift.
The researchers were surprised that almost no one in the business had noticed the pattern before. But if you’re a woman in any service-industry job looking to maximize your tips, Miller suggests scheduling more shifts for the phase right before ovulation: “It might help to know about this so that you can exploit these effects.”