Informed insight, good vibes and honest content brought “GivingHelly” 550k followers on TikTok seemingly overnight. Here, she shares her insights not only on TikTok itself, but on what it takes for entertainers to enjoy success in their clubs.

(NOTE: This story appears in the January 2024 issue of ED Magazine.)


D Publications spoke with TikTok’s @GivingHelly to learn how she utilizes her influence and manages the responsibility of being one of the most-watched stripper content pages on the internet.

(NOTE: Since this interview was given, Helly has retired from dancing.)

ED: Where do you currently dance and how long have you been dancing?

Helly: I currently dance at Show Palace in LIC, NY. I used to dance at Skybox, Gold Club/Room and Oceans in Chicago. I’ve been dancing since the summer of 2016.

ED: What is your level of influence on TikTok? Is it the platform you have the most influence on or is there another space where you’re more successful?

Helly: I became successful on TikTok before I started talking about stripping, but when I saw the topic of stripping come up on TikTok glamorized, I decided to use my platform to talk about my own experiences and shed a little bit more light on the reality of stripping. So I started a series called “Everything Striptok forgot to mention in 60 seconds” that was actually pretty successful, and it was one of the first videos discussing the reality of stripping that I had seen. Everything prior was just girls counting money and showing all the things that they were buying as a stripper, their outfits and their shoes — which is all super fun, and that is also the reality of stripping — but mine was the first video that I had seen tackling the full picture.

ED: How does your club feel about your social media?

Helly: They haven’t said how they feel about it, but the woman running their social media has picked my brain about how to grow a club account on TikTok. They definitely understand that social media is the best way to market anything these days, and I imagine that they appreciate the exposure.

ED: What is your message or purpose on TikTok? Is it for a general audience?

Helly: My message on TikTok has always been to tell a more realistic side of the industry of stripping, because I felt like a lot of young women could benefit from that content. I’ve been honest about plastic surgery, things like that. I definitely try to speak mostly to young women who I think I can help in situations they might be going through, or to prevent them from going through situations that I’ve been through. Thankfully, I have attracted a lot of people who are like me, so a lot of strippers who also seek the truth, and a lot of very beautiful women. I must say, my followers are very beautiful.

When I got really popular, I started posting my “manifesting money” videos for those women. It was a big responsibility having an audience of strippers that adored me, listened to me and trusted my word, and the universe pushed me in a direction to help them manifest more for themselves.

ED: Why is TikTok effective for reaching your target audience? How does the adult industry fit into TikTok?

Helly: If you act yourself, you will attract people who are like you: if you are fun, you’ll attract people who are fun; if you’re caring, you’ll attract people who are caring; and so, me just being myself online, I’ve attracted a lot of people like me, however, I have such a wide range of interests that my community is all over the place. TikTok is definitely the most valuable social media platform in that sense, because it’s basically becoming Google. There’s a lot of information on there, and there are a lot of different ways to blow up. 

I don’t think that the adult industry has a lot of space on TikTok, just because it is a very wide range of audiences, and your videos can pop up on anybody’s “For you” page. Instagram is a little bit better at keeping the algorithm to what you click on, so, like, if you click on booty, you’re going to see more booty — the booty isn’t just going to pop up on a kid’s explore page, at least, I don’t think so. But I do have mixed feelings about how “adult” we can get on TikTok, if that makes sense.

“[My club] definitely understands that social media is the best way to market anything these days, and I imagine that they appreciate the exposure.”


– @GivingHelly, TikTok influencer

ED: Why do you think your TikTok is so popular? Do you have any tips for gaining a mass following on this platform?

Helly: My TikTok is popular because I have studied how to post and what does well, and what doesn’t do well, just by naturally scrolling and seeing what’s fun, and enjoying it. The algorithm is always changing, so you have to constantly keep up with it. But create content that feels good, and the following comes when you’re doing what you love. 

My tips for gaining a mass following on TikTok would be to play around with different types of content and see what’s picking up, whether it be dancing, makeup or storytelling, whatever it is. And then when it works, stick with it, and milk it, because the social media algorithms love a good niche. To get more visibility, try reels.

ED: What are the advantages or disadvantages to TikTok?

Helly: The advantage of TikTok is being able to build a community almost overnight. I love about TikTok that somebody with 20 followers can have a video reach millions of people across the country that have their same interests.

A disadvantage of TikTok is that you don’t get to control whose “For you” page your videos pop up on. So if I’m making a video about stripping and it pops up on a 16-year-old’s For you, and she sees it as this glamorous lifestyle because I don’t get to choose how she interprets, and she decides that that’s what she wants to do, so goes into stripping right at 18…that scares me. I don’t know if I necessarily want 16-year-olds to see what I do and decide that that’s what they want to do, too. I became a stripper because of situations in my life, not because I saw a pretty girl on TikTok stripping. I don’t want to say that all of us strippers are damaged people, because we’re not, but we are largely here situationally, if that makes sense.

I had a real crisis when one of my videos hit the For you page and it was a bunch of young people that saw it. It was so random, about an iPod — I just posted an old iPod that I had, and was like, “Oh, I found this,” and I gained 100,000 very young followers overnight, when I was mostly posting content about dancing. I felt so guilty because I never was marketing myself to children, and now my posts are going to trigger the algorithm to put more stripper content on their page. I actually started getting comments from people saying, “I think this is my sign,” and I’m like, “Oh my God, no.” I just was terrified.

ED: How do you navigate TikTok’s censorship of adult content to reach your intended audience? What code words do you use and what hashtags?

Helly: When I first started posting “Striptok” content, the only code word that they had at the time was “strippa” instead of “stripper.” To me, that wasn’t good enough to be sure that my content wouldn’t be removed, so I created the word “$tripper” to kind of brand all of my content under. I started saying it verbally, like “dollar tripper,” in my videos so that girls would catch on, and they did. So I use “$tripper” in place of “stripper,” and it’s the only word that I have to censor because I’m not using many other adults words.

ED: Has your account ever been deleted for violating terms? Why was it removed?

Helly: I had my account permanently deleted for two months because I was on live and some boys were saying rude things in my comments. I snapped back and I got deleted for bullying. I assume it’s because they mass-reported me, because I was able to get my account back by sending an email to TikTok every single day, saying, “I need my account back. It was wrongfully deleted.” And they emailed me one day saying, “You were deleted because you’re under-aged. If you can prove that you’re above the age of 13…” — which, bitch, what the fuck? I’m so sorry, I’m way above the age of 13 — “then you can get your account back.” So I sent in my ID and my account was reinstated. Moral of the story is don’t respond to the teenage boys that are bullying you, because they will have your account removed, but you can get it back if you’re persistent like I am. 

ED: Because you have such a large presence, have you ever been stalked by someone from the Internet? What kind of personal content are you comfortable sharing and what are your boundaries?

Helly: To my knowledge, I haven’t been stalked by anybody from the internet, but I do pray a lot and put out positive vibes to protect myself from any type of energy that would be harmful. And I don’t post videos showing the inside of my home or what my neighborhood looks like.

ED: What’s the best and worst part about being a stripper?

Helly: The best part about being a stripper is the money, freedom and confidence it gives me. The worst part is dealing with the drunk male public. I’ve learned how to navigate it better over the years, and I know when to walk away from a situation, but it took me time to learn how to set those boundaries.

The best advice I was ever given is that not all money is good money, and you can’t pay for peace of mind. If it doesn’t feel right, the money won’t make it feel right. You are a business woman; run your business like a business. Take care of yourself, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually, as well. You are the product when you walk into that club, and luxury is expensive. Be luxury.

Follow Helly on TikTok @GivingHelly.

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