I went to a strip club on Saturday night.
Not male strippers. Women. Lots of women.
It was all in the name of research for my novel. Well, just one scene in my novel, but it’s important to get these things right.
I drafted two friends, a married couple who shall remain nameless, to go on this adventure with me although the wife told me she didn’t exactly have to twist her husband’s arm to get him to come along.
We arrived fairly early, at least by strip club standards, but the parking lot was full. One of my friends commented that it had to be a decent place since all of the cars were rather nice. We didn’t realize at the time that all those nice cars must have belonged to the strippers, because there were very few customers inside.
The bouncer at the door was wearing a suit, which also promoted the image of a higher end establishment. Not that I had anything to compare it too.
Between the cars and suit, we decided we were safe to go in.
I don’t know what we would have done if the parking lot had been full of Harleys and jacked up pickup trucks and the bouncer had been wearing jeans.
We were greeted by a friendly cashier who happily took our cover charge and said to ask her if we had any questions about “the prices.” She didn’t mean about the cost of the drinks.
It was rather empty, just one single guy, a couple and the three of us. The floor host found us a table back from the main stage, asked what we’d like to drink and told us to let him know if we’d like “an introduction” to one of the ladies. (Um, I’m sure they are all very nice, but no thank you.)
While we were finding our table and getting our drinks, a woman was on stage, weaving around a brass pole. She was wearing a thong and some sort of top and seemed rather bored. A big screen tv played a ball game on the stage behind her.
At one point, another scantily clad girl walked up to the stage and tossed the performer a white towel. With her butt still wiggling, she wiped down the pole and threw the towel to the back of the stage.
I was surprised at the number of strippers in the club. They sat at the bar and took turns taking the stage for two song sets. A DJ would announce the next girl’s name, she would get up, wander up some steps and disappear behind a giant mirror. A moment later she’d be dancing onstage.
It was all very lethargic.
As people (men) arrived, however, and took seats directly at the stage, the women upped their game. Tops came off sooner, bills were put into g-strings. The more athletic strippers even used the pole to hang upside down, just like a strip club in a movie.
It’s surprising what those women would do for couple of dollars. All a guy had to do was tent a few bills in front of him and the women would straddle the bar, stick their butts in their face, drape their bodies across them, bend over and wave at them from between their legs.
One stripper even had a signature move of biting her own nipple. I’m not exactly sure why that would be a turn on, it just looked painful to me, but the men seem to enjoy it. Particularly a geriatric gentleman we nicknamed Grandpa.
Once an hour they had a stripper parade. All the women would walk around the stage, fashion show style, and then out in to the audience asking people if they wanted to join them in the VIP room. They even had a special, two lap dances for $40 and they’d throw in a free calendar.
The couple at the next table took advantage of that special price. I wonder who got the lap dance, the man or the women. Or maybe they each got one.
The boob biting stripper stopped at our table. She seemed excited to see women in the club and informed my male friend that he was very lucky that his wife was there with him.
There were strippers for all tastes: short, tall, blonde, brunette, skinny, voluptuous. And they had varying degrees of skill too. One woman simply writhed on the floor most of the time, while others actually danced or used the pole. Some liked to slap their butts, others played with their breasts.
My friends and I had a favorite. She was one of the best dancers and wore glasses. There’s something novel about a stripper in glasses, and I’m certainly going to have to borrow it for my book.
There was a very angry waitress we enjoyed watching too. She stomped around in a red sparkly bustier, looking like she should be at a Peace and Justice rally instead of serving drinks on the floor of a strip club.
The most astonishing thing about the whole experience was how quickly we became desensitized to the atmosphere. When the first girl took off her top, my first thought was a very prudish “oh my.”
But after an hour or so, it was just another pair of boobs, just another woman stroking herself to entertain a roomful of drunken men.
I suppose that happens to the strippers too. Or else they wouldn’t be able to perform like that. Or walk from table to table offering private lap dances, just 2 for $40.
All in all, the evening was pretty fun. Or at least eye-opening. I think two gin and tonics help contribute with my comfort level but it wasn’t as sketchy or depressing as I thought it might be.
And I gathered lots of little details to make my strip club scene authentic, which is a good thing because nothing ruins a novel faster than an inauthentic strip club scene.