As the summer continued, I started to spend more and more time working in Tampa. Mostly to make money, but let’s be honest…having a love interest is extremely motivating. For our lunch date, I took Jen to some swanky place in the new International Mall. It was nice. We laughed, shared a bit about ourselves and, my goodness, was she pretty. I was so nervous but she had no problem bolstering the conversation. She was easy to talk to. She was a former dancer, turned manager and I thought that was amazing. Other than her and myself, I’ve never come across any other female managers over the years. It’s very hard, practically impossible actually and I found myself even more enthralled with her. She was extremely intelligent and that only enhanced her beauty. The dance season with my company was winding down after the summer shows so I had a bit more time on my hands. I made a point of conveniently working the nights I knew she was scheduled so I could pop in and see her. It paid off I got a nice visit from her across the street one evening after she closed down and let’s just say that it was X-rated…Cinemax, not video! Ew, our first time was not to be in a seedy strip club booth. Actually, it ended up being the backseat of a car, but anyway…We decided to wait on that before we got ourselves into trouble.
I was making friends in the club too. It was almost like a second home and I found myself behaving toward new girls much in the same way I was treated. I wasn’t mean, just indifferent. I’ll share the stripper insider rationale: one never knows how long a new dancer is going to stay and it’s a matter of priority. Is it worth it to get to know someone who was going to be gone in a few shifts? One thing I tried to drill into the young minds of my dancer employees in later years…don’t trust anyone, especially a girl who just walked in off the street. You don’t know a person’s true intentions, ever. Especially a woman. We’re smarter and much more conniving than men. Did they listen? Stolen money, jewelry, missing clothes, vandalized property and a few fights later…not really.
But we all have to learn in our own way. The next lesson for me? Don’t mess with a certain young woman I’ll call ‘Ava’ (completely random – not an actual dancer named Ava, whom I’m still friends with and is absolutely wonderful!) and a stolen boyfriend. Well, not so much stolen as ‘attempted to borrow.’ This poor new girl had no idea what hornet’s nest she had stirred up and neither did I. When Ava found out that this new chick was the one who had been trying to get at her man for several weeks through incessant calls that Ava had been tracking…well.
We had our own bathroom in the dressing room and it extended far enough where there was a bidet (of course) and a shower that was out of the line of vision of the housemom. All Ava asked me to do was stand at the door and keep watch. Still being a bit naive, I had no idea why Ava and a friend of hers went in after the new girl, until the ruckus started. All I could do was stand there like a deer in headlights, praying that one, they didn’t kill this girl, and two, the housemom wouldn’t notice. Well, they didn’t kill her. The housemom figured out what was going on and, trying not to get on Ava’s bad side I tried to block, but faintly. I couldn’t very well shove this adorable little Asian woman away from the bathroom when all she was trying to do was keep blood splatter to a minimum. She broke up the fight. Luckily, I was still in Ava’s good graces. That felt good and once I heard what the girl had been up to, she had it coming. Think Beyonce’s Obsessed meets LisaRaye’s The Player’s Club. I firmly believe that sometimes a woman who acts like a whore deserves a good old-fashioned ass whooping when she tries to break up a happy home. Just think, if this were the norm, there’d probably be less cheating.
Assisting and surviving my first stripper brawl put me in the good graces of some of the other girls. And that’s how I got my first champagne room. Up to this point, I had never asked for one. I was comfortable doing the regular dances and the spaceship. I wasn’t in a hurry to try the champagne room. Why would a guy pay so much more for the same thing he could get in another area? It damn sure wasn’t the champagne. We were not permitted to serve alcohol since we were a nude club so our $75 champagne was actually sparkling apple cider. Economical, huh? I guess the privacy factor is a big deal, but the way they were situated weren’t all that private anyway. They had curtains and were fairly dark with blacklights so, I guess it was kind of sexy and romantic in a b-rated horror flick kind of way. I suppose if I were a guy I wouldn’t want a bunch of people watching me either. So it happen one night that I got my first champagne room from a fellow dancer who had danced for this particular guy before. I was leery. Why don’t you go then? She said, well, he’s a little weird and he pays a little less than the norm for the champagne room and I have another regular coming in. Don’t worry, he’s harmless and you don’t have to get naked. I was really nervous and confused. Especially when the manager came into the dressing room to find out who was going. She pointed to me. Okay, he said, let’s go. And then the dancer hands me a brand new pair of pantyhose and a black skirt. He wants you to wear this. What the hell? I was about to meet my first fetishist.
As I walked in, you can imagine what was going through my mind. Did I have to actually make conversation with this guy for half an hour? And about what? How smooth the pantyhose were? He brought them in, by the way. He purchased a brand new pack each visit. I’m not sure what happen to him, but I suppose visiting a strip club once every couple of months and paying $300 for half an hour and $2.50 for hose was more cost-effective than weekly therapy @ $200 an hour. And this guy seemed like he would need two or more weekly sessions. Anyway, who was I to judge? I can act and this was just another role to play. He wasn’t what I expected. He was probably in his mid-30′s, scrawny with very long dark hair pulled back in a ponytail. The very next thing I noticed raised the hairs on my arm. He had on loose-fitting running shorts! This is a red flag for any stripper worth her salt. Loose fitting shorts usually mean one thing. Something’s going to try and make an appearance – or – he wants friction for stimulation. There was an extremely thin layer of material between me and the sight of this man’s penis. This wasn’t going to work for me. I froze. And so did he.