If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, and I sure hope you have, you will have noticed that I changed the title for this entry. I felt this one was more suitable for the message I am about to share with you.
Back to the back we went. It was almost in slow motion, waiting for the line to move along like some X-rated carnival ride…The ticket master (security) takes money for the privilege of getting on the ride. We walk to a car (booth) and strap ourselves in waiting for the ride to start (next song). I felt like I should have had something prepared or at least practiced before I got there. I felt like I owed him a proper dance. It was only fair to a paying customer that he receive a professional dancer who knows how to entertain for three minutes at a time.
I didn’t know what to expect any more than he did. Once we were seated, we had two choices: talk to each other or stare at ourselves in the plethora of mirrors. The presence of these mirrors was disconcerting on several levels. One, they were physically deceptive. I saw people run into them. It was pretty funny until I did it too. I wasn’t drunk but I became so mesmerized with myself that I couldn’t stop staring. Two, they were mentally deceptive. Did I look fat? Was I slouching? Did my hair look okay? And three, my body was on display from every angle. I saw parts of my skin I had never seen before. Did they plan it like this? Ohhh, that’s how I look when I do this, or that. I couldn’t stop looking at myself!
Waiting for a new song to start, I engaged him in conversation. I told him I was new (maybe he’d take pity on me). Where I was from, etc. But I wasn’t really listening to anything except the music because I knew that as soon as that song was over, it was showtime again. I started second guessing why in the world this man chose me. I should have been pleased with myself. After all, I was already ahead of the game. I looked good enough for him to ask me for a dance. Or maybe he just thought I was new and stupid so more apt to do something really dumb. I’ll never know but for vanity’s sake, I’ll choose the former. And he was a cute guy. He was younger, probably late 20’s. So not the typical old man you’d envision in a seedy strip club. And he was nice, even a little nervous. He kept tapping his foot. I assumed he was just anxious to get started.
If you’ve never gotten naked in front of a stranger before now, I implore you to do it. Or even in front of someone you know: a friend, lover, pet. Whatever. As scary as it is, it’s oddly empowering. The best advice I can give when you’re about to begin is this: Imagine you are the most beautiful being in existence. No matter what you look like, what you think you look like or what you used to look like. Confidence is sexier than the flattest abs or the best boob job, hands down. Now I’ve seen some fugly strippers over the years. I mean, wow. Toothless, cross-eyed, limping, bad breath…I’d like to say I’ve seen it all but I know that’s not true. I’m sure any time I ever visit a strip club in the future, someone or something will surprise me. But seriously, fugly. And they were making money. Not all of them, but in general they weren’t going hungry. Your first thought at this point was also mine — they must be up to no good in the VIP. Sure, it was possible. But at this particular club they would have decoys come in, talk to certain girls suspected of being naughty, get dances and report back to the manager. Yeah, they really did it. And most of the fugly ones got good reviews. So I observed them and they just didn’t give a shit what people were saying about them, they just smiled and worked the crowds. They were confident.
Needless to say, I was lacking in the confidence department that evening. I had a little bit in my pocket, but I knew I was out of my element. So I had to pretend. I had to act. Life is a stage and all that. Not to mention that I’m a lesbian so I already knew that I had to pretend to be heterosexual and thrilled about it. No problem, been doing that all my life. But I had never considered myself sexy. Ever. Not in the truest sense of the word.
SEXY: excitingly appealing; glamorous (thanks, dictionary.com)
Nope. I had never really felt exciting, appealing or glamorous. Sure I played the role but I never truly felt it. What I learned this first dance around was that it’s not what you do, it’s what you don’t do. That’s sexy. Up until this point in my life, I had always done whatever flamboyant thing was necessary to look sexy: crazy outfits, wild make-up, a loud mouth. It’s what most women do now. They fake it to make it. They rely on pop culture to define what’s sexy, rather than what should come naturally. Fake boobs, dyed hair, fake nails, designer labels, fancy car. All to attract the best mate. They think that the more they do to their bodies or their belongings, their sexy quotient will increase. Wrong. I’ve done it and it only gets you so far. It’s all a facade. In a back room with no clothes on, you’ve got to have your sexy without any false fronts. It took me some years to get there, but that’s what I figured out about myself. I had been faking it.
So, in this back room with this stranger, I was eventually naked. And vulnerable. No clothes to cover my physical insecurities. Seeing every bit of myself on display. You would think I’d be having all kinds of mental anguish at this point over getting naked for a stranger. But all I kept wondering about was what he thought of me. Weird. Why I cared so much about his opinion wasn’t the issue at the moment. It should’ve been, but it wasn’t. I kept trying to read his eyes, which is hard to do when a man’s eyes are staring hard everywhere…except your face. And even that was satisfying. In the first couple of songs, I started to like how he was almost salivating. I liked that he wanted to grab me so badly that it might’ve been painful. He wanted me but he couldn’t have me. I found power. I really got into it. Too into it. One moment I’m up dancing, watching him watching me, I’m watching me. Then I watched his hands grab my hips and pull me backwards onto his lap. Hm. Okay. Keep in mind that I was pretty damn naive back then. I went with it. It didn’t seem too wrong. He was only touching my hips. But then he started to move a little too erratically underneath me. I instantly felt dirty. I jumped up. I learned a good rule of thumb with all those mirrors covering every square inch save for the floor. Once I peered out into the hallway, I could see what was happening in the other rooms too. And there was quite a bit of grinding going on. So apparently it was accepted. I decided I wasn’t ready for all that.
As the third song finally started, of course he commented on my sudden ‘Stop. Do Not Pass Go. But I Will Collect My $60.’ But he wasn’t mean about it, just concerned. I reiterated that it was my first time and I thought that we were crossing the line. I’ll never forget what he said next. “It’s okay. I think we should cross it. Please, let’s cross it.” It was pretty funny. I’ll give him that. But for the next 3 minutes or so, the only grinding he got was my left butt cheek on the outside of his kneecap. For that dance and that moment, that was my sexy. And once we were done, I was still able to look at myself in the mirror.