The months went by and I was working quite a schedule: four 7-10 hour days as an aspiring professional dancer and two to three 8 hour nights as a blossoming stripper.  Plus, I still had the part-time job in the lingerie boutique doing sales, advertising and directing fashion shows.  Thinking back to those days, I envision a photograph of my feet…one with a ballet pointe shoe and the other with a 6″ acrylic stiletto.  I was quite the dichotomy.  But the schedule didn’t bother me so much.  I’ve always loved being busy.  In fact, the busier I was the more energy I seemed to have.

At the club, it became routine.  I’d drive down on friday around 6p, get ready and on the floor by 8p, work until 5a, tipout, drive home, rehearse saturday morning from 8-12, sleep, drive back down to work for the evening.  Sometimes I’d stay in town and work sunday as well.  It depended on my mood.  Being there regularly was nice in that I was making friends/buddies/acquaintances.  That was fun but also got me into a bit of trouble.  Our club didn’t serve liquor because we were nude, so we took breaks to go across the street and have a few drinks at the bikini club.  It also served a dual purpose in promoting ourselves to potential customers to drag back across with us.  Yeah, yeah, it’s rude to poach customers, I agree, but I didn’t make a habit of it and didn’t mention my job unless they asked.  Constant visits across the street eventually caught the attention of their manager – a beautiful Japanese/European woman.  Let’s call her Jen.

Jen became my first true Tampa attraction that I couldn’t wait to see over and over again.  She was beautiful and bossy.  Two of my favorite traits in a woman.  She was short, but walked with such authority that I could spot her clear across the crowded room.  Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for the chance to take breaks, even if no one wanted to come with me.  I made sure I wore something nice but casual in to work so that I would look my best when racing across a busy five lane stretch of road to see a woman who had no idea I existed.  But it was worth it.  I loved watching her work.  I loved watching when she was bitching at someone or when someone was making her laugh.  One night I finally got the guts to ask our favorite bartender if she was seeing someone.  The answer was no.  I was thrilled.  I never planned to talk to her, but at least I wouldn’t feel guilty about the X-rated fantasies I kept having.  And then one night it happen.  I don’t know if the bartender said something to her or what, but Jen sent a drink over for me.  Really?  I was beside myself.  If I could get to know her, this whole stripper escapade/second life of mine was so worth it.  Come to find out she was schmoozing me, but not for a date.  After I thanked her for the drink, she explained that she wanted me to enter the bikini contest they had on wednesdays.  Me?  Really?  My answer was that I’d think about it.  Inside I was screaming, “Hell yeah!”  I figured, why not?  I could win some money and I’d get to see her again.  It was a win-win.

So I made the trek back to Tampa the following week to make my fantasy wife happy.  A sidenote: my first girlfriend was Vietnamese and I’ve been hooked on Asian women ever since.  Jen was an Asian-American woman who worked in a male-dominated role.  I was enthralled.  Once I arrived, I must say she gave me a lot of attention.  She made sure I had my own area in the dressing room.  She checked on me often to make sure I was alright.  A waitress came in and brought me a drink from her.  No one else was getting this attention and I was truly enjoying this VIP treatment.  The first round of competition went by with no major issues.  I pranced, danced and smiled for the crowd.  Of course I made it to the next round.  I don’t know if it was the liquor (a second drink was brought back after the first round) or the fact that I was getting the impression that she might just like me, but I thought I just might win this thing.  And that was $300 I wasn’t expecting.  During the second round, I could feel the liquor working its way through my system.  I was enjoying the attention but I needed to sit down.  Finally, the second round was over and I was back in the dressing room.  Jen came back to check on me again, I asked for water and she brought it back for me.  I was definitely falling for her and I knew nothing about her.

The judges were ready with their decision…Yep, I won.  Imagine that.  Jen stood behind the judges clapping and then I saw the wink.  I felt very bold right then and I knew that this was my opportunity.  I got dressed in my street clothes after all the congratulations, blah blah blah and I headed out to thank her.  We chatted for a minute and she let it slip that she did have a little say in the winner.  I jumped on that and asked her out to lunch.  She said yes, she’d love to.  Wow, I had a date with a hottie.  And remember my advice about dating women who were too hot?  Yeah, there’s a reason for that.  And she was reason #1.

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