Tuesday, April 25, 2006

patrolling the love perimeter

Or: A Stripper's Guide to Shaving Her Twat

When I tell people I'm a stripper, one of the first things they want to know -- especially if they are women -- is how I get the hair off my mons. It's not the first thing most people want to know, of course. The first thing they want to know is "Are you serious?" ("yes") and the second thing is "What is it like?" -- a question in its essence unanswerable, to which the response, depending on when and how you ask, might be "Great!" or "It's a job" or "Bite me, gringo."

Fortunately, the third question many people ask is altogether concrete, the answer simple, straight-forward and useful: "How do you shave your pubes?" they want to know. Good question.

Before I stripped, my pussy was never depilated. In fact, I had a low-level grudge against women who did this recreationally. It's not for me to say how much foliage another person needs, but I always thought the fetish for a clinically manicured snatch was a little weird, especially when it was men demanding it. At best, it seemed childishly squeamish -- yeah, hair holds in the scent. But if you don't like the smell of pussy, you don't need to have your head between my thighs in the first place. Awww, did you get a hair in your teeth? I just swallowed a good four tablespoons of your cum, you sissy. At worst, the desire for a vulva as smooth and hairless as an unripe fruit seemed to hint darkly at a pedophilic urge.

Now, some girls are blessed with a wild bush and shave for fashion's sake, to accomodate a pair of lowriders or a bathing suit. That's a rather different thing. As it happens, my hair has always been natively rather neat -- short, straight, and contained in a neat delta around the vital area itself. So until I became a stripper, I had never needed or wanted to give my pubes even a trim. I shaved my twat for the first time a half hour before I drove to my first titty bar audition.

I didn't mean the act to have ritual significance -- it was just something I'd been told I needed to do -- but it took on certain heavy overtones, nonetheless. I remember being in the shower with one of those pink-handled disposables in one hand and my vagina in the other, wishing I knew what to do. Struggling to remember anything my more fashion conscious and sexually adventurous friends had ever told me about shaving the delicates, I was pretty sure I didn't even have the right equipment. I'd been told good things about various expensive "women-only" brands of razor. I'd been told that I should pay someone to do something called a Brazilian wax. But at this time in my life I barely had the quarter tank of gas to drive myself across town to the titty bar. If I'd had the money for a $16 razor -- let alone $50 to have a Swedish woman cover my labia in gum-soaked rags and rip them off -- I wouldn't have been here in the shower with my vagina and my razor in the first place. I would have bought myself a sandwich and called it a day.

I remember looking down at my poon pleadingly, as though it might offer me advice. I remember thinking it was pretty weird that I, of all people -- the girl who couldn't shave her poon -- was going to be a stripper. I remember speculating about what I might buy with the money I made. Maybe a razor. No, fuck it. A hamburger and new pair of shoes. I remember feeling about ten years old. And then I just reared back went for it.

I lathered up with Ivory soap and proceeded to scrape and chammy and buff that razor around every which way, trying to make it shape to the contours of an area that contains very few flat planes or straight lines, and all too many shy and delicate folds of flesh. I cut myself again and again. Little trickles of blood meandered through snowy white suds. When I was done, my poon was covered with little dabs of toilet paper like my dad's face on one of his hangover mornings, and I was running my fingers over the rest, fascinated with the silky, slippery smoothness of it.

That wasn't the worst, of course, as anyone who has shaved their pubes knows. The worst was two days later when the ingrown hairs grew in -- sharp, angry little corksccrews of hair drilling their way to the surface, raising red welts and bubbly pus-filled whiteheads. During my first stint at stripping, bikini bumps were a fact of life for me, like crying and brushing out my wig.

C. changed all this for me. Yup. It took a boy to show me how to shave my poon. Not that C. habitually shaves his own or anyone else's pubes. But the boy has a face like a vagina -- the same unlikely combination of gnarly Irishman bristles and baby-soft skin. Guess who else commonly has this problem? Black guys. What do black guys, my boyfriend, and my vagina have in common? Many things, probably. But for my puroses, special shaving needs. Fortunately, while they do not make special razors for my boyfriend or my vagina, they do make them for black guys. They are called Bumpfighter, and they are awesome. When I started dating C. and shaving in his shower, the fortunes of my quim changed forever. In the past few years, I have shaved my naughty bits hundreds if not thousands of times, and I have learned a thing or two. The days of ingrown hairs and vaginal shaving accidents have thankfully passed, and I now pass on my hard-won knowledge. Without further ado:

1. Trim the excess. If your pubes are more than an inch long, shaving them as-is will be like hacking through the jungle with a machete: doable, but sweaty and exhausting. Basically, if there is enough hair there that you CAN grasp it firmly, pull it away from the body, and trim close to the hairline, then do it.

2. This will leave your tang with an adorable little burr cut. Enjoy this part. It's cute. Rub it for good luck. Make your significant other come and take pictures of it. Pretend it's your only son and he's been in a lot of trouble his whole life but you think that under the circumstances joining the Marines may be the best thing he could have done, so while you have a lot of conflict personally about seeing him plunge into the moral abyss of war, plus of course you are scared stiff for the physical and mental safety of the baby you carried in your body for nine months, you are still bravely hoping for the best.

3. Dry your tears and start softening up the remaining hair. If you have time, soak in a hot bubby bath for at least ten minutes. The hair will soak up water and become easier to cut. If time is an issue, take a shower and put conditioner on the fuzz. Do something else for a few minutes while the conditioner soaks in. Make putting conditioner on your poon the first thing you do in the shower, and shaving the last.

4. When you are ready to shave, assume the position. A second-position plie works well for former (or current) ballerinas. One foot up on edge of the tub in a Victorious Hunter pose is good, too.

5. Grasp the vagina firmly. This is a dominance move. It is all very well to play and have good times, but your vagina needs to know when you mean business.

6. Pull the inner edge of the right labia over to the left, creating a smooth, taut plane of flesh across which the razor can easily navigate. Shave inward, towards the inner sanctum. This is the direction the hair grows, all the way around the vagina. To prevent ingrown hairs, you will always shave in the direction of the hair, so the razor will always be moving from the outside toward the cream-filled center.

7. Shave slowly and keep firm pressure on the razor. You don't want to have to go back over the area more than twice. Don't be too ginger. If this thing can squeeze out a baby, it can handle being shorn. As long as you pull the flesh taut, you will not cut yourself. And if you do, put some toilet paper on it and don't be a baby about it.

8. On your first attempt, you might not want to shave the full monty. You may elect to leave a little landing strip along the sides and/or a Hitler mustache across the top. Hearts, initials, and other fancy shapes are probably also best left for a later attempt.

9. Consider some hedge-trimming around the back door, as well. It's easier and not as scary as it sounds. Just bend over, squat a little, pull one rosy cheek to the side and shave along the inner margin. Repeat to other side. It seems tricky because you can't see what you're doing -- well you can try to use a mirror, but trust me, it only makes it more confusing -- but you'll get the hang of it.

10. DO NOT NEGLECT AFTERCARE. This is where you really determine whether or not you get ingrown hairs. There are products on the market that claim they will prevent or get rid of bikini bumps, but I have never found one that was worth a damn next to Bumpfighter razors and simple hygiene. Wash the area gently but thoroughly, preferably with a light exfoliant scrub, a few times a day for the first couple of days, and allow to air-dry before putting on panties. An astringent like witch hazel or men's aftershave will cause the skin to pull back around the hair, giving the hair a better chance of growing out without nasty complications. If you do get an ingrown hair, Neosporin will kill the infection, and a combination of witch hazel and mashed up aspirins will fight the inflamation.

And there you have it. If I can save just one person from a bad case of razor burn in a vulnerable area, it will all have been worthwhile. Feel free to comment if you have your own poon-shaving tips, want to comment on my technique, or have any other questions you feel I may be uniquely qualified to answer.


Friday, April 21, 2006

office politics

I got fired from the club today. An hour ago I was wearing white fishnets and a satin corset and applying dark red lipstick in a dressing room with five seperate leaks in the ceiling and no buckets to catch them, dancers just dodging in and out shuffling out of sandals and into platform heels. Now I'm at home playing with the cats in comfy linen pants and a T-shirt. Doesn't seem like such an awful trade-off, does it? After I left the club I sat under a tree and screamed at life for a little bit, but that's all over now.

When I got to work today the place was busy for once, DJ scrambling because there weren't yet enough girls dressed to start a stage rotation. I've been in the dressing room just long enough to get my thong and stockings on and am lacing up my corset when the day manager comes in asks me where I've been. "I haven't seen you in weeks," he says.

Huh? I worked Saturday. I remind him of this.

"OK," he says. "But Jim saw you come in and he doesn't know why you're here. You know you can't work Fridays if you didn't work all week. He hasn't seen you in weeks."

Yeah. But I worked Saturday. Jim hasn't seen me because, as general manager, he takes Saturdays off. I remind him of this again. My tits are hanging out. I make a gesture that says, mind if I keep getting dressed?

He leaves.

I finish stashing my boobs and pull my stockings on. Nice way to start a shift. Dark clouds are gathering.

He comes back again. "Jim wants to see you in the office."

OK. I start to put on my shoes. Then I think: Shit. This is going to be one of those conversations. One of those things where a dude in the ugly sunset of his middle years is going to rake me over the coals and I'm going to want to respond as to a peer -- because who is this tool anyway, the president? -- except that this is my manager, who will likely view anything but total submission as an act of impudence, and do I really want to do this today in a corset and high heels?

I de-costume and put my pants and shirt back on. I go back to the office where Jim is holding court. "Long time, no see," he says. I don't say anything. I'm bad at this. I smile politely.

"So, tell me," says Jim. "What are your plans?"

I have no response to this. What are my plans? Like, for my life? I smile again.

"How often do you work with us, Grace?"

Every Saturday, I say.

"For how long?"

"Six months."

"It's not enough. We need you to work more days."

I remind him that he and I have had several conversations about this. I can't work during the days because I have another job. Would he like to offer me some night shifts?

"That's not up to me," he says. "That's up to the night manager. But we need you to work more days. Apparently you have enough time to work at the sister club."

He spits this last part out like he's unveiling a secret so dark that I will have no choice but to crumble and confess. Come on, guy. The clubs are owned by the same people. Of course you know I work up there. I haven't made a secret of it. Are you a super-sleuth in your own mind?

"Up there they let me work at night. I'd like to work more shifts here. I just can't work days."

"Well, we need you to work more down here. What days can you come in?"

We are going nowhere. This conversation can only end with my teeth in his throat. I start to explain myself again, and he starts talking over me. Hell no, you don't. I keep talking; I ask again if he'd like me to work at night.

"It's fine for you," he says. "You come in here and you make your little bit of money," -- he rubs fingers and thumb together contemptuously in the universal sign for cash, makes the gesture of stuffing it into a garter -- "You make your little bit of money and you walk around but it doesn't pay our bills. We're getting rid of all the girls like you. You're not part of things."

Sir, you are insane. You are a stupid man. I pay this club every time I work for God's sake. My tips pay your salary and the salary of your shift managers, your DJ's, your doorgirls and waitresses. The customers who come in to see me pay your utility bills with their drink prices. I cost you literally nothing; every dollar you make off me is pure profit.

I know the club is going downhill. I know the place is infested all day with young, broke gansta wannabees who scare away the white collar clientele you crave. I know you have to let the girls give blow jobs in the back booths to keep anyone coming in at all, and I know that paying the law off can't be cheap. I bet the owner is riding your ass like a little French pony to get the attendance up and restore even an iota of the class that this joint once had. I'm sure it's very tough. But, unfortunately for you, firing me won't make it better. I am not your problem.

I don't say any of this, of course. After these sorts of things I always kick myself for not just going postal on these assholes. What do I have to lose, after all? Shouldn't somebody lay some truth on this weird being, this man who, nearing the close of his time on this planet, is the general manager of a formerly first-class titty bar? Am I not the right hand of karma here?

Well, probably I am not. I continue to be polite, although I am no longer smiling. I ask again if we could solve the problem by giving me some shifts at night. It's not like they haven't been running a huge, desperate ad in the paper for weeks seeking daytime/night-time entertainers. ("Have Fun! Make Money!") But by this time he is all worked up, and I am not placating him. It occurs to me that placating stupid, angry men wouldn't be a bad talent to call my own, but sadly my skill set is lacking or maybe I just don't want to.

He's still talking about how great it is for me to work one day a week, and about his bills, and how I'm not paying them. We've reached a point of no return and the only logical outcome of this conversation is heaving into sight. He's got to get rid of me and maybe when he does all his devils will go with me.

"Work Sundays, then," he says.

"I can't."

"You can work at the sister club, though. Why don't you just go work up there, then? Why don't you? Just go."

Then there's a silence. And then I just go.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Summer is here in Texas -- the itchy season. The season of insect bites, heat rash, poison ivy, and sweaty hair. In Texas, summer begins before Easter and lasts through Halloween. Although this year, in point of fact, summer never really seemed to end. I watch TV, so I know there's no such thing as global warming, but what gives? This shit is ridiculous. I guess there was that one night of frozen rain back in December, which also happened to be the night that the fuse box blew and C. and I had to go with a candle in the middle of the ice storm and tinker with it until it came back on. The joys of living in an old house.

Another joy of old houses, of course, is that there is no air conditioning. If you draw the curtains and turn the ceiling fans on, the dim light and the sweat evaporating off your body will create a minor and temporary illusion of coolness. Failing that, you can dress up in a petticoat and pretend to be a sweltering southern belle waiting for gentlemen callers in an age before climate control.

I am working at the new club tonight and tomorrow night. The good thing about dancing at night rather than in the daytime is that I can get some work done on the freelance projects whose deadlines are now hideously looming. The bad thing is that going in at night gives me all day long to freak myself out, which, beleive it or not, I still do. Each time I pass a mirror, all day long, I'll look at my face and body -- which, remember, are drained and sagging, pale and sweaty in the heat -- and think, would I pay $20 for this shit? It's an odd question to have in one's mind. Most people wonder about their worth, from time to time, but I wonder if strippers, whores, and actors are unique in being able to put quite such a concrete figure to the question.

Anyhow, the only thing that keeps my mind off it is work, and plenty of it, but unfortunately, no one will return my calls and answer my importunate questions today. I will need to make travel arrangements for early May. Oh hideous, hideous.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

the ballad of the plumber

So, the oddness. I promised I would tell you.

You know about the plumber. Slender, curly-haired, pushing fifty, with mustache and an eight-mile stare. Is there an acronym for the male equivalent of a MILF? Probably not. Probably the idea of young doxies lusting after older men is too mainstream a fantasy to need its own name and aisle in the porn store. But really, it doesn't work too well for me. Maybe becausee my dad was not your standard paternal authority figure. He and I were always wary equals. We engaged in yelling matches, not spankings. When I didn't win, I retired to my closet where, instead of crying, I plotted eventual revenge. If the word Oedipal is flitting through your mind somewhere, don't think I don't know.

I've never found the other extreme of age-fetishism particularly inviting, either. Young boys, small and effiminate boys, I find myself absently picking off me, like burrs. I like men my age, my size, as smart as me or smarter. In our sock feet, C. and I look straight into each other's eyes and that, to me, is perfect.

But the plumber. I like the plumber, and yet he never made me nervous, the way I have been the one or two times I've danced for someone I might, in other circumstances, have fucked. That was weird, feeling myself wavering back and forth between personalities -- the person of Grace flickering like a faulty bulb. Uncomfortable.

Dancing for the plumber, on the other hand, was very comfortable. More so over time, til I could sit on his lap without a consant sitting-on-lap meter running in my head, and ask questions and then care about the answers. And he could hug me hello and goodbye and I could feel an inner quickening of feeling, as when you touch a friend.

Do dancers ever fall for regulars, most regulars sooner or later want to know, even if they don't want to know that they want to know. The answer is sometimes. In a way. Probably not in the way that you want. Once in a while, after a long time has gone by and a substantial ammount of trust has accumulated, a dancer might actually be happy to see you, as opposed to being happy to see the dollar ammount written over your head in her brain. She might sit with you instead of with someone else who's dollar sign (yes, the radar is still on, albeit temporarily over-ridden) is bigger than yours. Although probably not for long, and if that dollar sign is a whole lot bigger, you can forget it. But the odds you will ever get to this point -- depending as they do on whether you can restrain yourself from doing the many, many things customer almost universally do and dancers almost universally hate -- are astronomically small. Like, quantum mechanics probabilities small.

The plumber and I were there. At least, for me we were. Maybe because at his age, and having already made for himself a prosperous life, he was going back to school to study political science, for fun, and that tickled me. Maybe because he never asked me anything about myself, but got to know me slowly, genuinely, and over time, the way friends do. Maybe because he never bothered to tell me how much he respected me, because he did actually respect me, and I already knew that. Maybe because he had a real person's smile. Where were we in his mind? What sort of long hurdles of past experience had I made it over in his brain, and where did that leave me? I can't guess.

And all this brings us to Saturday two weeks ago, when I spot the plumber's familiar silhouette from the stage, through the stage-light glare and across the big cave of the club's main room. I'd been in the middle of a solid block of lap-dances with somebody who's face I no longer remember, and was due to return at the end of my stage set. So it was a little while before I made it over to the plumber, and he had finished his drink, of which he never has more than one, and was about to leave. He told me this while I was hugging his neck from behind, and then he turned around, getting up. When he saw me he did an actual actual double-take, said, "Damn! You look amazing," and plopped back into his chair. We danced the next song. and the next one, and -- which is rare for us -- the next. And the next.

After about song five, I started to tire, as one does after twenty minutes of quad crunches and back bends, to slow down, and to gradually rest more and more of my weight against him. (What's the point in getting hundreds of dollars of lap dances? As wise regulars know, it's not to buy your favorite dancers affection, but to exhaust her until her mileage needle creeps up like an engine over-heating from a too-fast grinding of the gears.)

As I rested against him more and more -- my arms against his shoulders, my forehead against his, my thighs on his thighs -- I felt his body through his clothes. This was the oddness. Because customers, to me, are scarecrows. Sorry, fellas. You feel to me like stuffed suits of clothes. As to you I am always naked, to me you are forever dressed. This is one of the charms that protects me, and it wasn't working.

It didn't feel bad. It didn't -- really. And every dancer and customer and feminist and women's studies major and womyn-friendly, eco-dreaded college boy who needs to believe that this can never happen, that the stripper/customer relationship is always and only "fantasy" draws a collective gasp and hisses: slut.

I didn't do anything differently. Nothing got sucked or licked or fondled or jiggled. It did feel -- sharply -- the way it felt the second before you kissed someone, back in junior high, when kissing was a heady new frontier. That feeling of suspension, of your guts being sucked out of you, as you fall, before you actually begin to fall. Afterward, like teenagers, we couldn't look at each other. He put the money on the table, said he'd see me again, threw back the last of his drink, and was gone. By the time I'd settled the bills into my garter, my guts were back in place and everything was gone. leaving only a weird impression of the kind that, after avoiding a wreck, makes you pat yourself down for injuries anyway.

Hi. No. I'm not in love. My apologies to the romantics, if I've led you on. I'm non-plussed, with the non-plussedness you have after you accidentally make out with a friend, and aren't sure how long to wait before you call and leave a message on their machine. Last Saturday, I was up on stage and looked out past the lights and saw him again. But I was in the middle of a solid block of dances with the little perv in the VIP, and by the time I'd made my money and wriggled free, he was gone. Yesterday was Saturday again, and he didn't come in at all.

Friday, April 14, 2006

if all else fails...

of course, there's always this

Saturday, April 08, 2006

nightshift at the grind factory

Oh, where to begin. I roll into the club around 7pm -- valet parks my car, as mandated by management and I tip him a few bucks. In the dressing room, I shuck and start lacing myself into my corset before I realize my thong is still on the bathroom doorknob, where I left it to dry last night. No problem, because the club has a fancy schmancy in-house boutique. I'll just put my pants back on, throw a T-shirt over the corset, and go buy a thong. It'll be ridiculously over-priced, probably, but fine. Only it turns out the boutique is closed tonight. Why? Because.

I'm about to go home empty-handed when another dancer -- pretty Eastern European girl -- tells my there's a Target across the highway, and why don't I just go buy something there? So I head out, still wearing my corset. Valet unparks my car, for which I tip another dollar or two. I zoom down the access road some distance before I find a turn-around. By now it's 7:30. At 8pm, the house fees go up something like $15. At Target, I speedwalk through Sportswear, Maternity, Juniors, and Hosiery and hit Lingerie. All I need is a pair of white thong underpants. It doesn't seem like a tall order, but I am coming up empty-handed. Then, bingo. There they are. Perfect. But they only come in M, S, and XS, no L. Drat! Er, M then. I'm right on the borderline between medium and large in most things, anyway. I track down a sales associate and ask if I can try the panties on. She say no, and gives me an odd look. That's when I realize my T-shirt has ridden up and exposed an inch or two of laced black vinyl. Fine. Fine, fine. I buy the panties. All set. Back to work. Miss my exit on the way back and have to go several miles before I can turn around, but whatever. Valet parks my car again, and I give him another coupla bucks. This is getting expensive.

The panties are too small, of course. They cut visciously into my gently rounded hips, creating a sharp valley of underpant between two rolling hills of flesh. So attractive. The stockings I bought earlier in the day are also too small, squeezing rings of fat out around my inner thighs. I look ridiculous. I've got a cute little dress to cover up my shame, but the second I start dancing, I'll have to let it all hang out, so to speak. Never mind. It's dark. No one will see.

I hit the floor and almost immediately sell four dances to two guys. It was all worth it. It's going to be a great night. Head back to my locker to dump the money. It's gone. What? I retrace my steps, but the odds of finding lost money in a titty bar are, well, slim. Fine, fine. It's still early, I can make it back.

Next table I sit with is a group of young guys. I sit down with the one with glasses. I introduce myself and learn that his name is Alex, and they're here to celebrate their friend Blake's 21st birthday. Blake at the moment is spread-eagled under a vivacious brunette named Kelly or something. I do have the fleeting thought that most of the guys at this table look several years past 21, but what do I care? Alex forgets my name -- "no, no, don't tell me, I want to guess." Yada yada. I give him many hints. "Grape?" he guesses. "Grope? Kate? Rope? Rape?"

Yeah, man, I named myself Rape. I thought it would be cute. "GiveupOKit'sGrace," I say. Time's a wastin'.

Alex starts to giggle. "I knew that," he says. "I didn't really forget your name. You know what else? His name's not really Blake. And it's not really his birthday, either. Tee hee hee. He's getting married tomorrow. And my name's not really Alex, either. Hee hee. Want to know my real name?"

Bye, dude.

Oooh, then there's Eric -- "I don't buy dances but come sit with me when you're bored." OK. When I feel like working for free you'll be the first to know.

There was another bachelor party up in the VIP. They sent out a runner who came back with me. They were all drunk almost past the point of speech. I sat on somebody's lap for a minute while they all told me how much they loved each other and what great guys each other were. I'm pushing the issue of who I'm supposed to dance for and when, cause I am hating it back here. The one who fetched me pushes me toward the bachelor, "but when you're done with him, come back to me." Next song starts, and I start dancing for the bachelor, who can barely sit up and looks totally unhappy. Ten seconds into the dance, he shoves me off him and throws up. His friends say they won't pay me because I "didn't really do a dance" and "besides, you made him throw up." Fine. I'm gone.

On my way out the bachelor party I am rounded up by a very tiny man of South Asian origin, with a strong accent. He's ready for me to dance right away, so when the next dance starts, I unfasten my dress and let it fall. "You give me good dance, right?" he says. Uh-oh.

"Sure, sweetie."

Ten seconds later: "Put your boobs on my dick."

Yeah. OK. No. I keep dancing. He gets insistant. His nervous little hands are everywhere. I dance evasively, but he's not having it. He's grabbing me and trying to pull me this way and that, but since I probably outweigh him a good 50 lbs, he's getting nowhere. I stop the dance -- something I rarely have to resort to -- and tell him he can pay me now and I leave, or we can finish the dance and then pay. His choice. He chooses to finish, of course, but as soon as I start dancing, he's all over me again. Seriously, this guy is child-sized. I feel like I'm wrestling with a fourth-grader. I stop again and grab his chin so he has to look up at me. His face squinches up like a kid who knows he's in trouble. "I just want a good dance," he says.

"You are not in control," I say. "I am in control. What you're doing is inappropriate and disrespectful. You're going to sit there perfectly still and I'm going to give you the best dance that the law permits." I've never actually lectured a customer before, but I am way past my boiling point.

Weirdly enough, he really likes me after this. I have to go to the bar with him while he puts the dance on his credit card. Pain in the ass. So I have to stand there with him while the bartender carries out the whole multi-step process.. "I'm so sorry,"says the tiny dude. "What I did was wrong. I haven't been with a woman in a long time."

Ah, you sorry bastard. You're in over your head and so am I. I actually give him a pat on the shoulder. He asks me to come back and sit with him, but I'd just as soon hang myself with my own ill-fitting thong.

At long last, 2 am arrives, and I am gone. If I hadn't lost that money, I would have had an average night. As is, blech. The valet brings my car around and I tip him again. At least someone had a good night.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

new kid

Last night was my first night dancing at my new club -- my first night-time shift ever, in fact. It was quite different. There were a lot of "holy shit" moments -- like when I realized the three hot girls I saw when I first walked in the dressing room were not the three hottest girls. The whole place was filled to the brim with fine-ass model-quality mamas. I'm hoping three quarters of them are alcoholic bitches who can't string two sentences together, or else I am sunk. These gals can dance, too -- just another factor making me feel like a baby duck surrounded by gazelles.

There were A LOT of dancers, too. At one point there were fifty names on the dance board in the DJ booth. Fortunately, the club actually got crowded, something a dayshift slacker stripper like me has rarely seen before. Also fortunately, the gents seemed pretty set on buying dances, even if they didn't necessarily want to buy them from me; none of that "I'm just here for lunch" crap that you get on the day shift. ("Seriously? Because there's a Wendy's just down the street, bud.") Selling was easy, once you could find that guy who's attention you had caught. Now, catching a guy's attention in a crowd of beautiful, half-naked women, that's another story. I picked the guys sitting alone, and did an abbreviated version of my normal sit-and-talk hustle. Quality of customer is a distinct improvement -- most are respectful and sane, and won't freak out if you happen to use an eigth grade-level word, as long as you follow up with a giggle.

I was flustered, intimidated, and terrified, for the most part. And then sole started to come off one of my shoes and flop around, making balancing a feat of super-human agility. But for all my bitching, it wasn't a bad night for a new girl. I made about what I'd make on a slightly-worse-than-average day shift back at the old club. And don't forget, it was $10 dance night. So I think once I get the hang of things, I could do well here.

I also found the girls quite friendly -- like, they would smile at you after bumping into you, instead of snarl. And they were, uh, quite friendly in other ways as well. I was sitting with a customer early in the night when a girl sitting with someone else a table away crawled over the back of her chair yelling, "Kiss me!" I leaned over to give her a peck but she had her lips open and her tongue out. Like Rain Man said, "wet."

This same girl later came to one of my stage with a fiver and said her customer (different guy this time) would tip me if I'd show her some action. We rubbed out faces on each other's boobs, $5 changed hands, and everyone was smiliing. I figured hitting on other girls and getting the gents all riled up over the promise of girl-girl action is this girl's hustle. And a fine hustle it is. So I was still sorta surprised when she came up to me in the dressing room at the end of the night when we were all changing and started running her hands over the portion of my dress -- "soooooo soooooft" -- that happened to be covering my ass. Meanwhile, two barely-legal types were tongue-kissing by the lockers while everyone giggled. "You know they're watching you on the cameras," someone said.

"They wanna see my pussy?" said the blonde one. "Here's my pussy!" And she bends over, presenting her unpantied posterior to the corner of the room where, presumably, management has installed its secret camera. Everybody starts drunkenly singing Lords of Acid: "I wanna see your pussy, show it to me"...then they all get dressed and drive home. God bless Mama. God bless Papa. And God, please don't let me be rear-ended by a drunken stripper going 95 mph down the highway at 3 am on a Tuesday. Amen.

Monday, April 03, 2006

moving up

I work at a new club now, a bigger one, with more customers and pickier hiring standards. Let's hear it for me. I went by the new place after picking C. up from work. We stopped at Schlotzky's so I could do my stripper make-up in the bathroom under the flickering flourescent lights to the tune of an endlessly skipping muzak trumpet. Made my face into a blank canvas with concealer and base, painted it back on again with blush and eyeliner, eyeshadow and mascara. Walked back out into daylight.

"Jesus," sez C. "You look like you put it on with a roller."

"It's stage make-up," sez I. "I'll be in the dark." But C. spits on a napkin anyway and swipes at my jaw and nose until threatened with direct and immediate reprisal.

We head due east towards the club. C. drives and I flip the passenger's side vanity mirror up and down, frowning at myself. We pull into the club parking lot, and C. asks if he should come in. Mais non. Boyfriends in Strip-Club Land are like anuses in the rest of the world: everybody's got one, and nobody wants to see yours.

"But I want to look at girls," sez C.


I strap on my high heels and strut across the parking lot. It's still light outside, but inside the lobby it's 1 am, as it is in every strip club in the world, every day, all day long. The universal strip club smell of cigarette smoke and Victoria's Secret body spray surrounds me like a familiar ghost. The front desk girl is friendly, hands me an application and phones for the manager. He waits the requisite fifteen minutes that all strip club managers must make aspiring dancers wait, then strolls out and starts talking with the door girl about some sort of paperwork SNAFU. I stand. And stand. Finally, she points me out. "This girl filled out an application," she sez. His eyes wander around the room and finally settle on my face with profound boredom.

"Give her a packet," he sez.

She gives me a packet with a tax form and a list of club rules, which I have to sign, signifying that I've read it, and that I understand I may not straddle a customer's leg, legs, torso, head, or any body part with my legs, knees or ankles. I also agree not to wear a transparent G-string, and to keep one foot on the floor during all dances. This is standard boiler plate of city ordinances governing lap dances, but it's refreshing to actually be asked to read and agree to it. There are plenty of clubs where the rules are, so to speak, more fluid. I sign, and I'm hired. I can't work because I don't have my driver's license, and also because my boyfriend is outside in the car. But whatever. I'm hired.

This will be the first time I've worked night-shift as a dancer, ever. I wonder how different it will be. I wonder how different the club is -- cleaner, hopefully. If no stranger ever tried to suck on my nipples again, it'd be too soon. Did you know you can get herpes that way? Think about it.

big titty girls are gone

Dawdled on my way to work Saturday and was still only the second girl there at almost noon. No customers, of course. Sat around in the dressing room for a half hour with Kandy, the brand-new 18-year-old black girl, talking about the state of the club. Kandy has only been with us a month, but she works more than I do, and was listing for me all the dancers she hasn't seen in the last few weeks. "The big titty girls are gone," Kandy sez. "The blondes are gone. Just you and me, baby." On Tuesday, she said, one other dancer showed up besides her. The two of them rotated on and off stage all day. Customers see that and bail, sometimes for the day, sometimes permanently.

In the end, the girls showed up, the customers came in, and it was actually a fairly good day. I made bank, in fact. But it's time to find an alternate venue, before the other clubs get crowded with our refugees -- if they aren't already. Those other girls didn't vanish from the face of the earth, I know. I'm half scared that I've already waited too long -- am I the last little rat on the ship, staring at the sky and wondering why my feet are getting wet?

On the other hand, I personally do well at this club most days, because of my regs. Starting at a new club will be like starting from zero, unless I can convince them to follow me up north or down south -- not a sure thing, by any means.