Friday, January 05, 2007

better living through strippers

Up late tonight, but these are normal hours now. C. is out of school and has resumed his normal nocturnal habits; I am undressing til the wee hours four nights a week. It's nice that when I get home he is still up to rub my head and debrief me.

I've finally got the customer every stripper dreams about at night, the kind who comes in three times a week and buys out your shift and treats you like a princess all night long so that you get to walk through the room all tall and sassy on your way to and from the dressing room -- no sitting at the bar chain-smoking like some washed-up floozy from Talladega tonight, baby, nosir. Gotta hurry, mama, can't talk right now, gotta guy waiting for me up in VIP.

We've got a whole little routine going, loverboy and me, with a corner staked out in the VIP and the hostess knowing by heart what shots we like, and the whole damn bit. I feel bad, is all. Well, a little.

He came to the club for the first time a month or so ago, with a bachelor party. I wasn't there, but as he tells it to me, he was dreading coming -- hadn't been to a titty bar in years, and had a panic attack the last time. Seriously. A panic attack. But at the bachelor party last month, he made a conscious effort to relax and have a good time, and succeeded so heartily that he has been back a few times a week ever since. I met him on his second or third visit. He told me about his search for enlightenment and better living via strip-clubbing. I said righto, and we had the sort of meta conversation about what-it-all-means-anyway-this-strip-club-thing that I usually weasel out of like crazy, because they are a big downer, and then the guys get all remorseful and quiet and don't want to play anymore. But this guy was smart, and sweet, and sort of touchingly enthusiastic about it all, and so I gave it up a little bit, and then he bought a ton of dances and everybody had a good time.

And then he just kept coming back. And back. And back. He's in a honeymoon stage with the whole idea of paying girls to take their clothes off. We've bonded over Holy Grail and WoW and Hitchhiker's Guide, and bagged on LARPing together and compared SSRI's and shitty past relationships. He says he hasn't been laid in eight years. He says until he started coming to the club a few weeks ago, mere conversation with women was enough to overwhelm him with anxiety. He's an odd bird. Nice, though. Seriously nice. I like him a lot, actually.

There's a cycle to these things, though, and we are on the verge of enterting a heavier phase. He will want more, whatever that means -- almost certainly in this case "to be friends" -- and eventually he will butt up against the boundaries of the possible, and then he will be hurt and rejected and feel that it was all for nothing, and all a big trick any way, and what a gold-digging cunt I am, anyway.

The really cool stripper is the one who can prolong the honeymoon phase for months (years?) and slam dunk the break-up over a weekend with three text messages or less. I seem to get stuck in the reverse pattern a fair bit. I get confused and tell myself that honesty is the best policy, and still it all ends up very messy and later I think of a million lies I could have told that would have served me better. I'm a lesbian. I'm a lesbian, except for my long-distance boyfriend. Did I say boyfriend? I meant ex-boyfriend who hurt me so badly that I'll never even consider trusting another man again, not ever.

I tell myself that they check ID's at the door, and everybody who comes in to the club is an adult. They know what they're doing, they're responsible for their own emotions, they choose their own adventures, and so on. Still, I can't help feeling like somebody just handed me a rope and told me to walk the lamb up to the slaughter. Then again, it's slim pickings for strippers in the holiday aftermath, as last month's credit card statements start coming in. Not a good time for moral high-horsery about where the money comes from.

8 comments:

Harlow Jinx said...

this is the of your posts that i have read and really enjoyed it :)

thank you

Sixty said...

Tacking this one to my bulletin board as a reminder to (try to) keep it real. Thanks. This is why I read you.

Anonymous said...

At some point he's going to want more, we all do.

It sounds like you don't want to hurt this nice, sweet guy. My advice, from experience, don't tell him he's sweet, nice, don't tell him you like him. Don't say anything nice about him, because he will amplify that way out of proportion. And that will make his eventual crash worse.

Rachel said...

I really know what you mean about never being able to drag out the honeymoon phase. I’m totally in awe of girls who manage to keep customers coming back for years. Whenever customers start liking me too much and trying to give me their phone numbers, I just find it stressful. Sometimes I’m even relieved when they start liking another girl instead, even if it means I lose out on their tips. I know it’s ridiculous, but all that lying and acting just wears me out after a while!

Markus O'really-us said...

Love this post... Well put and it captures the conscise truth of how this always plays out for an emotionally vulnerable guy. It's almost as if guys should have to read and sign this before getting past the velvet rope.

The shitty thing is this is true 99.99987% of the time. It's that one time...the .ooo13% where that incredible woman in tx did give me her number, phone sex became real sex and that rare but true story screws with guys heads for years...

This is a lousy reality for many guys and I do feel for the girls...but the guys keep playing the lottery...

Markus O'really-us said...

Love this post... Well put and it captures the conscise truth of how this always plays out for an emotionally vulnerable guy. It's almost as if guys should have to read and sign this before getting past the velvet rope.

The shitty thing is this is true 99.99987% of the time. It's that one time...the .ooo13% where that incredible woman in tx did give me her number, phone sex became real sex and that rare but true story screws with guys heads for years...

This is a lousy reality for many guys and I do feel for the girls...but the guys keep playing the lottery...

Anonymous said...

Admittedly, my thought patterns are rather non-standard... I had a conversation with a stripper 'friend' last night about this very subject. The main difference was that I was thanking her for having the courage to set me straight the first time I asked about the possibility of meeting out in "the real world." She'd reminded me that she was there to work and her work was to provide an imaginary relationship, of sorts. Since I liked her before, I liked her more after and we still get together (in the club) to play almost every time I'm there. Perhaps not as long as we once did, but we still have a great time talking (and occasionally emailing) and I'm free to keep searchng for a partner without any worry of upsetting my friend.

For me, the only times visits to the club leave me depressed are times when I forget that the girls are there to pretend and to make me feel better for a while. That's why I always leave at least a couple hours before closing -- otherwise, during those last couple hours (especially if spent with one girl) something uncontrollable in my mind starts building up all sorts of unreasonable expectations. Then, when I leave and go home alone (as I always do and will), I end up depressed and remorsefull and sometimes even feeling like I was played. And I'm not talking about the silly girls who actually try to play me by pretending they meet me somewhere, if only I give them a bunch of money first -- those girls are just stupid. I mean the ones who have been polite and fun all night and never offered or promised anything ecept maybe a fun time while I'm in the club. That bad part of my mind seems to invent too many things in those final hours, so I try to leave before it awakes.

Rocketgirl said...

Never feel sorry. He thinks he's playing YOU, more than likely. This is how every customer should be. It is what you deserve and should expect.