There are certain things about the sex industry that turn me on. I’ll admit it; it’s a power trip to watch someone watch you, and to see the want and the need in their faces and to stare unashamedly back at them with big fuck me eyes that scream ‘you can never have me.’ But there are certain things about the sex industry that make me want to take off my heel and stab it up someone’s arse. I could talk for hours about the crazy things that go down when the lights outside are dim and the ones underground are red and neon, but instead I have condensed my indignation down to five main points. What not to do in a strip club.
1. Tell me you were once a TV presenter and expect me to be impressed.
So you’re in your mid 50’s, at a club on a Wednesday night, your face is clammy from one too many crushed up zanax, it’s 10:30pm and it looks like you’re almost down for the count. Girls are approaching you but you’re doing a sweaty, swaying dance that indicates not only your inebriation but your lack of hand eye coordination. So you up your game.
“You don’t know who I am do you? You don’t understand who you’re sitting with." But I do, and it’s already gone around the club from ruby lips to adorned ears thrice over. You were on TV 20 years ago. Hold the fucking applause.
It happens a lot, and I feel like something needs to be said. I don’t care if you’re a famous personal trainer, I don’t care if you’re a famous flamenco dancer who has ballerinas requesting your hand in marriage on a weekly basis (OK…). Furthermore, I could not give a flying fuck if I used to watch you in my living room when I was 9*. Look where we are. It’s now 10:45 and your knees are already wobbling, probably more from arthritis than your clear inability to hold your liquor. I want to say to them, “at some point tonight a girl is going to stumble on that pole and knock someone’s drink all over them, and I hope that person is you.” But then they will tilt their heads and say “oh, you’re a sassy stripper. You’re sassy. Well I’m not going to pay you to be sassy baby doll, come sit on my lap and make it up to me.” Fuck no, cunt.
2. Claim that you’re not tipping because you haven’t seen anything extraordinary yet.
This one really grinds my gears. Here is a woman throwing herself with great physical strength around a pole, hanging upside down from the roof, doing the splits mid fall and all the while giving you strategically placed shots of her pussy, and you’re just sitting there, watching her, taking slow precise sips of your beer. BUYING A BEER DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN SIT FRONT ROW ALL NIGHT AND NOT TIP. It is not a fucking free pass. And as for ‘nothing extraordinary.’ I’d like to see your chicken legs scale four metres up a thin metal strip, and then plunge head first to the ground in nothing but seven inch heels. Just because the sides of your head are shaved and the top bit is in a bun doesn’t mean you’re cool, or above all of the grimy uneducated men seated around you. Neither your hair cut nor your tortoiseshell glasses impress me. Tip or go home.
3. Try and save me.
I don’t want to go on your yacht. I don’t want to live on your farm. I don’t want to work in your ‘movie’. I don’t care that you’ve got 40 grand in a safe located in your house around the corner (alright buddy). You don’t even know me. The thing is, you sit with a guy for 10 minutes and they want to know you. They don’t just want to know what’s up down there, they want to know who you are, and the bits you don’t tell regular people; the gory bits and the sweet bits and the virgin bits and the whore bits. And when you tell them you’re studying and that you’re trying to write a novel and that you’re interested in literary criticism and cultural theory, it turns into “but you’re so intelligent, you’re so real, what are you doing. Let me take you out of here. Let me ease your soul.” I don’t want your compassion, I want your money. That’s why we’re here. It’s like this strange double-think, 1984 scenario. He knows why he’s here, I know why I’m here, but it’s like we’re both pretending to forget.
4. Forget that strippers are paid to be nice to you.
It seems to me that there may be some sort of communication gap that ought to be corrected. Yes, a large majority of men who visit strip clubs have the humble intentions of feeling a new pair of breasts or getting almost but never quite there in private back rooms. But there is a large demographic that gets marginalised in the sphere of society’s media driven knowledge. At 9:30pm, before dirty, gravel stained whispers overpower polite small talk, the club is for lonely hearts. The sad thing is that these poor men you sit with, listening to their incredible, face meltingly boring tales of life on the farm and the roses they grow and the novel they’re writing called ‘The Princess Hair-cutter’ actually have no idea you would rather be somewhere else. They constantly say “but you don’t want to sit here with me and listen to this…” just so that we can touch their arm and bat our eyelashes and re-affirm that there is nothing I would rather do than sit here and drool over their incredibly well woven tales. Even worse though is the fact that they won’t even pay you. That's not what they're here for. They don’t want you to strip for them, they want to take you home to meet their mother. They want to get you out of this hell hole where you get paid $75 for ten minutes of your time, where your body is celebrated as something bigger, something above human. Either that or they’re going to “fly to Taiwan and buy a wife from there.” Sheit.
5. Claim surprise at my intelligence.
There must be something going around in the media today that depicts strippers as unintelligent, money driven hillbillies. Some horrible virus, some sexually transmitted disease making a man concur that anyone making two grand a week could be an unintelligent person. There are lawyers and doctors here getting themselves through university. There are writers using the stupid shit you slur for their literary work (hi). What are you doing? Spending your last fiver to see a pair of tits you could see for free if you went home to your wife. Making the decision to use something you got for free to earn enough money to make it rain is not a poor life decision. And I don’t make it rain, it fucking storms.
*all of these examples actually happened.