PART ONE: A MISOGYNIST IN DISGUISE
Sometimes I feel like the biggest womanizer in the world couldn’t possibly be as big of a misogynist as I am. While much of their speech may be manipulative, ladies men have still mastered the art of speaking to women, listening to them, and getting them engaged in the interaction. Even with their end goal being sexual, they have learned to communicate with women as fellow human beings, an area in which I still struggle.
Perhaps my overactive brain mixed with years of celibacy puts me in a unique position, but I feel like my lack of actual interaction has led to a separation of my urges, making them cartoonish and one-dimensional in nature. Now, organs stand alone in their desires – the penis is nothing but a horny teenager, the heart nothing but a hopeless romantic, and the brain a neurotic misanthrope, eager to be left alone, with the three of them isolated in their influencing of me, not intertwining in the ways that make a human well-rounded. Maybe when I’m not aroused the heart will lead to me to fantasize about a girl I can relate to, but all bets are off when the little guy speaks up. To put it another way, my penis is a misogynist, and when his influence kicks in, so am I.
When I think of the countless classes out there that offer to teach pick-up game, the verbal art form that allows you to dazzle, intrigue and attract females, I can’t help but see them as a truckload of unnecessary work. These classes offer men a skill set to work into a new lifestyle – to become the type of guy who can go out to a club, be charming, social, and well-adjusted, and carry on meaningful and yes, sexual, relationships with women. Eventually I realized I couldn’t care less about any of that. I don’t really care what women like, want, need or desire. I’m happy being an antisocial loner. But, being a human with a penis, I still want women. Sexually that is. Fuck getting to know them. If I wanted to hear a girl rant about what she’s majoring in for an hour, I’d actually be out there dating. So I wondered: isn’t there a way to bypass all that irritating, personality-based, confident jargon that pick-up artists preach and just go straight to getting the sexual attention I desire?
And this is where the idea of paying for sex started to seem like a revelation to my specific personality type. You see, much like masturbation, paying for sexual favors is looked upon as something to be ashamed of. In fact, they fit neatly next to each other in the same category of ‘loser behavior’:
‘Oh man, you look like the type of guy that probably either sits at home and wacks it or has to pay for pussy! You fuckin’ chump! When I want it, I just go out, spit some game, and get it any time!’
Our chain-like social views of these things suffocate them of their actual power. Bragging about masturbating is the hallmark of the comedian, but looked at as a magnet for disgust in regular life. But why? I’ve had some jerk off sessions that, beyond the socially imposed stigma, are definitely worth bragging about. Similarly, on my last birthday, I had an experience at a strip club that I also feel is worth telling.
PART TWO: STRIPPERS ARE PERFECT FOR PUSSIES
I should note a couple of things before I move on. One, lest I seem like a completely shallow creep, I have experienced love and found it to be amazing. To adore every part of someone, mental and physical, and have it returned is every bit as great as all the songs make it out to be. While the mental distance and hatred of interaction were there long before that, if you wanted to make the case that I’ve been left jaded and even more reluctant to get involved because of heartbreak, I suppose I wouldn’t argue with you. Realistically, it’s helped me to see that a genuine connection isn’t what I want right now. Why? Because I’m a pussy who’s scared of getting hurt.
Two, prostitutes aren’t really for me either. Why? Because I’m a pussy who’s scared of penetration. OK, maybe more logical reasons fit into it as well. I’m terrified of ending up with a child to take care of and, as health class taught us, abstinence is one hundred percent effective in keeping you away from infant fecal matter. Also, I’m way too much of a closed off, naive romantic and find the idea of sharing that experience with many people I barely know kind of disgusting. Now dry humping on the other hand…
So, we have a pussy who’s scared of getting hurt and puts intercourse on way too tall of a pedestal, but is still a slave to his brain’s lust for fantasy and his penis’ lust for flesh. Hmm. What to do?
The answer, of course, is strip clubs, something I’ve dabbled with sporadically from high school on, but never fully learned to embrace the beauty of. Mostly, I’d go with a group of friends, sit back and observe some nudity, pick my favorite girl, and get a lap dance that was fun but clinical, with me sitting there like an obedient dog while she ground away for a few minutes.
There are two times in particular that changed the way I looked at strip clubs and helped me to understand why strippers truly exist. I will recall them to the best of my memory, as I was pretty drunk both times.
PART THREE: A LAS VEGAS ACT
The first story takes place, appropriately, in Vegas. On a visit to a strip club with a bunch of friends, I mostly played my background role as I made some observations. We started out at the bar, and I found myself next to one of the strippers, having drinks together like a normal social scene. Her face was fantastic, a classic ‘hot girl face’, and one to my specific liking. As she stood there making conversation with my friends and I, I remember feeling like it was a scene out of a teen movie – here I was on enemy territory, the nerd having drinks with the hot girl. How long until her cliche jock boyfriend breaks this up? Every nerve ending in my body tingled with a certain ‘a guy like you isn’t supposed to be talking to a girl like her’ mentality, something that is, of course, a huge component of why these clubs can bring in so much money. It also ties back into the shame associated with these places (I’m a dork who needs to pay to be around hot girls) that I think I can, with the right perspective, flip into something overwhelmingly positive.
Later on, as we did some sort of crowd participation that involved sitting around the stage with the girls on it and alcohol being poured into our mouths, I observed something about her that drove me crazy. Leaning over the stage with a pair of panties in her hand, voice dripping with beyond girlish, stretched out, slutty cadences with a hint of dumb and splashes of giggles thrown in, she said, ‘These are my panties.’ She announced it like an acting coach had told her to be a cross between a first grader with a good report card and a porno star and it was fucking perfect.
It was then that the gears started to turn on what should have been obvious, and yet never truly was: this was an act. You think I would’ve smelled my own kind – I’ve been an entertainer all my life. Maybe I’d just grown more as a performer since my last time in a strip club, but with her statement about her panties I immediately started to recognize that a switch had been flipped, and an alter ego had taken over. She knew what she was doing, she knew what we wanted, and she knew how to get the best financial outcome from knowing both of those things. I used to wonder why guys threw so much money at these girls that, most times, they weren’t even going to sleep with. That one perfectly delivered line encapsulated so much about the appeal of this world – you’re paying for the character. Strippers are perfect male fantasies, 24/7. Chances are when your wife gets home from a long day of work, she’s not going to want to put on stiletto heels, lingerie, and an 80′s rock ballad and start grinding her ass all over you. But, for twenty bucks, a stripper will do not just that, but also, if she’s good, make you believe she’s enjoying it as well. The attraction became clearer with just that one sentence.
I chose her for my lap dance that night, a dance that I don’t remember all that vividly or as standing out in any way, but by observing her and the way she made me feel, I had kick started my journey into understanding the true joy of strippers.
PART FOUR: A MUTUALLY EXPLOITATIVE GOOD TIME
For my 31st birthday, all I really wanted to do was go to a strip club. I didn’t think I’d end up with so many revelations because of it. I remember hearing the phrase ‘mutually exploitative’ used to describe the world of strip clubs and it stuck with me. Both sides are being used in a gorgeous yin yang of exploitation. One side wants attention, one side wants money and both get what they desire. There is a perverse beauty in the fact that both sides would most likely prefer to get what they want through different methods: guys would rather be able to get girls through natural ability, and girls would rather not have to grind on strangers to make the rent. It is the shared experience between the two that I came to embrace on this particular night, not just because of the exploitation, but also because I am, as I said, a lifelong performer, which will play heavily in this story.
We started out going to a lower level strip club, which is probably never a good idea. If you’re going to do something, you may as well do it right. The place looked like more of a dive bar, the girls weren’t that hot, and in general the vibe of the place didn’t scream ‘decadence’, which is, I suppose, what any good strip club should be screaming at you. However, it did offer one aspect that helped with my journey towards seeing strippers as performers who are working a craft. I took notice of the way they would click their gigantic heels together, the shoes making a loud, wooden THOCK! as they hit against each other. Often this gesture would be used as a punctuation mark to finish a move they were doing; sliding down the pole and then clicking the heels at the bottom, for instance. The entertainer in me was entranced. Such showmanship!
Then we headed off to the second, much better club. I could immediately tell the difference, mainly in the decor and lighting – it helped immensely with placing yourself inside a fantasy world. I enjoyed watching the stage as I had before, but a kind gesture from a friend changed this experience into something it might not have been otherwise.
My friend had told the DJ it was my birthday and so I was called up to the stage to sit there while a group of strippers stood before me and came up to give me lap dances. The key element in changing all this is that my friend had the DJ call me up by my stage name, Shrooms, as opposed to my government name.
Now, I look at the stage as the one true holy ground in this world. Regardless of any other aspects of myself, when it’s time to hit the stage, I shut up and do my job. Therefore, when I was called up by a different name, a switch was flipped in me, an effect I believe to be congruent to the ones strippers have when their ‘name’ is called. This is where it gets interesting.
I bounded onto the stage with the energy of a now-on alter ego, grabbed the pole with one hand, swung myself around it in a Gene Kelly-esque move, and heard a girl’s voice say, ‘Someone’s confident’ before settling into my spot on a chair on the stage.
I then had a group of maybe ten to fifteen strippers grouped together and staring at me. I wore a sly smile, which was both because I was in the zone and also to compensate for how quickly my face goes into default mode (where I look bored and possibly homicidal) no matter what the environment. I was then treated to the unique sight of seeing the strippers with similar smiles on their faces, smiles that hid slight traces of nervousness like they were all kids in a gym class waiting to see who was going to step up and try the rope climb next. Catching this, the hint of the humans underneath the stage performers, was subtly thrilling and only served to further my idea of the connection between them and their customers – we were both poised but nervous about this forced interaction.
One at a time, two strippers came forward to give me a lap dance and the third made things interesting as she pulled me out of the chair, sat down in it, and patted her lap. I have always been interested in the idea of symbiotic metamorphosis, specifically when applied to the audience/performer relationship. As I’ve stated, I believe the right environment will just automatically flip a switch and lay waste to any other personality traits, bringing out an alpha beast from my intertwining with it.
What happened next was the biggest proof of that theory I’ve ever experienced – without a second’s hesitation, I grabbed the pole and propelled myself downward, grinding my lap onto hers like I’d never spent a second of my life as a shy nerd. I responded to it with such immediate fervor that when it was over and my on-stage time was done, she grabbed me by the hand and said ‘Do you want a lap dance? Let’s do a dance!’ I remember her tone being enthusiastic and her wearing a ‘Well, look at you!’ smile.
Now, this whole business is about making the client feel special, so I’m not stupid enough to think she was excited about doing a lap dance with me. I’m lying. Of course I’m that stupid. But I believed it in a different way. I believe, or like to, that it goes back to the performer aspect, that she saw the stage actually bring out a spark in me and figured, as long as most of her time was spent having to grind on paunchy creeper types anyway, why not do what you’re required to do with a guy with some personality? Maybe it was just business as usual, but I’m keeping my performer to performer moment, goddamn it.
As we continued to the back room, more indicators of this being a performance were there to soothe me, to reinforce my new way of looking at the strip club experience. When she mentioned it was my birthday, I said it had been, as it was after midnight, and she replied, ‘You’re in a strip club. Time stands still.’ Beautifully sold. Once we were alone in the room, the dialogue that came from her saying she loved my hair (‘A lot of girls do.’ ‘Are you trying to make me jealous?’) sounded like it came from two people who were definitely in character at the moment.
And so, still riding the waves of having been on stage like I would after a show, I had the best lap dance of my life by embracing how much of a mutual performance it was. It also helped that, unlike other sterile lap dances where I was told to not move my hands at all, I was able to actually dig in, and kiss and suck on her neck, breasts and ass in a way that I thought was forbidden in strip clubs, or maybe just lower (or higher?) quality strip clubs. Either way my memory of sitting there like a child in detention during previous dances was scrubbed away as I fondled, sucked and licked like a rabid teenager. There was a moment when, after having my hands on her ass a lot, she asked, ‘Do you want me to turn around?’ I took this as either her reading me as having a thing for derrieres, or just knowing that’s what most guys in general want at some point, but either way, how hot is that?! It was all tying into this being a craft.
The aspect of paying for it, so looked down upon, is actually quite charming to me. To request more from a female in normal life is an unbelievably messy affair that can result in much confusion and heartbreak. To request more from a stripper is an affair simple enough to make Thoreau smile: give them more money. The complete 180 from emotional terrorism to supermarket transaction that is made when you go from real life girls to strippers is mind-boggling in how much it (wait for it) strips away. Truly, this was heaven for the horny misanthrope.
I went back again after the initial round, as another stripper wouldn’t have seemed to have the same connection I believe we shared. When I was done, I told her she was good at her craft, and meant it, as one performer to another. By the end of that night I had realized stripping truly was an art form, that these girls truly were performers, and that the fantasy-based simplicity of the world they existed in was a bullseye for my particular personality.
I get older and start to wonder what exactly it is I want from females. I could take the sensationalist approach and scream out, ‘Fuck love, I want titties in my face forever!’ but forever, as I’m learning, is quite a long time. For right now, I don’t want to find a girl who truly knows me inside and out that I can connect with on an emotional level. I don’t want a girl who spends all her time with me day after day. I just want a girl who never shows her real side, never complains about work or goes through PMS, never has tasks she wants me to do, or even shows any trace of being a real human at all.
No, I want a girl whose name sounds like something a six-year-old would name their pet, whose outfits look like something out of a comic book drawn by horny nerds, and whose demeanor is always as pleasant and pretend as a little girl playing princess.
And, most importantly, I want to pay her money to rub her tits all over my face.