When I was in my early 20s, I discovered something about myself. Strippers love me. And Lesbians. Lesbians love me too. Not in a lewd, overly sexual kind of way, but both clearly enjoyed having me around, thought I was cute, even though I was straight, and they treated me as some kind of cute mascot. I once pondered why Lesbians love me so and my friend Sharon put it ever so gently, “Well, you’re kinda dykey.”
So, in my 20s, I would sometimes find myself at strip clubs. I wasn’t trying to be the “cool girl” and I didn’t go to the clubs to prove that I was one of the guys. I would just sort of end up there. I would be hanging out with the guys and once in a while, someone would mention “Hey, let’s go to a strip club!” and I’d join them. Again, not to be cool. I didn’t go for the women, because if I wanted to see tits and ass, I could look in the mirror. I never bought a lap dance for anyone, because if you want to be dry humped, you can pay for it your damn self, I was poor. I went for one reason. Two words. Free Drinks.
It was the 90s in New York City and at many clubs, if you were a woman accompanying a party of men, you drank for free, all damn night. The theory behind it was that a drunk, non-stripper in a strip club was an asset that would attract men, much like Ladies' Night. I didn’t care if the theory was that letting women drink for free would cause the second coming of Jesus. I wanted to get my drink on.
|Hey Big Spender....|
As I sat, drinking for free in these fine establishments, I learned that strippers would gravitate towards me. It’s not like I would “make it rain”, unless they wanted some pennies and a nickel. I’d be drinking, talking to a male friend, and a stripper would come gyrate in front of me. I’d simply smile and clap, give her the thumbs up and she’d usually give me a big smile and saunter away. This happened repeatedly at different clubs. My male friends found it amusing. On the rare occasions when I had a spare dollar, I would tip. To this day, when I go to strip clubs, the strippers adore me. (I even hired a stripper once for a boyfriend’s birthday. She loved me. After she was done, I fed her pizza. That’s another blog though.)
One evening, I was walking around with my boyfriend. He was a very good-looking guy. (Still is, according to his Facebook page, which I totally don’t stalk.) He liked to talk the talk but not walk the walk. We were walking, and passed by a local strip club. Him, being a blowhard smart ass, smirked and said “Let’s go in.”
I narrowed my eyes at him, knowing full well he was broke that day and had no intention or ability to go into a strip club. I, on the other hand, had just gotten my tax return a few weeks ago and was slightly in the black and had a few dollars to spend. I also had no problem going with my handsome boyfriend to a strip club. I was 24, confident, attractive, had a tendency to wear glitter make-up and belly shirts with low rise, men’s jeans a size too big, I favored Doc Martens and had a cute little pixie hair-cut and…..ohhhhhh.
I looked at him as he stood there with that dumb smile, grabbed his sleeve and said brightly, “OK!” and dragged him toward the door. The smile fell from his face as quickly as one spread onto mine. Before he could protest, I opened the door and dragged his ass inside to the dimly lit, smoke filled bar and grabbed us two seats, front and center. I slapped down some cash and ordered him a drink (mine was free of course). He sat there, uncomfortable and shell shocked, sucked down the drink and puffed his Marlboro. I got some singles from the bartender and handed them to my boyfriend and told him to have fun. We got another round, he started to loosen up a bit and tipped a stripper, an attractive Latina girl, who looked at me and said “Thank You” and winked. My boyfriend wrinkled his brow at that, and I smiled…he didn’t know my super power.
We watched the various girls dance, some very talented. One earned a five dollar tip from me for spinning from the pole using what appeared to be only her pinkie toe as an anchor. I applauded because attempting that would have landed me in the emergency room. She thanked me, winked and gave me a hug. So much for the “No Touching” rule. My boyfriend glared as she hugged me. I thought maybe he wanted attention so I hugged him. He sighed and kept handing out singles, which kept earning me winks and thank yous. He wondered out loud if the strippers had seen me give him the money (no, I am not kidding, that was his theory), felt like an ass because he came in broke and wanted to leave. I assured him that they were just being nice to me because we were a couple.
We continued to tip and drink, watching the girls and getting a little tipsy. We played some darts and ended up having somewhat of a good time. Then, we returned to the bar and Hot Latina danced for us, and my boyfriend tipped her. She said thank you to him, finally, and the music had paused for a minute. She looked at me and smiled and said to my boyfriend “She’s so beautiful, why did you bring her here, do you want to lose her?” with a sly grin at me. My boyfriend laughed, obviously thinking she meant losing me to the other men in the room. Then Hot Latina slinked over to me, handed me her card and told me what days she worked at the club, then gave me a kiss on the cheek and sauntered away. I looked at my boyfriend and watched the light bulb slowly go off over his head.
It was like watching a dog try to find it’s way out from underneath a blanket. He quickly realized that Hot Latina wasn’t warning him about the other men folk in the club, and that he had just witnessed someone hitting on his girlfriend, openly, right in front of him, and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it.
It’s not like he could challenge Hot Latina to a fight over her shameless flirtation (although looking back, I think he probably would have ended up with a spiked heel up his ass had he tried.) So he did the thing that men have been doing since the beginning of time when they can’t solve a problem with fisticuffs. He threw a tantrum. He downed his drink and insisted that we leave, now. Rightthefucknow. I was amused and agreed, only because I was low on cash and tired and had to work the next day. But, I had a blast teasing him about that for weeks afterwards.
Knowing now the way things ended between us, I should have left his ass there and went home with Hot Latina. At least I would have gotten the standard experimentation that I missed out on, having not gone to college.
I mean, she sorta looked like Salma Hayek…