And being deliberately obtuse
Thursday night was all geek love, IT guys and gamer nerds who were stoked for a hot nerd stripper and basically darling and frequently hilarious. Last night was the exact opposite.
“Can I ask where you’re from? I can tell you’re not from around here.”
He looks disappointed. “But your accent… It’s Ukrainian maybe?”
Now, I’ve been having a conversation with this guy for a reasonable amount of time, he’s heard a good sample of my speech patterns. I talk fast and slur my words a lot but don’t have a thick Boston accent, and I’ve been tainted by the west coast to the point where it’s almost impossible for me to make a direct statement, or even say “I think”. Instead it always comes out “I feel like–“, a habit I’m trying very hard to break. But my accent is very American English.
“Ahh, my family is from the Ukraine, yes.”
“I can tell, I can totally tell.”
He looks thrilled. “So, are you ready for a lap dance?”
He gets three, and at the end calls me by another dancer’s name. We’re not easily confused: She’s tiny, nearly a foot shorter than me, South American, and it’s a Spanish name, but the name does sound a lot like “Yentl” and I can only imagine it’s some fucking shtetl fetish coming out.
“It’s Red,” I correct him gently.
He looks startled. “But Y—– is such a Russian name.”
I almost die. Because it’s not, at all, like a Russian name, because he’s so attached to this narrative in his head that it’s like I wasn’t even there. But if you ask him about last night he’d probably tell you all about the hot Ukrainian stripper and her accent. Two totally different lap dances were just had.
“It’s Red.” He looks hurt and baffled so I make it easier on him. “Like Russian Red.”
His face clears. Later he gets more dances.
“You! You’re so hot!”
“So are you, are you ready for a lap dance?”
“Whoa whoa whoa! No no no!”
Okay. “I like your shirt. It’s very gingham, very Dorothy Gale.”
“Aha, no. Gingham. It’s what this pattern is called.”
“I thought it was called plaid.”
I sighed. Deeply. I was already annoyed by him, I don’t know why I kept going. Because I’m a Capricorn and I love money.
“So what’s your name?”
“Pfaw, no it’s not! That is not what your parents called you. I’ll tell you my real name. —–  What’s your real name?”
Seriously, are you seriously going there. It’s been a while since I heard this and I was hoping it got old and was now universally recognized as a signal for time wasting bad taste–which it really is. Not that I followed it.
“I’ll tell you during the lap dance.”
“Hold your horses tiger! I’ll get a dance, I’ll get a dance. Not right now.”
Yeah ok whatever. I waited 10 minutes and enlisted my young redhead doppelgänger in the cause. She’s pale like me, more babyfaced but we both have round enough faces and pointy chins, so when we tell people (guys) we’re sisters they don’t question it, they just look thrilled. She got his friend into the back and I followed with Gingham.
Gingham kept being charming.
“So I just got back from three weeks in Europe and you have a lot to live up to.”
I rolled my eyes. Because you go to an strip club in the states to have the same experience offered by a prostitute, European or otherwise. Idiot.
He kept talking and trying to grab my breasts. “In Prague the girls are so hot. Are those real? It takes a lot to get me hard.” He reached out for my chest. I ducked away again and grabbed his hands. “Are they real?”
“Why don’t you tell me, doctor.” I inadvertently channeled Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express, fitting because he was about as winsome as Clive Brook.
The song ended and I moved away from him with relief.
“That wasn’t the best lap dance ever. You said it would be.” He remained seated, sulky look on his face like if he complained enough I’d say, “oh, ok. That one’s on me then.”
“I did not say that, and I wouldn’t bother to do my best for you, you’re way too arrogant and annoying. Maybe you need to go back to Prague. Forty dollars.”
He still didn’t move, although now his face looked shocked.
“I don’t have forty, I only have a fifty.”
“That’s fine, I have change! And how much change do you want back and how much do you want to tip?” Now that I didn’t have to put up with him anymore, needling him was fun. He looked way more distraught than the situation called for.
“I will not be tipping. You didn’t earn it. Ten dollars.”
“Oh no,” I made a sympathetic face. “I only have five!”
“Then I’ll pay you in twos!”
“Oh no. I have enough twos. Let’s go to the bar and get you some change, big boy.”
He glowered. “I will not be forgetting you.”
What a threat! I rolled my eyes again. These guys were such badly behaved babies. Plus, after last week I got myself bear spray.
He got change from the bar and thrust two twenties at me with his face averted. It was like I’d destroyed his innocence.
“Thank you!” I caroled, and walked away.
A short while later a bouncer found me.
“I heard you were mean to a customer in a lap dance.”
“Oh my god!”
I told him what happened. He’s not one for overt laughing, but his face cracked.
“After last week I thought maybe you’re going on a rampage, hitting people, being mean to them.”
“I did not hit this guy! Don’t think I didn’t want to!”
1- When I was younger I would pretend to have a French accent when I was drunk, and run around insisting I was an exchange student from Paris named Ludovine, but it’s been a while. There is absolutely nothing about my accent to suggest Eastern Europe or Ukraine. I could do it if I thought about it, but that’s rarely a noticeable asset so I don’t usually bother. If someone seems to have a Russian Mail Order Bride type fetish I can just start dropping pigeon-Russian into my speech, whispering пожалуйста in their ears, whatever.
2- I don’t know why I’m leaving his name out, he doesn’t deserve the protection of anonymity.
While I’m adamantly Not Studying, I’ve been catching up on stripper blogs. This post? is so funny.
Him: Well, some of the guys were really, really into sex. Not just with “whores” (he was using the Hindi work “randi” to describe the sex workers).
Me: So who were they having sex with? Each other?
Him: No! No, they’re not GAY! (exasperated) But like one night, I saw three of my colleagues trying to fuck a donkey. A female donkey.
Side note – I love how an implication that they’re gay is shocking, but the donkey-fucking is reasonable.
It’s midterms and I realised last night that we’re studying the same thing in Mandatory Science that Edward and Bella were when he finally overcame his bloodlust and decided to actually speak to her.
“Mind if I check?”
Which made studying more fun for all of fifteen minutes. The instructor has unofficially retired from teaching the class and each week for the rest of term a different group of disaffected undergrads will be lecturing from incoherent powerpoints about different subjects more or less related to biology. What any of this has to do with that embarrassment of a text I have yet to figure out, I read half of it, noticed it was unrelated to any assignments or anything on the syllabus, and gave it up with relief. I now rely entirely on YouTube and Wikipedia for my understanding of meiosis.
I’m a little frozen. It’s not just the stultifying tedium of my classes (which occasionally burst into hostile yet self-flagellating outbursts of “white guilt”, like in a lecture on Kara Walker we had, where even the TA apparently could not stop herself from asking if the curator had felt guilt over hanging Walker’s art. Excuse me? Is that really a question we need to waste time answering? No, you’re not entitled to your asinine, juvenile, and poorly thought out statements. Thank god I’m not an art major).
There’s this article, Welcome to Planet A-Hole, about the 12 year old sluts facebook page.
And this article I already posted, The Limits of Free Speech, on privacy, capability, and what renders women unfit to do their work (private lives, apparently).
If you care to go back in time, you have the women Melissa Petro listed in that article, Petro herself, and of course, Angry Stripper.
You learn things on the margins. You learn about who matters and who doesn’t, you learn cues to pass if and when possible or necessary, you see things you wouldn’t if people thought you mattered. It’s so super Downton Abbey, but you learn more about a person from the way they treat their service staff that their companions.
I walked up to a guy at the ATM, thirties-ish guy, kind of cute. “You look ready for some fun!” I told him.
“I am!” he answered. “I need a drink first though.”
I saw with approval that he had a lot of money, and we chatted as I walked him to the bar.
“Hey,” he said. “See that girl in the corner? She’s shy but she wants company.”
I blinked. But fine, whatever. I know I say I’m opposed to couple’s dances but when it comes down to it 50$-80$ for 3.5 minutes is nothing to sneeze at. Short of inadvertently being party to someone else’s illicit hookup I will take your couple and raise you: my slowly decreasing debt to Sallie Mae.
I sat down next to the woman, who looked disconcerted and uncomfortable.
“You know, I don’t know why he sent you over here, this wasn’t my idea,” she explained. Lovely. Her boyfriend was playing a not very nice trick on us both. Leaving would have been like letting him win, having made us each uncomfortable, and what the hell. Next to her was as good a perch as any to scope out greener pastures (metaphors, I have them). I asked about her job while I did a visual once over of the room.
She warmed up, recently divorced, out on a date with a childhood friend whose idea it was to come here. She seemed to really like him, so I refrained from saying that it seemed a poor choice of venue, given her obvious discomfort, and we talked about her divorce. Her date eventually came back, looked surprised to see me still with her, and dismissed me with a smirk.
“You can go now,” he peremptorily informed me.
The woman looked back and forth between us uneasily, and it was a rare shock. Somehow the facade of impersonal kindness I’d been using to make the woman comfortable took over before I could blurt out that he was acting like an arrogant asshat–something I regretted as I walked away. I decided to catch her at the next available opportunity and tell her… I wasn’t sure what yet.
“I just got dissed and dismissed in a totally new way,” I announced to the dressing room. “The guy in the corner by the window is a total jerk, fyi.”
Bea volunteered to dump a drink on him, but I had my own idea. Guys who are jerks to strippers are generally really big jerks. They see the club as a safe space to act out, and us as people who for whatever reason have to take it, which is only slightly true, and only for hefty compensation. It’s not like catcalling some helpless girl on the street. And this guy took his date here with no regard for her comfort, and was rude to me in the quest to make her feel awkward. Real hot. On the off chance that she was still confused enough to go home with him, I was going to say something.
I was thinking all this as Bea zoomed up, face red and crumpled. She’s kind of a crier though, so I didn’t think much of it, kind of “there, there”‘d her and waited for her to tell me what was wrong.
“Who’s that woman?”
“The woman with the guy you said was a jerk! We went on a few dates last week, I totally slept with him and he knows I work here! How could he take her here on a date?”
She looked at me tearfully and zoomed back into the dressing room to hide.
That settles it! I thought triumphantly. I may come across as completely Victorian, but I’m gonna say something.
I was almost through my set when I saw them getting up to go. Oh hell no, I thought. I’m taking my revenge, Victorian or not!
I sashayed to the edge of the stage and crooked my finger at the woman, who seemed like her night had really gone to hell. The awkward cheerfulness from earlier was totally gone. And now a stripper was pulling her up to the rack to tell her something. I could almost see her rethinking it, but I leaned in.
“You can tell a lot about a guy from the way he interacts strippers,” I told her. “It carries over. Guys who are rude to us and treat us like crap don’t just leave their misogyny in here when they leave.”
“Um, what are you saying?” she asked.
“He’s a jerk, dump him.”
“Oh, yeah… I had pretty much decided on that.” She looked bummed.
I wasn’t sure about her resolution but I did my best. Patted her shoulder. “Good luck.”
A half hour later I left the lap dance room to find her hovering outside.
“I just wanted to say thank you,” she said. “He was really rude to you, and I noticed. And then after you pulled me aside this crying girl came up and pulled him aside and I don’t know what’s going on but it’s been a really weird night.”
I imagined Bea and the scene she must have made. It was the stuff of stag night movies, less funny versions of the Hangover.
“I wanted to give you this,” she pulled out a 50 and I stared. “And to ask if I could talk to the crying girl too?”
Bea will like this, I thought. Fifty dollars for each of us for being righteous and screwing up that asshole’s night? Awesome. “I’ll get her.”
1- I love Twilight unabashedly–the movie, anyway, the book’s a little tedious with all that info-dropping and they only get worse. The tent scene in Eclipse is the most egregious example of Why Show When You Can Tell For Pages and Pages that I can think of–but the movies! Ahh, so much room for campy joy! Plus if I had any Photoshop skills whatsoever I’d be selling t shirts of this photoshopped to be more Twilighty that say “Team Jane”.
2- Although she and her two (2) fannypacks
are still physically present at every session, something I’ve documented for you!
3- Because god forbid we supplement meagre incomes by offering entirely legal commodified (if sexualized) services.[3a]
3a- although it’s probably a toss up about what’s more “unfitting”, being naked in public or the more private act of grinding on dicks.
4- This actually happened! But is deserving of its own post.
5- Eight years of dancing and I think I’m mostly unflappable, although someone in the past week did prove me wrong.
used to be my morning chant. I stole it from Mimi Nguyen back in the day and it’s invigorating.
Mona Superhero has a new show that just opened in Portland. I love her work and have wanted it for ages, even more so after the one piece I modeled for got snapped up before I could buy it, so I’m REALLY EXCITED to finally have bought some of her art! This is mine, all mine:
And I just–again finally–bought the Bad Roommate Zine, edited by Nicole J Georges which has Kat’s amazing story about the compost and the rats. There are certain things–that video Lazy Sunday/Chronic(what)cles of Narnia–that make me laugh til I cry no matter how many times I see/read them and this story is one of them.
What I’m doing right now. And reading this:
file under “it could always be worse”:
In the weeks since Naomi Wolf’sVagina: A New Biography was released, feminists have enjoyed a rare moment of widespread agreement: This book, without a doubt, is awful.
In the New Statesman, Laurie Penny explained how and why “this sort of excuse for feminism” hurts women. In the New York Review of Books, Zoë Heller was so scathing, a friend of ours who hasn’t read the book said he thought, “This can’t possibly be a fair account of Wolf’s thesis because it would entail — among many other things — that Wolf doesn’t know what the nervous system is.” (It was a fair account.) Jaclyn Friedman declared in The Prospect, “The book collapses under the weight of a breathtaking narcissism: If it doesn’t apply to Naomi, it doesn’t exist.” And at The Nation, Katha Pollitt wondered if “opinion-mongering, black-and-white thinking and relentless TMI are the price of remaining a world-class celebrity feminist.”
Meanwhile, a shady cabal of feminist writers were conducting a week-long roundtable discussion of the book, occasioned by the following e-mail conversation:
You should just read the post. It’s funny.
Stripping is an ongoing and very abject lesson in “You never know.” You just never know. I was talking to a guy who looked like Emilio Estevez in the Breakfast Club–a lot of it was in the hair but also sartorially. He was a pleasant and amusing conversationalist and within five minutes he suggested we do a dance. Easy as pie, I thought. One of those dances where I’m laughing the whole time and grateful for customers like him.
I took him to the back room and we continued talking until the next song started. He kept talking after that but all my energy was sucked up by monitoring his hands, letting out a half-hearted laugh where it seemed like he expected one, and then more hand holding.
“No touching,” I reminded him sweetly, and then more firmly. “No touching when I’m naked, you don’t want me to get yelled at, do you?” This is a cue for the bouncer to intervene.
He loomed into the room. “Keep your hands to yourself!”
“Oh yeah oh yeah,” Emilio nodded. “Right.” Bouncer went away, the guy explained, “It’s just so hard, I just want to give you pleasure.”
“Ahaha, right. Well, you can’t, sorry. Not why I’m here. Now you just relax, don’t move, and enjoy yourself.”
We got through the rest of the dance without incident, holding hands for the rest of the song. I weighed the merits of another 40$ against the constant vigilance, handholding, and probable irritation of another song; decided I could cope.
“Let’s keep going!” I smiled, played with his collar. “I’m not done with you yet.”
“I don’t know… You know, I think you wiped me out but I really enjoyed this. You were great.” And with that, he swooped his hand toward my lap. I’d already turned away at “wiped me out,” but caught the motion from the corner of my eye and managed to catch his hand an inch above my .
I slammed his arm into the armrest of the chair and bent his fingers back. “If you try that again, I will break your nose.”
I paused to let that sink in and let go of his hand, moved away to dig around for my bottoms under the chair.
He found his voice. “I didn’t do anything!” I stared at him blankly. “You’re a crazy bitch! I didn’t do anything! I didn’t do anything.”
“Pay me.” I tried to give him a cold look but felt over the whole interaction. Annoyed and tired and almost hopeful that he’d try something so I could actually hit him. What a whiny little shit–it went with his entitled poufy haired aesthetic.
“You know what? You know what?” We waited while he figured out where he was going to go from there. “You can have forty dollars! But you’ll never see me again.” He flung two twenties at me with hilariously ineffectual force. I collapsed in laughter, spite giving extra force to my cackles until I actually sounded like a witch. He gave me a dirty look and flounced away, poufy hair bouncing indignantly.
I finished laughing, and hustled off to spend the rest of the night re-enacting his grand and unsuccessful gesture.
“And you will never–see me again,” I intoned dramatically in the dressing room, arm in the air like I’d just made it rain. Autumn and Virago stared at me incredulously.
“Really?” Autumn is easily shocked, a satisfying trait in one’s audience.
“Like, ‘Oh no’,” Virago laughed heartly. “Oh no, you’re never gonna see him again! Oh no, there’s not a club full of men out there who are probably nicer and richer. Oh no.”
“He just wanted to give me pleasure,” I sighed. “I’m such an ingrate.”
PS: No, you’re not entitled to your opinion. Cause some opinions are more equal than others. True fact.
1- He was actually really funny and made me laugh a few times, but this was a month ago and I didn’t take notes–the whole interaction was so funny that I thought it would stay in my head but turns out only the last two minutes stuck. With reason.
2- This is like, a thing. Guys say this all the time, about how their only pleasure is in giving pleasure, &c&c&c. But think about it. The guys who talk about giving me pleasure are so wrapped up in their vision and version of what’s happening that they’re totally blind to what’s actually happening.
How responsive and good at um giving pleasure can someone so unable to pick up on cues be? My cues, for example, aren’t so much cues as solid verbal warnings and directions: “No touching, only I touch you, no you can’t touch me, no you can’t touch me, you really can’t, I am the only person who touches, just sit back and let me do my job, I will hurt you if you do that again.”
Can you imagine someone that wrapped up in themselves being good in bed? Happy chance alone would account for it, I doubt he would register it if you explicitly told him he wasn’t getting you off.
3- It’s so annoying that there aren’t any non-embarrassing crotch euphemisms for girls. Women. Ladies. Whatever. Vulva is technical and embarrassing, crotch is, as Regan rightly claimed, terrible (although also terribly hilarious), most of the rest are infantilizing (kitty? yikes) and a bunch are worse than crotch. Gregology.net (seriously where do I come up with this shit? By googling “vagina euphemisms.” BECAUSE I CARE) suggests droog which, as the russian for “friend” (although the fact that it is a male friend, and not “padrooga” is stupid–or the etymology of this possibly entirely made up word could be totally different) appealed to me most but actually I’m just going to leave the whole thing as a footnote. I have an exam to study for. Though to be honest I might just end up finishing the Forsyte Saga and wondering why male gingers are always so unattractive except for the Weasley twins. Call me, boys.
Regan broke my record for most lap dances sold in a month, by nineteen dances. What a b!
I’ve been out since the 17th and start work again this week, I can’t wait. If term hadn’t started I would have died of boredom almost immediately.
But still, what a b. I’m not sure I can beat her, she works two-three shifts more a week than I do and it’s slow now. She may hold the record until next bachelor season.
currently reading (instead of studying for exam Tuesday):
A few girls do this at my club–the trick, not rupturing people’s bladders–and it’s a subject of heated debate about who started doing it first; one girl exploding into a dramatic alcohol-fueled monologue about how stupid young bitches can’t come up with their own moves and have to be stealing her moves–this, from a 23 year old!–and I want to print the article from school and post it in the dressing room.
Also for the dressing room:
And more importantly, given all the unprotected oral happening at work:
Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease that infects 700,000 Americans a year, already has become resistant to all but one class of antibiotics and could soon become untreatable, federal health officials warned. Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new treatment guidelines, hoping to delay the inevitable day when standard drugs no longer work. The guidelines call for withholding a potent oral antibiotic now commonly used to treat the infection. Instead, doctors should use an injectable form to which the gonorrhea bacteria seems less likely to develop resistance, along with a second type of antibiotic pills.
Gross and mildly horrifying.
And now, in the lazy Sunday spirit, a conversation I just had with Manny:
What’s up? You look concerned.
GET AWAY FROM MY MOTHERFUCKING RAWHIDE.
YOU HEARD ME. IT’S MINE.
Au contraire, mon per…ro. I gave you that rawhide. I even softened it so you wouldn’t lose your remaining teeth gnawing on it.
BACK OFF, SNEAKY HOBBITSES. GNARARAR. MINE. MIIIINE. THE PRECIOUS. WE LOVES IT… WE LOVES THE PRECIOUS.
…YOU’RE STILL HERE.
1- getting and recovering from a boob job, which, more on that later but let me tell you–I did my first laser hair removal Wednesday and it was a thousand times more painful than the boob job. I didn’t even take my pain medication after the surgery, which is good because I’m going to want it for the remaining laser sessions.
2- still in danger of that from Mandatory Science, though. In eight hours of class time she’s used four going over the syllabus and project requirements. I don’t understand–if she spent as much time lecturing as she did repeating herself it would be an interesting class. But she’s terrible, we spent 45 minutes going over the study guide for an exam on Tuesday, and three questions away from the end she suddenly dropped it to return to the syllabus. Her slides are poorly done and despite showing diagrams of the chemical composition of different hormones, she goes through them too fast to actually copy them. This is something Beautiful Professor scolded me about and in an irrationally resentful way I want him–or someone to get after this woman.
I’m sitting in this guy’s lap giving him a lap dance. No two way contact but it’s still solid and he’s having fun until we get to the second song and the moaning starts next door.
“Unnnnnnnh unnnnnnnnh unnnnnnnnnhmmmmmm.”
It’s female: a dancer. A dancer is moaning. It’s like the aural equivalent of having to distract my customer from the guy diagonal from us who’s squeezing big handfuls of that dancer’s ass. I didn’t want my guy to get ideas so I sat him over here and now a moaning girl is in the next area. My customer immediately looks distracted; I’m not making that noise so I must be defective: somewhere along the line he got screwed.
“I promise you, nothing is happening in there that isn’t happening in here,” I assure him. I mean maybe she’s getting her ass grabbed too but he doesn’t need to know that.
He still looks longingly at the curtain, from whence the “unnnnnnnhs” just keep coming. Oh my god.
“Do you need me to start moaning, sunshine? Would that make your experience complete?” I want to kill the fool next to me–he was definitely going to go for a third before she started but now I’m not so sure, blocked by the curtain and fueled by the moaning, his fevered brain is coming up with all kinds of lascviousness which, bitchy me, I’m not indulging him in..
He looks confused. I swear to god. People say the purring is cheesy but they can’t have heard fake moaning. At least the purring is quiet and private and doesn’t fuck with anyone else’s hustle.
I try to channel a girl I worked with at a tiny, tragic little dive bar in 2006 who called herself Hot Pocket and always made the most embarrassing noises onstage. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right.
“Oh yeah, mmmmmmmyeah,” I start off low in his ear. His expression actually brightens like he believes penetration might not be far behind. “Unnnnh mmmmmmm yeeeeeah mmmmmmmunnnnnnnnnh.” I feel stupider than words can express, mildly implicated by having resorted to moaning myself. He looks less unhappy and cheated, but when the song ends he doesn’t get a third. He pays me and then loiters by the dance area until Moany comes out, and he leads her right back in. Only got one song from her though, and then left, looking more disappointed than ever. There’s no pleasing some people.
1- Lap dances are kind of an ephemeral service, and quality is subjective, but mine probably occupy the (happy?) medium between the dances of when I first started dancing (which were adamantly not “lap” dances–by the standards of 2004 I’m a filthy whore) and the dances the other girls at my club do, and the dances that happen in most clubs in town. Mine are good: not shocking (unless you’re some people), not tame, not terrible or amazing, probably kind of average unless my feet hurt and I resort to neck and shoulder massages–I do have repeat customers who pay me to do that.