Swagger

 

 

 

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I’m trying to change it up so I don’t get burned out; I’m only working three shifts a week at my main club and then trying to work at least one shift at every club in my city[1]. That’s at least fifty. I’m doing it for Art.

Today I’m at a club I worked at five years ago; hustling’s not allowed, which is fine cause stage money is great and people are asking for dances. Downtime I’m working on homework and my stripper comic.
This conversation actually happened:
Guy: I like your swagger.
Me: yeah? [2]
Guy: Yeah, you’re…
Long pause.
Me, helpfully: I think the word you’re looking for is ‘perfect’.
Guy: yeah! Yeah that’s the one.

Longer review of today’s club to come, as well as long story about what a soul sucking pit it is, which is why I left. It’s even turned me vegetarian again.

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1- This is maybe impossible, as there are a few where the circumstances in which I left are so… acrimonious (me to club owner, “I think you’re morally bankrupt” for example) that it’s going to be SUPER EXCITING trying to get back on schedule.  But today’s club was definitely one I had doubts about and here I am, so never underestimate the power of implants and a smile.  I like a challenge.

2- Swagger and sagging pants happen to be two of the top things I look for in a guy, aka ‘sagnswag’, so I’m into this as a compliment.

Sluggish pt 1:

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.
“Prophase.”
“Mind if I check?”[1]

Which made studying more fun for all of fifteen minutes.  The instructor has unofficially retired from teaching the class[2] 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.[3]

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[4] 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.[5] 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?”

“Umm.”

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.”

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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.