Mr Shane

Sometimes you’re hovering, irresolute and there aren’t any money pings hitting your radar and then out of the corner of your eye you see someone with a wallet full of twenties and hundreds buying a drink. Cha-ching.

I walked up to the guy with the money, a short Asian guy in glasses and a hat. His friend, a tall blonde man of the bearded Comrade Lenin type-a type my city is so full of it’s likely I’ll never date again, or at least no dating til Brooklyn-was overtly uninterested in me but the little guy happened to to be eye level with my new 34DDs. I knew I got these for a reason.

“What’s that!” he asked about the gulag chest tattoo.

“It’s your face.” I shoved his face into it and he yelled. A yell of delight, a little muffled by my boobs.

I let him go and he circled around me.

“What’s that say?”

“It’s a stanza from a Russian poem.”

“You like Russian poetry? You like Akhmatova?”

“Akhmatova?”

“Is that how you say it? yes. And you say ‘Sve ta ya eva?'”

“Tsvetaeva?”

“Yes! And now say ‘poetry’!”

“Poesia?”

YES! it sounds like this!” He pointed emphatically at my lap.

I started cracking up. “Ah, yeah, I guess it does sound a little like that. Wanna dance?”

“Yes! Mr Shane!” Bored beardy blond man came over and looked at me, still devoid of interest. “I’m going to dance with her!”

“With her? You don’t want her.”

Oh my God, Mr Shane you are so lucky that I am on my best behavior after assaulting a customer or you’d be next.

“She knows Russian poetry! Poesia! Tsva-say it again!”

“Tsvetaeva.”

“Yes!”

I smiled winningly at Mr Shane. “We have so much in common. Russian poetry in the club! We’re going to dance now.”

Mr Shane was unimpressed but maybe just unimpressed with life in general. He shrugged and let me haul his tiny friend away.

The dance started and

“Pinch my nipples!”

I obliged.

“Hard! Harder! HARDER!”

I did my best, giggling harder every time he yelled.

“Okay, now you make me hard.” He let go of his death grip on the armrest and I grabbed his hand before he could get saucy.

“Ah… Yes. I’m trying.”

“I know why you’re holding my hand! It’s so I don’t touch you. I won’t!”

“That’s really great.”

He flailed the whole while, yelling. At the end of a song he asked if we could get all of the girls in there, to pinch his nipples while he smoked.
“Smoking’s not allowed indoors.”

Dealbreaker.

“Let’s go back to Mr Shane and get more money for a dance!”

 

 

 

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Russian red, gingham style: a tale of two lap dances

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.

1.
“Can I ask where you’re from? I can tell you’re not from around here.”
“Boston.”
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.”
“…да.”
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.

2.
“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.”
“Gangnam?!”
“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?”
“Red.”
“Pfaw, no it’s not! That is not what your parents called you. I’ll tell you my real name. —– [2] 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.

Battle cry of the Brat Pack: “I just want to give you pleasure”

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.[1] 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.”[2]

“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 [3].

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.

Lazy Sunday: links and a dialogue with The Man

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[1] and start work again this week, I can’t wait. If term hadn’t started I would have died of boredom almost immediately.[2]
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):

Man’s lawsuit claims stripper ruptured his bladder

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:

Ask A Pro: Oral STIs and Throat Swab Protocol
This is a really great series from Tits and Sass.

And more importantly, given all the unprotected oral happening at work:

CDC moves to keep new resistant gonorrhea at bay:

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:

20121007-160634.jpg

What’s up? You look concerned.
GET AWAY FROM MY MOTHERFUCKING RAWHIDE.
Excuse me?
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.

20121007-161109.jpg

BACK OFF, SNEAKY HOBBITSES. GNARARAR. MINE. MIIIINE. THE PRECIOUS. WE LOVES IT… WE LOVES THE PRECIOUS.

20121007-161911.jpg

…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.

Aural sex

“Fuck me like a bitch in heat,” I repeated to Regan, barely controlling my giggles.

“He said that? Like a girl?”
I considered. I knew what she meant but, “Not like a girl exactly. Or even like a command. ‘Fuck me like a bitch in heat fuck me like a bitch in heat fuck me like a bitch in heat,'” I mimicked the way he’d actually said it, jaw and teeth clenched, a high-pitched singsong whine of trite sexiness. I couldn’t finish without exploding into a loud cackle of laughter and even Regan had to cover her mouth so she didn’t spit out her energy drink.
“I had to keep slowing down and moving because sometimes it seemed like he was actually going to come. But then he caught on and got mad and didn’t want any more dances.” I frowned. It was a slow slow night, like the past three had been, and I was worried about both my average (for vanity’s sake: I broke the record of the most dances sold in a month at my club and am unwilling to dramatically drop in number, even though bachelor party season is over so it’s to be expected. Also Regan has sworn she is going to beat me, and since I’m about to take some time off, I believe her. But I don’t want her to beat me by too much) and my income, because of the approaching time off.
This worry led me to target people I would otherwise pass over–too much trouble, one-offs, &c–which is how I found myself an hour later ferociously clutching a different customer’s hands, on high alert to keep dodging his tongue, which had yet to spend more than a few seconds consecutively in his mouth; like a dormant zombie it lay inert, hanging out of his lips until I came within some magical limit, and then it would flicker to life, leading him to crane his head toward me while his high pitched giggle made a constant soundtrack to our struggle, punctuated every now and then with,
“You control those hands, girl! Control those hands.” Like he had nothing to do with it. If someone had told me that he was a corpse animated by some distant voodoo practitioner who was speaking through him, I would not have been surprised.
After the song ended he paid me and left and I collapsed against the cushions. The bouncer on back room duty poked his head in and trilled, “Control those hands girl! Control those hands!” and started cracking up. Very helpful.
The cherry on the sundae of that night came at the very end, when Regan and I hustled a last two girl show out of a guy I’d been working on all night. He was a little bit slow[1], with a group of people as annoying as they were broke, and the first time I tried to get dances from him he had trouble with his card, but Regan decided he should run it as credit, so we tried various prices until finally the minimum charge for a two girl show was accepted. The bartender, looking increasingly harried, shoved the receipt at us and went back to cleaning up; we took him in back. The only other girl dancing was Courtney. With the advent of curtains I find her lapdances less objectionable–it’s no longer a constant battle to keep the customer from noticing what’s happening across from/next to us, saving us both arguments about economics as it becomes clear that my fingers won’t be going anywhere near my orifices–but I’ve never danced near her when the room was empty, and it turned out either I’ve been missing something, or she’s added some new tricks to her repertoire.
“Aaaaaughh…. Mmmmmmmm ohhhhyeah, ohhhh baby just like that. Ohhhhh yeah like that mmmmm oh harder baby harder oh harder ohhhh it’s so tight. Ohhhh yeah oooooooohhhhhmmmmmyeah.
The onslaught of Courtney’s dramatic moaning was the last straw after the frantic moaning of everyone else. My facade collapsed first as, despite my best efforts at muffling myself, I let out a small strangled croak. I got ahold of myself and resumed dancing, with only some small shaking to give me away, but after a minute or two Regan lost control; a huff of breath alerted me and I had time to shove the guy’s face in my cleavage while she sat in his lap, covering her face with her hair until she was calmer.
“Ooooh ooh oh oh oh oh oh yeeeeahmmmmmm, baby!”
________________________________
1-He reminded me of Buster from Arrested Development if Buster was a body builder. At one point I vacantly commented on his sizeable biceps–this is something that seems to work on nearly all men: whatever the size of their biceps the vast majority will mumble “d’awwww,” and flex for your admiration. This guy took it a step further, and shoved his drink at me so he could flex like the hulk and show me his traps. I think bulky traps are gross at the best of times, smacking of poor posture and self-upkeep, with a correlating drop in vocabulary and brain function, but his rose all the way to his ears, forming a perfect triangle with his head and the edges of his shoulders. I gagged, jumping to cruel conclusions at how perfectly he illustrated my theory about the correlation between overdeveloped traps and underdeveloped vocabulary/social skills/brain function.

Tact

“Hi! I’m Red, how’s your night going?”
“Good. My name is Larry.”
“Larry! That’s what my ex used to call his cold sores, ‘can’t make out, Larry’s in town.'”
We look at each other silently for a second, processing the fact that of all the things I could have said, that was what I decided on.
“So… Are you ready for a lapdance?”
“Okay.”

Team work

Aside

The incredibly leisurely drinking of coffee in my underwear is my most important morning ritual. One which my neighbour, on an agitated and peripatetic phone call that has ended in him mostly stationed outside my open living room window, is interfering with. I want to tell him normally this view would cost him 2 dollars for every three minutes but more than that I want him to find some place else for his noisy phone call.

Regan is out for a month adjusting to her boob job. She’s living her dream! Work is less hilarious and more tedious without her, and I have to find a new partner when I hustle bachelor parties and two girl dances. (On the bright side, when she’s back I think her boobs will be a big selling point with bachelors and birthday parties, so that’s something to look forward to.)

She went out in a blaze of glory, however, winning[1] the honour of Most Dances Sold in June, I think with 189 dances (I had 130-something), and sharing the honour of Most Dances in a Single Night (29) with me.

The thing about having a lap dance partner in crime is that a lot of guys have a short attention span. They get three or six or nine dances from you, and then suddenly their attention wanders, and they want fresh meat. They say, “Later, give me 20 minutes,” and before you can win them back over someone in furry legwarmers is pulling them back into the lap dance room. Sometimes we can bounce the same guy back and forth, or, if the guy is really feeling wild, get a two girl show. That way we both win. And she’s a mildly judgmental prude like me, so the fake lesbian thing is (yessss) off the table.[2] I don’t think Regan believed me that guys would just go for a two girl dance that wasn’t frisky until she actually saw me sell a few with Shawna and Autumn. She laughed her ass off the first time (so did Shawna and I. I laughed so hard I fell over the customer’s feet and went down in a graceless heap, while Shawna distracted him by shoving her boobs in his face) and told us “That was the worst dance I’ve ever seen.”[3] But having performative cunnilingus happen in their lap isn’t every man’s dream. (thank god. Or I would be out of a job)

The last Friday in June I got out of the dance room and went to find my next customer. He looked uncomfortable, no, he did not want a dance any more. He bobbed his head awkwardly and I mentally cursed whoever got in there while I was busy. Fine, fine, I turned away from him and walked into a pudgy bespectacled man who said eagerly, “I want a dance!”

It was so ideal and soothing. I beamed at him and led him to my favourite booth.

Cut to 1.30 am and I’m exhausted but not about to stop. Regan and I have spent the whole night back and forth with that same guy, until a few songs ago, when he decided to simplify things and just get us both back there. Regan made me take off my shoes, which I don’t normally do, in case I stab her hand while clambering up the chair as we maneuver around each other. The guy is nice, but he talks a lot. And I’m getting so tired I’m not even sure what’s coming out of my mouth any more.

I purr into his ear. Regan, on his other ear, has to turn her head away for laughing. She just found out about this when I told her about Plaid Shirt Who Doesn’t Like Cats and she can’t believe that anything that cheesy has a success rate. Our current customer smiles, “Do that again!”

I can’t do it without laughing.

I’m Katniss, he comments, idealistic and brave, and Regan is someone more misanthropic, he names a character I’ve never heard of and thus can’t remember. He starts talking in a Pirates of the Caribbean/Jack Sparrow accent–my fault, for explaining my stupid Teenage Bad Judgment tattoo[4], which is ripped straight off Johnny Depp’s arm in that movie–and I take a break from dancing, sitting on the armrest and keeping up the patter while Regan takes over. He’s talking about string theory now and I move into his lap, thinking about how weird lap dance conversations always are. He seems to expect an answer.

“I don’t really do math,” I explain. “It’s part of why I’m a history major. Math makes me feel desperate and filled with despair.”

“It’s about black holes!” he said urgently. “Entire universes in black holes!”

“…like the final credits of Men in Black?” I look up from current position between his legs and try to avoid Regan’s ass.

“I love that movie!” Regan chimes in, climbing down.

Yes!” he agreed, pleased. “Just like that!”

“Hmm, that sounds really interesting.”

He nods, and lapses back into Russian. He doesn’t actually speak Russian, it’s guidebook phrases–“I don’t know, I don’t understand, USSR”–I think stemming from my confession that I don’t speak it very well and request to practise[5]. I haven’t commented on his very limited vocabulary.

“I may move here,” he says. “I want to settle down and get married.”

“We will marry you,” I offer magnanimously.

“We’ll be your sister wives.” Regan agrees.

We continue in this delirious fashion for an hour. At one point Regan makes me laugh so hard that I collapse on the edge of the seat. She’s making fun of one of my moves, a habit so ingrained that I don’t even notice I do it, like pinching my nipples.

“I’m going to pee!” I gasped. “Oh no, I’m going to pee!” This seems like a real and terrifying possibility, since I’m naked I will actually be peeing on our customer and it’s the danger of that that stalls me. Regan is merciless and keeps going, but I can keep my laughter in check. Guy seems amused and indulgent of the fact that he’s basically incidental to our own entertainment, the dance has stopped being even nominally for his benefit and is just the two of us cracking jokes over him, while we all laugh. I lean over him again while Regan kneels down and it’s in this pause that he decides to lick my nipple. My slap is instinctual, and immediately I’m horrified. We both apologize. Mine is less sincere than his, but I think of the hundreds he’s spent on me and the hundred’s more that I want and I accept his apology.

Regan’s looking up at me from his lap and I can feel her thinking “Don’t fuck this up.”[6] I agree. It’s harsh because I want to hit him again, and harder, but there’s her money to consider too. And I don’t want to go back on the floor and hustle up someone else who might be even more difficult, for less money. I purr in his ear and we keep going until the bar closes.

At the end of the night when the bouncer is tallying up our dances I have 29, 20 of which came from that guy. Regan has 28.

“Fuck!”

“Just lie!” I said gleefully. “You’re so close! We did it together!”

“Really?” the bouncer looks baffled. “You want to get charged for a dance you didn’t do?”

Yes.”

“We want to be tied! We’re going to win!”

_________________________

1-the club keeps track and posts on a monthly scoreboard, something I never used to pay attention to because I try to curb my competitive urges but what with our lapdance competition and all I started to pay attention, and winning is satisfying.

2-It’s so awkward having to pull the other girl aside to specify “No body fluids!” before a dance.

3-To be fair, we were trying to make it bad. Shawna in particular was having a terrible night and our revenge was selling a string of absolutely no-contact air dances under the guise of “A wild two-girl show”. The first target was a guy I gave a dance to earlier who wouldn’t stop trying to squeeze my ass, and the look of dawning disappointment on his face as he realized neither of us would come within a foot of him was the most delightful thing ever. Aside from him, however, no one seemed disappointed at all.

4-This one shares the title of Ultimate Gulag Tattoo with the one on my chest. I heard some Russians making fun of it and saying it looked like a prison tattoo last week.

5-He told me on my first dance with him at the start of the night that he just got back from St Petersburg.

“Govoritye po-russkii?” There’s nothing like practising my Russian to liven up a dance.

“I do!” he said. “And you do too?”

“Not very well.”

That was key. He started talking and at first I couldn’t make sense of it, and then I realised he was just saying guidebook phrases. “Nye znayu, nye ponimayu, s s s errr.” I had to smother a giggle.

6-It’s the same look she had while we were between dances with him and I got called to the stage and she was on standby. She glared at me. “Go get him! Make him come to the rack!”

I made a face at her. Peevishly:”I think he’s tired of me.” The night was too good, I didn’t want to ruin it by getting rejected. Sometimes I’m perverse.

“He has a black card!” she hissed at me even more urgently.

“Oh, all right.”

I waved him over and he sat down, and between the two of us we managed to keep him at the stage until Regan finished her set a song after me.

“Are you ready for more dances?”

Yes, he was.

Hands off

12.30am after that last post I was set to leave, there were enough girls that my 12.20 stage set would be my last. I did a cursory circle, not wanting to miss out on a last lapdance, and was passing the stage when a bachelor party in matching tuxedo tshirts walked by me. Though they’d hovered around the stage shooting the shit on my last set, only one of them had tipped me. This guy reached out as I navigated through them, grabbed my tits in a smooth, deliberate gesture, and squeezed.

I don’t like not making money, I don’t like losing sleep to not make money, and I especially hate getting treated like a blow-up doll as I lose out on sleep and study time to not make money. Any one of those things is bad enough; he didn’t make eye contact as he moved on and I could tell he didn’t think anything of it. It’s what you do when you go to the strip club, don’t pay the girls, make their night that much more stressful, and then reach out and fondle them because of course, they’re not autonomous adults with personal preferences but objects there to facilitate a specific (and apparently free) leisure experience.

I grabbed him by the neck of his stupid fucking tuxedo shirt and hauled him back to me before I could think about what I was going to do to him. His shirt ripped, startling both of us; he let out a hysterical squeal and started trying to pull away from me and I jerked him back. I mentally ran through my options as fast as possible. Outside of the lapdance aggression is frowned upon–I got that lecture about slapping customers who touch me at the rack and since then I’ve limited myself to casually taking their outstretched hands and bending their fingers back as hard as possible before moving on–but I couldn’t let this go. His friends heard his yelping and started moving back toward us.

He had a half full pint in his hand and I grabbed it with my free hand and poured it over his head. One last tug ripped his shirt further, just as a bouncer walked over.

“He grabbed me,” I explained. The bouncer grabbed him and hustled him out. I went in the dressing room to cool off.

The girl who’d been onstage during the incident came back after.

“Someone write ‘Hands off’ on my ass!” she demanded.

“What happened to you?”

“That same party, the one you grabbed? A different one grabbed my ass and slapped me!”

“I hate them.”

I found a sharpie and wrote “Hands off” arching across each ass cheek. Thought about it, added an exclamation point and a little heart.

She inspected it, pleased.

“You’ll have to change into a g-string so it’s visible,” someone advised.

I changed, left.

My test Thursday morning didn’t go great, my essays were overly general, I forgot the specific details that would have made them solid, as well as what the hell the Turkish national Pact was. Unnh. You can’t win them all.

Last night was better than Wednesday (almost inevitably, it would be really hard for anything to be worse). I tried hustling an old man who seemed perfect and was in reality awful. He kept grabbing me by the shoulder and back of the neck and shoving my face into his to whisper inane commentary into my ear.

“I love redheads.”

“I’m out celebrating with my son.”

“My night’s so much better now that you’re here.”

It was the longest minute of my life, and every time he shoved me into his face I felt the impending doom of his spit meeting my skin, and I flinched away from him. He wasn’t having it; I needed to be thisclose to his face for him to be certain I could hear him. Or something. Eventually I pried his fingers off my shoulder and fled.

I went up to Regan to complain and caught the eye of a girl sitting at the rack. I had to transition expressions, from bitchy horror to friendly smile, but it worked. Her girlfriend bought her a dance from me while she got a dance from Hands Off. Even better, my girl didn’t frantically hump me, and she was wearing underwear, and leggings. After the last few dances I’ve given to women–the girl from C—–, every couples dance ever, another woman a few weeks ago who wasn’t wearing underwear, a fact I discovered to my horror when her skirt rode up and I felt something like beard stubble against my ass–this was a piece of cake.

Thursday night three packs

First set of the night on the second stage and I couldn’t really get a feel for who would be getting a lapdance. No one seemed that into me, which doesn’t mean anything but it’s nice when I can just haul them straight off my rack into the lapdance room. Regan, who went up two songs before me, told me they liked rock so I told her to specifically ask the dj not to play any Katy Perry. Ask for that Alien abduction song to annoy the crowd to cheer yourself up on a slow night and you’ll be consigned to Katy Perry for the remainder of your Thursday nights, apparently. They were unmoved by my heroic sacrifice in dancing to the dj’s definition of rock.

I crawled over to one of the guys who looked friendliest, purred in his ear.

“I hate cats,” he said. “Never do that again.”

Cheesy as it is, this was a first (to hear out loud. There have probably been others who thought their visible masculine enjoyment would be called into question if they criticized it, or something, I don’t know) and I couldn’t help laughing.

“I mean it!” he said. “I hate cats!”

Sometimes it’s such a weird balancing act, being naked and attractive in public while people take things way too seriously and just keep talking at you and not actually saying anything constructive like “I’d love a lapdance!”

“Shhh,” I told him. “You’re too pretty to talk, don’t talk.”

He kept talking, something about being manly and maybe biting me. This has been a running theme for the past two weeks, people biting me, and I’ve lost the ability to find anything redeeming in it, or even make it funny. Maybe some other time. I made a face like I couldn’t hear him, “Are you still talking? I’m sorry, what?” Move away.

No one wanted a dance after that set. I faced my money and went to circle the bar, got turned down twice and was about to get turned down a third time when a guy in plaid grabbed me. “Let’s do dances!” Magic words!

He was totally nice and funny and really got overshadowed by later customers. All I really remember about him is realizing halfway through the second dance that this was the mouthy guy from my stage set. I discovered this when I purred in his ear again.

“I still don’t like it,” he told me.

He told me next time I’m in SF he’ll take me on a full strip club tour.

“And pay for everything,” I specified.

“Of course!” he agreed.

Worth a shot.

The next three pack was to a guy who’d been harassing me and then backing off all night. By the time I got him back there I knew he was going to be more trouble–if nothing else gave it away than a conversation with his brother where they told me how they didn’t mind sharing if I wanted to come home with them would have– than he was worth but I’d already factored the hundred in and didn’t want to write it off.

We got back and immediately I had to remove his mildly sticky hands from my ass. “No touching,” I smiled.

“Oh yeah yeah,” he agreed.

I like really brawny guys–it’s like with Russian, I will excuse a certain amount of unattractive qualities for muscles or Russian–but this guy had too many unattractive qualities. He kept clicking his tongue ring against his teeth and it got to be a warning sign that he was about to grab me; hear the clacking, tighten my hold on his hands. His boner started to tilt up toward the waistband of his jeans and I kept catching him trying to pull them down inch by inch, in the hopes of eventually revealing an inch or two of veiny purple penis, probably. I could just tell that it would be purple.

“Hold on,” he’d say and at first I was fooled into letting go of his hands, at which point he would grab my hips and try to slam me down on his boner. The bouncer would reappear like a jack-in-the-box.

“No touching,”

“Oh yeah, ok ok.” I’d grab his hands and we continued this way through two songs. After strong-arming him off of my tits I turned around to give my face a rest from my teeth-gritted grin, then turned back to him.

“Let me just help you,” he offered, grabbing my hips again and lurching his own upward.[1]

I lost it. “No touching,” I snapped, not even bothering to smile. It was short of a shriek, but said into an unexpected lull in the music, just as the bouncer popped up again to reiterate, “No touching!”

I felt the guy’s boner wither beneath my ass. The lack of regret in my voice and my obvious annoyance popped his delusional bubble that we had both been having the time of our lives; in fact, that the only thing that could make this more fun would be actually being naked without that pesky bouncer. I ruined it. I felt nothing but delight. He kept his hands clenched on the armrests for the rest of the third song, and no, in response to my sweetly voiced question, he did not want to keep going. He paid me and high-tailed it out of there.
_________________
1-this is a thing and it is the most annoying ever. It’s like being jounced on a trotting pony and I can’t imagine that it works for either of us.

The dark side, and unfriendly competition

Mozzarella ciliegine is like one of the more disgusting things I can think of that is actually amazing.  I mean sitting there in its grey water, like eyeballs at a Halloween party? The overpriced packages at the grocery store always grossed me out but my friend brought some over for dinner recently and I was hooked.  I have always been a cheese hound but these are a strong argument in favour of this same friend’s half-baked theory that all dairy is chock full of opiates, which is perhaps why she remains a mere judgmental vegetarian rather than a full-fledged and self-righteous vegan. she claims to have gotten a hangover from the mozzarella balls, further proving the addictive and destructive nature of dairy.  Maybe it’s the dark side, but I can’t stop eating them.

Regan says if “friendly competition” sounds too passive aggressive I should go ahead and call it an unfriendly competition.  She’s winning, by the way. She works two shifts more a week than I do, but more importantly, had a mass windfall of 19 dances on a night I wasn’t working, boosting her to 80-something now while I linger and languish at 60-something. “Cash before ass” she told me.

I haven’t been taking as many notes because the competition keeps me busy, circling the room and being more consistently friendly than I thought it was possible to be. Sometimes I go to the bathroom just to hide where there are no cameras and let my face relax from smiling.  I breathe deep and then go back out.

The night shift just started and I was making the rounds when I saw this guy who looked like Jesus.  No one else looked particularly promising so I headed over to him even though I knew if Regan was watching she’d be shaking her head.  This might even have been the night of Compromise, it’s hard to remember.

“Hey!  How are you tonight?”

“I’m good I’m good.”

I tried to slide in close to him and realised I couldn’t: his legs were crossed yoga style on the bench, feet in Jesus sandals and everything.  This was gonna be good.

“So what brings you to ____ tonight?”

“Well… I was meditating and I had a revelation.”

“Unh huh.  And it said, ‘Get thee to a strip club,’ did it?”

“I had this revelation that life is a field dappled with light and shadow, light and darkness.”

“Mmm?”

“And I have been afraid of darkness and I have fought it in myself and in this revelation I realised no more. I have clung to the light!”

I looked across the room for Regan, checking to make sure she could see my face and that I will have a story for her later. “So you were like I need some darkness, time for a strip club.”

No! I have cleaved to the light and I need darkness in my life!  I need to admit the darkness in myself! I need to embrace it!

“I think a lap dance would really get you in touch with that.”

“Well… I don’t have any money, I left my wallet in the car.”

“That’s really great.”

I wandered off, barely able to contain my laughter until I made it to the dj booth.

“And how did that go?”

“I was meditating!”

“uh huh?”

“And–and, I HAD A REVELATION.”

“Oh wow.”

“And it said, YOU NEED TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR DARK SIDE, EMBRACE IT, SO GO TO THE STRIP CLUB BUT DON’T BRING YOUR WALLET.” It’s a good thing the music is always loud because I was practically howling. “You need a FREE REVELATION OF FEMALE FLESH.”

“That’s… really something.  I saw you go for him and I just knew.”

“He’s wearing Jesus sandals and has his legs crossed yogi style!  He had a revelation! Embrace your dark side!  Embrace it!”

Later that night we were talking about a girl who always seemed sad who just left to go work for the skinhead club manager.

“Why would you do that?” I wondered.

“Everyone’s embracing their dark side,” Regan answered drily.