Lessons from a male strip club

Written by Bev. Posted in Musings

This is the first, in what I hope to be many more, essays and non-fiction short stories inspired by authors like David Sedaris, David Rakoff, David Foster Wallace (that’s a lot of Davids!), Sarah Vowell, Augusten Burroughs and the like. So ta-da, new category added! I’d love to have enough to, maybe one day, publish them and follow in the footsteps of the aforementioned authors.

The title of this essay may be misleading. No, I am not some pervy type who frequents such establishments while on the prowl for man-flesh. Quite the contrary, as indeed, I am a strip club virgin, so to speak. Well, I was prior to this recent experience, where I had an interesting forway into this somewhat seedy side of nightlife.

It was my friend’s stagette and for this night of drinking and debauchery, the other bridesmaids and myself decided that it would be a hoot to have festivities that somehow include male strippers. It was soon decided that we would go to a male strip club because, well, private strippers don’t come cheap and we were on “poor, recent college grad” budgets. The choice of which male strip club to visit wasn’t exactly a hard choice, seeing as that in the Greater Toronto Area, there are just two male strip clubs while there are an abundance of female strip clubs. One of those male strip clubs catered to gay men and, according to online reviews, it is apparently a club whose clientèle is almost entirely comprised of old, pervy, desperate men. No thanks. The other place, the place we ended up going, was the only straight male strip club in the area. As a strip club newbie, I was ignorant of many things of the “strip club world” so as a result, I am out $20 (on top of the cover charge and drink minimum). So if you too are a strip club newbie and you plan to visit one some day, this post may serve as a lesson.

Off we drove to another town to visit this strip club called Foxxes Den, the self-proclaimed “elegant and upscale establishment [that] features an array of gorgeous male performers and entertainers suitable for the most exotic of tastes of today’s women“. Let’s just say that the description on the website is misleading. If this is what is considered upscale, I would hate to see what is considered “not upscale” by these standards. $10 cover charge and a $10 drink minimum per person (this is not the $20 I was referring to though). It is so very cheesy and a so very awkward experience. But more cheesy than anything. The strippers/performers/entertainers on the stage had these costumes they started out with, in true cliché fashion. It was enough to bring on the giggles the levels of cheese factor. There was a “jailbird” (or “convict”), “navy officer”, “fireman”, “monk” (or whatever he was trying to be with that hideous brown robe), “grim reaper” and some other male-strip-club-favourite-get-up I can’t remember because the guy had started his show as we came in. There was so much showmanship that it took forever and a day to get to the damn stripping. We were yelling, “TAKE IT OFF, TAKE IT OFF” and no, not because we were particularly wanting to see the guy in the buff nor were any one of them particularly attractive, it was just because the dancing and prancing around was getting so tiresome and boring. I didn’t pay $20 just to see some guy dance around like an idiot.

Once the guys got down to their thong (yes, thong), things got extra hilarious and crazy. Eventually, they would take it all off and strategically utilize a very small towel to “cover up”. All these ladies would go down to the stage area with 20 dollar bills to have some “special time” with the guy, throughout their act. He would go to each one and either gyrate on them, bump and grind, or do some weird acrobatic move with them — or do all three. All of which, of course, while stimulating sex. As a spectator in the audience, if I weren’t laughing so hard, I would be feeling rather uncomfortable witnessing all this. More so when the cougars stepped up onto centre stage and participated in the performance. One lady there, who was in her 60s or even 70s, was bumping and grinding like nobody’s business on this one stripper, and parts of her body (i.e. granny arms) were jiggling all over the place. Needless to say, I cannot unsee what I saw that night and if I never witness something like that again in my lifetime, I can die happy. There are images, etched into my brain… including one of a “geriatric sandwich” (coined by a friend) which was essentially a pair of cougars sandwiching a stripper. Good lord.

The final act, which I think was supposed to be the “highlight” of the night or the “show stopper”, was a performance with a former Chippendales dancer. He performed as a navy officer to, get this, “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion (at least in his beginning act). Really? This is supposed to be a turn on? Bumping and grinding to Celine Dion? The girls, nonetheless, were going wild… or maybe they just really wanted one of the roses he was giving out. Either or. After the show, he was walking around with a 8×10 promotional shot of him in a fireman’s uniform, soliciting “private time” from the ladies (there were quite a few takers).

The former Chippendales dancer, dancing to “My Heart Will Go On”

Some of the highlights of the night a.k.a. things that made me laugh or amused me:

  • There are also the guys who walk around, giving “private time” with people — for $20 a pop, of course. One of the guys was wearing a tank top, a tiny thong and socks and shoes. Yes, no pants, but SOCKS AND SHOES. We called him the “no pants guy” because he looked like he was wearing no bottoms whatsoever.
  • They have this wall of photos of their performers, kind of like a wall of fame for male stripping. In one of the photos, there was a guy who was like a white-and-grey-haired, old version of Fabio. Unfortunately, we were not privy to his stripping services that night.
  • Too many visuals of cougars bumping and grinding. Oh my poor retinas!

What I learned:

  • DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT! And whatever you do, don’t open your legs!

See, this is how I lost $20 for the most ridiculous reason. One of the strippers, whom I never gave a second glance at the entire night, came to our group and shuffled up to our friend getting married. Since it was her night, we wanted her to get some of the action, as we stayed on the sidelines giggling at the awkwardness of the entire situation. He insisted that she slap his ass and began thrusting himself into her face. What a turn on, right? One of our friends gave him $20 and went back for more. She, rather stupidly, pointed to me even though I wanted no part in this at all. And being a newbie to all this, I didn’t know that the magic words were “I don’t have any money” because instead, I had said, “No it’s alright, really! It’s her stagette!”. That, to a stripper, means, “I’m too shy to say I want some of that. But please offer your manflesh to me anyway!”. He replied to my incessant NO NO hand gestures and NO NO response to his offer with, “Well the rest of you should have fun too”. He then situated himself in-between my legs (sounds dirtier than it was, but you know what I mean) and began a thrusting motion right up into my face. Next, he grabbed my hand and swiped it across his chest, which was very awkward because he was all sticky and stubbly from shaving his chest. Less than 20 seconds later, he asks me for his $20. Indignant, I am thinking WHAT, I NEVER SOLICITED THIS and if I were to do so, it would be with one of the slightly more attractive guys. Plus, I didn’t have a job then so money was tight and I had better uses for $20 than this. He then went after my friend who I had tried to deflect the attention to in order for him to leave my personal space, and without my knowledge, she paid for me. That was $60 between the three of us, two of us without asking for his “services” in the first place. So lesson learned, the magic words to deter a male stripper from swindling money from you unsolicited is to say “I DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY”.

Also, on that note, bring Purell because if you do partake in the services offered by these gentlemen, you will feel very dirty afterwards. You will want some Purell, trust me.

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I enjoy pop culture and traveling so mainly I blog about that.

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