Strip Tease

A few weeks ago I had the most epic conversation with my friend John via text…

Me- So this is the random conversation in my head while I’m making curry tonight… If I was a stripper I wouldn’t go by “Ginger” or “Cinnamon” I would totally be “Cumin”… LOL!

…wow…Win…but wow.

Haha yeah. That’s the sort of shit that I think about when I am alone.

…you do see the pun in the name right? That was intentional?

Ummm yeah, the pun is why it’s funny give me a little credit.

I figured, I was just making sure. Because if you had picked a spice at random and it just HAPPENED to be that I may have passed out from laughter lol.

Nope, there was irony there.

What was even more ironic was that less than a month after having this conversation I would be making my very first trip to a strip club.

When I first started planning my adventure year and decided to make February “sexuality” month, everyone started chiming in with ideas. My friend Amber jokingly suggested that I go see the Chippendale dancers and I thought to myself, “Oh yeah! The strip club! That could be interesting…incredibly awkward, but interesting… After all, this year is about pushing myself and being open to new experiences. It could be fun, right?” So last Friday night, (I feel like this is an intro to a bad Katy Perry song…), as sort of an “Alternative Valentine’s Day Extravaganza,”a group of friends and I went out and popped my strip club cherry.

I was right, it was awkward. REALLY AWKWARD.

I don’t think I have blushed that much since the sixth grade when they sat all of the girls down and gave us the talk about menstrual cycles. (I believe the book they handed out was called “Growing Up and Liking It!” I don’t know about you, but I always thought that title was a little disturbing and ominous…)

To my friends who had been to a strip club before, me being embarrassed was quality entertainment in and of itself. Who needs dancing naked women when your friend is making a complete ass out of herself?! (I’ll give them credit though, they were very supportive and did their best to help me relax even as they teased me mercilessly…) As for a couple of my other friends who were also strip club virgins, I was in good company as far as being nervous went. I think they spent the majority of the night analyzing costume choices and the lighting effects haha.

As the evening wore on, and I grew less uncomfortable, I was told it was time move stage side if I wanted the full experience. Prior to this we had been sitting in the back of the room, so I gathered my singles and my courage and went into the belly of the beast- front row seats where boobies and booty where flying free.

This is where I got a real education. My strip club savvy friends explained that when a stripper “pays attention”  to you, you stick a dollar in their g-string. “Pay attention” to you? Okay, like what are they going to do? Say “Top of the morning to ya!” and dance a jig? Sadly, I think I would have found that more entertaining. NO. Instead they shove their triple D breasts in your face and make you motorboat them whether you want to or not.

I must have had a deer in the headlights look, or been giving off some pretty strong scared little bunny pheromones that they picked up with their super stripper senses, because for the most part they left me alone. That is unless my friend Mike, who felt he needed to be my strip club concierge, would sick them on me with a malicious grin. That resulted in my ear lobe being molested by a Russian in a body sock, and an orange oompa loompa Malibu Barbie giving me this weird butt dance with her glute muscles. (I almost didn’t want to fork over a dollar for that one, it was disturbing…) We had been sitting front row for awhile when I was told to “pick my stripper.” I  was informed I wasn’t allowed to leave the place without getting a lap dance first, courtesy of my friends.

What did I say when I took my vows back in October? Oh yeah- “Go big, or go home.” Fuck me. I didn’t think I would be eating my own words… So I picked the most non-threatening stripper I could find, which let me tell ya, wasn’t easy.

She was actually very pretty, about my age, maybe a little younger, with long red hair and a Monroe piercing. Mike being the excellent wing man that he was tracked her down and propositioned her for me. She, of course, agreed. So Ember, (I am assuming that was her stage name, hence the red hair and red costume), grabbed my hand and lead me back to the hall of lap dance rooms and sat me down in a booth. At this point I am so freaked out about the idea of a strange person gyrating their mostly naked body on me, that I would have gladly traded places with a root canal patient. (Become one with the furniture, become one with the furniture…) Of course by then I was past the point of no return, so I did what I always do when I am nervous- I word vomited all over the poor stripper and this was the resulting conversation…

*Some information has been changed to protect Ember’s identity…

“So this is your first time at a strip club? Are you just turning 21?”

No, I am actually 25.

“So strip clubs probably scare you shitless then, huh?”

Uh, yeah pretty much.

“But this is the best place on earth!” Pause as she shakes her ass a little closer to my face than I am comfortable with, and I am bracing myself against the back of the booth trying to avoid her g-string… “So what do you do for a living?”

I’m a social worker.

“Oh, boy…”

Yeah I know, I am not judging though I promise.

“So what do you do as a social worker?”

I work with elementary school kids in name of school district.

“Oh! I went to Pickerington High School!”

So you probably get asked this a lot, but why did you start dancing?

“Well, I am trying to work my way through school.”

What are you going to school for?

“Design.”

Oh, that’s cool.

“Yeah, I sorta screwed up my life, and I know this isn’t the best way to fix it, but I am trying to get back on track.”

Well good for you! That’s awesome! I have to say though, I wish I was a fraction as comfortable with my body as you are with yours.

“What are you talking about?! You’re skinny as shit!” Pause as she wiggles her nipple pasties in my face… “I was down to about ninety pounds when I was still doing drugs, but I have been clean for awhile.”

That’s great! I am really glad you are healthy now!

As she was putting her shoes back on… “I’m so glad you were a girl, I am getting really tired of giving lap dances to men with erections tonight…”

Thanks?

“Well I hope it was good for your first time.”

(What exactly was I supposed to say to that? So I said-) Yeah, you did a really good job, thanks a lot.

Dazed and confused, coming out of the backroom felt like a walk of shame. As I slunk back to my cheering friends, I was blushing so hard I wouldn’t have been surprised if someone told me was I was purple. Shortly after they took pity on me and took me home.

In the end, however, I can say I came away with several things from the experience…

1) I learned that despite my facade of being “open and sexually accepting” I am much more of a prude than I care to admit. Although to be fair, seeing mostly naked people didn’t bother me as much as those mostly naked people touching me did. However, I have a feeling that had more to do with my issue of not wanting strangers in general to touch me, than the fact that they were strippers.

2) (Weird as it might sound considering I was at a strip club of all places…) I really believe my idea of beauty was challenged and expanded. There were girls of all shapes and sizes- tall, short, thick, thin, black, white, blonde, brunette, small breasts, large breasts, completely unnatural breasts… but every single woman moved gracefully and with such confidence. Hell, I can’t even do that half the time with my clothes on, so in a way I guess I sort of admired them for it.

3) Some of the girls could SERIOUSLY work a pole, holy shit. These were the girls I wouldn’t want to tangle with on the street, because anyone who can hang upside down ten feet off the ground with nothing but their legs could probably crush my skull like a watermelon between their thighs… Not to mention they made it look so stinkin sexy at the same time. It put my feeble attempts at Carmen Electra’s strip tease workouts back in college to shame.

All in all, I can now officially say I have been to a strip club and survived. (Okay, I might even admit that it really wasn’t bad at all and I actually had a lot of fun…) Despite one of my particularly naughty friends suggesting in a facetious way that I should come back for “amateur night,” I doubt Cumin will be making an appearance at a strip club any time soon, and to be perfectly honest, that’s fine with me. I am okay with being who I am, a “skinny as shit,” (high praise coming from a stripper), word vomiting social worker, who blushes easily, and is trying to learn to loosen up a bit sexually. Hats off to you ladies! You definitely helped me go a long way in just one night on that particular stand point…

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