My friend recently turned nineteen, and to celebrate, a group of us went to an 18+ strip club. For whatever reason, I was actually able to get into the 21+ side, but I had to leave when other people in the group were caught. After the excitement of passing for older-than-my-age wore off, and I’d already seen three or four naked girls, I was extremely bored. And cold. And slightly annoyed with the rest of the audience. I kept imagining I was one of the strippers, laughing at the audience in the same hateful way that Jamaica Kincaid would laugh at the tourists in “A Small Place.” Deciding that I would never voluntarily go to a strip club again, I decided to make a list of things to take away from the experience.
My Main Lessons
Strip clubs are cold. It makes sense. That way nipples can stay hard.
Don’t dress in any kind of way to go to a strip club. Especially don’t wear heels. If you wear heels, and you are feminine, people in the audience will assume you are one of the strippers. They’ll ask you about when you’re dancing, and you will feel a mixture of offense, shame, and confusion as to why the inquiries of some irrelevant man has allowed you to go through so much societal-and-self reflection.
Strippers have to dance, even if hardly anyone is throwing dollar bills. That sucks. You have to go through all this work for each individual dollar. For ONE DOLLAR that someone will probably try to stuff up your g-string in an attempt to cop a feel. And if someone gives you a lot of dollar bills, they’ll feel entitled to touch, grab, and flick you wherever they see fit. On the one hand, I understand that these girls are taking advantage of their sexuality, using it as a way to get people’s money. It’s just hard to see the situation as empowering with some people treating you more like an animal in a petting zoo than as an actual human being. Pole dancing is one thing. Being groped is another.
The strip clubs are out to make money for themselves, and if you want to have money to actually throw at strippers, bring a Lot. In addition to cover charges, there are 2-drink minimums and $6 ATM charges, before you can even see anything. Most of the people in my group were left short of cash right away. To ration things out, a lot of us could only afford to give about a dollar to each stripper.
Bodies are beautiful, and they aren’t beautiful, but that’s okay. We make such a big deal about our bodies, about covering them, and about trying to keep in some form of shape. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t have perfect abs, or if your boobs are small, or your butt is fake. We saw all of that, and no one cared. People will still love you for whatever you have, simply because you’re waving it confidently in their face. Also, nakedness is not a big deal. As soon as the strippers took off whatever clothes they were wearing, they seemed less alluring. To me, at least. They’d keep doing what they’d been doing before, and I was all, “Cool, you’re naked. Is anything new coming?” I wonder what things would be like if we all lived like the ancient Greeks: largely naked, and all bathing together. Would people still have body issues? Would fashion be as much of a thing? What would our viewpoints on modesty be? Would we all be more open with each other? Some day, I’m going to spend time in a nudist colony. Or at least spend a day on a nude beach. I feel like being around a bunch of naked people who don’t care that anyone else is naked would be very freeing for me, literally and mentally.