So It's Come To This...

The first time I went to a strip club I never imagined I'd some day be in a position to separate and grade such experiences. Yet there I was, on Saturday at The Red Garter, telling Greg and Trevor how nothing could compete with my March trip to Las Vegas...

On that occasion, our Cruise Director excelled himself: he had the plan, the experience and the directions. Though he did require us to supply our own cash. Cheetahs is where the so-bad-you-can't-even-watch-it-ironically movie Showgirls was filmed, though it looked totally unfamiliar to me.

I need to shout out here to Betty, a make-up student from L.A. who flies to Vegas to work for a few days then flies home again. "Betty" was an obvious stage name as her look was based on retro pin-up icon Betty Page (despite her weighing a fraction of the original). Three dances and a tip covered her hotel costs and put her on the course to profitability for the night. There was grinding like I have never known and some very inappropriate touching - by her, not me - according to the laws of Clark County. Falling in love with a stripper is dumb, but is it alright that I was smitten for a night?

The place in Indy was a spit and sawdust joint, classily situated next to White Castle. Actually, it was more of a "chewing gum and carpet" kind of place. The N.A.S.C.A.R. (Non-Athletic Sport Centred Around Rednecks) fan on the door was a jerk - he turned away a drunken batchelorette party ahead of us and wouldn't give an inch when I realized I'd forgotten my I.D. yet again. (I blow at that.) When I returned, his manager chewed him out for making someone over 30 fetch his passport from his hotel and he waived my cover charge. Free boobies!

I found my partners in crime at the third stage. The dancer there took exception to my speaking to them when I should have been watching her so she stood me back up and thrust so hard into my stomach that my chair fell over backwards and I nearly did too. It was unexpected and it really took the wind out of me, and it's not often I can write that for its non-metaphoric meaning! But everyone was laughing so I played along. Later, a stag was taken onstage, stripped to his underwear and lashed with his own leather belt. I tried not to think about how far these violent tendencies stemmed from genuine rage about the world of work in which these girls found themselves.

Given the choice, I'll go for a curvy figure - the likes of which were in short supply on Saturday night. So when Brandy bounced past me I made sure to get her attention. She ran up to me and pushed her bare breasts in my face. Twice, in case I missed it the first time. It's not easy to sell to a salesman but this pitch works for me! Then she gave me her cold so I would remember her all week.

Trevor was targeted a lot by dancers looking to incorporate a prop into their routine. Having removed his glasses, they eagerly filled the vacant space in front of his eyes. Trevor took a dance from Jersey right after I did and returned with a funny quote. "I told her she had great breasts and she said, 'That's what your friend kept saying!'" We overheard another dancer as she performed to the guy on our left. He asked how she was and she said her lips were sore because she "had to suck three dicks earlier". On reflection, he could have been her friend but whether that makes what she said more or less likely to be true, we couldn't fathom.

So you see, I thought Nurse Betty had cured me but it's clearly not true. The night became something of a last States-side hurrah for me. For the record, we DO have topless clubs back home but I'm the only person I know that's shameless enough to go to one. What does everyone else know that I don't? When's the last time a strip club was attacked by terrorists? From that viewpoint, Spearmint Rhino looks like one of the safest buildings in London.


Anonymous anonymous sarah said...

Oooohhhhh...strip clubs are where the bad kids go.:)

Blogger TheGirard said...

but did any of them win ass of the year?

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Girard is referring to the winner of Cologne's Best Ass Award 2003, who we met in Germany last year. But what WAS her name, dude? My memory fails me.

Blogger Jason said...

This would make about the fifth time I've heard this story -- four times in Trevor's presence.

I don't know if he actually tells it better or if it's just because he's with me and can show me how they pressed their breasts into his face. You really do need some sort of visual effects to go with the story.

Anonymous germainegreer said...

Whatever happened to feminism...?

Blogger thisismarcus said...

AFAIK it's alive and well and past caring about this kind of small potatoes. Did something in particular about the article bother you, or are you just not a fan of the subject matter?

Blogger erika said...

Feminism "encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians," at least according to Pat Robertson. He and I are as one

Blogger DrHeimlich said...

My friend had the all-time best quote about the movie Showgirls:

"The acting in that movie was so bad, I didn't even believe they were naked."

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Weird! I was thinking of you and Pat this morning, Erika. He made the BBC News when he called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Apparently "thou shalt not kill" has some wiggle-room...

(I was thinking how people like him give people like you a bad name.)

Blogger Tom said...

Well if that isn't a whole 'nother can of worms getting opened up...

As a fairly lapsed Catholic, it is something I think about. The nutjobs like Robertson, and, regretfully, the darkages European Catholocism that the new Pope seems in no danger of rolling back, really make it hard to celebrate the good that organized religion can do (and does!).

It is usually at this point that I just get kind of sad about it and move on.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think feminists leave strip clubs alone because it means men are spending lots and lots of money for something so very simple that they could probably have for little or no money at all.

It does perpetuate some nasty habits, but hell, I'd do it if I had the body! haha...kidding...not really....it's good money, damn it!

Blogger thisismarcus said...

We spent a (brief) portion of New Year's Eve watching male dancers and they had equally ridiculous stage names (Tyson, etc). So there's equality for ya, Germaine. Though I realize you'd probably have preferred women to stop degrading themselves rather than have men start :)

It's true, you read horror stories about the way some clubs are managed but I don't think keeping them "out of sight and out of mind" will help uncover any problems in the places that have them. Transparency is key, and not just in the costumes.

Blogger Joe said...

Lets be clear - you were NOT smitten about that stripper in Vegas for ONE NIGHT - you couldn't stop talking about her for at least ONE MONTH after that!

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Busted! And look... I'm still talking about her NOW.


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