I’ll do just about anything to celebrate a loved ones birthday, so when a good friend invited me out for her 24th birthday I immediately said yes. She then told me that part of the celebration would be going to a strip club. Now, I’ve had going to one on my mental bucket list for a while, but I never thought that I would actually make it to one. So I did what anyone would do when about to embark on uncharted territory – I went to Google for answers on what to expect. Some of the “tips” were hilarious, some obvious and others just plain ridiculous. These are the ones that stuck out the most:
1. “Have lots of singles”
Earlier in the day I went to Walmart and when the cashier was giving me my receipt, I asked for cash back in all singles. For a brief second she gave me the side-eye then told me she didn’t have enough singles for $20, but offered it for $15. I took my cash from Judgmental Judy and figured that would be enough.
2. “Dress like you’re going on the third date with your BAE”
Considering I was wearing cuffed jeans, a V-neck, a plaid shirt and Converses, I decided a new outfit wouldn’t be a bad idea. I changed into skinny olive jeans, a black camisole and my favorite black blazer. Pretty simple, but I didn’t look like I was heading to PSY101 either, so it was good in my book.
3. “Wear matching underwear unless you want to be insecure because you’ll be surrounded by women whose lingerie game will be on fleek”
I lol’d at this one. Hardly ever do I pay attention to the color scheme of my undergarments and I wasn’t planning on starting that night. Pass.
4. “Don’t wear perfume because it will draw attention away from the dancers”
I thought if my perfume would distract everyone from the half-naked women making it clap on the stage then something was terribly wrong. However, I decided to not wear it anyway.
5. Last but not least, “have an open mind”
I’m naturally an open-minded person so I knew this wasn’t going to be a struggle. But a little piece of me still wondered what this night would entail so I just reminded myself that it would be a fun experience if I allowed it to be.
Once we finally made it to the club and our IDs were checked, we walked into a dimly lit hallway where I paid for the $10 cover with a 20. My change was given in singles and I smirked at the lady because I picked up on what just happened – smart business move, strip club, smart business move indeed. Before entering the area where the dancers were, all customers had to be patted down.
I did NOT see that while doing my research so I was a little caught off-guard when the woman looking through my purse for drugs and guns started rubbing her hand over my body. It didn’t seem as invasive until her finger tips found their way under my bra and I let out out an involuntary “oh my Goddd!” But I know that I wouldn’t want to get stabbed or shot so I suppose the checking of all customers is necessary or whatever.
When I finally made it to the area where the dancers were I expected to see a bunch of men, (who were probably married and sexually repressed) couples and women who simply enjoyed half-naked women dancing. I was greeted by a topless dancer, and other scantily clad ones. The room was very dark but it wasn’t hard to see that there was a barrier that wrapped the stage that put about 5 feet between the dancers and the audience, not to mention that the bartenders were between that space for extra distance.
Anyone who wanted to see the dancers close up had to stand around the barrier. My friends and I secured a good spot, as the dancers were closer to our end of the stage. I imagined that when one wanted to tip the dancers they would take out their stack of singles and just “make it rain” like I had seen in music videos and movies, but instead everyone balled their singles then threw them (which made way more sense because hello, the law of gravity.) Then I started paying attention to the dancers. Some, while excellent ass-shakers and pole dancers, looked completely dead in the eyes.
I felt as if I had a moral obligation to the tip the dancers I had seen at that point, but I wasn’t exactly satisfied so I kept my wallet closed. About 10 minutes later, however, a dancer came out who caught my attention. She did all these splits and jerks and for a brief 20 seconds I was mesmerized and it really made me wish I were also an exotic dancer because she was captivating. While she didn’t look extremely excited, she did look comfortable, like she was hella proud of her booty-shaking skills, which, in my opinion, were very high on the scale.
That’s when I took out my wallet, balled up my money and threw it on the stage. She deserved it. But besides that I wasn’t as comfortable as the other patrons. I was titillated yet I wasn’t disgusted. I was just…there. All I could really think about was how brave yet indifferent these women were for doing what they do. I used to think only women with daddy issues and no real ambition would do this, but honestly whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t even matter. Girl, live your life and get that check.