As it happens, I’m currently in Los Angeles for “work.” I put work in quotes only because I’m not sure if it’s possible to actually get any work done in this city. The sun is too damn bright, the lunch dates are too long. Before you know it, it’s 5:00 p.m. and your biggest accomplishment of the day was pretending that you were Joan Didion. (“Take the 405 to the 10 freeway, feel vaguely depressed and eat an avocado. Then you’re done for the day/life.”)
To get myself out of this Los Angeles-induced k-hole, I decided to go search for something real! No more sun-dazed conversations that take place on a nondescript patio (“Sooooo,” you say lazily, channeling Lauren Conrad or any other cast members of The Hills.” “How have you been? I love that necklace, by the way. Where’d you get it????”) No more ungodly amounts of sunlight shining down on my face that leave me feeling perpetually drugged. I needed stimulation and excitement! I needed a burst of energy, a reminder of real life!
I needed a female strip club.
In case you didn’t know, escorts and strippers are, like, a real thing here in Los Angeles. I mean, they’re real everywhere but L.A. in particular is a place that’s still very much on that Pretty Woman tip. Strip clubs adorn the main drags of Los Angeles, their neon lights casting a bright yet depressing hue over the sidewalks. Escorts loiter underneath the overpasses on Gower in Hollywood before spilling into “classy” establishments like Bar Marmont or the Four Seasons. It’s EVERYWHERE here.
It made sense then to venture to my very first female strip club while I was wasting away in this paid pussy haven. I decided to go to one on Sunset called The Body Shop (which shouldn’t be confused with that gross store in the mall that sells raspberry cheesecake scented lotion) because I liked the directness of the sign. “LIVE NUDE GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS” it exclaimed, enticing horny bros and apparently gay bored men everywhere. Sounds like the right place for me!
What sets The Body Shop apart from other garden-variety naked dancing places is that it shows full frontal which, I guess, is considered to be a pretty big deal in the strip club world. I assumed every place included a peak at vagina but that’s a terrible misconception! Most of them are just topless. In fact, in Manhattan you can’t even get vagina unless you go some place super sketch.
Since the women at The Body Shop bare all, alcohol is not allowed to be served at the club. This rule exists presumably to decrease the chances of disgusting drunk men getting too handsy with the strippers and to remind us all that dudes can’t be drunk around naked ladies without reverting into cavemen. Just a friendly reminder everyone: men can be very creepy and lose all sense of morality and boundaries when they’re inebriated and wanting sex! I’m gay so the chances of me getting drunk and aggressive with a naked woman are non-existent but everyone else has the real potential to go psycho.
I went inside The Body Shop with three straight men who happened to be strip club veterans. Together, they gave me a breakdown on what to expect. For instance, they warned me that a girl is going to come up to me at some point and act all friendly but don’t buy it! She doesn’t want your friendship. She just wants your cash! (This seems fairly obvious to most but leave it to me to be the one dude who thinks a stripper is talking to me an hour because she likes my personality.) They also told me how much to tip and how much a lap dance typically costs. (“Beware the champagne room!”)
It was hard for me to retain any of the new information I was learning because I was too distracted by the decor and clientele of The Body Shop. The place smelled like cotton candy and broken dreams and felt like a cavern. Men sat down and watched woman work the pole, throwing the occasional dollar in to show their appreciation. In many ways, it was exactly how I expected it to be but it was still very shocking, considering that I had never set foot in a female strip club before, let alone seen a vagina up-close. Once I sat down, a stripper affectionately referred to me as “glasses” (Great. Even in the straight world, I’m humiliated and feel hideous) and then proceeded to literally wave her vagina in my face. After she could tell I was like “No”, she moved on and started working her way up and down the pole like a pro. Honestly, I have never thought of pole dancing as an activity that required any skill but I was wrong. These girls were truly athletic and knew what they were doing on that thing. It should be an Olympic sport. I’m not even kidding.
I think the dancers were getting strong ‘mo vibes from me because after I experienced that first girl, they passed over me and went straight to my heterosexual man friends. I didn’t mind. Sure, the rejection stung a bit in a way that I’m not even clear on myself but to tell you the truth, the whole thing made me feel uncomfortable. I didn’t like seeing these girls dance even as a cheap thrill not because I wasn’t attracted to them but because I didn’t like seeing all of these humans regress into being animals. They stared at them like a hunter who’s tracking down its prey. Simply put, it was not chic.
Two of my straight friends went home after awhile and the other one was getting a lap dance, so for a few moments, I was all by my lonesome. Eventually, a dancer came up to me.
“Hey honey. How are you?”
Feeling fearful for some reason, like she was going to try to take my homosexuality away, I blurted out, “I’M GAY!”
Without missing a beat, she responded, “That’s okay. You can still appreciate the female form and all of its beauty, right?”
“So how about a naughty lap dance?”
“I’m okay,” I responded, quickly feeling guilty. “I’m sorry. Thank you for offering.”
THANK YOU FOR OFFERING? Jesus. With that embarrassing line, I decided it was time to pack it up and go back to my hotel. Female strip clubs clearly just made me uncomfortable and I couldn’t hang.
Before I left though, a topless girl came up to me and put my hand on her boob. It felt squishy and nice.