I visited a strip club for the first time this week. It’s an experience I could have gone my whole life and never had, but I got an offer and I took it. One of my friends is transferring to a new job in Hawaii, so we got together to send her off. We started off at a jazz club, but as the night waned and the party at the jazz club was coming to a close, the men in the group suggested we hit up another spot. So we all gathered in our cars and headed to the next spot.
Once there, we found that spot dead. A water main break in the city had shut down a lot of business and kept plenty of people home. So someone in the group suggested we all go to a strip club. I am all for women doing was they please and making ends meet the best way they can, but visiting women and sticking money on them seemed degrading. In all my years of living, I’d never gone to a strip club, nor have I had the desire to. But for the sake of keep the party alive and allowing my friend to have a good time, I went along to get along.
Boy, did I regret it.
The Strip Club
We got to the club and parked, badged our way in (everyone in the group was law enforcement except me), and the security escorted us all to find seats. The club was huge, and 3:30 am it was packed with men and women steadily coming. The music was loud; the place was dark; the drinks were flowing, and the women were naked.
Naked. I repeat. The women were plenty naked.
I watched cops come and go throughout the night getting food in full uniform. Clearly it’s was a law enforcement friendly establishment. Not sure why cops need to come to the strip club at 4am to eat lunch, but whatever floats your city’s boat!
As soon as I found my seat, I sat fully engulfed in the atmosphere, watching grown men act like teens with their shitty $1 bills while the women forced to pander to them looked uninterested in completing the transactions required to get their measly $3-$5 tips. The thing that found most distressing throughout the night was how aloof all the women looked. None of them looked as though they liked their jobs. I know it’s all a performance, but none of the women smiled. Even when dancing the women looked like zombies. And while I know people have all sorts of physical preferences in real and fantasy partners, many of the women had tiny bodies, all most like little teen girls. While the men were respectful in the club (the big bouncers made sure of that), many of them were sleazy. Not sleazy in how they looked, but their actions. Watching grown men carry on in a strip club over fantasy naked women was a sight to behold.
The Callousness of Sex Work
The saddest thing of the night was watching the beautiful women being trotted out like dogs and ponies for her 30 minutes to dance and allow men and women to touch all over their bodies. Their faces were lifeless. Their eyes were glazed, gone to some other place, desperate to get away from their reality. Even as one woman performed an amazing feat of holding a drink glass between her butt cheeks, she had no expression on her face. Every thing in the place is transactional.
Another woman, fully nude, allowed men to rub on her clitoris for money. The men were like kids with a new toy. None of them appeared to care about how the woman felt about them rubbing such a delicate part of her body. She had no facial expression. Her body was present. Her spirit was elsewhere. It was disturbing to observe.
Not one of the 20 or so women I saw during the night appeared to enjoy their line of work. I don’t want to judge them for doing what they do for a living. I’m sure they make more money in a few hours than many people earn in a week. After about 2 hours of the strip club experience, I decided I had had enough. It’s not that I thought I was better than anyone else. It’s that experiencing misery is taxing to my spirit and soul. I had a headache; the music was loud. I had sobered up. I wanted out.
But I don’t want to contribute to an industry where so many women are unhappy in their work. Even if it is a woman’s choice, the experience just reaffirmed sex work is a means to an end just like any other job. Some people are blessed to have dream jobs. Others of us do what we need to do to put food on the table and to get some things we want in life.
I’m a woman. I know what it’s like to go to work and put up with people. I understand what it’s like dealing with people who don’t respect you. I understand sometimes, we must do what we have to do to survive. I simply don’t want to witness another woman’s public displeasure in her workplace.
I applaud the ladies who dance in strip clubs. Not only do you have to be pretty, young, and almost flawless, you must stay fit. That’s a tall order to impress people who care nothing about your well-being. It also appears strippers go through a lot mentally to entertain random strangers for a few brief moments. I have nothing but love for them and I wish them all the best.
I just don’t want to witness their disassociation from life ever again. It’s depressing, and I don’t desire to be entertained at the expense of another human or animal. I am glad for the experience, but I never want to see what I saw or feel what I felt ever again.
My first time to a strip club was also my last.
©2019 Marley K. All rights reserved.