Sometimes I have good ideas. These include showering, feeding my dog, and locking my door in case my schizophrenic ranting neighbor decides to kill me and eat me in the night.
Bad ideas include… going on a date to a strip club.
Now, maybe you think this would be obvious. But to be fair, there were supposed to be a bunch of people going and we were supposed to be going out dancing. However, after four or five people bailed, it was only me, a date, and a friend of the date’s, and they had decided to go to Jumbo’s Clown Room* instead.
* Jumbo’s Clown Room, for those of you who do not know, is a strip club in East Hollywood known for having pretty good music but not always the prettiest girls.
Not wanting to seem like a prude, I agreed to go along. And, really, to be more honest… I was actually totally excited!
I had never been to a strip club before, and it made me feel so rebellious and dangerous to go. And with a date! My goodness! (I went to Yale, people. Clearly in order to do that I was not a particularly (okay not even a little bit) rebellious kid. For example: though my parents never set me a curfew, I was always home by midnight because I thought that anything later than that seemed inappropriate for a 16-year-old. I know. I’m a huge weirdo.)
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Anyway, when I showed up around midnight my date and her friend were hanging out in the front where the friend was smoking a cigarette. My date grabbed my hand and… we were in.
The crowd was perhaps the most diverse one I have ever encountered in my life: there were older men sitting together laughing, creepy young guys with Ray Liota eyes, good looking rocker-ish type boys, gay girls, straight girls, and everything in between.
The lighting was very dim (which makes sense- I don’t think anyone wanted to see the wrinkles and streaky make-up of some of the strippers and clientele) and focused around a small stage up front with a pole in the center and a mirror behind it. There was a not horrible looking girl dancing on stage and grungy rock music playing. I got a drink to calm my nerves and watched the scene unfold.
People were wadding up dollar bills and throwing them on the stage. For some reason it was very entertaining watching the money bounce once it hit the stage - probably just because bouncing is not something that I knew that paper money did. On the other hand I very rarely crumple it up and throw it at things so perhaps it is just lack of experience with that form of fiscal transaction.
The girls mostly just stripped down to their bras and underwear, danced around, and occasionally climbed the pole and clunked their heels on the ground with their legs spread.
And it made me nervous - wasn’t this, as a feminist, what I was supposed to be fighting? Isn’t the objectification of women, like, kind of a crappy thing? And, haven’t we all learned by now that even though you are a woman you can still be horribly misogynistic? Was I contributing to that problem?
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And then these thought left my head because it turns out, like everyone else in the bar… I am not above totally enjoying watching hot girls strip.
See, I thought it was just going to experience something new and a little different but…
I liked the strip club. I LIKED THE STRIP CLUB.
I am ashamed as a write these words. No one wants to be that gross person that is really into strip clubs. But hopefully this will help me be less judgmental about other people who like objectively trashy things. And… maybe one Tuesday 50 years in the future I will be that old lezzie with a beard and a plate of hot wings with her spot next to the stage.
But, it turns out, all of this excitement can spin down the drain pretty quickly. See, it’s all fun and games until the hottest dancer in the bar flirts with your date and tells her that she wants to stick her in her pocket. Then everything is significantly less fun. Then you remember that while you are enjoying yourself looking at other girls, so is your DATE, and how are you supposed to compete with someone that is not wearing clothing?
The answer is: you cannot. Which is why you never go back there again.
On the up side, I do think Jumbo’s was a good place to lose my Strip Club V-Card. It had a fairly non-threatening atmosphere, decent music, and for a gay girl, lots of other girls with tattoos that also looked not straight. Pretty great, right?
Anyway, I would recommend checking it out once. But that’s probably enough.