Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pun Job

The following exchange got me a series of lapdances from a guy, who I assume will become a semi-regular customer. Who says guys don't find a sense of humor sexy? (Either that, or take extreme pity on girls who make dorky jokes...)

Customer: So, you going on stage any time soon?
Me: I don't think so, I was just up there. Besides, I'd prefer your lap to the stage anyday.
Customer: Oh, yeah?
Me: Yeah, though I'm guessing both would have hardwood surfaces...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another nautch(girl) on the bedpost...

Props to Bollywood and the Indian film industry! Leaps and bounds ahead of its Western counterpart, which only recently began making films about dancing girls, often derogatory/sensationalized and still underrepresented. Unlike Hollywood, the courtesan, nautch girl, tawaif, sex worker in Hindi films has never been invisibile. No, this does not mean that she is unanimously treated with the humanity, agency, and respect she deserves (often the films leave her love unrequited, her lover dead or with another woman, or her honor ruined). But she is capable of love; she can protect herself and impart wisdom; she is a real and tangible part of society; she is visible. Today's post features some awesome musical numbers featuring girls who sell some form of sex from Hindi films through the years...

Mangal Pandey/The Rising - Main Vari Vari

Devdas (remake) - Maar Dala

Umrao Jaan (original) - In Aankhon Ki Masti

Pakeezah - Chalte Chalte

Mughal E Azam - Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya

Umrao Jaan (remake) - Salaam

Pakeezah - Inhi Logon Ne

Friday, March 27, 2009

How to lose a guy in ten dances....

Dancer-customer relationships are usually short lived. A regular might be a steady, once or twice a week guy for a few months, but my thoughts are that a 'regular' club relationship might not last much longer than that. The guy will either tire of you, be sick of not getting sex/blow jobs/hand jobs, find another girl, insist that the relationship can only continue if you meet outside the club, or feel guilty about his marital issues. Here are some tales of regular customers with whom relationships went the way of the British Empire.

1 - Hot young pushy married designer guy
This guy, Ricardo, comes to our club every Friday during his lunch break. He gets two lapdances - always from a different/new girl - and comes in his pants at the end of the second song. (Yes, we girls have compared notes on Ricardo.) Anyway, a few months back, he brought in his co-worker, Eddie, a real looker. He's from Peru, married, and works as a designer in New Jersey. He took to me right away, and started coming in every Friday. Moneywise he was okay, maybe $60 per visit. But each visit got a little more intense - i.e. on the first visit "Do you cook?" on the second visit "When are you going to cook for me?" and on the third visit "Where's the food you were supposed to cook for me?" - and he started making demands and requests. Will you send me a picture? I brought you an article to read, will you bring me something? Where do you go out dancing, and can I meet you there? He seemed like the really sensitive, egotistic type, so I knew that saying "I don't go out with customers" would have killed our relationship and stopped the cashflowescrow. So I told him, instead, that I think about him all the time and would love to go out with him, but I can't stand the idea of going out with a married guy (i.e. I made it 'his problem' instead of mine.) His brilliant response was that he's never cheated on his wife before me. At least my strategy kept him coming back for a while. On his last visit, he had put roses under his shirt and had chocolate covered godiva strawberries to feed me during a lapdance, which was followed up with a final request/ultimatum that we go out together. Which was followed by my final rejection. Eddie, now, has gone the way of the scrunchie.

2- Thomson Thomson
Yes, his first and last name are the same. His business card told me so. He was my first regular customer! He had me at "hello, here's $20 for your smile." He definitely was not a big money guy - $40 per visit tops - but I could count on him like death/taxes. But then he'd throw in $50 bonuses before I went on vacations, had a birthday, or for Valentine's Day, which was nice. He took to me like a daughter figure, in a weird way, and would shower me with blessings and prayers for an awesome future husband who loves me. (Fyi, Thomson hates Eddie. He would get really irked when I'd spend time with him. He wasn't jealous of any of my other customers.) Anyway, Thomson is probably pushing 65 or 70, and we converse in Arabic at the club (I think I had HIM at "Marhaba!"). He feels this protective, fatherly urge toward me, except when he's subtly pushing his old-man erection against my butt cheeks. Thomson is one of those guys who can reach orgasm just from a tight, long, high contact hug - which is basically what my lapdances with him consist of. Anyhow, he takes the baklava when it comes to club relationships. We have been 'together' for 9 months, and he never missed a beat. But a few weeks ago, the tight hug just didn't do it for him, and he reached down between my legs. I tried to move his hand away, but he resisted, and (get this) he SHUSHED ME. And then promptly ejaculated in his pantaloons. Motherfucker. The next time I saw him, I gave him icy treatment. And the next next time, I told him I was on my period so he could not travel south of the border. I haven't seen him since. Farewell, Tommy Toms, I got better things to do than spread eagle for a guy who doesn't even pay my Visa bill.

3 - Sweater Vest
I call him sweater vest because he took his shirt off in the champagne room, and for a second I thought he was wearing one. Nope, just chest hair. He was a wealthy, white, married, Wall Street character who had recently lost his job. You know shit's scary when a freshly laid-off exec hits the strip club scene to celebrate with his generous severance package and ample savings account! Anyway, he took to me, and became a regular, and treated me as both a therapist and stripper. I don't know what the hell happened to him, but my last conversation with him involved the affairs he's had since marriage and the guilt he's coping with. Since our heart-to-heart about his dishonest ways, he's been nowhere to be seen. I just hope his wife didn't find traces of my eye-glitter in his chest hair! (Lipstick on the collar is so 80's, no?)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Best (or worst, you decide) Quotes from the Strip Club

5. "Right now, there's just a thin layer of fabric between us. Why not just make it a thin layer of latex?"
(See my post below on "Customer of the Week" for more info...)

4. "We Spanish and black girls have to suck it or give hand jobs to make good money here. But you're the only Pakistani girl, so you don't have to show no one your fallopia."

3. "This thing on my mouth, it's just a pimple, not a herpes."

2. "I'd never actually ask for a blow job at a strip club." (5 minutes later) "Can you give me a blow job?"

1. "What extras do you do in the champagne room?" "None." "And, what do you mean by 'none'?"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Work with me, now...

Gripe: Relationship between club staff and dancers are so complex, undefined, sexualized, and dependent.

Example #1: When I had first started working at the club, the DJ at the time was obsessed with me. He kept telling me I had a really exotic face (if I had a penny for every time the word exotic was used...) and a nice ass. He'd also intently watch me whenever I did my stage set. Also, the DJ tipout at the end of the night seems kind of low, so I always tip above and beyond that (unless I've had a really shitty day) so I think he started appreciating my generosity. Anyway, one night he stayed past his shift and was drinking, and then started hitting on me, telling me how much I turn him on. He asked if he could buy some lapdances from me, and I agreed. What he didn't tell me was that, as a club employee, he wanted to get his lapdances in the champagne room (i.e. complete privacy) and pay lapdance rates! That's like paying for McDonald's and eating filet mignon...My hands were tied! DJ revenge in a strip club sucks, and DJ friendship is really important. DJ revenge? Well, when a DJ hates a dancer, he might never put her on stage, or play really awful hard-to-dance-to music when she is on stage. Once this DJ didn't like this dancer and whenever she took a nasty-looking pervy guy for a lapdance he'd play really really long songs! On the flipside, there was this one S&M sweaty a-hole who used to come in for me and as a courtesy (probably because of my generous tipping), the Deej would play really really short songs. So I could make $80 in like ten minutes. Anyway, I didn't want to create a tense DJ-dancer relationship with the DJ that night, so I didn' t bother pointing out to him that it wasn't exactly fair to me that he pays me for a lapdance when what he's really getting is a champagne room. Back there, he ended up whipping it out and trying to jerk off (as I gingerly inched away from him, wanting nothing near it, and eventually making him put it away). And after that night, our relationship went back to "normal" in the club.

Example #2: The relationship between the busboy and dancers is ridiculous. The dancers make way more money than the busboy, who happens to be an undocumented immigrant. They send him out for smokes and dinners and pay him only for what he buys, and never bother tipping. It's fucked up. One day he had a few drinks, and started telling me that he really liked me. He told me he watched me on the cameras sometimes and that he knew I was one of the few girls who didn't "do sex" and that he really liked that about me. Could he get a few lapdances? Sure. The lapdances were nice - i.e. he kept his pants on and his hands, generally, to himself. Then he paid me the next day. Since then, I think we have a really nice friendship going. He's attracted to me, but he also respects me as a person (and he says that "Pakistanis are generally very nice and don't cheat on their wives" and he really respects my culture...). But then he has these wierd days where he'll be really horny and will talk to me really dirty - our (or should I say, HIS) running joke is now "you coming home with me?" at the end of my shift. And I say "you can't afford me" and we laugh. It's all very harmless and jovial, but it still occupies this strange gray area. The power dynamics are evident: he is male; he is responsible for my security in many instances. At the same time, I'm a dancer, a US citizen, well-off (certainly when compared to him). So there was this time when he took the joke a bit too far ("Wanna come home with me?" "You can't afford me." "Well I'm gonna wait outside and kidnap you.") and I threw my stiletto at him, laughing, but still pissed.

Example #3: Management! I have dealt with four managers so far, and only one of them wasn't fucking around with dancers. The others? One of them, Eric, was a serial monogamist when it came to the dancers. He would have a long, intense relationship with a dancer, then there'd inevitably be some drama, and then she'd "get fired because she missed a shift" or something ridiculous, and then he'd start a new relationship with another dancer. Eric, FYI, was also a retired cop. The current manager, Larry, has also found himself infatuated with me. Mind you, he hangs out with other dancers, having sex, doing blow, etc. But with me, "he finds himself thinking about me all the time." I think it started because he realized we share some politics (we ended up having a really engaged conversation about Che Guevara once), and then he realized I don't turn tricks (which always gets the guy to think of you 'respectfully' instead of as a ho, which is fucked up in its own way), and the rest was history. I've found out that he actually asks other dancers in the club for personal information about me, like, do I have a boyfriend? would I ever date him? etc. etc. Luckily the only dancer I actually share personal information with is an absolutely loyal friend to me, and would never trade info about me.

Conclusion? There is something really strange about the relationship with male staff at the club. I've had many a customer throw $40 or $50 at the lapdance bouncer so we can have more "privacy" (i.e. "Don't interrupt me when you see me grabbing her tits") during our dances. I know that money talks in a club, and dancers should never have any illusions that the bouncers are truly there to ensure our safety. Not only can they be tipped to turn a blind eye, often times, they want to break rules with the dancer too. I was reading a great article about the sex work industry and how feminists would never try to protect sex workers they way they try to protect women who are looking for abortion services. It's true, the dancers, tricks, and whores - especially those of us who don't fulfill the image of the downtrodden, oppressed, rape/trafficking victim - are hardly worthy of energies of "the feminist movement" to make sure we get home safe, to make sure that even a joking threat ("I'm gonna kidnap you!") is seen as profoundly offensive. And so we've turned to hiring males to do the work in the club of ensuring our safety. This option, it turns out, has been largely problematic as well.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Customer of the Week

I must share the tale of, let's call him Dave...Dave. He truly made my week last week. Dave's a semi-regular customer of mine. I can expect to see him once a month, and he only spends money on me. He spends good money too - he'll buy a couple of lapdances, take me to the champagne room, and tip $90-150 depending on the day. He's an Asian statistician at some bank that pays him a lot of money - enough where the company car drives him to strip clubs and the driver rolls around the city while he has fun inside with me. Anyway, he's great! His generosity is awesome, but any dancer will tell you that money alone does not a great customer make. (Some day, I'll post about Billionaire Asshole and you'll see what I mean.) It's also that he's really a blast to hang out with... He must be like 40 years old. He's really into Indian girls (hence, me) - and educated and open-minded ones at that. He told me that Chinese guys like Indian girls because of our thick black hair, the fact that we have full lips, and that "we have more ass than Chinese girls."

Anyway, he cracks me up. He comes to the club, and we sit and talk for a few minutes. The conversation inevitably starts out by talking about work, school... and then he shifts gears into dirty talk (the line he used last time was - "When I walked in and saw you on stage I immediately went from 6 to 12."). The dirty talk usually involves more frank conversation about our likes (he likes medium sized breasts, missionary style sex, and penetrating with his fingers) rather than the "ooh you get me so wet" variety of dirty talk. Shortly after a few minutes of talk, we retreat to the champagne room, where he playfully begs me to allow him to finger me (the playful tone makes the whole thing rather comforting, rather than extremely annoying, for me, which is hard to explain). He also once asked if I'd insert a finger in his ass, which I politely declined. Had just had a manicure, see. He always wavers between begging for sex and commending me for not doing it. (He's not the only one! I've had way too many guys say "I think the reason I like you more than these other dancers is because you don't break too many of the rules. I know you're clean, and I like that you're a challenge." I hate that when it comes from most guys... It's patronizing as hell, plus it doesn't stop them from begging for sex...)

But usually our time in the champagne room is a combination of dirty talk, laughter, and lapdances. He really makes me laugh back there! He'll say stuff like "After the age of 20, hand jobs just don't work anymore" or "Do I have the Asian curse?" (in reference to his dick). He's really self-deprecating and humble, and it's hilarious! He'll also told me, during a lapdance, "The only thing between us is a thin layer of fabric. What if that were just a thin layer of latex instead?" which cracked me up pretty hard. Coming from any aggressive or dirty pig, it'd piss me off, but his neurotic, funny, and generally harmless demeanor makes it really endearing.

Anyway, last time he had some more hours to kill so he ended up spending a lot of time in the club after his champagne room. He made my day! He kept doing this thing where he'd make bets with me, like "If you can get a guy to take you for a lapdance in the next 20 minutes, I'll match whatever he spends on you!" And he kept his word! And then, he kept doubling the odds and "making it interesting." Wow! That day, needless to say, I broke my personal record! I came home with a nice chunk of change. Wouldn't it be cool if there were some way to combine the following two vices: compulsive gambling, and stripper fetishes?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Onions make me cry...

A big thumbs-down to The Onion, a usually funny and satirical paper that really pissed me off for the following:

The piece denigrates those who *do* strip as a way of life, and implies that dancers are stuck in abusive relationships and abysmal work conditions.

And boo to me for every time I politely smiled and nodded along as a customer commended me for "having something else going" for me in my life, not like the other low-life girls at the club who didn't have education or politics.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Recent uses of babywipes

I'm not sure who uses baby wipes more: a new mother or me at a shift at the club. Baby wipes are as crucial to strippers as exotic natives are to anthropologists! Anyone? Anyone? okay, anyway, What would happen if one were to do like a commodity chain ethnography of baby wipes in strip clubs? (Wenner Gren leans in, tantalized...)

Baby wipes - Use #1
The obvious: freshening up any and all parts of your body after a stage set and before a lapdance.

Baby wipes - Use #2
High-friction lapdances can often get guys really hot and bothered. Actually, low friction and no-friction dances can do this to. But even just a little knee-near-the-groin action can get some guys to blow their load in their pants. I would say this probably applies to somewhere between a third and a fifth of the strip club customer population. Actually, once I gave a guy a lapdance and halfway through the first song he told me I could stop, that he'd already finished his business. I was hardly making any contact with the region!!! Thus proving that orgasms are as much in the head as they are in the ... other head. Anyway, there is nothing like a sweatpants (or trackpants) customer whose bone-on you can feel pretty plainly. I tend to hover above these boys in dances rather than actually sit on their laps. I call it hoverdancing. The skill of being able to hoverdance is known as hovercraft. Anyhow, the last thing I want to come (pardon the pun) into contact with is semen. I have successfully (knock on wood -- not too hard, though! that's friction!) avoided such contact since starting the job. Still, when a guy comes in his pants during a lapdance, baby wipes are necessary mostly as a psychological cleansing tool...

Baby wipes - Use #3
This customer I nicknamed Slouchy Hussain came in last week. Usually he takes me to the Champagne Room, which is where he earned his odd moniker. I call him slouchy because he does what so many guys do during lap dances - they gradually slide down till they're almost horizontal, laying flat on their back! What is it about sitting up straight that is so loathesome to them?! Usually when guys start doing this I pull them up by the back of their neck and have them sit up straight again. But Slouchy Hussain looks so intent, so focused, that it would really be a shame to break his concentration by adjusting his posture. Slouch away, 'Sain! Anyway, last time he came in it was pretty empty so instead of a Champagne Room we just went for lapdances. And usually, common courtesy for boys is to empty their pockets of wallets, phones, keys, exacto knives, whatever things they have in their pockets that might jab or poke at you*. Slouchy didn't empty out his pockets, so when I started giving him his lapdances, I felt what I thought was a key poking at my thighs, side, stomach, butt, throughout the dances. Afterward I went to the back to freshen up (7 lapdances! I was a hot mess.) and noticed that I had a dark, brand-new vein in my thigh! For a split second, I thought I might have to quit dancing or get laser treatment to erase it when I realized that it was no vein, but PEN scribbling all OVER my back, thigh, butt... ARGH. Who the hell a) doesn't empty sharp objects from their pockets before a lapdance and b) has an UNCAPPED pen among those sharp objects? Anyway, use #3 for babywipes involves erasing pen markings from your body.

Baby wipes - Use #4
There are oh so many ways to violate someone sexually! It doesn't have to involve whipping out a dick or penetrating anything. There was this guy who KEPT trying to make out with me during a lapdance. He would grab my hair, my back, the back of my neck/head, anything! Eventually I had to turn around and give him the kind of dance where you're clapping ass in front of their face most of the time, because I wanted nowhere near his mouth. After the dance he asked if he could kiss me on the cheek, which I obliged. But I feel like he must have been collecting saliva or something that whole time because he refused my cheek and went instead for my ear (which was so NOT okay) and gave me the oral equivalent of a wet willy. Needless to say, I gave my ear a thorough rinse-out and scrub down with soaped0-up wipes (and gave the guy a dirty look). Does anyone make colonics for ears?

*except their penis