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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

210

Lap Dances Are Awful

I recently returned from a good friend’s bachelor party in Tampa, Florida, and after reading Kat’s treatise on bachelor parties, I had to share a little secret. No, we did not participate in lewd bacchanals fueled by cocaine and Ted Nugent Condominiums, but we did go to a couple different strip clubs. Kat's right: No stripper is going to sleep with you or your fiancé. It’s just not in the cards, and if hubby-to-be is really looking to cheat, he’ll spend the money on a prostitute and be done with it. Cheating isn’t generally going to happen at a bachelor party, but lap dances are.

Here’s where the secret comes in. Lap dances are awful.

I don’t want to say the idea of a lap dance is awful, because it isn’t. Naked women gyrating do generally appeal to typical heterosexual men, but the inherent awkwardness usually leaves men, or some men at least, feeling gross and confused about why they just gave $30 (the typical cost at a nice strip club) to a woman they don’t know.

In this particular county of Tampa, as in some other places, fully nude strip clubs mean no alcohol. And when my group learned of the laws in this particular county of Tampa (no one had bothered to Google ahead) many in attendance groaned. Who wants to go to a strip club where you can’t drink?

It turns out A LOT do!

I’m currently sober, so when I first decided to go on this bachelor party excursion in the supposed strip club capital of the United States (this was the selling point for the organizer — seriously), I decided I would rent a Cadillac and be the designated driver. So I was sober for this bachelor party and subsequent strip club attendance. Before you fire back with “of course you’re going to think lap dances suck when you’re sober!” know that I grew up in Rochester, New York, a short hour and a half drive to Niagara, Canada, home of one of the best strip clubs I’ve ever been inside. I was never sober growing up, and I spent a lot of time gambling and drinking in Niagara, where the legal drinking age is 18. So I’ve had some experience with lap dances both sober and drunk; they suck in both conditions.

For the strip club night during the bachelor party, we were going to start at a topless club with alcohol and head to the famous all-nude strip club afterward. We smartly figured everyone (but me), could get drunk at the topless place, and then we would pile into the Cadillac and head to the famous strip club. (This strip club was so famous, my female seatmates on the flight down from New York actually told me: “YOU HAVE TO GO TO M__ns V___s! It’s amazing!”) After everyone got sufficiently soused at the topless club, we headed over for the all-nude variety.

So why do lap dances suck? First, there are the bored dancers, and I don’t mean they’re boring personally, they just often give off an air of boredom. And for many of these women this might be the 20th lap dance they’ve given that night alone. This isn’t any mark against strippers, it’s just important to remember how often these lap dances are being performed. It’s what they do, and if they’re attractive and good at their jobs, that means more lap dances, and, conversely, less excitement at the prospect of yet another one.

The second problem with lap dances is the touching vs. no-touching rule. Many places employ a strict hands-off rule any time a patron elects to have a private dance. This is to protect the strippers from any unwanted advances — much like the all-nude places prohibit alcohol consumption. I understand this, but deep in the dark recesses of the reptilian brain, when a naked woman lies down on your lap suggestively, the first instinct is to touch and fondle. So, if you can’t touch or fondle, you’re constantly ignoring/fighting that urge, and you’re not enjoying yourself as much.

But at the all-nude place in Tampa (and, coincidentally, at the strip club I frequented in Niagara), touching and fondling are not only allowed, they’re encouraged. I know this sounds strange to any woman who hasn’t spent time in a strip club, but it’s true. In fact, the first time I got a lap dance the stripper had to place my hands on her breasts because I was so terrified of making her feel as uncomfortable as I was.

I hadn’t gotten a lap dance in a long time, but then one of my friends pushed money into my hands and told me I had to since I’d been so nice about driving everyone to bars. At first I shrugged him off, but eventually I relented figuring maybe they'd be more fun if I was sober; plus, what kind of an asshole turns down a free lap dance?! It ended up being awful, though, which, when I think about it, has been my experience with all lap dances.

Anyway, I asked a stripper for a dance, she told me to follow her, and we went to a not-at-all private room off the main floor. Sometimes lap dances are in private rooms, sometimes not (I’ve heard stories of various sexual favors being doled out in private rooms — but I’ve never experienced this). It depends on the strip club, but the non-private ones are even more awkward, because while you’re getting your lap dance all the other men in attendance are staring at you like someone stares at the masturbating monkey in the zoo.

This stripper was named Jennifer, and the first thing Jennifer asked me was whether I wanted to wait for a new song, so I could get a full song for my dance. I said “sure,” and she sat on my lap and we waited. She asked me my sign. “Aquarius,” I replied stifling a laugh because, come on, she just asked me my sign. Shockingly, Jennifer was an Aquarius too and even as she started her dance, she continued to list the various other signs Aquariuses were pre-destined to fall in love with or have a natural enmity towards. I even offered my own little astrological factoid when I said that Aquarius was the most popular sign of United States presidents. I have no idea if this is true, but I heard it somewhere and I didn’t want her to feel like I wasn’t listening. Again, I was hesitant to actually touch Jennifer as she circumnavigated my groin to the wailing of Axl Rose (G n R is ubiquitous at strip clubs). I love boobs, but I’m preconditioned against just touching them without being told, either implicitly or explicitly, it’s OK. Jennifer sensed my hesitance and put my right hand onto her breast as she leaned her back into my chest. She told me to squeeze. I did so reluctantly and quickly realized she had over-the-muscle breast implants.

I’ve felt really good implants before, and Jennifer did not have very good implants. Basically, it was like feeling up a rock. I didn’t want to be rude, though, so I kept gently squeezing (thoughts of a bursting silicon bag running through my head), and eventually the whole ordeal was over. I tipped her generously because I’m sure she could sense my reluctance to “get into it,” and I didn’t want to appear ungrateful about her attempts to turn me on.

I walked back to my buddies, and after a few more awkward minutes, we left. One friend turned to me and said:

“Dude, that was awful.”
“Tell me about it.” I replied.
“How do you stay sober?! That was awful without a drink!”
“Oh yeah. That’s right.”

Without getting all “look how enlightened I am,” the lap dance feels (and is) synthetic and transactional, which isn't sexy at all. But even without the money factor, it’s the fake boobs, the touching vs. non-touching, the general vibe of lechery, the forced conversation, and the sheer number of guys these women dance for, which combine to lead some* men to dread the lap dance, as I do now. I’m sure I’ll be going to a strip club again in the not too distant future, as most of my friends are getting married at this age, and I like watching naked women. But I will never get another lap dance.

*I’m not alone in my feelings on the lap dance, but there are a lot of men who have no problem forgetting it's something they're paying for and that everything else is fake, too. Most men at this particular bachelor party, in fact, had a blast getting lap dances.

Spencer Lund wants his mother to know he still reads Mary Wollstonecraft every now and then, and he respects women regardless of their profession.



210 Comments / Post A Comment

Moff

No. Some (many, even!) lap dances are awful.

But some are fucking wonderful.

Rosebudddd

@Moff Now we know what happened at your bachelor party...

Moff

@Rosebudddd: Yes! I got several wonderful lap dances! And I didn't have to pay for any of them, which, let me tell you, adds to their charm enormously.

jhk
jhk

I can only assume the Niagara strip club you are referring to is the Sundowner (or, The Downer, for the familiars). The stuff of legends when you grow up anywhere near the border.

Matt

Chris Rock would like a word.

BadWolf

@Matt "If I was you, I would diversify my portfolio!"

shenannies

Is it just going to be open season on strippers here? This is becoming irksome.

redheaded&crazy

Oh geez. Oh no. Please no more. Why can't we just let lap dances BE?!

DrFeelGood

@redheadedandcrazy A rolling lap dance gathers no moss.

Ken Wheaton@facebook

Perhaps the Hairpin and/or its writers should try a few more bachelor parties/strip clubs -- or dig up one or two of those guys I've heard of who really, really enjoy such clubs and lap dances and bring large rolls of money with them to said establishments. And write, too, about the things that happen in the champagne room despite what they may do in the magical land of Portland.

My own experience is very limited as I'm another of those "enlightened" not-a-big-fan-of-strip-clubs (or bachelor parties for that matter), but I've heard plenty and seen a bit. While at a bachelor party in New Orleans, a stripper approached our table at the club and offered to go back to our room for the remainder of the night. No one took her up on it, but I can't imagine that was a one in a million situation. And she made it clear she was going to do more than lap dancing.

boyofdestiny

Welp, it's official. "What Are We to Think About Strip Clubs" has now replaced "What Are We to Do About Our Pubic Hair" as the Most Pressing Issue of Our Time. You're witness to history, folks!

major disaster

@boyofdestiny I eagarly await the confluence in the next installment, "What Are We to Think About Pubic Hair in Strip Clubs".

leonstj

@boyofdestiny I'm kind of relieved it was another stripper post. From the subject, I thought it was about to be a hate-filled rant about the social gatherings of the Sami people. As if reindeer-herding isn't hard enough already!

atipofthehat

@boyofdestiny

They installed a pole at Hairpin HQ yesterday. Just wait!

Friday bargain bin: clear 7" heels!

boyofdestiny

@leon.saintjean Just so you know one of those thumbs-ups is from me

zidaane

@atipofthehat All the lunch room chairs have a bit of body shimmer on them. It's kind of gross.

leonstj

@boyofdestiny Thank goodness for Wikipedia disambiguation pages, the source of half my puns. I was originally trying to work out a joke about machining, and how grinding is a kind of lapping, and something something about the abrasive rubbing of one thing against another, but none of those jokes cut it.

boyofdestiny

@leon.saintjean Don't underestimate me. I'll go on a pretty long journey if there's a pun at the end.

Jane Marie

@atipofthehat don't tempt me...

atipofthehat

@zidaane

The next Hairpin meetup could be at the Slipper Room (when it reopens)!

atipofthehat

@Jane Feltes

Who tempts the temptresses themselves?

(Sorry, that was very Juvenal of me.)

melis

Rousseau crazy.

Saaoirse

Oh man, is it Stripper Week already? Cause I am so under-dressed for this.

City_Dater

@Saaoirse

Really? Because I was thinking I was OVERdressed for it.

Saaoirse

@City_Dater Over-dressed and under-glittered.

(Is glitter an actual thing or just a tv-land-shorthand for strippers? Despite The Hairpin's best efforts, there are still things I do not know.)

Mimi Killjoy

@City_Dater Strippers do that 'overdressed and underdressed simultaneously' thing so well.

sp8ce

@Saaoirse Glitter is definitely a thing, its almost inpossible to go to a strip club and leave without glitter on your clothes. I think they do it on purpose to piss off wives/GF.

fancypants

Omg I seriously can not take any more of this. I already ruined dinner last night over yesterday's stripper post. I think I preferred simpler times (last week) when I seldom thought about bachelor parties or strip clubs and gave most guys the benefit of the doubt.

gimlet

@fancypants yeah, for real. I know it's mostly my fault but the Hairpin is making me aaaaaannnnnxxxxiiiousssssssssssss

likethestore

@fancypants Yeah. I miss last week.

atipofthehat

@fancypants

Even the vintage glasses are taking it off. Someone REALLY NEEDS TO GO TO THAT WINE STORE.

Megoon

@fancypants Yup, that is correct.

Xora

I know! Me, too! PLEASE STOP MAKING ME READ POSTS ABOUT SPIDERS, YOU GUYS! I REALLY, REALLY HATE READING THE POSTS ABOUT SPIDERS THAT YOU KEEP PUTTING ON THE HAIRPIN!

Oh, wait...

Moff

My favorite lap dance ever was when a coked-up Geena Davis–esque blonde named Chloe grabbed my (sort of terrified!) friend Jon and dragged him upstairs to a VIP booth. There was no curtain, so the rest of us could sort of look up and see what was going on, which was basically that Chloe was twisting her torso with such vehemence, she was literally pummeling Jon in the face with her implants, over and over and over. He honest to God stumbled out after three songs with his glasses half hanging off his face. (He was smiling, though! For the next hour!)

atipofthehat

@Moff

Oh, a SLAP-dance. Now it all makes sense!

Moff

@DorothyMantooth: He just wanted to recoup his $15,000!

(Actually, when I worked in credit card disputes, we did once get one from a guy who got trashed in Vegas and stayed behind at the strip club after all his friends left to gamble or sleep. Over the course of two hours, three different girls ran up his credit card -- which he handed to them! -- to the tune of about $40,000. He didn't even get very many dances! Or that was his story, anyway. But ultimately, the point was that he did not have a valid dispute. Sorry, brah!)

DorothyMantooth

@Moff At least he didn't end up with a psychotic disorder!
(Man, stripper stories are GOLD, I tell you. Gold!)

Moff

@DorothyMantooth: HE IS CRAZY FOR TITTIES.

My other favorite story is about my other friend, who was doing a pretty good job of not letting his wife know that, while they were in the middle of a relocation and she was in one city and he was in another, he was going to strip clubs with some frequency. Except then he got carjacked at 3 a.m. in the club parking lot!

Which was entertaining enough in and of itself. (There was a gun involved! But he didn't get shot, so.) It went to a whole nother level when it happened a second time.

DorothyMantooth

@Moff God, you should really caption everything!

amusedgirl

I went to high school in a town that was nothing but strip clubs and restaurants. Spent way too much time there. Classssssssssssssy

Dennis Scott@facebook

@amusedgirl I was totes unaware there was a town called "Hetero Guy Paradise". I'll have to Google Map the details & email them to my brother.

julia

Third/fourth/fifthing all of the "Why, make it stop!" sentiments.

The most concise thing I can say re: my reaction to the twice-weekly generalizing stripper/bachelor party posts is: communicate with your fucking loved ones, people. Just fucking. talk. about. whatever it is you're feeling if your boyfriend is about to do the bachelor party thing. It is that simple. And also leave strippers alone because they are human beings just like you.

redheaded&crazy

@julia very well put. I agree whole heartedly.

Lola

@julia I couldn't agree more.

boyofdestiny

@julia The communication thing is obviously a tremendous takeaway, but I don't think any of the discussions this week have been hard on strippers as people?

julia

@boyofdestiny It's not so much the posts themselves as the comments that ensue in response. I can't imagine being in a relationship where plans for a bachelor party (his or someone else's) would be a fight-starter. Yeah, maybe that's self-righteous of me to say and of course I think my relationship is exceptional (not *perfect* - that should never be your goal, but I think the feeling of having something special is part of the deal for most people, hopefully), but I can't take this mars-venus men-are-like-this-women-are-like-that and ne'er the twain shall meet shit. It astounds me how little people communicate. Oh so much anger I have about this, I guess! Not necessarily the strip club related posts but just generally speaking, why do we act like relationships involve so much game-playing? All you have to do is talk (and also fuck it out when necessary)!

boyofdestiny

@julia Preach.

Lily Rowan

@julia YES. Thank you!

likethestore

@julia So...if I have negative feelings about strip clubs that means I'm in a bad relationship? Come on.

redheaded&crazy

@julia I still come back to a column by A Dude a while back which was all "oh sex educator lady maybe it's SO easy for YOU to talk about feelings and sex and intimacy but it's way harder for the rest of us in the real world" or whatever. Communication is like, way hard.

Then again, some people don't even try! You have to try. Successful communication is so satisfying!

julia

@likethestore Ok, I take the bait. No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying that based on the very limited information people (by which I mean women, yes, mainly) share about their experiences/feelings on this subject in the comments, I get the feeling that there is sometimes maybe not a lot of talking going on, or that people think things are supposed to/have to be a certain way between the mens and the womens.

julia

@redheadedandcrazy Yes, totally. It takes work and trust and you will definitely end up hurting each other at times but as you say feeling like you have an open communication line is worth all of that effort.

noodge

@julia i hear ya - kind of - but there are going to be issues in any relationship that are just kind of unsolvable, where the two people just don't agree, and it's difficult to find a compromise position, and it just is a lot of hard work. so i guess i disagree a bit.

redheaded&crazy

@likethestore I think the sentiment is more, if you have negative feelings and talk about them on Hairpin instead of with your partner, that means you're not in a relationship with healthy communication?

(not saying that is what everybody is doing but it is probably what some people are doing)

likethestore

@redheadedandcrazy Well, ok, that makes sense. I agree with you about communication, I'm just personally tired of the opinion that you're a bad feminist (or a bad girlfriend) if you don't think strip clubs are awesome.

redheaded&crazy

@likethestore Yeah it's kind of an interesting slant because the posts are very relationship-focused, which is obviously something that interests a lot of people, judging by the comments.

But why not have a post about how lap dances are awful because stripping can be a shitty job that some people take out of a lack of other options, where they have to pay to get stage time, don't get benefits, work crappy hours, yadda yadda. I'm not an expert on the sex industry, but a post along those lines would take this discussion in a completely different direction...

thebestjasmine

@likethestore See, the message that I've gotten from most of these posts is that almost no one (except for creepy people) think that strip clubs are awesome. It's just that some people really hate them, and some people don't really care. I'm just really tired of all of the comments demonizing strippers themselves, though.

fancypants

@julia One thing these stripper/bachelor posts have prompted me to do is discuss with my boyfriend how I feel about such things, which is timely due to an upcoming bachelor party. We've talked about it, we're in agreement with each other, but aghh I am tired. I am grossed out by society/tradition/drunk dudes. It may be as simple as skipping the post but mannnn it is difficult not to take the bait.

Oh and to the person yesterday who said their bf could go to a strip club if she could go grind on some dudes in a regular club - golden. I stole that comparison and 100% "I do not want you to do that, so I will not go to strip clubs."

Ellie

@redheadedandcrazy I really feel like the sex industry is not to blame for the fact that it exists. Yes, "Prostitution is the oldest profession!" is pretty much a yawner by now but you can't say it's not true. If it's too bad that people only strip for a lack of other options, then it's the fault of whoever is not providing the other options (society, poor distribution of student loans, unfair immigration laws, the economy, etc.), not the fault of "stripping" as a concept. I kind of fail to see how anything short of a comprehensive socio-economic research study could produce an accurate and meaningful article on whether or not lap dances are "actually" awful. I don't know, if stripping is outlawed, then only outlaws will strip.

melis

Are you seriously going to tell me that we've gone this deep into the thread and not one of you has done anything with hard on strippers? You all make me sick.

Megoon

@julia I don't know your feelings on bachelor parties/strip clubs - but maybe you can't imagine fighting about them with your boyf because either (I'm guessing) 1) you and your boyfriend share similar views on them, 2) it's never really come up or 3) you don't really care about them, so why fight?

Just saying - communication doesn't always mean agreement, you know? I think my relationship is also exceptional, but we fought quite a bit over his bachelor party.

Xora

@julia Testify.

redheaded&crazy

@Ellie True my comment wasn't meant to be completely anti-sex industry. There are definitely people IN the sex industry who are responsible for the shitty working conditions though - strip club owners, escort service managers, etc (not ALL but some) so I guess in my ideal fairytale world there should be legislation that regulates better working conditions?

It's definitely a complex issue but I don't think any one article has to cover all aspects of it because the comments will cover a lot of new territory as well it seems to me. And I guess the hairpin may not be the appropriate place for that kind of article because it tends to be more kind of low key and chill? I'm just saying it would be an interesting new direction.

roughe

@Megoon it's always weird to me when girls care so much about their boyfriends getting a boob shoved in his face at a club with girls just doing a job and getting paid for it. the girls are so obviously uninterested, and for the most part, the boys i know don't want to sleep with a stripper either. i'm far more worried about my boyfriend meeting a girl at work, having a meaningful conversation, finding things in common with each other, and then eventually starting a relationship.

how many guys do you know who left their girlfriend for the $20 lapdance Desire gave them at the club?

julia

@Megoon Yes, I thought about this later on. We do share similar views on this topic, and we fight about other things, like whether supporting public schools means you have to send your children there even if the schools are shitty. BUT. I stand by my main point, which, while prompted by the topic, is not topic-specific and that point is: communicate! It is hard, and it does not always equal agreement, but for the love of god be honest with each other and talk. And also fuck.

armadillo12

@roughe I'm not seeing anyone worried that their boyfriends will leave them for strippers, just irritated and betrayed that their boyfriends want to have sexual interactions with people other than them. Which seems totally reasonable to me. I mean, your boyfriend probably won't leave you for a hooker either.

Ellie

@redheadedandcrazy Yeah, that's a good point that legislation could be improved. I think that legalization of more stuff would facilitate better regulation, more like the European model, even though I know Europe has huge sex trafficking problems. I honestly think it's totally unrealistic that sex professions would ever, ever go away. And maybe they are less fun jobs than other types of jobs. But there are lots of other "less fun" jobs like working at a call center or whatever, everything in perspective and I guess it's unreasonable to say "Stripping is always bad" or "stripping is always good."

winchesterwolcott

@Ellie There really isn't a European model though. For example, I'm pretty sure Norway and Sweden approach this differently in a way that's like the best science fair exhibit because it involves the whitest people on earth/hookers/mens who pay for hookers and the whole notion of what's best. Also, Swedish and Norwegian people love it when you tell them they're basically the same thing.

applestoapples

Anyone who's been up and down Dale Mabry Highway a few times knows where this guy went.

Anyway, the recent Hairpin exposes on the boring world of lap dancers and receivers are quite riveting, but can we get more doll news (and not the New York Dolls gentlemen's establishment in the Financial District)?

ennaenirehtac

@applestoapples YES. The stripper stuff reminds me of everything else on the Internet, whereas the doll/Mindpop/How to Be a Girl/Ask a Dude stuff reminds me only of the Hairpin! More Hairpin, less everything else!

Quinciferous

@applestoapples I've noticed a terrifying lack of animals doing the darnedest things recently.

I mean, the internet is full of cat videos, but without The Hairpin to curate a selection of only the most artful cat videos, how will we ever separate the cat video wheat from the cat video chaff?

DorothyMantooth

I'm reminded of a story my husband told upon returning from a golf trip with the guys in which, naturally, they visited a strip club. And this particular strip club? Had a room with a hot tub in it! ACK! I mean, can you even imagine the Jersey Shore levels of magnitude of that contamination?

thatsrealbutter

@DorothyMantooth This has further ratcheted up my already high level of Dateline-induced hot tub flesh eating bacteria fear

Tailfeather

@DorothyMantooth EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW. I am anti-hot tub ever since I went underwater in one in Connecticut when I was ten and got the most severe ear infection of my LIFE. I then had to fly home to Texas two days later, viciously ill, and the incipient pain magnified by the changes in altitude was so heinous I vomited three times on the flight. Even as a wee, I had a pretty steely stomach, and I've never before or since thrown up from sheer pain. It was like having an ice pick repeatedly stabbed through my skull for hours.

Anyway, hot tubs are fucking disgusting petri dishes. Just looking at pics from the Playboy mansion makes me want to hook up an IV of vitamin C and slather myself in antibacterial gel.

E
E

@DorothyMantooth I was once given the valentines gift of a trip to a hot tub facility, which my feller at the time thought would be like a spa.

It was not a spa. It had themed rooms and every person checking in looked like a mobster and a mobster's mistress.

We ended up in the "Alpine room", with a poster that looked like the sound of music hill without maria in it, that someone had built a "window" around. Also in the Alpine Room, a pair of crossed skis, gingham curtains and a moose head.

In the tub, occasionally a cooling mist would come down, smelling strongly of bleach. I spent the whole time wondering where the camera that made encounters into porn was. In the mooses nostril? In the corner of the skis? No lie, it was a great valentines day, if only for how aghast the gifter was about it.

My roommate later told me it was where kids in her highschool went to have sex. I've never since felt clean.

punkahontas

@E Aw man, a bunch of my friends and I got hot tub folliculitis one time on a snowboarding trip in the Poconos. Hot Tub Folliculitis is a thing! And it basically looks like a ridiculous cartoon rash. You need a cream and antibiotics. I haven't been in a hot tub since. (Like 12 years?)

Mimi Killjoy

@DorothyMantooth Water is the ultimate breeding ground for bacteria.

leonstj

@Tailfeather Jesus lord almight whom I don't believe in, this thread is the first thing to ever make me delighted that my severe raised-catholic / low-esteem body issues have prevented me from ever wanting to spend time in a hot tub.

Tailfeather

@leon.saintjean Consider it the best thing Catholicism ever did for you.

leonstj

@Tailfeather I always thought that was the free wine. (speaking of gross vectors of disease)

Tailfeather

@leon.saintjean Okay, that and the glory hole in the confessional.

*whooshing sound as I take the express elevator to hell*

formergr

@DorothyMantooth Was this a Sybaris??

DorothyMantooth

@formergr I actually had to Google that! So I'ma say no. And I don't even know the name of it, actually. Just that it was in Myrtle Beach, I believe. And was sketchy!

Lily Rowan

I find people's reactions to these (few) stripping posts to be FASCINATING.

That is all.

boyofdestiny

@Lily Rowan This.

DorothyMantooth

@Lily Rowan Agreed! This has been a fun week for me.

forrealz

@Lily Rowan agree

Lily Rowan

@Lily Rowan Oh, wait -- it's not quite all. I also love Spencer's bio.

Moff

Looking forward to the shitstorm of "WHY DID YOU POST THIS THING I COULDN'T KEEP FROM CLICKING ON" comments that ensues when the post about Julia Allison's stint as a stripper goes up.

scully

@Lily Rowan Agreed. Considering I would have responded the same way about 7 years ago but now 6 years into marriage could give a shit if my husband went to a strip club. And in the best sort of way. Not that I am better than any of these folks - just that it's interesting how your feelings change as life goes on! *philosophically shakes head at the craziness of it all*

SuperGogo

@Lily Rowan But, but...this one is lacking because no one (yet) is hurling accusations about who's insecure.

Daisy Razor

@Lily Rowan There has been a lot more annoyance at the fact that we're even talking about it than I was anticipating. I had no idea everyone was *required* to read the sex work posts.

atipofthehat

When can we move on to glory holes?

boyofdestiny

@atipofthehat "Everybody Relax: Nobody on the Craigslist Missed Connections Wants to Sleep with Your Fiance"

applestoapples

@boyofdestiny "Everyone Relax: No One On the Other Side of That Rest Stop Stall With the Busted Door Wants to Fellate Your Fiance"

Tailfeather

@boyofdestiny "Everybody Relax: Not One of Those Republican Senators Means Anything by the Casual Cockshot He Sent Your Fiance"

scully

@atipofthehat "Everyone Relax: No One On the Other Side of That Rest Stop Stall With the Busted Door is Female"

leonstj

@atipofthehat "Everybody Relax: If I was looking for safe, I wouldn't be sticking my dick in a hole in the wall"

cat of the canals

I knew this would happen without Relationshapes /_\ O [_]

DrFeelGood

@cat of the canals Good point. Let's flash mob Hairpin HQ for more Relationshapes.

Mimi Killjoy

@cat of the canals It's going to come back. I can feel it.

DrFeelGood

@Mimi Killjoy Don't even toy with me about Relationshapes, I will cut a bitch!

atipofthehat

@DrFeelGood

The paved paradise, and put up a strip club.

DrFeelGood

On the one hand, I love that the Hairpin is like a reflection of our collective id. On the other hand, I was promised an "Ask A Male Stripper" and this is "The last mediocre time I had a lap dance".

shenannies

@DrFeelGood I am not a male stripper but I can tell you one did sleep with my female friend in a gay bar a few weeks ago.

maevemealone

@shenannies That's awkward, usually you have sex with them in the back of the bar.

DorothyMantooth

@shenannies A girl I knew in high school actually dated one for a time. I believe his (stage) name (and I am not making this up) was "Stevie Steve."

(And when Edith promises "Ask A Male Stripper," I believe she will deliver!)

El Knid

@DorothyMantooth Is he like the white Doug E Doug?

DorothyMantooth

@El Knid GASP. It didn't even occur to me that it might have been "Steve E. Steve"! Now I can't decide which is better.

forrealz

I've heard that another good reason not to drink at the strip club is that the bathrooms are generally used for another purpose by those who don't want to buy time in the private room.

DrFeelGood

@forrealz Wait, I thought you wore 3 pairs of Depends to the strip club, or is that just me?

DorothyMantooth

@forrealz The ladies' rooms at strip clubs are sometimes also the changing rooms for the strippers themselves! True fact.

Hot mayonnaise

@DorothyMantooth: The mens' rooms are typically built for multiple people's use and contain a "valet" who wants a tip for handing you a paper towel.

leonstj

@Hot mayonnaise The Toilet Attendant, in any kind of club, is just THE WORST. I always feel so terrible, but like, please, how can this exist?

Cuz I grew up "poor" (by which I mean "blue collar in a town where people had nice things than I did, not actual like, "will I have food" Poor) I am severely allergic to not tipping, and I also feel cheap / awful if I ever try to pay a service professional in coins.

Which means I have to give the guy handing out paper towels a fucking dollar bill. To hand me a paper towel. And I get it, his job sucks, but WHY DOES THAT JOB EXIST? Seriously, there is no occupation as entirely pointless on earth. It actually makes the whole "hand drying" transaction longer and more akward.

It's like setting up a toll in the middle of a Taco Bell drive-through.

DorothyMantooth

@Hot mayonnaise "Valet"?? Fancy!

Moff

@DorothyMantooth: The amazing thing is that it's actually even fancier if you pronounce it "val-ett."

sarahf

@leon.saintjean I've found a lot of clubs and bars in London have these valets, and one of my friends told me that while their job APPEARS to be handing out soap and paper towels, that they're ACTUALLY there to deter drug use. Apparently.

stalkingcat

OMG, you don't even know about all the crazy M__s V___s stuff!

For one thing, I thought that there was now a six foot rule in all nude clubs in Tampa. This was a big thing a few years back when they instituted it. I didn't realize they had revoked it? Or maybe they were breaking the law for you! It was a big deal when it was implemented because basically Joe Redner, the owner of the establishment, basically went off, like a 6ft rule was an infringement of the First Amendment or something. Redner ran for mayor and kept running for city council in Tampa. He even got featured on CNN when a chair got thrown at him on local cable. (He's the guy with the pony tail.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uaEpZR_hHw

Redner, who is multply married and multiple father, then came out as gay so he could sue the county when the county had put in an anti-gay ordinance. He lost, unfortunately. (And Key West and St Pete started advertising how they were gay friendly.) After he lost, he got a new girlfriend. (No bf was ever produced.) So he changed his story to being bi with a wink.

I don't pay attention to local stuff as much anymore (not after our local alt weeky turned into crap), so I can't tell you any updates.

slough

@stalkingcat I was thinking about the 6 foot rule while reading this, too! Makes sense that MV would be the place to break the rule if, in fact, the rule still exists.

Also, I had totally forgotten about the fake-gay thing, THANK YOU for bringing that up!! Oh, Tampa. My mom once got me a Starbucks mug with the Tampa skyline that had the caption "Tampa: America's NEXT Greatest City." Lord. Sort of makes me love and hate it at the same time.

melis

I'm a little embarrassed how long I thought that the "six foot rule" you mentioned was some sort of regulation about stripper height. Like...like all the strippers in Tampa had to be very very tall. For safety reasons.

sox
sox

@melis No melis, you're not alone, except I thought it was patron height, like "you have to be this tall the ride the rollercoaster."

stalkingcat

@stalkingcat LOL Ooops, sorry. I'm flaking out too much today. Six Foot Rule = Dancers must stay 6 feet away from patrons at all nude clubs.
Although maybe MV has instituted a rule where dancers have to have 6ft long arms? Or else have very, very, VERY flexible spines to be able to writhe on a lap while their feet are 6 ft away.

noodge

i'm waiting for further dissection of the stripper phenomenon:
- it's just a pole: how a new dancing craze unleashed my inner goddess and unhinged my marriage
- she's just a stripper, but it turns out it was love too
- too many singles: how to tell if your guy is sneaking out to strip clubs

Tailfeather

@teenie "The Accidental Stripper: A Story in Words"

melis

"Pour Some Sugar On Me: How Stripping Opened My Mind, Strengthened My Core, and Cured My Type I Diabetes"

Tailfeather

@melis "Zen and the Art of Detachment: Stripping Your Way to Minimalism"

    radiofutura

I'm feel partly responsible: http://www.theawl.com/2011/06/the-99-days-of-summer#comment-202854

punkahontas

My husband always returns from bachelor parties with hilarious tales of awkwardness. One time the groom RAN AWAY from the lap dance once he figured out what it was. They all keep going though, because it's a right of passage.

jfruh

I'd just like to add re: just-other-side-of-the-Canadian-border strip clubs: they are derisively known (in Buffalo anyway) as the "Canadian ballet". Also, one of the clubs, which advertised seemingly non-stop on Buffalo classic rock radio, used the tagline "Where by law, you see it all," which made me wonder: was there a Canadian law that mandated full nudity at strip clubs? It really is a different country.

atipofthehat

@jfruh

Toujours frais.

KatnotCat

@jfruh I am not familiar with the Buffalo accent--do "law" and "all" rhyme? If not, then yes, that tagline sounds almost menacing.

laurel

@jfruh The strip club in my town used to have a tagline on its marquee that said, "Harmless Visual Stimuli". It has to be the unsexiest statement ever.

And also tremendously awkward and passive agressive, but that's beside the point.

DrFeelGood

@spiralbetty My fav is one I spotted in Nashville "Hundreds of Beautiful Girls and One Ugly One".

melis

I live about a block away from a strip club with the most confusing marquee I've ever seen. It's a semi-anthropomorphic pink poodle with a sort of tousled pompadour hairstyle, presumably a leftover from the days when people considered ladies dressing like small animals to be arousing. But this is not a sexy lady sort of dressed like a dog, or a dog shaped like a human lady. It is just a dog with eyelashes! Also, she is prominently displaying a DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING and winking insouciantly at the middle distance. For the life of me I cannot figure out what the selling part of this sign is supposed to be.

DrFeelGood

@melis It's catering to furries who are also newly engaged men. You should investigate, the inside is probably filled with furries.

melis

Right? How inscrutable is this sign! SO INSCRUTABLE.

...Are we neighbors?

Moff

@melis: I dunno. Two sex shops in one day sounds pretty good!

(The sign is ABSOLUTELY inscrutable. The engagement ring is what makes it art.)

(And no! I just Googled "pink poodle gentlemen's club." I am MAGNUM FUCKING P.I.)

laurel

@melis Her poodle fluff appears to be made of brains.

(BRAAAAAAAIIIIIIINS)

Quinciferous

@DrFeelGood We have that one in Kentucky, too, so maybe it's a Southern trend? My twelve-year-old self really wanted them to show an actual picture of the "ugly one."

I also wanted to know more about her placement and activities in the club: was she prominently featured, maybe on a pedestal or on a small stage of her own? Did she come out during the middle of a group dance in a shower of sparks? Did she have a special outfit? Granted, this was a crummy club in Kentucky, so probably no Vegas-style feathers, but this is what I wanted for the One Ugly One as a kid.

Moff

@Quinciferous: That's the Dèjá Vu. They're everywhere!

Quinciferous

@Moff Yeah! I have to compliment you on your excellent skills in strip club recognition on this thread.

saythatscool

I enjoyed this, Spencer. Really well done and a nice epilogue to the other stories.

leonstj

I like that rather than talking about lapdances this has become "What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Stripper-Related-Experiences," to use a fucked out internet trope.

Now someone should write "The Best Time I Wrote An Article about Stripclubs"

Tuna Surprise

@leon.saintjean - if the guys from The Awl take Cho to a strip club to celebrate his new job and one of the interns live blogs it, the Internet will officially be complete.

theharpoon

The Strip Club Was Built to Last But the Implants Were Too Gross?

leonstj

@theharpoon Oh echoing the gross implants in the article, my first time at a strip club I was 18, and it was full-touch and this was actually my first time touching naked breasts, which, sad trombone sound.

Anyhow, I'm approaching them awkwardly, and the stripper, obviously full aware I had no idea what to do with a handful of boob, says to me "Be gentle, they're only a few weeks old."

Tuna Surprise

@leon.saintjean - Amazing. I'm going to misappropriate this anecdote to use as my own. Please let me know where to send the royalty checks.

winchesterwolcott

@leon.saintjean Really?? My friends says hers were black and blue for months afterward.

JoshUng

I like how you censored Mons Venus in the article even though the photo has its sign in it.

Some are better than others, definitely. But I definitely agree, the biggest "problem" with lap dances are not knowing whats allowed, or encouraged, or forbidden, etc. You don't want to sit with your arms at your sides if you don't have to, but you don't want to get tossed out and beaten by security guards either.

a horde of great crab things

@JoshUng I like how there's a stripclub with the word 'mons' in its name, despite 'mons' being the least sexy word in the entire English language! (Okay, it's Latin. You know what I mean).

ennaenirehtac

@discodamage You should come to my new club, Pubis of Aphrodite.

a horde of great crab things

@ennaenirehtac Pubis pubis pubis pubis! Now *that's* one sexy word.

Tina Steele Wiltzius

I live in the Tampa area and pass that Mons Venus every day on the way to work! There are a gazillion strip clubs on that street. I guess because it's on the same road as the football stadium?

I've never been to a strip club in the States, but I've been to one in Canada. They wouldn't let me sit by the stage with the guys I was with. No chicks allowed. I don't know why. Fun fact: this was back when the US dollar was strong, and the women were really excited to get tipped with US dollars.

That's all I got.

melis

I know a lot of strip clubs frown upon female guests because they're concerned you might be there to poach the in-house strippers' clientele. If you're a local sex worker, showing up at a strip club and picking up some drunk, horny guy frustrated by the club's no-touch policy is like shooting fish in a barrel full of lube. This policy has frustrated many an honest-to-God lesbian, as you can imagine.

parallel-lines

@Tina Steele Wiltzius In NYC a woman/group of women cannot enter a strip club without any men because they suspect solicitation. They usually try to get around this by charging women an exhorbitant cover charge, but it's weird...

Charismatic Megafauna

@melis Oh this gave me a sad image of fish drowning in lube :(

hotdog

I just thought this article was sort of boring and lacked sparkle. Does that make me insecure?

SuperGogo

@hotdog THERE we go. As I was saying above, this post really doesn't fit with the rest of the genre until the insecurity label starts flying.

El Knid

When guys say that they don't like lap-dances or strip clubs, it often comes off as semi-veiled bragging, implying that its some sort of inherent superiority that makes them "over" lap dances. (Spencer Lund, to his credit, isn't so transparent.) Sometimes they seem like they're saying they're to smart or too enlightened for them; sometimes they're suggesting that they don't need to pay women to dance for them, and sometimes it just comes across as yet another channel for reflexive hipster contrarianism (maybe they'd like them better if the strippers were wearing vinyl?)

Now, I also don't like strip clubs, but I'd posit it's not because I'm any hipper or more "evolved" than your typical nudie-bar-loving ex-frat-boy, but owes actually to most of my worst qualities -- insecurity, narcissism and ego, more than anything else. Like Lund, I don't like lap dances because I can't relax enough to enjoy them, only it's not because I'm having to fight any natural instincts to fondle or squeeze so much as to make jokes, or say something clever or insightful, or otherwise win the approval of the dancer.

There's nothing noble or enlightened about not being able to suspend disbelief and forget for a moment that the girl is only vigorously grinding her ass into your crotch for tips. It just shows you how big a role an ego boost plays in your ability to get aroused. Take that element out of the equation, and I find myself kind of lost. Strip clubs are loud and strippers tend not to want to waste any of their time, so there's usually only a small window for barely-audible small talk before there are boobs on your face. How can I show the stripper how not like the usual strip-club-attending loser clients of hers I am? Maybe I should ask if the DJ could play some YACHT, or at least LCD Soundsystem. Is there anything funny I could say in this situation? Is there any way to convey that I'm getting this lap dance ironically?

Basically, there's nothing self-flattering about paying a girl to touch you. You are ostensibly full of want, she wants nothing more than her shift to be over. Showing the desperateness of lust makes you vulnerable, and the bored object of your lust is waiting for a tip. How can it not be humiliating -- it's porn that can see you. So no, I don't like lap dances, but only because I'm a neurotic bundle of insecurities in constant need of affirmation, and I suspect I'm not even remotely alone in this.

Moff

@El Knid: Interestingly, pointing out that guys' saying they don't like lap dances comes off as semi-veiled bragging also implies some sort of inherent superiority.

This must be the Internet!

El Knid

@Moff Yes, I'm implying the existence of some sort of inherent superiority, but think I do a pretty thorough job of excepting myself from it.

Moff

@El Knid: WHOA, SON. You just DOUBLED DOWN.

atipofthehat

@El Knid

Isn't this a fancier version of the annoying brother-in-law in the comments earlier this week, insisting that everyone wants it but not everyone will admit it?

When, in fact, what some people want can't be bought or rented or compelled.

Moff

@atipofthehat: Everybody does want it, though.

We're still talking about my wang, right?

El Knid

@atipofthehat Does being fancier make it more or less annoying?

But, no, I actually totally agree that some people want what can't be bought, rented or compelled. When that something is a unique pair of vintage sunglasses that anyone can't just go out and buy, that person is called a hipster, and we laugh at them. When that something is working off her student loans and/or boob job, why should we praise them for it?

It's just another way of wanting to be admired for your exquisite taste and individualism, only with a hint of penny moralizing thrown in.

El Knid

@Moff I'd believe that your wang couldn't be bought or rented, but c'mon, it could totally be compelled.

laurel

@El Knid "Porn that can see you" seems awfully apt.

atipofthehat

@El Knid

I don't think you caught my meaning.

Bubbles

@El Knid I just want you to know that you can hear YACHT and LCD Soundsystem on the regular during my stage sets during which I am completely fucking sincere about my enjoyment of dancing naked to DFA artists.

hotdog

This just in: I am hotdog, I don't like lapdances, and I am INHERENTLY SUPERIOR.

hotdog

@hotdog also I am thinly-veiled. sexy, right? sexy.

saythatscool

@hotdog fuck yeah!

Xora

I feel weird now because, in real life, I write books. I just finished a book that includes a stripper character, but (magic of publishing) it won't come out until May of 2012.

So now I'm paranoid that, when the book does come out, the 2.6 people who read it are going to be all, "Strippers? That's so Hairpin last week of June 2011!"

Xora

(Also: Yes, I'm aware that was a humblebrag and I'm a leggy, beautiful, superior, lonely woman.)

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@Xora: But do you also have a dearth of female friends?

Xora

@Too Much Internet No... but the female friends I do have don't seem very enthused when they give me lapdances. :(

perfect_cursive

Because I am not so sharp, I didn't realize that the name of the club is in the photo until it was pointed out in the comments. Before that, I was appreciating the Crime and Punishment-esque redacting. Now I know it is "Mons Venus" but I can't help saying "Moon's Vaginas" in my head b/c that is what I filled in the gaps.

zidaane

@perfect_cursive A quick google shows that band name is not taken.
It is a part of Peruvian mythology- "the white, disk-like guano bird nests were known as quillairaca, 'silver vaginas of the moon' and represented the sites where both avian and human lineages were reborn".

ennaenirehtac

@perfect_cursive I pictured Men's Vaginas in my head.

perfect_cursive

@ennaenirehtac So then, boyband? New version of Menudo?

ennaenirehtac

@perfect_cursive Totally new boyband. Like, the Lady Gaga of boybands.

sophi

Personally I fucking love talking about strippers. I am not trying to be sarcastic, I just honestly find the entire sex industry totally fascinating, and I like seeing articles about it on here! Apparently I am alone in this?

Moff

@sophi: No!

intheflowers

@sophi Nope you're not alone. I am also fascinated.

lizaboots

I have the dumbest question, and I'm super-sheltered-virginal-girl-at-the-slumber-party embarrassed to ask it, but: what exactly is happening on the dude's part during the lap dance? Like on a scale or 0 to 10, 0 being flaccid penis and 10 being ejaculating in pants, where do most dances land? Is it bad form *not* to get an erection during a lap dance? Do guys pay to get erections and then... just have them fade away eventually? And is it awkward to get erections with your friends and/or siblings and/or coworkers? Has anyone written a dissertation on how this homosocial tradition is kind of homosomethin' more? (No homophobo--just saying.) Am I the only one who doesn't know the answers to these things?!?!?

Moff

@lizaboots: This is just based on my personal experience, which, despite my having left a number comments now on this post, is pretty limited. But:

If you are getting an enjoyable lap dance, there are probably going to be some feelings of arousal, yes. And yeah, the idea is generally that you will have an erection (possibly several erections, over the course of a night!), but yeah, it will go away. Think of it kind of like going dancing at a club with attractive women! A guy will get pretty close to them and be able to feel the warmth of their bodies and smell their perfume, and could certainly be stimulated by the experience, and that part of it would be fun even though he isn't expecting to spoo out on the middle of the floor, and even though he might not get laid.

If you're getting a not very good dance, your experience is probably a lot like the writer of the post's! (And you're probably sober, too! Unless the woman is really, really good at her job, I would say the whole "This is fake and therefore uncomfortable and not that arousing" experience holds for a lot of guys.) Then you are at around 0 to 2 on your scale. Once a girl actually slammed her pelvis down on my private place repeatedly, I think because she thought it would be sexy. But it was not sexy. It was just jarring and kind of scary!

There are tales of both guys who cream their pants during a dance (presumably true, but wow, you'd have to be awfully close going on, it seems like) and strippers who encourage such a reaction, either by touching through the pants, or by unzipping the pants, or even going further (also presumably true, but yikes, skeevy/dangerous).

DrFeelGood

@lizaboots: Didn't you know, it's always like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pXfHLUlZf4

sp8ce

@lizaboots Ive heard of guys who will wear thin track pants or sweatpants to the strip club so that they can go from a 9 to a 10.

lizaboots

@sp8ce Thanks, y'all. Really wanted to work that link into my question, btw, @DrFeelGood.

qccv12

@sp8ce this is an unfortunately common occurrence in strip clubs; among strippers someone dressed thus is known as Sweatpants-Boner Man. Not very creative but clear. A lot of girls (myself included) will not dance for a man wearing gym shorts, sweatpants or the like. Ick.

glitterary

I know a guy who went to a strip club, got his credit card cloned, and lost £5600. Then he was too embarrassed to go to the police about it (but apparently not too embarrassed to tell his acquaintances?)

It was hilarious. Served him right for going to a skeezy club (on his own, not even for a bachelor do or anything) and for the next two months my female friend and I ribbed him relentlessly about how we'd totally have shown him our tits and thrown in a bit of lesbian action for far less than that. (Seriously, I was broke.)

Charismatic Megafauna

HOORAY FOR BEING GAY! The amount of stress that straight people apparently have over bachelor parties is giving me vicarious heart palpitations! My husband and I had simultaneous bachelor parties involving various kinds of debauchery (nudity! grinding!) all of which we narrated to one another continuously via text message mostly along the lines of "OMG you would not believe what G just did with a sandwich, this Hilton Garden Inn is going to send us a BILL!!!"

Maybe it's just my gay perspective, but I feel like bachelor party dirtiness is really/intentionally just camp? Right???

Also, I thank goodness that I have no hetero male friends who are as gross and jerky as folks 'round here seem to know. I am pretty sure I don't know one man whose desire to go to a strip club (or vulnerability to peer pressure) is so great he would FIGHT HIS FIANCE over it. But I admit I have not done a thorough and explicit survey!

DrFeelGood

@Charismatic Megafauna lol I love that it's the Hilton Garden Inn... and what did he do with the sandwich? Rub it in the carpet? Inquiring minds want to know.

Charismatic Megafauna

@DrFeelGood I can't even begin to provide more detail because it is a rabbit hole of memories that are magically absurd to me, but barely eyebrow-raising to anyone else. However, for your next social experiment, I can recommend unleashing a half-dozen clean cut straight guys in a gay bar in Manchester, NH.

winchesterwolcott

I'm so sad that I missed this mainly because I want to talk about how implants feeeeeel. I've had a bunch of friends with them but it would be too awkward/I'm too far out of college to ask to touch them. One person said that they feel like ripe grapefruit but that seems so hard. That can't be right? Stress balls?

lizaboots

@winchesterwolcott I don't know from personal experience. But I know a radiologist and he said breasts with implants are colder than the rest of the body. He didn't say anything else (re: hardness, etc.) but the cold thing had never even occurred to me before. So... factoid.

Sharada Prasad Mohanty

Really awesome.Evolution of The Six Most Common Techno Dance Styles.

http://funnyandspicy.com/evolution-of-the-six-most-common-techno-dance-styles

Matt Tuckey@twitter

WHAT?! In ManchesterEngland I've NEVER been allowed to touch. Balls to this. I'm moving to Florida.

UncleBob Martin@facebook

If you radiate 'essence of cop' (and, trust me, you do) no woman will give you an enjoyable lap dance.

seferant

You have a very nice furniture writing style that i appreciate. bean bags are a great way to show your point and the furniture and chairs are very comfortable in the home cheap bean bag chairs

KensingtonSquare

Kensington square is within a short drive to Little India, Orchard and city area. With expected completion in mid 2017, it comprises of 141 Residential units and 57 commercial units. Kensington taikeng

jimmyrapper

@julia I still come back to a column by A Dude a while back which was all "oh sex educator lady maybe it's SO easy for YOU to talk about feelings and sex and intimacy but it's way harder for the rest of us in the real world" or whatever. Communication is like, way hard.carpet cleaning battersea

jimmyrapper

Really impressed! Everything is very open and very clear clarification of issues. what does bubblegum casting do

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