“No, cookie, no touching,” I coo at the man whose lap I’m sitting in, once again removing his hands from my boobs and squeezing them tightly. “Remember? We don’t want me to get yelled at, that’s not hot.”
He looks grumpy. I turn my back to him so I can stop smiling at him, but I keep my grip firm on his hands. He just did not seem to grasp that swiping at my nipples and squeezing my hips still counted as touching, so now I have to keep holding his hands, maneuvering through the dance awkwardly because letting go would invite a lot more trouble. I squeeze harder, then as hard as I possibly can, trying to mask my enthusiasm about my new hand-breaking tactic by acting really into the dance. Turn around, look him in the eye, squeeze even harder and hope I break a knuckle. “Oh YEAH!” He looks not into it. I feel pleased. The dance finally ends. He hands over two twenties and asks for change.
My friend Autumn told me about a girl who would charge extra for high maintenance men, and in fact my dear proselytizing Christian-stripper friend Zoe (giver of the Jesus Loves Porn Stars New Testament) would also charge for things as basic as boners, which sounds insane except we worked together at the last by-the-book club in town, where dances are still so squeaky clean that I can’t believe people pay for them.
This tactic is hit or miss. You have to judge your man carefully–I used to do it until just the other day when a guy had tried casually resting his hand on my ass in what I could tell was a precursor to casually jamming his fingers into one of my orifices. Sometimes you just know. I would move away and BAM there his hand would be again, fingers slowly edging down. Again with the hand holding. Do guys secretly just need their hands held? I told him I was keeping the gratuity as an attempted fingering fee, and he was outraged. The manager came after me while I was sitting with another customer.
“You can’t charge extra, that’s what bouncers are for. Just have them talk to him.”
Right, the bouncers who were nowhere in sight during the dance, and who also let two different guys in the past few weeks get on with their fun strip club outings after slapping my ass so hard it left marks. I’ll go right to them.
I gave her back the five dollars and then got the new guy into the back room & myself through the night without further incident.
So this guy, Boob Grabby, he wants change. While I don’t think he deserves change, I also don’t think I deserve another talking to. It’s the symbol of the thing that matters, the fact that they’re trying to take something that’s not on offer–I should be compensated for it. But on a practical level five dollars is chump change to me, so fine. FINE.
I actually don’t have it on me because I’m just starting my shift and haven’t even been on stage yet but this doesn’t deter him either. He leads me in search of a waitress who gives me change for one of the twenties and then I am finally shed of him. I walk in back to cool off. Wash my hands, check tumblr, drink my coffee, check twitter. Other strippers tweeting about what assholes customers are too. I feel calm and walk back out. The owner is walking towards me.
“What time did you get here?”
“Uh, 8.50?” (Late for me, I usually get here much earlier so I can get a good parking spot)
“Yeah right, what time did you really get here?”
“8.50! Check the time stamp on the cameras!” I should tell him I’ve been doing a dance and haven’t been on the floor but I’m too annoyed and flustered. Plus–it’s on camera and the bouncers clocked me when I went in. Another girl, this one legitimately late, wheels her suitcase by us and he gets distracted.
“Okay. Don’t be late, that’s ten dollars,” he schools me and heads after the other girl. Maybe to get his ten dollars.
Gotta keep going. It’s not personal, although I could really go there and say it is political, and blahblah they don’t have a legal right to charge us all these bullshit fees and by the way if I’m paying the bouncers twenty bucks they damn well better bounce whoever the fuck I say they should bounce, (Kidding! but at least keep people from hitting/licking/groping me. Seriously) &c&c&c. But it’s the most reliable club in town. The game may be rigged but it’s the best game in town. So what do you do? Get the smile firmly in place, stick a finger in your mouth, and keep going.
“Ooooh, hello! Are you two ready for your lapdance? I’ve always wanted to be the cream in a man sandwich. But I can do you individually if that’s not your thing. Mmmm, okay, let’s go.”
1–I don’t think I’ve posted a picture of this gem, so here you go:
Yes, Jesus IS wearing aviator sunglasses!
Sample of the text from Romans 2:14:
“Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. … If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs…”
(I don’t have word on my awesome new computer and I’m really missing the ability to make real footnotes!)