Doing my fifteenth dance of the night for the friend of a self-proclaimed Satanist, and I’m laughing, enjoying my night, enjoying my life, the guy is being funny and laughing at my jokes and on the second dance busts out with, “You’re better than this!”
Blankly confused, at first I think he’s not into one of my jokes. Then I think I get it.
“This—“ I wave my hand around “dancing naked thing?”
“you’re just better than this.”
I put my hand up. “I’m happy, that’s insulting, let’s move on.”
He didn’t seem drunk to begin with but he’s getting increasingly frantic and desperate that I understand.
“I didn’t mean it like that, I just mean you, you’re better than this.”
“Stop. Now. I have a college degree, I make as much as a white-collar business-man, I love it, and I’m happy. At what point do I appear to need better?”
“No, I know, I know, you’re just better. You’re better than this. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to insult you, but you’re—“
“Is there a disconnect between your brain and your mouth? I understand that you don’t want to insult me, but you are in fact insulting me and if you don’t intend to then you can just stop, relax, and enjoy the dance.” I’ve been dancing non-stop this whole time but I pause to make sure he’s listening. “Got it?”
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! You’re just better—“
“I understand that you are not intending to insult me, but you need to actually listen to what you’re saying and then stop saying it so we can continue with our fun.”
It’s like he’s lost his mind. “You really are better than this.”
I’m tempted to stop the dance but instead I lose my temper. “Shut up!”
Check to make sure I have his attention, keep my hand in front of his face.
Repeat,“I’m doing something I love, I graduated from college, I make as much as you do, and you are paying me to be in your lap because I’m hot and we both know I wouldn’t be here otherwise. This is not doing badly. This is doing much better than most people. You need to be quiet now.”
Announcing that I make as much as him does it, or maybe the reminder that he’s paying for my attention. He looks at me blankly.
“I’m really sorry.”
I keep dancing and he keeps apologizing (without bleating that I’m better), and when it’s over I charge him 100 instead of 80 for being totally annoying and causing me to lose my temper.
He pays and, “I’m an asshole,” he says mournfully.
Suddenly it’s hilarious.
“You don’t know when to stop talking, that’s for real.”
He nods silently.
“You know what? I know I just told you to shut up and got all mad but I’m totally not mad.”
“You could be mad. I’m an asshole. I’m so sorry.”
“Whatever, you’re not alone. You and my dad and probably lots of people. But you’re still wrong.”
He clearly still feels awkward. I try to cheer him up.
“Just think of it this way, you’re helping with my Sallie Mae fund.”
That does it. He relaxes and laughs. I don’t think he’s convinced, but he’s definitely not going repeat this interaction.
I go onstage in an obscenely good and cheeky mood, having made rent early with enough left to pay my car and home insurance and gotten to tell a customer to shut up, and gotten him to sincerely apologize and pause. Great!
It’s the same three at the rack who have been there for hours.
“What does that say?” one of them asks, pointing at my tattoo.
“It says my lap dances are awesome, you should get one.”
“What does it really say?”
“That’s what it says. Are you going to tip me or hold on to that bill til it breeds?”
“I don’t know, why don’t you be nice to me?”
“Because you’re annoying me. Go sit somewhere else.”
“I got a dance from your friend.”
He starts swearing. “You’re not even pretty!”
“And you’re insulting a naked girl. Who’s cool now?”
“You’re naked, on a stage!”
His friends, who had been cringing away from him for a while, hid their faces. I shrugged.
“You should get less asshole-y friends,” I advised.
One of them nodded.
just finished writing eight pages on a play where a young girl runs off to be a prostitute with her lesbian lover, much to the devastation of her father. 9ish more pages to go, but now it’s time for a bagel, the bank, and then bed.
 The Satanist, a man who, if he waxed his eyebrows into little vs, would have nearly matched Hammett’s description of Sam Spade.
 Which, just to be clear, is not a point for his team. When nudity or sex is involved suddenly people think that doing things naked for money that you wouldn’t do for free is degrading, but Alvin Leung isn’t going to make you a free dinner and Karl Lagerfeld isn’t going to give you a free anything, unless you are Beth Ditto in which case whatever. Getting paid for services is not degrading, especially if you enjoy yourself, and ftr I do. So no, being paid 80 dollars to sit in a guy’s lap for six minutes whom I would otherwise not go near is not proof that he is right and that I could do better, it’s proof that I’m doing right, that I made my exorbitant rent two weeks early, and that this whole argument is stupid.