I don’t often frequent strip clubs, I like to reserve them for those most special moments in life like birthdays, or right after failing exams. I find them dangerous places, it’s like another world in that dark, smoky space and for some reason they always put them in basements. There must be something about being underground that makes paying a woman to get naked seem more.. well above board.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m more than happy to pay for a woman to listen to my bullshit and then come home with me but doing it with cold hard cash makes it seem just a little too cold and hard, I much prefer a trade – I ply her with alcohol and she begins to understand my reasoning and eventually submits to my weak banter, the following morning we both feel bad. She looks over at me and feels she gave in too easy, I look at her and think I spent too much, it works because no ones happy, no one really gains.
I’m happy with that; I know fully where I stand. However, there’s something about beautiful girls soberly listening to my weak banter that’s just disorientating, it’s intoxicating and I think I could easily become to dependent on it, that’s why I don’t frequent strip clubs, I’d liken it to that if you got really addicted to cherry drops then it’s probably best not to give heroin a crack.
I went to my first strip club when I was maybe fourteen or fifteen, it was in Spain or Greece and the only thing that made the over priced beers that I hadn’t yet learnt to appreciate worth it was the scantily clad women drifting about. It wasn’t seedy, I wasn’t there to be pervy. It was more cultural understandings and rights of passage. I was there with a group of people I desperately wanted to impress despite meeting them only few days before and we were all trying to out do each other.
One of the girls approached me and asked if I wanted a private dance. I was being selected; it came as no surprise - after all I was wearing my best Ben Sherman shirt, my whitest trainers that seemed to glow in the darkness and on top of it all she could barely tell that my face was all screwed up from my tatse buds being all unaccustomed to hops.
Here I was being selected, sure it was her job to ask people for private dances but this time it wasn’t like that, there was a real connection here. She obviously didn’t want to ask me to pay but her boss was watching so she didn’t have a choice, it was convention and she couldn’t dodge it. I agreed to the dance, undid a button on the Ben Sherman and took a swig of the warm beer which screwed up my face like a slapped arse, she could tell I was a catch.
You could try and tell me that actually there are two grades of strippers, those that can allure the sad rich men, and the lower rung that generally get most of their work essentially intimidating minors to part with all of their holiday money, money given to me for ice creams and soft drinks by my grandparents. These are the ones who are a little uglier, maybe even a little past it. You could try and tell me that the latter was the exact scenario I was in, but I wouldn’t have believed you.
My stripper wasn’t mature, she was experienced and that’s why she chose me, I looked the experienced twenty-something with my beer and my Ben Sherman, and it was an American beer so in this country I guess that makes me cultured.. whatever it was, to her I wasn’t fourteen.
Also don’t think the rumours had escaped me that if a stripper is smiling when she’s giving you private dance it means she really wants to have sex with you, I was looking for just a flash of teeth, maybe a grimace or even a yawn – even if she was just trying to flick some food out from between her teeth I’d take that as a sign.
She was smiling throughout, I think she found it endearing that instead of just handing her over a note I counted out all thirty Euros in coins, out of my bum bag. It shows I’m security conscious and also good at counting which impresses girls. I know this because I know girls.
Once the money had been exchanged (which I’m still sure is just a formality that I insisted upon and she didn’t really want to have to do for me), she told me the dance would last two songs or three minutes, whichever came first. Part of me wondered that for two songs in three minutes the DJ must be particularly over zealous, the other part just hoped that either came before I did.
The dance began, I was expecting nipples and she took down her thong. This must mean she loves me, even the Greeks can’t be this European and surely she isn’t as loose with all her clients, it’s just that I must’ve created quite the first impression. What I did find confusing was how she was being very provocative but then kept pushing my hands away, I reasoned she must be very religious and was saving all the touching for after we wed, I couldn’t believe my luck-she was a virgin.. like me!
As it turns out the three minutes must’ve expired before the two songs because as quick as that she stopped, mid groin thrust. I couldn’t believe it, here I was trying hard to control myself and she was the picture of self control restraint, I loved her even more.
This was probably just another formality to fool her boss.. inside she was all lust and raw passion like me, like I said she just handled herself well. She was quickly becoming marriage material. I started to think about the next day, I think I could fit her in to meet my parents just after the jeep safari and just before the family football match, maybe she could play. I assumed her hours were mostly in the evenings so that freed the whole day up for us. I knew she’d get along with my mum, after all they were about the same age so would have loads in common, and I couldn’t see my dad not liking her.. I mean she was so captivating, and with barely a grasp of English too.
I imagined life after this holiday, I had a couple of weeks left of summer holidays, she could meet my friends and we could hang out in the park, then once term started she could pick me up after school at three fifteen. Who knows maybe she could start up a Greek club, or a dance class or something.
My imaginings quickly evaporated, I think I’d been sitting there all eyes glazed and thoughtful for at least a further two songs and I think she was worried she’d killed me, or blown my mind with her traditional Greek dancing, I couldn’t believe how raunchy this traditional Greek dancing was, and why it always had to be done in private.. my dad would know, I made a mental note to remember to ask him.
After my musings had stopped I could see my queen in all her beauty, true she was carrying a bit of weight but it was firm from all this dancing. Sure she had sideburns, but I could sense that I’d be growing them soon so she could teach me how to keep them so well trimmed. Ok, her scarred prostitute’s body was a little more ‘weather-worn’ than I expected my first lady’s to be, but you have to make these sacrifices for maturity.
I pushed all these misgivings from my mind and set about thinking how tell her about my parents, my home back in ‘Ing-land’. Suddenly it was like she was gesturing for me to leave, this couldn’t be right, perhaps just another formality? No, she was definitely trying to get me to go; she was sort of pushing me while trying to replace her underwear which gave me my first flash of vagina which I’m also going to describe as weatherworn. I had no choice, clearly it was so dark in here she’d forgotten about my Ben Sherman and probably couldn’t see my man-face while glugging this beer. Maybe she was suspicious that this beer hadn’t gone down despite me repeatedly swigging it throughout the dance. If only I could pretend to smoke that’d reignite her interest, but I was fresh out of candy sticks.
The curtain was still closed, we were still alone, I had one last option.
I began to dance for her, I don’t know if it was the newly liberated button, or the sporadically long, lone chest hair poking through, but for some reason she was enjoying it. She’d taken my seat and was clapping. My hips were whirring, thrusting the air, and she was mine again. I’d entranced her with my hand moves, hypnotised her with my hips I was ready to explode with desire and I knew she couldn’t be far off. I began to unbutton my jeans.
Quickly as that, with barely two buttons undone her smile disappeared, the clapping stopped and she pushed me out of the room through the curtain. I was very much caught off guard by this sudden change of reaction, it takes some double standards for her to disapprove of my dance being too raunchy from the undoing of two buttons. And being hastily pushed through the curtain I was still trying to re-button my fly in front of the assembled strip club clientele, partly because they weren’t aware it was an essential part of my routine, and mostly because they were strip club clientele it probably just looked like I was having a wank.. which I wasn’t.
She was an efficient woman though, within one song she’d successfully got me to hand over the rest of my money then kicked me out the club, my beer was still in the booth but I knew she wanted that to remember me by.
Besides, all this was probably just a formality. If I’d have waited around she probably would have met me around the back after her shift when her boss wasn’t suspicious to tell me in broken ‘Ing-lish’ that it was all a clever rouse and she couldn’t let me know just in case I gave the game away. Then I’d say that we should go back to my hotel and the next day she could meet my parents on the jeep safari.
Alas I couldn’t stay, I had promised my parents that I’d be home early because we had a jeep safari the next day, also I don’t think the bouncers were in on the rouse because they were looking at me like we weren’t friends.
True on that jeep safari when we stopped for ice cream my little brother and sister got one and I didn’t, but while they were surviving the heat with soft drinks I had memories, memories of the woman I let slip right through my fingers. I was also trying to convince my dad that a lizard had eaten all my holiday money some time during the night.
So here I am, not married to an ageing Greek stripper, just wondering if I should have waited.