Tuesday, November 20, 2007

american sex protocol (a love story)

When women are paid to take their clothes off, its always chaos. If you have never worked in this environment, you wouldn't understand. Being a patron is one thing, but working there is something else entirely. I went to work at Treasures when I left home at the age of 17. I was enrolled in college, having recently passed my GED, but I sold all my textbooks and moved in to an apartment with my boyfriend. After going to Eckerds one night and watching my roommate attempt to rob the place for wax candles to make bogus crack (another story), I thought "I need a real job"

So, my friend Erica, got me this job waiting tables at Treasures. I emphatically said NO when the manager begged me to be a dancer. Besides the fact that I promised my boyfriend and my mother that I wouldnt do it, I just knew I would not feel comfortable. Every time I tell someone I waited tables at a strip club, no one believes me that I did not take my clothes off. I had only recently become promiscuous, so, this experience shaped my entire views on sex and relationships for years to come. I went shopping for my G-String and Fishnet pantyhose, and got myself a tray and I seriously thought I would just be selling drinks, and pocketing a little cash.

What I witnessed on those first few nights FLOORED me. I honestly thought men were sincere, valiant, and wanted to work for your affection. I was confused. These men were Dionysus in Fantasia, beautiful women everywhere, drinking up the wine, slapping the women on their bare naked asses. I was appalled to say the least. I didn't know that men were SO highly sexual in nature, and that women could be SO greedy. And that these two elements of their makeup would converge, and do a strange dance of give and take all in front of my eyes. It jaded me, but it was a great lesson to learn. It has been the most enlightening social sexual experiment I have ever had the privilege to witness.
Being a waitress is a lot more fruitful than being a dancer. There are the men who want to see women naked and go home to their wives, but there are also the men who want the thrill of the chase. These men are the best customers. Waitresses don't typically take their clothes off, so, we are highly attractive to men like this. The chase begins, only I have far more tricks up my sleeve than they do.

For example, he will beg me to drink with him. Just one drink he says, and finally I agree to it, saying, I will drink him under the table. I order doubles for him, and non-alcohol zeros for me. Then I steal his cash when he's on the floor.
Or, if it's a big party of men, I will pad his tab, with drinks he didn't order, and get more of a percentage at the end of the night or pocket the cash. Fuck him, he's on a company credit card anyways, let his accountant sort it out. And in 1996, there was a law that said that waitresses could take their tops off, for a flat rate of 100.00 or more. Yeehaw. I could do that. I had perfect tits back then.

There is a huge riff between dancers and waitresses. I don't know why? Maybe its because if I see you sucking some guy off in my section or in the VIP room, I want my cut, or I'm telling management. But most of the time it dosent come to that.

One night, I fell down the stairs that go to the VIP room. A whole flight of stairs. Carrying a tray of drinks. They wanted to take me to the hospital, but my instinct said no. My torn fishnets were a testament to my injuries, and as a result, I made a ton of sympathy cash that night. In fact, on any given night I never left with less than 500.00.

I was offered tons of secretary jobs, but I am way too smart for that shit. But you gotta let them watch you gingerly slide their business card into your cleavage, and tell them that you will call and fax your resume on Monday morning, anything for the green.Whos bullshittin who??

There are Ivy League Strippers, who work their asses off, while their sugar daddies watch from the corner booth, making sure things don't get outta hand. There are Bored Housewives, who sit in the dressing room talking about their kids schools and swapping recipes, working when they feel like it. Crack Whores are the worst. They will steal your tips, and fight over men. Lolitas, well, they are too young to have any passion about what they are doing, their conscience gets in the way of making REAL money. They wander around aimlessly, waiting for someone to approach them, and break the ice. They just arent comfortable with their sexuality yet. Behind the curtain, the great and powerful Oz is merely the resident gay hairdresser, who advises the women, listens to their heartaches, and who most definitely longs to be a woman, and will clean up after them and cover for them just for the opportunity observe their customs and habits.

There were nights though, when I would stand in the corner of the room, and just watch. Watch my roommate take some young couple into the DJ booth, and wonder to myself if the girlfriend would freak out when they got home, pack up her stuff and move out. Ponder the oddity of the married Indian couple, eating dinner together, two feet from the stage; does he bring her here to make her more insecure? Fuck, she already has to cover her face. Or is there some secret here that I can't see? I would watch the dance between two strangers unfold at a nearby cocktail table. I would see them mouth the same tired terms of endearment to each other, "honey", "baby" and "money" until an agreement was met, and the ritual began. And its always the same moves, the same back and forth of the hips and the inevitable sliding the tits down his chest to his lap. And it would be a bad trip with bad lighting looking through an awkward lens, it would be the equivalent to looking at a National Geographic show, and seem so silly, and primitive to me, like animals, fulfilling their needs and I would wonder "aren't we better, more evolved creatures than this??"

We aren't. And I am ok with that. I learned from this experience, that you can't have love without sex, but keep your love out of your sexual stuff. It's a weird standard, but it works. I think that if all my customers had women in their lives who understood this principal, they wouldnt have to go blow their kids college savings at these places anyways. Maybe the men the frequent these places feel more comfortable expressing themselves sexually because the women that work there understand that concept, and we do, otherwise we couldnt work there. but for us its just a job. Or maybe its just more comfortable showing your cock to a stranger? hell i dont know. If the price is right, I will LOOK at anything.

I feel guilty about the stealing, but its the law of the land. The men are stealing a part of the women that they can never get back. I wont get all righteous and say that the women are losing their souls, but they lose a measure of self respect. And the more that you are on the inside of this world, the more you take its customs with you out into the street, and the same rules definately dont apply. But those frat boys and desperate husbands always get their moneys worth, or at least they think they do. And the women get their money, so its basically a victimless crime?

I left that job after 8 months. You can only witness so much, when your young, until you need a hiatus. But if I ever need quick cash again, I know where to sign up.

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