(Spanish burlesque star Evita Mansfield; Credit: Flickr/Ivan Gonzalez)
By Michelle Lhooq
It’s nearly midnight on a Friday in Times Square, New York, and I’m huddled outside one of the city’s most infamous gentlemen’s clubs.
My friend Iris Greene is a dancer there, and since the club tends to stop single girls from barging in on their own (they’re wary of prostitutes poaching their clientele), she’s preemptively told the bouncers that I’m applying for a job. After I introduce myself, the two burly men, who look like they’ve stalked straight off a Boogie Nights set, 70s moustaches and all, radio the manager to come pick me up for my “audition.” I have no idea how I’m getting out of this one.
As it usually does around this time of night, the mood in Times Square has started to shift from early evening exuberance to something more seedy, if not downright sinister. The theater types exiting their Broadway shows have long cleared the streets, the jet-lagged tourists have stumbled back to their hotels, and the crowds thronging outside the club seem looser, baudier and definitely drunker.
“I would take your coat off if I were you. You’ll never get a job here with so many clothes on,” one of the bouncers tells me, his eyes greedily unpeeling the layers of fabric sheathing my skin. My pulse quickens. In the awkwardness of the moment, I become keenly aware of how greatly clothing — or the lack thereof — defines the power dynamics of a strip club.
Simply put, those in control have the great privilege of keeping their clothes on. The clothed then exchange that other symbol of power, money, to exert their will — and what they want, desperately, fleetingly, is for the beautiful creatures around them to take their clothes off. To relinquish my coat then would also mean losing some of my agency; I pull it closer around me.
After a few minutes, one of the bouncers finally escorts me to the bar, where I’m told to wait for the manager. “I hope you have experience,” he mutters, casting another disdainful look at my incontrovertibly unsexy clothes cocoon. I’m surrounded by girls wearing far, far less.
All strip clubs have some kind of dress code. Most of the clubs in New York, especially in Times Square, are upscale establishments that require their girls to wear “gowns” — a euphemism for skin-tight tube dresses that wrap around their bodies and end slightly below their buttcheeks.
Seedier joints are called “bikini” clubs, which means exactly what you’d think: girls are only required to wear patches of cloth just around their naughty bits. What those patches of cloth look like — the color, the pattern, the cut, its aesthetic appeal — is rarely considered to be of much importance. After all, the thinking goes, she’s just going to be peel it all off anyway.
More than a fashion statement or an avenue for self-expression, stripper wear is fundamentally utilitarian. As my friend Iris puts it, “When the goal is to make as much money as possible, you need to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I wish I could give men more credit for having more interesting fantasies, but they really don’t seem to. The blonder, more tanned, toned and droney you look, the more money you’ll make.”
When it comes to general standards enforced by the club’s management, the rules are pretty simple: “Whatever it is you have on, it better look slutty, sparkly and easy to take off.” Thus, the vast majority of gowns have straps that tie around the neck — easily unraveled with a simple tug, allowing the stripper’s breasts to spill out effortlessly. Form follows function.
Back at the bar, the manager storms out of a back room, visibly coked out. Before I even have a chance to stutter my half-baked excuses as to why I’m not, in fact, ready to take my clothes off, he makes a neck-cutting motion with his fingers. “I’m not taking any more auditions tonight,” he barks, coke flecks flying from his flared nostrils. He swivels back to his den. Thoroughly relieved by this deux ex machina, I slide off my barstool and head to the pulsing main room where the topless girls are dancing.
Taking a seat between two French tourists, I gaze up at the shimmying bodies from my seat in the area right by the stage — the delicately-named Pervert’s Row.
Patrons at strip clubs are nothing if not fidgety, attention-deficient gazers; each girl gets just 15 minutes on the pole before a fresh body is trotted out. Therefore, every part of the routine is primed to maximize the profits reaped from her short performance. That, after all, is exactly what stripping is at its essence: a deliberate, choreographed act. Too much is at stake to leave up to chance — or creative expression.
Later in the night, Iris slips out of a $2000-a-night private room, looking resplendent with her blonde curls, red lips, and plunging white dress. “I’m so sorry I can’t hang out with you, I’m with an amazingly generous client who just wants to massage my toes!” she cooes. Her resemblance to Marilyn Monroe is hardly accidental.
“I once bought this stunning white dress that all of my colleagues loved, but it didn’t show enough boob. I had to shelve it,” Iris later tells me. “Now I make sure whatever I wear shows lots of boob and lots of leg, [and] I opt for a cleaner look. I try to keep it as simple as possible. That way I can mold my personality into whatever kind of fun a client is looking for. Versatility is key.”
Iris’ stripper costume is not an expression of her individuality, but a business plan calculated to maximize profits. And even though Iris and her coworkers flaunt different dresses, thongs, and sky-high stilettos in dozens of cuts and colors, their outfits are all merely different iterations on a shared them — all exaggerated expressions of traditional feminine sexuality.
For even though strippers are constantly transgressing social norms of sexuality and moral behavior in their line of work, their attire seldom challenges the boundaries of gender and the so-called “feminine ideal.” Ultimately, this adherence to classic modes of female sex appeal is central to their performative role within the walls of the strip club — a space that, as the Russian critic Mikhail Bakhtin put it, can be described as “carnivalesque.”
Strippers and porn stars, says Marcel Danesi, a professor of semiotics at the University of Toronto, are examples of “modern-day carnival mockers who take it upon themselves to deride, confuse, and parody authority figures and sacred symbols, bringing everything down to an earthy, crude level of theatrical performance.”
By pitting the sacred (say, the sanctity of human body) against the profane (the bald-faced lasciviousness of a strip club), Danesi argues that the “carnival” form aims to “critique traditional mores and idealized social rituals, bringing out the raw, unmediated links between domains of behavior that are normally kept very separate.”
Thus, by satirizing sex, gender and sexuality, strippers — in their hyperfeminine costumes highlighting boobs and bum — may act as court jester: revealing and challenging these entrenched norms from behind a mask.
“Through costumes and masks, these transgressive individuals take on a new identity, and, as a consequence, renew themselves spiritually in the process,” Danesi says.
This transformation, however, is only temporary. When the carnival is over, the catharsis is complete — and sexual norms (and bras, jeans and sweaters) quickly snap back into place.
MICHELLE LHOOQ is a writer and stripper shoe-enthusiast living in New York City.
14 Things I Used to Hate and Now Love Since Becoming a Stripper
1. My ass.
a) Wearing heels while doing squats and hip undulations (these two moves are the basic steps when performing a lap dance) has turned my sad white girl booty into a slightly less-sad white girl booty. I’m about six light-years away from a shelf, but that’s a hell of a lot closer than I was before I first showed a stranger my yoni and demanded 50 bucks in return. And I feel like that is progress. b) Contrary to every Cosmo sex-tips column you’ve ever read, stripping teaches you that Jiggle = Good! If you are in doubt, please refer to #9.
2. Men who ignore me when I’m walking down the street. (Or at least the ones who make no mention of the fact that I am a person they would like to fuck.)
You see, there was a time where I yearned to be sexually harassed on the street. It made me think that boys liked me. I was sixteen and would giggle with my best friend when cars would honk at us as we walked the two kilometres to the nearest Tim Horton’s:
Me, Age 16: Oh my gosh that truck driver totally thinks we’re hot!
My BFF: Oh my gosh oh my gosh do you think they go to our school?
That was ten years ago. These days, I prefer being gawked at in my work environment, where it’s profitable. Everywhere else, I like to be left alone. So thank you to men everywhere who leave me the fuck alone. I like you. But not in a like-like way; in a keep-up-the-good-work-by-continuing-to-leave-me-alone kind of way. Thanks!
3. Informal Education.
I used to be Joey fucking Potter. I loved school and thought the only way to measure one’s worth was by getting a full scholarship to Harvard.
Then I went to university. There, I learned how to get completely fucking obliterated on five dollars, and maybe a thing or two about punctuation and Socialist Realism. I was young and stupid and it was fun but there is no way in hell I am ever going back to school unless it’s fucking circus school. It’s expensive as fuck, you never sleep, pour endless hours and letters and words into a paper that no one will ever give a fuck about, and then you get a SINGLE LETTER GRADE telling you it kinda sucks. Then you get a diploma written in Latin so you can’t even fucking read it. Who is Zizek, you ask? IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. Go to a bar, chat up a stranger and stock up on some of the good shit.
4. My low-numbers bank account.
Cash is King, and that shit is in my mattress.* Having met every depressed and coke-addled Wall Street guy in Lower Manhattan, I know never to trust those bastards with any sort of investment. But don’t worry, I’m not one of those assholes who collects the dole while making a mint under the table.
*It is not in my mattress. I am not telling you where it is.
5. When people think I am a heathen or bad person or best of all - a SLUT.
During my Joey Potter years, I wanted everyone to think I was pretty, pleasant and smart. Now I get off on people thinking I’m dumb as rocks or spreadable like peanut butter. Maybe it’s a phase. Whatever it is, it’s FUN.
6. Cotton briefs.
When my mom used to buy me six-packs of Hanes briefs, I was mortified. I’ve wanted cute lacey thongs to wedge up my ass since I was nine. I know, it’s fucked up. I’ve since come around. Cotton briefs are comfortable and hot in a virginity-losing kind of way:
7. My scent.
That’s right - I love the smell of my pussy, and you should love yours too. It’s been identified by keen sniffers as ‘salmon,’ ‘puppy’s breath’ and ‘hot musk’ and it’s the fucking best. I used to think if my cunt smelled like ANYTHING and someone were to *GASP* smell or taste her, I would certainly die a thousand deaths unless I lathered her in Dove or better yet - just left the whole fucking bar of soap wedged up in there for the entire session of hanky-pank. Thank god those days are over. Come at my laundry hamper, panty-snatchers!
Gossip used to make me really nervous:
Me, Age 14: Oh my gosh are they talking about Sarah Sawishkison because if they are that means they could be talking about me, too because I just swapped Civics notes with her after third period. I hope they’re not saying anything good or bad or totally irrelevant because I don’t want anyone thinking of me, ever. Now I just fucking feed off it like a leech on a boner. I hang out in the dressing room just to touch base with who’s pregnant and who got busted for dealing coke to customers and subsequently getting in a cat-fight with the Queenpin.
Gossip is totally fun. And terrible.
It’s not that I’ve become a keen porn collector, but I can appreciate it now. Before I started stripping, I thought porn was gross and silly. A huge part of me still believes most porn to be hilariously gross; if I ever watch it I am laughing for at least 75% of the program. But being in the sexy business has inspired me to have this reverent sense of gratitude for it. Like, ‘Hey, look at how crazy awesome our fantastical imaginations are! Isn’t it nice to have some talented and generous actors to act it out for our viewing pleasure?’
10. Body Hair (and by body hair I mean my bush)
When I first caught sight of a single curly strand down there, I chopped it off with safety scissors. It’s been an itchy, painful and bumpy ride ever since. But now that hair removal is not so much a chore but a money-making necessity, I feel differently about my ghost pubes. I never really get to see my bush in full bloom. Nowadays, if I have a few weeks off I’m really into having that tuft of fluff at the pearly gates of my lady bit. It’s pretty! It’s soft! It reminds me what my natural hair colour is!
To my dismay, most of my clients are not of the 70’s-porn-watching variety. Consequently, I persist with the shave-job. I leave a little bit to remind myself and others that I am a woman, and not a four-year-old, but really it is my heart’s desire to grow some serious bush one day. And when that day comes I shall blow-dry it. With mousse.
11. Hot Pink
I used to think hot pink was tacky. I still think it’s tacky, and this is precisely why I find it so fun. When you wear hot pink you’re giving yourself license to be fucking ridiculous. This is a *severely underrated* freedom. SOMEONE GET ME THIS PUSSY DRESS:
12. A day without alcohol.
Don’t get me wrong - I fucking love alcohol. It’s fun and silly and slutty and Shoshana is my new favourite character on Girls after last Sunday’s Mean-Drunk-Girl episode.
But a day without booze is so fucking rare when your job is to be perpetually drunk, and when your non-stripper friends think you’re ‘so fun’ because you’re essentially a professional fun-haver. And they never see you having fun because that would be AWKWARD. So, when they do get to hang out with you, it’s like NO YOU ARE NO WAY ORDERING THAT SHIRLEY FUCKING TEMPLE. WAITER SHE WILL HAVE A LEMON DROP SHOT AND A TECATE.
It’s quite possible that every woman hates the idea of strippers until she either meets one, or becomes one. I thought they were drugged up attention whores with daddy issues. Now that I’ve seen the light, I know that we TOTALLY ARE attention whores with daddy issues (and of course there are drugs, but drugs are everywhere so let’s retire this strippers-are-the-only-addicts hypothesis once and for all). And we are taking these needs, wants and Freudian complexes and spinning them into GOLD. We are modern-day Rapunzel-stiltskins with expensive hair extensions.
This is quite possibly everything I could ever want in life: Gina Gershon as Donatella Ver-sayce
Nickelback makes men want to spend money. So now, whenever I hear one of their tracks (I couldn’t tell you which one; they all sound the fucking same) I am fondly reminded of having money thrown at me, and this makes me happy.
It’s busy season. Strippers everywhere are either drunk, hungover, or both - but let me tell you we are money-minded and if you’re friends with us but have some semblance of a regular job, you won’t be seeing any of us until February.
It’s November. I’ve got six weeks to make enough to last me through my tropical repose that should extend through January. It’s crunch time.
Lonely men are looking to cosy up in my divine presence… and I will be there to listen to their woes, giggle while holding a straw close to my lips, and tell them how powerful, funny and handsome they are.
November is also the month I vowed to steer clear of alcohol. Because why not. Because alcohol is bad for you but really because I’m vain and want to look good for a good while without needing a liver transplant.
Is it weird that I masturbate to my own self-awareness?
There are always loopholes in the sexy dancer business when we’re talking about the consumption of alcohol. Like, you have NO IDEA how many bottles of Dom Perignon I have dumped behind couches, chairs, onto the 80’s carpeted floor or back into the ice bucket. It’s wasteful and fucked up and tragic but it’s what we do. Because we want him to buy another bottle. Because he will. Because in the eyes of Mr. Money Bags, the drunker we get (or appear to get), the more our strict moral code unravels.
Because this is true, but it’s also total bullshit.
When I get wasted I get pretty loose-lipped and entertaining. Just like you, I’m a really fun drunk girl. But I’m a business woman first, stripper second, and drunk girl third. So no matter how slutty I seem, I am not going to get herpes from you. But you can keep spending in hopes that I will!
So the trick is to act drunk.
But sometimes the waitress forgets that you ordered the mocktail, and you can’t really, truly not drink an entire bottle of champagne that some dude bought for you, because he doesn’t like champagne but wants to make you happy.
Basically I’m drunk all the time, sometimes for real and sometimes merely acting like I’m about to fall over and need to grip the soft biceps of yet another finance guy for stability. Yet somehow in the deep recesses of my psyche I know that I’m not an alcoholic, because I’ve dated a few of those and they always piss the bed. I haven’t pissed the bed in at least ten years. (high five, me!)
So I’m in some sort of twilight zone where I’m perpetually drunk, yet I can’t tell if it’s sincere inebriation or an act. Where does my stripper self end and my real girl self begin? Is this an existential crisis and am I supposed to care when really I’m getting lady boners every time someone slips me a crisp new Benjamin?
Let me raise my glass to all my fellow strippers out there who are hustling hard, and I’ll see all you bitches in Tulum in a month or so.
One of rock ‘n roll’s most celebrated former strippers graced my laptop screen while I lay in bed this afternoon:
I curled up with some Ramen and a pressure headache to watch HIT SO HARD, the story of Patty Schemel: badass drummer of Hole, former junkie and forever and always rug muncher. My kind of girl!
It starts like this:
Naturally, I creamed.
All the grainy, hand-held shots of nineties babes really just made my day, and the irking inside me that urges me to start a rock band grew stronger and stronger.
Yesterday I was pretty sure Hank Moody was my spirit animal, but today I’m going to go with Courtney. Courtney Love is most definitely my fucking spirit animal.
I mean, I just love her.
And then there were these moments where I was just totally feeling Patty’s vibe:
Haven’t we all been there?
The reality is there aren’t enough true or fictitious stories about bad-ass babes.
There were a lot of dark moments about drug abuse and addiction, which, let me just say - I might have risked being a junkie at some point but I’m just too fucking cheap with my money. Seriously I just can’t justify dry-humping gross dudes for money that I will just burn or snort away on an area rug with a janky coffee table. I just can’t do it.
As we say back in Canada, “she could squeeze a nickel til the beaver shat.”
The full subtitle read: "She had an absolutely genius sense of humor about being a crackhead on the streets."
You see? Bitches, Cunts, Whores and Rock ‘n Roll Goddesses… we have character.
And we get to have happy endings!
Go watch this doc and come back to tell me what other ones I need to watch.
A hot blonde in lycra slinks in beside him. She sits with him for a while, drinking, giggling, and asking him all sorts of questions about his fascinating life. (The old man is in finance. He likes to run in Central Park. He drinks a gin and tonic. He relates to Bill Murray’s character in Lost In Translation, although he has never had the pleasure of meeting Scarlett Johansson in a hotel bar).
The hot blonde gets a few dances out of him, and they order some sushi. She gets up, excusing herself to “use the ladies room.”
The old man reaches into his wallet and hands her a crisp fifty dollar bill. Off she goes to smear on some more lipstick and check her phone.
The hot blonde is used to accepting tips. She is a stripper after all. She’s paid for every stick of butter, Metrocard and disposable razor with tips for over three years! But now she is Holly GofuckingLightly, the real deal call girl she always thought herself to be.
It’s a good day to be a stripper when it’s just like the movies and the scene repeats itself a few times over the course of the evening.
Five fifty-dollar powder room breaks later, the hot blonde fancies a croissant and a Givenchy gown. But she still fucking hates cats.
It’s the bottom of the night. I have no idea what this means in terms of baseball, but when you’re a stripper it means that you’ve only got twenty minutes to make the rent that you’ve struggled to hustle all night. Alas, it’s summer for strippers; our annual recession.
My manager stands behind a guy who just arrived. He rubs his fingers together, signalling that this newcomer has a lot of money to spend. I nod, and approach a red-headed rich kid who stands no more than five feet, two inches off the ground.
I go to shake Little Red’s hand only to notice that he would need to use both of his incredibly micro-sized mits to hold a baseball. I was a bit shocked, so I did a double take, as only does when you notice something unusual. When your job is to make someone feel special, you are only supposed to do a double-take when you’re noticing something a man would want you to notice, like his big hands or thick head of curly locks… not anything that registers as HOLY SHIT THESE ARE SO CUTE AND TINY!
Little Red blinks his translucent eyelashes at me, slightly embarrassed, and does his best to recover by flexing his pecks. “I surf a lot,” he tells me. It shows. His freckled skin is surprisingly taught over a network of heavily exercised and creatined muscles.
"So do you surf at the Rockaways?" I ask. It’s the only local surf spot I know of.
"No, I hate black people." he replies.
I reel, but do my best to keep my composure. I’ve barely covered my house fees tonight so I progress to the part where I extract money from this bigot.
"Do you want a lap dance?" I ask.
"Sure," he says.
As I dance for him. he chats with his friends and looks every which way that is not in my general direction. Small man complex identifier #45: Act like you don’t give a fuck.
The song ends, so I ask if he’d like another, to which he replies, ‘Sure.’
Little Red inquires about a private room, asking ‘what he gets,’ if he spends the thousand bucks for the full hour.
This guy is a totally rude, racist fucktard but I there is no way in hell I am taking the train home at this time of night so I grin and bear it a little while longer.
Little Red asks his buddy, “Hey, man, is she worth it?”
Buddy looks at me up and down. I try to smile, realizing that I am too sober to be appraised like a fucking prize pig.
Buddy is no more than twenty years old. He and I both have matching, massively fake diamond studs ornamenting our ear lobes.
"Yeah, totally, man. Go for it."
Little Red pulls out his phone, explaining that he has to check his bank account to make sure he can transfer the appropriate amount from his trust fund. I sit with my hand on his thigh. Never break contact with your prey until you close the deal.
This seems to take a long while. Offensive remarks are made about other dancers and patrons as Little Red’s translucent mug gleams blue from his citibank tinkerings.
Buddy takes a moment away from the nearly comatose happenings of the club, and looks to me. Loudly and emphatically, Buddy exclaims “He only wants a dance from you because you look just like his sister.”
Little Red blinks. He blinks again.
This shit disturber just totally fucked my sale and humiliated his friend. I don’t have the energy to YES-AND it, as a professional improv actress would. Shocked and incredulous, I tell him “You owe me a thousand bucks, you idiot.”
Little Red puts his phone in his pocket.
"Hey man I gotta go to the ATM, will you come with me?"
"Sure, I’ll go with you."
Buddy and Little Red up and leave. Little Red halfheartedly assures me he’ll be back in a minute.
I’m told a fight breaks out in front of the club.
I go home with just enough to cover cab fare and tomorrow’s lunch.
Welcome to a new series of brilliance, Stuff Strippers Like. I really loved Stuff White People Like and Stuff Lesbians Like and I feel like more people need to know what us Strippers like, love and adore because then maybe people will stop pissing us off and start buying us better presents.
What is it about this city that has strippers taking off for an ‘industry weekend’ (read: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and maybe Wednesday… we tend to have long weekends) all the goddamn time. You have no idea how many bitches I hear talking about MIAMI in the dressing room like it’s, well… MIAMI.
It’s hot, you get to look like a stripper all day and all night and yet you’re on vacation. Slutty pool wear is totally acceptable— nay ENCOURAGED by day, and when the girls go out at night, ass cheeks hanging out of the bottom of your dress is just as normal as yawning while listening to the woes of some meagerly-tipping client. Basically, you can look like a Bratz doll any day of the week and the conversation doesn’t have to end with PAY ME MOTHERFUCKER.
Every Missouri-born-and-bred douchebag immediately achieves mega-baller status because he’s only there for the weekend and they ain’t never seen such disproportionately epic titties before:
(Second search result when I googled “Girls Miami”)
… and nobody likes to disappoint a girl with an expensive boob job.
I know at least three strippers who are, as I type in this severely air-conditioned cafe, in Miami.
In spite of this, I have never actually been to Miami. As a very insecure pre-teen I would make like a Snow Bird and frequent Fort Lauderdale and Sarasota. Ma and Pa probably sat around the breakfast nook late one night before choosing where to spend their air miles:
Pa: “Well the cheapest looks here to be Fort Lauderdale… and that’s only an hour from Mi-“
Ma: “RICHARD You know I hate Disney World but that does NOT mean that we are going to take our children to where all the prostitutes even out their tan lines.”*
I mean, after Clive Owen, Will Smith is the hottest married man out there, and when he puts it like this…
Every time I come to town, they be spotting me In the drop Bentley, ain’t no stopping me So, cash in your dough And flow to this fashion show Pound for pound anywhere you go Yo ain’t no city in the world like this An if you ask how I know I gots to plead the fifth
(Mega baller Will Smith)
So now I feel like I really need to go here, for market research or a new g-string or something. For years I’ve been searching for the confidence to wear hot pink, and I think Miami just might have the answer.
*I’m old enough to have gone to Florida before spray tanning was a thing.
I don’t know HOW it happened, but a Chinese client was bold enough to take me into the Jungle Room last night.
By and large, Asian customers are very bashful when it comes to being alone in a room with a naked babe. Old, fat and rich white American ones are the boldest when it comes to getting bouncy in a private room, in addition to coughing up generous tips.
My client, hailing from Shanghai, has lived in Chicago for twenty years. His name is Jack, and after one vodka soda and some chit chat about my Canadianness, he invited me to the Jungle Room.
I didn’t even have to lay out a fancy sales pitch!
We decide to spend an hour together before he has to go back to his hotel for a conference call with his associates back in China. We get cosy, pop a bottle of champagne that neither of us have any interest in drinking, and I sit on his lap, fiddling with his lapels for the better half of 45 minutes. I dance a little, turning around and bending over to squeeze in a yawn.
"Can I see?" asks Jack, gesturing to my box.
"Sure," I offer, "But no touching!"
He nods in agreement and I take a seat opposite him. I unwedge my g-string from my ass crack (YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD IT IS TO MAKE THIS LOOK GRACEFUL AND SEXY), and slip it to the side to offer up a front row seat to my haphazardly shaven cooch.
"Woooooaaaaaaaahhhhh," says Jack, fixated on that which is *technically* forbidden in the state of New York when sipping booze in the company of strippers.
"Can I smell?" he asks.
Men ask to sniff my panties all the time. I mean, I get it, as hot girl cunt smells pretty fucking great most of the time. But before I became super empowered and dykey, I thought a woman’s scent was terrifying. Had I had the courage to buy a douche at the age of fifteen, I probably would have. But those days are long gone and now I’m selling panty sniffs like hot cakes.
Jack leans in a little closer, inhaling deeply.
He looks up to me, with a surprised look on his face like he found a Tiffany’s ring in a box of Cracker Jacks:
"Your pussy smell like salmon!"
"SALMON?" I repeat, hoping I misunderstood the statement.
"Salmon!" says Jack, nodding with unprecedented enthusiasm. "Is good smell!"
I love salmon, I really do. And I love my cunt, I really really do. But there are a lot of things in life that I love, like MDMA and family barbecues, and I love them separately because in life you really can’t have everything snazzy all at once; you’d have a brain aneurism, or maybe offend someone you care about.
But Jack loves salmon and pussy on the same plate, and you know what? I’m cool with that.
The hour ended, I slipped my kit back on, accepted a meager tip and went back to work.
To my own surprise, I DID NOT run to the bathroom to baby wipe every feminine fold, followed by several spritzes of deodorant and perfume. I just shook me head incredulously, saying to myself, “salmon.”
This morning I woke up, checked Instagram, then my email, then facebook, ignored any voice mails because anyone who leaves a voice mail is either geriatric or doesn’t know that I, LIKE ANYONE WHO MATTERS, doesn’t leave or check voice mail. (seriously do you really think you’re going to get money form me after leaving a fucking voice mail?) Then I waltzed to my fridge, opened it, stared at its emptiness, and walked to my local coffee shop for an iced coffee.
Then I listed to Stevie Nicks, watched a 90’s documentary featuring a lot of beautiful people who, in spite of all the cocaine they consumed in the last twenty years, STILL look beautiful. Then the mail man came to deliver me two books about me, only authored by other people:
(yes, of course that’s my middle finger)
Then I climbed the fire escape to my roof, to lay and tan for exactly 55 minutes. I wore SPF 85 sunscreen, but only on my face. My goal is for my everything-below-the-neck region to be ten shades short of leather by the end of summer (I’m a goal-oriented woman.) For some reason I cannot begin to understand, never mind explain, I’m just less keen to get cancer on my face than, say, on my shoulder. But if I knew all the answers to all of my issues, my therapist would be out of a job, and I just don’t think I’d be able to sleep in all morning if I knew I was contributing to the rise of unemployment in this country.
Now I’m writing this blog post, because I feel like it, and I might not feel like going in to work tonight because, well, that’s how life is when you’re at the helm of your g-string.
When you learn how to work less and less all the while earning more and more, you’re practically CEO of Most Hated Bitch, Inc. by the time you’re 26. Only you don’t pay any taxes.
And if you’re a fucking shitty friend and NOT already following me on Twitter you should do something about this RIGHT NOW because my ego just inflated tenfold and suddenly I feel more entitled to being even more cunty on this Monday afternoon than usual.
So I’m taking a night off work this THURSDAY so I can get up in front of a group of people who don’t want to see my tits (I mean let’s be honest, they probably do) and instead they want to HEAR ME SPEAK.
I may or may not be shitting my pants right now, as the very thought of being appreciated for my brain and not my box seems just so… REAL.
So come and get real with me if you live in New York and want me to tell you a bedtime story.
The event is being held by The Red Umbrella Diaries at Happy Endings Lounge at 302 Broome St. It’s FREE! Be there at 7pm.
Twitter is really great for sharing tips on how to potty train your baby, where the latest underground emo all-ages show is, and for tips on how to make men recoil when they attempt a suckle at your teet while you’re giving him a $20 lap dance.
In most cases I am pretty successful at maneuvering around thrusting tongues when I’m doing my thang. But sometimes I need to yawn, so I throw my head back ‘in ecstasy’ and gasp for a deep breath of oxygen to stave off the boredom. Perhaps you, too, have been here before: Leaning back, mid-yawn, I feel something GROSS on my precious fun bags. I look down, and lo and behold: some dink’s mouth trying to feed off me like I’m his wet nurse.
I lose my shit when this happens. It’s fucking gross. But ending the dance and fighting for your twenty dollar bill is not satisfactory enough. After all, strippers are vindictive bitches.
In my last post, I shared my prickly-leg strategy with y’all, which invited tweeter babe @VivianeMae to share with me that she slathers a bit of antibacterial gel on her nips to make them taste like ICK. It stems from the same tactic obedience school trainers use for quelling a barking dog: spray sour apple spray into their mouth. This strategy makes perfect sense when you remember that men, too are dogs. (If they could they would totally lick their own balls)
IMMEDIATELY after being tweeted about this new stripper secret I made a beeline to the nearest RiteAid.
I was digesting my twitter feed in a meadow, obviously.
I scoured the aisles until I found the hand sanitizer section. For all the subway riding that goes on in New York City, I was seriously disappointed by the meager selection of two or three bottles that all bore the RITEAID home brand and offered little to no variety in fragrance.
I grabbed one of each bottle and shielded my stash from the apathetic eyes of the stock-girl shelving Rogain on my right. Squeezing a dollop onto my index finger, I performed a taste test: Which one is the most repulsive?
I know, you’re extremely jealous right now.
But after each lick I tasted NOTHING. They tasted like NOTHING.
@VivianeMae I implore you, what brand of man-tongue-repeller do you use?
Yesterday, however, I learned something even RADDER:
It’s a new secret that I am just itching to share with strippers everywhere:
PRICKLY LEGS ARE A GODSEND.
When you’re sitting with a client, giggling, smiling, and smoothing out his lapels, trying to get him to invest in some quality time in the Jungle Room, your john will probably be reaching to your knees and thighs, because that’s what hungry men do. And, if your legs are freshly shorn and Nivea-commercial baby soft, then his hands are likely to keep wandering up, up, up to your honey pot. Then you have to tell him, with angelic flirtation, ‘no baby, not yet,’ when really you want to swat him away like a deer fly. Amiright?
Last night I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to raze away all my lovely angel hairs. I had a nice stubble that was on par with the handsome mug of Clive Owen.
The only man I would ever consider fucking
Needless to say, I feared it would affect my income.
I sat down with some nice old fart at the bar. He bought me a drink, reached for my knee and upon contact with my sandpaper gams, politely retreated his pervy paws. By the time I was sucking on the ice of my $20 “vodka” soda, he asked if I would join him in the Jungle Room.
He got wasted, we had a merry old time and he only occasionally pet my calves in a downward motion, never once reaching for the no-go zone.
Another *brilliant* repellent for mommy-issued titty-lickers was imparted to me by this total babe of a stripper who was spritzing Chanel Noir everywhere one night, and, because it wasn’t from Bath and Body Works’ Cotton Candy line for baby prostitutes, I decided not to throw a fit about my delicate respiratory system and asked her why she was spraying such a concentrated amount on her areolae.
"So when they go to lick you it tastes like shit," she says with a devious megawatt grin.
The lesson, Cunts:
If a man’s going to spend money, ain’t no thorns protecting your divine rose bush gonna stop him.
So save your razors, strut those sandpaper thighs and get back to me on this.
Today (or was it yesterday? Tragically, my diaries journals are in storage.) marks the THIRD YEAR OF MY GASH FLASHING.
Three years ago some lovely fat man paid me my first $50 to get my kit off and I tell you I’ve really been the happiest cunt since then.
At first I thought to myself I’d give it a few months, buy some diamonds and then be done with it.
Six months turned into a year, a year became ‘just one more year’ and now I’m twenty fucking six years old and my tits have not fallen to the ground YET so I am still at it.
So does that make me a lifer? Yes, yes it does. At least until I’m 29 or 30. And then I’ll take the pay cut or marry Rachel Maddow or maybe Kristen Stewart will be out of the closet by then so I can be her trophy wife.
Or maybe we’ll have an affair and she’ll pull a Tom Cruise and pay me to stay mum. I’m perfectly fine with either scenario.
Or maybe by then the internet will lead me to a miraculous commune of ex-stripper dykes and we will all live glitterly every after.
The point is, for now this suits me just fine and I’m not doing this to ‘get me through school,’ or to ‘buy diapers’ or whatever it is that so many judgmental skeptics want to hear when they ask me ‘what are you doing here?’
I’m making money off your delusional boner.
I am thinking of buying a cake. But year three in Hallmark anniversary years is LEATHER so really I just want a corset, some heels and crazy sex with my slam piece. So I’m going to go and do that.
Cheers to all of my colleagues who are rich with stories, dollar bills, self-esteem and gyrating poon-tangs. I love you all.*
*except for when you steal my clients. Then you can fuck right off and fall asleep in a pile of vomit on the floor in the stall of the bathroom that everyone avoids.
To shut up some haters when justifying herself as a titty-shaker to the internet, my redditor babe Menagerii took a jpeg of a nightly hull:
I don’t ever disclose how much I make to anyone, but sometimes there is no other way to tell someone to go right ahead and fuck themselves. Behold 3,345 hard-earned dollars. When a client asks how much money I make, I ask them the same question in return. In most cases they hang their heads in shame.
I’ve been stripping for over two years now, which means when girls make bank like this (and they didn’t steal a customer from between my thighs), I ain’t jealous. I could not have said the same a year ago.
WAY TO GO, GIRLFRIEND. I hope you went to the grocery store and splurged on some fancy cheese.
"I enjoy it too some extent," she writes. "May do moonlighting after I get a big girl job."
I am now wondering what my life will be like when I can’t don a pair of heels and act like a total horny slut for cash monies on a weekly basis…
But two strippers just had the best night of their life cuz this happened:
And where was I? On a bad acid trip. Seriously guys, never take Mexican acid.
Usually I don’t suffer from typical New Yorker FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), but I think I’ve decided now that since it’s REALLY trendy for actresses to come out as bisexual, and how it’s REALLY trendy to get married when you have lots of money and a few shitty or awesome movies under your belt, and how it’s SUPREMELY trendy to be sexually liberated and in charge of your libido and all that shit (I’m hoping this trend doesn’t fade; as the only kind of sex y’all should be having is good sex), that I can never, ever, ever miss a night of work ever again in my life. I have a feeling that a preggerz Evan Rachel Wood is gonna come in and want me to grind up all in her true placenta.
One of the great things about being a stripper is all the free time you have.
I work three days a week, seven months a year.
Most of this free time is spent doing frivolous things like picking my cuticles, looking at recipes I will never attempt, and masturbating. Recently, however, I started doing structured bitch-work, which most people commonly refer to as an Internship. It turns out I LOVE OCCASIONAL, STRUCTURED BITCH-WORK.
I show up and do Real Person jobs like mailing. I get to pilfer through all this free stuff these babes get sent for “review.” Most of the stuff never even gets reviewed. Like this AMAZING book I saw atop the freebie pile just yesterday. It’s on my personal reading list but I have yet to get my ass to a bookstore amidst all this free time I’ve been having for almost three years… so man was I ever stoked when my boss said casually, “You can have it.”
So now I’m reading SISTER SPIT and it’s totally rad.
Here is a poem that you should all read aloud to someone who sucks:
I’m going to memorize this and mix it with some dope beats and use it for my next stage show. The jury is still out on what sort of lighting I should use, so if you have any tips I welcome your input.
"I started Sister Spit because I wanted to go on a massive road trip, and I don’t drive. I started Sister Spit because I had a vision of a group slumber party with all the most interesting people I’ve ever met. I started Sister Spit because I was frustrated that all my friends are wild geniuses and the rest of the world didn’t seem to know this."
Michelle Tea is a total fucking babe.
I miss being on the road, y’all. Are there any strippers in the Tri-State area who are rad, can drive and want to go on adventure? Bonus points if you can beat-box over my mad rhymes. Inbox me and let’s go to Jackson or some shit.
You wouldn’t believe the gold mine one can so easily unearth when the letters S - T - R - I - P are typed into your Netflix search engine.
Back in middle school I heard the name Method Man bounce around the lunchroom as I fiddled with Jewel’s Pieces of You spinning and skipping in my allegedly SHOCK-PROOF discman. I still don’t know anything about his jams or raps but what’s important is that I now know that he LOVES strippers (I mean, who doesn’t, but whatever) and made a DOCUMENTARY about it.
It starts off like this:
“EVERY MAN. IN THE WHOLE WORLD. WANTS TO SEE A WOMAN. BUTT. NAKED” The cameraman then adds: “ASS ‘N TITTIES”
Then this guy goes on to totally win me over:
Travis Barker is the sidekick. In his first shot he looks more excited than I’d ever seen him banging on drums back when I was thirteen and taller than all the boys who idolized him.
Then (being the new stoner that I am), I realized that he’s not excited, but just seriously blitzed on weed. And so is everyone else featured in this documentary, for its entire seventy minute duration.
Method Man tells us that he is visiting strip clubs in five cities across America, beginning with New York City.
I was really excited to see which club they would pick/gain access to in New York. The sequence starts with an establishing shot of Manhattan and then Method Mad is like, “We’re at Sue’s in WESTCHESTER.”
I’ve lived here for two years and I guess I will officially become a quintessential New York asshole when I tell you that WESTCHESTER IS NOT NEW YORK CITY.
I will now dismount my high horse.
We are now in some other club in some other city:
One of Method Man’s cronies jumps right into a totally legit statement,
“I GOTTA ADMIT, Y’ALL GOT SOME DOPE-ASS TOES.”
Which leads him to asking a very pertinent question:
“How do you maintain that shit when you wearing those high heels?”
The scene then cuts to some twerking asses without anyone giving an answer to his query, which I will do now:
WITH GREAT DIFFICULTY.
The corns I have shaved off my feet on a weekly basis could feed a moderately-sized Bolivian village.
THEN I LEARNED THAT YOU CAN GET A LAP DANCE WHILE YOU’RE GETTING YOUR HAIR WHIPPED.
Seriously, America. You really have it all.
Then we have a magnificent scene where Scarface and Method Man are chilling in a garage somewhere. They are talking about their preferred pubic hairstyles on their Goddesses.
Scarface gets pretty serious and long-winded about his love for bush:
Scarface then gets so bold and breaks the fourth wall, reaching to the cameraman/boom guy’s sound thing (I’m lost when it comes to film production terminology) to really articulate his point:
I love when men talk about loving bush because it just seems so tragically rare these days.
Like Scarface, I, too, love bush this post seems to be getting a little long-winded. So here are some screenshots for your goldfish attention span:
The documentary ends (more or less) with Method Man being confused and disappointed that he was unsuccessful in having the strippers bare their souls for his camera crew.
Method Man, like every man, wanted more from these fantasy girls than what they were willing to give.
The ratio of bouncing booties to interesting content in this piece is about 2:1. It is painstakingly clear that Method Man just loves hanging out in strip clubs with naked women. What is most impressive about The Strip Game is that he got a production company to give him enough money so that he and his friends could travel the nation doing just that.
And to that, Method Man, I say you’re one helluva hustler. Kudos.
Be it resolved that, in 2013, I shall earn at least one (1) dollar for my words and not my wiles.
It’s been nearly three years since I’ve hit the pavement with a resume and not a pair of stilettos in my tote bag. Today I’m sat in a cafe, drafting up a coherent list of all the skills I’ve learned as a dancing naked lady.
That’s right. Entertainer, psychologist, babysitter and Fantasy Girl will be appearing as my most recent job titles, at the very fucking top of my curriculum vitae. The skills and life lessons I’ve learned from shaking my tits and ass are invaluable, and I’m happy to divulge these facts with anyone who asks…. so why omit them from my job application?
THE PROFESSIONAL ABILITIES OF IRIS GREENE:
Outstanding written, verbal and physical presentation skills.
Confident, articulate, and experienced professional speaking abilities in public, to groups, or via electronic media. Comfortable, confident and generally enthusiastic to do so naked.
Empathetic listener and persuasive speaker. Ability to talk, flirt and conduct business in French and English. Possesses an ability to hustle in Spanish and Russian.
Problem Solving / Strategic Thinking:
Combined patience, determination, and persistence to ensure customer satisfaction.
Expertly skilled at evaluating options and generating solutions in a loud, dimly lit and drunken environment.
Business & Sales skills:
Possess self-motivated, entrepreneurial spirit and seriously competitive attitude.
Outstanding aptitude for setting targets and meeting them nightly and monthly.
Managed my own schedule while traveling to different cities, countries and continents on short notice.
Work efficiently with little to no notice to changing working conditions.
Customer Service skills:
Routinely handled as many as 200 customer contacts a day (3,200 per month) under strobe lights, managing to remember most of their names, jobs, hometowns and kinks.
Interacted with a diverse group of customers, tailoring services to fit their needs.
Created myriad dynamic characters, often on the spot and in response to a quick and effective analysis of the customer’s desires.
Outstanding rhythm and dance skills that can be performed to a variety of musical genres, and under a varying level of inebriation.
Adaptability & Agility:
Culturally sensitive and internationally traveled hustler, friend, business woman and citizen intricate and universal web of titty bars.
Emotionally, physically and intellectually able to quickly adapt to a diverse range of cultural, business and geographical climes.
Enthusiastic to try new things and interested in improving efficiency on assigned tasks.
*All of the aforementioned skills can be performed while wearing six inch stiletto platforms.
Fellow flap flashers! If you have anything you would care to add to help me be even MORE employable, I welcome your input!
It’s 6:15pm. The club just opened and four keeners* have already waltzed through the door and saddled up at the bar. One, a Business Man suited in grey. Within thirty seconds of his entrance he has been sidecarred by two Colombian mamas. The remaining three are t-shirted, red faced and cacophonous on the opposite side of the bar. From my perch downwind and in the corner, my schnoz is telling me they’ve been keenly drinking cheap beer since the hour struck four.
The dude most near to me waves me over. Since the TV is directly to my left and he is straight in front of me, I can’t pretend that I don’t see him as my eyes remain fixated on the muted RoGain commercial. With grinning reluctance, I walk over.
The man is wearing a tshirt that does not look unlike this:
(matching stains and everything)
"Hey bayBEE. Come over here for a minute."
I spend all of thirty seconds swatting away this Dog’s paws before I tell him matter of factly, “unless you want a dance, darling, I’m going to go now.”
"Ohhhh Kaaaaay, BayBEE, come back later."
I hate coming back later. Strippers get asked this all the time. I would be a liar if I said I never went back. I do because sometimes they really do just need to loosen up with a few more jack and cokes. Still. I want and need to be desired by everyone, immediately and all the time. Fuck, I did not chose this job because I cream at the thought of rejection.
I’ve type-cast these men as cheap working class chaps. And, unfortunately, working class men in New York City don’t have much money (perhaps this distribution of wealth in America is about to Change #welcomebackBarry.) By my thirty second once-over, I decide that these drippy, drunk chumps aren’t worth it, and move on to a well-tailored suit with a understated, over-priced watch and freshly barbed salt-n-peppa coif.
It seems to be no use, though. The Dog tries again to call me over, only I am intercepted by his friend, who fists me a crumpled and damp twenty dollar bill. “Take him for a dance, hei?”
I take The Dog by his clammy palm, leading him towards a suitable chair in a more private area where I will swivel and bounce for the next two minutes and thirty seconds.
"Sit down." I instruct as he fumbles into the wingback.
I straighten myself up, smooth down my dress and start swaying. Gracefully, I reach for the halter string tied at my neck. Pulling it loose, my dress falls the the ground.
Within a nano second, The Dog is reaching for my thigh. My reflexes beat him to his target, a triangle carefully highlighted by my day-glo g-string. Firmly grabbing his hand, I squeeze it hard and star into his bloodshot eyes: “No.”
I release my grip, turn around, and continue my routine.
The Dog makes another attempt; I am too swift. He fails.
In New York City, two out of every three dances involve some sort of scolding charade where a stripper has to remind a client of the rules (If you’ve been under a rock for the past decade the rules are NO TOUCHING, motherfucker). As much as I love this city, after a year and a half here, the only way left to describe its male inhabitants are as self-entitled pigs.
True story. (accepting submissions for supporting arguments or rebuttals)
I turn away from The Dog to flash my bootie and obstruct his view of my rolling eyes.
I feel a smack on my ass.
The Dog has slapped my ass.
I continue turning around, raising my right arm as I pivot.
The Dog sees that I’m about to meet him and raise him one, so he lifts his drunken arm to block my incumbent whack. Stopping his block with my left hand, I slap him across the face.
Sometimes things in life are really simple:
You slap my ass; I slap your face.
I point to the door,
"Get the fuck out."
The Dog looks confused.
This marks the first time in my life where I hit a Dog. Fuck did it ever feel good.
Instead of leaving the club, the Dog returns to his posse.
I’ve dealt with the issue, whether he stays or goes matters not to me. I warn the other girls of his stinginess and aggression, and bolt to the dressing room to cool down and give my nails a file.
And then I got into TROUBLE, y’all.
I NEVER get into trouble. I never even got into trouble in high school. I went to school, then ballet class, and most lunches were picked at in the library while I was alphabetizing the poems of Sylvia Plath for extra credit. As a stripper, I’m a manager’s wet dream. I show up on time, don’t cause dramz, don’t get high, nor do I fuck clients for forty cents on the dollar. I do my job and stay under the radar. Because if you want to make money— and not enemies— that’s what you do in this business.
But today is different.
Apparently a slap across the face is more insulting than a slap on the ass. I was informed of these ethics by a man who has never danced naked for money.
And apparently the customer is always right, even when he’s totally wasted and sexually assaulting one of your employees.
And apparently if I slap The Dog back in retaliation, that wipes his slap clean off his slate and The Dog is permitted to a) press charges, or b) finish his beer.
So I got told. What I was *supposed* to do was go directly to management and have them deal with the situation in a professional and cordial manner.
And in response to that, I, along with every stripper in the world shall say this: Fuck that.
But here’s the thing about strip clubs: On any given night, there are at least three people who identify as ‘management’ and they don’t really ‘manage’ anything. They just stand and stare at the sporting events being broadcast on seventeen different television screens. And here’s the other thing about management: they don’t usually like to confront the customers about being scrotum. They would rather demean the girls they once vowed to protect rather than turn away a paying customer.
Anyway, after I got told off by one authority figure, two other figures of alleged authority may have come up to me and offered a little fist-pound for my true grit.
So now I’m leaving the question to you, babes of all passions and professions :
If you were to get slapped on the ass, without consent, would you think it fair to slap the slapper across the face?
Looking forward to your answers!
*Keener: Canadian informal. A person who is who is extremely eager, zealous, or enthusiastic.
In honour of the day of the lord, last night I combined the two things I worship most: France and Whores.
(Come on, it’s totally obvious that she has a bangin’ bod under those robes)
Juliette Binoche, formerly known as the gypsy-bagging chocolate minx, remember her? In Elles, she’s all bougie and journalisty and flustered since it’s obvious within the first twenty two seconds of the opening scene that she ain’t got her lips serviced by her hubby in a long while.
On more than one occasion, Ms. Binoche sniffs her fingers that may or may not have been dipped in clam juice.
You’re itching to watch it. The good news, you horny little fucks, is that it’s streaming on Netflix RIGHT NOW.
ANYWAY. Binoche is writing an article on women who suck cock and stroke egos to pay their way through university.
Although I’m not *technically* a whore, I can’t say that I’ve ever met a whore I didn’t like.
In ninety minutes, director Małgorzata Szumowskathe communicates to the viewers that we are all whores.
Yes, all of us.
She also shoots some smoking hot sex scenes and reveals that the hardest part of the job is not the shame; it’s the lies. And these women don’t lie because they are ashamed, but because it’s simply too risky and/or tedious to try to make others understand.
French films are great because they insist on pontificating that everyone is fucked up. It doesn’t makes us special; it makes us human. There is no black and white in this life but only gray,
Why is it only in french films, or films featuring French actors where the characters smell their fingers after sex?
COME ON, AMERICA. GET RAUCHY ALREADY.
Are there any Degrassi enthusiasts out there who can tell me if there is any Canadian raunch out there that isn’t served with a single serving of maple syrup and cheeeeeeese?
In my last post, I accused someone I’ve never met of being afraid of a bloody cunt.
In this post I shall continue to do so.
The clock struck nine and I was straddling this stranger.
I got up to collect my greenback from his overexcited fist when I knew.
Arms straight, legs straighter, I scissor kicked my way to the ladies room and shoved some bleached cotton up my twat.
I downed three painkillers, and went back to work.
You know how there is something unabashed about a girl on her rag? Like she just fucking hates everybody and doesn’t give a shit? Remember how that’s the girl we always wish we could be, all the time? Like Tank Girl, like Courtney Love, like Angelina Jolie before she went all malnourished-Mother-Theresa and shit.
Who doesn’t want to fuck or at least be clocked by an angry chick?
And apparently so do all these men who were so eager to have me grind my heels into their procreative sacks of unimpressive flesh.
The academics who sat around and collected data and DIDN’T get their dicks grinded on by some bad-ass babes are three dudes by the names of Geoffrey, Joshua and Brent.
I downloaded their research paper, skimmed it, but had to change my tampon and do a bunch of other really interesting things like rearrange my medicine cabinet and look at Instagrammed photos of what my friends ate for lunch, so I stopped.
The next day I couldn’t score any painkillers from the house mom, so my desire and ability to hustle was defeated by my cramps. I made less money than the night before, but not because my skin was oozing hormones of exile. I made less money because I sat in the dressing room eating miniature chocolate bars for five out of eight hours of my allotted time to hustle.
So that’s my study. If I can Meredith Brooks my ass through the night, it won’t matter if I’m surfing the crimson wave or not.
Three guys in New Mexico doing a ‘study’ on strippers and rating their level of consumability based on whether they are gushing blood everywhere or not? I get fucks like this coming in all the time asking me questions about my earnings, my goals, my alleged boyfriends… and none of them tip. They’re all cheap fucks who probably steal wifi from McDonald’s to watch free amateur barely-legal porn while jerking off into their 2-4-1 Happy Meal napkins.
As a militant feminist, it has come to my attention that I do not talk enough about my period.
Since it’s almost ragtime for this sapphic stripper, I thought I’d make this post all about yours and my Menstrual Blood.
LET’S ALL CHOKE ON IT TOGETHER.
My friend Sophie recently told me that some babe did a study where she rubbed used maxi pads on various seats inside a movie theatre. And, in every seat where there was some Menstrual Essence, a man sat out of his own volition.
Obviously I’m not summarizing this study very well. I tried so hard to find it on The Internet and I just failed miserably. Unless it’s looking for ethereal water colour sketches of Stevie Nicks, I such at efficient and effective Googling. I’m sorry.
So basically men are attracted to rag essence, says the researcher who shall go unnamed.
I mean really who wouldn’t want to fuck Carrie?
Other studies say that men, unlike tigers and bears, are less attracted to women who are emotional and eating their feelings while surfing the crimson wave. And in my defense of that study I shall make an assumption: I assume (because I’m not in school any more and I can’t fail anything for making baseless assumptions) that these researchers were done by men who are afraid of a bloody cunt.
So, babes - I’m about to bleed and I think it’s going to make me rich.
Tomorrow night I shall don my whitest of white g-strings and rub my aching cunt all over these sad and lonely just-in-town-for-an-IT-conference dopes.
Maybe you’re not a stripper. But maybe you’re still itching to test my hypothesis? Want some free booze? If it’s that time of the month, you are in luck! Put on a boat-sized pad, head on down to your local watering hole and score yourself some free Bloody Marys!
Then, if you can muster some energy between scoops of Ben & Jerry’s and your Vampire Diaries marathon, drop me a comment and enlighten me about the accuracy of my bullshit hypothesis!
While deflecting propositions to ‘just cuddle’ back in this geriatric’s hotel room, I end up raking in some SERIOUS FUCKING SCRILLA ( !!! ) all the while pulling a hamstring. While flopping my gams into a spread eagle on stage, a pang sears the back of my right leg as I scold myself for not keeping up with my lunges, squats and stretches on my two-month sojourn across Bavaria, Britain and Burning Man.
If you suffer not from latent masochistic tendencies and call yourself a stripper, you make like a kindergarten teacher and TAKE THE SUMMER OFF. Give your tootsies a rest and send your plastic platforms and fake smile to the back of your closet on sabbatical. The twenty-two-year-old Italian tourists and Iowan marching band aren’t going to stuff your g-string with Washingtons, never mind loosen the grip on the soggy twenty dollar bill they’ve budgeted for their evening entertainment. They are cheap fucks. And that’s ok. Not everyone can be rich, lonely and yearning for your tease.
Strippers are a lot like Kindergarten teachers. We use baby voices to keep droves of droolers rapt with attention. When we are not talking in baby voices, we are likely to be scolding the hoards of naughty, sticky-fingered boys whose main objective in their simple-minded existence is to test boundaries and push [the wrong] buttons.
We also like to get fucking FREAKY wherever and whenever.
FACT: Kindergarten teachers are freaky-deaky. If you happen to find yourself tripping balls on Peyote in the desert, surrounded by sequins, inventive penis jewelry and orgasm-inducing Reiki masters, the likelihood of you running into a kindergarten teacher is higher than if you were jetting down the hall of your elementary school, thighs clenched, praying you make it to the tinkler in time.
Yes, gash-flashers are freaky. But allow me to confuse the shit out everything you though you ever knew about your adolescence by letting you know that your kindergarten teacher was FREAKIER.
(Peaches was a Kindergarten teacher)
While I look into teacher’s colleges for the rest of afternoon, go and find yourself a kindergarten teacher and you’ll see what I mean.
I just got back to New York and I’m about to start sampling new clubs. You know what this means?
NEW STRIPPER NAMES ARE A-BREWIN’!
I’ve exhausted so many in the past two years (my two-year stripper-versary is fast approaching, y’all) and I need a new one.
So, naturally, I’ve consulted the internet, in addition to a handful of real-life friends. After a litany of concepts stemming mostly from advanced calculus and organic chemistry, I was able to extract the perfect formula to determine my next stripper alias.
THE NAME OF YOUR CHILDHOOD PET + THE STREET UPON WHICH YOU GREW UP
I contacted my nearest and dearest, and the only ones who responded to my text message riddled me this:
Do I have a sexy group of friends or what? It has to be said that none of the aforementioned people are (to my knowledge) porn stars or strippers, but, given the brilliance of each breath of poésie, don’t you think they should consider a career change? It IS the recession, after all.
So what the fuck is my new stripper name, then?
CHULLA FUCKIN’ DIXIE
Of course, I didn’t name my cat ‘Chulla Fuckin’ and the street I grew up on wasn’t Fuckin Dixie Road, although I’m sure I may have heard my pa call it that at one time or another. Y’all know I just like to swear to add some fucking emphasis to what I’m saying.
What do you think? Is it a keeper? What is your stripper alias?
It saddens me to admit that I forgot how fucking amazing this movie is. Never mind that Bette Porter is kind of my idol, and that I think all stripper movies are amazing even if Rottentomatoes.com disagrees, FLASHDANCE FUCKING ROCKS. And here’s why:
Alex throws her shoe like a champ when she finds out her date, totally, like, LIED to her.
Now it’s time for your favourite part of my sporadically-posted postings and whimsies. The part where I share how much I am JUST LIKE the protagonist.
Like Alex, I, too, like perusing French Vogue.
Only I actually speak french. Not that in compels me to actually read any of the articles. And I would probably shit my pants if you asked me to hang out at a welding site for an afternoon that could otherwise be spent on my mom’s couch.
Like Alex, I, too have so much fun dancing on stage that the audience finds it mostly mesmerizing
… and occasionally their expressions of awe are usurped by this:
Like Alex, I would absolutely pick this warehouse paradise to situate my dream home/dance studio.
Like Alex, I, too, ride a bicycle. Only there’s no fucking way I’d ride it to work because then I’d have some guy follow me home in his creepy sports car and I wouldn’t have a pit bull waiting at the door to defend me.
Like Alex, I too, look like a buffoon while making any attempt at figure skating.
And, of course, there is that look of total boredom while you’re resting on your elbows, showing your ass off to some guys who wanna peek at my biscuit:
I FELL YOUR AMBIVALENCE, GIRLFRIEND.
Of course, until there’s a movie that’s about Iris Fucking Greene, there will always be moments where I’ll watch the main character and be like, I totally don’t get you, girl.
Like when Alex displays remarkable competence when using power tools. And, when Alex NEVER locks up her bike. She just LEAVES it on the sidewalk for some hooligan to scoop up. Maybe Pittsburgh is just a bike-theft-free haven and I didn’t know about it until now.
Also, I don’t really get the 80’s athleticism that seems to have bread the tightest and tiniest asses of all time.
I’m convinced it’s just because cocaine was way cheaper back then.
Finally, the girls never get naked on stage. Because they’re not technically ‘strippers,’ but ‘dancers.’ You say to-MAY-to, I say to-MAH-to. It’s been so long since I’ve been on a stage and remained clothed that I really don’t know what I’d do if I was instructed to do anything otherwise.
Like, OMG, you guys. I WANT THIS NECKLACE SO BAD.
AND I WANT SO BADLY TO GO ON A DATE, WEARING THIS, SUCKING BUTTER OFF MY FINGERS.
"Did you know that the smallest penis ever measured was 1/1 inches?"
I’m back in suburbia with a fresh stack of business cards, and I’m off to my unofficial university reunion tonight, followed by a semi-official high school reunion tomorrow night. Fortunately, I am pretty thirsty these days so I’ll have some champagne and cocainechow mein to carry me thought the ‘oh my god it’s been ages" *air kiss* *let’s not pretend that we hated each other* or *didn’t you sleep with everyone’s boyfriend?* (Answer: Yes, yes I did. Or at least I tried to.)
Now that my mom knows I’m a stripper (I’d tell you all about it but then why would you buy my novel, due out sometime in the next millennium) I’ve decided that it’s ok for everyone else to know, too. This includes high school English teachers and perhaps even my youngest cousins, who are starting high school in September.
I’m doing my best to take my second Coming Out in stride, and trying really hard not to embarrass anyone when I start talking about gash-flashing and pubic hairstyles.
But I usually embarrass everyone anyway, plastic shoes or no plastic shoes.
HOW SHOULD I PROCEED?
(it has to be said that at this time my roots are not unlike Mira Sorvino’s in this frame)
Remember how I said there were four girls and eight tits for hundreds of miles around? Well that number has shrunken and the only fun bags to entertain the oil troopers are those of yours truly.
That’s right. I am the only lady left at Man Camp.
It’s a little overwhelming.
My wallet is happy, but the rest of me is having a hard time processing thoughts like, "What’s my fake name again?" and "Do I need to pee?" Every night is eight straight hours of lap dancing and having loonies flung in my general direction. I found it hard to believe that in this town of 7000 people, there isn’t a single lost teenage soul with a prescription for Adderall. The world is full of surprises.
Since I couldn’t find any kids with baby speed, I credit Tequila, The Most Effective Panty-Peeler of All Time for getting me through it.
Last night a young handsome chap came in and waved me over to his perch at the bar. His eyes were red.
"I’ve just received some bad news," he starts.
"My dog ran away. I need some cheering up."
As I take a seat on the bar stool next to him, I’m prepared to listen, nod, and rest my hand on his shoulder as he tells me his story.
"Let’s go for a lap dance," he says before I can get both cheeks onto the vinyl upholstery.
If my dog ran away, the last thing I would do is want a stranger to dance naked for me. Behold the #2357th explanation for how Peters and Cookies respond to a different wiring system.
I take this boy to the back room and peel off my bra, Daisy Dukes and g-string as he alternates between choking sobs, stories of his 16-month-old yellow lab, and complete silence (Choking sobs as I sway, silence for a lingering 30 seconds as and after I peel off another layer, followed by a quick story of how his pup would chew gardening tools and his ex-girlfriend’s vibrator before the sobs start back up again).
If you’ve ever tried bending over in six-inch platforms, you’ll know that it requires a lot of concentration to keep oneself from teetering over. To keep myself from laughing at the thought of a dog eating a purple sparkly dildo and the bizarre fantasy-therapy this boy has chosen to remedy his immeasurable sadness, I turn around and bend over, offering up the best view in all of northern Alberta.
I rue the day my ass will no longer serve as my scapegoat.
Man Camp is a pretty fucking depressing place. I look out at the grey skies from my basement hotel room window and don’t want to go outside for fear of being honked at by half-tonne trucks whizzing by.
The money is good, but on all other accounts I’d probably rather try to make it to second base with Edward Scissorhands than deal with these Rig Pigs for another week.
I mean look at him! He’s brooding, beautiful, sensitive and soft-spoken… and such a beautiful contrast to those with whom I’ve been jager-bombing for the past eleven days:
Today, in my morning funk, I got out of bed before noon (highly uncommon for this particular breed of Man Camp stripper) and made a resolution to turn my frown upside-down. I would take myself shopping.
Most stores in and around Man Camp are for hunting equipment and beer. There is, however, one place where all the emo kids go to get purple hair dye and studded belts. I was hoping I would run into Canadian rural style icon, Avril Lavigne, but apparently she’s busy with the Kardashians these days, so, unfortunately, I didn’t see her.
(I’m still a bit bummed about that)
What I DID see, under the counter, was exactly what I was looking for:
Dog Attack Deterrent Spray is also known as pepper spray or mace, and I’ve wanted my own little aerosol can of BACK OFF, MOTHERFUCKER for years. I first noticed it on the key chains of all the local girls at the club. I asked the bartender one afternoon, “Hey, is that cotton candy breath freshener?”
"Not quite. It’s pepper spray, but because they market it as a device for the defense against dogs, it’s easier to come by and totally legal, unless you have a criminal record."
The men who are worthy of a spritz are dogs, anyway, so I think it’s a totally appropriate title for the product.
The only shortcoming of my latest girl-power purchase is that it only comes in Barbie pink. As much as I hate the colour of Pepto Bismol, I love the idea of spraying the shit out of an attacker even more.
"You got the last one," the shop owner tells me as I slide $25 across the counter and stuff my new favourite toy into my purse. Apparently there are a lot of unleashed aggressive dogs in Man Camp.
There are a lot of great things about working at Man Camp. All the lonely guys who walk into the bar have money, and they’re eager to spend it. And you don’t have to sell anything ‘special’ because you’re already fucking special for showing up. It’s easy to make money.
And a big part of this ‘easy money’ is due to the fact that at least once a night, you stand on the stage, naked, and have these thrown at you:
For my non-Canadian readers, this is a Loonie. It is valued at one Canadian dollar, and measures about 2.5cm in diameter (1 inch). They’re about twice as heavy as a quarter.
Anywhere else in Canada, it is illegal to throw coins at dancers. It’s dangerous, it hurts, and some assholes are sick fucks and do things like lick the coins before they throw them, or worse, heat them up with a lighter, sometimes causing permanent scarring.
And, in true Albertan fashion, this province has decided against following with the rest of Canada and continues with this abhorrent cultural practice.
For three songs I dance around on stage, strutting my stuff. For the fourth song, and sometimes fifth and sixth, I take a business-card sized magnet with a skanky picture of myself on it, lick it, and stick it somewhere on my body. The magnet becomes the target, and the clients start tossing coins at it, with the objective to knock it off my ass, claiming it as their prize.
This is without a doubt the worst part of stripping in Man Camp. It’s also the most lucrative. In ten minutes, you can make hundreds of dollars.
The biggest challenge is to keep smiling, all the while encouraging them to continue throwing more.
Usually, it takes me at least three years to catch up on the Oscar-nominated film circuit. I like them to age a little, and, well, they’re easier to find on my friend’s netflix account when the hype has waned.
Marisa Tomei is a total fucking babe. She always will be. In the movie, I was SHOCKED to see some of the strip-club patrons giving her shit about her age. Personally, if I were ordered to cast a washed-up stripper, I would not have chosen this Babe of the Century, but maybe Stifler’s Mom, who is also a babe, but more representative of the cougar variety they were trying to portray. Let’s be real: my girl Marisa is still ripe, firm and fresh.
Initially, I thought I would only relate to the stripper moments in the film. To my surprise, it turns out that strippers also have a lot in common with preparatory rituals of Mickey Rourke! The world is full of surprises.
Things to which I can relate: - WORKING AT A CLUB NAMED AFTER A BODY PART, and being embarrassed to say it’s name aloud. - Acting really concerned when a client is injured, and excessively stroking his muscles and ego.
- Getting really passionate when talking about movies to completely disinterested clients who just want to see your cookie. - Responding with the all-encompassing phrase and excuse, “I’m working,” as the pathetic and greasy client asks you for a coffee, lunch, beer, or thrift-shopping excursion. - Men coming to you with their problems, looking for a shoulder to cry on, and totally not being comfortable or enthusiastic about having that foisted upon you.
- I can relate to a lot of what Mickey does to get ready for his big stage show, like asking the colourist to make my hair as white as possible without having it fall out. I have this interaction every six to eight weeks.
- Dads buying shitty and cluelessly selected gifts for their estranged daughters.
This was my favourite part of the movie, as it touched really close to home. My pa is the worst gift-giver in the history of humanity. One Christmas when I was traveling and at the peak of my I-don’t-eat-cards diet, my dad allegedly gifted me a toaster oven. That was six years ago. I have yet to see this toaster oven. Now he just buys me ugly clothes from a store where his friend works, so it’s usually just free swag that didn’t sell that season.
Things to which I failed to relate: - Looking good in the fishnet dress AND Looking good with nipple piercings. I think delectable jewels are insanely fucking sexy. Unfortunately, not on my nibs.
- GETTING REALLY PASSIONATE TALKING ABOUT THE FILM THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. (although this did make me love Marisa Tomei’s character even more)
- Getting a visit from my drug dealer at the gym. WHO DOES THAT? It must be a small-penis-guy thing.
- Tanning beds. I did this once in Grade 11 and burnt my nipples and box. NEVER AGAIN.
Yesterday I took a tour of a town that is touted as having the most millionaires per capita in all of C-A-N-A-D-A.
It’s real purdyy here. After I took this photo I went to eat a AAA-Grade Albertan Sirloin (medium-rare), but given the fact that I absolutely fucking HATE pictures of Hey-I-ate-this-today-neat-eh? I have refrained from including the carcass in this otherwise thrilling post.
Junior Millionaire graffiti:
And behold the not at all stupidly-named local watering hole:
It was a nice day to just chill the fuck out and not slather on make-up and exacerbate my bunions. At the steakhouse, I even indulged in a slice of carrot cake (not pictured) while huddled in a corner booth, avoiding the eye contact of not one but TWO clients who had seen me naked (and disguised with Jessica) not twelve hours ago.
PS - I learned a new slang term, too:
RIG PIG: n, An oilpatch worker who has more money than brains. Usually are prolific alcoholics, drug abusers and are known to spend their remaining income on strippers and whores. Most drive full size domestic pickups with a lift kit and big mud tires.
I can’t believe that it’s been nearly a year since I’ve flashed my gash for cash. I left Melbourne last April. Since then I’ve been naked in the New states of Mexico and York where your pussy stays bundled up in its g-string.
NOT IN ALBERTA.
She’s out and ready to smile at everyone. It’s an easy, breezy and beautiful way to make fast cash.
Last night, I was seated with a guy who was way too drunk for his own Canadian tuxedo (At the end of the night, outside the club, he will fail to make the three paces to the snow bank and instead piss down his Levi’s). I would have upped and left, but he had already paid for a dance so we were waiting our turn to get into the VIP booths, which had been occupied for what felt like eons. I try to pry a conversation out of him. For all my efforts, all he says to me, over and over again, is “you’re so sexy.”
Me: “So where are you from?”
Drunk: “You’re so sexy.”
Me: “I just moved here. Where can I find some tasty and moderately healthy food in this town?”
Drunk: “You’re so sexy.”
Me: “Thank you. And what do you get up to on your days off?”
Drunk: “You’re so sexy.”
Another drunk, although less-drunk man comes skipping in my direction with his hands full of whiskey-cokes, arms outstretched. With great enthusiasm, he spills some of the contents from his left hand onto my shoe, yelling to his fellow patron,
"THIS ONE’S GOT THE BEST COOCH IN THE WHOLE BAR!"
(google search result for ‘drunk canadian.’)
"Uhhh, thank you?"
It’s been a while since I’ve been paid pussy compliments from someone other than my mistress. I think I handled it pretty gracefully, no matter how crapulously it was slung at me.
I just survived my first night of Man Camp, Canada.
(not actually Man Camp, Canada but not unlike Man Camp, Canada)
It’s the only strip club for hundreds of kilometres in the middle of the oil fields.
Yes, there are a lot of meth heads.
Yes, I had loonies thrown at my bits.
And yes, I most certainly did made a fucking mint.
There are four strippers. That’s eight tits for thousands of hard-working souls who are starved for attention. I never thought I’d say this aboot my own kind, but CANADIANS HAVE FUNNY ACCENTS. Sometimes they sound Irish, other times Scottish, and other times like every and any character from Trailer Park Boys.