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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Column: Undressed

Exciting news! I had my strip club cherry popped last week (boy, that’s a mouthful). I know, I know, this is big. Whether your first time was with a questionable uncle or a group of your high school friends, nobody forgets their first naked lady dance. This week, I give you my thoughts on the gentleman’s nightclub, that elusive “hole in the wall where you can see them all.”

I made the long haul out to Rancho Cordova with some of my people last Monday to watch one of our talented friends audition for a spot on stage. Monday is “amateur night,” where anybody can vie for the chance to win cash prizes or a contract with the club. As I wandered in, I hastily forked over 20 bucks for my V.I.P wristband, one that unfortunately afforded me no V.I.P treatment aside from a bad seat behind an inconveniently placed patron.

As I bobbled my head to get a better view, I caught glimpses of my first stripper, a bleach-blond, overly tattooed, mid-20s girl who gyrated with enthusiasm on stage. She did some cool tricks with her butt, and I unconsciously flexed my own in hopes to imitate her moves. However, as the night went on, I began to question what I saw on stage.

As girl after girl wound her body around the metal poles, I noticed how very lacking the dances were in terms of diversity. Every girl seemed to rely on a) slapping her own ass every now and then, b) hair flipping or c) the occasional nuzzle of a man’s head in her cleavage. Now, it didn’t seem as if the front row audience members had any issues with this, but personally, I wanted one of the dancers to shake things up a bit. I decided then and there that if I ever take that wild and crazy path up to the stripper pole, my signature move would be the funky chicken.

Furthermore, I’ve heard that any woman who works in the business of sex, be it suggested or real, needs only one thing: the ability to make her customer feel wanted. When it was time for the amateur dances, an announcer blared out information about the contestants, giving the audience details about the girls’ favorite sex toys and ideal man. It seemed like every prospective stripper was in the market for a man “tall, dark and handsome/cowboy/millionaire/generally busting-out-of-his-clothes-buff.” As I looked around the room, it seemed this kind of man was seriously lacking.

What those girls should have asked for were men of “mid-stature,” “average intelligence,” or “could be balding, could be blessed with thick and artfully tousled locks, I don’t really care because I get turned on by the sound of my alarm clock in the morning and I’m basically sex on legs who wants nothing more than to rock your world, and yours, and yours.” Granted, I’m no expert in this field, but I’ll bet there are some blond men on the shorter side who get real tired of hearing about these “tall, dark and handsome” pricks who are always inspiring girls to undress.

Midway through the night, the club opened up the second stage that was previously unused, meaning all I had to do was turn my chair around and I was basically front row. As I struggled with my chair, shuffling around like a crab caught on its back, an older gentleman leaned in and said, “We didn’t have to go far now, did we?” I smiled and agreed, thinking, what a world, as men who had been previously squeezed from the main stage crowded around the edges of this smaller one. They gazed at the dancer with the same enraptured look kittens get when under hypnosis.

When I left the club that night, I reflected on whether or not my trip to the strip club ran counter to my feminist ideals. Then I decided, no, of course not, I have bigger things to think about anyway, like man, I could go for a burger right now.

All kidding aside, I’m generally in support of doing what you’ve gotta in order to make money, unless of course it involves auditioning for reality TV. At that point, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

As my impending graduation looms nearer and nearer like that darned Mayan prophesy, I know I may end up strapped for cash. Will I take a job stripping? Probably not. Will I flash some nip if the table I’m waiting on at The Cheesecake Factory tips me an extra fiver? Hey, a little innovation can take you a long way.

LENA PRESSESKY can be reached at lmpressesky@ucdavis.edu.


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