When I was younger, I had an entirely different idea of what a stripper was than what I have now. I grew up watching strippers in movies, soulless beings that sweet talked businessmen while more important things were discussed. I saw strip clubs as neon-cathedrals, places where businessmen, bachelors and Barney Stinson flocked in order to gain some entertainment or company for the evening. I had no idea that strippers were actual people. In my mind, strippers were a commodity that could be thrown away and replaced by the next gullible girl who wanted to make some quick money.
That was of course, until I fell in love with a stripper.
Although the previous sentence would make me appear to be a horny 18-year-old who’s never stepped foot in a strip club before, that’s incorrect. I’m actually a horny 20-year-old, who has been in quite a few strip clubs before, enough to predict the uncomfortable atmosphere that occurs when several horny men of varying ages are find themselves in a room together.
As is the case with any night out that ends up at a strip club, I had endured a rather shitty night. Pair this with a few unfriendly bouncers and just enough alcohol to make me contemplate bad decisions, but not enough to actually enjoy them; I inevitably wound up at a strip club.
Unlike other strip club visits, I stumbled across this one completely by accident. Half-drunk, I was walking down the street in search of a bar to pass the time, when I saw what looked like a neon-oasis. I instantly felt like I’d found a sanctuary, even the bouncer greeted me with a knowing grin as he took my money.
Upon entering, I immediately sensed something unusual . The club housed all the usual suspects: a gloomy looking bartender, a well-dressed middle aged man who looked like he needed a hug, and a group of rowdy bachelors who behaved as if they’d never seen a bra before. Yet, despite the cliché music and unnecessarily fur-lined chairs, there was something mesmerising about how the girls carried themselves with such confidence; almost like they were assessing whether you deserved to be there or not.
I found myself surrounded by ridiculously good-looking women, all of whom vying for my attention… and money. Bass-heavy songs and flashing lights formed the background to what seemed like an animalistic mating ritual, one where I seemed to have all the power and yet, had none at all. The night progressed in a whirlwind of money and flesh; before I knew what I was doing I’d spent my food budget for the next 3 weeks on someone’s company for 20 minutes.
Stumbling out of a strip club at 4 am, several hundred dollars lighter, causes you to reevaluate your life choices. A strip club subdues the part of the brain that says “She doesn’t really like you,” and “You can’t afford to buy 3 more lap dances.” Instead, these thoughts are replaced with ideas of running away with the stripper you just met and buying a timeshare in Byron Bay. I felt like a sailor who had been hypnotised by mermaids, only to be dragged to the bottom of the sea. However, instead of meeting an untimely death, I’d come out with a lighter wallet and a slightly bruised ego.