Sunday, March 26, 2006

Just Tell Me a Story... know the one I mean.

So a couple of weeks ago I went with a couple of friends and made my first visit to a strip club. The question is how I managed to make it to the advanced age of 28½ before this happened. The short answer is "I don't know." A more illuminating answer that may, however, only be tangentially related is that I didn't lead a typical college career, at least socially. I didn't drink until I was 25 and had no interest in being around alcohol-related activities, and thus I excluded myself from a lot of social events. I'd go to parties and hang out if my friends were hosting them, but I didn't go out to bars or anything like that. Even once I ended my self-imposed exclusion from that sort of thing, it really just never came up. The groups I go out with are generally mixed gender, so strip clubs just aren't on the agenda.

On the night in question, though, that wasn't the case. I drove Brandi to the airport in Detroit to go visit a friend in Austin, so I had made plans to meet up with a couple of guys from work on my way back through Toledo. Another friend of mine drove up to BG and met up with us as well. We met at Jed's so we could get some food and have a couple of drinks. A couple of guys had been to a strip club recently, and it was another guy's birthday, so we started discussing the possibility of going that night. When it came out that I had never been before, the deal was sealed. We finished our drinks, closed out our tabs, and hit the road for Deja Vu.

I was told before going that the amount of fun one has at such a venue is most often directly related to the group of guys with which one attends. Well, we had a great crew, because we had a great time. Everyone agreed on the way out that it was the best time any of them had ever had at a strip club. Actually, they were concerned that I would be spoiled by having such a great time on my first visit and hold all potential future visits to the same high standard, expecting the same each time out. I had an idea, though, that this was at least a little bit out of the ordinary.

We grabbed a table when we first arrived, then moved up to the stage shortly thereafter as the required number of seats opened up. From there, we had the best seats in the house for the evening's events. Most of it was normal strip club activity--scantily clad women writhing around on stage as they remove what little clothing they're wearing (a.k.a. "dancing for dollars")--but some things went above and beyond. There were a number of female patrons around the stage who were willing to remove their shirts as well. One of these girls was there with her boyfriend in celebration of her 18th birthday, and at one point this girl was coaxed into getting up on stage, stripping completely naked, getting miniature lap dances from all the dancers in the house, and parading around a bit. That may have been what took the night from being merely a good time and sent it into the stratosphere. No one I was with had ever seen anything like that before, and the place was going crazy while it was going on.

Even without that, though, it would have been a good time. Hell, even without the strippers it would have been a decent time. I found the place to be a pretty good bar on its own merits. Sure, the drinks were just a little pricey (they were running a cheap beer special on the night in question, which my friends were taking full advantage of, but as I can't stand the taste of beer, it was doing me no good at all), but that's to be expected. On the bright side, there was a waitress to bring the drinks, as opposed to making trips to the bar like at most places I frequent. It's a pretty big place, which can handle a pretty big crowd before it seems "crowded." The music selection was pretty good, with a good mix of styles, and they play it at a volume that still lets you hear the people you're talking to. Also, for some strange reason, everyone there was in a great mood. Guys who didn't even know each other were striking up conversations, high-fiving, etc. What's not to like?

Of course, it doesn't hurt the atmosphere when a number of attractive women are walking around in various stages of undress, with at least one on stage at any given time, either fully naked (except for the clear heels, naturally) or in the process of getting there. Oh, and they're trying to get your attention. What straight guy wouldn't enjoy such a spectacle?

You just have to remember that "attention" really just means "money." You know, keep it all in perspective. It's a fantasy world, and nothing there is real (including most of the breasts). Sure, the girls are naked (or willing to get there) and sexy, but it's not for you. No matter how interested they may seem, they aren't. They're just trying to sell you lap dances and get money out of you. I had one stripper tell me (while she was on stage) that I had a "cute voice," and all I could think was "wow, she's really stretching." On one hand, that's part of the appeal, having these women engage you in flattering ways, but it's also a constant reminder of what's really going on. They act sweet and interested, but as soon as they offer a dance and you decline, they move on to the next target. Nothing personal, just business.

Knowing that to be the case, I didn't find the strip club to be all that arousing. That's not to say that it's not appealing. It is, and it was also a lot of fun. It's also a place where you can lay out a lot of money if you don't keep yourself in check. It's not someplace I'll be visiting frequently by any means (as I have the feeling it's probably the most fun when it's reserved as a rare treat), but I somehow doubt that it'll be another 28½ years before I visit again either.

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