Thursday, March 4, 2010

No Shorts.

since i'm not working again today, i'll share this story from 2004, when i was working in one of those giant mega-clubs where there are like 35 girls working at any time, and though there are 3 stages, you might get up on stage 3 or 4 times in an entire night. especially if there's a featured performer. all the rest of your shift is spent trawling around the club hustling for lapdances. there was also a vip/champagne room, but that always felt like SUCH a rip-off to me, as the house would hold onto your cut and when you finally got it the next time you worked, it always seemed like less than it should've been. so i just stayed out on the floor and didn't do vip's unless the customer specifically requested it. anyway, the house fee was 6 "tickets" for the dayshift, and 12 "tickets" for the night shift. some girls had sued the clubs, saying it was unlawful for them to charge so much in stage fees, and the girls won. so the house didn't charge "stage fees" anymore, they charged "tickets." FUCKERS. the "tickets" are $20. and there may have once been actual paper tickets involved, but i had never seen one. so at the end of the night you'd owe $240, PLUS ten dollars for every single dance you did, the number of which the floorwalkers meticulously recorded all night long. they'd add to this number if they didn't like you or if you didn't grease their palms. almost every club in town was owned by the same company and if you voiced your dissidence or didn't pretend to be 100% happy with this rip-off arrangement, you'd get blacklisted. so. anyway, there's a bit of backstory.

(another bit of backstory is that i had been stripping for a while, and i was also writing but not about stripping. and this girl asked me if i wanted to go on tour with her, in a show that was all about sex workers and their art. it sounded fun, so i said yes and started writing stories when i'd come home from work. this is one of the first ones.)

No More Shorts, Not Even on a Desert Island.

There was a guy who used to come into the club and in his UPS uniform. He was usually kind of dirty and sweaty from work, but he didn't smell bad, he just smelled like someone who works a lot.

This guy was usually really polite, and I was always glad to see him because it was like seeing money walk in. Literally. You know how in cartoons someone will be marooned on a desert island and they get so desperately hungry that they keep seeing their friend as the mirage of a walking hot dog? Well that’s how it gets in the club sometimes: Your regular walks in and he’s a walking dollar bill. And of course, sometimes your walking dollar turns out to be a mirage, as was he case the day mine came in wearing shorts with his uniform.

So he comes in in shorts. I’m glad to see him. I definitely notice the shorts right away, but I'm not even worried because he's usually so nice. We chat a little. It’s summertime and though the air conditioning is always on full-blast in the club to
keep everyone’s nipples looking perky and I am covered in goose-bumps, he makes the obligatory “hot enough for ya?” comment, and then we go downstairs for a dance.

I’m sitting on his lap, etc., and I start to get really grossed out because of his shorts. He’s got them all pushed up like hot pants and it’s too much skin-on-skin contact. The friction from his leg hair is, like, CHAFING me. And then on top of that he starts getting really grabby. He’s paid for a $40 dance, which is the very cheapest dance I’ll give. So I say, “If you want to be grabby, you’ve got to buy a fancier dance.”

[You can’t just come out and say, “if you’re going to grab my tits like that, please it will cost you $20 more dollars,” or, “if you want me to jerk you off it will be another eighty,” because soliciting money for specific sexual acts is against the law and he might be a cop. So you have to put it delicately, like. “well, I’ll give you a dance for forty, but sixty or eighty would be more fun for both of us. The more generous you are with me, the more generous I am with you.” And then give him a wild smile implying that shit’s gonna get crazy around here if he whips out enough cash.]

The UPS worker doesn’t whip out any additional cash, however, just keeps manhandling me and trying to grab my tits. Since I know he’s not a cop, I say, “Look honey, you gots to pay to play. If you want to touch my tits it’s going to be at least another twenty.”

So he gives me another twenty and continues to mash my tits and things are fine. He pays for another song. I keep dancing for him and my mind starts to wander even though I know you should never let your mind wander while you’re giving a dance because that’s when fucked up shit will happen. In this case, I’m in la-la land and all of a sudden, there is a FINGER in my BUTT!!! It's not, like, feeling around the rim of my asshole, it's ALL THE WAY IN, and his fingers are both HUGE and FILTHY. "HEY!" I yell, "GET OUT OF THERE!" I try to hop off his lap but he's holding me around the middle and I can't move at all. I scream, "LET ME GO!!! Your fucking dance is OVER!” His finger in my ass feels so gross I'm totally freaking out. I somehow elbow him in the chest, causing him to loosen his grip, and I'm able to leap off his lap.

He's just sitting there, looking confused but oddly satisfied, if that's a possible combination, as I wrangle my little dress back on and run out into the hall. The floorwalker happens to be passing by. “This guy put his finger in my ass,” I tell him, pointing at the UPS worker, "and he would NOT take it out!" The floorwalker is a giant. He grabs the guy by the scruff of the neck and the waist of his shorts and throws him out onto the street like a sack of potatoes in front of a big crowd of North Beach passersby and tourists. That was nice to watch.

"Thanks," i say.

"Get back to work," he says.

And so I get to back to my business as usual. But I don’t day dream anymore while giving dances. And I decide to adopt a strict No Shorts Policy.


  1. Hey Mandy/andi,

    I stumbled onto your blog through one of those random Internet things, and have sat here much of the night reading it. (I'm up to where you got fired/mid-September + some of the recent posts before I decided to properly invest and do things in order.)

    Anyway, hang tough girl. I'm amazed you don't have more people reading and commenting. You write well, and your stories are interesting, and often more delicately handled than seems possible, especially considering the amount of filtering you must have to do.

    I just thought it might be nice for you to know someone is reading and enjoying (well, not always enjoying per se, but always engaged by) what you write. Enough so that I'm even willing to endure the hideous pink background to do so. ;)

    Keep writing.

  2. wow thanks, i'm glad you like my blog. i'd probably have more readers if i told people about it, or got linked on bigger blogs, but i don't want to be arrested or to have my business ruined, so i keep a pretty low profile. but i'm glad you're reading and enjoying. and i know the pink background has to go--i dislike it, too, but i've been too lazy to figure out how to change it again. :)andi

  3. p.s. what was the random internet thing that led you here?

  4. I think it was a post on which was about the success or failure of pop songs relative to their popularity in strip clubs. Which I think was maybe an article in the Village Voice? Which I think lead to the interviewed stripper's blog? Which maybe led me here? I dunno. I wander a lot.

  5. Same way I got here too (from a different Anon):

    Village Voice article

    The article interviews "Bubbles", a stripper who I follow on Twitter. She's got a page too:

    And you're listed in her sidebar under "Assorted Naked Mischief".

    And yes, I read the whole thing from the start as well.

    Doesn't sound like you're doing the whack shack any more, but as a guy who's never been to a place like that before, how does it really work? Aside from the obvious (shower, massage, jerk off, shower), what's a typical session like in terms of what you do? You're pretty vague in your descriptions. Just curiousl

  6. oh, anonymous, i hadn't realized that i was being vague. but i guess vagueness has its purpose. i can't spill my entire bag of tricks and put it out on ye olde interweb. :)

  7. Hah! More or less how I found you too, and likewise reading my way through from the beginning! Not getting much work done the last few days...