The Fun of a Fuck Buddy Part Five: Strip Clubs

Today is FB’s birthday and, as per his request, we’re off to a strip club.  He’s in lecture mode in the taxi.

“Ok, Kate, I want tonight to be fun so, if you’ve got anything to say, get it out now,” he says. “I don’t want you, I don’t know, looking all disapproving or telling the women there are other ways they could earn a living or whatever it is women like you do.”

I try to interrupt, but FB is on a roll.

“They’re hot so why the fuck shouldn’t they get their kit off? It’s what they want to do, no one makes them, you know. And they’re not all fucked up from childhood abuse.”

On and on he goes with every reason he can come up with for why stripping is cool. Why I disapprove and why I’m wrong to do so. The fact is, I don’t disapprove of stripping. I happen to think strippers are spectacular. I can’t imagine having the guts to stand up there on that stage with my body on show. In bed with a fella, it’s one thing, but out there in front of all those people, it’s awe inspiring. FB doesn’t want to hear this, though — he’d rather presume to know what I think and have a rant. That, and his tendency to use phrases like “women like you” without any explanation, is a large part of the reason we’ll only ever be fuck buddies. I digress.

We get to the strip club and it’s packed. FB says he wants two lap dances – one for him and one for me so he can watch. That’s not going to be embarrassing at all, I tell him. I really do try my best to get into it and be all ‘let’s play gay’ about it which seems to be what FB wants in his little tableau, but I keep snorting trying not to laugh which makes the stripper laugh. Her heel catches on the stool and she trips, landing on top of me, giggling uncontrollably with her breasts squashing my face. FB is not amused. He goes huffing off to sit by the stage. The stripper says she can stay a little while if I buy her a drink so I do. Her name’s Jenny and she’s gorgeous — her waist-length blonde hair hangs down her back and her tiny black ensemble reveals stretch-marked breasts and a bruised knee she says she got from jumping around too much in her routine and knocking herself against the table.

Because I can’t help myself, I ask her how she got into stripping. She says it was to support her family — they were in a lot of debt and she’d done some modelling before so thought stripping would be an easy move. She’d heard there was more money in it than there really is so decided she’d only do it for a couple of months then leave, but six months later and she’s still stripping and making enough money to support herself, her husband, two children and her sister, who just started working at the same club. She says her husband feels guilty about her working as a stripper, but trusts her to be faithful to him.

I wonder what she’d think of him doing it. “I’d trust him, but I don’t know.  Women are far more aggressive and men are quite well-behaved compared to women. If they’re sitting watching, staring at you it does intimidate you a wee bit, but I get through it — if I can do it with guys I’m sure I can do it with lassies.”

So is it fun? I’d be too much of a wuss to get up there and take my clothes off. She says she was terrified on her first night and nearly cried, but her boss and one of the other dancers stood next to the table and egged her on. “I don’t necessarily enjoy the job itself, but I do enjoy the hype of it all — having these guys coming to see you. That’s the rush of it, but apart from that I don’t really like it. It has its good sides and its bad sides as well. The money’s good and you know it boosts your confidence, but there is the downside where people think you’re not worth spitting on.”

The DJ calls Jenny to the stage and she goes stalking off in skyscraper perspex heels. I join FB and watch her contort herself with all the fluidity of an Olympic gymnast.

“So have you talked her out of her disreputable job and into a nice new one where she’ll be respected as a woman instead of just seen as an object?” asks FB.

“Yes, judgemental old cow that I am, I most certainly did. As soon as she’s finished this shift, she’s off home to start downloading application forms for positions as a kindergarten teacher, children’s librarian, and nanny. All very wholesome and fully clothed. No more hanging upside down spread-eagled for her. The only spinning she’ll be doing will be the sort they do in that bike class at the gym I tried once that almost killed me. Where did you get this idea that I have something against strippers? They’re fucking amazing. Look at her abs.”

FB does a little smile and mumbles something about me being a feminist.

“Oh well, in that case, I must be anti-stripping. If I’m a feminist. I couldn’t possibly be a feminist and still think strippers are super. May my feminist foremothers come back from the dead and strike me down.”

“Well, what do you think?”

“Same as I do about all sex work — however someone wants to earn a living is entirely up to them. The problem I have is with the conditions they have to work in and the lack of rights.”

A woman with gamine hips and enormous ginger curls called Kitty is on stage now in an ensemble so small and a pose so acrobatic I can see her inner labia.

“Do you think she’s had cosmetic genital surgery? She looks so neat,” I ask FB.

“I don’t know, but you’ve just managed to take what tiny bit of sexiness there might have been out of this experience.”

“Sorry. I’ll make it up to you by busting out a few stripper moves when we get home. Not that I have any, but I could wiggle and jig.”

“Really sexy, Kate. Maybe throw in a gavotte.”

FB doesn’t know, but I do actually know the steps to a gavotte. And to the Gay Gordons, Strip the Willow, and various other Scottish country dances we were made to learn at school purely for the purpose of torturing us with our coltish limbs and ungainly ways. They were wholesome dances meant for good, clean fun. Not like the blue world of stripping.

FB says maybe strip clubs are better done with the boys. I agree, but still believe my input to have been invaluable.

Kate Gould

In no particular order, Kate Gould is a writer, Beethoven groupie, feminist, campaigner for sex workers' rights, tattooed lady, etiquette fanatic, insatiable reader, and commissioning editor at The Fine Line. She's doing a PhD in the medicalisation of sex at Edinburgh university and spends most of her time reading in her flat overrun by pet rats, Muffin, Milly, and Olivia. She's been a research assistant to Germaine Greer and Shere Hite, MORI pollster, book critic, magazine editor, over-worked publishing intern, nanny, English teacher, and hotel critic. Her book on flashers, Exposing Phallacy: Flashing in Contemporary Culture, is published by Zero Books. The best insult she's ever heard is “buckle-bunny wannabe” and the best thing she's ever eaten is the raspberry cheesecake in Gaia on Leith Walk.

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1 Response

  1. Lust Spirit says:

    Stripping is just only a job. If there is demand, there will be supply. Maybe you can call me immoral!