Monday, November 14, 2011

I Honestly Believe Some of Them Find Me Charming

Strip clubs are different here.

Portland, Oregon has at least forty five strip clubs in the metropolitan area. It's rumored to have the highest strip club per capita than any other U.S. city. This, coupled with an already liberal culture, leads to a very relaxed strip club experience. I've yet to be charged an entrance fee. I've yet to see one that is not fully nude. The drinks and food are reasonably priced. It feels like a regular bar that has the luxurious benefit of having (usually) tattooed nude gymnasts performing onstage. It is awesome.

I frequent a handful of clubs around town. If I like the dancer's taste in music, I'll sit at the rack and fork over my cash. If she's not appealing to me, I won't watch the show. I've been told it's unpolite to stare without tipping. I've stopped buying lap dances, however, after getting married. The image of a strange nude woman grinding on me in a secluded booth makes my wife uncomfortable. Although my wife's allowed to buy as many lap dances as she wants for herself. She's even considered being a dancer before but has body-image confidence problems.

It's a legitimate occupation, stripping. These women are not desperate whores. They are providing a merciful service. An inspired pole-dance by a competent performer has turned a despondent, irritated mood into a piqued and playful mood on many many occasions. The really good ones have me completely convinced that they genuinely like me. I honestly believe some of them find me charming and interesting and attractive.

It is pure fantasy,of course and the blissful escapism is precisely what I'm paying for. A dimly-lit, dizzying microcosm peopled by impossibly vivid sexual virtuosos who entice and enthrall your basest nature in exchange for American dollars or free Long Island ice teas. Everyone is happy. No one gets hurt.

Strip clubs in the rest of the country are deafening dens of despair where over-scented men with doomed marriages and sheepishly hidden erections are relentlessly hounded by fake-tittied harpies who sniff them for money then chafe their upper thighs with a Victoria Secret catalogue. And it costs twenty five dollars to get in.