Last night I made one of my twice-annual trips to the strip club. Some of your other letters have described the obvious reasons for why I go – loneliness, basic companionship, touch. I’m very lonely, 40 years old and stuck for now in school with 20 year old coeds who look impossibly hot, many of them do talk to me but they won’t go out with me, I need hair to pull that off. I met a dancer last night just the same age as my schoolmates. She’s a single mom with a two year old girl. She has her baby’s footprint from when she was born tattooed on her back beneath her name, Isabella. She’s only been dancing for 2 weeks and confesses she’s still nervous. She won’t do all nude and says “I don’t know if I’ll ever be that kind of girl.” I get a private dance with her and though I can’t touch her (others will let you) having her lissome body pressed against mine feels great. It’s the only touch I’ve had with a woman in a long time. And yes, the fact that I’m having to pay for it does come into play. It makes it feel less substantial, like I’m trying to embrace her form in front of me but keep closing my arms around empty air. It’s not backed up by the meaningfulness of intimacy with someone you love (or at least really like). Still, it starts to fill me up even as it awakens more unmet desires.
She asks me if I have kids and I say no but I wish I did and it’s then that she confesses she has a beautiful little girl at home. I can see her stretch marks, she’s such a skinny thing. “I’m a single mom,” she tells me proudly with audible currents of courage and risk. She seems to be asking “Can I make it?” and I’m touched emotionally even as she grinds a little diffidently against my crotch. This is what I came for, too. I want to talk to a girl, and it’s a thrill to do it in a sexual setting, where she’s wearing nothing but lingerie or a minidress. I only talk about regular things. Again, I know I’m paying for the conversation but the girls I always pick out are genuine if restrained in their talk about their normal lives. One girl a few years ago, we got along so well, and she did end up going out with me for a time. We had connected genuinely despite the monetary obligations of the club situation. That’s why I just talk about normal stuff. If I tried treating them like a princess or searching for sexual dialogue then the spell would be broken because I’d know they were only telling me what they thought I wanted to hear, what I was paying for. No one discusses their actual personal love lives with strange men at a strip club.
As far as the money goes, I treat my visits like a big potlatch event, the ceremonies performed by the Native Americans from the great Northwest. I save up singles and new crisp $5 bills to give out in abundance, feeling better and better the more I give to the ladies. They’re working hard, and I’m in the service industry too working for tips, so I can identify with them. I give my dance partner $50 for a $30 lapdance and it just feels good knowing she’ll use the money for her baby girl. I give the $5’s to the girls on stage. I’m not showing off in a mid-level joint where singles rule the tip register, it just feels good to do something special, and it makes the girls happy.
I only go like I say about twice a year, and it’s a special event for me. I know I’m paying for sexualized contact with a hot skinny girl. But I always feel I’ve made a brief, not deep but genuine, just normal connection with a luminous creature, soft-skinned and slender, legs velveteen and long. I come away conflicted between exacerbated desire unrequited and a sweet, thrilled, treasured, focused satisfaction and completeness. For now, when the real thing isn’t available to me, paying for contact with an attractive girl postpones the pain of loneliness as well as tickles a lustfulness activated by the sight of so many girls walking around barely clothed, long legs and tight asses, bare shoulder and curvy chests on display. It’s an intoxication I keep as a special event, not for everyday.