Sunday, April 17, 2016

Out of my element

A couple girlfriends and I went out on the town last weekend. San Francisco, North Beach (for those in the know). I'm pretty much a homebody and a suburb girl. I am not comfortable in The Big City. There's so much... everything.  Lights, bustle, people. And I have a fear of public transit.  Goes back to an incident when I was 10 and jumped on the London Underground, thinking my parents were right behind me. They weren't and the doors closed and off I went.  Obviously I survived and was reunited, but scared shitless nonetheless.

Anyway, I wanted to spend time with my friends, so off to The City I went. My friends know and love city and are in their element. I was not, but they had my back. I wouldn't be abandoned.  Our goal was to have tons of fun, fun we wouldn't normally have. So off to the strip clubs we went.

It was early (for a Friday night in SF). The first club (The Condor) was quiet and the girls happily chatted with us while they danced on stage. It was fun. I loved their outfits, I loved their aerobics. And I was in a *whispers* STRIP CLUB. Giggle. I gave one of the girls a couple dollars, admitting this was my "first time". She was so sweet, told me exactly where to put the money and said "slap my butt, your friends will love it". See? Super fun, just my level of break out naughty.

This club was pretty tame (who knew?) so we tried a couple other places. Some wanted to charge a cover, which we weren't going to pay. We found another club and sat ourselves down. This is where my fun, happy and "giggle, I'm in a strip club" feelings ended.

I appreciate the female form, but I found I was much more interested in watching the girls' faces. And seeing their faces killed me. There was no emotion. None. Like they were dead inside. And I bet some of them were. It made me so sad. I leaned over to one of my friends and said "I really kind of hate this". Being the amazing friend that she is, she immediately said "Ok, let's go", and we were out of there.

My friend explained to me that these women really do make a good amount of money, and there are so many rules in place about touching and appropriate behavior from the guests (clients? patrons?), but I just couldn't get rid of the image of their emotionless faces. I still can't.

Most of these women strip because they have to. Maybe they don't have the education for a better job. Or because the Bay Area is so damn expensive they need this second job to pay the bills. Or life just put them there because life can do that. I doubt this happens to male strippers. But what do I know. My male stripper knowledge comes from Magic Mike.

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