Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Strippers are feminists. Beautiful, naked feminists.

Tonight I was asked why I like strippers so damn much.

An honest question deserves an honest answer. And honestly - I don't enjoy all strip clubs, and I don't think every stripper is great just because she is a stripper. I'm not a stripper groupie. I have standards, darn it. I've been in a lot of strip clubs, as an employee and as a patron - most of them are mediocre at best. And at worst, the dancers are middle-aged women flaunting stretch marks and a cesarean scar, with husbands sitting at the end of the bar so that you can't even be (justifiably) horrified without getting punched in the head. I can see how people who have never seen a really talented stripper might not understand the appeal - so you have to trust me on this:

When they are good, they are very very good. When they are bad they are pregnant. Or minors. Or both. I'M KIDDING. But truly - strippers who are not good at what they do are just depressing. You feel bad for them, and that will ruin anyone's good time. If there is no talent and no pride in their performance, there is no point in any of it.

You gotta be good to make it rain.

So what constitutes good?
First and most importantly, just like going to see any show - ENTERTAIN ME. Going to a great strip club is like going to a circus for grownups. Standing in front of me and bending over to show me your business end is not entertaining. I am not your gynecologist. And furthermore, I have my own, thank you very much. I can look at that any time I want. What I WANT is a show. If there is music, it better be good. If there is a table, you should be on it. If there is a pole, you best be climbing it up to the ceiling and then clamping it between your knees (kegals!) while you flip over and suspend yourself headfirst over the dance floor. I don't care if you're naked, and i don't care how big your tits are. It's all about the show. Personally, I like a bit of excitement, but more than that - I have a huge amount of respect for people who are good at what they do. A good stripper is more than just a good dancer who can take her underpants off without having to sit down. A good stripper is incredibly strong, and fun. She interacts with her audience - the consummate showgirl. It's a performance. If you find yourself sitting in front of a dancer who is bored or just not very creative, you have my permission to pick up your drink and find someone who knows what the hell they are doing, and is enjoying themselves while they are doing it.

Which leads me to my second point: I am selective. I do not like all strippers. I do not like all strip clubs. I had one of the creepiest experiences of my life in Los Angeles at what was supposed to be a "legendary" club. It wasn't legendary, it was nasty. And the girls looked unhealthy and miserable. But the worst part was - they weren't even dancing. They were crawling around on the dance floor, going from one person to another and it felt like they were begging. It was weird and sad and desperate and then one of them bent over and kissed my wife and I spent the rest of the night in the parking lot getting stoned with two guys from Indiana and trying to reassure her that a little Windex and a strong course of antibiotics would take care of whatever she had just been exposed to.

Which leads me to my third point. I keep my hands to myself, and I expect everyone else to do the same - unless you are Jenna in which case all bets are off because trust me when I tell you that you WANT that woman to wrap her ankles around your neck. But really, I am there for the show, and the show usually does not involve touching. So if you have hesitated to go in a strip club because you think you will have strippers climbing all over you I have to things to say: 1. Get over yourself. and 2. That's not usually part of the program. When I am in a strip club, I do not expect a full contact experience, and actually would prefer to just watch some acrobatics (naked or otherwise) and have a few drinks.

The bottom line? I have seen better, more entertaining performers in strip clubs than I have seen on Broadway. Stripping is a talent, and an art. And it deserves respect. Just because the people on stage take their clothes off does not make it an automatic win. Ask the cast of Equus. If the show sucks, it sucks, no matter how naked you get - so you have to put in effort, and practice practice practice. Especially practice taking off your pants in 8 inch stilettos without falling over. Because that shit is a lot harder than it looks.

1 comment:

smiles :) said...

Thank you for your honest answer :)