In celebration of my 21st birthday, my single girlfriends decided to treat me to the ultimate “rite of passage” — a night of drunken debauchery at a Hollywood strip club.
Initially, I hemmed and hawed with uncertainty, simply because I dislike the concept of paying money to see a stranger take off his clothes, and also because I’m not so desperate over not having a boyfriend that I crave sexual attention from strangers.
But the girls said it was “just for fun,” and that it would “make me feel good,” even though it was absolutely meaningless.
So I figured it was worth a shot. Besides, my friends were the ones paying for it.
But even after three drinks and two lap dances, running my palm down the sweat-drenched stomach of a stranger, and slipping dollar bills into his shorts as payment for the “privilege” of doing so, didn’t leave me with much more than an empty spot in my wallet, as well as a very disgusting sweaty hand.
Throughout much of the experience, I laughed at the spectacle of my girlfriends going loony for lap dances and giggling over which guys they liked, as a dozen men swarmed around us on tabletops performing to cheesy dance numbers like “I’m Too Sexy,” all while wearing Speedos 10 times too tight.
My girlfriends were right when they called this type of superficial attention meaningless, but were wrong when they said it would make me feel good.
What would make me feel a lot better is simply to wait until I can celebrate my birthday not by touching the body of a stranger, but rather that of a guy I love and care about. Someone who actually enjoys the feeling of my touch and doesn’t expect cash in his underwear for it.
Or who at least knows how to buy some underwear that fits.
I was 18 and had just started college at CSUN, when a few of my new friends and I decided to take advantage of the coupon located on the back of the Sundial newspaper offering $10 off the cover charge of a strip club.
I was excited because I’d never been to one and it was one of those things you have to do at least once, like visiting Europe or reading a book. As we got to the strip club and went inside, we were told we had to sign in, which made me realize that now I could never run for president, because this might come back to haunt me one day.
As I entered, I envisioned a place with girls dancing everywhere, bright lights and cool music. But when I went through those classy draped beads, I saw a dark, dank place with one stage and a bunch of creepy- looking guys sitting alone, with their faces covered by the darkness.
Oh well, we’re here for the girls, not the atmosphere, I thought. As we all sat down, a girl came up and asked what drinks we wanted, as there was a minimum drink limit. She came back, gave me my coke and said, “That will be $6.”
I gave her the six bucks and she sat there, looked at me and said, “Well what about a tip?” I thought to myself, “Hey lady, you’re not taking off your shirt.”
But as I looked toward the exit I saw a bouncer 10 times my size and I just replied, “Oh, my bad.”
One by one, different girls came out, none more impressive then a life drawing model. And they all danced to very cheesy music. We all threw our money on the floor, and by the end I think we all wasted more money then we should have. The whole thing wasn’t too great. There was nothing really exciting, and if it weren’t for being with my friends, I would have felt like a pervert. But would I ever go again? Yeah, sure. Why not?