Wednesday, June 17, 2009



in the booth, you drop a quarter into the slot & a metal plate slides up revealing a bright red room through the thick plexi-glass. in the room there is a stage w/two poles spaced at opposite sides of the stage. from the deliberately limited perspective of the booth, the stage is the primary focus, although it is possible to at least see the other 9 viewing panels, spaced in a semi-circle facing the stage. it's not possible to see behind the other panels into the other booths. in this odd sexual panopticon, you can see the girls &, if they try hard enough, they can vaguely see you but every viewer(including yourself)is shielded from the other viewers. it's all about the privacy of viewing the girls---a voyeur's dream.
well, except for the smell & having to keep shoving quarters or dollar bills into the various slots. in the darkened booth, the exchange of legal tender isn't easy & dropping any money in the semen soaked, richly redolent booth renders it pretty much untouchable. "filthy lucre", indeed.

such is life at the lusty lady over in sf, the only worker owned strip-joint in the country. the lovely young lady i'd followed out to california from charlottesville worked there. actually, cara worked during the day as a librarian for a french school near the mission. she worked part time at "the lady" several nights a week. cara had tats & a piercing before i followed her out to cali. when she got her second piercing, her clit this time, i knew it must be love.

i remember the panel sliding up & seeing cara for the first time in this working situation. it's always odd seeing someone you've seen naked before dancing, it's something i experienced quite a bit back in p'cola w/terra & j & d & lacy & jamie & tracy(outrigger girls all). seeing someone you're intimate w/is another story altogether. at 27yo, cara still had a kind of adolescent female body, small boobs, not much of a waist & boyish hips. i described it as "blockish," a truthful comment i lived to regret.

up on stage, cara was nude, her lithe body undulating(not really dancing), her face made up more heavily than usual w/bright red lipstick. from her deliciously shaven pudenda, her new clit ring gleamed. her face was composed quite deliberately in a bored pout. she balanced precariously on enormously high heels. she looked great.

what you couldn't tell by just looking at her, even there naked on the stage, was that she'd discovered a jaw dropping talent & had been featuring it in her "private pleasures" solo performances. she could easily take that largest(& i mean, really big)dildos into her small body. that was something in & of itself but there was more. once it was all the way in, she'd take her hands off it & expel it w/such force that it would shoot across the room. the first time i saw her do it in the privacy of our bedroom, i was flabbergasted. she seemed surprised by my reaction. she seemed to think anyone could do it. i assured it that they couldn't.

two months later when we broke up for various reasons, she said, "well, at least i know i can make money anywhere in the world if i have to. i suppose i have you to thank for that." i didn't feel like i really deserved the credit. i think i told her as much too.


p'cola always had mixed feelings about the strip joints in the city. if you google "trader jon's" you won't find any mention of his place as a stinky piss pit where women danced naked. somehow history has seized trader jon & converted him into a lovable old navy loving guy. who you gonna call?

still, at various times, the city council would crack down on the titty bars in the city. while they couldn't ever seem to find a way to just shut the places down, they'd come up w/various code violations(most probably true). intermittently, they'd require the dancer's to wear pasties, small covering over their aureoles. no nipple, no aureoles. the women could dance in g-strings & writhe about but that one little area couldn't be exposed. usually, this lasted through whatever election cycle was happening & then it went back to normal & the girls were free to show their nips.

one way some of the club owners got around this was to move out beyond the city limits into the county. i suppose rules there were more slack. when they first made that move, the rules were definitely looser. for example, at no point in the early history of p'cola strip joints were women allowed to go bottomless. no pubes, no slit, no way! it just wasn't done. i didn't see a woman on stage completely naked until i was in key west in the late 70s. this was before most women took the time to shave themselves & things were a little gross. when the city cracked down(so to speak)on the clubs on south palafox, new clubs opened in odd places out in the county. there was one out on north 9th avenue, just above the 9th ave recreation center(where georgie got busted w/all that acid). i think it's a restaurant now & was before these guys took over.

anyway, mike, marie, & i went out to the new place. i'm not sure if we knew the girls were going to be completely naked or not. we DID know that the girls down on palafox were under the nipple edict. the inside of the place was what you'd expect: very dark, very smoky, & very loud. the girls weren't bad, young w/good bodies. the total nudity didn't seem to be inhibiting them. of course, that was where their money was & that's why they'd chosen to come work at this place.

we were feeling no pain when a lovely young woman came on stage. she was a good(not great)dancer but as she disrobed she got better & better & when she was completely naked & executed a kind of back bend right in front of our table. as her most beautiful & intimate bodily part was revealed to the three of us, i leaned over to mike & hollered, "damn, that thing looks like it could talk" to which michael responded just as loudly, "it's talking to ME!"


some of us went to south palafox by ourselves. we developed various methods for dealing w/the general "fleecing" that the whole strip joint enterprise was about. i never sat close to the stage. i never invited or allowed the girls to sit at my table. i never bought them a drink. hey, i didn't say this was some kind of noble quest. there's nothing really noble about going somewhere & watching women dance naked for you. that said, there was also nothing noble about how the various clubs came up w/ways to gouge you. the girls were somehow caught in between.

when someone new started coming down to south palafox, i always felt obligated to share my system w/them. mike had been down several times to "the strip," several strip joints down along south palafox: trader jon's, quayside inn, the gentleman's club(or whatever the hell they called the place across from traders). a block north was the red garter, a gay bar that specialized in tranny's lip-synching disco tunes in various costumes. we would usually do a circuit of the strip joints & maybe stop into the red garter(that usually required female accompaniment). anyway, after a few months, i was pretty confident that mike had the game down. the baby bird has to leave the nest sometime, right?

you could usually bet that the quayside had a least a few asian dancers. that was their signature i guess. as a consequence, mike preferred the quayside to the other bars. he had developed a fondness for asian girls after he broke up w/ann-marie. i liked to circulate. that was another way to keep from getting fleeced. they couldn't get too much money out of you if you were only there for 45minutes at a time. one weekend night, mike & i were at the quayside & i felt like it was time to go. "you go on," he said, "i think i'll just stay here." "fine by me," was my reply & out onto the strip i went. donna bailey may have been dancing at traders that night & so i know where i ended up. i didn't see mike again that night.

the next day, i was profoundly hung over. when i saw mike, i asked him how his night had gone. he told me he'd had TWO of the asian girls come onto him & he'd let them sit w/him & bought them drinks. "jesus christ, man, how much did that cost you?," i asked, stunned that he'd breached protocol. (secretly i was pissed that he might have scored w/some of the strippers). "enough to pay for a really fine stereo system," he replied sadly. no score. fleece.


the last time i went to a strip joint was last year when i was in p'cola for the summer. i went to the venerable sammy's on gregory street. it had been over 10 years since i'd been there last & even more years since i'd seen terra dance there w/haller watching & getting very turned on. actually it had almost been 10 years since i'd been in any kind of strip joint. i went to lusty lady a few times after cara had quit to see some of her friends but after a couple of months, they'd all moved on. the thrill was gone.

i was looking forward to sammy's & i wanted to get ann one of their t-shirts(they were sold out). the place was pretty much the same on the outside & the inside. they'd done quite a bit of work to maintain the place. this was a good sign. as i walked in, the air conditioned air nearly knocked me over. it was so amazingly cold in there i'd swear they could hang sides of beef w/no problem. the $10 cover charge was the same as before & drinks were surprisingly reasonable($5 for miller lite). as i walked in, a girl on stage was just finishing up & she was completely naked, shaved beautifully w/a piercing & tats. ah, i thought, home sweet home. p'cola had somewhere along the way decided to not worry about total nudity in the strip clubs. who says p'cola is behind the times?

anyway, what struck me immediately was that i was one of only two single men in the place. i kept peering into the darkened corners where i expected to see single men & dancers engaged in lap dancing but they weren't there. this is not to say the place wasn't packed. amazingly, i realized the place was filled w/couples, relatively young(20s-mid-30s) male/female couples. this wasn't a ladies night either. it seems like what had been nearly taboo back in our youth(a woman in a strip joint who wasn't one of the dancers & not one of the dancer's girl lovers)had become some kind of hot commodity in new millenium p'cola. as i sat there, watching things, more & more couples came in. they didn't seem to know any of the girls. they were just there to watch & get turned on & they were having a blast doing both.

i felt old.


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