Ha! Oh man… After last week’s post I know I have to write something happy. It’s the crazy back and forth of being an extremist. The highs are so high and the lows are so terribly low, but what can an ex-adult industry actress/activist/humanist/writer/alcoholic do, I ask you?
I worked at this strip club in Dallas and I actually liked the club, as far as strip clubs go. It was just a big square box off of Highway 157, decorated with all the garishness of a nighttime liquor and ‘good time’ joint. There were actually two clubs on either side of the small street off that highway – one was for the so-so-looking to upscale gals, and the other was for the not-so-great-looking to so-so-looking gals. I worked at the former club.
I loved the loud rock-n-roll vibrating from the speakers. I loved that every third song was a country song, by mandate. The owner liked country and he wanted the cowboys to be catered to and sometimes the females preferred to dance to music that didn’t interest the guys, so country was absolutely mandatory. If it was slow, each dancer performed a two-song set, so it would be mandatory ever dance set, at that point. There were eight stages, altogether, so you’d dance two songs on the main stage and then rotate with the other dancers through the other seven stages. That’s a total of up to sixteen songs before you can retire and sit with someone and make twenty dollars for a “table dance”. And there were no poles attached to the stages, so one had no choice but to utilize the stage completely. I learned how to be female at this club. I learned how to walk and dance in five inch high heel shoes, I learned how to put on makeup, wear sexy clothing and fix my hair. I was a tomboy, so up to that point I didn’t know much about the exterior art of looking attractive beyond tight jeans, halter tops and a little bit of makeup, which I rarely ever wore. Truth is, I learned just as much about being a lady as I did about hustling and being obnoxiously drunk on Tequila, which was my poison of choice. I couldn’t drink much else because whiskey would send me into really dark places and someone would get a drink, or many drinks, or an entire table thrown at them. *sigh* I miss Texas. lol
Anyway, I met a lot of good people. The house moms were these three sisters; one a cute soccer mom with a mullet, one a very rotund, Wagnerian woman who would knock you flat on your ass if you got in her way, and one a lesbian, also with mullet, but blonde and very funny and very kind. The smell of liquid latex always filled the air because the company bought tubs of it. It was the law that the nipples had to be covered, so instead of supplying pasties, which were probably just too expensive and given to flying off in the middle of performances anyway, they bought tubs of liquid latex and those little dixie cups you pump your ketchup into at burger joints. We’d take a Q-Tip and apply the the latex over the nipple, wait a few minutes until it dried and then dab it with an eyeshadow color, then spray over that with hairspray to secure it to the latex. It was ingenious, really, because the latex would flex with the nipple, contracting and expanding, something pasties cannot do and probably the reason why they come off unexpectedly.
Every now and then I’d get tired of working there and I would go somewhere else, but I always gravitated back. It had a really laid back vibe, and while the girls could be extremely competitive, there were almost never any confrontations. It was usually a great time had by all. I met a lot of great guys there, too. Nice down home guys who liked the female form, liked conversation, a couple of beers after work and music and didn’t want to deal with anything more complicated than that. That club will always occupy a comfortable place in my mind, and it always jumps into focus when I hear “Main Street” by Bob Seger because I had a customer that requested that song every time he came to see me. He’d watch me move on stage with those sad lonely eyes and I knew I reminded him of someone from a past long gone. It was romantic and I felt honored to be the catalyst for whatever memories the song and my dancing invoked.
When I think of my youth I think of Texas. I think of cowboys and lovely ladies with soothing Southern drawls. I think of iced tea and barbecue ribs, straw hats and chewing tobacco. I think of Hank Williams, Jr. and my Dad’s black, beat-up Ford pickup truck. I think of lightning storms, bare feet and tornados, the Fourth of July, fast cars and AC/DC, and I think of that club. I’m not sure I could ever live there again, but I do have a lot of fond memories of Texas and my youth, and the beginnings of my womanhood in a dinghy little dive off Highway 157.