Strip chat rooms
When I slip through the club proper in civvie clothes, eyes follow me in bewilderment; all the other women here are wearing lingerie. I cajole men with near-empty glasses into ordering another drink, smiling, winking, patting arms.
Upstairs in the fluoros I change into my red corset and tiny skirt, take painkillers, apply lipstick, and re-emerge beautiful and ready to earn. I tap the orders into the touch-screen by the bar, and when I take the punters their drinks with their change on a plastic tray in mostly coins, I hope desperately they’ll leave it all for me.
She carries a Country Road overnight bag and always wears thongs, even in the winter. The dancers wear every kind of lingerie conceivable, layers of it to provide something to strip off, but always flimsy or small enough that there’s thigh and cleavage visible, or the glint of a bellybutton ring.
I think she’s probably the sexiest woman to ever set foot in the venue. Ayla wears all black, all the time; Michelle has powder-blue silky things; Ashley favours dark red.
I loiter in the lap room out of sight of the security cameras, chatting with the controller who’s making sure no one gets penetrated, surrounded by naked women writhing on drunk men. The dancers, all women, all working for themselves, are at the bottom. Then the bar staff (all men), the DJs (men), the managers (men), the owners (men), and the CEO of the venue chain, a vile woman called Tanya.
Soon after I start working, my boyfriend asks me about the stories I’m already telling about the drunks and idiots, the constant attempts to pick me up. ” It’s hard to explain to him how it can be okay, after I’ve told him, fidgeting and angry, about the threat of harassment every time I walk somewhere alone. There is no movement between the layers, except occasionally from dancer to hostess; it’s frozen, stratified, like feudal Japan.
” he croons into his cordless microphone, and the girls who have been waiting next to the stage swap places with those who’ve already had their three songs, who dismount naked and significantly richer, carrying their lingerie in a wadded up ball.
Being on the red, womblike venue floor is like looking through a Vaseline-coated lens.
She glows, her skin plump with subcutaneous fat, her toes like pink jellybeans under the wide plastic strap of her heels. When a dancer is dancing, she won’t take her clothes off until someone sitting in the tipping seats by the stage hands her a bill that she can slide into the money clip held onto her thigh by an elastic garter.It feels more like a secret clubhouse than a strip club.