A mother of two embarks on a quest to experience her first lap dance. But not to worry there’s a strict ‘No Touching’ bylaw, isn’t there?
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Several weeks ago after making dinner for the kids and figuring out who still had homework to finish, I decided to embark on something that had been, up to that point, a kind of dare to myself. I had met a female stripper not long before who had told me that if I really wanted to find out what a lap dance was all about, I should experience one first-hand. And what better way to do this than to head over to Remington’s on Ladies’ Night and pony up $20 for the real thing?
Lap dancing has always been a controversial form of entertainment, what with the “No Touching” bylaw passed in the ’90s, presumably to protect strippers from unwanted groping. Or from having to perform certain acts that go beyond the call of stripping.
So I thought that, while I was heading into somewhat uncharted territory, I was protected by two things: the bylaw, of course, and the notion that the male dancers might feel as weird about this as I did.
Around eight o’clock on a Sunday night, I headed out, figuring that with my jeans and black top I would blend in with the crowd. However, when I entered the club all heads, mostly male, seemed to snap in my direction. I paid my admission and a young-looking man with curly brown hair bounced over to greet me.
“Hey, how are you? I’m Jason [not his real name]. What’s your name?” He smiled and pushed his face into mine a little closer than I felt was appropriate for our first meeting.
“Umm … Georgie.” I was taken aback to be approached so quickly, but happy that someone was speaking to me. “Are you a stripper here?”
He grinned. “Yeah.”
“Great, can I get a lap dance from you?” Might as well cut to the chase. He looked surprised and happy. I bet it usually took more to convince the ladies.
“Why don’t you watch the dancers for a few minutes,” he said, “then we can go upstairs.”
I sat at the bar and sipped on a Coke while various men peeled off their clothes and proceeded to slide up and down the silver pole. Meanwhile, Jason told me about himself. He was in fact 40, he said, not the 25 he appeared to be. Dressed in loose shorts and running shoes, he complained of having a beer belly and needing to work out, but all I could see was abs. Half dancing, half doing a kind of boxing bounce, he told me he was straight, separated and lived in a small town outside Toronto.
After about 10 minutes of watching men bump and grind against the pole, we decided to go upstairs to one of the cubicles reserved for private dances. I paid a toonie to the attendant, and as I passed him I said to Jason, “OK, there’s a no-touching bylaw, so you won’t touch me and I won’t touch you.” In case there was any confusion, I held my hands in the air to indicate what no touching meant. Jason and the attendant looked at each other, nodded and rolled their eyes. I started to get a little nervous.
Upstairs, the dimly lit cubicle resembled a small washroom stall. Everything seemed to be painted a pinky-purple colour, but it was almost too dark to tell. Jason opened the door, offered me a seat and I sat down clutching my purse. Loud disco music blared in the background, the same stuff the dancers were gyrating to downstairs. Within seconds, Jason had pulled down his shorts and was buck naked, save for the running shoes. Now I was getting scared. Here I was behind closed doors with a naked stranger who was trying to rub up against me. Oh yes, and it was all my idea.
As he moved nearer and tried to nuzzle up against me, I shrieked, “Stop! You can’t touch me! There’s a no touching bylaw!”
He stopped momentarily looking a little surprised. Then he shrugged and started dancing again. “Come on,” he flirted, “Open up your legs so I can rub against you.”
Again, I invoked the no touching bylaw, (which I was quickly learning had as much effect as telling my kids to pick up their clothes) quickly squeezing my legs together and turning sideways. The booth was so small that it was difficult not to touch, bylaw or no bylaw. This time, Jason realized I was serious, shrugged and backed off a little. The whole time he was dancing he was also massaging a certain body part. Fortunately its dimensions never changed. I wondered how he did that. Maybe it was me, not him though.
I was beginning to see that the world of lap dances was much different than I had imagined. To distract him, I asked him more questions about himself and his job.
“Do you ever do more than just rub up against women?”
“Oh sure, when it gets later at night and women get really drunk, they actually do stuff to us.”
“Wow”, I was incredulous. “They actually pay you to do stuff to you?” Seemed mixed up somehow. Why pay a guy to provide a service to him?
“Yep,” he winked. “But I don’t let them do that to me. It’s disgusting.” I was definitely cynical about that answer.
“Do you ever go home with women?”
“Sure. For a couple of hundred bucks. But you really earn your money. You have to talk to them, be nice to them. You work the whole time.”
Suddenly he lunged for me, and tried to kiss me. I screamed, “You can’t kiss me. There’s a no touching bylaw.”
“Can I kiss your cheek?”
“Okay,” I said, but regretted it immediately when he grabbed my one hand with the two hands he had been using on himself and planted a big kiss on it. The song ended and he tried to keep talking.
“Do I have to pay more, if you keep dancing?” He nodded his head.
I quickly pulled out $20, handed it to him and we left the cubicle. He turned to me and smiled, “You know I have to make it seem like something happened in here.”
“I don’t think so.” My eyes narrowed and I attempted to look scary and authoritative. He smiled back at me as we made our way down the stairs.
As we walked by the attendant, he winked, “She was great.”
“I was not. Nothing happened. You know nothing happened. Nothing happened.” Under my breath, I mumbled, “ I’m the mother of two children. Absolutely nothing happened.”
Then we walked out into the crowd and he adjusted his shorts and fakely whistled and rolled his eyes. I shook my head and slunk by, hoping no one recognized me.
Then I asked for directions to the washroom, but when a man offered to escort me to it, in a much too friendly way, I took off out the front door, and headed for the washroom in a nearby pizza joint. Why? To wash my hands, course. The ones he kissed, and touched with his hands.
As I walked along Yonge St. though, I felt oddly exhilarated, but it was more from the fact that I knew something most women don’t know – what it’s like to have a lap dance. That and the fact you can’t help but feel a little tingly after spending ten minutes in a very small space with a very cute and very naked guy.
I may go back again for another lap dance. There was a particularly attractive guy who passed me on the way out, and gave me quite the look. But next time, I’m taking my Purelle. Maybe I should bring a copy of the bylaw too. No one seems to remember it.