Blue collar guys love strippers. Horny frat boys and CEOs love strippers. Tony Soprano and his crew loved strippers, and everybody knows rappers love strippers. T-Pain said it like this: Got the body of a goddess/Got eyes butter pecan brown/ I see you girl/Droppin low, she comin down from the ceiling to tha flo. And Wyclef Jean defended dancers everywhere when he said Just 'cause she dances go-go, it don't make her a ho, no.
The truth is, we ladies love strippers too. We take pole dancing classes and buy sexy lingerie because we want to be just as sexy. We want to arch our own backs, roll our own hips, and wrap our own bodies around a pole like a snake to make our men drool. But to many of us, the actual workings of a strip club are a mystery. I’ve seen burlesque shows and I saw the film, Magic Mike, but I was somewhat in the dark about what actually happens in strip clubs. And I’ve always wondered what it was like to be a stripper.
To answer my first question, I spoke to a female friend who frequents strip clubs. In her experience, dancers pull out all the stops when they give another woman a lap dance. Maybe they enjoy the opportunity to change it up, since female patrons are in the minority. Maybe they’re just into girls. Or most likely, they love the chance to be the aggressor, to shock and arouse a soft, yielding subject. Either way, as a woman, you’ll be allowed greater freedom to “touch”. In fact, female customers are often encouraged to touch and reciprocate. According to my friend, you might be treated to a vibration kiss, also known as a motorboat.
If you’re afraid to participate or simply can’t handle a lap dance, just kick back and savor the artistry of a brilliant dancer. The female body is a marvelous creation of symmetry and curves. Enjoy it, if only as a remarkable work of art. And remember, that fun fantasy at the club acts as foreplay to keep things hot when you and your partner get home.
After chatting with my friend, I got the chance to speak to an actual stripper and ask her the questions I was dying to have answered. To protect her identity, I’ll refer to her as “Sweet Thing.” However, I can reveal that she is gorgeous and funny and a talented dancer with the trophies to prove it.
Ms. Butler: So how long have you been dancing and where have you danced?
Sweet Thing: I’ve been dancing for about nine years. I’ve danced in Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Georgia.
Ms. Butler: Is there one state that’s your favorite place to dance?
Sweet Thing: Definitely Texas. Texans are the nicest. You know how they say everything is bigger in Texas? Well, they’re the friendliest. The biggest tippers. They really want to look after you well. I was dancing at a club down there and all the men reminded me of George Bush. The kind of men he’d hang out with. I wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen him in there. The customers were the same kind of rich, oil men. They know how to make a dancer feel appreciated.
Ms. Butler: What are the worst places to dance?
Sweet Thing: For me, Atlanta is hard because in the clubs I was trying to dance in, they prefer large, 200 to 300 pound women. They want to see all of that fat jiggling. At my size, I didn’t stand a chance. Another place I didn’t like was St. Louis. There’s a lot of nasty clubs there. Some of them are really dirty. There are shootouts and people hanging out in the parking lot all the time. I’ve heard of places where there’s an “Anything Goes” room. Customers can do whatever the dancer agrees to and the bouncers look the other way. They pay around $100 for a customer to go back there.
Ms. Butler: Anything goes, huh? Is there a limit on the number of people who can go in there?
Sweet Thing: No. To my knowledge, as many people as the room can fit, as long as they pay.
Ms. Butler: I can imagine things getting pretty crazy in a situation like that. I think most people assume there’s drama between dancers at some point. What causes dancers to fight?
Sweet Thing: Some dancers will steal anything- your makeup, your phone, electronics, whatever. They’ll steal your clothes, your underwear. Or they fight over customers. The older dancers tend to get jealous of the younger ones. The older ones have long-time customers and they don’t want some younger dancer going behind her back and stealing a customer. Like, you could go pee and come back and find some other dancer with your customer. So that can cause fights, because if he’s generous and likes to spend a lot of time and money on a girl, that can be hundreds of dollars taken from you. If the customers start fighting or acting stupid, it’s because they’re drunk.
Ms. Butler: What are some of the more unusual requests dancers get?
Sweet Thing: Some want what’s called the “Girlfriend Experience”. Basically they want you to pretend to be their girlfriend for the night. They want you to walk around the club with them, holding hands. They’ll pay between $30 to $500 depending on the club. Then you’ve got the guys who want you to hit them in the balls.
Ms. Butler: Ouch! Seriously?
Sweet Thing: Yes. They want you to hit them or kick them in the balls. They want to be punched and bitten and smacked around. Some guys are referred to as “shakers”. When you’re giving them a lap dance, they grab hold of your love handles and just shake the hell out of you, pulling you back and forth. They can go on all night like that, dry humping you. Every now and then I’ll see a dominatrix bring a guy in so he can get beaten. Then you’ve got the guys with foot fetishes. We had a guy who liked to deep throat two women at once. He’d put one dancer’s foot all the way in his mouth, then he’d do the same with the other dancer and just go back and forth, sucking their feet. One guy had me pour a drink on myself so that it rolled down my leg, off my foot and into his mouth.
Ms. Butler: So tell me, how does a dancer learn to dance?
Sweet Thing: A veteran can teach you. You can take pole dancing classes. You do a lot of practicing.
Ms. Butler: I guess that’s true about anything in the sexual arena. Practice, practice, practice makes perfect. Please share the secret of the butt shaking dance? How do you do that? Not twerking, but just making the butt jiggle.
Sweet Thing: Really, you just wiggle your heels. Everything above that will shake.
Ms. Butler: Does it ever give you a backache? Making your butt shake looks hard on the back.
Sweet Thing: Not really. Being upside down on the pole can make your back hurt. Or floor dancing. That can be hard on your back.
Ms. Butler: What are some other hazards of the job?
Sweet Thing: Sometimes girls fly off the pole. Or they may be working upside down on the pole and slip and come down on their head. You might be spinning on the pole, and all of the sudden your shoe flies off and cracks a customer in the head. If you’re too drunk, it can be hard to know where the stage ends, so you fall off. Then you have the rocker chicks. They don’t have a lot of rhythm, so they just kind of bang and throw themselves around the stage. They’re like a pissed off cow with hooves. They think the faster they throw
themselves around, the better. They have no grace, and you can get hurt dancing like that.
Ms. Butler: Have you ever seen anything scary happen?
Sweet Thing: Once a guy got into it with another guy, and he ran off and came back with a gun. Sometimes the brawls between girls get pretty bad when they bring out the stilettos. That can get scary. Or if you’re alone with a customer and he starts to get rough, there’s a panic button you can use, and the bouncers will come help you out.
Ms. Butler: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen in a club?
Sweet Thing: There was a guy laying on the stage watching a girl dance, and all of the sudden he brings out a bag of pot and gives it to her. The bouncers were like no, no, no. Then one time I was in a Miss Nude contest, and they had just put down a new stage and it was slippery, and one of the dancers who was really pretty and thought she was all that- she fell right on her ass.
Ms. Butler: What’s the sweetest thing you’ve seen happen?
Sweet Thing: A guy came in on Valentine’s Day and passed out roses to all of the girls. At Christmas time, there’s a church group who comes around and gives the girls gift baskets. They’ll put socks in there, and jewelry. They’ll put in a Bible and maybe some hand sanitizer. Something else really sweet was when a true veteran took me under her wing. She gave me a wardrobe, she taught me how to sit and be good company so that the guys don’t want anyone else. She was one of the sweetest women I’ve ever worked with. She always looked out for me and gave me what I needed, like if it was football season, or there was a big sporting event, she’d give me a cheerleader outfit to dance in.
Ms. Butler: What advice would you give a new dancer?
Sweet Thing: Don’t make friends with people. Stick to yourself and avoid cliques. If you’re going to be promiscuous with customers, keep it private. Never screw the owner or the manager. It will cost you your job. After two or three months you’ll be fired because you’ll get arrogant and cocky and start acting like a queen bee.
And there you have it. A backstage peek into the fascinating world of a stripper. I’d like to thank Sweet Thing for taking the time to enlighten me.
Aurora, Psychic For the Stars
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Number of pages: 197
Word Count: 60,547
Cover Artist: Donna Butler and Sander Cha
As a psychic medium to the stars, Aurora Alexander believes her life is about as full of glamor and excitement as it can get. Until she falls in love with a client, the multi-platinum selling performer and record producer, Curtis Love. Even though Curtis has a girlfriend, he and Rory share an attraction that proves to be irresistible. Once Curtis breaks up with his girlfriend and they give in to their passion, the story takes them from St. Tropez to Manhattan, Maui, Paris, Milan and elsewhere. Rory’s life becomes every woman's dream come true, filled with designer clothes, jewels, glam squads and a personal bodyguard. But in spite of all the glamor and globe-trotting, Rory can’t outrun the suspicion that Bella, one of her clients, is in grave danger.
Rory's devotion to her sometimes dangerous line of work begins to cause friction in her relationship with Curtis. Despite Curtis’s warnings, when the ghostly victims of a serial killer come to Rory for justice, she can't help but chase down their killer. But as she puts her life in jeopardy to expose a killer and rescue Bella, she also jeopardizes the greatest love she's ever known.
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When we got back to the hotel, he was still amped up and wanted to make love in the Jacuzzi in our suite. What should have been a romantic interlude turned into a lot of playful splashing, dunking and laughing. We’d wrestle for a little, then make love, start wrestling again and suddenly that would turn into more lovemaking. By the end of it, we were soaked and exhausted.
Later that afternoon, I spoke to Bella again and we settled on dinner at her boyfriend’s restaurant at seven. On the drive over, Curtis and I were cuddled in the backseat of the rental car like childhood sweethearts when suddenly I felt a familiar tightness in my chest. Breathing deeply didn’t help. Predictably, I started trembling and began to feel weak.
“Are you shaking, baby?” Curtis asked. “Dave, throw me one of those bottles of water.” Unable to speak, I watched, as if from a great distance, as Dave passed a bottle of water to Curtis. Curtis grabbed my purse and pulled out several bottles. He selected one containing the fast acting, anti-anxiety pills. “Open your mouth, baby,” he told me. He slid a pill into my mouth, opened the bottle of water and held it to my lips until I drank. Then he held me and stroked my forehead until the pill took effect. “Any idea what caused it?”
I shrugged. “I feel like it has something to do with this dinner. Or Bella. I don’t know.” I sighed. “I just got a bunch of warning signals all at once.”
“Do you want to call her and cancel?” Curtis asked.
“No,” I said, pausing to cough. “I need to be there.”
When we walked in, Bella was waiting at the hostess station looking camera ready in a form fitting, black mini dress. Her bright red locks had been flat ironed to perfection, and her makeup was flawless. She grabbed a stack of menus and quickly ushered us through several elegant dining rooms and up a small flight of stairs. On the way, I noticed the brass railings that edged the upper level dining rooms. “You okay?” Curtis asked when I stumbled on the stairs.
“I’m fine,” I said as we continued to a private dining room near the back of the restaurant. I knew that brass railing. I knew it from that awful dream.
Now that Curtis had gotten through the place unrecognized, there was time for greetings and introductions. “I’ve seen you work,” Curtis told Bella as he removed his sunglasses. “You’re very good.”
“Thank you,” Bella said with an enchanting smile. “I’ve seen you in concert six or seven times. Australia, England, Germany, New York. You rock, man. You just get out there and spit fire. And the things you do with beats are sick. Hey, why don’t you guys have a seat and I’ll let the chef know you’re here.” She grinned and headed off to the kitchen.
When she returned with her boyfriend, I reached over and grabbed Curtis’s hand as we stood for the introductions. My heartbeat was so violent, I imagined it was visible through my dress.
“Rory, Curtis, this is my boyfriend Cliff Wexler.”
I took in the dark hair on his head and on his knuckles when he reached out to shake my hand. I nearly drew back my hand when I saw the manicured fingernails. Cliff. Cliff? How could Bella have ignored that? “Pleased to meet you,” I said as a sea of blood roared through my ears. He was pleasant looking, in the way a conservative Republican politician can look pleasant. He had dark brown hair, a high forehead, close set brown eyes and thin, thin lips.
“Yeah, pleased to meet you Cliff,” Curtis said as he instinctively took my arm and allowed me to sag against him. To me, his voice sounded like it was coming from the far end of a ten mile tunnel.
Cliff’s eyes widened as he stared at me with speculation.
Suddenly, two female spirits appeared on either side of Cliff. They were nude and foggy white. Each wore a gruesome necklace of blood that dripped down, past their breasts. As my eyes moved lower, I saw that, unlike the white hair on their heads, their pubic hair appeared in lifelike shades. One woman had been a brunette and the other had had black hair. Then I noticed huge clots of blood sliding from between their legs.
“Rory is such an awesome medium,” I heard Bella say, from what seemed like a thousand miles away. “Dead people contact her all the time with warnings for the living. She’s amazing.”
Every ounce of strength left my legs as I blacked out.
About the Author:
Donna lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and three cats. She wrote her first novel at fourteen and has had a love affair with writing ever since. In addition to writing, she loves gardening, laughing at reality television and playing with her three-year-old granddaughter.