It started out as a mild argument. A friend’s bachelor party loomed large and Teresa had graciously allowed me to attend the festivities, knowing full well there would be naked, oiled women present in some abundance. The problem arose when I returned home, smelling of smoke and liquor and still pretty cheerful about the evening. Mistake number one. Number two was failing to immediately notice that Teresa just happened to still be up, reading. Number three was failing to notice that she was wearing an attractive teddy and a light perfume. Number four, a big one, was plopping down next to her and regaling her with stories about the evening while continuing to commit mistakes two and three.
When it finally dawned on me that she might appreciate some attention and appreciation herself I apologized, tipped her a dollar and tried to get her to shake her money-maker, but by now she was intriqued by the activities I had described.
“They made him get up on stage?” she asked.
“He’s the bachelor, it’s traditional to embarrass him in public. Call it a rite of passage.”
“Stripping him to his bikini underwear, forcing him to his hands and knees and letting a stripper ride him around the runway whipping him with his own necktie is a rite of passage?”
“In many countries, yes.”
I showed her the picture of myself with the featured dancer on my lap and described some of the many artistic ways in which young ladies might take their clothes off several times a night. She remained unimpressed and generally disappointed, not at what goes on at such places but that I had obviously enjoyed it. I explained that I had actually spent most of the evening making fun of it all and hadn’t even gotten aroused once, so there.
“Then why go?” she wondered.
“Why does your office crew go to see “The Nastee Boyz”? Watching naked people wriggle about is fun, admit it,” I said.
She answered instantly, “That’s different.” Then she thought about it for a few moments. “Well, it is.”
I got up and rummaged around in her desk drawer where we dump all of our photos, finally producing a similar Polaroid. It also depicted a nightclub scene, but in this one Teresa was sitting in front of an undulating man wearing a loin cloth and a quart of baby oil. She was carefully tucking a bill into his clothing (she has long fingernails) and grinning to an alarming degree. “Yes, it is different. I only tipped the girl five dollars.”
“We just go for the fun, we’re not getting hot or anything.”
“Neither did we,” I replied. “Or at least I didn’t, I’m not sure about a few of the others. But where’s the difference? Why is it harmless to go watch a guy writhe in time to “Alley Oop” but a lapse in moral judgement to enjoy a girl shaking it to ZZTop?”
An hour of trying brought us no closer to a decent explanation so we settled on a fair compromise: I would go with her to the next “Nastee Boyz” revue and then we would drive straight from there to a strip club to compare.
Churl’s Night Out:
The “Nastee Boyz Revue” was held every Friday night in a local nightclub. We spent some time sipping $4 Cokes and watching a lot of women act like the teenage girls in the Beatles newsreels.
Teresa: “See? Completely different.”
Me: “You’re right, if I touched one of the girl dancers like that I’d get tossed out. Look at that lady, she’s got her arm in that guy’s pouch up to her armpit.”
Teresa: “But look, the women here are sober, mostly. They’re laughing and having a good old time. You can’t tell me that anyone here really thinks one of the dancers might suddenly quit his job and come home with her.”
Me: “And the lady slurping whipped cream off the man’s abs and groin?”
Teresa: “Living it up. Letting herself go. Giving herself something pleasant to think about next time she’s in the shower.”
Me: “Or if she’s closing her eyes and pretending her husband is a man?”
Teresa: “Sure. They’re aware of how fake it all is and they can relax and enjoy the show. They don’t obsess.”
Me: “Don’t look now, but I think the lady in the realtor jacket just might be obsessing. She hasn’t blinked yet.”
Teresa: “There’s always exceptions. But you don’t see any bouncers around, do you?”
Me: “They prefer ‘floor managers’. And yeah, there’s one over there.”
Teresa: “One. And he looks like he’d rather be on stage.”
Me: “Wouldn’t we all?”
Teresa: “Really? There’s an amateur night…”
Sauce for the Gander
Off to “The Passion Playhouse”. For an hour or so we watched the dancers on the stage and on the other tables as they gyrated and bumped to pounding tunes. Teresa considered it validation of her argument.
Teresa: “See? Sleazy.”
Me: “Sleazy? What’s the difference?”
Teresa: “When the guys dance, they look silly and sexy and they know it. They aren’t taking themselves seriously and don’t expect the women to. Here the girls act like every guy might be the one to turn her on and save her from all this.”
Me: “The redhead doesn’t.”
Teresa: “True, she looks like she just wants to bang everyone in the room, including the other dancers.”
Me: “You have to give the customer what they want. The ladies want fun, the guys want fantasies. Apart from an unfortunate gender generalization, who cares?”
Teresa: “I just want guys to be more than that. Look at that table over there. Those guys look absolutely hungry. I’d be afraid to dance for them, I’d be afraid I’d end up in an alley with my panties around my ears.”
Me: “I looked at you that way myself not half an hour ago.”
Teresa: “But I love you, and I’d be hurt if you didn’t think of me lustfully. I expect a stranger to be polite enough to disguise his interest and treat me decently.”
Me: “Sorry, I was busy thinking of you lustfully. Ow! There goes your tip, girlie. Guys don’t come here to be polite. A lot of them probably come here because they spend their days being polite around female co-workers, bosses, friends, strangers, what have you. They may have wives or girlfriends that don’t appreciate being stared at lustfully. They may be afraid to look upon a woman with interest because they’re afraid it might be actionable. Here they can stare openly and enjoy some meaningless R-rated flirting without having to think about being sensitive or calling the next day. The women at the revue were hooting and screaming and enjoying themselves, this is the guys’ way of letting off steam.”
Teresa: “I know, I just hate seeing it. It’s like a Twilight Zone episode, where you suddenly realize that you don’t really know the people around you, or that they’re all secretly animals or something.”
Me: “We are secretly animals. You don’t really mind seeing the animal in man one on one, it’s just that seeing a pack of them at the same time is a bit scary.”
Teresa: “But when the women let it out they’re still just having fun. When the guys let it out it seems dark and dangerous and a little pathetic. It’s like for the women it’s a playful desire and for the guys it’s a desperate need.”
Me: “You’re just mad that the girls can take off their undies and the guys can’t.”
Teresa: “That, too. That is so unfair.”
Me: “I don’t know, losing the posing pouch might lose the guys some tips. The ladies can fake intense interest even if they’re busy thinking about their stock options. Guys have outdoor plumbing; if they’re not interested in their customer people at the next table know it. Easier to keep it covered and leave the fantasy intact.”
Teresa: “They could always get implants. The girls here did. Look at that one, I can’t imagine how she sleeps.”
Me: “Let’s call her over and ask. I’ll buy you a table dance.”
Teresa: “Whoops, look at the time!”
Call it a draw.