It must have been pretty obvious I had no idea what to do as I approached the entrance of the gentleman’s club. The doorman smiled politely. And then asked if I needed directions.
“Umm no, I’m coming here.”
He ID’d me.
I kept talking, nervously explaining. “Well, you know, they’re launching a new magazine and I’m a writer and I dressed up and everything!” For some reason I bobbled my head so he could see my dangly earrings flash in the light.
He wasn’t impressed but was nice enough to pretend he was. With a flourish, he swung one of the giant double doors open for me. Once inside, I started wandering. I saw a stage but no naked people yet. I checked my watch. Maybe I was early. I kept wandering.
It was surprisingly nice inside, all darkly gleaming mirrors and plush upholstery. “Can I help you?” A friendly 8-foot-tall security guard in a tailored suit looked askance at me.
Christ on a stick, was it really that obvious?? I had dressed up and everything! (A lovely teal romper, by the way. It seemed the perfect choice. I was showing plenty of leg without having to fear the unintentional flashing associated with short skirts. I also wore tights to make doubly sure I was covered.)
“I’m a writer,” I said proudly. “And I’m here for the Full Experience!” In my attempt to convey bravado, I spoke a bit too loudly. The skimpily clad servers and the two small groups of men in the room all turned to stare at me. Well. Most of them were already staring because I had been walking around in circles (quickly because I thought that showed confidence).
“Oh, you’re the writer!” To my relief, the guard seemed to know what I was doing there. That made one of us. “Have a seat, have a seat.” He placed me on the banquette directly in front of the main stage. The wall behind the stage had flickering television screens of dancing silhouettes writhing seductively. Roving beams of deep blue light swept across the ground. They were playing good music so I wanted to dance. But it wasn’t exactly the time or place. Or proper amount of nakedness, I guess.
The woman who had interviewed me, let’s call her The Editrix, arrived. She was technically wearing a shirt. It was silver and hung so low in the front that calling what I could see “cleavage” would have been like calling the Atlantic Ocean “wet.”
Meanwhile, dancers had started filing into the room wearing the dresses I had always seen in sex shop windows displayed next to vibrators and nipple clamps. So that’s who bought those dresses. One mystery was solved.
The Editrix ordered scotches for us and slid onto the couch next to me. Somehow her shirt stayed on. I marveled, at both its engineering and her confidence in wearing something so revealing.
“What do you think?”
“They’re impressive.” I nodded and stopped short of asking how much they cost.
“Who, the dancers?” Wow, she named them? Oh wait. She was asking me about the club, not her breasts. Oops.
Saved by the scotch. Our drinks arrived and the show began. I felt like a little girl as I sat there sipping my drink through a little straw and watching the stage with wide open eyes. Boobies!!
The Editrix laughed and I mentally checked that I hadn’t yelled my last thought out loud. “How’s your first time?” she teased. I giggled. Goddamn it. When will I grow up?
Then she asked if I wanted to meet the chef and have dinner. Hells to the yeah! Food porn was more my speed. I gulped down the rest of the scotch, sent our server off for another round and nodded at the Editrix. “Let’s do this.” Umm. Ok. I’m sure what I really did was gush, “Oh golly gee, may I??” but whatever. For all you know I could’ve been cool. Snap, snap.
The chef was really nice. In fact, let me take a moment to say that all the men in the club were really nice. No hint whatsoever of a creepy pervert vibe. It probably helped that I was dressed like a Puritan compared to everyone else. But still. They were all gentlemen.
And I was wholeheartedly not a lady. At least not once the food and my third (or was it fourth?) scotch arrived. My lamb chop entree was perfect. Tender, juicy and exactly the shade of deep soft pink that medium rare lamb should be. There were at least five chops on my plate. I leaned in and inhaled the sweet fragrant meat. If a designer ever bottled that scent, I would finally wear perfume.
The Editrix had a politely sized steak in front of her and offered me a bite. I took it. Then I ate everything on my plate. Then I polished off the sides: a bowl of savory sauteed mushrooms and a creamy potato gratin with salty bacon and a crispy crust on top. As I pulled a forkful of gratin towards my mouth, I actually licked strands of cheese out of the air with my tongue. The Editrix looked mesmerized as she watched me eat. I wondered if my face had a similar look when I was watching the dancer on stage earlier.
Another scotch appeared.
I was too full for dessert and too happy to care. I waddled after the Editrix back into the main room, which had filled up with a lot more customers. I had clothes on and smelled like meat. None of the men even glanced at me. Goodie. I made a mental note to wear sweatpants next time. Maybe I could cram in more food on my next visit.
A few of the Editrix’ friends joined us and made us sit right next to the stage. I didn’t even like to do that in comedy clubs, craaaap! Then another scotch appeared. My one weakness. I wonder what gave it away.
(to be continued)