Monday, November 3, 2008

Have you voted yet?

I'm home, and so happy to be here.

Being gone is great because it's an adventure, because you're unsure and out of place and you get to miss where you're from.

I like leaving so I can come back.

I have stories of Philly, of working six shifts at a club called Oasis. Of champagne courts and tiger-striped carpet and so many Souf-Philly slash New York slash Jersey accents. Of being this girl in glasses with my not-tan and no accent and the white thigh highs that I didn't realize would get so freaking dirty from being on stage.

It's not that I didn't do well - I used my difference to my advantage, telling cute stories about how I had just moved to Philly from my West Coast hometown (yeah, I was totally lying. I'm an asshole. I was afraid management wouldn't hire me if I'd told them it was only for a week. Which meant that I had to keep the charade up for my six shifts, just in case. Talk about exhausting. Lying sucks.). It's just that I was so out of place, so obviously new and trying to navigate this foreign environment while making some money and not pissing anyone off. Success, I think.

It was fascinating. Exhuasting. I hated it and loved it. And now I'm home, wondering for the first time since I started stripping eight years ago if I should try working at one of my local clubs. In fact, I'm dragging a skeptical friend to one of said clubs tonight. If we both approve (which is perhaps unlikely) I'm going to give it a shot.

I've never considered working here before because they all have such lousy reputations. Rumor has it all the clubs are mobbed up or full of drugs or girls doing extras out in the open for very little money. One club in particular gets raided by the local PD on a regular basis, which means either arrests or hefty tickets. And let's not forget the standard complaints about stripclubs which seem to be more often repeated here: too many girls, a dwindling customer base, exorbitant stage fees... Et cetera.

So why now?

Because working in Philly was challenging, and yet I could handle it. Even thrive on it a little. And having just recently compared notes with peepshow friends who've tried the local scene, I'm starting to realize that the clubs here might not be nearly as bad as what I experienced in Philly. Yes, the stage fees are high, but it's a lump sum, as opposed to the common Philly practice of taking a large chunk out of whatever you sell.

Customer pays $190 for a half hour in the Champagne courts? House takes $90. Seriously. Best case scenario there, without tipping, you can make up to $200 an hour. Coming from a bachelor party background, that seems looow. Especially since the majority of customers I encountered not only expected to feel up your breasts in a $20 lap dance (of which you keep $15, less if you're paid in the club's funny money), but that they could put them in their mouths. Um, yeah. Lame. Not only that, but at least half of the people I spent time with also had a strong expectation that they would be allowed/encouraged to come in their fucking pants during a string of lapdances, especially in the champagne courts.

What. The fuck.

Anyway, it sounds like my west coast city is not nearly as skeezy on the whole as I thought it was, as least comparatively. I hate to get too excited, but here's hoping the club tonight doesn't suck. I know it's sometimes hard to tell as a customer, but maybe some of the girls won't mind giving me the lowdown if I buy some lapdances.

I'll elaborate more on the club I check out tonight and on working in Philly when I'm not totally and COMPLETELY distracted by the fucking election. I've been obsessively reading political blogs for months and now it's almost tomorrow. I'm only posting at all so I can stop obsessively refreshing all of those blogs, so I can take a breath and not think about it. Obviously it's not working.

So, anyway, if you haven't done it yet. GO VOTE. Unless you're one of those people who doesn't use an absentee ballot, in which case, come tomorrow, GO VOTE.

If I could, I'd give you all free lapdances as a reward for voting, because I want to encourage it was much as possible.

So, like I said. GO VOTE.