Street Smart Chicago

Love & Sex: On the Strip

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By Garin Pirnia

Last winter, my friend Auriane was looking for a means to support herself. Eschewing an office job, she decided to pursue a career in stripping. It made sense because Auriane is tall and buxom with long, flowing hair. And she can dance. One weeknight, she dragged me to the gentlemen’s club VIP’s. We walked into the lobby where she received an application to fill out. As she was filling it out, some guy with a foreign accent sauntered up to her and offered her money, but we couldn’t decipher for what. Auriane thought he was asking her to go to the mall. After he stumbled away, she asked the woman at the front desk what he said. “Oh, he wanted to know if you’d kick him in the balls for money.” “Oh! I totally would’ve done that!” Auriane exclaimed.

We sat in the lounge area and drank overpriced drinks while we waited for the manager to come out. The place wasn’t very crowded. I was astonished at how acrobatic those strippers were. I secretly wished I could tackle a pole like that. I wondered what it must be like to have men (and women) constantly ogling you. I also wondered if the strippers got to pick their own music. Honestly, I didn’t want my friend to succumb to stripperdom, but I tried to be supportive. The manager finally came out and interviewed her. He comped our exorbitant drinks and told her he’d call her. I was relieved to go home.

Auriane finally came to her senses and embarked on the more clothed occupation of bartending. During this time, I joked to a guy friend that I was considering stripping. He launched into an angry tirade telling me that stripping was immoral, that I should continue to write and that I should move home before ever stripping. I was surprised at his sternness.

A couple of days later, we hung out at his place. He didn’t quite believe I was kidding about becoming a stripper. He half-jokingly kept saying I should give him a “private show.” I guess a “private show” was acceptable to him, but not stripping in front of strangers. The next thing I knew, we were in his room. He sat in a chair and demanded that I strip. I still didn’t know if he was serious or not, but I called his bluff—I removed my top. He became nervous and said he didn’t want to make me do something that I didn’t want to do. Even though he apologized, he was somewhat titillated. Suddenly, I understood the allure of stripping: all that control! There’s nothing quite like turning a guy into putty with a flash of your body while watching his eyes fixate on you. We heard his roommate rummaging around in the other room, so the strip tease abruptly ended. But during those brief moments, everything became lucid.

However, I have since retired from going to strip clubs and giving private shows.

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