01 Jan

Pole power

Do strippers get married?

Not often, according to men in Miami. I couldn’t find a man who would marry a stripper, but I found plenty of men who wanted a real woman that could strip. What’s the difference? Strangers pay professional strippers plenty to take it off in public. Women who do it for their man perform in private and rarely reap a profit (more about that later).

I’ve got to be honest with you, reader. This article is inspired by a couple in my neighborhood. I’m pretty sure they met while he was paying a pretty penny to watch her dirty dance. I have no concrete evidence of their former life, but her tiny waist, pretty face, huge chest, and torn up teeth combined with his hunched back, diminishing gray hair, bifocals and high white socks makes me believe she was starring on stage when love struck. After all, what other profession requires boosting your breasts before fixing rotten teeth?

Like my conservative neighbor, I was pretty sure many other men had also considered the appeal of a woman who could whirl while wearing pasties. Thus, I was shocked when more than a dozen men told me they would never consider coitus with an erotic entertainer, much less marriage. I was less surprised when the men said they appreciate the unique talents of strippers and would love their woman to wiggle up a pole, as long as she wasn’t a pro.

“No, never,” said one of my beach volleyball buddies who’s been in an on-and-off relationship with the same person for over 10 years. The four other male players agreed with him, and one single guy in his early 40s justified their perspective. “They’re nice, fun, easy. But they treat everyone the same so it’s hard to feel special. How could anyone be a with a woman who gets naked and flirts with other men for a living?” Among the nods of agreement, another player interjected, “Well, I might date someone if she used to strip a long time ago. It would be great to have a woman who could move like a stripper, as long as she didn’t do it on stage.” From all different directions, I heard happy voices, “Yes. Of course, that’s different. Absolutely. Yes.”

The Starbucks manager in his late 20s told me he would never date a stripper because, “the lines can get fuzzy. If she takes it off for $500, will she go all the way for $1500?” A dentist from Brickell surprised me with his response and challenged my commitment to research. “Guys only go to strip clubs because the girls are different from what they have at home. They do tricks and move like a girl you don’t know. We like sexy moves but it’s hard to really like a stripper. Honestly, the girls in most strip clubs aren’t even that hot. Haven’t you seen them?”

Duty Calls.

Although a virgin to strip clubs, my commitment to research forces many selfless sacrifices, so I popped the cherry and investigated public performances designed for pubic pleasure. Given my inexperience in this behavioral domain, I required experts on my research team and recruited my very own Lawman, who prior to loving me, did his own unscientific studies on star strippers. As a comprehensive investigator, I made one final sacrifice and signed up for pole dancing lessons. Somehow, someway, I was determined to swing myself into the world of strippers.

I got excited when we passed Tootsies cabaret on the way home from a Hurricanes football game and asked Lawman if we could turn around to begin our study. The ever-committed research assistant, Lawman was also eager to initiate the investigation. I was allowed in for free and Lawman had to pay a bit. I was overwhelmed when we entered as pretty ladies wearing next to nothing smiled and led us to a table on the main floor. The place was huge. Sparkling lights, tons of men wearing Hurricane jerseys and quite a few women were also in the audience.

Drinks were served by a sexy lady in lingerie and what seemed like hundreds of beautiful women sauntered on stage in a line-up, swinging their hips and licking their lips as they paraded around and eventually retreated behind a curtain. Over the next hour or so, each of the ladies took their turn starring on stage, slipping out of their costumes while performing a solo dance for hundreds of customers. Some slid into sexy poses on the ground so strangers could see inside their private parts and others performed standing up, lifting legs, and bending over to optimize exposure.

Many climbed up and swung down poles, wrapping their bodies into accommodating positions while easing single dollar bills into their undies. Performers provided a spectrum of colors, shapes, and sizes. Some were exceptional, some were forgettable. The good ones were more talented at seducing with their eyes while subtly sliding into erotic angles on beat to the music. By the time we left, I was feeling confident about my ability to develop such skills because anyone could tell the only difference between these performers was practice. The more they trained, the better they entertained. Time for training camp.

Following the study protocol, I read all the instructions and waivers when I signed up for my first pole dancing class. I walked into the studio to find the instructor tutoring students, showing how to isolate and pop each butt cheek in a rapid pace. Despite my attention to fine print, I quickly learned that I was ill-equipped for class, as I was without seven inch platform heels; an obvious staple in every stripper’s wardrobe. The instructor recognized me as a pole-dancing virgin and used those exact words to introduce me to the class whose average age was at least a decade less than mine. She then smiled and said, “Since today is focused on chair dancing, I’ll let you participate this one time in bare feet but in the future, appropriate attire is mandatory.” I considered myself warned and wondered if stripper platforms were expensive.

We began on the floor with a soothing stretch that included yoga poses and core toning exercises while Little Wayne rapped in the background. Soon the ladies were strapping on heels and twisting themselves around unoccupied chairs. The hot little instructor called out “officer please” and the ladies turned around with their rear to the chair, spread their legs, and put their hands in the air like they were being frisked by a policeman. When my first class was over, I had learned to crawl on the floor and roll into a seductive rising iris position, lift myself up using the stripper stance, rotate my hips to isolate my butt cheeks as I circled the chair before begging for mercy in the officer please pose. The moves were choreographed into a routine and I left the studio feeling damn sexy.

I got my stripper shoes and was excited about the next class, until I arrived and realized I bought the wrong kind of heels. Although they were the standard seven inches and clear plastic, I naively picked a pair without ankle straps; apparently a necessity if you don’t want your shoes to fall off while dancing. Who knew the uniform had so many requirements? Fortunately, strippers share. A classmate generously offered to let me wear her extras and before I could accept, another classmate also offered up her spare shoes. Wow, this project has changed my life. I now know women with stripper shoe collections.

After the same yoga-esque warm-up, the instructor began the ‘Coyote Ugly’ class. Just like the movie, we danced on a pretend bar for tips to the tunes of Britney Spears’ “Womanizer”. The choreography taught me to drag my feet into a sexy walk, bump my behind up and down while crawling, and use the pole as a prop to hold while wiggling my rear in front of fake customers. It was so much fun and I’m still hoping to hear “Womanizer” next time I’m out with Lawman.

I was finally ready for the twirl and climb class. Or at least I thought I was until I got there. During the warm-up, the instructor began calling out names of moves and my classmates would take some steps, swing onto the pole, climb it, slither down, and land into a sexy floor pose while Snoop Dogg rapped away. The instructor quickly realized I needed some private lessons and she expertly showed me how small adjustments lead to immediate improvements. Within minutes, I could also take two steps forward, jut out my hip and swing my legs around the pole. By the middle of class, I could climb to the top of the pole, blushing as my classmates gave me a warm round of applause. At the end of class, I was amazed at my new ability to climb high, swing into the fireman, butterfly, and almost the jackknife position. My arms burned but my ego soared.

I decided it was time to synthesize the data and test my skills. After work last Friday, I invited Lawman over for a show. I slithered in my stripper shoes and out of my clothes as I danced, crawled, and rolled to the sounds of Prince. Lawman’s smile was as bright as the sun. Soon enough, real paper money began floating my way and I estimated about fifty dollars was on my living room floor when the show was over. Lawman was inspired to make love and I was inspired to keep dancing so I could earn more money. Who says only the pros should get paid?

Later that night we discussed our options. I counted my dough and offered to perform more often if compensation was involved. Even though he laughed in my face, I bought a piggy bank the following day and placed it next to the bed. Nothing’s in it yet, but I’m hopeful that he’ll consider my research expenses and contribute to the cause. After all, stripper shoes ain’t cheap.

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