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To burlesque or not to burlesque…

To burlesque or not to burlesque…


Originally uploaded by Oh Lenna

So … I’ve been semi-invited to a Burlesque and Blues night this week – and a Burlesque birthday party in July.

Now, of course, I like seeing scantily-clad ladies disrobing as much as the next heterosexual male – the weekend’s soaring temperatures in London proved that as much as anything. But I still can’t decide if it’s the sort of thing I can go to myself and come out feeling, well, good about myself.

It is a world away from seedy stripclubs with strippers who only see you as walking wallets, but I can’t help wondering if I’d come out still feeling slightly seedy and unsure of myself, if only because I hate paying for things.

The Guardian suggests that it has itself become somewhat of an industry that is itself rife for exploitation. But all the railing by feminists against the porn industry hasn’t stopped today’s yoof exposing themselves to anyone and everyone for a bit of fun.

Expression or exploitation?

Zombies and Cat Daleks, oh my…

Zombies and Cat Daleks, oh my…

Just a quick round-up from the nets of the interesting things that cropped into my in-box…

Zombies versus strippers. Let the comic strip fight begin. 🙂 (courtesy of Megan)

Cat Daleks (courtesy of Lady Disdain)

Cesspool of human desperation

Cesspool of human desperation

Here I am, spending my time hanging out with the great and witty surlychick, and watching from the sidelines as men amble up to her, chat her up, before she spins them out and launches the devastating final blow that ought to have them whimpering out of the bar. Except it doesn’t – they just keep going. Oh and ignoring me in the process except for when they have to look like cool guys who can hang with guys. I hate cockboxing.

The first bloke was someone who SurlyChick had met once before, but didn’t like. He was with someone else celebrating their birthday – so they were both chatting her up for a while, while I’m slurping on my beer and occasionally being drawn into the conversation.

I’ve never been a fan of watching men chatting up women – mainly because it’s grossly embarassing or dull, depending on which side of the battle you’re on. Still, in my UN observer role in this culture war, it was interesting just how ineptly it was done. (Because I’m fan-tastic at chatting women up, patently).

Somehow, the men said they were going to celebrate the birthday by going to amateur night at a strip club, and invited us along. And for some reason lost in time to the fumes of alcohol, we thought we’d go along.

So we did, and it was fairly dull as strip clubs tend to be. Every lady was peroxide-blonde with some terrible acne, small breasts and a cute ass. But just when we were about to leave, a small group of theatrical people we’d spotted in the previous bar turned up. So we chatted to them – and in the middle of the latter group was the alpha male. The kind of man with a roguish Han-Solo charm that had the four women he was around hanging on the whim of his every word and movement.

And of course, SurlyChick was helpless in the beam of his charisma. Except unfortunately he kept telling her about his wonderful girlfriend, then snogging her. While the other women looked on with daggers in their eyes. And the two earlier blokes, who also fancied Surly, looked on with equal-but-forlorn daggers.

Later fleeting images include one of the women – a Grace lookalike – sitting on his lap watching strippers, then kissing one of the strippers. And the other ladies – who turned out to know one of the strippers since they’d all gone to Girl Scouts together – sticking dollar bills in the G-string and getting a writhing ass in return.

Incidentally, I’d chatted to the stripper/dancer earlier on – wearing glasses and wearing quasi-civillian clothing – and it turned out she was saving up to be an X-Ray technician. I’m not quite sure why someone would choose looking at X-Rays all day as a fantastic vocation. She was also comparing stretch marks with one of the theatrical group, and discussing colours. Stretch marks have colours?

Anyway, more chatting happened, more snogging between Surly and Alpha Male, and I even somehow got a telephone number from a very drunk member of one of the theatrical group who loved my British accent, man. (Although she didn’t seem to recall the next morning!).

Alas, what with SurlyChick’s policy on not sleeping with committed men, we went home, and then Googled/IMDB’d the actor Alpha Male, expecting to find that he was a hot-and-up-and-coming star with charisma oozing out of every pore of his sinewy body.

But no. It turns out that Ford Austin is an actor/writer/director/producer of sci-fi/comedy/porn short movies. It’s a tad disconcerting, depressing and chastening to realise that someone with all that charisma, who probably has moistening their gussets everywhere, is not even on the F-list of Hollywood or American acting. While the rest of us are behind him, hoping to pick up the left-overs.

SurlyChick’s version of events may differ somewhat. 😉

Strippers and stag nights

Strippers and stag nights

I’ve stumbled back from a stag weekend in London with an old University friend/flatmate – albeit one I haven’t seen for nigh-on 10 years. And of course, there’s an unwritten rule somewhere that all stag nights must end at a strip club.

Why that is, I don’t know. In the age of Page Three and Internet porn, naked women aren’t exactly hard to come by. To come in, well, that’s another story. Or fable, if you’re me. Besides which, to be a stag, presumably you’ve already found someone willing to strip for you. So why bother?

I’ve got nothing against strippers, prostitution, escort work, pornography or any other aspects of the commercialisation of sex. It’s just not for me. I’d much rather have a woman who was stripping because she liked or wanted me, as opposed to just the contents in my wallet. Or is that far too romantic a notion these days?

Mind you, the same attitude means that I think you should split costs on the first few dates (within reason) with someone so that they’re with you because they enjoy your company, as opposed to your wallet. Then again, I haven’t had a date for eons, and some former female dates say that’s precisely why I haven’t had a date.

So with this attitude in mind, I entered the strip club with the rest of the stag attendees with a certain amount of trepidation. The pranks with the stag (throwing ice down his pants etc.) were done with the usual aplomb. The group then peeled off as mates found a stripper they liked, and slapped down their £10 to watch as a woman dangled her breasts in front of him. While two security guards would watch for any signs of actual touchage. One of my friends paid for 8 dances…

As drunken male groups tend to do, they will notice the one pleb who’s “not enjoying himself” ie not partaking in it. Me. I’m just supping my drinks by the bar and chatting to my friends.

Said friends realised I wasn’t partaking in the fun of paying a woman to jiggle in front of me for 10 minutes. And so sent a stripper along to talk to me and persuade me. Now, given my usual preference isn’t for a stick-thin blonde, who do they send over? A stick-thin blonde.

Said woman then tries to cajole me into having a dance or a strip. I say no. She keeps cajoling. I say no, and change the topic of conversation. She changes it back. Back and forth. Back and forth. Bit like her breasts if she actually had any.

What’s the point in a stick-thin stripper anyway ?! Surely in order to strip, you have to have something to strip to!

Eventually, we appear to be having an almost-normal conversation. Then she asks why we’re all here, I point at the stag. And as the lightbulb goes off in my head, I reach down to my pocket to get £10 to give to her so the lucky stag can have another dance. No sooner has the money appeared, than she literally snatches it from my hand and goes off to give the stag another dance. Thereby encapsulating the money-greediness of the place, and the reason why I don’t like strip clubs.

(Having said that, if a busty redhead/brunette is in one, I might change my mind)

Other stag night(s) memories to come. Unless it bores you.

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