The problem with strip clubs is that I fall in love too easily. All it takes is a slight compliment with a smile from a pretty girl that seems half-sincere, and I melt like A-1 sauce.
I also tend to be monogamous when it comes to dancers. I stick with one until she's too tired and has to move on. Silly, really, but I've never been one for too much variety, perhaps feeling like I'm cheating even with another stripper. Hey, if I can feel guilty playing slots at another casino, I can feel guilty with someone else on my lap.
Sure, they're only after money, but damn if I don't develop these fantasy attachments to them.
Good thing I don't live here, otherwise I'd really feel an attachment. Oh wait...
Pauly and Senor were in town and last Sunday we headed to The Palm at Caesars' Forum Shops to meet up with the Poker Prof and his dad. The Palm is the Poker Prof's favorite steakhouse, and I'm more than happy to check out any favorite (when it comes to food, I'll go anywhere). I've been to The Palm in DC and it looked exactly the same, down to the menus and caricatures on the walls. This time, the coat check girl did not pick her nose.
We each ordered our 16 oz. steaks medium-rare (Senor's was rare), and Pauly placed his order of a salad. Okay, not really, but a medium-well steak might as well be a salad. As soon as he said "medium well-done," everyone in the restaurant stopped in mid-conversation as if he'd said, "E.F. Hutton." Even the cow came in from the kitchen and shook her head in shame and disappointment. Pauly tried ordering a McDonald's bun to stuff his burnt meat into, but they were all out.
After the delicious chowdown (the medium-well excuse for a steak notwithstanding), Pauly, Senor and I went pai-gow hunting.
Senor had never played before, and being the gambler I am, I'm quick to sit down at any -EV game (even, shudder, roulette). I haven't yet tired of casino play, though I've long tired of losing. Playing with other people grants me half-assed permission to play, though I still haven't been able to convince anyone to play bingo. With the multiple pushes offered by pai-gow, I hoped we'd push a few, win a few, and lose less.
Walking down the Cleopatra Hall, we found the only pai-gow tables... with a $50 minimum. The pitboss graciously lowered it to $25 for us, and we sat like privileged high-rollers. They had no quarters to take the full 5 percent commission, so we gained an extra 25 cents every time we won. Bonus!
As we played, we couldn't lose! Senor won $65, Pauly won $100, and I won $125. Our goal was to pay for dinner, which we did. Senor immediately stopped playing and Pauly and I went a bit further in an effort to pay for a couple future lapdances, and we succeeded in that as well. (Let's not mention the fact I lost $100 a couple hours earlier in Excalibur's 100NL to some horrible beats.)
Senor had to dash to the airport, which was bad for him but good for us because otherwise we would've stayed and given back all our winnings. It feels mighty empowering to take almost $300 from the house and not look back. And we didn't give them our cards, so they can't even track it. Take that, taxman!
I liken the last day of a Vegas trip to the last day of summer vacation before going back to school. It's the worst feeling. I feel for everyone when I hear it's their last day and they have to catch the redeye. But secretly, deep down I have a feeling of joy similar to sifting through the back-to-school sales knowing I don't have to go back to school ever ever, nyah nyah.
Senor hopped the new Song airline back to the East Coast, and Pauly and I went club hoppin'.
Strip club hoppin', to be exact.
I hadn't been to a strip club since moving here. I've been trying to be good with money (the pesky gambling thing keeps getting in the way), so I veer the car away every time it wants to go.
Plus, I don't even have a couch. How can I justify wasting money on strippers?
The previous Friday, the three of us had gone to Sin, the newest offering of adult entertainment. They've been advertising on the radio pretty heavily, so I knew they were west of Mandalay Bay... somewhere.
It was a near-empty parking lot that was filled by the time we left, and Pauly said some of the lapdances were better than sex.
Sin ranks up there with the best of Vegas strip clubs. A few days earlier (time flies too fast here), Grubette had gone to Club Paradise and dropped $750 for her entourage (whenever she comes to Vegas, I don't see her that much because she travels with a pack of people). I love Hard Rock and the across-the-street vicinity of Club Paradise, but last time I was there was a bad time. The lapdances were barely on your lap and somewhere in Salt Lake City.
Sin was better. I tend to think strippers use their customers as a form of therapy, and we had it in spades from Melody, who talked Senor's ear off. I thought he was into her until she left, and he said he couldn't wait to get rid of her. She roped me into her problems as well, and I got the exact same lowdown that Senor did (used to weigh 224 pounds, hasn't had sex since May, has two kids, yada yada). She had a schoolgirl look to her with her clothes and pigtails, but that yapper of hers was enough to turn anyone off. Still, I enjoy pumping strippers for information about the biz. What I gathered from Melody and others that night is that Spearmint Rhino's management is horrible (reading into this, I take it to mean they have to perform sexual favors with their bosses/Djs to get anywhere in the club), many girls are flocking to Striptease, and Sheri's Cabaret offers 10 seconds with a condom in the bathroom (I didn't ask for elaboration).
But back to last Sunday.
Pauly and I had money to burn. We won back our dinner in pai-gow and were ready to spend the lucky money on dances.
First stop was Olympic Garden. That's usually the most hopping place I know, but when we got there it looked like there was some cop hopping going on. Cop cars were in front with concerned-looking club owners. We popped our heads in, saw not a soul in the front area, turned around and left. If there were a chalk outline, we probably would've stayed for the story.
Next stop was Treasures. Comfy chairs and couches, but nary a female who wanted to serve us alcohol.
What is this, it's the Easter Sunday holiday!
The one and only girl who approached us was a trucker's delight named Julie. She was so drunk she forgot what her stripper name was.
"Spank me," she said. I obliged. For free, I'll do most anything. It wasn't a satisfying spank, as my hand just kind of sat there accepting residual jiggles. No bounce, just a plop.
As any song comes to a close, there's the awkward pause and silence waiting for the girl to ask, "Want a dance?" This is akin to the end of a date and waiting for, "Want to come up?" Though in the latter, you're not usually expected to pay for it.
I'm not too experienced with being the one to turn someone down, so after Julie asked, I looked away as if a teacher were asking for volunteers to solve an algebra problem.
Being the only other guy there, Pauly was caught blindsided and said, "Uh, I guess so."
The dance was more lapsliding than lapdancing. Giving a blog brother some privacy, I tried concentrating on the stage, which had a neon pole and two ornate staircases that could be out of a Noel Coward play. A topless Private Lives, perhaps.
After Julie slinked off, half bra on/half bra off, Pauly turned to me and said, "That was the single worst lapdance I've ever had."
He said she was so drunk she kept falling and he had to catch her a couple times. I wondered what kind of workman's comp strippers could get for falling off the pole.
A few more songs and we high-tailed it outta there. I expressed my severe disappointment with the woman at the front, who then said, "Didn't I say it was a slow night?" Nope, she didn't. I lied that no one even approached us. Which was true, minus one.
I knew there were no refunds, but my hope was to get a comp for a future visit. The best she could offer were 2-for-1 drink tickets. I'll save 'em for Pauly's next trip.
We decided to hit one more to see if it really was because of Easter Sunday or if we were just unlucky picking clubs. If it was a "bust," we'd go play some poker.
Arriving at Cheetah's, it took a while for any girls to come over. The first was of the that-ain't-no-girl variety named Stevie who might have been Steve a few years earlier. She's worked there for eight years, which is 64 in stripper years. Stevie seemed more in the 46-year range, though if I were to card her she'd probably actually be in her 30s. Strippers do not age well.
Stevie sat on my lap for awhile and I was mulling how I was going to turn her down ("maybe later" is a good standby), when Pauly bought me a dance.
Like Pauly's single worst lapdance, Stevie's was my single most unerotic. No matter what she did with her skinny body, it did nothing to arouse.
Then girls slowly came around. If they see customers with Stevie, hey, they must be willing to spend money on anything.
I spent a good chunk of time with Dana, who seemed matter-of-fact about everything and had these eyes that would catch me in lies. Being all part of the fantasy, I often lie to strippers regarding my name, what I'm in town for, and what I do for a living. With Dana, I told her the truth, and her eyes (and hands) still searched me to verify.
Dana did four dances and was very generous with the songs, offering to just "lay here" to finish out a short song. I ordered a drink for her, and she took a bottled water (though the charge for that was the same as the price of a mixed drink) and ignored shots from the shot girl.
As her best friend walked by, Dana said, "C'mere, you gotta feel this, it's so big" and took her hand in hers to feel something of mine. She apologized for embarrassing me, though that wasn't the least embarrassing. Any kind of compliment like that and I'm putty.
I would've had her do a couple more songs, but she said she had to speak to a weird guy but would be right back. A Latina girl named Peaches (because her breasts taste like them, she said) took her place, and I liked her accent enough to go to the private room for half a dozen dances.
There's a private room and then there's a private-r room. This one you just pay the regular amount, but it's separate from the main room and you're away from the uncomfortable armchairs. Peaches hadn't had any luck with customers, that she started turning to women. I was her second in four hours, and I probably kept her as long as I did because her voice reminded me of someone.
When I returned, Dana was dancing for Pauly, with a put-upon hurt look on her face that she had looked for me but I was gone.
My odd sense of morals had me feeling guilty! She said we could make it up to them with massages.
Dana was still with Pauly (she said his massage was making her pussy wet), and her friend sat down on my lap. We both gave them vigorous massages. After the song ended, I asked, "Do you want another song?" and she laughed and nodded.
Then we switched strippers, and continued the massages.
Dana said her shift was over and she had to go.
Our final parting words:
Dana: My friend and I are going home.Sigh.
Grubby: Where do you live?
Grubby: I'm south. It would never work.
Grubby is a writer currently living in Las Vegas, NV.