Thursday, November 3, 2005

Male strippers and serenades

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Male strippers and serenades

These two things, in my mind, are bound by a single question: Where do you look?

Several years ago, for my bachelorette party, I was at a strip club in the Atlanta area for Ladies’ Night. It was also Buy One Table Dance Get One Free night, so my vicious, evil, but well-meaning friends treated me to a couple. Never have I felt more awkward. Never did I feel the need to get drunk so fast.

A fully dressed man appears at our table when we first sit down. Nice guy, attractive, and the conversation was pleasant enough. He leaves the table after our brief chat. A few minutes later and with “Rico Suave” blasting in the background (which gives an approximate idea of the time of this adventure), aforementioned pleasant gentleman is now back at my side gyrating his hips and taking off his shirt. No big deal. I’d been to Chippendales-type clubs before. Nothing too embarrassing. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. With a flick of the wrist (his,not mine), down come the pants. And the man is not wearing any underwear.

Okay, here’s the thing that guys have to understand. A man goes to a strip club (or, hell, the grocery store) and wants to see boobies, it’s a simple glance downward, mere inches from the woman’s face. Glance back up, quick recovery, simple procedure. No movement of the head is necessary (unless you’re lewd, crude, and obnoxious). When a woman has a naked man in front of her at a strip club (or, hell, the grocery store) and the time comes to look at his…”thing”(she has to look. He’s expecting her to. Why else would his pants be on the floor?), it’s much more complicated. His “thing” (what am I-in the second grade? Jeez.) is at her eye-level, depending on her height while seated and his while standing. To glance without awkwardness is impossible. Head movement is necessary. My method- look quickly, say something stupid, like “cool”, and then make extreme eye-contact for the rest of the dance. I wouldn’t recommend this method; the guy tends to get a little creeped out. Luckily, by the time my second dancer had arrived, my forehead was pressed to the table, too drunk to look up. I tried for a bit, but then he did that little “spinning” trick (think: "propeller") and I got a little motion sick. I held my hand up; time to head home.

Similar problem with serenaders, but with more clothes. In college a group of friends and I went out for wings one night at a popular restaurant. A really nice guy with a “great personality” who somehow got the idea that I was his date for the evening surprised me by singing a song he had written for me. Now, I think my attention span (or my comfort level) is enough to appreciate a poem-maybe a nice haiku or limerick. But an entire song? Again, awkward to no end. As he began to sing directly to me over the table, looking into my eyes the whole time, I think I did all the appropriate things. I smiled, blushed (it really was a sweet gesture, I’m just an incredible goofball) and tried to maintain eye contact with him. Second verse, a little less comfortable, my eyes began to dart around the room and I became acutely aware that people were watching, gauging my reaction (I am also slightly paranoid). I continued with the smile, but now I was blushing from embarrassment at having so much attention directed toward our table (to make things worse, I had a huge mountain of buffalo wing bones in front of me which I quickly covered up with a napkin). I would occasionally throw in a “that’s so sweet” or “thank you, awwwwwwwwwwwwww.” for good measure. Verse three- I was now trying to keep my lips curled up in a smiling position, but I was losing my strength. My lips were actually shaking, and my cheeks hurt. He continued singing, oblivious to the sweat beading on my forehead. I was a trooper, but when he pulled out the kazoo, I had to put an end to it.

Okay, I made that last part up. There was no kazoo, but there might as well have been. And I might as well have been wearing nothing but my socks, too.

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