Sometimes, in the course of a life lived as a male human being, you are called upon to go to a strip club. I have been to such a place on several occasions in my life, and have enjoyed them to varying degrees. I’ve only been to strip clubs in London and the States previously, and at the weekend, I went to one in Mexico for the first time.
In a bar in the Roma Norte neighbourhood, at some point in the early hours of the morning, after having drank a decent amount of rum, one of my friends was insistent that we go. So insistent, in fact, that he told us he would buy a strip club-priced bottle of rum for us to drink whilst watching ladies dance in (or out) of their underwear.
How could we refuse? What are you as a man if you turn down such a plea?
So we went to a strip club. A strip club called Caligula, (stylised as CALIGVLA). There were few empty tables available; all of the darker areas of the club, where lapdances were occuring, were occupied. We were escorted to a small table next to the stage. We had a first class view of the entertainment. The stage had two poles, and the dancers would cavort around one, then move to the other. But, really, what was going through my mind while an attractive woman with breast implants and weaing only the very smallest of underpants was dancing, was how the Pittsburgh Steelers would cope without injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. This was because behind the stage, on a screen about four metres wide, was a NFL Network programme, where muted heads talked about the Steelers’ quarterback while clips of the player and team played next to them. Nothing say erotic entertainment like a bulky man in a suit silently yapping to a camera about sports.
It’s an odd experience watching attractive women dance naked in front of you. On one level, it’s very enjoyable; my brain does seem to enjoy looking at it, it’s pleasant to see beautiful bodies of different shapes and sizes moving in a way that’s expressly designed to arouse. Also, without wishing to sound like an arty prick, it’s good to look at people in a different way, from a different angle, people moving without clothes, the muscles, the green, pink, and blue light on the skin, the differences in thighs, breasts, arms. It reminded me once again that I really should sign up for a life drawing class.
There’s also the grimness of looking at other men in the club. It’s just a mass of depressing cliches. Groups of young men getting drunk and not hiding the boners in their eyes, and the men who look like they could be dangerous at some point in their lives, and the ones who look like this is the closest they may get to a relationship. Men flashing their money to spend twenty minutes with a woman sat on their lap. Of course, when you are sat there, looking up at the dancers (and looking up really is a clever angle to have us view this, the legs are longer, and when you get to the end of the legs, it’s all ass and vagina), you are one of those men, too. It feels uncomfortable for a while. It takes my mind some time to get used to not feeling like I should avert my gaze (I wonder how the Jets will do this weekend?), and occasionally, the dancers, looking for a next lapdancee, will make eye contact and smile. I smile back. That’s what humans do.
It was refreshing to see a couple of the dancers without implants. Implants seemed to be overwhelmingly part of the uniform in Caligula, so to see real breasts was enjoyable. Interestingly, the women with real breasts also looked like the youngest. That made it a little depressing, to think that the career path probably dictates surgery at some point.
One woman danced to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.”
Later, salsa music came on, and two dancers took men up to dance with them on the stage. I cannot possibly imagine doing such a thing. Aside from not being good at any form of dancing unless it involves early Nineties house music and big fish little fish hands in the air nonsense, my brain would hold me back from actually getting up on stage in front of all these people and dancing with a woman way too attractive for me, and wearing more or less 100% less clothes than me.
My friend had a woman come sit next to him. She put her hand on his thigh, and after a few moments, he got his credit card out, it was taken away and returned with a receipt for him to sign, and off they went somewhere, so he could get his lapdance.
I’ve re-arranged events a little so this next bit appears near the end of this post, as it really is something that should’ve happened near the end of the evening rather than early on. It helps to make a better story if it’s at the end. A blonde woman was dancing on the stage, she was entirely naked. She got down on to the stage, cavorted a little, and ended up sat down, with her legs apart. The people on our side of the stage had a view right up in there. She was smoking a cigarette, she had a drink and a bucket of ice near her. She took the ice bucket, and somewhat inelegantly poured its contents onto her breasts. Huge chunks of ice ricocheted this way and that, skidding across the stage. She smiled at customers like she thought she was being incredibly sexy. She took the straw from her drink, and pushed it almost all the way up into her vagina. Still throwing out smouldering looks, she shifted so she was on her hands and knees, so she could shake what her momma gave her. She took a drag on the cigarette, reached her arm around to her backside, and pushed the end of the cigarette into her bum hole. She shook her ass again. I’m fairly sure it’s the least sexy thing I’ve ever seen a naked woman do. She took the cigarette out, took another drag, and the MC encouraged us to give her a round of applause.
My friend came back, with his lap freshly danced upon, we finished up our drinks, and left. Not through the same entrance we came through, though, oddly. Through a brightly-lit corridor of white-painted breeze-blocks that was definitely a staff-only part of the building. There was a shelf with cups and a microwave. Had I not been a bit tipsy, I might’ve been paranoid about where we were heading, but as it were, a security guy opened the fire door, and we stepped out into the car park.
I’ve previously thought about that Rihanna song “Only Girl (In the World),” that, were that actually real, what a truly horrible experience it would be to be the only girl in the world. And being at Caligula brought that back. A handful of security men and the development of social and moral codes is all that separate this place from being a really ugly scene. But that didn’t stay long in my mind, it was gone five o’clock in the morning, and there were tacos to be eaten.