But in general, there are two kinds of people where strippers are concerned, those who REALLY like them, usually people who drink cheap lager and wear three-seasons old football shirts, and people who can take them or leave them. Me? Believe it or not, I'm firmly in the second camp - I mean, I like naked ladies as much as the next big, hairy, chock full o' testosterone, bloke - But I can't see the point if you're not allowed to... erm... You know... How should I put it?.. Have a go on them (OK, some some ladies who class themselves as strippers will let you 'have a go' for a medium to large financial consideration, or so I've heard, but they are the exception rather than the rule.)
I know that sounds mercilessly objectifying and terribly misogynistic, but while those ladies are happy to portray themselves as commodities for (as I understand it) large sums of money, as exotic dancers, I'm happy to watch them without knowing their personal motivation and / or lifestory.
Right, before this turns into a discussion of the human trafficking of sex workers from Eastern Europe, let's drag it back on track... Strippers are nice people with attractive bodies who make money by showing them to people.
I knew this guy, many, many, years ago, who had his own business and would often entertain clients in pole-dancing clubs (For those who are unaware of the difference, the young ladies in the pole-dancing clubs tend to keep their underpants on - There are all sorts of health and safety issues otherwise - I'm not going to explain this, you should be able to work it out for yourself. Especially if you have prior experience of ladies front-bottoms) - He used these places so regularly that he became 'known' to the girls and they would say hello and give him a peck on the cheek if they saw him in the street. This was only fair as he was probably single handedly putting all of their children through private school (Yes Katie Hopkins, Ex-Apprentice Harridan and Wholesale Bigot, a fair proportion of strippers send their children to private school because they make more money than you and I put together).
Anywho, he took me a couple of times, there was free beer and naked ladies, as you'd expect and whilst I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the lewd and lascivious behaviour of some of the professional ladies there, it was far more entertaining when they weren't 'performing' and would just sit down next to you and chat... It took a little while to get over the novely of talking to a pretty lady wearing just a sparkly thong about how they used to get bullied at school for having one ear slightly higher than the other - And I also admit that I sometimes had to work fairly hard to maintain eye contact, but I'm a bloke and to an extent, we're hard wired to be attracted to stuff like that, sorry ladies - But it's true - Ongoing continuation of the species and all that.
Then I told another friend of mine about this chap and he said
'I've never been to one of those places you know.'
Now, I was genuinely shocked, I'd assumed that it was sort of a right of passage for young men, everyone had done it, like kissing a girl then running away when you're eight years old, or tipping a cow over when it's asleep or thinking you look cool and then only realising some years later when you look at photos that you in fact looked like a complete cock.
So we went to a local strip-club that provided both kinds of entertainment. There was a pole in the middle of the dance-floor where a rota of young ladies performed every fifteen minutes or so and there was also a... not sure what the correct group noun is... A flirtation perhaps? of honest to goodness, will take it all off in three minutes or less and position themselves two inches from your nose, strippers.
I believe our American cousins use a phrase 'Like a kid in a candy store' that aptly describes my friend's first reaction as he stepped through the door. His eyes were like dinner-plates, as the popular simile goes, as he realised that even fully clothed strippers didn't wear a huge number of garments. We had a pint, and sat, and watched a couple of poledancers whilst he tried to get a hold of himself (No... Stop making your own jokes up please, I'll do the humour thank you very much). All was well until an attractive, naturally pneumatic, auburn haired lady approaced my friend (We'll call him Albert, but that was not his name) and spake thusly:
Lady: Would you like a dance?
Albert: Erm? [Looks at me in panic]
Dandy: [I shrug] Do you? She seems very nice.
Lady: Come and have a dance, it'll make you feel better, help you relax.
Albert: I... uh...
Dandy: It's his first time
Lady: Really? - Oh! - Well in that case I'll take special care of you. [She holds his hand]
Albert: [In a daze, stands up] Well, I'll have a go, but I'm not a very good dancer.
Now the young lady in question, because she was a consummate professional, just smiled and led him into the 'private' area - I however dissolved into that type of raucous laughter normally reserved for Hyenas drawn by Disney animators. In fact, I think I may have even given myself hiccups.
They emerged five or so minutes later, her with a broad grin, him with a dazed expression and an air of unfulfilled tumescence. They sat and chatted for about three quarters of an hour - It seems that they'd gone to the same school as each other (her starting some years after he'd left, obviously, otherwise it would have been weird)
Small world innit?
THERE FOLLOWS A DANDY SAFETY NOTICE ON BEHALF OF THE 'KEEPING HOLD OF YOUR GENTLEMAN PLUMS' PARTY.
If you should ever feel the need to ask your wife if you are allowed to go to a strip / pole dancing club - Do not bother, her answer will be no... Even if she says 'Yes', she means 'No', it is a trap of Admiral Ackbar proportions.
Some while ago, whilst the current Mrs Dandy was still the prospective Mrs Dandy, we had arranged to go and see (IIRC) a Bon Jovi tribute band called Blaze of Glory at a medium sized venue in her home-town. We went seperately as I was still an unknown quantity to her dear Father and wasn't allowed to just pull up at her house on a large motorcycle and whisk her away to parts unknown. (He loves me now of course, I'm like the free IT support guy that he never had)
So, we met there, in the club. She had arrived early with her mates, and I had rode there. I parked the trike right outside, OK'd it in a doorman to doorman stylee with the frankly gigantic Afro-Caribbean bouncer who was really rocking the Crombie coat / Dreadlocks combo and went inside. It was heaving, there were wall to wall people and it was virtually impossible to find my 'date' - So I thought the best thing to do was get a beer, and circle the room like a leather clad vulture until one of us spotted the other.
Yeah, the leather, maybe we should take a second there to explain... I was wearing a black leather bike jacket and leather jeans, combat boots, a tight, white cotton t-shirt and wrap-around shades - I was also a few stone lighter than I am now, my chest was bigger than my waist, and could still, just about, pick up a 3500 V8 Rover engine on my own (Yes, I've let myself go, yes, I'm suitably ashamed)
It only took five minutes for someone to grab my backside and shout, over the noise of the DJ,
'You're Late! where have you been?'
I turned, and looked down. It wasn't who I'd expected, it was someone's Mother, I'm not sure whose, but she was certainly someone's. I looked confused and took a sip of my beer.
'We're over here.'
She grabbed me by the wrist and started to drag me across the room, shoulder barging people out of the way like a miniature Norwegian Ice-Breaker, until we got to the bar - I'd assumed that she was one of my soon-to-be-wife's work friends.
'Have you got your music?'
'I'm sorry? I don't know what you mean...'
'Your music? a CD? that you dance to?'
'Dance? I.. erm?'
Now, the next two things happened almost simultaneously, My now-wife had seen me being dragged away and had followed, she was now standing directly behind me, and the other woman asked...
'You are the stripper, aren't you?'
It seems that replying 'That depends on whether you've already paid or not.' was not the reply that the Mrs Dandy in waiting was expecting... And resulted in the first of many 'Paddington' style hard stares.
We made our excuses and left.
So fair readers, I hope that our swift foray into the world of paid clothes taker-offerers has expanded your horizons a little, and always remember...
You CAN keep your hat on.