Losing your strip-club virginity

Discovering strippers are real women too

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

They say you never forget your first time.

With that in mind, last weekend I visited all four of London’s strip clubs to experience the action from a first-timer’s perspective.

Having never ventured into a gentleman’s club before, I didn’t know what to expect.

As I prepared for this assignment, I asked several friends for advice. Their answers varied from “Don’t dress suggestively” to “Be drunk.” So, one black turtle neck and three vodka cocktails later, I headed to the Royal Lancaster with my colleagues Jon Purdy and Dave Ward.

A $20 cab ride from my downtown apartment, a trip to the Royal Lancaster seemed like quite the mission for something I see in the mirror every day. However, with a somewhat open mind, I went inside.

The club wasn’t at all what I expected. It was nicely decorated, with carpeting and a few fake plants thrown in for good measure. The clientele was reasonably sedate and only mildly creepy. A lone stripper gyrated onstage, a far cry from the dozens of naked women I had imagined.

It was here my education began. Determined to make me feel comfortable, Jon and Dave gave me a crash course in strip clubs. Here’s what I learned: strippers dance for three songs, usually performing “fully clothed” for the first, topless for the second and naked for the final song.

But that’s not all I came away with; in fact, several misconceptions I’d previously held about strip clubs were quickly cleared up. In my mind, I’d imagined several women onstage dangling and twirling from poles while slowly peeling off their intricate costumes. Not so.

In fact, some girls barely danced with the poles while others did impressive tricks. As for the costumes, the majority were far from elaborate. Instead, many strippers just wore lingerie, which was sometimes awkwardly stepped out of as the girl grabbed a quick drink at the side of the stage.

Even the women themselves weren’t what I’d pictured. Having seen movies like Sin City and Striptease, I’d naively assumed every dancer would be straight out of Maxim. Though every stripper was undeniably fit, very few fit the big-breasted stereotype.

However, instead of being disappointed, I was relieved. Having pictured Pamela Anderson’s looks crossed with a pre-marriage Britney Spears’ dancing ability, it was a nice surprise to discover strippers were real women. Better yet, they were nice too.

At every club we visited, strippers approached me and said something kind. Maybe they wanted me to buy a lap dance or maybe they were excited to see a women in the club. Whatever it was, they treated me well.

There was even an odd sense of sisterhood when I ran into strippers in the washroom, as they’d tell me about their night, complain about PMS (I’m not kidding) and even offer advice. Indeed, as I entered the bathroom stall at Solid Gold, one stripper yelled “Don’t sit on it!” Duly noted.

Overall, I’d rate my first strip club experience as extremely positive. I don’t know if it was my hilarious co-workers, the strippers, or the five beers I had, but by the end of the night I was in good spirits. Though I’m not sure if I could handle another night entirely comprised of strip clubs, I will say this: if you’ve never been, it’s worth the trip.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette