manipulators and assholes

one of the things i first learned from working in the strip club is, "everyone comes here for different reasons." there's a huge variety of motivations--some guys are blowing off steam after work, some are partying on business trips (those are my favorite), some are actively searching for a gf/wife, some are actively searching for a gf with whom to cheat on their wives, some are just straight up lonely, some are bored and have too much money, and some don't have lives outside of business travel and so they need easily accessible friends like us. to name a few.

most guys are nice, some don't know what they're doing, some have no idea what's going on, but some guys do--and some guys use that knowledge to manipulate us.

i had the misfortune of meeting one such manipulator shortly after i began working at the club. i call him donny the perv--yes, his real name is donny (he doesn't deserve anonynimity, not even here), and i don't mean perv in the sexy, tie-me-up-and-degrade-me sort of way.

recognizing me as a newbie, he took advantage of me: the first time i sat with him, we chatted for a while downstairs before he invited me up to VIP. there, he repeatedly tried to get in my pants (er, g-string), distracted me from dancing--which totally sucked, because when i got called onstage, he told me he'd give me my money during my set. so he comes up to the 2nd stage and hands me 40 bucks. even being as green as i was, i knew i deserved more. i had spent over an hour up there with him, fending off his advances and listening politely to his self-indulgent drivel. he said, "oh, but i only pay for dances. and you only danced twice." what a fucking asshole, intentionally trying to cheat me out of my time. all VIP customers know the score (we either get hourly or we count dances, and drawn-out conversation with dances means hourly, or at least a hefty tip), and he failed to mention he only paid for dances until after i had squandered an hour with him. had i known beforehand, i would have been dancing that entire time. i know what you're thinking--i'm an idiot. so what? i was new. there's not a fucking worker's manual for this shit, people. if you're lucky, stripperwisdom can be passed down through a mentor. if you're like me, and didn't make any friends until after a year in the business, you learn your lessons the hard way.

even if he'd mentioned he only paid for dances, he probably wouldn't have let me do more than 5 dances, since he's apparently a monumental cheapskate. and even though that incident absolutely incensed me, i learned an important tidbit of stripperwisdom: feel out the money situation before you waste your time. there have been a few occasions since that initial incident where i trusted my gut and didn't bring up money, and that ended up being a VERY good thing. but for the most part, i always make at least some small mention of payment before i invest an hour in a customer.

but i digress. donny the perv continued to accost me after that, usually when i was sitting at the bar having an early shift meal, an easy target. i still see him around, over 2 years later--last week he pissed me off royally. i was, as mentioned, sitting at the back bar having dinner and chatting with some girlfriends, and this motherfucker starts bothering me. every time i encounter him, he never fails to touch me in a way that pisses me off--not groping me or anything, but even worse--he pokes and pinches my sides. anyone who knows me for more than, say, two weeks knows my sides are *really* sensitive. if you even reach out like you're ABOUT to pinch me, i'll throw an elbow without thinking about it. donny knows this. he does that shit on purpose now, just to get a rise out of me so he can get all defensive--"what did i do? i didn't even touch you!"--fucking asshole.

another nasty habit of donny's is making presumptuous comments about my life (this happens alot when you're a stripper, but he's especially bad). one day about six months ago i decided, for some unknown reason, to work a 4 to midnight shift, thinking i'd make some early happy hour cash and end up staying until 2. this was not the case. at 4pm, there were two tables in the club. donny and a male friend of his were one of them, and were accompanied by a girl i could get along with. i thought, what the hell, maybe his friend isn't as big of a cheapskate, and sat down with them. well, pretty soon the friend left, and the girl got fed up with donny's shit. so there i am, sitting alone with him, when the most assinine, rude, and offensive stuff starts coming out of his mouth. he asked about school, i re-explained my women's studies program for probably the fifth time, prompting him to say, "oh, you're not a feminist." excuse me, misogynist fucktard? I'm not a feminist?! strike one.

strike two: "if he really loved you, he wouldn't let you do this for a living." no, i'm sorry, fucking assholes like YOU wouldn't let me do this for a living. thanks for trying to delegitimize my relationship, even though i happen to know i'm one of the girls who's lucky enough to find men who are fully supportive of my work.

strike three: "you're too smart to be doing this." what?! fuck off. how DARE you put down my coworkers? 90% of the chicks working in that club at LEAST have great street-smarts, and i can honestly say that most girls (at least at my club, admittedly high-end) are smart as hell. it takes brains to morph one's personality, and it takes mental armor to sluff off the emotional baggage that comes with being repeatedly rejected throughout a shift.

after three strikes, i stood up and walked off, since i would rather sit in the dressing room (which does not, unfortunately, yield income) than deal with donny's psychological abuse. walking off felt great. fucking asshole.

here's the kicker: donny has pictures of pussies on his phone. doesn't sound so bad? he's got dozens. he collects them from bitches who are stupid enough to let him digitally immortalize their cunts. still doesn't sound so bad? he's invented classification categories for his pussy pictures. he explained it to me once, i'm pretty sure his categories have to do with labia size and symmetry, but i can't remember exactly. the funniest part about it is, he doesn't have the imagination to come up with actual descriptors for his categories, so he just gives them numbers: "this is a 2. see how one side of her inner lips peeks out between the outer lips?" wtf.

now ask yourself, why would this guy have a collection of pussy pictures? they're not very good masturbation fodder. i mean, they can't be more than a megapixel or two, and it's just a cunt. i don't have a cock, but i'm pretty sure it takes more than a blurry picture of some labia to induce an orgasm. then again, maybe not. guys sure can be easy.

here's what i think: he collects pussies because he feels like he owns them once they're on his phone. he's obviously a control freak, as evidenced by his psychological warfare. also, i think his categorization tendency is the same mindset that propels other rich, white men to do things like write encyclopedias. "this is all the useful information in the world, we control it because we decide what goes in these books, we can categorize things because we are higher up on the food chain." in grad student speak, donny thinks he has epistemic power over the cunts in his phone because he classifies them.

did i mention i love wikipedia? non-heirarchical knowledge orgy FTW.

oh right, the reason i'm writing about donny today. so last night, on my way back into the dressing room to "go put on some lip gloss or something" before my stage set, i encountered donny the perv leaning against the back bar, nearly blocking the entrance to the dressing room. it was the first time i've been in proximity to him since he ruined my meal a week ago, so i wasn't exactly going to be polite. he pretended to block my path, before stepping aside and saying something smart, i don't remember exactly what. if a bartender hadn't been standing next to him at the time, he probably would have said something vulgar. i wasn't going to be polite, but i wasn't going to be overtly rude either--so i walked past without saying anything. he probably thinks i shot him a dirty look, but frankly, a lot of people think i look pissed off when i'm not (tell me to smile. i dare you).

i guess he took that as an affront, because he decided to fuck with me when i was on the mainstage a few minutes later. he walks up to the stage, money in hand, i mentally chuckle--shit, maybe he's a masochist and i have to be a bitch in order for him to want to give me money. or maybe he's just childish and ignoring him only makes him demand more attention.

i began sautering over to where he had paused at the front of the stage, but oh no. donny was playing a trick on me. he held the money up, but kept walking once he saw me notice him. that fucker faked me out. i smiled to myself, seeing right through his passive aggressive bullshit. donny's silly little plan backfired, because my mood levitated with the knowledge that he actually expelled mental energy on a childish plan designed to upset me.

and you know what? his money's no good here anymore. i don't want a tip from him--i'd rather tie him up and watch a drag queen crumple up those two dollars and forcibly insert them into donny's white, republican, presumptive, stripper-hating rectum. without lubricant.

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