Why I Am (Mostly) Afraid of Male Strippers

I have done sloppy second with a stripper. On stage. No, not on purpose.
I am not easily intimidated by guys. While I wouldn’t say that I have them completely figured out, I am confident with myself and with them to the point that I can talk to nearly any type of guy in any situation. Except for one.
Male strippers.
I had no idea that I was actually afraid of them until the night of the sloppy second – which was at Lucky Cheng’s. My friends and I had planned a night of bad food (seriously, I heard that the food there sucks) and a fabulous “dragdoll” wait staff. But instead of fabulousity, we learned that 1) they do not serve dinner on Fridays and 2) we would instead be watching a male review.
One of my friends and I wanted to leave but we were out voted and I panicked as we were led behind the curtain into a smallish room filled with sweat, humidity and about 75 women, half of whom were screaming at the mostly naked guys as though they were having the most fun ever.
Those guys not only smell your fear – they seem to be drawn to it. They loved our collective panic (at least mine and my friend’s) so much that they put our group on stage for the remainder of the show. This was all before I had adequate time to even get a little buzzed to help me deal with the situation.
Now, I’m not afraid of penis. But I am afraid of feeling like I have no control and since I know and hate the feeling of being objectified, I was uncomfortable being in the position to do the objectifying. And as one stripper (who was admittedly pretty hot), gave me some weird lap dance, I felt the need to humanize him. The only way for me to do that was to talk to him.
I sat on a chair with my hands glued to my sides and averted my eyes from his body. “So, uh, do you like your job?”
He moved his crotch, which was covered by an American flag thong, too close to my face and he said, “Well, I love it right now.”
My mouth was closed really tightly and I forgot to breathe. I finally answered, “Cool. So could you, like, stop doing your job on me?”
He laughed and got off of me. My friend gave me a dollar and I jokingly put it in my bra strap. (Side bar: I showed up with a $20. No singles. You never, never, never want to ask anyone there for change there. Ever.) He took the bill with his mouth. Then somehow the mouth was on my breast. On a stage, in front of my friends and quite a few strangers. I pushed him off of me. At least he was hot. (Another side bar: don’t wear your cleavage shirts to a strip club, especially if you are as naïve as I am and will try to pull a joke like that).
At the end of the night, one guy dressed like a Native American (i.e. boots with fringe and a matching thong with fringe) and another guy dressed like a cop started talking to me (as in what’s your name, where do you go to school – like real questions) and asking me what my friends and I were doing later on.
(God, this is funnier in retrospect. At the time I wondered if I was actually living it and not dreaming that 2/5 of the Village People Redux were talking to me).
I couldn’t talk to them because they were mostly naked and I couldn’t understand how they could be almost like confidence vampires.
So while I wanted to un-objectify them, I couldn’t because they were wearing thongs and talking to me as though they were fully clothed and everything were normal.
After that night, I let myself be dragged to another night of sweaty boys in thongs. Again, they smelled my fear but this time, instead of touching me, one of them made me put my hands on his ass.
There was stubble.
So that did two things for me – it made me not quite as scared to go back to one of those places again if I had to and it made the experience like 4% less intimidating.
I guess you can’t get more human than stubble on the ass.

My Organization Odyssey: Part One–Goals
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