punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Save the lap dance for... someone else.

When I was a kid, I was real picky about what I ate and what I experienced. My life was all about control back then, and I didn't have the tools to deal with new experiences very well. My high school chum Kate dragged a lot of that out of me, and my long-time friend Neal also helped push the envelope with his experiences. After getting married and gaining experience with new friends, my mind slowly opened up to new experiences, and while some of them have been bad choices, most of them have been at least interesting, and some have become new traditions (gourmet coffee, sushi, anime, and so on).

Many years ago, back when I was a furniture store manager, our company did so well one year, they sent us to Vegas for an annual sales meeting. Now, before that time, the desire to go to Vegas was pretty low. In fact, I regarded Vegas with distaste and I might add, a little snobbery. "Eww... gambling. Tacky, tacky, tacky..." But a friend of mine at the time (I think Brad, not sure), said, "You won't enjoy Vegas because you have already made up your mind you'll hate it. Why not go and see it as it is, not as you think it's going to be." Wise words. I went, I didn't gamble much (won $60, though), and I hung out with some rather mild-mannered managers who just wanted to dine well and see the sights. And I had a damn good time. Some of the other managers went out, drank until they practically couldn't stand anymore, gambled, drank some more, went to titty bars, probably whored a little, and spent most of the sales meeting hung over or sick. "The Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch" was really a big hit back then. Everything I hated, but they had fun, too. I saw a few disturbing things, like a preteen approached another manager and said she hadn't eaten in a while, and would offer sex for money or food, but for the most part, Vegas was just one big Disneyland for adults. Something for everyone.

This may seem like a bad segue, but stay with me for a second. Back when I worked for CK&T, we had a full-timer named Ed who also worked at Dauphine's Steak House. It was a titty bar. One day I went with him when he was on some errand, and needed to pick up his paycheck there. I don't know what Ed did, I think he might have been a bouncer or something, but it was part time, and I was supposed to be hush-hush about it. That place was rank, dank, dark, and dirty. The most disturbing thing about it was the men near the dance floor. They looked like lions watching elk; they were cold-staring focused men. I was very out of my element at the time. That image stuck with me for years.

A few years ago, while relating this story, someone said, "No no, you went during the day. That place is much better at night." At first I thought, "whatever," but later I really thought about that. Since those days, I have known two strippers, and my fear and ignorance of porn has mellowed out a lot. I thought, "Well, maybe I did give it an unfair shake. I was 22 at the time. Now I'm in my mid 30s." Since then, I have seen a few images of what those places were like from HBO specials, and Dave Attel's show "Insomniac." They still don't appeal to me very much. I don't want some stranger rubbing her butt in my face, and I have never thought nudity was ever a big deal. Strippers pawing themselves around poles and arching their backs on stage don't hold anything for me, and even make me a bit ill like I get watching live surgery. Sex thrust in my face by a stranger is always more repulsive than it is attractive. Yeah, I'm weird that way, but not many of my friends go for strippers, either. Or at least that's what they tell me...

But maybe it's different live. Maybe it's the ambiance with the strippers you just can't get on TV. I know being at a hockey game was FAR more exciting than watching one on TV, and I hate sports.

So why do I even bring this up? My upcoming trip to Vegas. Yes, it's looking pretty certain now, and even though I kind of wanted to go to New Orleans for my anniversary, Vegas is not a bad second choice. I only hope the eventual flooding of New Orleans holds out for one more year. Already Christine has tossed away the Mardi Gras beads for a showgirl attitude, and it looks more certain that the third week in June, I'll be in Vegas again, along with my family, Tracie and her family, and her new husband Anders, whom's she's marrying in Vegas. Well, she's already married on paper, this will just be the ceremony. And Vegas is great to go with friends, too. Last time we went with Brad.... who ironically, is Tracie's ex. So the five of us, plus whomever parties with us from Tracie or Ander's respective families, will be spending a week of fun in Vegas. And already we're making plans. Not only will it be Tracie's official wedding, it will be Christine and our

This time, we're taking a tour to the Grand Canyon/Hoover Dam, which is an all-day thing. I have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. Not really for longer than an hour or so, but most of the 14-hour tour is spent going back and forth on a bus. We're also going to take a Limo ride around Vegas just for the hell of it.

And there's talks of a strip club. Tracie is bisexual, see... and Christine is always curious. I have been invited, and I think I will go, because I have to experience the real thing at least once. Then I feel I can fully state whether I like them or not. That's kind of why I wanted to go to Fantasm, so I could say, "Well, I went to an adult-themed con, and assaulted my dignity to the point where it wasn't so uptight anymore."

But I am not paying for a lap dance. Ewww.

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000445.html
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