Once outfitted, The Observer lingered alongside the toilet for as long as we could without eliciting concern. We felt weird. Rob approached and gestured toward a moderately handsome bespectacled man at the bar. He was wearing severely creased slacks. “Mike likes the new ones,” he advised. “Go talk to him.”
We headed toward the prospective customer, distracted along our stroll by someone’s hot pink lace thong, a set of blonde curly locks grazing another dancer’s red-demicup-encased breasts, and a white string bikini bottom with so much ruching it might as well not have existed at all.
The gentleman identified himself as Mike, a music executive, before ordering us a drink.
“Let’s go downstairs,” he said after allowing The Observer a sip of Amstel Light.
Bingo. Downstairs lay the official lap dance lounge—a dark room lined with leather couches divided by sheer red curtains—where patrons would be required to pay for our “company” by the song. But our sense of accomplishment soon gave way to a troubling thought: We’re not remotely buzzed enough for this!
Mike flopped down on an empty banquet. All around us, temptresses were hard at work—some smiling playfully, some poking or tickling, some already grinding aggressively. In the corner we spotted Rob, eyes glaring with judgment, prepared to evaluate our debut. Here we go.
“JUST SIT ON My lap to start,” Mike coaxed. We did as instructed, settling down with our back to the customer. Mike allowed an entire Kanye West song to elapse while he posed a series of mundane questions. Embracing cliché, The Observer claimed to be a 25-year-old dental assistant enrolled in night school.
One song’s worth of small talk was apparently enough, because as Ke$ha started up, Mike grasped The Observer’s waist and shifted us abruptly from our perch atop his right thigh.
The Observer’s ass came to rest in Mike’s crotch. “Do what feels natural,” he suggested.
Presumably he didn’t mean “vomit all over me.” So, closing our eyes, we palmed the couch on each side of Mike’s legs. Uncomfortable but stable, we began to gyrate.
In the corner, Rob raised an eyebrow meaningfully: Ramp it up!
The Observer channeled Britney Spears. Miley Cyrus. Jessica Alba in Sin City. We turned around to straddle the patron. Every so often, we leaned in to tease him with our breasts. We closed our eyes and thought about George Plimpton.
“I like this,” Mike whimpered.
After roughly six minutes, Mike peeled off three 20’s, which we stuffed into a tiny clutch.
Throughout the rest of the night, The Observer was singularly focused on the job. We entertained a short guy in an argyle sweater-vest who admitted to ejaculating in his pants, an overserved Indian man on a business outing and an attractive 30-something who told us he planned to have his girlfriend mimic our technique. What a sweetheart.
By 3 a.m., we were $500 richer, with some very sore quadriceps.
In spite of what Rob had promised, The Observer didn’t make a real connection with any of the clients. Rather, we became adept at convincing these cash cows that we were somehow more than their temporary plaything, a task best achieved by gracefully accepting hollow compliments and spewing them right back in turn.
That said, we have a confession to make: The “keeping our top on” thing? Didn’t happen. Like 95 percent of the dancers on the night in question, The Observer eventually removed our bra. The customer was a hedge funder. The night was growing late. And to be honest, in that moment, going from dry-humping strangers to upper-body nakedness didn’t seem like such a big leap.
Plimpton would have done it!
To our credit, when the same guy then asked “Can I buy you for the night?” we respectfully declined.
Then we headed out into the night, a solid three-fifths of our dignity intact.