Lap Dances. The Pink Poodle didn't have them or any of the clubs in the Silicon Valley in 1983. I had heard rumors of a club in Redwood City, CA called The Lily Theater that was opened in the 1970's and closed by the time I had started dancing. They actually had sex shows on stage and would invite patrons to participate. ( I do hope the "dancers" were well payed).
It had been a good year or so into dancing before I was confronted with the idea of a lap dance. I was actually baffled by the idea. I had been used to working in places in which patrons tipped me on stage because they thought I was attractive, fun...whatever. So the thought of asking someone if I could sit in their lap was just preposterous to me! They should just ask me. The PP also paid us hourly and provided us with workman's comp (which I actually did use once and they were happy to provide).
I moved to San Francisco to pursue acting and just for the sheer excitement of living in the "city". I had quit the Pink Poodle and had joined a company called "Stripper-Gram". The company was run by part-time male models. Most of the gigs I got sent out on were very PG rated. I was usually hired as a gag for birthdays, tame bachelor parties (no toys or complete nudity) or even corporate events. (This was the 80's. It would be so not PC to hire a stripper as a gag these days. Even at one event in the 80's, the guy that hired me for a corporate event got drinks thrown in his face by three female employees!) So, even back then, civilian chicks hated on us:-)
Ahh, San Francisco! So exiting! It was the post-punk era, I had so much energy. I would do 2 or 3 gigs in a night and got done with work early enough to go catch a live show like Killing Joke or Lords of The New Church. I was hard-core! I would go to clubs alone. For the 80's , this was ballsy. I loved the freedom. But some of that energy was chemical. This led to not getting it together to make my gigs or to not look perfect enough.
When Stripper-Gram put me on suspension, I decided to look for extra work. Being young and cute, it was not hard to find a dancing job in the city. Hence, I got hired at The Sutter Street Theater. This was my first club in San Francisco. This was an "eye opener"so to speak. First of all, dancer's received a small stipend to work. I thought this was strange as I was used to getting paid hourly. Then I found out that two girls were scheduled each night to do girl on girl shows. I was so-o-o-o straight. I had my attractions, but they few and far between. None of these girls fit the bill. This club was in an older building that used to be a traditional theater. The seats looked to be very early 20th century with velvet cushions. The stage was a basic proscenium stage with an extended runway. The SST was located on , of course, Sutter Street, in a fairly posh part of town. This is one of the reasons I chose it. The theater was run by a guy named Bob (they are almost all "Bobs" and "Als"), and his wife whose name I can't recall who had a shrill British accent. The club was fair in that we didn't have to give the club money from our lap dances. The dances were done in the theater seats. Back then, I was so secretive about my dancing career. I would dress like I was working in an office job. Since the weather is usually pretty cold up there, I would wear a big coat and scarf to cover my face, just in case someone recognized me.
I got hired there because I participated in a contest and won it. I kept going back for contests, as I kept placing and I was making money. Finally, I didn't place, so I finally accepted a job.
I just could not get over the fact that I had to ask a guy if I could sit in his lap:-( I still can't). This place had a rather dark vibe to it, considering where it was located. The management was fair, the DJ loved me, the few customers I meant were not so bad (except for the Japanese tourist who was at my stage and sleeping. I kicked him awake. It worked.). It was the dancers. There was something dark and sad about most of them. The vibe and the girls had been so much lighter at the Pink Poodle. This was the first place I saw my first pierced genitalia (1983), my first pierced anything (besides the punk safety pins) ever!! I didn't feel ballsy anymore, I felt intimidated and kind of disgusted. I slowly started to feel despair. There was no happiness there. This was also the first club I was robbed by another dancer.
I didn't last long. But I wasn't fired. I politely left and I was welcomed back any time.
Eventually, I went back to the Pink Poodle. Still no lap dances, but it had been almost a year and the vibe had changed there too. New dancers were hired that had no dancing ability whatsoever. There was Yvette Garcia who was called "super pussy'. She spread her lips so far on stage, her gyno wouldn't have needed to insert the cold spreader thingies in her to do an exam. And Sally, who would twirl a cigar and banana (though I never saw them at the same time) without using her hands. I had an ex-good friend there, who was spreading rumors about me, so that didnt' help. These people made me feel obsolete and not welcomed at barely 25!
I have somehow been able to avoid clubs in which lap dances are not the main source of income, but now they are diminishing. I have become more accustomed to them, but I am still way too polite when approaching someone. I once made over $300 in two stage dancing songs, just for going topless. I have had nights where I have made nearly $1K without doing lap dances. Even recently, I have pulled $100 within minutes on stage.
Off topic: I'm sorry I hadn't posted in so long. I've had family stuff come up with two relatives in extended hospital stays. I will try to write on a more consistent schedule.