Shortly before I turned 18, I moved to San Francisco, a place I had lived before as a teenaged runaway. After setting myself up in an apartment with two male roommates, a decent job as a switchboard operator for a hospital, and a circle of friends, I invited a college friend from Vermont to join me. When she arrived, I surprised her with a place to stay and a job cleaning the house of an attorney—a confirmed slob and cocaine abuser. But I knew that she could handle him well enough and she did.
Some months later, she invited me to come join her at a new nightclub being that she was dating one of the independent entertainers therein and he offered to not only waive our cover charge and take care of our two-drink minimum, but guarantee us front row seating for the entertainment. Of course, I agreed. It was a male exotic dance performance.
In holding the position of the lead table, my girlfriend and I had a responsibility to perform. We were to show the other ladies in the audience the proper protocols. After watching our “performance”, the other ladies in the audience might be inclined to follow our lead in their comportment with the dancers—most of whom happened to be gay. For the dancers, this was just a job not an invitation to be mauled by lathered up gropers unaccustomed to the amount of liquor they would be consuming and unaccustomed to the presence of scantily clad male bodies in close proximity. It is unfortunate that even back then, in the 80’s, women could not be expected to properly comport themselves when out for a debauched and drunken evening with the girls. They treated those poor dancers like pieces of meat. The myth that all men welcomed such mauling—including professional entertainers—resulted in some truly appalling behavior—so I was told. It rang true. I had found myself in the position of “rescuing” men from unwanted advances by some uncouth female slobs in the past and so was well-acquainted with the phenomenon.
Although I had never had quite the same opportunity before, I took to my responsibility like I was born to it. I was not one of those to have swallowed the myth of constant male sexual availability even if my own experiences—a hot, blond, teen-aged runaway, hitch-hiking, early college student—might suggest that the myth was actually true.
As each dancer arrived, I would pull my chair slightly away from my table with my hands at my sides. This would allow the dancer to straddle me, shake his junk in my face, etc. At some point I would extract a dollar bill from my pocket, place it in my teeth and then maneuver it into his gyrating G-string. Great fun. The dollars were my own.
It should be noted that being that we were both under 21, my girlfriend and I were patronizing the establishment illegally.
There was one other thing going on and that was this, my girlfriend’s date told me that I could have for my own pleasure the private company of the dancer of my choice—provided that he was straight and otherwise agreed to the arrangement. To that end, my girlfriend’s date would regularly come out and chat with us, in his civilian clothes, to check on my progress in that endeavor.
I would make mention of my appreciation for the various dancers, however, each one who I found attractive enough to take to bed was gay. Finally, in desperation, I asked my girlfriend’s date to just come out and tell me who the straight ones were. For what it is worth, the straight men were decidedly less fit and otherwise less put together than the gay ones. Nevertheless, I was able to make a selection.
Meanwhile, there was a commotion in the back of the club with shouting and shrieking. It turns out that one of the patrons had—for purposes of economy—cut her dollar bills in half. She was literally “stretching her dollars” in order to obtain maximum coverage of the G strings of the exotic dancers. How dreadfully embarrassing for my gender.
As I got ready to leave, I gave my girlfriend’s date my address and then went home. An hour or so later, I heard a knock on the door, and my “date” arrived.
I suppose he fucked me silly. I don’t actually remember. There wasn’t anything particularly remarkable about the experience.
I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me that he hit me up for $20 “gas money”. That’s the funny thing about being a responsible adult—one attracts whores. This wouldn’t be my first time on this end of the bargain albeit a little negotiation ahead of time would have saved me from the experience. It wasn’t as if I was hurting for offers! Meanwhile my current level of income barely kept a roof over my head and so the notion that I would budget for whores just wasn’t realistic. Besides, if I had wanted to hire a whore I would have specified what I wanted as opposed to just being “a good sport” with the man taking the lead.
Whereas my girlfriend continued to date the dancer, I didn’t avail myself of any more “free” evenings at the nightclub. Even if it took some years to discover that most straight men in San Francisco engaged in deliberate “ugly-fying” in order to distinguish themselves from the well-groomed gays, I lost interest in professional “pretty boys”.
However, the point I wish to make in this story is that women have been behaving badly for quite some time and therefore protests that the “modern” version of feminism—whatever one wants to call it—is somehow “worse” than other forms of feminism doesn’t stand up to my experience. Rather, I would say that fetishizing femininity is the conceit of mama’s boys if demonizing masculinity is a fine sleight of hand accomplished by our aristocracy investor-class for the purpose of lowering the value of labor.