I had been to a strip club only once before. That was when I was
18 years old, living in San Diego. My buddies had decided to take
our friend Bob to a place called The Body Shop for his eighteenth
birthday. It certainly had been an eye-opening experience for me,
but not one, up till this point, that I had chosen to repeat.
Downtown Las Vegas does not have the glitz and glamour of the famous
Las Vegas Strip. It tends to be downright seedy. The club in question,
The Talk of the Town, looked okay from the outside, though. My car
was only one of three in the parking lot. Still early, I thought.
I was a bit embarrassed getting out of my car, glancing this way
and that to see if any pedestrians had me in their line of sight,
and then I made a mad dash for the door. That seems sort of silly,
now, in retrospect. If my goal was to avoid attracting attention
to myself, I probably should have walked. But I doubt that anyone
noticed me, quiet as it was at that time of day.
At first, I thought I had entered the wrong door. I found myself
amidst row after row of adult videos. I was the only patron, and
a man sat behind the counter, looking bored. I was too embarrassed
to ask him where the entrance to the club was, and I was just about
to leave, when I noticed a nondescript doorway at the back of the
video store. “That must be it,” I thought, and headed
Just beyond the doorway sat a bald man on a high stool. “Uh,
how much?” I asked nervously.
The man pointed to a hand lettered sign on the wall, which read,
“Admission $10.” I handed the man a $10 bill. He grunted
and gestured for me to come in.
A scantily-clad hostess was waiting for me. “You have to buy
a drink,” she said, leading me to the bar. I noticed no bottles
of liquor. Behind the bar was a sign listing two types of soft drinks
and water. “No alcohol?” I asked the hostess.
“What you see is what you get,” she replied, gesturing
to the sign. I asked for a bottle of water, handing the bartender
a $20 bill. He gave me a tiny bottle, and fifteen singles in change.
The showroom was small. The stage was a rectangular platform, perhaps
fifteen feet by twenty. It was fairly plain, with no curtain, adorned
only by couple of brass poles running from floor to ceiling. Around
the stage were three rows of tiny tables, each with one chair, facing
the stage. In the back of the room were some couches.
The hostess seated me at a table abutting the stage. There were
just three other men in the audience. Soon, the music began. A woman
emerged from a doorway wedged between the bar and the entrance,
and climbed up onto the stage. I simultaneously felt the urge to
shyly avert my eyes and to stare shamelessly at the woman on stage.
The latter impulse won out.
A couple of other acts preceded Ai Vi’s. The first stripper
was a skinny brunette with no breasts to speak of. The second was
an overweight blonde with huge breasts. Then Ai Vi came out. She
had the sort of body that men kill each other over: long, shapely
legs, curvaceous hips, tight ass, tiny waist, and large firm breasts.
I noticed her breasts, in particular – not just because they
were among the parts of a woman’s anatomy that most fascinated
me – but because they were perfectly shaped. On a later occasion,
I asked Ai Vi if they were natural. She was not at all embarrassed
to tell me that that they were surgically enhanced. She said that
ever since she was a little girl she had wanted large breasts, even
though she had never seen a woman who actually had large breasts.
Vietnamese women tend not to have much in the way of cleavage.
Ai Vi danced wonderfully, teasingly, sensuously. Piece by piece
she removed each article of clothing, often pausing to give the
men in the audience an opportunity to slip dollar bills into her
bra or her waistband. This I did several times. When she was totally
nude, she approached me. “Put it in your teeth,” she
whispered. I held the dollar bill between my teeth, as she ordered.
She turned around, so that her back was to me, her buttocks just
above eye-level. Then she spread her legs wide, and bent over. The
dollar bill just barely touched her pubic hair, and my face nearly
did as well. She reached between her legs and grabbed the bill.
Then she danced before me for a minute, before moving on to the
I was so aroused that I thought I would explode. I had to keep telling
myself that this was just her job. But, wow, was she good at what
After Ai Vi finished her act, she threw a robe around herself and
headed for the dressing room. A few minutes later she emerged, fully-clothed,
but in a suitably revealing outfit. She led me to one of the sofas
at the back of the room.
As soon as we sat down, a barmaid approached. “Do you want
to buy the lady a drink?” she said in a tone of voice that
was more of an order than a question.
I asked Ai Vi what she wanted. She ordered a coke. While she sipped
it, we sat and talked. The funny thing is, our conversation was
like any other conversation that we’d had previously in less
unusual locales. We talked about her family, her dogs, her classes,
and a host of other topics that had absolutely nothing to do with
stripping or with sex. There was a certain irony about it all. It
was difficult in my mind to square the image of Ai Vi the intelligent
young woman – my friend – with the woman who had earlier
presented herself to me and the other men in the audience as nothing
but an object of male lust.
This experience dispelled my prejudices against the “sort
of women” who make their living as strippers. I saw Ai Vi
as a person, not as a mere sex object. She was gorgeous, and very
sexy, but she was also very human. I’m glad I got to know
her before I saw her strip.
Some weeks later, I asked Ai Vi how it is that she had decided to
become a stripper. She said that originally, she had done it to
get back at a man who had hurt her. She had also modeled nude for
some prominent men’s magazines. Ai Vi told me that she had
tried working other jobs, but that they always took too much time
away from her studies. As a stripper, in contrast, she could earn
plenty of money working just one or two nights per week.
Ai Vi was not just beautiful, but also very intelligent. She had
invested her earnings in the stock market, and had amassed a nice
nest egg. She planned to use it, eventually, to finance her graduate
studies. Her goal was to get a Ph.D. in psychology.