Erotic Coworkers

Monday night was a good night, finally, despite it being two-for-ones.

The Geneticist promised his presence, and showed with a six-pack of Strongbow, my favorite mass-produced-and-easily-available dry cider as of yet. He brought his friend, the Local Salesman, who couldn’t help but cave to dance requests from the oldest dancer on staff, despite my trying to steer him towards a younger girl I like. The younger girl is quick, smart, has a tattoo of her alias above her left breast, the name of a Disney character that doesn’t suit her well at all. Still, I like this girl, and we’ve worked together off and on for a few years. The Geneticist and I did dances off and on, as he gave me large tips for a few dances here and there, I think because he doesn’t admit to his buddy exactly how much he spends or how frequently he comes to the club.

After the Geneticist called bedtime for himself, I managed to run into a couple while I was on stage. Unusually animated and clearly both were interested, I paid them more attention than I pay other couples. They kept throwing dollars, mentioned dances, and it being dead-as-usual, I scurried over after my set, still a little sweaty. The woman claims to be thirty-seven, talks about dancing around her dorm room to a song from the mid-nineties, but looks no older than I am, and couldn’t be more than twenty-eight. Couldn’t be. But she is, and she thinks I’m only trying to throw impossible compliments her way. And this dainty, excitable, young woman is with an oaf of a man in head-to-toe Chicago Cubs gear who’s drinking an entire case of Coors Light to himself, in man-bro fashion, who looks like he might have played high school football thirty years ago and stopped trying to impress the ladies with his shaving skills shortly thereafter.

Usually couples are fairly well-matched. Not this one, not even a little bit. I mentioned that I love seeing couples who are enthusiastic about enjoying the club together, instead of shy and jealous and stewing, and that I love knowing they’re headed home to have great sex later.

“But we’re not a couple.”

“No?” I looked at his left-hand, fourth-finger ring, eyebrows raised, and searched for the same on her left hand.

“No. We’re coworkers.”

“Coworkers, awesome. [Insert lame quip about that being the best way to do business, or something.]”

“Like…erotic coworkers.”

Well, okay. They’re having fun, interested in dances, and I might as well ask, so I did, just as some early-nineties music came thumping over the nearby speaker. We all headed back to the private dance room, and chose a couch away from the others. I started in on some awkward couples’ dances — because it’s not often I get much of a chance to do them and I’m a bit rusty — and they became totally immersed. Four songs in, then eight, then twelve, and they were still having a blast. I became sandwiched somewhere in all of these dances between the man in the Cubs outfit and the dainty woman, laughing about how I’d never been a part of a [Dancer]-Sandwich before. We all called it quits after fourteen, because they’d officially danced me to muscle failure on my right side, and total muscle weakness on my left, and they had to do responsible, grown-up, work things the next day. I had real fun with the Erotic Coworkers, and better yet, I finally made some real cash.

I snuck over to the empty spot next to Cuddlebug after a stage set, who wants nothing more than conversation and snuggling, and talked and talked, feeling my raised voice over the fucking music becoming hoarse and scratchy. He’s comfortable, familiar, as sensitive to us as we are to him. He asked if I’d ever read any stripper blogs, and my heart jumped a little. Does he know? Does he know about the last blog?

I confessed that I did read a few stripper blogs, and he asked for details. He’s compassionate, and he likes to hear the dancers’ side of things most of all. My mind raced towards blogs that wouldn’t give me away, blogs that had nothing to do with me but were still the gold standard in the honesty of stripper culture. I threw a book title his way, hoping I’d dodged the question. How about Lily Burana’s Strip City? He dug, offering that he’d been on StripperWeb, which I’m not part of. I caved only so far as to point him towards Tits and Sass, a popular sex worker culture blog with a variety of entertaining and experienced writers. I love Tits and Sass, and it doesn’t give me away.

Cuddlebug hangs out, drinks his twenty-ounce Diet Dr. Pepper, and tips multiple fives on stage sets of the girls he finds most verbally interesting. He wants hugs in return for his fives, and sensitive, side-by-side cuddling in private dances. He insists on tipping for those, too, and honestly, I believe he wants nothing more than a friend he can dish secrets to and receive secrets in return. He has a passion for learning and is infinitely curious about the experience of being a stripper. He’s harmless.

Still, this is my place. That other blog, before a nasty stalker started following me around, was my place. My place away from the men and the glitter and the damn bass, tucked in between me and my puppies and my gluten-free Cheerios. I don’t want to share it with him, or any other customer, no matter how delightful he might be.

* * *

Back to the present.

I haven’t really been running. Wanting to drop some fast weight and shed the bulky muscle I’d acquired, I took an intentional break from high-mileage running for a few weeks. When I returned, I gave it a ho-hum three miles, another five miles, and then…another nasty cold snap hit. I could run outside, bundled up, and I know it. I could run inside, on my treadmill/clothes hanger and watch a movie. But it’s cold, and running in place sounds dreadful, and I’m not training for a damn thing. I’ve lost my motivation to do it, at all.

I need to find a reason to run through face-chapping weather, and finding races in beautiful places and getting a break from reality aren’t it anymore. I’m now just stuck with reality, trying to pay my bills, and grumpy that I no longer get to travel. I wanted to run through the Utah spires and narrows and cliffs of Zion. I wanted to run through California’s redwood forests. I wanted to run at the top of the world, in Alaska. Instead, I can run laps around the same damn city as always, on the same trails as always, hoping that someday I’ll make it out the other side, again, knowing, really, that’s not much of a possibility.

Onward to my bath, cutting vegetables, and making dinner before work.

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~ by The Stiletto-Shod One on January 24, 2013.

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