Follow a group of newbie strippers as they discover sisterhood, relationships and a much shitter version of the Peaky Blinders.
Author’s Note: This long read is inspired by real life events but is entirely fiction. Please allow artistic license.
The rules of a lap dance are basically the exact same as riding the train; pay for your ticket, sit quietly, no touching and don’t you dare start a conversation. Nothing more awkward than a guy trying to start small talk while you’re grinding on him trying to figure out what washing needs to be done when you get home. “So, uh, how long have you worked here then?” My eyes roll.
“Is Lily your real name?” My eyes roll further.
“Do you get a lot of action in this job?” My eyes roll so far into the back of my head I look like I’ve been possessed by the devil himself. Fuck off. Take your lap dance, stare at my tits then leave. Job done. But there’s always one prick who thinks they can save you. “Babe, if you go on a date with me I can give you the world. Steak every night, designer shoes, a range rover. Everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Only if you go home with me tonight,”. Ugh. I let this customer talk and talk until he had no more shit left to sprout. With my wizard like conversational skills and him being drunk off of Malibu and cola (Who still drinks Malibu?!) I managed to find out his full name. I Facebook stalked him while on a fag break. He’s a checkout clerk at the local ASDA. God loves a trier! We would get a lot of foreigners as I mentioned in the first story. During the week we would get a lot of men of Indian and Asian decent who NEVER wanted a dance, only a drink (at the strip club’s extremely high prices which we, as employees had to pay too thank you very much management) and look at the pretty ladies. We used to call the time between 1:30am to 3am as the Asian Invasion. Now, you may think this sounds racist but you are mistaken. This is simply the term to describe the cliental and the sheer mass of them that trailed in. As strippers, of course we were annoyed that men would come in and not take us for a lap dance. This is how we earned our salary! But nothing racist against them at all, they were nice guys. These guys would come in and usually leave between these times as they are all take away chefs and come in just as their family restaurant closed for the night and sometimes (if they were regulars) would bring us food they didn’t sell that night. Onion bhajis, pakora, spring rolls. You name it. The biggest problem was that they often smelled like a mixture of BO and loneliness. It was sad really. But they fed us so it’s all good!
I met my best friend Sallie on my first night as a stripper. I can remember the very first thing I ever said to her, “Do you make good money here?” She replied, “Sometimes,”. That was it. Instant bffs. She is GORGEOUS. I mean like model material here. Beautiful long raven black hair that she would often dye wacky colours like blue and pink. I think she accidently dyed her hair green once but kept it like that. She had a glorious body, the biggest natural tits I’ve ever seen in my life and I often used them as pillows at 2 in the morning after dancing for 5 hours already. Big ass but a nice ass. Not like fucking Nicki Minaj or some shit like that. Her banter was on point too. Every night we were on shift together we would take up in the corner booth of the club which we aptly named The Comedy Corner. We are hilarious, how we don’t have our own comedy stand up special on Netflix is a mystery to me. We would catch up on all the club’s gossip and work out our plan of action for that night. “Right. I want to make £200 over commission tonight, I’m getting my hair done tomorrow then I’m going on a date,” Sallie would say. She was always going on dates. She wasn’t shy by any means. I think it’s because she’s half Italian. Balls of steel she has. As she is half Italian, she is more (how shall I say?) tanned, than the rest of us Scottish white girls. She used fake tan of course like we all did. We all usually used the same bottle of St. Tropez that someone got from the pound shop. My point is next to me she looked like a bronzed goddess and I was more Casper the friendly ghost. I didn’t mind, some guys liked my paleness. Anyway, one night, Sallie and I were tag teaming a group of older men. Sitting in The Comedy Corner, throwing our best banter at these guys who had faces like a well skelped arse. This one older man kept directly the conversation straight at me and bypassing Sallie. This was unusual. Under normal circumstances Sallie was the one who’d get her lap dance first while I lagged behind in the polls. I was a little uncomfortable but went with it. Finally, after about 15 minutes of this one man not even looking in Sallie’s direction she bluntly asked. “Here, pal what’s your problem?” She had this disgusted look on her face like she’d stepped in shit.
“Where exactly are you from?” He asked not looking at her.
“Here, Glasgow,” She replied, a bit bewildered at this point.
“No, really where are you from?” He kept going.
“Okay, I’m really from Falkirk. Can’t you tell by the accent?” She had adapted the Glasgow accent well but still pronounced certain words differently like trouble for example. It was more like Troubowl. I still to this day make her say trouble for a giggle.
“No, you’re not,” He said rudely.
“Excuse me?” Her temper was rising. Her nostrils began to flair. Finally, she gave in.
“My dad’s Italian if that’s what you’re asking,” She said with a tut. The older man gave her the side eye and uttered the most outrageous sentence I’ve ever heard.
“I only speak to white people,” That was it. Red flag to a bull. He’s sure done it now. Sallie stood up and screamed in his face:
“I AM WHITE YOU CUNT I’M FROM FUCKING FALKIRK!!!” She then grabbed me by the arm and stormed up to the dancer’s dressing room. We got some warmer clothes (in fact just put clothes on) and went outside for a cigarette. She did eventually calm down enough to finish her shift and she did make that £200 that night. The date the next day lasted a week for her. She bounced into work the next shift proclaiming her undying love to her new man. It’s been years and they’re still together. I’m so happy for my wifey. We’ve been best friends now for almost 6 years and I cannot imagine life without the bitch. My meatball, the Snooki to my Deana, my wife. I love you.
We had the hottest girl squad around in the summer of 2013. Sallie, myself, Chris and Jenna. Chris was this drop dead gorgeous blonde with hazel eyes and a banging body to match. She’s now a very successful model and I couldn’t be prouder. I’m like the proud mum of the group. (Every girl squad as a mum and that’s me). Chris had a very unfortunate event that year. She had a boyfriend that she loved dearly but we all seen right through him. He was a hanger on of the stripper world. Dated a few strippers before settling down with Chris. One particular night, all four of us were due on shift. I would arrive early of course, mum is always early. Then Sallie. Then Jenna. No Chris. Where the fuck was she? If you didn’t turn up for your shift in the strip club or got someone to cover you, you were sacked. You were usually hired right back the next day though. Management were fucking morons. More on that later. The clock behind the bar goes passed 9pm. 9:30. 10. Still nothing. We tried calling but got no answer. Eventually Sallie and I volunteered to go PRing in the streets. Basically, just handing out leaflets with our photos on in which we had taken the year before in the Private Eye’s annual dancer photoshoot. Chris’ flat was on our path of PRing so we slowly climbed the stairs in her close up to number 19, discussing on the way our plan of action. “Do you think she’s okay?”
“I don’t know, maybe she’s passed out. You know she likes pills,”
“Yeah but she’s not stupid. She wouldn’t OD,” So we got to her door and banged loudly in case she was you know. Dead. She came to the door straight away, (thank God) but she didn’t look herself. Her hair was a mess. Like it hadn’t been brushed or maybe not washed in days. Her makeup was running down her face with big black panda eyes to match. She invited the pair of us in and as we walked into her living room we knew something had happened. Everything was trashed. The couch ripped to shreds, her photo frames smashed into tiny pieces and what looked like a case load of white wine bottles scattered everywhere. “It’s my boyfriend,” She began to explain through frequent sobs.
“We were having sex last night and he flipped me over to fuck me doggy style. He usually grabs my ass for dear life but this time he didn’t have his hands on me at all. He was recording me. The full fucking thing from behind. I had no idea,” She sniffed and I passed her a McDonald’s napkin I found on the floor.
“He then posted the video of me on a porn site and passed it around his friends. Everyone has seen me being fucked from behind. I’m mortified, devastated. When I found out I came straight home from shopping in town to confront him. He said he didn’t do it, the fucking liar. I was so angry I chased him around the house throwing whatever I could at him. You guys know how my temper is so I fucking ruined my house. Not getting that security deposit back now,” She said with a slight giggle. Fucking hell. He recorded a sex tape of my friend without her knowledge and distributed it across the internet. Now, this is before the time of revenge porn and being charged with it so there was nothing the police could do. All we could do is hold her and let her cry in our laps. This crime did not go unpunished though. Her fellow strippers tracked him down and smashed his phone and his face. They also took the drugs he had on him and took it for themselves. She came back to work the next day knowing that her stripper tribe was behind her, holding her up when she couldn’t do it herself. True sisterhood. She’s now a mother. A beautiful mother with a more beautiful child. A successful model and a fantastic human being. Although the last time I spoke to her she did tell me that the father of her child (who she has been with for a number of years now) didn’t know her full name was Christina. “What fucking person calls her daughter just Chris? Obviously, it’s a nickname! He’s an idiot. But I love him,” She said. Chris, I love you.
Jenna was a peculiar woman. The type of woman you could tell was a goth in her teens. She still had the emo side fringe and the massive amount of thick eyeliner that it was basically eyeshadow. It was as if she had tried to do a subtle cat’s eye but messed it up then thought fuck it and drew it on with what looked like a crayon. She was filthy too. She loved to whore it up and I loved to hear about her adventures or misadventures I’d say. “I mean I’m so glad I didn’t fart after anal last night because I did when he left and a wee jobby plopped right onto the bed. Used way too much lube I’m still farting out cherry liquid” She’d say as if it was nothing. She was hilarious but didn’t know she was hilarious and that’s what made her so much funnier. She was bisexual and simply a very sexual being. She was horny constantly, which to be fair, is fair to say for all strippers. When you’ve been grinding on guys all night long all you want is to get fucked when you go home. Jenna was the type of girl who would sleep with anyone and not give to fucks about it. (Nothing wrong with a healthy sexual appetite). It was liberating to see her just pick up a guy, take him home, fuck him then be back in the bar within an hour. She craved a relationship though, she seen Sallie, Chris and I enter into long term relationships and become, in her words, boring. She wanted to have someone to come home to at the end of the night. Finally, she got her wish. She met Stuart on one of many nights out that week. He was tall, dark and handsome. Jenna’s type. The typical thing happened in which she’d have a one-night stand, give him her number and hope for the best. This time he did text her. They went on a few days and before any of us knew it they were living together and bought a kitten, Simba. They were happy for a year. Or at least Jenna was happy for year. She was the type of girl who gets into a relationship then forgets she has friends. We only saw her at work and even then, she was distracted. “Wonder what my baby is up to now? I’m going to call him,” Ugh. We’d all moan and groan. We were, quite frankly, sick of their relationship. One day, near Christmas, she practically skipped into the club. “I found a ring! In his sock drawer! Oh my god I’m getting married!” She proclaimed while bouncing up and down so much I actually felt motion sick looking at her. She showed us a picture of the ring. It was the ugliest ring I have ever seen. Gold band with 3 questionable diamonds in the centre. Isn’t an engagement ring supposed to have only one diamond? Regardless we were happy for her. She’s our friend after all. We did say she shouldn’t count her chickens before they hatch so to speak but nope she wouldn’t listen. All the way up to Christmas, she brought in bridal magazines, fabric samples, colour schemes and we were all asked to bridesmaids. She even tried on a fucking wedding dress. On Christmas Eve we parted ways for the festive season, kissing each other and making plans for a Boxing day sesh. “Next time I see you I’ll be ENGAGED!” She screamed so loud that I still hear a ringing in my ear to this day. Christmas Eve came and went. No ring. Christmas day came and went. No announcement. Boxing day came and went. No Jenna at our festive day drinking sesh and she loved day drinking so for her not to turn up was weird. Just like with Chris we called and we went around to her flat but no answer. Her car wasn’t there and I peered through her window to see everything in boxes. Looks like she’s moving. Turns out that Stuart wasn’t happy. At all. Throughout the year he and Jenna were together. Painfully obvious to everyone but Jenna herself. He cheated on her the whole time. The fucking rat. Just after Bonfire night that year he logged onto a Star Wars fan chatroom (Who still uses chatrooms?) and fell in love with the most beautiful Mexican girl whose name escapes me. All I know she had huge tatas and Jenna was the president of the itty bitty titty committee. Apparently, he had told her on Christmas Eve that he wasn’t in love with her and never was. He was flying out to Mexico to be with Dora (The explorer) and he was going to marry her and eat fajitas forever. She was in shock. So much in shock that she also packed her shit and left. Left for fucking Wales of all places. Maybe she was hoping to be on the next season of MTV’s The Valleys or some shit. When Stuart got to sunny Mexico he was greeted by Dora who actually turned out to be Handy Manny. (Sorry Chris makes us all watch these kids’ TV shows) Yup. You guessed it. Stuart dumped Jenna for a transgender woman who had a huge cock. She in turn, became a lesbian. They literally both turned each other gay. Stuart is currently engaged to Handy Manny and always sucking on a big Mexican burrito. Jenna is now engaged to a lovely woman who looks very manly (No discrimination, you do you girl) and she snacks on a pink taco. Who all wants Mexican food now? Glasgow has recently opened a Taco Bell in the city. Yaldi.
The Private Eyes management team were and still are, a bunch of dicks. Literally and metaphorically. There was Tommy, John and Arthur. A shitty version of the Peaky Blinders but with the same gang mentality without the muscle or brains to back it up. Tommy was the main manager, (Of course) he was the club owner’s little brother. He was in charge of the money and would quite literally chase you around the club and down the street if you didn’t give him your commission by 2am, (All while the Benny Hill theme tune plays as he tries, unsuccessfully to catch us all). John was in charge of the dancers which he thoroughly enjoyed. He’s banged more strippers than I’ve had hot dinners. Fair play to him though because he was ugly and his chat was shit but he had charm and charisma. He would book us in for our next shifts and deal with all the shit that comes with that. “Sorry can’t do Thursday I’m going out on Tuesday and I’ll still be hungover then,”
“Sorry can’t do the weekend, my dog died 2 years ago,”
“Sorry can’t work at all the next month I’ll be getting Botox and lip fillers,”
Poor John. Having to deal with a bunch of demanding women when all he wants is our money. Boo fucking hoo. And finally, there’s Arthur. He was my favourite. He worked the bar and was so talented at flipping the bottles then smashing them on the bar floor. He had a real knack for it. Should’ve went in for Britain’s Got Talent. No, really, I loved him. He would always try to sober us up, give us life advice and walk us to our cars when we were scared of customers. Really a lovely guy. All the managers wanted our money. Can you really expect anything less? This one time (At band camp or strip club should I say), Tommy wrote a list of club rules we were expected to follow to a tee. They were hilarious. One read, “Please apply makeup evenly while reasonably sober,” Another one read, “Hair is to be down and not a multicoloured mess. Preferably brushed BEFORE shift begins,” My favourite one was “To the ladies who need to cover up certain areas of their body, please do so. Although no Adonis myself I am a shitebag and will not say you’re fat to your face. But I will judge you,” Honestly, total wordsmith. Next Stephen King surely. We all laughed at these rules and never followed them. We do laugh about it from time to time and tell Tommy to cover his face because he, to quote Sallie, “Fell from the ugly tree and hit each branch on the way down,”.
The moral of this story is that although we have all grown up and grown apart I cannot thank you women enough for encouraging me to grow, develop and thrive with you. This really is a love letter to you all. The women who stand by their girlfriends no matter what. Even if their boyfriend leaves them for a dude. Ladies, I love you. And you know who you are.