The third instalment of The Stripper Confidential explores competition that exists among the dancers as a result of being self-employed, heartbreak and how strippers deal with their periods.
Author’s Note: Please be aware that this short story is inspired by real life events but is entirely fiction. Please allow artistic licence.
It’s 10pm on a Sunday night in Private Eyes. It’s quiet. Too quiet. Not a single customer in the club, not even the guys who just come in for a drink. Our shift began an hour ago and we only have five more hours to make £80 commission and I wanted to make at least £150 on top of that tonight. There was roughly about twelve dancers in. Myself, Sallie, Chris and Jenna obviously and then a lot of the Romanian and Lithuanian dancers. The strip club is often a quality street tin of nationalities. You never know what you’re gonna get. All the foreign dancers were absolutely beautiful. Always tall. Always skinny. Always amazingly talented on the pole, doing tricks I’d never seen before and I’d been taking pole dancing lessons at this point. Hardly any of them spoke a word of English. I remember walking into the dancers’ dressing room on my own one night after making my commission and about £500 on top of that so I was off home for the night. They were all giggling and laughing as I entered but when they caught a glance at me they instantly stopped giggling. They could see how full my purse was as it physically wouldn’t close. Then they started intensely staring at me and speaking in their native tongues very fast. They are totally talking about me I thought. This is why none of the foreign girls got on with the rest of us. They were rude. Fuck it. On this quiet Sunday night, the four of us were huddled in The Comedy Corner, wearing our hoodies over our lingerie and taking in the scene around us. “I cannot be fucked with this shift,” Began Chris, “I’m so hungover I don’t know if I need a shite or a spew,”
“Here, do any of you have change? I’m going to the vending machine you guys want anything?” Jenna said while getting up slowly as her ass had stuck to the leather seating.
“Lily? Lily? Hellooooooooo,” Jenna was almost yelling in my ear and waving a hand across my face, slapping me a little to return me back to Earth.
“Hm?” I grunted. I had seen someone. A new bartender. He was fucking hot. (At the time I thought so, now I want to stab myself in the throat for considering this guy good enough to enter my vagina). He had short, neat, jet black hair and amazingly blue eyes. I could see how bright his eyes were from away over in The Comedy Corner. He was really tall and really fucking skinny. Anytime I mentioned how much I fancied him Sallie would say, “The boy has NO ASS! How can you fancy someone with zero ass?” I’d just sigh and ignore her in reply. He was covered in tattoos. Two Egyptian themed sleeves. So sexy. The girls could see I was interested. They quite literally forced me over to the bar to order us a bottle of wine and this was when I was supposed to flirt. I walked over, rather gingerly. He smiled. My heart skipped a beat. “What can I get for you?” He said.
“Bottle of wine,” I replied not meeting his eye.
“And what kind?”
“Red,” He handed me the bottle and four glasses. “So, um, are you new? I’ve not seen you around?” I began.
“Yeah just started tonight. It’s the quietest job I’ve ever had!” He said with a chuckled. I giggled too in what I thought was a cute way but anytime I attempt to flirt it looks like I’ve somehow injured myself. I decided to abort the mission. I can’t flirt. Plus, I need to navigate my way back round to The Comedy Corner with very breakable objects in my seven-inch heels. That’s stressful enough. I picked up the bottle and glasses and began to head back. “Hey, um, what’s your name?” He yelled after me.
“Lily,” I smiled back.
“Freddie,” He replied returning my smile. And that was it. I was hooked. The girls knew I was not good at the flirting thing so they devised a plan for me. I was gonna ask him for a pen at the bar, write down my number on a napkin then hand the pen back to him with the napkin. Easy right? WRONG. Throughout the next hour of the shift, I attempted this maybe about three times but I couldn’t get the word pen out. When I’m nervous I have a pretty bad stutter which still follows me to this day. “Look alive girls customers incoming!” Gordon screamed from the DJ booth. Gordon was the house DJ half of the week then Barry the other half. I loved them both dearly but with Gordon, you could get away with bloody murder. You could do ten dances and he’d only put down one dance on the sheet so you didn’t have to pay full commission. He knew the game. Suddenly, the club floor turned into sheer mayhem. We were throwing our hoodies in the DJ booth, launching our bottle of wine to Freddie behind the bar, there were misty clouds of hairspray and perfume every way you looked and every single girl was reapplying her lipstick in the single mirror next to the stage, elbowing each other in the face to get a better position. We then all took our places. The four of us stayed in The Comedy Corner. No guy goes for a dance as soon as he enters. They always go for a drink first, scope us out, then pick one. There were two girls standing at the bar waiting on him. Georgina and Dagma. Both from Romania and both fierce rivals from what I could tell. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. He entered. Both girls at the bar looked at each other. Looked at him. Then back again. One guy. Two girls. All I could hear was the theme tune to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly when I watched this scene play out. It was tense. None of the other dancers even attempted to approach this guy. Dagma was closest to him. She had him in the bag. Georgina bided her time. He walked straight passed Dagma to the bar. Silence. You could literally slice the tension with a knife. Both girls on either side of him now. He gets his beer and sits down. They sit down with him. He takes two sips of his beer and gets up. He gets up and he leaves. He just spent £10 entry and like fucking £8.50 for a bottle of Budweiser to fucking leave it. Nope. None of us were having it. Once Dagma realised what was happening she chased him up the stairs screaming Romanian swear words at him. He was the only customer all night. The money grabbers wouldn’t let any of us leave unless we paid the £80 commission. “We have a card machine you know,” Tommy said holding up the machine for all to see. It was like a bribe. Give me your money and I’ll let you leave. No, we’re not mugs so every dancer stayed until 3am. As I was leaving to jump in a taxi with Sallie, my phone pinged. It hadn’t made a single sound all night as all my non-stripper friends knew I was working that night. “Hey, it’s Freddie. Fancy doing something tomorrow?” As I looked up with a deer caught in headlights look on my face, Sallie just smiled. “You’re welcome,”
Freddie and I were inseparable after our first date. He was much, much older than me. He had his own house, a car, a fucking degree and dreamed of opening his own restaurant. I even spent New Year’s Eve with him. I hadn’t ever spent a festive season with a guy so this was big. The sex was shit. I mean really shit. He had no idea what he was doing. Usually I’m all up for fingering but he did it in a way that was so fucking painful, I thought he ripped me internally. But, he was nice. I’m a sucker for a nice guy. In January that year, a new dancer came on the scene. Beth. Beth was and still is, a fucking bitch. The biggest bitch that ever bitched in the whole bitching place. She thought she was the shit. Actually, she just looked like shit. She was tiny. Smaller than me (That’s saying something), dyed blonde hair that was actually yellow under the light. Her eyebrows took up the majority of her face and she had no tits. Literally none. Only nipples. She was a good dancer I’ll give her that, she made money. Only off of other people’s expense though. She used to go around telling customers that Sallie had the clap. Sallie didn’t have the clap. Beth had the clap. That’s the sort of game she was playing. I had a very serious injury at the beginning of the month. I attempted to do the splits on a guy and ended up (Don’t ask me how I managed it) dislocating both my left shoulder and my left knee. POP. The customer called an ambulance for me and gave me his jacket to cover me. I ended up going to the hospital with my suspenders, heels, stockings and just this customer’s jacket. I was a right sight. I was off for a month while I recovered. It was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. Sallie had to come over and do everything for me. Do you know how hard it is to use a crutch with one arm for support? Pretty fucking hard. Freddie was no where to be seen. Didn’t visit me. Didn’t call me. Hee fucking haw. Sallie went back to work one night after tucking me into bed when she called me. “BETH IS FUCKING FREDDIE I REPEAT BETH IS FUCKING FREDDIE” She screamed at me.
“How do you know?”
“I FUCKING SEEN THEM. IN THE STORAGE CUPBOARD. SHE WAS BEING REALLY LOUD!
“Like you are now?”
“Lily, I’m sorry. She said he’s been with her since September. Since you guys got together.”
“Fuck, I’m coming over,”
Now I wouldn’t say I was heartbroken. I wasn’t. I was just really disappointed. Should’ve seen it coming though. A guy that skinny is bound to cheat. I went back to work in Private Eyes after a month off. Beth was trying to shove it in my face that she stole Freddie from me. Fucking have him bitch. Every single dancer was Team Lily. Beth had no support (Not that she ever did anyway). I remember going out for a fag one shift on my own and finding myself well up. Having someone who you thought liked you was cheating on you with a skank. It does hurt. Dagma came out for a fag about 10 minutes later, at this point I had silent tears rolling down my cheeks. “Is this about Freddie?” She said in a thick Romanian accent. I nodded. She just held me. Like no one had ever held me before. Still to this day, if a guy cheats on me (Which is every single fucking guy) I go to Dagma and she makes me all better.
A few weeks go by without incident. I had a date one night with my soon to be boyfriend, soon to be ex, soon to be abuser, so I took the night off but Sallie was still working. She called me.
“You won’t believe this,” She started “Beth is pregnant,” A crazy cackle came from me. One that wasn’t me. I couldn’t stop laughing. Tears streaming down my face. So much so I had to reapply an entire face of makeup. Apparently, Beth had no idea how she got pregnant (She’s an idiot) and she was five weeks along and brought in the Clearblue pregnancy test to show everyone. How desperate I thought. She continued stripping right up until she was in her seventh month of pregnancy. She would also continue to smoke and down bottles of wine on shift. This pissed me off. At this point, my boyfriend and I (Well mainly him I just went along with it) decided to get pregnant and we were struggling. I would pee on an ovulation stick every month then a few weeks later pee on a pregnancy test to always find them negative. I swear to you that the little single red line was laughing at me. I tried fucking everything. We even considered IVF before he, like Freddie, got another girl pregnant behind my back (Worst luck I have, don’t I?) confirming my worst thoughts. It’s not him. It’s me. I can’t get pregnant. All I’ve ever wanted was my own child. I’ll never have that chance. Not with every guy I go out with banging and impregnating other bitches. Beth had a baby girl that year and Freddie was right by her side. Up until Christmas that year (The baby was born in November) then he moved on to another girl and word around the camp fire is that he never saw his baby girl again. Beth was banned for life from Private Eyes for smashing a glass into Tommy’s face. She is now pregnant with her second child to another idiot.
Strippers get periods. Fact. We still dance on our periods. Fact. Every dancer has something different that they do. Tampons, sometimes even multiple tampons. Shoving the string up so high you’re basically fisting yourself. Cutting the string. We’d do all sorts. Josie was an honorary part of our Private Eyes group. She was tall, blonde and fucking hilarious. If Josie wasn’t making money she’d threaten guys. “I have a knife in my bag. If you don’t come for a dance I will stab you,” She’d say. And it worked. My favourite thing she’d say was in reply to the same fucking question we’d get on the daily. “What’s your real name baby?” The customer would say.
“Duke of York,” Josie replied.
“What? Why?” They’d say.
“Because I’ve had 10,000 men,”
“Shall we go for a dance then?” Every single time. Josie was going through a very rough divorce and she had three gorgeous kids that this is why she worked so hard. I remember telling her I was going to spend my first Valentine’s day with my boyfriend at the time and she looked at me longing saying, “You’re in love. I can tell. Please don’t let him go. And for the love for all that is holy, don’t do anything stupid,”. She still loved her husband, that much was clear. One particular night, when all our girls were on our periods (Synced cycles like true friends) she had placed her tampon in and cut the string. Standard. After about maybe 2 hours, she decided she wanted to change it. Sallie and I were with her in the dressing room, getting changed to go home. We always stripped completely bollock naked to get ready to go home. Do you think I’m driving home with a thong so far up my ass that it’s slicing me like a knife? No. I’m putting my PJs on and my Uggs then drive home in comfort. So, Sallie and I are in the scud. Josie has no thong on and is lying spread eagled on the dressing table, trying her hardest to get this tampon out. “AHHHHHHHHHHH!” She screamed in frustration. “I can’t grab a hold of it,”
“I grew up on a diary farm I’ll grab it,” Sallied replied sliding her fingers in Josie’s vagina. After about 5 minutes and a LOT of noises, Sallie pulled her hand out to reveal nothing but fuck loads of blood. I tried next. The thing was so far up her and it was that slippery in there that I couldn’t grab it either. Josie’s muscles had also tensed up that when I tried to remove my full fucking fist it wouldn’t budge. My entire forearm, right up to my elbow was caked in blood, so was Sallie’s. While Josie still spread eagled. I was pulling as hard as I could to get my fist out, Sallie held me by my waist, smearing more blood on me and she began pulling at me from behind. Knock Knock “Girls, you decent?” Shit. It was Brian the bouncer. The vending machine was in our dressing room so if they ever wanted anything they needed to come through here. We didn’t even get time to say we are certainly not decent before he turned the corner and was met by the horror that is this situation. I had freed myself, Josie must’ve gotten a fright when Brian knocked on the door as her vagina released me from its iron grip. Brian was stunned. “I can’t get my tampon out,” Josie said, quite clearly in pain by this time.
“I can fix that,” He said. “Excuse me ladies,” He’s always such a gentleman. Then he shoved his thumb up Josie’s asshole and POP out came the tampon. We were all in disbelief. How the fuck did he know how to do that? We hadn’t even thought of that and we’re the ones using the bastarding tampons.
“I think I’ll leave the Mars bar I was gonna get,” He said. He walked away rather proud of himself and I also caught him slyly staring at his thumb before going into the dancer’s bathroom. Good ol’ Brian! A few weeks after this incident, Josie passed away. She found things with her husband too much to bare and she committed suicide. We all had guilt. Could we have saved her? Could we have done anything? She wasn’t found until well into the following day. The inquest said that she had played Britney Spears’ Everytime on repeat for hours at full volume so the neighbors called the police and there she was. Her family didn’t know she stripped so out of respect for her family, we didn’t go to her funeral. We sent a huge bunch of flowers and had our own memorial for her in her favorite bar, The Baby Grand. We all raised a glass to Josie, The Duke of York. This story is for you Josie. I hope you’re at peace now. Love Lily x