Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry?

I was dating a guy in NYC a couple of years ago whom I suspected, might be obsessed with anal sex. I suspected this because he used to fumble around my downstairs with his penis, like someone making their way through somebody elses house during a blackout wielding nothing but a broken torch to guide them. I’d lie there staring at the ceiling, naively wondering if he was having trouble finding the correct hole. You know, the one that naturally lubricates itself, is directly adjacent to the clitoris and stretches in an accommodating manner. This fumbling business happened a lot. The next clue, was the off handed comments he would frequently make referring to anal sex.  Months later, when I was back in Australia continuing a relationship with him, he sent me a dick pic. It was awful on so many levels.

Two things stood out the most, the pubes that had been given the haircut of a Gregorian monk, and the anal porn captured in a freeze frame in the background. Both things, disturbing in equal measures. One of my girlfriends was crashing at mine during this period and I showed her the picture. She gasped. Then laughed. Then turned the lights on for me, illuminating the fact that yes, this manchild was obsessed with anal sex. Just as I’d suspected! Ding!! She pieced the puzzle of the photograph together with a conversation I’d had with her once about being bored with the sex because he always had to finish by flipping me over, pushing my face down in a pillow and pounding one out.

“BABE! HOW COULD YOU NOT KNOW?!?!?! SERIOUSLY? IT’S SO OBVIOUS.”

To this day, she still cannot believe that I can be so dense. So unquestioning. So simultaneously inexperienced but experienced. It wasn’t obvious to me. I’d been in relationships for the better part of twelve and a half years since I was a teenager and had been terrorised by a small number of shit dicks in between (the trauma caused by weird ass, marshmallow, enoki mushroom, mini winni dicks was so real that Shit Dick is #1 on my Deal Breaker List).

I’ve had anal sex before. When I was 19. It hurt like Hades and the experience can only be likened to having a sword shoved up my arse. I told him so. I also asked him if he actually really wanted to have anal sex or was he just joking, to which he replied….

“No! I’ve done it a few times before. But I wasn’t that into it…you know….sometimes you pull out and get a whiff….”

Thereby eliminating ANY chance that he had of me exploring the option again. Deny, deny, deny. All that attempted anal probing. For nothing. What an idiot. If he weren’t such a closet anal prober, he would be able to plan in advance and be with someone who keeps a bathroom cabinet shelf full of spare douches. Denying himself his best chances of world class whiffless butthole surfing.

Like a small child who had tried to sneak his spoon into the neapolitan icecream tub and steal aaaaaall the chocolate flavour and having the lid slammed down on him. Cutting the spoon off in the nick of time as it blindly wandered the stripes, pretending it wasn’t sure if it was the strawberry, vanilla or chocolate flavour that he was attempting to lodge his spoon in. He would’ve got further if he’d been honest about it. I told him this as we remained friends for a couple of years after the demise of our vanilla dating experience.  Until I visited NYC again in October last year. I was supposed to stay at his place in the East Village for five nights. I had expressed several times before hand that there would be no spooning, no kissing, no sexing for it was neither my vanilla, strawberry nor my chocolate stripe that enjoyed the aggressive, porn computed tappings of his spoon. I drew the lines of clear platonic borders and I expressed this several times, but his ego was beyond borders. Total waste of a good spoon. Strong. Rock solid. Upstanding. I warned him, the lid to my tub of icecream closed to him in 2013 and was not about to open any time soon aka ever.

I ran away after two nights. So stressed out by this pathetic prober that I was on the verge of insanity. First I ran to a bar to see girlfriends Fat Percy and Dolly who were able to assist me in the drowning of sorrows in my favourite sorrow drowning joint in the East Village. Then to where my  girlfriends Lolly and Kimba were staying a few blocks away where I was able to rest my weary head and give my fight or flight instincts a much needed safe house. Lids to all of my flavours safely sealed, without danger of intruders. Since returning to Melbourne, there’s been only two fumblings. Both with inflatable spoons that just haven’t quite had enough in them to make it smoothly into even the vanilla tub, let alone work its way over to chocolate. I consider myself as in the midst of a drought. Waiting patiently for a solid, unwavering, good looking spoon to come along and hang with my forkables. A spoon that isn’t attached to a lying misogynist with anal shame and mummy issues would be great.

 

Vagina Face

  

There’s this thing that men, women and everyone do where they like to make unsolicited comments on your personal appearance. I was prey to this at an early age. While my sister had nicknames like Pretzel and Sticks, my relatives thought to cleverly offset these with my nicknames of Pork Chop and Garfield. Then somehow they are genuinely surprised that I had a weird relationship with food and had a brief love, hate, vomit affair with an eating disorder in my mid 20s.

In much the same way, it’s common for men in the club to pass judgement on our appearance. “It’s just so nice to see a woman with real curves these days.” Note to such men, no matter how you phrase it, few Australian women like to be told they have put on weight, are curvy, or voluptuous. Down here on lonely island we run behind the booty loving times of the USA and UK. It’s hard to keep up with the rest of the world when you’re clutching onto a snack pack of celery sticks, sprinting on minimal calories with bow legs cause you’re trying to maintain your box gap at a pace.

Back in the day when I would allow the men to speak their minds, I’d have bets placed on what the status of my pubic hair would be. Bald like a prepubescent girl? Landing strip? Untrimmed? Some creative topiary perhaps? The latter would always be the witticism of the group imbecile with a laugh like the stupid hyena from The Lion King. Not knowing the term “topiary” it would usually be expressed more along the lines of, “Yeah! I bet fifty bucks she has her bush cut into the shape of a fucking rooster or something. Cock on ‘er box! LOL. Like on Edward Scissorhands. ROFL. Edward VAGINAhands. LOL. Why was that faggot crying if he got to trim bushes all the time?? (more LOLing and ROFLing)”  Yes, yes. We get it dickhead. Excellent use of a double entendre “bushes”. Clever. This is what we, as dancers deal with on a regular basis. Some girls are so professional that they can even make themselves giggle with conviction. I cannot.

To turn the tables, I’d like to address the not so recent trend of the fluffy beard. The beard so big, long, puffy and lustrous that it has the consistency of freshly spun fairy floss at a state fair. Untrimmed. Requiring the launch of beard oil products into the Anglo world. Caressing the space around it as it drifts in the breeze, seemingly with a body and mind of its own. Enjoying the tickling sensation of sweat gathering at the tip of the tuft, dripping to the ground below. Every time I see one, I can only think of a hairy armpit in my face at a festival, and a vagina on someone’s face. An untrimmed, 1980’s vagina coat.

Before I ever kissed someone with a big, bushy beard, I’d always imagined what that would feel like. Then I did kiss someone with a big, bushy beard and I found that I’d imagined with great accuracy, how gross it would be. The beard part. Not the mouth, lips, tongue part. Just the fluffy face pubes, like a million flies on my face, grazing their little wings just inside my nostrils. The man was beautiful, gentle charisma, funny as fuck, was my hero with a perfect nose, blue eyes bursting like sunbeams, sweetest soul and built like a tattoo covered giant in a cowboy hat…with a vagina face. I’d like to say that I’m patiently waiting for the trend to shrivel up and die, as patiently as a mother who hopes it’s just a craze as she observes her 13 year old son has just started smoking weed and listening to limp bizkit…. But I’m not. Patient that is. I’m so bloody over it. I am a single woman dealing with the stark reality that 95% of men fall into at least one of the following categories: boring, couldn’t handle a dinner party with me and my friends, can’t handle my job even though they say they have “no judgement”, have beards, have dad bods. Seeing a potentially cute face trying to claw it’s way to stardom through the obstructive curtains of a fluffy beard is such a waste. Makes me feel like a guy at a peep show who’s gold coins never up the game. In so many cases I can see the cute eyes poking out over the puff of vagina face, the suggestion of plump kissable lips, a cheeky smile (dimples perhaps???), but unlike many women considering a labiaplasty, the lips of the man never quite protrude from the bush with 100% transparency out into the open air.

Every time I notice myself having these hateful thoughts, maliciously imagining myself taking to this or that face with a can of shaving cream and a razor, I feel slightly ashamed. I’m embarrassed because years later, I have discovered common ground between myself and the hyena from the Lion King pissing his pants laughing over the Cock on a Box. Schlepping my way around judging this and that, minus laughter, add forlorn whimper. Fingers crossed it’s only a few months before you all look back at your beards in photographs and wonder “What was I thinking? My strong jawline is hidden. My perfect cheekbones…hidden. My eyes….look promising but overshadowed by the ramshackle garden of pubes on my face.”

This is my Christmas wish. That all beards be reduced to rough stubble or shaved entirely. It’s shallow and selfish I know. But I can’t help it.

 

The Kindness of Strangers

There’s something to be said for the kindness of strangers.

Earlier in the year I found myself dealing with the consequences of a 10 week encounter with a narcissist. I cannot claim faith to accuracy and call it a relationship but the aftermath can be likened to wading through a quagmire of tepid feces. It was that good. On top of this, my dog fell suddenly ill with auto immune disease. The process of tests, financial draining, her fast deterioration into an ongoing illness, watching the light in her eyes dim, the energy in her limbs fail, pushed me beyond the brink of any sadness I had experienced up to this point. This is surely my year to learn some lessons, as two days before my birthday, I found out I was pregnant. To the narcissist. Bleh. Just when I thought my basket was full.

I spent my 35th birthday at work. Thankfully a place that has a few precious stars who blink at me through the darkness, let me share their radiant light, and hold my shoulders to help me get me off the floor, look me in the eyes and tell me that I’m strong when I had forgotten this was ever a word that I could apply to myself. One of these wonderful girlfriend’s of mine introduced me to her regular customer and he took a shining to me. He’s a tricky one to be booked with for an extended period of time. In general conversation he begins on a subject but doesn’t wait for a reply, barrels over the top of you, completing 32 segways and 33 subject changes by the time he takes a breath for air. He is a sweet soul but somewhat disconnected. Literal. Confused by the patchwork of social mores, the tones and rhythms of conversation. My girlfriend left the room to go and do her 20 minutes on the stage and I was alone with him. He made the observation that I looked sad and asked me why. I told him about my dog who is the closest person I have to me. I told him that nobody in the whole wide world, loves me the way she does. That she is the only person I have who would put me first. Take a bullet for me. Lay starving next to me, rather than eat my arm to save herself. That I don’t know how I would face a day, in the current climate of my world, if she were to die. That this is what I truly believed. That is how I truly felt. I’ve never been so terrified of the possibilities of my own action unto myself, should her heart stop beating.

In this moment, for just a few minutes, the customer changed. He suddenly became a friend. He engaged with me in a way many of my close friends hadn’t been able to. They once made jokes as I sat with tears running down my face, squawking about how big my tits were now. How amazing! What a coup! What a silver lining! I couldn’t even keep company with most of my own girlfriends during this time. They meant well, but I could not laugh at the situation I was in. I did not know what choice to make. I felt like an anchor of sorrow attached to a decrepit dingy, that had already been dredging the bottom of a stupid shitty pond for 7 weeks since I found out my dog was sick. How could people not be tired of my tears? I avoided dinners and celebrations. It was all too loud and overwhelming, enhancing my already hormonally enhanced anxiety. I was alone no matter where I was.

In a small room, at my place of work, this stranger looked at me, and spoke to me with such genuine love and kindness. With the innocence and well wishes of a child who understands the feeling of sadness, but doesn’t understand why it has to be a part of life. He did not seize the opportunity to overstep the mark and touch me. He did not try to take what he could get, while the getting was good. Nor did he condescend to me, or raise himself above me to give sage, unsolicited advice. His human heart spoke to mine with such compassion and truth. The likes of which I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered from a stranger before. We are pen pals now. He never fails to surprise me with the words he wraps me up in. The most comforting embrace. The most gentle tendrils of kindness permeating my every cell, to make me feel the ‘ok’ is in there somewhere. This man has been a gift to me. He is special. If someone had suggested that the kindness of a stranger whom I met at work, while I was pregnant and naked and feeling so very alone in my heart, would be the thing that would resonate with me, I would have broken at the suggestion. But he appeared. And thankfully my heart was still open enough to accept his love.

He writes to me,

‘Hang with the ones that are positive and positively reinforce you and your ideas, the ones that make you feel free… Be amazed and bedazzled by all the cool aspects of life, interact with truth and the beauty of all your skills and entirety of your shining being will beam out.

Billie the Legend can do anything and everything by looking after herself and her pals and embracing intelligence, empathy, and day after day braveness

And as I said in an earlier screed:

“take care,

sleep well…

remember to think of those that love and care for you when you lie in bed,

feel comforted in their embrace…

and you will sleep….

plus talk when you need to,

to the ones that will really listen (and not judge),

the ones that really do support you 100%”

All the best and thanks for your email esteemed buddy.”’

It’s these encounters that make me wonder “How lucky am I?” and to know that I would rather reveal myself in both sorrow and joy, than to stay hidden and let these people pass me by.

There are not enough words to give thanks to the strangers and friends, work mates and  birds flying overhead, fleeting moments of beauty, acts of kindness, that have supported me through this year. Coming out at the other end with a smile on my face is a testament to all of those people and little things that were there for me the whole time. Even when I wasn’t ready to open my eyes and see them.

  

 
* Thanks for the tattoo D.Ferguson, another kind stranger. Two words that always help me from an old friend from across the sea C.Lambert

* Image of “Big Bird Alone Under Lamplight in Central Park” by another angel of mine A.Rovedo

FAITH. A BLAST FROM THE PAST.

Faith. A blast from the pastI found a piece of paper scrawled over with the brain zap of my 19 year old self falling in love for the first time. The first part was romantic as all hell. The usual treacle drenched musings of a teen in love. The last part made me realise that I’ve lost something important.

The first time I read it, the words sounded like someone else’s. Reading over it again I recalled those feeling from over 16 years ago. Sharp and hazy at the same time. I became aware that I held my breath as I read. I’ve always found the process of falling in love terrifying. But that very first time… I can feel that memory. Eyes open. Cheeks flushed by the cold, fast air against my face as we fell into the abyss together. Reckless. With a faith that I don’t think I ever had before or since. And today I am doing my own head in because I realize that I haven’t let go of all that pain, still harboring sadness from the actions of a boy who didn’t know what he was doing any more than I did.

It’s times like this I wonder how much damage I’m doing to myself walking into the doors at work? How many encounters can this little heart take? One after the other, with men who just by being who they are, no intent or malice, provide countless exhibits in the case against faith.

We almost got married. I was 19. I still have my wedding ring somewhere. We eloped to Rome, but I bailed 3 days before the wedding. I didn’t want to have that day without my family there. It didn’t feel right. I remember when I told him, we were sitting in the hot sun together, sweat running down the back of my calves as our legs dangled in unison over the stone blocks of ancient ruins in a park near the Colosseum. All he said was, “I feel like someone just cancelled Christmas.” His face was upturned and he squinted into the sun, before lowering his gaze to stare at the ground and take my clammy little hand in his. He was adorable. He loved me so very much.

Turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

My first love chose liquor and lies in the end. Let me travel 32 hours back to Australia alone, to have the jelly bean we made on the bottom bunk of a hostel bed in Dublin, vacuumed out of my uterus. Abortion was illegal in Ireland in January 2001. I had no option but to come home. He stayed over there to drink himself into oblivion, and didn’t come back until one year later when I said I knew he’d been banging someone else and that it was over between he and I. That slap in the face. It’s the slap in the face that reminds someone that they have something to lose. Sometimes too late.

Wasn’t too late for him. No way. I was still brimming with faith. I took him back, as you do. It didn’t work out, as it doesn’t. Took another 2 years to drown. I never long for, or mourn  the 14 year old child I could have had. I never long for, or mourn the relationship I had with him. But I long for, and mourn that faith. I don’t know how to get it back. I don’t know who is deserving of it or if I’ll ever find them. I still love that guy who saw it last. We are friends to this day, and I will always, always love him because he did the best he could, he never laid a hand on me, and he is a good person worth forgiving. We were young. We didn’t know any better. But somehow I knew this…

“I am terrified that we will sooner or later turn from each other and I will never be able to have back, or to give again, exactly what he has of me now.”

Faith….

Dreams Come True!

Last night I was on the club Catwalk. Front centre pole, otherwise referred to as “Cellulite City”. It makes girls who have no cellulite, look like they do, and girls who do have cellulite, look like they need to fast. Forever. I’m in the latter category. But whatevs. I work my angles and find the shadows to keep me safe. Can’t remember if I was working my angles last night though. I’d had 3 tequilas, a hideous glass of cheap Australian sparkling and 2 vodkas in the 1.5 hours I spent with my regular customer. Effectively rendered myself entirely ineffective. SMASHED. He came and went so I was left to populate cellulite city with my thighs and ass alone. We did ok, not quite a metropolis. The music was good. Better than usual and I vaguely remember moving really slowly. Mostly so that I wouldn’t fall over or hit my forehead on the pole. I have a bad track record with stationary objects.

I looked up and saw a little Indian man coming toward the stage, his shiny bald head catching the light as he emerged out of the darkness. I beamed a big, happy, drunk smile at him. He beamed a happy little smile back.

“Hello, how are you going?” I said.

“I’m good. How are you?” He replied.

“I’m great! What’s your name?” I said.

“Blah Blah. What’s your name?” He replied.

Standard mind blowing opening conversation.

“Billie. Would you like a dance?” I asked.

He held out a little wad of $5 and $10 notes and gave them a little waggle up and down. Not in an offensive carrot dangling way, just in a wad of money waggling way.

“No, no. I don’t want you to dance. I want you to lie down.”

I’ve never been asked to do this on stage before so I made an effort. I lay down on the stage with my back arched and my legs elongated toward the ceiling, my ankles crossed lightly, making beautiful iridescent shapes with my body by catching the light just so.

“Open your dress.” He instructed.

It’s not a dress. It’s a playsuit but I didn’t think it was the appropriate time to correct him on the specifics of my garment.  I let it slide and pulled aside the two pieces of black fabric that drape over my breasts so they were exposed and peaking toward the ceiling. He stood there smiling at me from the shadows and then extended his arms, reaching his hands forward into the light. His wad of cash was sitting atop of his left palm, and with his right hand, he began to flick each note over the top of me. Slowly and deliberately at first, then with the reckless abandon of a small Indian man who is living his African American hip hop hunny DREAM, while also making a dream come true for an extremely drunk  stripper who had only moments ago been schlepping her way up and down and around a pole in cellulite city. Maybe the lights aren’t as bad as I thought…. No. They really are.

Fast forward 25 minutes to the smoking room where I was dressed and ready to go home. Lipstick wiped off. Fag in hand, slurring my way through a rubbish conversation with one of the other girls. A dancer walked in and asked to have a drag of my cigarette because her customer had just tried to stick his finger up her butt hole. Turned out it was my little Indian friend with the shiny head, ticking yet another one of his dreams off the list.

Black Dress 2_2

THE GRUDGE

I’m not a massive fan of horror films. Blood and guts effects me in a visceral way that I find hard to convey to people effectively when they’re trying to joyously recount their recent experience of having almost sliced their own arm to the bone, or even just ripped one of their hideous acrylics down to the nail bed. Basically I just want them to shut the fuck up before I lose control of my emissions and either shit or spew myself. Slasher movies terrify me not only for the imagery, but also because some fucker out there has actually conceptualized this extreme violence, and most likely some other fucker out there has carried it out in real life. The cogs in my brain continue to churn over and over this sickening probability well into the night, the next day, and the day after that. The trauma doesn’t end with the film credits.

Japanese supernatural horror on the other hand…. That shit is fucked up and I don’t know why but I love it. The Ring. The Grudge. My belief in the supernatural exists but is undefined so I can maintain my psychological distance. I have a hard time believing that evil spirits hang out in a video tape, waiting ever so patiently for SOMEONE to press play so that the spirit can emerge with the sole purpose of freezing the face of a random Japanese teenager into a hideous distortion they will be cursed with forever more. Although, in all honesty, it really would be my worst nightmare. To start watching a film with my looks in tact, not only to be horrifically robbed of the pleasure of a film which turns out to be nothing but static, but to also have my face twisted and frozen. In one foul swoop – shit movie, eternally fucked up ugly face. I guess it’s a good thing that nobody even has a VCR anymore so the evolution of technology has saved us all.

Knock on wood. I actually am superstitious.

There is a girl I have worked with in a couple of clubs here in Melbourne. We called her The Grudge. This sounds like I’m just being a snarky bitch but if you’d ever seen or worked with her you would understand. She really was just like The Grudge. Her demeanor, her glide, her face slightly downturned to one side so that when she spoke to men she would have to gaze upward through one half of the long straight black curtain of her hair. The effect was both incredibly eerie and mesmerizing. I’d watch her from across the room wondering what the hell she could possibly be saying to get guys into the rooms? Did she speak at all? She would literally seem to just appear next to a man and one hand would lightly move, with such fluidity and grace, to place itself on the edge of his shoulder or arm. She wasn’t a crotch grabber, or an ear licker when she hustled. She didn’t press herself up on, or drape herself all over the boys. She actively avoided contact with most of the girls she worked with, and as a result, who she was as a person just added to the mystery of The Grudge. The club lights never seemed to find her in full. She was luminescent and somehow the light seemed to refract as if passing through her, creating a hologram effect. It was weird. Or maybe my imagination is taking poetic license. Whatever. Hologram Grudge sounds good to me. She would breeze by cold and pale, receding into the dark pockets of the club. Lingering there, glowing as a ghost would. Existing. Watching. Then, spotting a man, she would get going for a glide. First she was here, and then, she was over there! As if by magic.

thegrudge

Once I was with a customer and I left him at the bar so I could check my podium times on the roster backstage. I was gone for no more than 2 minutes and when I came back The Grudge had one pale frosty hand on the shoulder of my guy. At my home club, us girls will just let each other know if a customer has been waiting for us so that the intercepting girl doesn’t waste her time. It’s accepted and appreciated for us to do things this way. As I was midway through extending this one liner courtesy to The Grudge, her downturned head sharply clicked upward by only a 22 degree angle, so for the first time ever, I saw her gaze lock straight forward, burning into my eyeballs. A strand or two of her perfectly straight Asian hair became dislodged. All of a sudden she looked distressed. Nay, psychotic, as she began screaming into my face. A blood curdling scream. Over reactive, hysterical, guttural, horrific…. I don’t know if I could use enough adjectives to describe how much over kill was laser beamed into this moment, searing a firey hole into the fabric of the universe directly in front of the male toilets.

“I’M SPEAKING TO HIM NOW YOU CAN’T COME OVER HERE UNTIL I’M FINIIIIIIIIIIIISHED!!!!! YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIIIIIIIIIS!!!!!”

The exclamation marks could continue indefinitely as well but I’m curbing them at five per sentence. It was as if she were seeing herself in the mirror for the first time…in a Japanese horror movie. Insert grudge terror pic here.

In this moment, I realized that I am not particularly good when it comes to confrontation with demons. My glib vocabulary and tinkling laughter evacuated the building and I was left with two raised eyebrows and an open gaping mouth, staring of its own accord at the spectacle. To be disgracefully honest, it was even worse than that as I’d only just had botox so my eyebrows were actually incapable of raising themselves. My brain was sending furious messages to my eyebrows to move skyward, and my paralyzed eyebrows were scrambling these messages to my nostrils, which, due to the scrambled directive and their own unique set of raising limitations, then flared out to their full capacity creating a generous circumference that had to be seen to be believed. Like a peacock fanning it’s tail, it was probably the most impressive nostril flare of my life. Her widened eyes and my widened nostrils were engaged in a face off. Literally. In the end my nostrils won by default as my customer finally regained his composure, lightly placed his hand on my shoulder and led me away, gliding across the floor in a state shock and triumph.

 

LITTLE LAS VEGAS COMMITS A CLUB CRIME

Locker room chat is usually one of the best parts of my night. The girls at my club are for the most part, sound bitches but let’s not lie, we are also deeply, and unapologetically demented… In a good way. Some of the sharpest wit I’ve ever had the pleasure to sit pretty in, has been with the home club girls. Yesterday the gossip was that there had been a shocking occurrence over the weekend. A club crime if you will. Something that has really incited rage in the long-standing manager and institution of the blue stonewalls. Something that could drastically interfere with the pristine presentation of both the venue and his long, black, slicked back pony tail. It’s pretty fucking hard to piss him off. He’s as eccentric as we are, easy come easy go. If he likes you he likes you, if he doesn’t you should probably fly under the radar or change up your wigs and cosmetic contouring quite regularly (the club provided an excruciating compulsory tutorial on the latter in 2013 so there is really no excuse). Opinions of him vary according to experience but I love him. He makes me laugh and I really enjoy it when he gives me practical life lessons, such as how to put out a fire in the smoking room bins, or why it doesn’t serve me to languidly pour a drink all over a customers white shirt. It’s rare to hear of him genuinely pissed off about anything at all.

According to locker room goss, one of our younger, crazier, lovable girls, Little Las Vegas had found an entire gram bag and spoofed the contents of the small plastic vessel into the face of our younger bar manager. It sprinkled it’s fairy dust all over his black attire under the UV lights. Uh oh. He’s usually quite jovial. Always up for a laugh and has a cute, friendly dog who is shaped like stodgy black penis with extra girth. Winning. Apparently he, the manager, not the dog, then went out the backstage door and reemerged with a loaded super soaker water pistol. He then proceeded to spray Little Las Vegas in the face while she was giving a lapdance to a customer in tipping seats at the main stage. There were gasps and laughs all round the locker room. This is unheard of. Girls have literally shat themselves on that stage before….ok, maybe just that one girl. But a manager has never super soaked a dancer mid straddle!

“What was in the bag?” We inquired.

“….Glitter.”

“FUCK! What the fuck was she thinking?!?!”

Loose glitter is a class A banned substance where we come from and erryone knows it. It’s likely that if Little Las Vegas had thrown a bag of cocaine in either manager’s face, the objection would have been minimal and the inhalation deep and spiritual. Namaste. You’d be less likely to get fired for giving a hand job on the premises than you would for spreading the filth of loose glitter on the floor or stage. Semen spritz and the interaction leading up to such an explosion (and/or dribble) is ill-advised and gross, not to mention illegal. Whilst glitter showers would not be a blip on the radar of the law, they are highly illegal on King Street. It spreads like a bacterial virus that nobody wants to catch and that nobody can escape. Most of all, it’s bad news to men who want to pretend they’ve been good boys when they return home to the significant vagina in their life. It’s in our interests to protect their interests. As much as we all love sparkles, a zero tolerance glitter ban must prevail! The crime rate for glitter related offenses has been close to zero in the 9 years I’ve been working. Little Las Vegas is lucky she’s one of the lovable demented ones. And that she’s pretty. And funny. And sweet as pie.

LOLITA

  

One of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen or could hope to see in real life. The actual unicorn of mine, and many other’s dancing careers.

I remember the very first time I saw Lolita in the locker room. Accompanied by the first of her string of egotistical, maniacal, narcissistic BFF’s. She was awkward at only 19 and I remember detesting her hair. It framed her face like a big boofy triangle, the contained frizz creating waves like a logo for a product designed specifically to control this issue that could really ruin a girl’s day. She didn’t say much but annoyed me just through her association with the mad queen who had the most shatteringly loud voice, laugh and presence in the room. The Queen of Hearts once tried to behead a friend and me for a transgression that existed in her crown alone. As the Queen flounced loudly from the Red Room, Lolly slipped us a shy smile and for about a millisecond her beautiful soul made contact with mine before she lowered the lids of her blue eyes and was swallowed up in the charged crimson wake of the Queen.

A couple of years later we became friends and 4 months after that I watched her marry her man in the country. A small affair of around 30 people. It was a blast. Their family and friends were an incredible testament to them. Funny, wild, intelligent. Drunk as fuck. Still intelligent. Drunker as fucker. Less intelligible.

Together we speak the same dialects of ridiculousness. Her skills are unsurpassed, well framed but never contained within the knowledge of a couple of languages and a library of literature who’s pages have been thumbed and folded in rapturous flips and turns.

Exhibit A

Billie: My petit bon oui citron chi chi. So sorree for tres over slumber incident. Was tres bien to google you bon bon shakie bon bon xX

Lolly: Spankyou muchlies le bonbon! C’est not un problem for le sleep-in, I like to catch le rays in my le car. Und sankyou for de presents in de bag, you are such an un le rockstar rock le roll schnazzle le dazzle******* X

Exhibit B

Billie: For the love of SERGIO!

Lolly: He doesn’t like George Michael…BOOOOOOOO!!!!

Billie: He is above the law.

Lolly: He is ALL man…he is like the perfect love child of Don Juan and Jesus…

Billie: …and a little bit of Johnny Depp for good measure. A measure I treasure. A sax in his dax. A song in the schlong?

Lolly: …a careless whisper in my hairless crisper…

Billie: …heart beat skipples, skyward thy nipples.

At first she may appear as quiet and awkward as she is beautiful but the layers go further and further to reveal something worth waiting for. It’s like holding a beautiful wilting ballerina peonie in your hands. So you peel off the outer layers of the wilted petals, with each layer the petals become more f-f-fresh. When you finally gain access to the heart of the flower you find a gigantic cartoon cock and hairy balls with confetti spoofing out of it right into your face. When Lolly is drunk the layers are dispensed of. She’s not shy or quiet when she’s tipsed. And in the case of full retard drunk, the gigantic cartoon cock with all of its confetti spoof goodness spritzes away indiscriminately like one of those hard core sprinklers on a high school oval.

Lolita is a professional. She rarely lets life outside the office get in the way of her paperwork. It’s rare to see her effected by negativity, or to witness her reacting aggressively to any one of the million awful things people say to us. She is die hard loyal to the club. She is die hard loyal to her friends. I once walked out the backstage door and saw her holding a friend of ours as her chest heaved with tears. Lolita had both her arms draped around the girl’s shoulders, her face downturned to the crown of the sobbing mop of hair as she gently said, “Don’t cry Sandy…. Please don’t cry.” The simplicity and sweetness of her was enough to melt anyone’s heart. She was like a child pleading with the mother and a mother comforting her child all rolled up into one big ball of love and compassion.

Recently our home club changed its rules as a non-touching club. A meeting was held on the Monday, to announce the new rules would commence on Thursday of the same week. I didn’t have the heart to attend the meeting. I was barely working anymore and I couldn’t match the outrage of my friends. It felt fucked up and awful but at the end of the day a business decision for an evolving industry that, as one of my dancer friends put so well, will probably be nothing but a burlesque feature show in 20 years time. I was just so sad to see a solid group of strong women break. I’m glad I didn’t go. Lolly was so upset. I was told that her tears poured out of her and that seeing her lose it “was like watching a unicorn cry.” A lot of girls quit. They felt violated and betrayed. Because it’s not just where we work, it’s our home. And these girls that we work with are our Ya Ya StripperHood. They give us the acceptance that some of us haven’t received from our families and a few of our friends. Together we giggle at how the narrow world beyond our magical kingdom would misconstrue our experiences. How much fun and laughter they miss out on just because they have a hive of bees in their bonnets about things they will never understand, at how they miss so much because the bees buzz too loud for them to hear the songs we sing. The tears of our unicorn seemed to mark the end of an era of enchantment. The golden years for the golden girls. Everything seemed altered. But our unicorn is still there, glimmering brightly in the darkness, heart still in tact and laugh still carrying over the bass of shit ass techno.

It Aint Over Til…

It still doesn’t feel quite over yet somehow. I’ve been surprised and disappointed at how long it’s taking for the palm of that event to open, for the fingers to unfurl. They just seem to keep unraveling, appearing at moments from nowhere. Most of the time I feel fine but it doesn’t take much for me to way more stressed out than any reason will warrant. I’m trying to be positive and appreciate all the things at home that I missed so terribly and to find the comfort I imagined would be here, waiting to help all the awful bits go away. Every now and then I feel the weight and speed of panic smothering my face, a condensed ball in my chest that wants to lose it’s shit and blow it’s way out of there. I’ve come home, and seen my friends, cuddled my animals, surrounded myself with flowers, started going for big walks again. But my room feels cavernous, not the cocoon I was expecting. It doesn’t hold me close. Home is strange. Maybe I just need to buy more flowers.

It’s been interesting to observe myself interacting with people who have read that post. It’s good to acknowledge it and to say thank you to the ones who reached their arms out to me from across the sea. Strong arms, direct ones, the ones that show you they’re there and they’re ready to try and feel what you need from them, and give you whatever they can. I try to be natural about it. Like it’s just another topic of conversation. Which it pretty much is with people who aren’t too close. It’s done and dusted in a couple of sentences. Strangely enough it’s with them that it feels the easiest. But it’s hard to see some people flinch, some of the people I really care about. It’s hard to notice those changes in posture, manner, the flicker of something across the face, and not see in those things a reflection of the residual disgust and avoidance I still hold in myself. The thing that is hardest to shake off since it happened, is the flickering film in my head that’s been playing out. Old scraps of video events from my lifetime of times when I should have asserted myself but I didn’t, and now I think maybe I’m not the strong person I thought I was.

Maybe it is hard for people to talk about this stuff. Maybe I’m just so used to sitting around in the club, the unlicensed but professional confessional, having people spill the beans on their darkest secrets. Being told tales saturated with the most fucked up betrayals, perversions, weaknesses, and crimes against law and life. I don’t think twice to be open about my life in conversation and I don’t flinch at much. Us girls don’t really have censored topics around the dinner table, we are who we are and it is what it is. Is it possible that for a normal person, rolling in the normal world, it’s as hard to bear the burden of the victim as the burden of the perpetrator? Because you’re not really meant to talk too much about it?

It’s not as easy as I thought it would be. Even a few days after it all went down, I’d expected I’d already be over it. This stuff happens all the time. I already knew that. I’ve got a lifetime worth of witnessing and hearing tales of fucked up bad behaviour underneath the broad umbrella of the sexual violation genre. I got off lightly while he got off nicely on a minor offence. It’s been hit after hit for the women I’ve known throughout my life. A couple of days after it happened, I spoke to my sister and we literally did an inventory of our parent’s friends from when we were kids, “Who was the neighbour? Was it Owen? Oh….Peter! Really? I thought it must be Owen cause he did that hand up the t-shirt thing to me a couple of times.” We cackled at how morbidly  ridiculous it was that all these years later, these small time rookie violations came out of the woodwork of our childhood. I feel like I’ve always known about things like this. Why did it feel so bad at my age? Surely I should be stronger than that? Was I being dramatic? Indulging a victim mentality? Because really, a lot of the things I just wrote feel so cliche, they apply more to victims of rape and ongoing abuse. I should be over it by now after that little dalliance.

Such a dirty word these days, ‘victim.’ Flung as an insult like wet shit in a rodeo pen, or resisted and battled off like an intruder trying to wedge their way in the door. Nobody wants to be one, and when they are, no one wants to admit it. Such a defeat. Such an admission of powerlessness. Take the power back girl! Reach for the stars! You are your own worst enemy! That action, those words, have no meaning unless YOU give them  meaning! Nobody can bring you down unless YOU let them! Smiley face, smiley face, heart.

Go fuck yourself inspirational slogan.

Not everyone’s life is as good as their instagram or facebook timeline would indicate. Not everyone’s day was like a walk down a pastel path into a pastel pine forest with white fake real handwriting scrawled across the vista saying something whimsical and easy with some hashtags underneath #blessed #lovethelifeyoulive #smugcunt (credit for that last hashtag to my adopted parents in NYC, circa October 2014, Spotted Pig and shoestring fries). Sometimes people hurt you and it isn’t a defeat to let yourself feel it. To ride the waves until they subside. Low self confidence, self doubt, stress, feeling unattractive and gross, heavy head, heavy heart. But whatever the case, I do really have to get over it. And stop thinking so much. Do little things that make me super happy – filling my room with flowers, seeing my friends and walking my dog. Should probably hold back on the excessive eating though. Maybe lingering on this whole thing has just been the fat little piggy inside me taking advantage of the perfect excuse to eat more derishuss sugary treats…. The fat lady singing the signal to end it all, could actually end up being me.

I had so many people write to me after that post. So many people at different stages of dealing with their own version of the same story. Some are years upon years later, so when I read over these things, I don’t feel alone. And I don’t feel so much of a victim with shit on my face from the rodeo pen. So thank you to everyone who did. It meant a lot to have you tell me that what I wrote meant a lot.

Your post quickly brought back a memory of

The whole time, I thought it was me.  That I was creating this idea in my mind…”

In that split second… He sped over the curb and drove to the car park entrance right where I was standing.

I know the feelings you’re feeling well.”

I kept asking myself if it had been a legit interview, because I couldn’t make sense of what had just happened. I didn’t know whether to be upset with it or not.

To be honest, I couldn’t even defend myself if people decided to say that I asked for it to happen to me – even though I know it was wrong.”

…a long time ago now, but the same emotions i thought I had locked down were brought on by reading your post.

I reacted in much the same way. I even gave the guy a kiss on the cheek.”

I haven’t read your blog as I fear it’ll be hard for be as I have overcome so many sexually abusive and other sorts of abuse and I worry that reading it will revert me back to it. I just want to say…”

” The women I know who haven’t been sexually assaulted or taken advantage of in some way are such a small, small minority.”

I didn’t exercise any of that power, and then it was like I never had it.

You described so many of my thoughts to a tee. I am taking steps to deal my shit better in preparation for the arrival of our baby girl…”

I am sending you love and strength and positive vibes from afar…in a way that the sisterhood should stand beside one another.”

Love you. That is all x”

Take as long as you want to feel what you want to feel.                                                    As long as it takes before you’re standing tall, beating your chest                                      as you howl & prance                                                                                                      until even the monsters under your bed                                                                            will bow down to you before they begin to dance