The polite customers, though, just want to be close to a pretty girl for a while.
While I found a desire for intimacy in my clients when I was a prostitute, it was infinitely stronger in the men who frequented the strip club. The surest way to sell a dance was to act as if I cared about these men’s boring lives and problems far removed from my sphere of experience. The surest way to get a man to go from a two song to a five song package or from a five song package to the champagne room was to talk to him during the dance and make him feel valued. The best way to keep him in the champagne room was to share tiny bits of yourself: this is my favorite band, this is my “real name”, this is what I do in my spare time, these are my hobbies. See, I’m a person just like you, I care enough about you to show you more than my plastic Hot Girl exterior, I’m not stuck up, let’s talk about Iron Man, let’s talk about your kids, let’s talk about the things we want from life.
In stripping, the orgasm is, or at least should be, entirely removed from the experience and so the closeness of at least partially clothed bodies becomes the important thing. On one level, a lapdance between a polite customer and an upstanding stripper is strangely innocent–not so different from the unsophisticated mating dances of middle school children–but on another level there is a great deal of power play. I, the stripper, may be nearly naked and vulnerable, but I sit astride a man who is paying me not to fuck him.