Friday, August 16, 2013


Heather was making decent money, but it was not easy. She was not paid a salary, therefore relied entirely on tips—an amount diminished by the stage fee she had to pay the management, as well as the percentage she had to share with the wait staff. This made it necessary to hustle patrons for as many table dances and lap dances as possible, which was especially difficult on a busy night when there was a lot of competition with other dancers.

It took a lot out of her, going from table to table, acting like she loved every man in the room and was his personal sex goddess, and the only way she could do it was with more crank and vodka shots.

On a particularly busy Saturday night, she approached a table where three men sat drinking beer. All three had buzz cuts. Two looked to be in their late twenties, and were tall and muscular and broad shouldered and had buzz cuts. The third man was also muscular, but shorter and more compact and older by a decade. He had a sneering smile and gave off a bad vibe, which ordinarily would have caused her to avoid his table. But she was feeling relaxed and reckless tonight—and tweaking a little—and anyway needed the money.

The short, sneering man bought a table dance from her—ten dollars—then each man tipped her an additional ten. There were more two more table dances and more tips. She warmed to the men.

The short man said he wanted a lap dance. “Sure,” she said, and led him into the nearest unoccupied booth and drew the curtain. He paid her the twenty dollars.

The rules were looser in the booths than on the main floor, but that did not mean there were no rules. Some light touching of the dancer was allowed, maybe even some extra touching of the patron, as long as it stopped short of actual sexual activity. Not that the rules were always strictly observed. Some of the girls crossed the line, and the bouncers never looked behind the curtains (unless they heard trouble). Thus some customers came to expect that all the girls were willing when in fact many, like Heather, were not.

The session went well at first. He lightly stroked one of her breasts. She could have done without it, but it was within the club rules. As long as he tips well, she thought. Then he unzipped himself.

“Sorry big boy,” she said, smiling, “you better put that away.”

“Aw come on.”

“No, you’ll have to find another girl for that.”

“I want you.” He grabbed her by the wrist to pull her hand down. She tried to break free but couldn’t.

“I’ll call a bouncer,” she said. He let go. She got off his lap.

“Who do you think you are, Miss America,” he sneered, zipping up his pants.

“The dance is over.”

He reached into his back pocket and took out his Police ID. She stared at it, heart pounding.

“I could take you to jail,” he said.

“I haven’t done anything.”

“Your word against mine.”

Right away she knew he was full of shit. He’s not vice squad, she thought. She had never heard of the cops running a sting in this club. The owner was too wealthy and connected. This was the last place the cops would mess with. The only vice busts in this town were street walkers and johns, mostly johns.

“Come on,” he said, pulling a few twenties out of his billfold.

She looked at him. So sure of himself. This routine probably worked on other girls, the young dumb ones, but not on her.

“So what’s it going to be? Jail or …”

“Jail,” she said. “I’d love to see you try to explain to your bosses what you were doing here. You’re just a beat cop looking for a hand job. Here’s your money back.”

The sneer vanished. He looked like he wanted to hit her. Heather walked out.

He went back to his table, the back of his neck burning. One of his cop buddies said, “That was quick.”

“Stupid bitch.”

His cop buddies laughed. “What did you do to her, Sam?”

“Nothing,” said Sam. He watched her walking away to the dressing room.

(To be continued)