4 Lessons Learned at a Strip Club

Over the weekend, I was looking back at the summer I spent in Kingston, Jamaica and thought about a specific, memorable experience: a long Friday night that culminated in a visit to a local premiere strip club. My takeaway from that night was that one can gather the most valuable lessons from the strangest places.

With the gleam of the moonlight shining in from the windows, the pole shone like a beacon, beckoning onlookers to the wonders that were to befall. I coughed as the haze of the smoke protruded my lungs. I shifted in my seat and pretended to pull my hair back as I coyly looked around the room to take a look at the crowd. Men in the mid-twenties to early-thirties were the most populous group, but there was a good sprinkle of women too. I admit I felt a tad more at ease after that discovery. Suddenly, the music blasted. It was the familiar melodic bass riff of Ginuwine’s “Pony”. Cliché but fitting, I thought. The spotlight turned on and the crowd hushed, anticipation building.
There she was; a slender woman, wearing a bikini and high heels. She was limber as she walked towards the center of the stage. She carried her head high and had a pep in her step, portraying a confidence I could not imagine trying to mimic. As she got closer, I could see her face. Such a pretty woman. Her hair was short, highlighting her facial features. She was nodding to the music and waiting for her cue.
As she danced, I could not help but wonder what would make this woman put her beautiful body on display for cash, for people who do not appreciate her value. Was she a mother? Was she a student? Does she enjoy it? I noticed that she did not make any eye contact. She had a stone cold expression, yet her mouth would lift once in a while as if reminiscing on a pleasant dream. As I searched her face for hints of emotion, I saw brief spurts of contentment, anger, vulnerability and shame. I looked away and pulled out my cell phone. I needed a distraction. I felt awkward being there, attempting to write her story as I ogled along with the others. I turned my attention to the crowd. Most were spellbound, men and women alike. Others were not paying attention and were chatting to their friends, and a few seemed bored. A sudden movement drew my attention back to the stage; I looked up to catch her dangling from the ceiling. Amazing. Who was I to judge her decisions? After all, I remind myself that I am right there alongside the other patrons, staring at her fantastic display of acrobatics. Morality aside, I was in awe of the sheer athleticism. Pole dancing is not easy. But scaling ceilings too? Now, that’s an art.

The things we criticize the most tend to teach us the greatest lessons, and while toggling between appreciation and confusion, I admit that I picked up a few lessons that I think are key characteristics for anyone.

1. Do Your Best or Nothing At All

In general, I am not a fan of strip clubs. I don't really see the appeal of them. And honestly, these days, you don't even need to go to a strip club to see such goodies. Instagram, hello!  However, the two times I have been, the biggest turn-off is when a dancer is just doing the motions, without added tricks. The  challenge and mystique of the exotic dancer wears off; after all, she is doing what any other girl could do in the privacy of her bedroom. This sort of dancer doesn't make a lot of tip money. However, a dancer who can use the pole as a legitimate prop receives more accolades and people focus on her acrobatic prowess and less on her body.  The lesson here is: go out there and hone your craft! If you become the best you can be at it, you will profit more than those who are just trying to get by in a mediocre fashion. Go hard, or go home.

2. Get In Shape

If you have been to a strip club, have you headed back home promising yourself to shape up pronto? I have. I am not referring to the ladies with huge ass-ets - no amount of exercise can change that. After going to one pole-dancing class, how many of us have left feeling exhausted? Bet you didn't know pole exercise could be so difficult to master. I respect exotic dancers' athletic capabilities -- I may not agree on the reasons behind the profession, but I cannot deny that when done properly, it takes practice and training like other sports. So, what's stopping me from getting in shape too?

3. Confidence Is Attractive

I think one of the reasons women judge exotic dancers is that they ooze self-assurance, and it intimidates us a little. This is why men return to strip clubs, and what makes them willingly spend their $1's. Yes, the women may very well be uncomfortable, but it still takes a lot of courage to command a stage, keep people interested and make money at the same time. Not many of us would be comfortable with hundreds of eyes focused on our nakedness. A sense of confidence, even if you may be faking it entirely, is a useful trait in most situations. It enables people to focus on your abilities instead of your shortcomings, and invokes feelings of conviction from everyone around. If you are confident in yourself, others would be more adept to believe that surely there's reason for you to be. 

4. Be Free

Don't be afraid to explore your sensuous side. It's fun to step out of your comfort zone and be adventurous, even a little - not just for him, but for you. Feeling sexy and free is exhilarating.