It's harder to write about my Las Vegas Trip, because I'm now 2 days removed from the occurrence and the thoughts and feelings I had surging in me are no longer present. In search for and uncovering insights, I would like to revisit my uncomfortable feelings and thoughts that were present.
I would like to preface this story by saying that I am sensitive and shy (not embarrassed) about what I'm willing to admit on here. I hope that the audience doesn't judge me, but if you must, I do understand :) The nights unfolding events lead to a decision of attending a Night Club or a Gentlemen's Club (and both have similarities: advantages and disadvantages). You can guess which was chosen. To the women-audience reading this, yes it is an occurrence that guys might tend to. Some might visit an establishment more than others, while some might be extremely uptight and coerced into going. This is where my story begins…
The Night's Plan (Post Fight Celebration)
My eyes begin to open as I slowly wake up from my nap. I look around and both of my friend's are still knocked out. It must have been a 2-hour nap and I'm hoping my friends end up knocking out the entire night. Nope, they wake up and we're incoherently talking. We're not sure how to spend the rest of the night. Suggestions of which Night Club we should go to are thrown into the ring. We're just three guys though. It's awkward, at least for me, and hard to get in if you're not with a big group (or without any ladies). Another suggests a Gentlemen's club. To be honest, both "clubs" make me anxious. However, I'm with good friends. I feel comfortable enough to let loose a little or at least have a neutral mindset. I told them I am okay with whatever decision.
Gentlemen's (Strip) Club It Is
I reminisce of my uncomfortable feelings and awkwardness from past experiences. I'm not exactly sure how it all culminated into having such anxiety, but it has. When I was in my early twenties, it was a fun way to hang out with the guys and enjoy the attention and presence of women (that's if you have the cash to spend, or the charm to make small talk become long-winded conversations). If you have an open mind, it could be a great way to practice and develop your "banter". However, one should not confuse the role a patron and dancer plays.
We're at the establishment and we're walking around looking for available seats. I'm literally scrambling around in visible sight of attractive women seeking their prey; I have my back turned to them as a defense mechanism. I realize I'm pretty guarded and it's something I can't shake off so easily. I didn't participate in any extra drinking, because that leads to a night of heavy debt. No, my entire night was not horrible, but I tend to focus and over-exaggerate the uncomfortable feelings and thoughts that pass through.
We find a nice area to sit and lounge in. I camped out and stayed in the same location the whole night. I felt secure there and it beats standing the whole night. I could not help but feel the anxiety, self-consciousness, and low self-esteem get pointed out by the dancers (whether it was intentional or not). On numerous counts I'm told of How cute I look, How young I look, How adorable the paperboy hat looks on me, and How nice I am. The comments aren't feeding my ego and it only makes me realize what role I play in the establishment. Whether they genuinely mean what they say, I can only see it as it being superficial.
I feel tense, my face is frozen, and being rigid is the new ugly. It doesn't help that my insecurities are in the spot light. One dancer notices my shyness and is polite. Another dancer finds my shyness adorable. Another starts to massage my shoulders and points out how tense I am. I can't let up and I'm more in an awkward state. Other dancers are more aggressive and assertive then others, but they only approach you once or twice. These ladies scare me. They make me feel guilty for not partaking in there small talk; I'm horrible with words when turning them away. You'd think I'd get use to it and be comfortable turning them down, but that isn't the case. An hour into it, I'm bothered and starting to sweat. The music no longer distracts me and can only focus on myself. I think and feel how predictable I come off. I've been at the same spot for the last few hours being guarded (by my body language). The smoke gets to me and I feel all sorts of uneasiness.
This is the part of the evening where my frustrations grow and I struggle with the environment (my thoughts). My friend is on the lounge chair beside me chatting with a dancer. He makes "chatting" seem effortless. In someways it is, but he has charm. It's not as if he spit cheesy pickup lines. He talked intelligently and was very comforting. He got the women to talk about their life outside of the club. He complimented the women, while politely turning them away. I was annoyed, because I lacked the charm and could not relax the same way my friend could.
Towards the end of the night, an older, much more washed up looking dancer made her way towards me. She kept me company and wasn't aggressive nor assertive as the others. She was talking and rambling away. For the rest of the night, I played the part of her therapist. She talked about her problems outside of the club. She seemed nice but endured such a troubling past. She talked about her mother and about her being a mother herself. She talked about her daughter who's already out of the house and the effects of alcohol. She never said she was an alcoholic, but I sense a form of dependency. She was nice and I had no problems relaxing. Probably, because I did what I do best: I listen.
At the end of the night, she was blabbing away while my friends were rolling out. I had to polity stop her in mid-conversation. I excused myself and she gave me a hug.
"How about a few bucks for my company?"
Hmm, there's always a catch.