Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Midwest Housewife and the Nude Male Dancer

About two weeks ago I got involved in one of the most unusual conversations I’ve ever had at poker table or in Vegas generally.  It started at my normal 2/4 game at BSC.  Sitting immediately to my right was Cindy, a forty-ish Midwest housewife and mother of two grown kids (that’s how I figured her to be forty-ish; she looked younger). 

Cindy and her husband came to Vegas for one of their regular visits to, among other things, play poker, both of them.  And Cindy didn’t come to play poker to sit quietly at the table, no sir.  She was one of the chattiest people I’ve ever encountered at a poker table.  So I learned about her kids and how she can drive around 45 minutes from her hometown and go to a poker room and that she also plays a lot of home games with friends.  She talked pretty much non-stop. It got close to being too much talk, but she was such a pleasant, nice lady it was ok.  Despite all these facts I learned about her, what she mostly talked about was poker....she commented on every hand, every hand she had, the play of every hand of the table.  She was real friendly and talked with everyone nearby, and basically spoke a book about poker during the evening.  

After an hour or so, a young, athletic-looking fellow came to the table that I vaguely recognized.  I saw the name “Freddy” as first on the list when he took his seat.  I started to remember Freddy….played with him a few times before at BSC.  My memory was that he is now a local, came to live in Vegas a while ago, perhaps a year back to train for his athletic career.  I’m pretty sure he I remember him saying he had gotten a job shining shoes at the Airport to make ends meet while he trained and waited for his athletic career to blossom.

After Freddy had been at the table for some time—and hadn’t been doing well, pokerwise—I started notice something unusual.  Twice I noticed the dealer asking a chip-runner for more chips and then counting out a boatload of singles to buy them with.  At one point I even commented, 'What, did someone break into their piggy bank?"  Not long later, Freddy ran out of chips once again (he was having as bad a night as I was) and this time I noticed he was buying $40 in chips in forty one dollar bills.  Yeah, he gave the dealer forty singles and was clearly the source of all the singles the dealers kept getting rid of.

This helped me remember Freddy.  I assumed he had all those one dollar bills from getting tips at the airport, shining shoes. Made sense to me.

Boy was I wrong.  The next time he bought more chips (like I said, he was having a tough nite of poker), the dealer—who clearly knew Freddy—said to him, "I guess you worked last night."  I was still thinking shoe-shine so I didn't pay much attention but I guess he said yes.  Cindy heard this, noticed the one dollar bills and said to Freddy, who she had been chatting with like all of us on this side of the table, "Oh, are you a stripper?"  I actually didn't hear her say this, I wasn't paying attention. Cindy told me this a few days later when we were laughing over this incident. She was just joking, or so she thought.  But Freddy looked kind of sheepish, kind of uncomfortable, and then reluctantly said, " a matter of fact.......yes, I am."  Freddy started filling in a few details before I started tuning in.  I think I first noticed when I heard the words "Palomino Club."  So Cindy got some details I hadn't heard.  But all of a sudden I noticed Cindy was pumping Freddy (so-to-speak) for info on his nude dancing career.  Once I figured out what Freddy was talking about, I knew I was gonna have a story worth re-telling and got involved in the conversation.

I asked Freddy directly....."You're a nude dancer?"  Yes.  "At Palomino Club?" Yes. It's in North Las Vegas.  "I know, I've heard of it.  But I didn't know they had male dancers there."  They do. They have males dancing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  The rest of the time is just girls, but on those nights it's both.

I was shocked to say the least.  Of course, it had been well over 20 years since the last time I was there. And I can assure you the only people taking off their clothes at that time were women.  So I said, "What is it, like a Chippendale's show?"  Freddy laughed, said, "not exactly" and then Cindy said, "Oh no, this is a lot more than Chippendales.  There's full male nudity." Now I have to assume that Cindy had already gotten this info from Freddy before I tuned in, although I suppose it is possible that Cindy had more firsthand knowledge of this show! But I doubt that.  I said, "full male get totally nude?"  Freddy said yes, there's full frontal male nudity on these shows, and yes, he get's completely naked on stage.  He went to explain that the Palomino Club was the only place in town that had both alcohol and full frontal nudity.  I said I knew that but I thought that was only women, I didn't know they had guys dancing naked. He repeated that they have the shows on the weekend for women to enjoy the nude male dancers. 

Wow. I don't remember if it was Cindy or me who asked if he does lap dances.  But the answer is yes, he does.  They have private booths for that. Cindy knew what that could possibly lead to, so she asked him if any actual "sex" was ever involved. He explained that there are rules and that of course it is not allowed, but if "some of the dancers want to break the rules and they get away with it....."  He was totally third person discussing this but if I had to guess, he's schtuped his share of gals in the private booths.  He said they have to be careful because you can see the booths’ motion and figure out what is going on.

Cindy asked, "If you're totally naked, where do they put the tips?"  He laughed.  Most of the tips come when they are dancing before they get totally naked.  But.....when they dance they sweat and the dollar bills stick to their sweaty skin.  Also there are girls who are basically "tip runners" who pick up the tips for them.  She asked if the dancers are on as a group or individually.  He said some of the guys work in two man teams but he always is a solo act.

I asked if only women were allowed into the show or if guys were allowed to watch them too.  I suppose in retrospect that may have sounded like I was interested in seeing the male nude show, but fortunately no one accused me of this and Cindy agreed that it was an excellent question.  The answer is that guys are allowed only as part of a couple (and the other member of the couple has to be female, it can't be two guys).  And then sometimes the couple will want a private or lap dance.  He says a lot of the guys who come in are turned on watching their girlfriend or wife interact with the nude male dancer in the booth.  And if the dancer wants to interact with the guy too....well that's up to him.  Freddy indicated that he wouldn't do that.

I had to ask....what is the age group of the women who come to see this show?  He said it is mostly women in their 30's, but it is really all ages, some gals in their twenties, middle-aged women and some are grandmothers or older......Of course he said there were a lot of bachelorette parties, divorce parties, things like that.  He also said something that really surprised me....a lot of the female strippers who work there come in to see the guys.  They are the best tippers!  Then I asked if these women customers were usually attractive or usually not so attractive.  He said there are all types but there are plenty of good looking women who enjoy the show.  

If Freddy seemed sheepish at first, by this time he was totally uninhibited talking about this. Cindy was saying that she felt there was nothing wrong with what Freddy was doing.  "You're young, you’re athletic, You're good looking.  Why not?"  Then she went to say, "You know, would a parent approve of this for their child?  I guess not but there are worse things you could be doing.  I mean, my daughter is gorgeous.  She could easily be a stripper.  Would that be my first choice?  I guess not....but it wouldn't be so terrible.  It’s honest work."

Cindy went on to mention some Showtime reality show I'd never heard of, "Gigolos" which supposedly features real Las Vegas gigolos and has full frontal male nudity (Cindy was quite adamant to point that out....I guess she is a fan of the show).  She said it shows the guys and the “agents” who are really pimps who set up their "dates" and such.  She said most of the guys were not very good looking and that was surprising to her.  Now at that point I wanted to say something like, "Well if the show has full frontal nudity they must show you what the women are really paying for...." but I had already made enough comments that might make me seem gay so I held my tongue!  Freddy said that some guys do make "dates" with the gals (and the couples) and he was very clear to only talk in third to what they charge for in-call service, well they have to be careful because at Palomino Club it is a lot of locals.  If the guy accepts a low rate, word gets around (that they can be rented “cheap”) and it ruins their reputation.  The guys who work some of the clubs closer to the strip, which he has also worked in the past, have an easier time accepting a low rate from some tourist gal because the word won't get around.  He mentioned Treasures and Sapphire Club as places he's worked as a male nude dancer.   

This discussion of the show “Gigolos” led to a brief detour about “swingers.”  Cindy said, almost disappointedly, that you never really know anything about your neighbor’s sex lives.  She said, "I mean you never really know who's having sex.  I don't think anybody in my Midwest neighborhood is having sex, but who knows, maybe they are!"  By “having sex” she clearly meant outside of marriage (wife-swapping, hookers, gigolo's, illicit affairs).  I had to bite my tongue to avoid saying something like, "You mean, you're not having sex with your husband in back home?" but I thought better of it. I knew what she meant.

During this discussion a regular dealer was replaced by a fill-in I’d never seen before. He was mum during all this but at one point Cindy said to him, "Quite a conversation you are listening to, isn't it?"  He just smiled.  "How are you able to keep up on the game with all this unusual discussion going on?"  He said he has the ability to multi-task.

By the time the next dealer had come in, the topic had been pretty much exhausted. One of the regular female dealers took over and she had heard none of this discussion. But then Freddy need to buy in for more chips, which meant he counted out more single dollar bills.  As the attractive female dealer picked them up off the table to count them, I leaned over to Cindy and said, "She doesn't know where those dollar bills have been."  Cindy laughed and said she was thinking the exact same thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment