Something stiff, but not my upper lip

Task: Go on a date to a strip club

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

My first night in New Orleans’ French Quarter and the ultimate date of razzle dazzle. The plan was to meet with an entrepreneur from North Carolina for some small snacks of the deep-fried variety, followed by a few tame tipples. Fast forward to 4am and I’m still out, face-planting biscuits with gravy and duck fat popcorn, just off Bourbon Street (plastic cup of vodka cranberry in hand).

Much of the French Quarter is wildly touristy, with dogs playing dead for money and women dressed like, um… dogs. We threw ourselves into it, bar hopping and hopping to jazz until the early hours. After startling my date by describing a stunning transvestite as a “cracker” (only to be informed that in New Orleans it is historically a derogatory slave term that alludes to white people cracking the whip – truly awful), lady-boy, Red Light District and strip club-related conversation ensued. It was late, we were tipsy, and further slavery chat would have been a little heavy for a first date.

At university I’d enjoyed Bournemouth’s selection of strip clubs as:

  • They had carpet – the stuff of foot-care dreams after a night spent in Elements, wearing a pair of pink New Look stilettos and grinding to “Don’t Cha”
  • They served food that wasn’t kebabs of the miscellaneous meat variety
  • They had space to sit down – a real novelty on a Saturday night out on the south coast
  • It was the era of self-discovery, intrigue and personal body confidence

At the time I had no issue with boyfriends going to strip clubs and having private dances. That was until I saw (with my own big brown eyes) that they are knicker-less! The thought of someone flashing their fanny in a boyfriend’s overly eager face, close enough to smell it, forced me to change my mind.

As I’ve gotten older it’s made me feel more anxious. While I wouldn’t ask a boyfriend not to go, if he did I’d be pacing the bedroom until he got home, worrying that:

  • He might imagine the stripper when in bed with me.

Whilst my mind might occasionally wander mid-shaft (reminding myself to take the washing out of the machine, or wondering if I’ve missed this week’s Great British Bake Off), any sexy thoughts are only of the guy I’m with. I can’t remember anyone’s willy when they are no longer in my mouth… sorry, I mean life (apart from the guy who was enormous, the guy with really saggy balls and my favourite willy of all time). But I don’t think about any of them when being intimate with the man of the moment.

I’m going to message guys I’ve been talking to on dating apps and see how many of them think about strippers just after visiting a strip club, when doing the deed with someone else.

  • He might be disappointed that I’m not as bendy/sexy/skinny/boob-tastic as a stripper

So obviously after a few drinks I think I’m great. And I don’t mean I think I’m a little bit pretty/hot/fabulous – I think that I’m all of the synonyms for gorgeous.

Drunk Hollie Day really does think a lot of herself. When tipsy I honestly believe I look, sound and dance like Beyoncé. In reality, I look more like a member of Kiss, sound like Jedward, and dance like the love child of Miley Cyrus and Mr Blobby. Massive shame.

So while after a few bottles of bubbles I might feel good about myself, I realistically can’t compete on the suppleness scale with a professional pole dancer. But do guys look at these women and wish their own partner could move like that? Do they then have sex with their other half and feel disappointed that she can’t touch her head with her foot while swinging around the clothes line? Or do they subliminally separate such entertainment from their actual love life, and forget about the strip club shenanigans when sleeping with some they care about?

I’ll add this to my strip club questionnaire.

  • He’d wasted cash on HER

I’d be riled that he’d spent money on another woman, paying for her attention. Potentially this niggle could be rectified by returning home with a Mulberry Bayswater. I do love Mulberry.

First date-wise though, with someone I wasn’t emotionally attached to and hadn’t invested much time in, a strip club was a great choice. Holding a wad of ones, we watched the show; a batch of different sized boobs, bottoms and bellies smearing themselves across the stage. While I couldn’t bring myself to actually tuck dollars into G-strings, one of the dancers, having contorted her scantily glad figure around me, put her boobs over my face like ear muffs and complimented me on my dress.

Stripper to Hollie Day: “Nice dress.”

Hollie Day to stripper: “Thank you. Nice vagina!” I then threw five dollars at the stage like confetti for her kind words. Such a nice girl!

The strip club slotted in between various booze-fuelled bars and easy eating diners, and actually proved a relatively quiet spot in NOLA for date night banter, with no shortage of conversation starters, given the derrieres on display. It was a great first date.

*Some of the strippers made Caster Semenya look feminine. A couple of guys were pretty quick to race back to the bar post private-dance.

**I actually left the strip club feeling really good about myself. All the dancers were amazing in their own right but equally, like myself, all had their physical flaws.

***My date was entertaining and eager for fun. He said he’d fly out to the West Coast to see me when I’m there which could be fun, but equally, I’ll be pretty busy analysing the results of my strip club questionnaire.

****I’m really chuffed she liked my dress. Girl power…or just a great sales woman.

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Hollie Day

Hollie by name, HollieDay by nature. Join me on my journey, husband hunting on my holidays.