Dawn’s point of view:
February 2018: The Present
Valentine’s Day at the club was amazing. It was decorated like every other spot in town, but the club had more decorations for Valentine’s Day than any other holiday, including Christmas and New Year’s. The Holiday season was the club’s busiest season, men needed to blow off steam after spending so much time with their families.
Often, I felt guilty knowing that most of our patrons were married, that they had wives and families waiting for them while I danced completely naked, letting them shower me with sexy words, gifts, and cash. But then, it wasn’t my fault men wanted to see naked women. It was a weird feeling. I felt empowered on the one hand, finally free from the rules of the patriarchy, but the other part made me feel like being a stripper was a patriarchal stereotype. Either way, I’d grown to love dancing, the freedom, the power.
“I’m not coming home tonight,” Kira said. Her naked body was covered in a sheen layer of sweat while she sauntered to the mirror next to me after her set.
“I’m about to go give a private dance, and he’s already made his intention to take me home clear.”
“Turn your location on.”
“Always do. Text me when you’re home.”
“Always do.” She air kissed my cheeks before I walked away, leaving her to dress while I waited for my cue to walk out on the stage.
The lights were low and the noise of applause for Kira had finally died down.
“Gentlemen and ladies, please welcome our shining star to the stage, Miss Star!” The redundancy of calling me a shining star when my stage name was star was irritating, but it always got the crowd hyped up for my performance so I let it slide and never corrected him. The spotlight shined down on me as I walked to centre stage, giving a view of my outfit. I’d chosen to stay in the Valentine’s Day theme—dressed as a naughty, sexy cupid. I had on a red lace thong with a matching red bra. I had little red wings on my back that would eventually be the only thing I was wearing, well that and my shoes. I had bright red, stain, ribbon holding my hair out of my face, and blood red platform stilettos on my feet. My prop was the tiniest bow I could find. I’d had to paint it red myself, but it was worth it. For my stage makeup, I’d had one of the girls paint a red heart around my eye, and my lips were obviously painted red.
As I took my place, whistles already sounded out around the space. A lot of the men were regulars, but on holidays there were more and more strangers in the room, which meant better tips. When the beat for Rihanna’s Pour it Up dropped, I started to move. Some of the other girls were religious about their routines, practicing them endlessly so they didn’t miss a single kick or turn. I only did that for the rare occasions that we did a group dance, but otherwise, I let the rhythm guide me and just did what felt right in the moment. The whistles and cheers of the crowd guided me, letting me know which moves they liked.
There were a few I always did, like crawling across the stage on my hands and knees after I took my bra off, letting my breasts sway as I did. They always went wild for it, and bill after bill was tossed at my feet. It played into their dirty fantasies. When I got to the end of the stage, I turned, and leaned forward, pushing my palms into the stage. I rotated my hips, jiggling my ass before pushing up into a downward dog position, transitioning quickly to just being bent over, letting them all view my ass. Bills were tucked into my thong and hands roamed up and down my legs. Our establishment was a little more lenient with the don’t touch the dancers rule. We had a hand signal—tapping our noses—to let the bouncer know someone was taking it too far. It didn’t happen often, and never by the regulars. Mostly, the ones to took it far were drunk men at their bachelor party.
Standing straight up, I let a few hands linger to get some extra bills tucked in before strutting, swaying my hips extra while I walked back towards the pole. With my back still to the crowd, I pushed my thong down, leaving me naked except for my wings and shoes. My bow had been tossed almost as soon as I started, I’d only used it to let them know what my outfit was.
Naked, I jumped on the pole, wrapping my legs around it, and letting my hands go, bending back so that my head and breasts tilted down. With one knee hooked around it, I twirled down until I landed softly on my back. The pole pushed against my ass as I spread my legs and lifted my hips up. Leaning forward, I grabbed the pole again and used my strength to pull myself up and climb back up it. I let myself slide back down it, until I landed back on my feet. The crowd got louder as I walked back towards the front of the stage, zigzagging back and forth between sides, bending and squatting and moving my body in all directions, letting all my parts jiggle.
The crescendo of the song was coming, and my big finish was coming, something I’d been working on for months. I spun in quick circles, twisting and turning right, giving them flashes of my body until I finally stopped, dropping into a full split. The crowd went wild, standing and cheering and clapping. Bills flooded the stage as I held my split, my legs completely open. I held it until it became too panful and I was forced to stand. The clapping didn’t stop while I collected my clothes and the bills were swept into a pile for me to pick up.
By the time I got back to my station, Kira was already gone, and I knew I wouldn’t see her again until tomorrow.
“Star,” mama said, only ever referring to me by my stage name. “You’ve got a request for a private dance.”
“Okay,” I said.
“He paid for ten minutes.”
Private dances weren’t my favourite; it felt too intimate. I’d given Miles multiple lap dances during our time together and it had taken me longer than I wanted to admit to be comfortable doing it to another man, especially one I didn’t love. Sometimes when I was grinding on someone his face was the one I saw. I loved and hated it.
From my rack of clothes, I grabbed a fresh thong and bra, choosing basic black, the complete opposite of the happy red. Sometimes the men had costume requests for private dances—maid, secretary, nurse—the list was seemingly endless, but there were plenty of shared costumes. I hated those requests, somehow those men were always creepy.
As I finished changing applause started and I knew Foxy’s set must have been over too. She was the biggest girl at the club, and she made more than all of us. She could dance like no one else, and had the biggest chest. It didn’t matter that she didn’t fit into traditional Eurocentric standards of beauty or that she was big, she cleaned up, and she had more confidence than all of us put together.
She had a big grin on her face as I walked by her, out the stage door and down the steps towards the private rooms. I searched the hallway until I found a door that had a star sticker on it. If Foxy had a dance, her room had a fox sticker on it. It wasn’t very original, but it worked.
The lighting in the room was so dark I could barely see the man who’d paid. All I could tell was that he was older, in his mid to late forties, and had a beard that was greying. But he was well built. “Hey, gorgeous,” he greeted me.
“Hey, sexy,” I purred back at him. Turning to the speaker, I clicked the ten minute playlist. “Any requests?” I asked.
“Just do your thing, Star.” My favourite type of private dance.
Staring from the opposite side of the room, facing him, I built the tension, slowly swaying my hips back and forth, running my hands up and down my body while I gradually made my way closer to him. His eyes raked up and down my body. When I finally got close enough, I could see him better. His hair was dark brown, mixed with the beginnings of going grey. His eyes were as dark as his hair with eye lashes any woman would be jealous of. He was in a three piece suit, and was probably only in town for a business trip. I didn’t see a ring on his finger, but that didn’t mean anything.
Moving closer still, I didn’t stop until I could touch him, resting my hands on his shoulders. Leaning forward, I let my chest fall in his face and heard him groan. I climbed onto his lap, resting my knees on the outside of his thighs. His hands dug into the armrest of the chairs. Private dancers were a no touching zone. For me anyway and lots of the other girls. Kira let the men touch her, encouraged it, which was her right, just like it was mine to enforce the no touching rule. We had a panic button on door for if things got out of hand, but since working at the club, no one had ever pushed it.
I ground myself on top of him, feeling his hardness. “You’re killing me, Star.”
I giggled a little bit, only for effect. When the song changed, I climbed off of him and bent over, letting him see the cheeks of my ass as they spilled out over the thong. While I was bent forward, I unclipped my bra and let it fall to the ground, but I didn’t turn to face him. Instead, I walked backwards until I could fall into his lap. He groaned low in my ear and I started grinding on top of him again. “You’re so fucking beautiful.” His voice was low and smokey, and I was sure it let him get his way a lot, especially with women. “Come home with me,” he whispered. HIs head had moved and I knew he was staring down my body.
“I don’t go home clients,” I said, continuing my movements on him.
“Have dinner with me tomorrow then.”
“I don’t date clients,” I clarified.
“Don’t mix business and pleasure.”
“I’m only in town for two nights, you’ll never see me again.”
I bit my lip, contemplating. I was off work tomorrow; I could go out with him. Kira had been hounding me forever to get back out there, even if it was just for sex. It had been nearly two years since Miles and I broke up, since I’d had sex. My poor pussy.
“Are you married?” I asked. Dancing for someone who was married was an entirely different thing than going out to dinner with one knowing it would end in sex.
“No,” he said quickly. “I swear.”
The music had ended but I was still sitting in his lap.
“Write your name and number down before you go, and I’ll think about it.”
“I’ll take it.”
I climbed off of him and put my bra back on. “See you tomorrow, Star,” he said, setting his card and a tip on the table before he left the private room. I walked to the card and looked down on it. Stephen Rollins was written on it. The card also told me that he was a sales representative for some fancy sounding company with a weird logo. I’d have to google it when I got home. If I told Kira about this, she would definitely force me to go out with him. Maybe he was a good place to start. He was too old for me to take seriously as a relationship, and he wasn’t from the city. I never had to see him again if I didn’t want to.
Making up my mind, I decided to go for it, but I wasn’t going to text him until tomorrow.
By the time I got back to the dressing suite, it was close to two in the morning and I was exhausted. All the stage dances were done for the night; some of the girls would have already headed home while others would be working the floor, trying to get private dances before closing time. I was too tired to do anymore dances, so I changed and wrapped myself in a thick coat, sweater, and gloves to head out into the frigid February air.
I never walked home after a night at the club. We lived in a safe area, and for as safe as I felt dancing, I wasn’t willing to take chance. Once my car arrived it only took about ten minutes to drive home, and thankfully she was quiet.
“Thanks,” I said while climbing out.
I hated coming home to an empty house, being left alone with my thoughts was still too much sometimes, being without Miles was still too much sometimes. I hated that even close to two years later, I still couldn’t forget him, especially after the pain. But Kira was right, it was time. And I was going to try. To take a step forward. Hopefully it didn’t blow up in my face.
“I’m so excited for you!” Kira said while I was finishing getting ready for my date. “It’s been too long. It’s time.”
“I know. But can we not talk about it? I’m nervous, and not even because I really like him, but just because…”
“I know,” she said, rubbing my back soothingly. “It’ll be great. You said he was older.”
“Yeah. In his forties I think, but still really attractive.”
“Older men are so much better in bed.”
“Guess I’m about to find out.”
I’d texted Stephen early in the morning, telling him I’d go out with him. He’d invited me to dinner at his hotel, taking away all pretence that he wasn’t going to invite me upstairs when dinner was done. But just because he invited me and bought me dinner didn’t mean I was going to have to sleep with him if I didn’t want to. I could, and I was open to it, but I wouldn’t be deciding anything until dinner came to a close. He’d even sent a car to pick me up.
“Location on,” Kira reminded me as I left.
“Have a great time. If you’re not coming home, just let me know.”
“I will. What are you doing tonight?”
“Laundry, Thai delivery, Ben and Jerry’s pint, and a Real Housewives marathon.”
“Thank you for only watching that garbage while I’m not home.”
“It’s a chore, but I do it because I love you.” Before I could tell her how the show was melting her brain, my phone beeped, letting me know the driver Stephen had sent had arrived.
“Later,” she called after me.
I wasn’t even a little big nervous when we pulled up outside the hotel. Stephen was waiting outside, in a suit similar to the one he’d had on at the club yesterday. I opened the door, thanking the driver before straightening my dress and walking towards him. His eyes lit up while he looked at me, raking over my body. He couldn’t see much of it yet since I was bundled in a coat again. “You’re stunning, Dawn,” he said, leaning forward to kiss my cheek. I’d told him my real name when I’d texted him telling him I’d have dinner with him. Hand on my lower backache guided me into the hotel and towards the restaurant. My coat was taken for me, and hung while we were showed to a secluded booth.
“Thank you for agreeing to dinner.”
“What can I say? It was too good an offer to pass up on.”
Dinner passed in easy conversation. There was definitely an attraction between the two of us, but it wasn’t anything like the sparks I’d felt with Miles. Stephen asked me about my life, how I’d ended up dancing, so I’d told him the simple story. Moving to the big city had always been a dream, but it was more expensive than I’d ever dreamed, and I couldn’t find a job in my major that paid enough to live in anything more than a rundown studio apartment, so I’d turned to dancing. He’d seemed surprised when I told him how much I loved it.
I had two glasses of wine with dinner and was feeling incredibly relaxed.
When the check came he charged dinner to his room.
“Would you like to come upstairs with me?”
Up until the moment he asked the question, I hadn’t been sure what my answer would be. “Yes.” Stephen smiled at me and stood, offering me his hand. When my coat was handed back to me as we left the restaurant, he draped it over his arm and guided me to the elevators with the other.
“Would you like another drink?” He asked when we got to his room.
Stephen wasted no time, taking my lack of wanting a drink for permission to kiss me. His lips were soft against mine, working slowly, coaxing me to relax into him. I had to fight a battle in my head, reminding myself that I was single, that I’d been single for a long time. I let him take the lead, stripping me, telling me what he wanted. I was all too willing to comply, my body finally on board and turned on, even if my heart wasn’t in it. My clit throbbed when he finally got there, rubbing circles against it while my nails dug into his bare shoulders. I was so close, but I couldn’t get there. I tried and I tried, but it wouldn’t come. “You like that?” He asked, making sure I was actually enjoying myself since I hadn’t come yet.
“Yes,” I nodded, my breath panting. I looked at him, but his face turned into Miles face, and his touch against me. That did it. Imagining him as Miles was all it took to send me hurdling towards an orgasm. As he pushed me over the edge, I wanted to cry with pleasure. Sure I’d used toys since losing Miles, but it wasn’t the same as a human touch. Stephen commanded me to my knees. He wasn’t as big as Miles, but it would definitely get the job done. He moaned above me while I swallowed and bobbed up and down on his cock. When he finally pulled away, he grabbed a condom and rolled it onto his dick while I settled on my back on the bed.
I’d never had sex with a condom before. Miles and I had never used them.
His cock stretched me, filling my pussy while I wrapped my legs around him. Stephen grunted and groaned in my ear. It felt so good. His cock pushed against my g-spot and I couldn’t believe I’d gone so long without this, without having my pussy stretched and pounded. I was remembering how much I loved having sex.
I was so close again, but looking at Stephen it wouldn’t come.
“Come on, Dawn,” he grunted. “Get there. I’m gonna come.”
I slipped my hand between us, and stroked my clit. His deep brown eyes looked down at me, and I knew he was holding back, not wanting to go over the edge until went over with him. So I did it again, let myself think of Miles. Before I knew it, I was screaming through my orgasm and he was groaning through his own, spilling himself inside the condom.
In that moment, I made a decision. I wasn’t going to avoid men anymore because of Miles. I was taking my sexual power back. I was taking a lesson out of Kira’s book. I was going to have as much sex as I wanted, with whoever I wanted.
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