The experience could have been worse. At least that's what I tried to convince myself as the stuffy smell of sweat and cum made my stomach churn. I reminded myself that I was alive, I got through the awful "first time" with a Pot, and I knew I'd be okay in a few hours. But the moment I left that room with the smiling scumbag sliding several hundred dollar bills in my top and stealing a twist of my nipple, I couldn't get to the dressing room fast enough. I did my best not to run through the club, but I had to get out. I burst through the dressing room door, kicked off my stilettos and vomited in the trash. It helped. A lot, actually. I opened a window and sank depleted to the floor by the mirror, waiting for the awful images of his sausage-like hands on me to dissipate.
You've been here before, Ellie. The same thing happened when you gave a Pot a Lap dance for the first time. You'll be okay.
My breathing was starting to return to normal when Randy came crashing through the door.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" He cried vehemently. I was feeling a bit lightheaded and couldn't do much more than gaze at him in confusion.
"You practically sprinted away from him - right after he gave you a huge tip! Did you want him to think you find him repulsive? He may never come back now!" He was pretty irate. I looked down to the floor, unsure what to say.
Mia walked in and saved the day.
"Randy, give her a fucking break!" she asserted. Her comfort with confrontation always impressed me. "It was her first time. You remember me the first time I had to give a Pot the special? I was in worse shape than her."
Randy ran his hand through his shoulder-length hair, reluctantly considering her argument. He was clearly still reeling from my display of disaffection.
"Just...take care of her, ok? Get her cleaned up. You're both on stage in ten minutes."
Her turned to the door, slamming his hand hard against the frame.
"Amateurs!" He spat. And then he was gone.
Mia walked me to the couch, gave me some peanuts and a glass of water and dabbed my forehead with a cool damp paper towel.
"He's a real dick sometimes," Mia coddled. "He doesn't know what it's like."
"I'm just glad you were here," I murmured. "You're the only one he listens to."
Mia's face flushed as she tried to suppress a shy smile. There definitely had to be something going on between those two. I'd sensed it for a while, but this moment confirmed it - Mia had encountered some pretty embarrassing moments since I'd met her, but I'd never once seen her blush. I cocked an eyebrow hoping to get some details, but she just scoffed and stomped off to her locker to get ready for the next number. I knew what she was thinking: "I don't need a goddamn man!" Well, you're right, Mia, none of us do, but that doesn't mean we don't fall for them.
I pulled myself up from the shoddy couch and took some Tylenol with diet coke. I felt better. Maybe even a little proud - I did it! I made it through one of the most shitty experiences of my life. And I was starting to feel whole again. Recovery came much quicker this time.
I reached into my locker next to Mia and pulled out my black feathered two-piece. It was one of my sexiest outfits; I always felt like a million bucks in it. As the fog from the Pot began to dissipate, my normal apprehension and excitement about going back on stage started seeping back in. For someone who never in a million years imagined she'd be a performer, I had learned to love it. I'd always been a pretty girl and I don't think I grew up with any lack of validation or support, but God, I loved being on stage, flooded with colored lights, and moving smoothly to an adoring crowd. The cheers and the screams were like blood to me. I barely noticed the cash thrown at me and tucked into my g-string. It was the worship I was there for.
Of course, occasionally we'd get a lonely guy in the crowd who would wait after hours to try to catch us on our way home. That was always awkward. The first time one of them approached me with a bouquet of flowers I wanted to explain to him that what we did was an act - that the looks we share and the eye candy I provide is just part of the show. But I learned very quickly that this didn't work. it only took one stalker to attempt a kidnapping for me to realize I couldn't give these guys the time of day anymore.
God, it's dangerous to be beautiful.
Hahaha! Did I seriously just say that?! Aw man, I'm gonna lose you before we even get to the good part.
I look at my watch: 6:30. Where is he? Am I in the right place?
It would totally be my luck to get stuck waiting here for hours for some guy who doesn't have the balls to show up. But he wasn't like that...was he?
I'm probably confusing you. It looks like I may have all night so let's get back to the story.
I was waiting to go on stage.
Haha, well, 'stage' may be a strong word in this context. Our club made good money but it's not like we had the funds of a Vegas casino. The 'stage' was more of a slightly elevated platform with 3 levels, 4 poles, and decent lighting, but it was covered in faux-wood laminate flooring. I was quite sure most of our clientele didn't know the difference, but I wouldn't be wrong to say I often closed my eyes and imagined i was dancing on real hardwood - the kind that makes that satisfying click-clack sound under your heels.
But so it was. Adorned in my killer two-piece, I followed my fellow dancers out on stage, carrying myself with a swagger that appeared completely unaware of the hell I went through just minutes before. That night I was one with the pole.