In my entire life I don't think it ever occurred to me to shake my boobs or ass in my partner's face, or lick my finger and stick it down my pants while seductively staring at my boyfriend across the living room. Why? Because I'm boring I guess, or maybe because I'd feel stupid, or maybe I just never really thought of it. Until now, my modus operandi has been, "Hello. I'm naked, I'm going to have sex with you, and you're gonna like it, so what more do you want?" Possibly, a lot.
BOOZE AND PLASTIC SHOES
The Saturday stripper class my friends and I attended was in the VIP Lounge at Exotic Nightclub on the corner of MLK and NE Columbia Blvd. A comfortable place to spend a Saturday afternoon, there are plenty of leather couches available for perfecting the art of lap-dancing, cushy wheeled chairs for practicing mobile tricks, ashtrays and liquor in easy reach, and a stage and stripper pole for practicing more advanced moves.
Jasmine also holds classes at Euphoria studios on Southeast Division, but for me, this weekend class is preferable because of the lubricating effects of alcohol and Exotic's ultra-flattering lighting. Dim lighting, according to Jasmine, is half the battle in becoming completely hot on stage. The other half: sexy clothes, lip-gloss, glitter, scented lotion, and of course, plastic platform heels.
She encourages you to try dressing up at home, practice your booty shake with heels on, tantalize your partner with half-clothed strip shows, as well as lighting candles and pouring milk all over yourself; you name it, she's thought of it. And while tactics like these may sound like an obvious way to spice up a ho-hum sex life, it helps to be reminded. I mean, I don't buy Cosmo to give myself an eating disorder--you know what I'm saying?
YOU'RE A STRIPPER, I'M A STRIPPER
I had previously banished the thought of ever being a stripper for the following reasons: 1) You cannot bounce a quarter off my ass, 2) I hate people, 3) I'd be fucking terrified.
Stripper school, however, has weakened all those objections. First, if you practice the moves required to be a stripper--climbing and flipping yourself upside down on the pole, dancing, and walking in high heels, your ass will become tighter, and so will your abs and arms. Second, you won't hate people anymore because they'll be showering you with money--or at the very least, worshipping you. And third, stripper school teaches you that being sexy is all about thinking you're sexy. Once you're spilling over with confidence, there's no reason to be terrified.
I know this is starting to sound like Whitney Houston's song "The Greatest Love of All," but stripper school is built on the same principle: If you think you're awesome, so will everyone else. So look at yourself in the mirror, girl! You're a delicious sex object, and any man would be lucky to have you! Snap!
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Once you get the gist of the whole "I think I'm sexy, therefore I am" thing, you might think you're ready to put on a little private striptease at home. Well, let me tell you, unless you're a Flashdance-caliber dancer, you're not. Being a stripper is hard.
Even a simple move, like the tick-tock (a move where you lay on your back, bend your knees, and put your legs in the air, wagging one back and forth like a clock) is hard to get on the first try, and super hard to understand and look good doing. Lay on the ground and try it yourself; you'll see what I mean. After Jasmine demonstrated the tick-tock, I tried it; she looked like a sextraterrestrial being, and I looked like a gimp exercising to a Jane Fonda tape.
Later we tried sitting on the rack (the two foot high "fence" on the edge of the stage), and leaning backwards so we could straddle our pretend customer's face. The rack was too high, and I ended up tumbling backwards onto the stage like a big dumbass. Of course Jasmine was a vision of grace. Same with the pole. While Jasmine flipped over with the ease of a gymnast doing a cartwheel, the rest of us were like kids trying to swing on the monkey bars for the first time; and just like children, unwilling to give up.
IS "STRIPPING" RIGHT FOR ME?
Regardless of whether you've ever wanted to be sliding down a pole upside down at Union Jack's, stripper school is something every sex-having, fun-loving woman should try. If nothing else, the open-forum discussions help you think about your sexuality as a gift, an asset, and part of your personality, rather than a hidden side of you that only comes out twice a week (or a day, or a month, or a year--Jesus, you really need stripper school!). Plus, it's an excuse to drink cocktails in the afternoon, perform ridiculous and challenging acrobatics on the pole, and discuss everyone's favorite topic--sex--at length, with your classmates. Oh... and don't forget to think up your stripper name. Mine's "Sapphire."
Stripper classes are drop-in and take place Wednesday evenings at Euphoria Studios, 12th & Division, 8:15 pm, and Saturdays at Exotic Night Club in the VIP room, NE MLK and Columbia Blvd at 3 pm. Call 503-740-8615 for more info or to schedule private classes. $30 for each class or $25 each if you commit to four classes.