I consider myself a feminist, so when it comes to female exotic dancers, I've always felt a combination of awe and aw, man. If a woman chooses to do airborne leg splits on a pole while a bunch of horny dudes make it rain dollar bills and it allows her to pay her rent, more power to her. She can dance if she wants to, she can leave her cares behind and she doesn't need anyone's judgment.
Though, can't you just put on some clothes and take a medical-receptionist course? You're better than this, sister!
On the other hand, I have no issue objectifying male strippers. I realize that's hypocritical, but those cheesy beefcakes are asking for it. You can't grease your body in baby oil, hump the ground to a Pitbull song and expect women not to lose it. I see it as reclaiming the objectification that we women have suffered for centuries.
So, when I learned of a weekly male strip revue called Solo Para Mujeres—which means "for women only" in Spanish—at Over the Border, a scrappy little nightclub in Otay, I made immediate plans to check it out. The club used to be called The Palomino. I often passed it as a kid on the way to get Chinese food at Café Arizona,
looking up from the passenger seat of my mom's car at the statue of a white horseon its hind legs. Its balls had been painted red.
The statue is gone, but not from my memory, especially when I was in the parking lot of the place with my friend Michelle, hearing the thuds and booms of club music blasting inside. We were about to see some real-life stallions.
Every Thursday night, women in skin-tight dresses and platform pumps pile into the warehouse-style nightclub to have three sweaty men grind on their thighs, chests and even their faces for the low-down price of $5 per lap dance. That's the kind of deal that can get a woman chaffed.
Michelle and I stood in the back, she with a Bud Light in her hand, me with a pint of Coca-Cola topped with a cherry. The night was touted as being just for women, but there were plenty of heterosexual men there.
We hypothesized about why these fellas were at a male strip show. "I bet they work here. The owners make them flirt with girls so they buy more drinks." "Oh, I bet they're the strippers. The lights are gonna go down and they're gonna rip off their clothes." "They're probably male escorts. I wonder if they'd bone us for $20, or a marriage certificate."
Turned out they were there to pounce on hot-and-bothered women. It makes so much sense: Let someone else do the titillating, and then swoop in for the kill. You lazy, bastard geniuses.
The show started with a pole-dancing competition among five willing women. For the chance to win a bottle of vodka, they awkwardly swung from and grinded the pole using everything they learned from that one pole-dancing class they took at 24-Hour Fitness. When it was an Asian girl's turn, the DJ tastefully blasted "Gangnam Style," and the MC urged her to dance to "her" music. The crowd laughed. We considered calling the ACLU.
Then the lights came down and the dance music usually reserved for Tijuana nightclubs went up to 11 as the first dancer, Angel, came to the stage dressed in a Navy uniform. He was obviously new to the profession, but still poured baby oil over his chest while rubbing up against a woman like he was born to do this.
Once Angel flew back to heaven, the DJ welcomed to the stage a former Mr. Mexico whom we called "Mexican Terminator." He was big and beefy like Ahhnold in his Mr. Universe days. Though I prefer my men slender with the upper-body strength of an anemic child, I figured it was time to do some investigative reporting and let the hunk dance up on me.
I wasn't excited, but I was willing to take one in the name of journalism. Mexican Terminator sat me down and told me not to move. He then grabbed my hands, shoved them down his bottoms and rubbed them into his greasy, perfectly waxed butt. I tried to push my hands away to avoid full contact, but he wasn't having it. Hasta la vista, dignity.
He grabbed my hair and shoved my head into his crotch as he simulated the movements of fellatio on my face. Baby oil from his pubic area got on my nose. After that, he shook my breasts and sent me on my way, leaving me to tuck my boob back into my bra as I walked to the bathroom to clean him off of me.
The headliner—and the guy it seemed every woman in the joint was there to fawn over—came to the stage from the DJ booth dressed in Army fatigues and brandishing a toy AK-47 with a flashlight taped to it. Luis seems to be the Magic Mike, or Magic Miguel, of Over the Border. Women lined up for the chance to be throttled by his be-thonged junk, and he gave them their money's worth. One girl even fell down the stage stairs after her lap dance. He's that good.
Women were spun, bent and humped every which way. At one point Luis piled three women into a weird, sexual Rube Goldberg contraption: one hump into a behind led to a face thrust into a crotch, leading to a grinding against a vagina. The screams of horny women filled the air, and, at one point, I had to ask, "Is it my uterus or is it actually steamy in here?" It was. It was very steamy.
Michelle and I still talk about Luis, the Mr. Darcy of our stripper dreams. Every time I see a fiver, I think of his abs and sigh.