Tipping Point (part 1)

I wrote this story about a dullard who decides to unwind at a strip club and finds out that “extras” can be a reality. This story came from a stretch of writing stories from a male point of view. Most of my male characters have been nervous types who overthink everything. Read on to find out how Chris ultimately lets go. I’ll be posting pieces of his adventure over the next few weeks.

Part 1

Chris had forgotten what do with free time when he finally got some.

This weekend, his company had booked him to go to a trade show. He wasn’t exactly excited for a weekend around other people who sell medical equipment, but he was grateful it started on a Friday and got him out of work. The opening sessions wouldn’t be until the evening, though. His colleagues wouldn’t arrive until just before the sessions began. He’d planned to get to town early enough in the day to have ample time to explore on his own. He’d also planned to avoid those colleagues. They weren’t up for partying. He disliked how dull he’d become under their influence. But what would he do? He’d be anonymous in this town. He could do whatever he wanted. A voice told him not to spend too much. It sounded like his, but not quit

On the way to the hotel, Chris passed a strip club that appeared to be called Live Dancers. He joked to himself about how he could spend the whole day there. That nagging voice returned, reminding him he could spend a hell of a lot of money there, too. No, no. At the moment, he dismissed the idea, adding rationalizations. Going to a strip club alone would feel kind of sad, right? And what if someone saw him? Admittedly, he really didn’t want to spend the money. But what else was he going to do that would be more memorable? He certainly was horny enough. Money would come and go. Here was a moment to be whoever he wanted to be at some strip club he’d never visit again. Chris decided to take himself up on the suggestion.

With the show still hours away, Chris left the hotel to check out the town. He wandered towards the strip club, mostly on purpose. Nonchalantly walking to the front door, he saw the place really was called Live Dancers. Huh. He glanced at the posted hours. Live Dancers wouldn’t open until noon, so he’d have some time to kill. Chris took a long walk around the neighborhood. He got some brunch. He withdrew some cash and broke a few twenties for ones. He set a limit on how much he’d spend. Frugal. Prudent. Was that him talking again? Of course, he worried he’d disregard his budget as some stripper half his age rubbed her ass on his thigh, but he’d deal with that in the moment. For now, he just wanted to get inside before a colleague happened to spot him. He wasn’t sure just how late they would be.

Slightly after opening time, Chris returned. As he entered, he found himself in a tiny hallway with more posted rules than he had time to read. The woman behind the desk asked for the cover, stamped his hand, and sent him on his way. She was really cute, which he took as a good sign. What he saw next confused him somewhat.

The place was empty. Every table was vacant. No one was on the stage. A few women he presumed were dancers sat at a bar. As far as he could tell, he was the only customer. The doors had just opened, but for some reason he hadn’t counted on it being so barren. This meant every dancer would be focused on him. The attention made him uncomfortable, as did the prospect of what that might cost. In a moment of hesitation, Chris nearly turned and left. He figured he could return later. At the moment he was ready to turn, a curvy blonde dancer made eye contact and loudly beckoned him. No escaping this now, he thought.

“Sit down, baby,” she said. “Let me get a look at you.”

Chris felt he was being sized up for a meal. He didn’t know the half of it.

“You ever been here before, hun?”

“No,” Chris replied. “I’m from out of town, actually.”

“Oh, where you from? I’m Autumn, by the way.”

They went through the basics about his trade show and his need to kill few hours. Autumn assured him that she and her girls would take good care of him.

Live Dancers had a minimum, so Chris got himself a drink. Autumn never stopped talking. She never stopped smoking, either. He listened to her talk about each of her tattoos. Her absurd neon-green bikini was slightly distracting, as were the other half-naked women sitting behind her. She kept her hand on his knee the entire time, massaging it slightly any time their eyes met. She pretended to be enthralled that he sold medical equipment. This wasn’t quite what he had pictured, but it wasn’t entirely unpleasant.

“So, you looking to get a dance?” Autumn finally asked.

“Of course,” Chris answered. His confidence took him by surprise, as not a half an hour earlier he hadn’t been sure about even visiting. “But I don’t know anything about your lap dances.”

His stack of ones seemed useless here. There wasn’t going to be any tipping of dancers as they made their rounds. This was all going to be about the private dances. This was going to be expensive.

“Let me tell you about our specials,” said Autumn. “You can have a one song for $35, or two for $55.”

Chris thought this was steep, but he also thought it might have to be during the day. The price made him wonder how personal a dance might get.

“You can also get 15 minutes for $80,” she continued. “When you pay a little more, we can get a little more touchy-feely, you know?”

Chris didn’t exactly know, but he suspected she meant less touch-feely than he would picture.

“But if you’re gonna pay that much,” said Autumn, “I’d recommend our table dance for $150. Basically, we can touch as much as you want.”

Rather than dwelling on what a table dance was, Chris was struck by her directness. What if he was a cop? Autumn seemed to be describing brothel services. Perhaps this was just to get him to empty his wallet. She wasn’t going to win, he thought. He was going to stick with his budget. Frugal.

Part 2 in a few days…

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