All the lights focus on the woman moving on the stage, flashing across her breasts as she swings around the pole, beckoning to the audience.
The beat of the music is generating interest and attention as her hair slides across her back, her head turning to look at the crowd again.
Is this a scene from Eile's files? Or something easily seen at any local strip club just down the road from you or me?
It's been a while, but I visited my local skin joint recently. It was busy. There was a good ratio of ladies to dudes, and a lot of money was exchanging hands. I watched for a while, enjoying the show. While I watched, several thoughts beyond flesh and flash were in my mind, and I stored them away for later discussion.
The ladies were working the crowd, mingling and paying attention over the entirety of the bar. They approached the men, moving in as the males showed interest. Chatting and smiling as they worked, the women used a variety of tactics to create allure and attraction.
The work had the desired effect, with the fellows flattering them, and letting the ladies know they were appreciated with tips and smiles. The gals were very encouraging, and did a lot towards increasing the funds sent their way.
There's a lot of media portrayal of strippers are women as "victims"; ladies totally at the mercy of some thug club owner. Whether performing on stage, offering a close look at her tattoos, giving guys a shot at motorboating, doing a lapdance or anything else, the women working were in total control. Not even a hand touched these women without their permission. They owned their bodies, using them to ultimate advantage in a situation where they were a valued commodity.
Control is what it's all about- whether in life or in games. In games (and life), the girls get the short end of control way too often, so it's nice to see at least one area where they're more in charge. Watching the strippers really gave me food for thought.
What are strippers really selling? I'm not convinced that it's sex. It seems a lot more like fantasy, and the illusion of power; but I doubt many men think about it that deeply. Most of the guys were just happy to have the option to see boobs outside of clothes.
We hear it all the time that the big factors of modern society are money, sex and power- and they're all wrapped up in the dynamics of a strip club. What makes the women the arbiters of how they get played out? What makes men choose to relinquish their power for these evenings out? How does one fuel the other? How does it work that a guy thinks he's in control while paying a lady with no top on?
But that's kind of the gist of my point. While the guys were getting "what they wanted", it was under a very altered power dynamic, and the illusion of control and power was only evident when you looked at it.
The generating source of this dynamic isn't necessarily boobs and long legs; but perhaps instead access and control. Knowing and understanding who holds these and how they're used is really what I'm after here- and hoping I can uncover.
Power works in funny ways. If people believe in the idea that power is held by those with influence, then those with influence are powerful. Power doesn't just go one direction; it flows in many directions. To give power, one has to give some up; and make a choice to do so. The choice might not be conscious or intentional, but that choice does have to be made.
I've talked about boobs and influence before, in different contexts. I have them and I like them, and have no issue using them (if needed) for influential purposes and understand how that can translate across to other ladies. I don't claim to assign motives or beliefs; just that I can see how it can work in other people's heads.
The women at the club certainly knew they kicked ass and were powerful.
Whether it's because they know that they have what the male patrons want, or if it's because they were powered by access and control, (of their bodies, of their sexuality, or of their affections) the end result is that the women had assurance in themselves and their place in the club.
Leave it to me to turn an evening of watching the strip show into a discussion about power and gender, but trust me; I'm just getting started.