Love & Sex

I Did It for Science: Live Nude Girl

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Introduction:

I’ve held many crappy day jobs in my lifetime, but stripping has not been one of them. Maybe that’s because “flat-chested," “pasty” and “elvish-speaking” aren’t qualities the general populace normally associates with strippers. From the waist down, I have curves, but topless I look like a boy who’s taking hormones to become a woman. As for my dancing experience, it consists of exactly one year of ballet at the age of six, which I abandoned to join an all-boys soccer team. I am a “tomboy/drag queen.”
   Despite all this, multiple viewings of Flashdance during my formative years left me with a secret yearning to become a stripper, if only for a day. Plus, I love attention, and being a stripper is a good way to get a lot of it. But compared to most, I’m geriatric. Could I really break into the biz at this stage in life?
    With so many obstacles, passing a strip-club audition would be a challenge. Would I take my passion and make it happen? Or would I be turned away and forced to cry silent tears of pride?

Materials:
Please list all the materials required for this experiment (including, if applicable, how they were obtained).

– Stripper name
– Six-inch heels
– Lacy pink ensemble
– Garter
– Lip gloss

Method:
In this portion of your report, you must describe, step-by-step, what you did in your lab. It should be specific enough that someone who has not seen the lab can follow the directions and recreate the same lab.

Stripping for science hadn’t occurred to me until I ran into an old friend named Velocity Chyaldd, the frontwoman for the extremely badass band Vulgaras. She casually mentioned that a few years ago, she’d been a stripper at an all-nude club in Queens called Wiggles.
    I had the notion that the Giuliani administration all but obliterated strip clubs from Gotham. It seemed that stripping had become a thing of the past, relegated to pole-dancing workout classes at Crunch, replaced with more artful burlesque shows. I was shocked to hear that an all-nude club existed within the five boroughs.


Plus, I liked the name: Wiggles. Like the annoying children’s band.
    “Do you think I could work there?” I asked.
    “Yeah, all you have to do is show up.”
    “Are you sure? I have small boobs.”
    “Trust me," she said slowly. "All you have to do is show up.”
    I was starting to get the impression that Wiggles was not the most high-end of establishments. My friend Victor said he once saw a stripper there accept a dollar bill using only her vaginal muscles. Maybe not high-end, but that’s certainly a talented workforce.
    “The first thing you need is a stripper name,” Velocity told me. “I’m thinking you would make a good Trinity. It’s innocent, but also a little freaky.”
    The religious connotations of that seemed pompous, so I asked friends for suggestions. Among their brainstorms were Hamburger McFlapsalot, Shecky Titsberger, Polaka Clitskowski, Clitsy McLabe, Carrie Bigpee, Coco, Georgina, Cozy, Misty, Windy, Jovi, Willa, Lickety Split, Fancy, Jean, Louis Elfesteem and Benedicta (in honor of the new pope). After much consideration, I chose Trinity.
    Velocity promised to teach me some basic moves, so the next day I went to her apartment. I’d never even been inside a strip club, so I had a lot of questions.
    “First thing: you need stripper shoes. What size are you?” Velocity asked.
    “Six-and-a-half.”
    “Here. Try these on,” she said, handing me the most daunting pair of hot-pink heels I’d ever seen. Stripper shoes perform several functions. They elongate the legs, flatten the stomach and push the butt out. They also make it hard to walk three feet without falling on your ass. As I slipped them on, my body issues were replaced with the very real fear that I would break both ankles before I even got to the stage.
    “These shoes make you wanna take your clothes off!” said Velocity as I hobbled around her bedroom.
    Once I had walking down, it was time for a dancing tutorial. My favorite dance music is that of Dave Clark Five and the Box Tops, but Velocity assured me these bands were not played in strip clubs. I would need more modern music, either hip-hop or rock. She put on a Massive Attack CD and, like Mr. Miyagi training the Karate Kid, she took me through a series of movements, pretending the posters of her canopy bed were poles.
    “You’ll see a lot of girls hump the poles,” she said. “Sometimes they’ll even slide the pole between their ass cheeks.”
    “Ew. Do they 409 the poles afterward?”
    “Some girls do carry baby wipes onstage,” she reassured me.
    After I obediently humped the pole a few times, Velocity showed me how to remove my g-string without falling over or getting it tangled in my stiletto heel. “Some girls like to get really dramatic, but you should keep it simple. Try this,” she said. Leaning over and sticking her ass out, she pulled her panties off in one uncomplicated motion. “Some girls get all crazy — yoga moves and stuff — but really, you should just take the thing off.”
    Those were the fundamentals. Now all I needed was a signature style. Velocity suggested that I emphasize my innocent appearance, but we both agreed the schoolgirl look had been done to death. She pulled out a baby-doll negligee set made of hot-pink lace. I tried it on. The skivvies rode high enough to reveal my ample ass cleavage. It was perfect. I chose to wear my hair in pigtails, reasoning that this always looks slutty on grown women. The entire getup reminded me of Angel Honor Student by Day, Hollywood Hooker by Night.
    A few days later, I called Wiggles. A man with a heavy Russian accent told me I could come in any time.
    “Is tonight okay?”
    “Any time,” he repeated.
    I called Velocity. “It’s on,” I said.
    “It’s Friday. It’s a total frat-boy night. Are you sure you want to do it?”
    “Oh my God. That’s Friday the thirteenth!” I was suddenly horrified.
    “Thirteen is a lucky number for witches,” Velocity said excitedly.”You have to do it tonight. I’ll go with you if you want.”


Observations/Results:
Quantify the effects of the experiment.

   “Oooh, pigtails,” a man in a sweat-stained T-shirt gushed when Velocity picked me up at my apartment. I already felt violated, and I was still clothed.
    “It just dawned on me,” I told Velocity, “that in a few minutes, an entire roomful of people will see my vagina.”
    “Yeah, but it’s a roomful of people who’ve been looking at nothing but vaginas for the past hour."
    “So it’s more like going to the gynecologist’s office.”
    “Exactly.”
    This did little to quell my nerves. On the way to Wiggles, we stopped off at a bar. Two glasses of wine were hardly enough to stop my knees from shaking. I’ve never been good at job interviews, and this was going to be a rough one. Because Wiggles was a nonalcoholic club, I’d be dancing in front of sober people. I couldn’t decide what would be scarier — dancing for rowdy drunks or people who might actually remember the night. I worried that I might see my the mailman or the dude from the bodega. How would I ever explain?
    Upon our arrival at Wiggles, a jovial Russian man named Ivan greeted us, and a burly bouncer asked for ID.
    “Shit, I forgot mine,” I said, rifling through my purse. “But look, I have crow’s feet.” I pointed to the fine lines around my eyes.
    “Whenever you’re ready, you can go on,” Ivan assured me. Velocity ushered me to the dressing room, where a dozen strippers congregated in front of mirrors, applying makeup. The average age was about ten years my junior. I felt like Granny from The Beverly Hillbillies.
    As I awaited my moment of truth, the girls backstage ignored me. In a matter of minutes, the DJ announced, “Trinity on standby.” I left the dressing room and stood next to the stage. I really should have done more preparation, I thought, as I watched the girl before me effortlessly dangle upside down from the pole. I hadn’t realized the Cirque du Soleil dancers spent their free time here.
    I handed the DJ the Massive Attack CD I’d practiced to and told him to play track one, “Angel.” Onstage, I awkwardly twirled around the poles and gyrated my hips. I tried to “breathe with my vagina,” as Martha Graham purportedly instructed her dancers to do. I became acutely aware of time and how I was going to spend it, wondering when I should take my negligée off and when the dollar bills would start coming. I felt a little bit like a hobo begging for change on the subway. Only I was begging for change, half-naked, onstage in six-inch heels.
    Despite this distracting introspection, I managed what I believe is a revolutionary act for a strip club — I smiled at the small group of customers before me. They responded by producing dollar bills, rolling them up and slipping them into my g-string. Velocity held up a bill at the end of the stage and made a come-hither gesture. I waltzed over to her.
    “Dude, take your panties off," she whispered, her voice quavering like a nervous stage mother’s. "The second song’s almost over!” I danced back out to center stage and managed to remove the g-string without inciting disaster. Upon the unveiling of my vulva, I received a few more bills. The third song was short, and before I knew it, my audition was over.
    “Rev., your body looked amazing. You have great legs!” Velocity exclaimed as I got off the stage.
    “Thank you. It’s the only benefit of living in a sixth-floor walkup for ten years.” I radiated a kind of body confidence I’d never known, one that must only come from dancing naked under the most flattering light possible and having people give you money for it.
    Ivan approached. “Want to start Tuesday at eight?”
    “Sounds good,” I replied. He handed me a business card that featured Wiggles’ logo, a silhouette of a naked lady with “Wiggles” spelled out in cursive atop her. In the upper-right-hand corner was Wiggles’ catchy slogan: “More than topless. We go one step beyond.”
    When Tuesday rolled around, I arrived at Wiggles where another Russian man, Konstantin, addressed me sharply. “Will you be ready by eight?” he asked, looking me up and down.
    “I’m ready now,” I told him as I walked toward the backstage area.
    “Okay, if you’re not ready by eight you get fined ten dollars.”
    I nervously entered the dressing room, whereupon two strippers, Alexa, a lanky Russian blonde, and Roxy, a chubby brunette, shot me eye daggers. Whoever coined the phrase “stripper with a heart of gold” never met these two. They totally ignored me, and I felt embarrassed for even being alive. As I sat down and reapplied my lip gloss, the two discussed a fellow dancer who had kicked a Wiggles patron in the head the previous evening after he tried to touch her vagina. After thoroughly exhausting this subject, they moved on to the topic of Sagittarius men being players. Having been taught astrology by Jackie Stallone, astrologer to the stars, I tried to chime in with my knowledge of Sagittarians. They turned and looked at me with silent disgust.
    I shrank into my chair, realizing this was how every Linda Blair/women-in-prison movie started. Soon they’d be yanking on my pigtails and spitting at me. I perked up when a beautiful petite brunette in a black string bikini entered the room and sat down next to me. “Hi, I’m Lena,” she smiled.
    “Hi. I have magazines if you get bored,” I said to her, handing her my new copy of InStyle and staring at her dewy twentysomething skin.
    “Thanks.”
    “Trinity on standby,” the DJ called out. As I turned the corner to leave the dressing room, I tripped over a step and had to hold myself up on a locker.
   There were exactly three people in the audience: a couple deep in conversation and my friend Bruce. I’d invited my closest friends to attend my stripping debut for moral support and protection, but Bruce had been the only one wealthy enough to swing the ten-dollar cover charge and mandatory two-dollar coat-check fee.
    “Thank you,” I mouthed to him.
    As the DJ played some Limp-Bizkity type music which is all the craze with the young kids these days, I gyrated my hips and delivered my sauciest smile. I caught the attention of the male portion of the couple, but the woman seemed to think I was cockblocking her. He gestured toward me, but the woman shook her head. I shimmied to the ground and stretched out my garter-clad thigh to receive his dollar.
    Then Bruce held out a dollar, and I sauntered over, crouching so we could talk.
    “How long do you have to be here?” he asked.
    “I don’t know. I don’t think I can stay. It’s killing my soul.”
    “Yeah, it seems really horrible.”
    “Maybe you can facilitate my escape.”
    I danced away and looked at the couple, running my hands over my body in mock arousal. The man approached and slid another dollar under my garter, but as the third song began to play, the woman whispered something to him, and they got up and left. They didn’t even stay long enough to see my vulva. How rude!
    “I’ve totally failed,” I said to Bruce. “I made them leave.”
    “They probably went home to bone," he assured me. "You were a lot better than the girl who was on before.”
    “I’m gonna get the hell out of here. Stay there, and I’ll meet you in a second.”
    Backstage, Konstantin was sitting in the dressing room.
    “So . . . . how long is a shift?” I asked him.
    “If you arrive at six, you stay till two. If you arrive at eight, you stay till four.”
    My mind did the math. I realized Konstantin expected me to work for eight hours. This was about seven hours too many.
    “What if you have to leave?” I asked.
    “We don’t like girls to leave," he barked. "Not unless they’re sick or have twisted an ankle.”
    This did not sit well with me. The second “the Man” tells me I can’t do something, I want nothing more than to do it. I find confinement unbearable. I once walked out of a hospital with an IV dangling from my arm because I wanted a slice of pizza from the outside world. Images of John Dillinger carving a wooden gun in his cell sprang to mind. I had to find a way out. I’d sunk to depths of pure misery after only an hour.
    When I emerged from the dressing room, Lena was dancing for two turkey-necked businessmen who were drinking from bottles of Poland Spring. She twirled her incredible body around the poles with unparalleled finesse. I imagined both men had boners, and I wondered whether it was strange for two straight men to sit side-by-side, sporting wood. Did they acknowledge each other’s boner, or was it a silent understanding?
    As Bruce and I discussed various methods of possible escape, Alexa approached us. She looked straight through me.
    “You’ve been here before, no?” she said to Bruce.
    “Nope, never been here," he replied.
    “How would you like me to show you around?” (Translation: How would you like to spend all of your money receiving totally disinterested lap dances from me?)
    “No, thank you.”
    “Come on. I’ll show you around.”
    “No, really. Thank you, though.”
    “I don’t bite!” she snapped, walking away.
    “Wow, that was really rude,” Bruce marveled.
    “Yeah, she didn’t even know you’re just my friend. For all she knew, you were my customer. She was trying to steal my customer! That’s it! Meet me outside in five minutes.” I walked backstage and threw on my dress.
    “Are you leaving? asked Roxy, suddenly developing an interest in me.
    “Nah, just going to smoke.”
    Pulling on my boots, I eyed my copy of Uncut featuring Jimmy Page on the cover, along with my new InStyle. I wanted to take them with me, but figured it would arouse too much suspicion. They would be my gifts to Lena for being nice.
    “Do you know how I get out of here to go smoke?” I asked a girl in a pink bikini.
    “Yeah, follow me.”
    I followed her to a side exit where she opened the door.
    “Be careful,” she said, “If the door closes, it’ll lock behind you.”
    Stepping outside, I realized she hadn’t led me to an actual club exit, but to an enclosed alleyway with no exit. It was a pen for smoking strippers. My night at Wiggles had turned into Escape from Alcatraz. I eyed another entrance into the club and slipped into the hallway unnoticed. With the stealth of a ninja assassin, I crept down the hallway and made it out the door. Bruce was standing across the street, snapping photos. I called his name as I ran down the street. He caught up with me, and together we walked away from Wiggles as quickly as possible. We were both paranoid that Konstantin might run after me. Bruce even hallucinated a Russian army officer standing on the corner.
    “There’s gotta be a bar around here where we can hide,” I stated, looking around.
    A child of not more than ten overheard me, and gave me a set of convoluted directions to a nearby bar, which he told me was “sort of retro but cool.” We went off in search of beer and refuge. Finding none, we finally hopped on the subway, where we were offended by the very sight of the straphanger’s poles.
    “Thank God there’s a seat,” I sighed. “I won’t be able to touch another pole for a week.”


Conclusion:
Summarize your findings. Don’t forget to attempt to identify possible variables that could result in different findings for others trying to recreate your test results.

Like an ex-con reveling in her first taste of freedom in forty years, I took a deep breath and smiled. “Every moment that I’m not at Wiggles brings me happiness,” I said to Bruce. “I can’t stop breathing sighs of relief.”
    “It seemed like the worst part wasn’t the nudity. You seemed to have no problem with that.”
    “Yeah, that was the easy part.”
    Initially, I thought that taking my clothes off for the approval of others would be difficult. I imagined hecklers shouting, “Put it on!” and covering their eyes. But the customers I encountered were decent. They even applauded, which was unexpected. Of course, I got lucky: no one tried to inappropriately touch my vagina.
    While the customers were an important variable, where I chose to strip was even more important. I know plenty of women who’ve worked as strippers, and they described atmospheres in which their coworkers were friendly and easygoing. But the atmosphere I encountered at Wiggles was oppressive. Being confined and ignored brought me to an existential crisis. Given what I experienced, I don’t know why more strippers don’t go postal. The slow, glowing dream deep inside my mind never came to fruition. I hadn’t the patience, the time or the thick skin needed for such a demanding endeavor.

I Did It for Science appears monthly. Photographs by Nick Zedd.

©2005 Rev. Jen Miller and Nerve.com