About strip clubs
One of the things that's considered pretty popular amongst men in America is strip clubs. Going to a strip club is a pretty prominent thing in movies and TV when depicting the "average Joe" going out with his friends. If someone tells you that they're going to a bachelor party, you assume there will either be a strip club or strippers involved. That's not so much the case here in Sweden. From what I hear, strip clubs do exist here. But I have yet to see a strip club marquee or billboard or any other type of advertisement for one. Sweden is known for having beautiful women, so one would assume that there would be an easily-located place where one could see said beautiful women either drop it like it is indeed hot or shake what her momma had given her.
I have heard about the strip clubs here. Legend has it that they are unreasonably expensive ($50+ cover charge, $100+ dances) and don't sell alcohol. Those facts alone would keep me from patronizing such a place! Then I heard that it is a seedy vibe and it's generally frowned upon to go to a strip club. Most men I have met here have never been to a strip club! I struggle to think up one male American friend/acquaintance who has not been to a strip club. It's mind boggling. I think it has to do with the empowerment of women in this country. Stripping is something that's not seen as a viable life choice. The big "reason" strippers give for choosing that profession in the US is "putting themselves through college". Luckily for the patrons, college prices continue to go up, so "Amber" is going to be on that pole for longer than she expected. But college is free here in Sweden. So that reason is gone. Sorry guys. Then there's the fast money aspect of it. Strippers could make $1000 on a weekend night in the States. That's good money which is hard to turn down for a working/lower class person trying to make it in good old capitalist USA. But the working/lower class in socialist Sweden don't have it so hard. Health care is free. High taxes help cover most of your needs. Why strip?
Luckily for me, strip clubs have never been my thing. It's one thing that I don't miss at all. It may be because I'm from Miami and there are strip clubs EVERYWHERE there. Or that I have always had this feeling that I was too cool to go and pay a pretty woman to dance on me when I could go to a regular night club and dance with a pretty woman for free. AND I could possibly get the girl's phone number at the night club. But you don't want to be THAT guy asking a stripper for her phone number. Talk about sad. Combine my (possibly unwarranted) high level of confidence with the fact that I'm cheap (if you didn't know by now) and strip clubs just have never been my thing.
All that being said, I have been to strip clubs a handful of times. You would think that in those few times, nothing crazy would happen to good old fortunate me. But of course; I had a bad experience.
I was visiting one of my best friends in Virginia Beach. He was planning a surprise birthday party for his friend at the time. In order for the surprisee's wife to set up, my boy had to distract his friend. He wanted it to seem as if we were already celebrating the birthday as well. So he said we would go to a strip club. My friend knows me very well, so he said, "I know this isn't your thing, but we've got to distract him." I told him I understood and I tagged along. Mind you, it was 1 o'clock in the afternoon. If you don't know about strip clubs, they are not meant for 1pm. The patrons in a strip club at 1pm are in my opinion the grossest, most disgusting group of men in America. Now we were a part of that group. When we walked in, there were a couple girls dancing on stage, a couple of girls walking around offering lap dances (for probably $10-$20 so take that Sweden) and the one older "used-to-be-sexy", former stripper that is now the bar tender and acts like she's better than the strippers.
The group of guys walked over to sit near the stage and have some drinks while they watch the show. I, being uncomfortable, became excited when I saw that March Madness (college basketball tournament) was showing on the screen behind the bar. I B-lined it to the bar and ordered a beer. There was one other guy sitting next to me at the bar. He and the bartender were on a first name basis. I remember thinking that this guy was pitiful. My boy, being the good friend that he is, came over to check on me. He had bought a pitcher of beer and he brought me a glass from it. He asked me was I sure that I was ok. I told him the game was good and to keep having fun. He went back over to the party. My friend is a white guy. The old guy at the bar was white. We were in Virginia. Now he had questions. He wanted to know how I knew that group (they were all white and I'm black) and why they brought me a beer. I explained that the guy is my best friend from when I was in the military and that I was visiting him. Blah blah blah. He said he was a firefighter and that he frequents this place a lot. Really? I couldn't tell.
So my new firefighter friend was patriotic and decided to buy us all a pitcher of beer as a thank you for our service. Just what we needed! I flagged my friend over and he picked the pitcher up after I poured my glass. This was a pretty cool strip club adventure! Then my new friend said, "The wangs here are dang good. They come in 10, but they too hot fer me to eat more than three of 'em. I always throw 'em away, so you can have 'em since I ain't gone eat 'em." Who am I to turn away free wings? "Why thanks!" So I started helping my new friend eat the wings. He was right, they were spicy and delicious. I was now comfortable in this strip club. It was like I wasn't even in a strip club anymore. I was watching basketball with my new friend and enjoying some wings and beer.
I don't remember the basketball game, but I was focused intently on it. Plus I was subconsciously trying to make it obvious to all of the strippers (that obviously cared) that I was one of the good guys that wasn't there to ogle at them. Then I heard my firefighter friend audibly make a noise as if he couldn't take the heat of the wings anymore. Good. Now they're all mine! So I keep watching and eating. Eating and watching. The strip club was dark like most strip clubs and the only light came from strobe lights and the TV screen. Wings were running low now, but I was in a groove. As I brought one of the last wings to my mouth I noticed the bone stuck out a bit, but it was already there. I mean, what was I to expect? They were strip club wings. I bit down on the wing and got ready to begin sucking the meat off of the bone. But this wing was different. There wasn't much sauce on this wing. There wasn't much spice on it either. Wait a minute... Did my firefighter friend suck on this wing already?! My mind was racing. I was halfway through eating what was left of the wing when it all became clear. The noise he made was made with this wing in his mouth! After sucking on this wing, he had placed it on the plate because the spices were now too much for him. And now I have a pre-sucked-on wing in my mouth!
I tried to remain calm as I pulled the double-chewed bones out of my mouth. The game didn't matter anymore and I now wanted to RUN out of the strip club. The firefighter probably thought I was pretty nasty to eat a wing that I MUST have seen him pull out of his mouth a few minutes earlier. But then again, what else could he expect from some ex-military guy hanging out in a strip club at 1pm! So now a member of one of the grossest, most disgusting groups of men in America thinks I'm nasty! And now I'm that gross guy that he probably talks about at every family dinner. I played it cool for another minute or so and then I went to the bathroom and rinsed my mouth out. But it was too late. I think I still taste it actually. I get grossed out whenever I think about that pre-sucked-on wing. I don't even want to think about where the mouth of a man that frequents a strip club in the early afternoon has been before he orders his wings. Until next time...