'My vagina wears real fur'
A sandblasted glass door slid open to a red room with a glittering disco ball spinning above and metal poles piercing the tables. There was the scent of incense burning, the sound of ice clinking and giggles. Rose petals were sprinkled on the tables and sweet perfume mingled in the air.
A girl balancing a silver tray of complimentary drinks greeted me at the entrance.
Women were streaming in.
“The art of sensual delight is in celebration of female power and conscious sexuality,” said the MC — comedienne and cabaret artist Irit Noble. “I want to teach women that sexual energy is a healing energy for the woman, not only to be used out there with men. Now let’s get rid of the testosterone poison in the air.
“On the bar menu tonight ladies, you can order a boner. I’ve always wanted to ask for a purple hard-on in a big glass,” announced Noble.
I sat at a booth with thirty-something conservative types with blow-waved hair and chiffon button-up blouses. “I’m here to experience what men are so fascinated by,” said Lisa. “Maybe after tonight we can keep our men at home instead.”
I joined another group of twenty-something friends with sleek, gelled hair and fluffy collars. “If I ever find my man here, I’ll cut off his penis,” said the blondie.
Lauren told me she heard about the event at Fuckerware parties. “A lady comes to your house with suitcases full of sex toys and you drink wine, eat snacky things and chat. I’ll show you what I got,” she said, sifting through her handbag. But she had forgotten her little teddy bear key ring with a big penis at home.
I glanced at Noble on stage who was telling us to repeat after her the affirmation “I am fucken beautiful”. Then we bonded with a group uterus strengthening exercise. As we inhaled, the girl next to me lit up a Stuyvesant and exhaled.
“Now tell me ladies if your vagina could wear anything it wanted to, what would it be?” asks Irit. “My vagina already wears real fur!”
In the private room during interval women were fondling vibrators, sniffing essential oils and fingering lingerie. Five women were gawking at a penis shaped like a large whistle with feet that was for the bath.
“Women don’t like buying big vibrators,” said the saleslady, handing me a pink one called the Little Vibrating Softie. Then she showed me the love box — a game with coupons where you or your partner picks a card that becomes the order of the day. I picked “Blind man’s muff”.
I spotted the skinniest, saddest little toy penis shaped like a toothbrush. “It’s a toothbrush,” said the saleslady. “But so thin,” I said. It really was a toothbrush!
On stage Monica was kneeling on top of muscle-man Tayo giving a tantric massage demonstration where she rubbed his aura and plucked his skin. Next up, a belly dancer twirled, swirled and shimmied.
Then the Teazers dancers appeared holding hands, looking young and shy, wearing bikini tops, lycra hotpants and high-heel extravaganza.
I joined a group of women in their fifties at a booth. “Look at her gorgeous legs. Oh god, if I had legs like that!” said one, gawking at the pole dancer. “How do you get such silky skin?” The dancer stripped down to her G-string, looped her body around the pole, flung her leg in the air and did the splits while answering our questions.
“It feels more natural to dance for women, it takes the smut out of it,” the dancer told me. “Men just sit there and stick out their tongues. This feels more respectful,” she said, winding her feet behind her neck.
“Believe me this is better than Vegas,” said Helen. “Next time I’ll bring my husband along.”
“If I could get my leg up that pole, I would,” said her friend, before flashing me the false butterfly tattoo on her breast.
At 9.30pm the show was over and the doors opened to the men, who shot in like premature ejaculators.
Craig was the first to stumble in. I went to welcome him.
“This is very intimidating,” he told me, “but, hey, aren’t you Candice?”
“No, I don’t work here.”
“Sure you do!” he said.
I abandoned Craig and made my way to a table of women who admitted they had never been to a strip club before.
The music started to pump. The men sat with their legs sprawled, chain-smoking and sucking their beer bottles. A dancer’s naked bum rubbed against one man’s face as she flung her pink hot pants over his head like a tea cosy.
“There was no sleaze until the men walked in, but now it’s like a rugby match,” said Cathy. “Women created the myth that this is taboo. We need to come here to realise we can create this at home.”
“I wanna learn to move like these dancers,” said her friend.
We ordered a bottle of Chardonnay and a private pole dance. “Lets toast!” said the lady in red next to me. “Women should do this more often.”