Friday, April 28, 2006

you gotta fight for your right

to paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrtaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy!

So after I pitched my little hissy fit here (it's finally all sorted out, but I still gotta wait a week before I get my cash) I went out and I got that drink at The Candy Bar in SoHo.

god I love lesbian bars. Best invention ever.

It was surprisingly easy to find, luckily. I probably could have walked there from my hostel. It's teeny, which I like. Very similar in feel to my favorite Parisian bars, 3W and Bliss Kfe. Very pink. I am so becoming a dyke bartender when I go home, smoke allergy bedamned. So cute. I had enough cash for exactly one beer plus change just in case, so the plan was to have a quiet night, nurse my beer and enjoy the dykespace. Unless I could get someone to buy me a drink. Which I did, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Really busy for a Thursday night, which I thought was odd, until two latex clad girls came strolling in, and I realized I had managed, on my only night out in London, to come to the only lesbian bar in town that has pole-dancing on Thursdays.
You know I had to see it; how can I pick a side in the Feminist Sex Wars without first hand research? That's just bad scholarship. I forked over the three pounds (oh, so painful, ouch) to get into the even tinier basement for the show.
Pole-dancing is...interesting. Just as silly as stripping, but it earns more of my esteem because it requires actual talent and athleticism. I mean, I sure as hell couldn't do all that. Wow. It is impressive, but whether it's exploitive or not is debatable (duh). Is it artistic expression? I'm not so sure; it's basically acrobatic stripping. It's the same kind of moves, just varied in order. Oh, this time she's going to hang upside down topless before taking off her knickers, oh that's neat.
The audience was enthusiastic, more or less; I ended up talking to this older couple, 50ish at least, first-timers as well. Very nice English ladies, we swapped coming out stories (mine was a lot easier than theirs, obviously. Thanks, Second Wave!) and opinions on the show.
"Well, it's very atheletic, " said Jo "but I don't find it very erotic, do you?"
Her partner Paula concurred. Paula was more than a little tipsy and kind of spent most of the time inconspicuously grabbing my ass. Which I found hilarious (she was so, I don't know, sweet about it, if that makes any sense) and I guess Jo didn't mind. She bought me a drink too.
" But you know those girls aren't gay," Jo continued. " Gay women wouldn't do that kind of thing."
Well, I don't know, I thought. These days, it's very liberating, apparently, to mimic straight sex culture. I'd actually read about the first dancer in Diva (the British lesbian magazine); apparently she was voted "Best Breasts". Which is totally true, speaking on strictly aestetic level, you understand.
(Jeez, no wonder my blog was blocked by the computers at the London hostel)
So is it totally hypocritical of me that I put a fake bill in the girl's garter during her routine? You buy them for a pound, and Jo had three (I got her and Paula to put one in her garter too). It was fun, I won't deny that, I enjoyed myself. But not without reservations. Do the dynamics of pole-dancing change because the context changes--a lesbian dancer performing for other lesbians, instead of a straight woman performing for straight men? Part of me says yes, but how much? And, on the other hand...I don't know. I don't have the time to think it all through right now.
DJ was great, and I ended up talking to a cute black girl from Paris (figures). So it was a fantastic night, on the whole, for cheap, and no hangover either.
And now I'm in Bath. Geeking out on Jane Austen again!


At 2:28 PM, Anonymous roro said...

Man, that sounds like an awesome evening, especially your bill-in-the-garter style of research. Keep up the groundbreaking work. Nothing fun like that ever happened to me when I was there. Stupid Tower of London. Sure, you're steeped in history but WHERE WAS THE LESBIAN POLE-DANCING??

Hope Bath is amazing!

At 6:10 PM, Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

the dyke bar here in portland was having strippers for awhile -- tittie tuesdays, they called it. no pole dancing, but the idea was the same: women stripping for women. i went a few times and felt pretty ambivalent about it. the women were mostly straight, at least they were straight-looking, and the show felt just as slimy as strip-bars for men. i'm all for sex-positive-woman-empowerment, but the novelty wore off quick and i just wasn't entertained by it. oh well.

At 3:50 AM, Blogger Winter said...

I've just had a subversive idea - drag king pole dancing. That's what I want to see.

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous roro said...

Winter - you're a genius. I would totally come out for a show like that.

At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally jealous...again! I was reading about your adventures in Bath..and now this!

I guess you were a very, very good kid! =)



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