This post got me to reminiscing about how much time I spent in those places when I was younger. I started going to strip clubs when I was 18 or so. I don’t know how I managed to get into so many and not be thrown out as I was such a baby face that even when I was 30 people would guess that I was 17 or 18. Unfortunately those days are long gone and although I may not look 40 most days, I don’t get that “There’s no way you are XX age!” anymore.

Anyhow, My roommate Eddie (the guy with the burning VW bug) and I would go out and hit the clubs almost every night if we weren’t dating people and then just on the free nights when we were dating (other people). I even dated a couple of the girls for awhile. A couple of my friends worked in the business, one as a DJ and another as head of security (bouncer) for a couple of the clubs in Atlanta so we never had any problems. That may be one of the reasons I never got carded, that and the fact that Eddie looked older than he was.

I was single and had nothing better to do with my money anyway and I normally had a couple hundred bucks in my pocket. At that point in time I was waiting tables for a living and generally kept about half the cash out.

Anyway, when I was younger it never bothered why they were dancing, but as I get older I understand. Some of them feel like they are trapped and it’s all they can do, while others are into some serious drugs and it’s their way to get it. There are still more that have to dance because they made the mistake of having children they can’t afford and have to feed the damn things. It takes a ton of money and classes to be able to adopt a child, yet everyone in the country is given free license and reign to pop out as many as they want without any kind of background check. That’s messed up.

I dated and was briefly engaged to a girl that ended up dancing at the Cheetah III a couple of years after we broke up, and for her I think it was an attention thing, at least at first. After awhile she got involved in too much drinking and drugging and the clubs she danced at went downhill to evolve into places like the 24 and the Hot Spot. I don’t even know if those dives are still open or not but that is exactly what they were.

Most of the time I was pretty welcome in the clubs. Unlike Nitemare I always tipped well, even if they were nasty old dogs that deserved a quarter. I have wanted to stick one on their forehead myself, but always abstained from going too far. Having friends in the business taught me to behave and after awhile the nudity was a non-issue. I went to enjoy the beer and believe it or not, just hanging out and talking with the girls and the bouncers. The couple of places I went to became just neighborhood hangouts, however freaky.

When I was drinking heavily in my mid-twenties and managing my last restaurant in Atlanta before we moved out here to go to school and clean up our lives there were titty bars within 50 yards distance in two directions. One of them was Ponytails on Northside drive. I think that one is gone now as well. A couple of my waitresses danced there during the evening as well, which was extremely weird. 2 PM would come around and I would spend most of the afternoon sitting in there drinking and watching people until it was time to drag myself home to the wife and my baby boy. It was not exactly a pretty time in our lives but it is what it is and we all learn from it.

Funny how something fun and no big deal as a teenager turns into something ugly and causes problems when you become an “adult”. It was hard for me to learn that responsible adult thing, and I guess it was after our separation that I really “got it”.

It’s also funny how you start something like this post intending one thing and it becomes another. This was supposed to be a semi-humorous post about hanging out in strip joints but just isn’t quite making it…

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