HomeTasha Black blogGotham Gentleman’s Club: chapter 1

There’s just something about a woman you can’t have. Not just in the way she feels, but in the way she moves. You could see it from the moment you looked at her. 

While I could describe her body explicitly, contouring the picture of her hips, the round, inviting curvature of her breasts, I’d much prefer to talk about her mind. What does a woman think when she enters a place like this? When she dips low, clicks the see-through straps on her stilettos, and arises, gliding through the room as if she’s walking on nothing at all. When she mirrors the pattern of her hips to the beat of the music to the wanton glances of each man she passes. When she smiles, enchanting every man to smile alongside her. 

You might think it’s all about money, in reality it’s about power. The power to make your dreams come true. The power to live out a fantasy, to become a sexier, richer version of yourself overnight. Like diamonds are extracted from coal mines, happiness could too come from dark places. And despite it’s sweeping twenty-four foot ceilings, crystal encrusted chandeliers, and marble cut fountains, inside this New York City lounge the lights were always dark. The stage lights reflected the sweat on the women’s bodies better that way. 

It was the only club in town where a man could still lust after a woman undisturbed. There were no cameras, no records of who had said what, or done what to who. Like the 50’s cigars and French liquor were still customary, champagne reserved for the ladies. Bottle service was saved exclusively for the biggest spenders. There were other services, off the menu, that were reserved for them too. It doesn’t take long for the curious minded to seek further stimulation. This is true for the dancers most of all. The feeling of sex wrapped around the pleasure of being in control attracts people like us like bees to honey. 

Strip clubs aren’t demeaning, they’re exhilarating. Like waiting for a rollercoaster, you feel the same shivers of excitement standing on line as walking briskly past the slickly suited bouncers. When a pretty bartender greets you with your favorite drink and smiles wide, like you’re the only person in the room, it means something. Even if it means, “Where’s the cash?” in another tongue. It was another world being inside of that club, and in some sense intrinsically designed that way. There were no clocks, no sense of time or urgency, only the sweet clouded opium of low music over neon lights. Gently twinkling silver spoons in long necked martini glasses. The smell of sex hanging so densely in the air it could not be filtered out. 

The clients were no stranger to the neighborhood, chief officers of corporate America’s navy suit armada, but in the context of the club every exchange felt exotic. It was as if something about those stage lights gave every man a new color. A new sense of novelty and power seated not in his ability to rule but in the reassurance that here he could yield, his desires would be catered to; his lust would be answered. And his sexual fantasies, the illusory escape his heart holds most dear, would always be given the attention it deserves. Though society might discredit them, these men worked hard and led lives that necessitated distraction. It was like simply by walking through these doors, a transformation had begun, the weight of normalcy dissipated and their inner vibrance shone through. Their ego, their inner longings, these were the things that made men most human and revealed themselves to be far less animalistic than the lengths they would go to satisfy that hunger. Sex, like connection, purpose or fulfillment is always on a man’s mind. No amount of money can change that. If the average woman knew that too the dancers wouldn’t be able to use it to their advantage.

In that sense, I don’t pity these girls, I applaud them. They are storytellers, snake charmers, and sirens, all mixed into one. The dimples on their curved lower backs were weapons, and each glittery g-string fluttering full of one’s an emblem of conquest. These women were savage, seductive, unlike anything you’d ever experienced in your life. An assortment of sparkling beauties with perfectly fleshed figures to match. I could say that each woman was more physically flawless than the next, and though it would be accurate it wouldn’t be the point. The truth was each dancer exuded an energy that could light up a stadium– it was real confidence. And it was easy for a client to get addicted. On stage, dancers did too. Though she may look like an angel, she moved with the perfectly coordinated hypnotism of the devil. Every arch, dip, and curve used as a reminder of what you couldn’t have. A reminder that although a woman may choose to be objectified, her objective was far more powerful.  

She knew what she wanted and he was going to give it to her. Simple enough but illusory at best, it’s this principle that is the bane of all modern relationships. Men, though driven by their sexual impulses, do not seek to direct them. Granting undue authority over a woman’s body without first earning his reward is anathema to a man’s ego and his erection. Soldiers fight for queens and royalty, servants fend for themselves. Anyone who’s been to the club knows that dancers don’t provide service, they wait to be served. Seated at the corner of the room, eyeing her prey, it would take thousands for her to look up from her french nails with more than fleeting interest. That’s when she noticed it; that’s when I noticed her.

He wouldn’t have walked into her web if he didn’t want to be consumed. She wouldn’t have invited him upstairs if she was afraid of the VIP. On the contrary, she was the big bad wolf. Beneath the hanging lights her sharp nails glistened knowingly. She moved slowly, in a coquettish manner that made every touch seem accidental. There was something about her lips that spoke without moving, as if a smile could be worth a hundred words. Or was it the ripe, heaving cleavage that caused him to reach into his wallet and hand her his black card. Her client watched the breasts move swiftly across the room and over to the cashier. My eyes followed them, reflected in the club’s many mirrors it seemed as if the entire room were too. While the cashier typed and the hostess leaned over for her drink order, her chest rose and fell with soft, relaxed breaths. If the attention bothered her–the spellbound stares, the money, the hordes of hopelessly enamored men– she didn’t seem too disturbed. If I was her I wouldn’t have cared much either way. The patriarchy is huge, you would expect dismantling it to be expensive.  

Perhaps that’s the danger in all of this, how effortlessly our needs could be transacted. Yet we cannot communicate or acknowledge the depth of these needs to each other. The value of intimacy has become more ephemeral than ever and I think we all know how it feels to be jaded. Sex is the perfect scapegoat and in the club it’s easy to make excuses when there are just as many accomplices as there are witnesses. Plus, who hasn’t dreamed about what life could be like if they were only willing to take that risk? If variety is the spice of life, then fantasy is her flower. What sweet, wet nectar.