Thoughts by Richard Bleil
The cable was the wrong kind. One end fit my phone, of course, because I took it out of my own vehicle, but I had forgotten that the other end was a micro as opposed to a standard USB plug. Here at the hotel, I needed the standard USB cable. They don’t sell cables here at the hotel, so I head out to jump in the car and drive to the gas station mini mart. But the mini mart was only half a mile away, so why drive? There are about ten city blocks in one mile, and I was kind of ashamed that I was thinking of driving five blocks. Off to the mini mart I went, on foot.
On the way, I passed what struck me as a “gentlemen’s club”. I think it’s funny that they’re called “gentlemen’s clubs” when I doubt that the men who frequent those places are gentlemen. But, it reminded me of something that happened some years ago.
Here’s a little bit of background. My family is near where my first “teaching gig” used to be, a very small and very conservative medical arts college. That is where I grew up, and I always felt like I was in the shadow of my family. At this point I had my doctorate, but I still always felt like my father’s son there. One year, I opted to rent a hotel room while visiting family instead of staying with them. It was an important lesson. The entire visit all I heard were complaints that I elected to stay in a hotel rather than appreciation for the fact that I was visiting in the first place.
While working at this college, one of my students worked in a “gentlemen’s club”. While she certainly would have been very popular as a dancer, she worked at the bar. Eventually, this came to be known and I had to sit in on a meeting with faculty members as they debated if she should be allowed to continue or not. I was the one that pointed out that, anybody who knows her would realize that she is not doing anything immoral at the club, and what’s more, she’s exactly the kind of person who needs to be in those places for clients who need a helping hand up.
The club where I believe she worked at was across the street from my hotel. It was the first and (so far) only time I’ve actually been in a gentlemen’s club, but I had to stop to see if she was still there. I would have enjoyed visiting with her again. She was not working there, in fact, so I left promptly three hours later.
Honestly, these ladies are people. My former student had a friend from the club who was a dancer, and she was, frankly, charming. She was bright, kind, and had attitude and a real strength about her. She just realized that she could make a lot of money by letting men ogle her. She did nothing more, and she realized that her time as a successful dancer was limited. She had a plan on how many years she would dance, and college plans for when she “retired”.
Let’s be real about this; if men are dumb enough to give up their money just to see a little bit of flesh, then they deserve to be fleeced. While I was at the club, I did chat with a few of the ladies. Three were my favorites though, not because of how they looked but because, although they did ask if I wanted a lap dance or to go into the back room (I really don’t want to know what happens back there), when I said “no” they still sat with me and just chatted. Not all of them were like that. One even scolded me saying it’s expected that patrons buy lap dances. Another said, no, it’s not (that was from one of the three). As I left, all three of these women were sitting with a man (I believe he was the manager) at a table, and I gave each of them a generous tip just for their kindness.
We’re too uptight. In my humble opinion, there should be nothing illegal about selling sex. These anti-prostitution laws amount to nothing more than forcing somebody else’s moral opinions on everybody else. I do think that maybe it needs to be regulated, though, if for no other reason than to protect those in the business. Let the workers be free to do as they please, and let their clients lose their money.