Maybe it’s the blank look on every one of their faces. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never gone for the ladies with plastic high heels, the big soles and the leg warmers.
But that’s exactly who and what was flirting with me last Saturday night at the Deja Vu strip club in Milford. It wasn’t my idea to go there.
In my life I’ve been to about a half dozen of them, typically dragged there by horny friends. They all sounded like good ideas at first, as I recall, sort of like this time — but they always seemed to end up a disappointment.
On Saturday evening around 11, a friend (a woman) called to say that another friend of hers (a guy) wanted to go to Deja Vu and wanted to know if I’d join them. He was paying, I was told.
So the attorney, the real estate investor and the journalist piled into a red 2008 BMW and found our way out to the far eastern edge of town.
The parking lot was littered with all sorts of cars, every make and brand, new and many late models. The entrance hallway was adorned with movie-like posters lit by neon lights. It seemed like a pornographic Epcot Center.
It cost $10 to get in. They checked IDs, emphasized the new photo policy and the no-cell-phone policy and directed us to a line. Once there, a bartender informed us that we had to purchase a drink before entering the club.
By state law, because the ladies at Deja Vu are topless and expose their pelvic regions to guests, no alcohol is served.
Behind the bartender was a cooler full of O’Doul’s non-alcoholic beer, Red Bull, Starbucks Frappuccino drinks and bottled water. We grabbed some water and took our seats.
The seats rolled around and the place was dark with lots of club lighting, including black lighting that made our drink cups light up. Immediately I was sort of shocked I was there.
Oddly, I started to think about Phil Burress, the anti-sex crusader and founder of Citizens for Community Values — their values — with an office in Sharonville right next to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, where I went last year to get my motorcycle license.
I’ve never been a fan of objectifying women. I’m not saying I haven’t done it, of course.
I believe there’s something in my DNA that makes me admire a pretty woman regardless of her intelligence, background or values. I think that’s what makes me a dude.
For me, though, it’s difficult to get turned on by a woman wearing 6-inch heels I can see through and a stringy bikini-like number that no one really wears anywhere, walking around with a look of complete boredom on her face.
Don’t get me wrong: Many of the women were attractive. Some weren’t, which means that when they stopped by and asked to dance for me for $1 I had to either welcome a woman I wasn’t physically attracted to giggling her body in front of me and on me or risk hurting her feelings.
I didn’t do it this time, but when I was 21 and went to the now-defunct Bristol’s strip club near Monroe, I let every woman who asked dance for me. I then handed her a buck or slipped it in her thingy. The whole thing just felt stupid.
If I hadn’t grown up in Hamilton County and had the watchful protection of former prosecutor and now Sheriff Simon Leis telling me what kind of sex life I should have, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about the strip club experience. But we being us — that’s uptight Cincinnatians — I hadn’t had a lot of these kinds of experiences.
While I don’t especially enjoy these places, I don’t begrudge the people who go or the women who work there. Those who own or work in those places must have special reasons for doing it, though I can’t believe they’re all good reasons.
There have been some discussions, online mostly, about how good a strip club would be for the Cincinnati economy. It would become another place for business travelers to go and spend money. It could be an attraction, of sorts, much like having a casino here.
I might not go much — unless someone else is paying — but we should at least have the choice: bored to death or happy to be there.
CONTACT JOE WESSELS: firstname.lastname@example.org