Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gay Leather Night

So, just in case we all weren't aware, I am a girl. One with fairly large breasts and an ass and hips - all those secondary sex characteristics that make 90% of society able to correctly identify the gender of the human being they are looking at.

So, last Thursday, I was booked to dance at a queer leather dance night. And you know what? I had no business being there.

First off, what does a girl who has a closet full of 60s dressed and befringed costumes wear to a leather party? Honestly, I don't know. I know the horrible 70s stereotypes and I happen to have a gay roommate who has played that stereotype so with some guidance (and accessories) from him here is where I ended up:

Right? Maybe? I don't know.

But here is the thing. I want you to close your eyes and think about the advertising that went in to gay leather night at my bar. Now I want you to guess who came. Now I want you to think about how awkward it was when these men came to see the go go dancer on gay leather night and there I am, dancing to remixes of the Spice Girls on my box, all boobs and X chromosomes.


So eventually 2 male go go dancers DID show up. Let's talk about that. We are always cautioned when buying/making/putting on costumes that we CANNOT look like a strip club dancer. We need to always have fishnets on - no bare legs. We must look retro and classy and sexy. And I am fine with that, don't get me wrong. But I do wonder what could be when I know I make more money in fringy bras rather than dresses or disco pants.

And then these male dancers show up, literally wearing nothing more than some banana hammocks and baby oil. And they have BUCKETS for their tip jars, since they physically couldn't keep all the dollars stuffed into their crotches in said crotch and needed to dump it out. 

Now why is that ok? Listen, I don't want people shoving money in my crotch. But I do think it is curious that the reputation of the bar stems solely at how properly dressed the female dancers are but the dudes can stand outside smoking in a thong and that's just business as usual.

It was a super awkward night. I danced for about 3 solid hours before I made my one (and only) tip of the night, and it was from the DJ who I am pretty sure felt bad for me.

The next day I asked about the situation: why on earth was there a girl dancer at all? Because we didn't want to "alienate the straight customer"

boo to that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ode to a drunk 'Bro'

So the other day I am dancing at the bar. Its a slow night and the music sorta sucks (seriously, don't get me started on shitty "DJs" that spin crap no one can dance to).

So I am wearing a cute enough costume:

it is late, my shift is almost done, and there exactly 3 guys left sitting at the bar. They are "bros" which are essentially as annoying as frat guys, except that they are too old to still be in college which makes it even more sad.

The one guy comes up to my box and starts talking to me. Except there is a speaker in my ear and I can't really hear him.

Him: #@*&)$DDFJS*#$
Me: what?
Him:(*^@$()*# (he makes some weird arm movements)
Me: What?
Him: (he rolls his eyes and speaks slowly but I still can't hear him) *(&#%*BD&*(
Me: It. Is. Loud. You. Need. To Speak. Up.
Him: You need to move your arms more. Do different moves. You've been doing the same thing for an hour.
Me: *laugh* yeah, I know, and the DJ has been playing the same song for an hour, it seems like.
Him: No. It's not like it is that hard. You just have to dance, like this: (he shows me some really jerky and awkward dance moves). I mean, you really suck at your job.
Me: Well, you know, its the end of the night, so yeah. Maybe I do.
Him: You do. You're not even really hot enough to be a gogo dancer.
Me:..... ok. Well, thanks for that.
Him: When do you get off?
Me: 2am. After the bar closes.
Him: And then you're going to come party with us!

So at this point, the other dancer comes over. I tell her that I need to end a few moments early and I get down off my box and start the leave the bar. The guy comes over and tries to slide his hand around my waist. "where are we going to go party?" although really, it was more like "wurwegunnagoperty"

I quickly sidestep and tell him I'll be right back. And I run away.

But I mean really, you come up to my face, mock me, tell me I suck at my job and that I am ugly and then TRY TO HIT ON ME?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hipsters Don't Tip

Have I mentioned how much I hate hipsters? Real Job is in a hipster neighborhood and sometimes I just want to bitch slap this overgrown children who come in and demand their money back for a plant they bought that died, because they "went away to a musical festival for 2 weeks and no one said explicitly that a plant needs to be watered more than once every 2 weeks when we are having a horrific drought and 100+ degree weeks." I mean, how do you get up in the morning and fix your own breakfast and not set yourself on fire?

But, you know, customer service with a smile and all that. So I let it go.

But the go go bar I work at has become a hipster haunt. Do you know how much that sucks? It sucks because hipsters don't tip. And I know that any tip based worker will say that X group of people don't tip, but hipsters really take the cake. Why? Because they should know better. Because 99% of hipsters that come into the bar work in the service industry and they KNOW how much is sucks to work your ass off and not get a tip. Or maybe they don't, because working hard isn't cool or ironic enough, which is why you usually get shitty service when you go to restaurants or cafes that are staffed by hipsters. But  I still tip, regardless.

But I am sick of working 4 hours, in heels, shaking my ass for groups of bar goers who do nothing but watch, make comments, or in the case of the girls mock me who do nothing but drink the cheapest shittiest beer and then walk out without so much as a dollar in my jar. I mean, the fact is, if you are watching the show, you should pay me for it. I understand that some people aren't really interested in the gogo show, and thats fine with me. But if you are going to let you drunk girlfriend shout obscene comments at me, you are obviously paying attention.

I guess what I am saying is, while I used to be the dancer with the lowest tip night ($4 in 4 hours) one of the other girls told me this past weekend that she actually brought home $2 from a 4 hour shift. And that sucks. At least at an actual strip club the customers can't just sit and watch for 4 solid hours without tipping. Large scary men will ask them to leave. As they should.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Art and Costumes

I was on my way to pole dance class the other day when an email popped up on my phone informing me that I had sold some of my art on Etsy. I was so stoked - I haven't given my Etsy page a thought in over a few months.

I honestly don't know how people can depend on internet sales to survive on. Well, any sales really considering I know there are days when no one walks into the shop I work at. But internet especially. When I started my little slice of botanical art there was no one doing it. I know this because I googled the everliving crap out of it to make sure. Now when you do an etsy search a zillion similar products pop up. And cheaper, too. The American way.

C'est la vie.

I was feeling like I was stuck in a rut go go wise so I made myself a fringe bra to wear for my last shift. Now, let's chat about bras for a moment. I am a 34D. I think. (Honestly, boobs are confusing). You know what sucks about being a 34D? Its like bra makers decided you're either a porn star and want sheer, see through, "hey everyone look at my aerolas aren't they fabulous" fabrics with cleavage up to your bangs:

look mom, no nipples!
Behold my opaque seams
Or you are 95 years old with boobs to your knees and you simply need a support hose rubberband to haul them back up: 

it's like a battle tank make of nude satin

And don't get me wrong, I LOVE the sexy come hither bras. They are mostly what I own. But they don't make very good foundational pieces for a costume that's "sexy not strippy". And yes, I can  cover them with fabric but that takes SO. MUCH. EFFORT. So whats a girl to do? The discount stores only offer bras in these two catergories so I went to Victoria's Secret and I paid full price.

Fifty Dollars. Fifty dollars for a freaking bra that I covered with black fringe. But it was blue. And I needed a blue, non-see-through, actually functions to hold my tits down bra.

isn't it glorious?
I think I need to play with the straps more. Glitter? Probably. But it worked for the evening.

Interesting side note: I wore this bra and a miniskirt and made more money than i have in months. Okay, okay, I also took an eyebrow pencil and outlined my boobs so they looked HUGE. Whatever works. I suppose it also might have had to do with the AMAZING DJ that was working that night. How can you not exude pure sex when you get to dance on a box in a room full of people to Closer by the Nine Inch Nails?

And then the cream of the sexy dancing crop:

I mean, how is that not worth some dollar bills?

But I think I am going to start showing more skin. Mama needs to pay off her credit card bills.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

We're not that kind of bar

So Go Go dancing. It's what, July now? So I've been at it for over 3 months and I am still not sure what to think of the whole thing. In a lot of ways its pretty cool: I got to quit my gym because OMG, I have abs for the first time since moving to this city. Four hours of straight dancing while sucking it in so you look good does wonders for your core. Plus, I just freaking love dancing.

But in some other ways...

I'm not sure if I have made this clear or not before but the bar where I dance is a 60s style go go bar. Meaning its knee high boots and Sonny and Cher not clear platform stilettos and Rihanna. (Side note: I just Googled Rihanna because I can never spell her name and just now learned that she was born in 1988, so I'm going to go cry silent tears into a can of chocolate frosting now).

We don't get topless (usually, heh) and there is no "back room." When I "go on break" I really and truly go downstairs and put my feet up. Because they hurt. I also usually drink a lot of Gatorade because damn do you sweat a lot up there. The point is, I am not trying to get you to buy lapdances from me or anything else. You tipping me in my tip jar is because you are enjoying my performance, you like my moves like Jagger, you are trying to make your girlfriend/boyfriend/lover jealous, whatever. It isn't going to buy you any face time with me. It sure as hell isn't going to buy you any crotch time with me.

Now for some of the older gentlemen that frequent our fair bar, this is confusing. And in some ways I sympathize. You see, up until the grand opening of this new bar there was a strip club in the very same spot. A strip club with the very same name, even. A strip club where, from what I understand, $20 when a very long way. So these guys show up from time to time, either missing the memo, or just choosing not to understand it, and they have it in their heads that it is still  a strip club.

Like the gentlemen the other night. When I get to work the first thing I hear from the bouncer, the bartender, the other dancer is that "there is a creepy man that hasn't actually done anything wrong so we can't kick him out." Awesome. Within 5 minutes of my dancing on the box I have him singled out and am watching him. Yes, he is in fact creepy. And then he tries to tip me. He starts waving money at me and I point to my jar. He shakes his head, grabs at his own chest, and says "titties." Then he tries to stuff said money down the front of my dress. I stop him. And he gets all indignent and says "fine, then i'm keeping my money" and saunters away.

Luckily for the other girl his behavior was enough to finally earn his ejection from the bar.

I think my favorite part, though, was that he was only flashing me a single dollar and he acted as though I was losing out on some great sum of money because I wouldn't let him grope me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tutorial: The 24 Hour GoGo Dress

So like I wrote about in my last post, I got overly eager to make a costume for my new gig. After scrapping my first idea, I moved on to a black and white A-line Mod dress. So at about 3:30am, I gathered my materials:
Simplicity Pattern 2967 and fabric
The dress pattern is Simplicity #2967. Don't be fooled, though it is a reprint of a 1960s pattern, this isn't vintage (though, it does appear to be out of print, again). This was one of the "retro" reprints that Simplicity put out  a few years ago (I have a few 50s styles and a 40s skirt suit, too) and I picked it up for a dollar when JoAnn's had a pattern sale a few years ago. I had made the dress once before, so the pieces were already cut out (saving me precious precious time) but really, this dress is like 3 pieces, anyway.

The fabric I used was a white sparkly spandex. Why spandex? Well, here is the thing about being a self taught seamstress: I don't know how to install a zipper. At all. I know there is a special foot for the sewing machine... and I think I can even identify it from all the other sewing machine feet, but damn if I know what the hell to do with it. So while the directions for this dress call for a zipper up the back I don't know how to do that.
Back of dress

Hence the spandex. See what I did there? I just completely sewed up the back of the dress. No zipper needed! Good thing it is stretchy enough to go over my boobs.

So at this point, I hemmed the neck and arm holes as well as the skirt line. There are supposed to be cap sleeves, but A) I was really tired and B) It gets really hot in the bar as you dance so I just decided to forego all that.

Awesome! I have an A-line dress is a pretty white sparkly fabric. But, it doesn't look very 60s. So I looked on google for some mod dress ideas. I was inspired by these two:

Clearly the answer was arrows. But unlike a lot of tutorials out there on the internet, I did not already have an arrow applique. So I had to make one. Using black jersey I made a tube and turned it inside out, so the seam was inside. I sewed it flat to the dress and then made triangle ends that I sewed on.

Mod Arrow Dress
Bam! Instant 60s street cred!

You'll notice that the arrows are not perfectly straight. There is a reason for that other than sleeplessness! You'll notice in this close up, that there are darts in order for my boobs to fit:
boob dart
Turns out boobs are curved. So sewing on a straight arrow over the boob curve means that when the dress is on it looks crooked. So instead, I had my roommate pin the arrows on while I was in the dress to figure out where they really should be placed.

So then I was done! I passed out and went to bed.

The next day I went to Real Job and came home. I decided to try on the dress with the rest of the costume before I went into the bar - the rest of the costume being fishnets and gogo boots. Thank goodness I did. Why? Because like an idiot, I chose white fabric and it was 100% see through. Awesome. Totally awesome. At this point I had NOTHING ELSE to wear, so I had to figure something out.

I noticed that where I had turned the fabric under to hem it was not see through. So I decided I needed to line the dress. But, I didn't really know how to do that. Instead I made myself a tube:

weird wannabe spanx
Yeah, it is exactly as big as it looks - smaller than the width of a coat hanger. I figure it had to be snug so as not to slide off. So snug, in fact, that I could barely wiggle into it. I basically made spanx out of the dress fabric. But whatever, it worked.

So I was able to pull it out and get a costume made in 24 hours. Want to know the best part? I got to work and SURPRISE! It was disco night. So my dress was completely out of place anyway.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I was going to post about craft time...

So I went down to Fabric Row the other week and dropped about $100 on materials for making go go costumes. Because I make good financial decisions.

I was pretty pleased with myself, though, and I decided I was going to make a fringe top and hotpants combo. I bought 16 yards of fringe. More than enough, right?

Look at all the fringe. And my purchased hot pants base!
You guys, that didn't even cover the bottom third of my ass, let alone a halter top, too.

So crap. It is 3:30 in the morning and I have work at 10am all day and then go dance after that. And I really, REALLY have nothing to wear. So I started on an entirely different costume. And you know what, it worked! Sleep is for the weak. I'll post a craft time tutorial about that later this week.

In the mean time, I was introduced to the wonders of Joyce Leslie stores. They are yet another tween disposable clothing chain, but at the moment, 60s inspired outfits seem to be in style. (Thank you Mad Men.) So I bought a lot of amazing clothes, including hot pants and a disco suit! Yes, a disco suit.

I would just like to take this moment to really point out that there is currently a chain of stores in America selling MASS PRODUCED DISCO SUITS. Who would wear that? I mean, other than someone who happens to work at a 60s and 70s themed go go bar. Why is this being sold?!

I did happen to notice some mixed messages from the store though:
I don't know how to interpret this...
But the finished products are pretty awesome!