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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | Last updated: 10:42pm

The (almost) naked truth



A stripper grabbed me by the face and forced me to motorboat her as she yelled, “Eat my titties, bitch” in my ear.

One of the more giggly strippers of the night, noted for her personality and sense of humor, insisted on giving goodbye hugs to those she had previously treated with a motorboat. After she finished her shift, we had a pleasant conversation.

Strip clubs, it turns out, aren’t all cinematic episodes of women bathed in red lights and smoke, dancing for the pleasures of perverts, greasy old men, frat boys and creepy loners, or so I learned while sitting in a cushioned swivel chair, set in front of the stage of Eden Cabaret and Cafe Gentleman’s Club.

What was once the beloved Bunny Ranch has given itself a classier makeover, but neither the dancers nor the atmosphere inside have changed much.

a.4.9.strippers.rgb.courtesy
By CRAIG KOHLRUSS / Fresno Bee
This photo illustration depicts a small but growing number of women awash in a lousy job market have turned to stripping in clubs or for bachelor parties to pay the rent, pay for school or feed their kids. (Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee/MCT)

Silver strobe lights pulsate along Speedway Boulevard, drawing vulnerable moths to the flame of Eden. Entering the long dark hallway, two gorilla-sized bouncers greet you with smiles and insist on a handshake, making you feel like a guest at a country club.

A foggy haze envelops the club as your eyes adjust to the laser light show. The lights reveal lackluster décor not fit for a movie scene. A wall of blue beads cascades from the ceiling, a physical separation between the big spenders with the private dancer and regular strip club-goers.

The daunting black stage rises from the carpeted floor where two poles stand on either side awaiting the next dancer. The swivel chairs in front of the stage appear the most comfortable and seem like a good seat for a first-timer. Within the first five minutes of sitting down, someone from across the room came up and placed a dollar down on the stage in front of me to make sure I got some pleasure. I wondered, is it etiquette to return the favor with a dollar bill in front of them?

Bikini-clad women do a general sweep of the audience while caressing the metal pole. In one swoop, one dancer hoists herself midair, locks her legs around the pole in a move that flips her upside down, spinning clockwise in an acrobatic trick that is nothing short of a Cirque du Soleil performance.

Another stripper slithers toward a cowboy, grabs his hat to wear herself and grips his butt before spanking it and yelling, “Yee-haw!”

As a woman, I’m in awe of the coordination, agility, balance and fitness that is required to hoist yourself up on a pole and spin around without falling on your head — and doing all of this seductively.

Some strippers are sometimes even more friendly to female customers. Eden even has options for ladies all week long, with a Thursday Ladies Night or Sunday Naughty School Girl Night to gear you up for the rest of the week.

Exiting the strip club, the body guards graciously shake your hands, inviting you back in the future and offering you a courtesy bottle of water for the trip home.

Strip clubs can be an easy way to spice up a relationship and learn some new tricks. Lap dances, strip teases and pole dances — all can be used as helpful research and tutorials. Ask a girl if they would ever learn to pole dance and more than you’d think would say yes.

Whether or not you agree with the work of a stripper, spending a night at the strip club is definitely an experience to share with friends, collect crazy stories and learn some tricks to be used for later.


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