Friday night, after many, many drinks, it was decided that Byron, Ed (Byron's friend from Ohio who is quite conservative), Najla (who doesn't know what "conservative" means) and Byron's roommate "Butch" (the surprisingly intelligent, tooth-less redneck from Arkansas) and I would all go to "Smiles" on Saturday.

Mom, you can stop reading now.

Walking in, I was bringing up in the rear and the bouncer waved me in good-naturedly. I must have looked frightened. "Come in! It's cold!" He chuckled.

We paid and I turned to my left to look into the room.

"Tits!" I blurted out. I was kind of taken aback. (Why I don't know!)

It was a square room with a stage in the center. You could sit against the stage or you could take a seat against the wall. I chose a seat against the wall, tucked between Ed and Byron, which gave me a great view of the entire room. Najla and Butch sat in front of the stage.

Most of the customers were guys, mid-twenties, with “I look so good!” attitudes. To our left was a rowdy group of people, guys and girls mixed. In the corner was a man old enough to be my grandfather, with a perfect-figured blonde in his lap, counting her money while he nuzzled her neck and stroked her hair. Center-stage was a marginally attractive chick in huge shoes and nothing else shaking EVERYTHING her mama gave her. Her face looked bored, like she was checking out people at Walmart.

My heart broke, and I had to choke back tears, which surprised the hell out of me. I’ve been to a strip club before, but it was topless only. Boobs are, you know, boobs. Americans make a big deal about them, and I NOTICE them, but they aren’t anything I get particularly shy over. However, seeing a girl flaunting her “holiest of holies” in strangers faces made me sad.

I got used to it (but by no means over it) after about ten minutes. One Amazon who was twice the size of Najla offered her a lap dance, which started comments from Ed, Byron and me (the Peanut gallery).

“No! You’ll break her! Smothered in cellulite! Death by squashing! Aggggh!” The collective maturity level peaked at 13.

One very pretty girl offered me a lap dance. She smelled like “a baby prostitute”, and she gently ran her hand down the front of my low-cut shirt while she propositioned me. I managed to keep my shit together long enough to say no, politely, and she laughed and flitted off. Byron almost blew a load and Ed looked like he wanted the floor to swallow him whole.

I checked on Grandpa and Baby Spice. He was kneading her butt cheeks like he was making bread, and she was still counting the enormous wad of cash in her hands. Closer to me, a guy who must have been 19 was getting what was probably his first lap dance. He looked up, awe-struck, into the strippers face and she smiled, gently took his head, and angled his eyes down at her crotch. He grinned.

Ed and I started to note the footwear; some girls were wearing stilettos with lights in them, one was wearing shoes with what looked like rolls of duct tape for heals, and we figured out how long it would take each of them before they had their podiatrist on speed dial. (This is how much Ed was NOT into being there. Poor Ed.)

And I was all up in arms about Hooters!