I’ve had a lot of women in my lifetime; light to dark, short to tall, sophisticated to straight-up sluts. Each one has played a certain role in my life and when the situation ran its course, it was over.
At different points, I’ve been into different types of women. Attending a southern high school growing up, everybody wanted a bad ass redbone (that means lighter-skinned black woman – jbaker). Then, I was really into the corporate type with a house and good credit. Right now, I’m really feeling the exotic type (don’t get mad sistas), including Latina, Trinidadian or any other ethnicity that’s a little mixed up. That said, through all my years of dating, there has always been one type of exotic woman that I just can’t shake; exotic dancers or as we say down in the dirty South, ‘skrippas.’

Down here in Atlanta, the strip club, or as I like to call it “the ho show,” is a right of passage for young men and some women too. I went to my first club at the tender age of 16. My homeboy’s uncle was a bouncer and after weeks of begging, he finally let us in one night. I was instantly taken in by the entire atmosphere, not to mention all the ass in the room. By the time I was 18, I had a fake ID and I was almost a regular at the weekly hotspots. I was a little more mature, so my advances toward the skrippas became less of a joke to the girls. In fact, I started to bag one every so often. Cardinal rule No. 1 in every hood is never turn a ho into a housewife. However, I eventually took exception to this rule and began to see one regularly. But between me running the street and her occupation, we never stood a chance. We broke up not long after we started dating and the situation restored my decision not to deal with strippers beyond booty calls.

In the years after my initial stripper dating experience, strip clubs went from taboo to mainstream. Video models went from being professionally trained dancers who performed choreographed numbers to pretty faces from your local tittie bar sitting in tubs of whipped cream on B.E.T.’s late-night video show, “Uncut.”

Today, the stripper is as much as a staple in hip-hop as the gold medallion. They’re a prop used to perpetuate the general stereotypes upheld by all of us as entertainers. I guess I really can’t talk because I keep a few in my videos (sorry, I got to be me). But in my defense, they bring their own wardrobe.

Plus, the strip club is just as much a favorite to women these days as men and you can catch chicks getting their own lap dances, poppin’ bottles and even “making it rain.” I always felt like the women were there to catch a baller and since there’s money flying all over the place, I’m pretty sure that I’m right.

When I go to the strip club, I try to be a little mindful of what I spend. I too can get carried away, my worst splurge was almost ten stacks ($10,000) in one night. When you and your homeboys got four girls dancing for you and you see a friend with five, it can turn into a silent competition. You find yourself going back and forth; he throws a $1000, so you gotta throw $2000.

When you regularly spend money, you notice the reaction, or shall I say action, you start to get from the dancers. One night, I had three of them offering to cook me breakfast. And although I passed on the pancakes, I took one of them up on a little sweet potato pie if you know what I mean. She was light skinned, about 5′ 7″, and wore one of those expensive wig weaves (read: $500 a pop to get it fixed). She had a body like a young Beyonce and her swag took her from a nine to a dime. At the time, she had only been dancing a month but she took to the pole like a duck to water. She was a student in college (they all say that) and she said she didn’t plan on stripping more than a year (they all promise that too!!!). Against my better judgment, I called her after the first night we spent together and before I knew it, she was trying to come over everyday.

Given my past experience with dancers, I made sure things didn’t get too serious and I expressed this at all times. Though she would come through, cook and we’d catch a movie, she was far from a girlfriend and I had no intentions of changing that. Now, with her being a stripper, she was trained to get money, flirt, touch and maybe even a little more for the bottom line. I wasn’t about to break bread so I didn’t see a problem with it She would tell me that she wasn’t doing anything with other dudes and that she really wanted to be with me. But I never really took what she said to heart much and I let her handle her business.

For the most part, she had her self pretty much together and had some realistic goals that she was working towards accomplishing. She went to school a few times a week and appeared to be serious about saving her money. While I was concentrating on not making her my girl, I was making a really good friend. We could talk about a lot of different things and she offered a great perspective on some of my issues.

Then, I started to really get serious with a different female and I pretty much stopped having sex with the stripper. But she would always want to be up under me. I would still let her chill at my place because she was really cool to be around. But the more I told her that I didn’t want to be with her, the more she tried to lie and cover up her activities so that I would change my mind.

When I started to catch her lying about her intentions and got tired of shutting her down, I cut her off cold turkey. For me it was no problem since I had been building a situation with someone else. She was not so lucky because although she was still manipulating men to get things, I can see now that she really wanted to be serious with me. And when I would tell her that she couldn’t come to my apartment, she would whine and cry about it. This usually led me to hanging up on her and, in a few cases, arguing. I couldn’t believe that she thought I would “wife her” while she was running around the city all crazy, besides I’d already learned the lesson of dealing with strippers. After I told her that I was in a relationship, she expressed that she didn’t care and offered to play a ‘side piece’ role. I shut it down because, in the end–it just wasn’t worth it.

Today, I still hit the strip club pretty often and she’s still dancing (18 months and counting). We still speak but I leave it at that. I saw her last week and she offered to cook me breakfast. We’ve been talking a little since (just talking)!

I’ll keep you posted…

Southern Gentleman

Like Southern Gentleman’s perspective? Read his last post, “Married Mary” here.

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