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The Tasteful Nude The Tasteful Nude

When Your Ex-Bosses Become Your Customers at the Strip Club

When Your Ex-Bosses Become Your Customers at the Strip Club: Hair and Makeup by Emma Parkes

Hair and Makeup by Emma Parkes

Welcome to The Tasteful Nude, in which stripper, comedian and writer Kasey Koop gives us a point-blank look at life onstage and backstage in L.A.’s strip club scene. Check back every Thursday afternoon for more.

Prior to stripping, I spent years waiting tables. Food service lit such a fiery pit of hatred inside me that I walked out on the last restaurant job I had crying like a drama queen. Little did I know that job would follow me to the strip club.

I’ll preface this story by describing the owners of the last restaurant I worked for. Let’s call them Harry and Lloyd in honor of Dumb and Dumber. Not much older than me, Harry was the one I felt sexual tension with. He would storm into the kitchen coked out and screaming about how everyone was fucking up but let me off the hook since he was too scared to look me in the eye. Lloyd, on the other hand, was married and sweet. They were neither my favorite or most despised employers; in fact, I had made similar exits out of my two restaurant jobs before that one, because I considered my shortening temper to be sufficient enough resignation notice. I had no idea Harry and Lloyd would keep paying me after my departure—and what those transactions would cost me.

Round One: Harry’s Visit
Running into people I know at the club was one of my greatest deterrents to taking the plunge into stripping. But plunge I took, and on my first night dancing I saw a restaurant regular. I don’t know if I was more embarrassed to see him there or that I could still recite his food order by heart. Soon enough, seeing friends and acquaintances at work became so normal to me that, by the time Harry showed up, I was excited to see him. He seemed more nervous than usual, like he hadn’t elected to visit but had been dragged there by his dick. The tables were turned: I was the boss now, and I relished every minute. After coaxing Harry back to the lap dance room, I was elated to crawl on top of him and act out some of the fantasies I had masturbated to when I was working for him. The strip club was the only opportunity for us to taste-test the forbidden fruit since he was in a serious relationship. One after another, I peddled lap dances while letting him know how aroused I was. The twenties he shelled out were the bonus I had never received.

Round Two: Harry and Lloyd
Thinking Harry’s visit would be a singular occurrence, I was taken aback when, a month later, he waltzed in with Lloyd. Word of my new occupation had gotten around my old stomping grounds, and it seemed that the two bumpkins were curious to see how I was doing. I hadn’t bowed out of that job in the most graceful way, so I decided against fighting the situation and welcomed them in. Dancing for Harry was one thing, but twerking on my hands and knees in front of both of my ex-bosses was entirely another. “How did I end up here?” I thought, staring at my Oh, The Places You’ll Go! tattoo (appropriately, a cartoon man grinning knowingly at me). Oh, the places you’ll go! The last few years in L.A. had been nothing short of surreal; this was just another day at the office.

Harry bought a few lap dances but Lloyd kept a safe distance. He was married and probably didn’t want to overstep more boundaries than he already had. Well, until later that night, when he hit up my Instagram messages with a mirror selfie wearing only a towel. The message read, “It’s impossible not to want to know more.” The only “more” I wanted to know was how sloshed he was and the status of his nuptials so I asked, “Aren’t you married?” He replied that yes, he was, but that he was also human. Then, in his supremely human way, he asked me out on a date. I didn’t respond.

Round Three: Knockout
Fast-forward one week—my birthday. I had posted on Instagram about turning 27 at midnight and asked my followers to come to the club and make it rain in celebration. The night was ideal. Some of us find our families in dark places, and my strip-club family lavished me with more love and money than I could ask for. As the evening was drawing to a close, Lloyd stumbled in stag. Though I had no desire to see him, I was in good spirits and figured I could hustle a few bucks out of the guy. I knew Lloyd was a heavy drinker from my days working beneath him, but I had never seen him so far gone. His usual handsomeness was all washed out as he ordered yet another shot at the bar. He wouldn’t stop asking me to go out with him. Was this how he had wooed his wife? Look, I’m no angel but I’ve always considered married men to be off-limits—partly out of respect for my fellow woman and partly because my ego is too grandiose to be someone’s secondary bitch. I’m a comedian and stripper; I need all the attention. I decided to wrap up the shit show by asking if he wanted to buy a lap dance, which he did not. As I got up to leave, he slurred, “I pity you.” Happy birthday to me.

I took his hand, the one with the wedding band, looked in his sad, drunk eyes and told him, “No, I pity you.” I haven’t heard from those guys since.


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