I remember walking into the Harmony Theater. As I approached, my heart would beat a little more quickly. Adrenaline would pulse through me. Excitement, sure, but also shame, embarrassment, fear. I must have craved all of those things; we don’t do the same thing over and over because of just one feature of it. Generally, we crave the whole thing, the package. I’m creative enough, smart enough, to assemble a package of experiences that feeds all my needs, even if only one of them is conscious.
So I wanted that excitement – who would be inside? How many women? Would they be to my liking? The grad student type? Or would they all be the more working class, hungry, desperate types? Would there be other men? How many? Would I recognize any of them? Would they recognize me? Would the place be shut down? I don’t believe anything illegal was going on there, but shit, it just felt so… dark… there, that it was hard to imagine it wouldn’t be shut down (and one day, it was – “condoms in the bathrooms” were mentioned in the newspaper articles, though I never saw one).
What would the lap dances be like? Would a woman stroke my cock through my slacks? (I was a suit-wearer in those days.) Would she slide her hand under my slacks and touch my flesh? (They never did, but a boy could hope….) What would her breasts feel like? Would she let me finger her? Would she (pretend to) cum? Would she (really, actually) cum? (I genuinely believe that happened once or twice.)
Or would it be yet another imperfect experience, a not perfectly hot woman giving a not perfectly hot dance?
I would walk in, would pay, would sit in a filthy, decrepit old red velvet theater armchair. I’d sit, and look around, as my eyes adjusted to the dark. Slowly. The music was always the same. The women, truth be told, were always the same. Not like in other strip clubs, where there was (is) constant turnover. At the Harmony Theater, women danced for a long time. Was this because it was such a great place to work? I doubt it. It was dirty, and loud, and smoky, and gross. I suspect that it had a lot more in common with street-walking than with typical erotic dancing, was closer to that line, and harder to walk away from, for all sorts of reasons.
I went there for a few years before it was shut down.
I’d sit, in the dark. Alone. Lonely. Desperate. Sad. Waiting for a woman to come stroke my cock, dance on my cock, make me hard again. Come to life again. For a moment.
And unless I had an obligation, a place I needed to be? I wouldn’t leave. For hours. And hours.
When, finally, I emerged, it would be dark (if it had been light when I went in). Or it wouldn’t. And my eyes would have to adjust again. And I’d scurry away from the entrance, hoping, desperately, not to be seen by anyone I knew.
And I’d go back to my life.
And pretend I’d never been there.