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March 11, 2003 01:28pm
For Love of Strippers - "Careful What You Ask For" - Never Promised You a Rose Garten
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rose Garten

Yep, be careful what you ask for---you just might get it. "It" is sexual intercourse. It disturbs me when I get email from strip bar patrons that forget the rules about safe sex. It upsets me even more when I read stories about strippers/exotic dancers that double as prostitutes, and more so when they have unprotected sex with their customers. What is it going to take for "some of us" to realize that our sexual health and well-being are our own responsibility?

Okay, for those that weren't listening before---I'll say it again: Strip bars are "suppose to be" strictly entertainment. If a customer is looking for 'real sex' they need to get it from someone they know and trust. Those that look for sex in a strip club are asking for trouble---if they find it. Do customers and strippers/exotic dancers, as educated adults, truly realize the risks of unprotected sex? (Sometimes I wonder...) Pregnancy, STDs, HIV/AIDS, and a list of several other communicable diseases are the consequences of reality, not fantasy.

I received this email from a strip club patron. He was out with the boys having fun when he found himself in this sticky (pardon the pun) situation. No, I don't feel it's the least bit funny. I'd like to make the point that neither he, nor the stripper/exotic dancer was thinking of the negative possibilities when things went too far. (I've purposely left out part of the correspondence, and changed the signature to assure his anonymity.)

"Dear Rose, We stopped halfway through the second song. I didn't know what to say or do. Like a dork, I asked her if she had STDs. (Like she'd tell me if she did.) her answer: "I'm in the porn industry, I get checked every week, I have to." (or month, I really don't remember what she said). I then paid her the $80 for the two songs, plus an extra $20 to tip the doorman, which she didn't tell me about beforehand (this minor point is where I question the honesty of it all, but that's really irrelevant to this story).

I didn't spend any more money at that club after that. I didn't want to dampen the spirits of my friends, so I sort of played it up a little bit. Almost bragging, but as time went by the more I regretted it. I eventually admitted the stupidity of it, and how I shouldn't have been so foolish.

In the spirit of the weekend male bonding trip, we came back the next night. I spent $8 in 5 hours, mostly on soft drinks with the occasional trip to the stage to tip the dancer a dollar. I was still a little disgusted with myself, but I've always had an ability to temporarily suspend reality and separate myself from my misgivings whenever it served useful, and in this case I didn't want to ruin my friends' weekend although mine I think was now for the most part shot. The scary thing was, I saw the same girl that fucked me in the Vip room come in, fully clothed, and not looking well. She curled up with some guy who sat in front of our table who appeared to be, what? club owner? drug dealer? ..... pimp? He acted like a father to her, massaged her neck and temples, feet, hands, let her sleep on him in fetal position. She was awake on one of my few trips to the stage, and I got a look at her face. She didn't recognize me, and looked like people I've seen coming off of bad drug trips. She didn't look well, and now I'm double worried. Tomorrow I'm going to get screened for STDs for the first time in my life. My wife is the only person I've ever had sex with, and likewise I'm the only person she has ever had sex with. I've never had a reason to be checked for STDs before two nights ago.

My questions: Did I ask for this? No. Did I want this? No. Did I stop it when I should have? No.

Am I a victim of anything here other than my own stupidity and has this happened to anyone else?

How at risk am I for an STD if I stopped it after only two grinds and there was no exchange of fluids, other than saliva, and that was me sending not really receiving?

Do you think this girl really lives up to the high standards of sexual health she claims to (she seemed really intoxicated at the time, and seeing her the next day in that state did not convince me otherwise)?

If nothing else, this is the most important point, and the lesson I've learned in this ordeal: The dancers are not the only ones who need to make it clear what behavior is acceptable and what is not. The client should make this clear as well, Before he is in the grip of sexual energy induced by a lap dance.

Now I have to figure out how I'm going to explain to my wife why I can't have sex for three months (the amount of time required to wait before HIV/AIDS can be detected). Signed: In Too Deep"

Dear in Too Deep, I'm so sorry to hear that you're struggling with this serious situation. It is very important for you to get answers to your problem ASAP. A doctor is the only one that can answer all of your questions concerning the sexual contact, and what the risk may be for you. It is my understanding that unprotected oral sex, or sexual penetration would put you at high risk for several STDs including Herpes---not to mention HIV/AIDS. Here is a link that will help you find a clinic in your area that can give you quick results. (*Information purposely omitted to assure his anonymity.) as far as explaining things to your wife...that decision is up to you. I feel it would be more appropriate to answer the other questions you've asked in a few days. Please take care of yourself. I look forward to hearing from you again---and I'm hoping you'll be okay. Sincerely, Rose

"Dear Rose, I will be honest and say I almost took the wrong path. I almost went to the free clinic today (that does the confidential testing) and tried to hide the situation from my wife. I almost had myself convinced and disassociated enough from the experience that I could do that. There was a time (barely 24 hours ago) that I felt I would be much better off if my wife didn't know about this.

Two things shocked me out of this. The serious tone of your message this morning made me realize the severity of my situation. The friends I was with (I doubt any of them would have done the same thing I did) don't understand the gravity of the situation. They treated me as if I were some kind of hero. Your message/opinion was the first one (outside of myself) that shed serious light on the real consequences this could have on my life.

The second thing was: I went to the clinic at lunchtime and was totally uncomfortable with it. Totally uncomfortable with the fact that I was going to an anonymous free clinic for STD testing, and totally uncomfortable with the location. It was at this time that I finally gave in to the fact that I had to tell my wife.

I spent all day preparing myself for the possible consequences. First: The fact that I might be sleeping at a friend's house tonight. Second: The possibility that I might lose my wife.

I told my wife when I got home. It was painful for both of us, and this will mark a new chapter in our lives, but something else happened. We talked for several hours about things that I would never be comfortable talking to her about before. I told her things about myself that I always thought she was too pure and sweet to hear. For the first time I opened myself to her completely. We had the best conversation we've had in years, and I remembered more than ever why I love her. I'm calling tomorrow for an appointment with our family doctor. I have nothing more to hide."

I'll leave you with these words of wisdom: "Hindsight is always twenty-twenty." ~Billy Wilder Well folks, that says it all. As for "In Too Deep" ---I believe he answered most of his own questions. I'm glad he worked things out, and I truly hope that all is well for him today. And for the love of strippers/exotic dancers---adore them for the fantasy they offer. I can only hope that the lady (that allowed things to go too far) will change her irresponsible ways, and realize the senseless risks she is taking with her own life.

XXOO's,
Rose Garten

Rose sends in her sometimes thorny views, quotes and opinions from the Atlantic coast where she covers the clubs and well-being of dancers behind the scenes. If you have questions, or need advice...Please contact her with your information and feedback at RoseGarten@AINews.com

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