In the old days, I would record myself a voice memo on my way home from a date, hitting all the highlights, so as to be sure the blog post I would write (manically) the next day wouldn’t miss a thing. In more recent times, I haven’t done that. I haven’t recorded the voice memo. I haven’t written the next day. And my mania has informed less of my writing.
For the most part, this is all well and good. It’s certainly all well and good for me. But sometimes, it means that what I write here is less… complete? Or less prompt. Or less accurate. Or, most likely, just… less.
Melrose is an example of this.
Weeks have passed since then. As have at least two, and maybe more (I honestly have lost count, which is a nice thing) dates with Charlotte. Melrose is, mostly, a memory to me. And a faded one. Her most recent text to me sits in my inbox – an inbox I generally manage as a “to-do” list, though just what there is “to do” with Melrose’s text, I’m not sure.
Anyway…. I’ll try to write a bit more about Melrose, just because I feel like I left her dangling here like a loose thread, and there were parts of the remainder of the evening that I want to grapple with, at least a little.
First, the facts: I went back to the strip club. I found Melrose. I told her I wanted an hour with her in the “VIP” room. [I had brought a wad of cash with me, hoping to take Charlotte to a VIP room with one of the lovelies there, but things hadn’t unfolded that way. And now, the cash was burning a hole in my jeans.]
Back in the day, I spent more than a few thousand dollars in VIP rooms. There was something about strip clubs in general, and VIP rooms in particular, that I found especially… compelling. I write “something” as if there were some mystery to the allure, but there wasn’t: strip clubs offered me three things I apparently craved, desperately: 1) the certainty of a lengthy erection; 2) the possibility of the erection being touched, stroked, attended to – albeit briefly, tentatively, furtively, 95% of the time; and 3) the fantasy of an interaction or relationship that would transcend the boundaries of the commercial, of the strip club.
I know myself well enough to know that while I experienced the first and second motivations as my primary conscious drivers, the second and third motivations were where the juice lay: not in the near-certainty of my erection, sustained for as long as I was in whatever club I was in, but in the possibility, lying beyond obstacles, probabilities, and boundaries, of… more. And in the likelihood of disappointment.
With Melrose, everything somehow got reversed. Or maybe not reversed, but somehow prismatically refracted.
She led me up the two flights of stairs to the swanky VIP area of this club where we were seated on some plush velvet furniture to wait for a room to free up. An aging stripper (or really, I think, a stripper who had retired from stripping, and graduated to “hostessing”) offered us champagne. An aside: the push to be celebratory in strip clubs in general, and in VIP areas in particular, amuses me. I get it: it’s all part of the elaborate strategy to separate me from my money. But there’s something… poignant… about the extent to which strip clubs go to distance men from the reality of what they’re doing, to foster an illusion of… well, of celebration. Which, I suppose, is the opposite of the shame so many of us men feel in that context, at least some of the time.
I’m mostly past the shame in that setting – although on this night I was as close to it as I come, as I wasn’t there with my date, but alone; and I wasn’t there particularly mindfully, but rather, was driven, compulsively, by a specific hunger for a specific woman – and my an unfulfilled longing to come, having been left mostly high and dry by Charlotte’s inebriation.
So Melrose and I sat there on the faux fancy plush faux velvet furniture, fending off the champagne, making small talk while we waited to spend an hour in a tiny room… making small talk, fending off champagne, and with her intermittently gyrating her pretty body on and near me.
There was, from the start, a feel of “pro forma”-ness to the whole thing. This was a thing I wanted to have done, more than it was a thing I wanted to do. My dick wasn’t hard in anticipation. The conversation was good enough – Melrose and I have some surprising things and common, and could make small talk comfortably for quite a while, although Melrose occupied her role a bit too much for my taste – a bit too eager to agree with me, to please me conversationally, and a bit less willing to take the conversational risks of disagreeing, or simply differing, than I might have preferred. But the power of sex worker/client relationships is inescapable. I recognize that.
So, dick limp, anticipation morphing quickly into… if not quite regret, at least an awareness that my unconscious fantasy – that Melrose and I would retreat into a truly private retreat where she would gratify my every wish, perfectly – was a chimera. And not just that, but that my conscious fantasy – that my cock would be stiff for a solid sixty minutes while Melrose stroked, squeezed, rubbed, and otherwise attended to it – was equally chimerical. My cock wasn’t hard; Melrose wasn’t especially interested in or capable of, in that moment, making it hard.
Some of this is, for me at least, inevitable in nearly every sexual experience, to a greater or lesser degree: anticipation and fantasy give way to realization and reality. I’ve been very fortunate: for years, now, my reality has transcended many people’s fantasies. I’ve had tons of really great, really fun sex, with tons of hot, smart, interesting women. And/but/still… reality – as great as it can be – never transcends fantasy, in my experience. The challenge I face, we all face, is in accepting, taking joy in, reality in spite of the fact that we always can imagine a still greater fantasy. And I’m pretty good at that.
In this instance, though, more than the inevitable distance between fantasy and reality awaited me. As we settled down into the VIP room, I quickly realized that… I didn’t want to be there. Not that I didn’t like Melrose. I did. Melrose is smoking hot. Who wouldn’t want to spend an hour with a topless, thong-wielding Riley Reid look-alike?
But the dynamics of the encounter – me, a single guy, spending gobs of money to be alone with a hot stripper, whose pussy, whose mouth, lay just off limits to me – I had forgotten about. It’s been years, literally, since I put myself in that particular situation. And I. Don’t. Like. It.
Though as I wrote above, I’m mostly beyond the shame many men contend with – with which I contended, for years – in strip clubs and in commercial sexual encounters – on this evening, it rose in me like a wave. Years ago, that shame was no barrier to arousal. In fact, I may have needed it to feel aroused. But in 2021? Shame at that volume renders me impotent.
So as Melrose and I chatted, as she gyrated, rubbed, grinded…. my cock responded as if I were in a men’s locker room. It softened, limper than limp, not even offering that hint of turgidity that carries me through 75% of most days. My cock behaved as if I’d just leaped in an ice bath, and as if I wasn’t getting out.
I didn’t discuss this with Melrose. We had ok enough chemistry, as we chatted about the various worlds of work with which each of us has engaged, about Charlotte, about sex, about sex parties, swingers clubs, and my blog. Melrose professed interest in my blog. She asked if I would text her the URL.
Here, my fantasy briefly flickered: she was giving me her phone number – something for which I hadn’t asked. Did she want to see me, to see us, again? I doubted that. I took Melrose mostly at her word: she was just a little curious about my blog. Or maybe more accurately, she wanted me to think she was very curious – at least until I had tipped her. And she sensed, I figured, accurately, that giving me her number was low-risk. Not that giving anyone your number is high-risk – especially if you have a number especially for that purpose. But still. I represent a particularly low risk, and that comes across. [To a certain type of woman, in certain circumstances, I present an alluring mix of low and high risk. To Melrose, I’m confident, I presented simply low risk.]
So I texted Melrose my URL, the hour dragged on (I think the “madam” forgot about us, and it wasn’t until Melrose went to check on the timing – to both of our relief – that our time together – nice enough, but growing more and more perfunctory with each passing minute – came to a close), and we wrapped things up. I handed all the grifters* their requisite tips. Tips that feel more like extortion than like tips, as they’re provided on demand to people who’ve pushed goods and services I didn’t want, but was required, or “required” to accept. And for the second time that evening, I exited the strip club to the street, this time, alone.
The next morning, at 9:50 a.m. (I had texted her at 12:54 a.m.), Melrose texted: “So good to meet you, Nick. [heart emoji] can’t wait to check out your blog [star emoji] [halo smiley face emoji].”
I responded, “Same here. I hope you enjoy. And if you ever want to lick Charlotte’s pussy, I can imagine she might love that. [winking smiley face]”
My layers of qualification – “can” “imagine” “might” – were overdetermined by tentativity. There was my uncertainty that Charlotte would love that (her jealousy the evening before, and her drunkenness, left me at that moment, at least, unsure about where Charlotte stood on other women and me generally, and on Melrose, in particular). There was my uncertainty that I would love that: I don’t know how much of my limp-dicked-ness was a function of the circumstances and how much was Melrose-specific, but I was fairly certain that Melrose wasn’t particularly interested in occupying the more submissive role that, for me, is something like a sine qua non at this point for my sexual partners. And, there was a performativity to what I wrote: the circumstances demanded some sort of expression of… appreciation? desire? and that was what I felt safe expressing. I suppose I might equally truthfully have written, “And if you ever want to give me complete dominion over your pretty body and self for a stretch of time, I can imagine we both might love that.” But I knew in my bones that Melrose wouldn’t have been interested. And I knew in my bones that I wouldn’t have been interested in anything less.
So that’s what I wrote. And I wasn’t at all surprised to get the barn-door-closing “Haha, well I hope to see you both again [heart emoji]” response. Reaffirming the nature (commercial) of our relationship, and its specificity: I took it as, “Come up and see me sometime [in the club, where you can pay me more].” Maybe that’s right. Maybe it’s wrong. I’m pretty sure it’s right.
In any event, that was the end of our exchange, for a week. But after a week, I posted this, and two days later, my phone vibrated with a text from Melrose: “Love the shoutout to me in ur blog. [winking smiley face]”
Unable to stop myself, I wrote back: “Reading because you’re looking for yourself? 😉 What do you think of the Riley Reid comparison? And…. Bonus points if you send me one or more photos of your choice – either of you or anyone else, but, if of you, taken especially for this purpose please – for my post yet to come about my time with you…. (Which I’ll happily show you before posting if you like.)”
She sent a lengthy response that I won’t reproduce here, except to say that she once again tried to lure me back into the club, demurring on sending a photo but dangling the possibility of allowing me to take one there, and offering the “fun fact” that when she had started stripping, at 19, her first “stripper name” had been Riley.
Chances are, I’ll never see Melrose again. Chances are, she’d never submit to me in the ways I crave, even if I did. And, chances are, she and Charlotte wouldn’t have the sexual chemistry I fantasize they might.
I’m writing this nearly a month later, and all of it is hazy, cloudy, dream-like in my mind. But Melrose is hot. And I’m sorry that she declined to offer a single picture. Because I would have loved to be able to share her with you.
* It’s not fair of me to call these people grifters. They’re not. They’re waiters, bartenders, hostesses, etc., but they’re cast in the role of grifters, pressuring the likes of me to feel obligated to tip lavishly, to feel guilty, to feel shame, to feel… small… if we don’t. And if that’s the role they have been assigned to perform, they perform it convincingly, and I believe, in the moment, that they are grifters.