The Monthly : 2018-12-01

FRONT PAGE : 62 : 62

FRONT PAGE

60 vox I am experience­d, adaptable, and will be a valuable addition to your workplace. I chucked it in the bin. Starting out, I was clumsy. “I don’t know what to do,” I said, wincing. Ruby, my “trainer”, was probably close to 30 and thin, with small breasts and wide hips that drew figure eights when she walked. “Just do what you do in a nightclub, but slower. Or do you have a boyfriend?” “Not anymore.” “Well. Just do what you used to do for him.” Neither suggestion helped. “I’ll show you.” She took my arms, and in one swift movement had me sitting, back against a sticky leather couch, arms firmly by my sides. “Tell them straight up that it’s no touching – on the third strike, get security. They have to pay you first. That’s important.” She squatted before me and spread my legs. “Say something sexy, though, like ‘Show me the money and I’ll show you the honey.’” I laughed, but she was serious. Her movements became snake-like, her face coquettish: eyes half-closed; wet lips curling, parting and closing. She traced acrylic fingertips up my thighs, in my hair and across my waist, maintainin­g fierce eye contact. Then she turned around, bent over and pulled down her lace thong. Had I been a customer, I’d have reached, brain dead, for my wallet and handed it over at once. In what I thought of as the “locker room”, because it felt so much like high school, Ruby introduced me to Jade, one of the club’s prized showgirls, whose reputation as a Miss Nude World finalist preceded her. She greeted me unsmilingl­y. When she left, Ruby gave it to me straight. “You have to understand, there’s a hierarchy here. Don’t expect the girls to welcome you with open arms. Be nice, but don’t be too eager – it’ll look like you’re sucking up. Lots of girls come and go, so people don’t get attached. Got it?” She gave me a brisk pat on the shoulder. I wanted to seize her arm and ask her to stay with me, but she’d glided off on 8-inch plastic pumps. “Your first table’s in half an hour – don’t be late, or it’s a $50 fine.” On the stage, which I couldn’t help notice was shaped like a giant cock, I clung to the pole for dear life in my 6-inch heels (the lowest ones you can get). But I learnt to copy the dancing pretty quickly. It was a basic cycle of walking around the pole, touching your boobs, squatting down, touching your butt, gyrating your hips, flicking hair, touching your boobs again. All while wearing a facial expression that suggests you might come at any moment. by Lola Button Skin in the game My legs, arms and armpits. “Everything,” Jacinta had said. I cover myself neck down in an expensive, gritty lotion and buff my skin pink. Dry off. Next, fake tan, fake fingernail­s. I paint my toes and singe my hair into a sleek curtain. Over round eyes and pale lashes, I paint heavy, angular shapes. I throw on trackies and a loose shirt and grab the keys to my tired Subaru. I shave my vagina. end of King Street is fronted with shadowy brick, the entrance like the mouth of a cave. Behind the heavy doors there are already a few girls on the floor and a cluster of men at the bar, biding their time. Petite bartenders wear tiny skirts that bounce gaily on their arse cheeks as they carry stacks of plastic cups. Can’t have shards of glass beneath people’s heels. And knees. The men look at me as I pass in a hurry; I’m not protected yet by my persona, “Roxy”. I’m pleased to see Robyn in the locker room. It’s “Miami Night”, which calls for bright colours, and she’s wearing a lurid pink bra and a thong that vanishes into her crack. “Hey, rookie.” She winks at me and waggles her hips. Her bum moves independen­tly above excessivel­y tattooed legs. I pay my club fee of $60 cash to the House Mum and sign in before getting changed into a tiny sequined bikini. The MC crashes in while I’m half dressed. He’s a very large bald man with a smile like Buddha. “Roxy.” He presses his fingers together and feigns praying to me. “Would you stay on stage two, three minutes longer tonight? Sienna’s show might run a bit late.” I agree automatica­lly. “You know, you don’t have to say yes to that,” Sienna says quietly as he leaves. I shrug. “It’s only three minutes.” “It’s not that. Don’t let him take advantage of you, ’cos he will.” The club at the bottom I’d looked up and down the road before going inside. Jacinta, the rostering manager, swallowed a laugh when I tried to hand her my résumé at the interview. “Don’t need that, honey.” She asked me to take off my clothes instead. who scanned you from the toenails up and looked you dead in the eye with a predatory glint. They made me feel truly stripped. The braver girls homed in on these desperate characters; they were the ones who’d pay to have you for hours for a private On my first night, There were guys the monthly — vox

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