In an estrogen-rich room, I am full of testosterone. I want to ace this course. I want to prove my sexual prowess, assert my feminine power. However, I soon learn that lap dancing and pole dancing are more about mastering technique than shedding inhibitions. But our teacher, a tall svelte blonde named Kindra Knoll (featured on E! as one of the Top 12 people with the sexiest Vegas jobs), is encouraging. She claims that, although she enjoyed being a “dancer” for many years, she finds teaching Stripper 101 much more fulfilling, because she gets to empower ordinary women by unleashing each one’s dormant sex animal.
All of us are ready. After the requisite blushing and giggling, we begin to really work the imaginary men seated in our empty chairs. After a few songs, we’ve learned to remove our shirts and shorts with grace and flair. Yes, we’re all standing there, strangers, in our underwear. I’m feeling pretty damn empowered. Kindra is a master at the tease: She shakes her finger in her invisible man’s face: “No, no, no, Princess doesn’t want to be licked.” I can visualize him there, sweating, his hands tied behind his back with her G-string, his pants about to burst. We move onto the poles. I spin around and around, determined to dominate the stick. I get pretty good at the basic squat spin and fireman spin, but sadly, Kindra doesn’t think I’m ready to learn the upside-down split-leg spin. Maybe next time. I come up with my stage name, Carmella, and I start to think that stripping could be my true calling. But as the thigh bruises fade, so does the dream, and I resign myself to my 9-to-5 desk job. I guess I just don’t have the balls.