Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Profile of a Peepshow

I've realized, dear readers, that I have relayed so many snippets about my life at the Lusty Lady peepshow without explaining what the Lusty Lady is.

For first time customers the Lusty Lady peepshow can be an intimidating and confusing place. One walks into the entrance to find a soda machine and a massive amount of porn DVDs on the left, a huge desk with a scruffy looking Support Staff member ready to make change but usually not conversation on the right, dingy patterned carpet below them, and a mirrored and red draped hallway leading to the insides. Behind blue doors sit ancient video machines that play a wide selection of porn (and sometimes cartoons for men who just want to be distracted, not turned on). In the halls one can hear a cacophony of moaning and slapping from them and often squealing and giggling from behind the red doors of the main stage.

Half oval shaped, mirrored, and red carpeted, the main stage is encircled by twelve dark booths, ten for single occupancy that reveal nothing but the head and shoulders of the patron and sits about waist high on the dancer and two "couples booths" located at the front corners of the stage equipped with a bench seat and a much larger window. In these booths couples are strongly encouraged, often harassed into by the dancers, playing and fucking, quite the treat for the overwhelmingly bi-curious majority dancer population. More often than not though the occupants of these booths are exhibitionist men who enjoy having the performer react and perform for their whole selves.

When I first started working at the Lusty I was most certainly shocked at being able to see the patrons puffing and shaking as they pleasured themselves to my image. Although my boyfriend and I had been to the Lusty as consumers before I had no idea how well the dancers could actually see into the tiny dark booths or how little they could hear of us inside. Now naked on the other side of the glass I can appreciate the experience from both sides: anonymity vs. total exposure, entrapment vs. freedom, voyeur vs. exhibitionist.

For $1 the shade will lift revealing three fully nude women of various ages, shapes, ethnicity, and accessories while a variety of semi-loud music ranging from rap to bluegrass, from Guns n Roses to Elvis plays in the background. Being a co-op where the wages are level and competition and hustling is unnecessary the feel of the show is general sensuous, fun, and relaxed. Patrons are free to change booths to find the dancer that appeals most to their fantasies, in most cases a move that isn't critical of the dancer they are leaving. Dancers receiving positive feedback from specific customer may offer their name and the next time they are in Private Pleasures, but no real push is ever dished. Patrons are also lucky to witness sincere positive interactions between the dancers themselves, true friendships, sexual flirtations, and story swapping.

Across the hall, away from the hubbub of the lobby and near the double-doored restrooms, is the Private Pleasures booth, a small one-on-one fantasy talk booth where customers can get more personal attention. Inside shows start at $20 and can range from simple spread, masturbation, and toy shows to humiliation, sub, ass worship, or practically anything else they can imagine. Essentially, the more explicit the show the more expensive it is. For some performers the proximity can be overwhelming and undesirable, but the prospect of getting a higher hourly wage and a percentage of the earnings keeps them from turning the shifts away. Others, myself included, generally enjoy the unique experience and the strange variety of customers and requests.

While there are always a few visitors that can't get past the funky smell (which cant be masked by fragrances because of sensitive-nosed employees) or the strange smears, the Lusty lady is the perfect place for safe sexual exploration. With encouraging staff and a balance between privacy and exposure, the peepshow can be a place of refuge for some and exhilaration for others. Some patrons will only stop in one once on a pit stop in their travels, others are marathon men, returning day after day or weekly as part of routine. No matter what the kink, gender, orientation, fantasy, or frequency of the customer, the Lusty Ladies never turn them away.

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