My initial reaction to finding myself at the Colombian version of the famous Red Light District was shock, quickly followed by fear at what my parents would say if they knew where I was.
Then, I felt a sense of awe that this lifestyle existed; it looked so different from what I had seen on T.V. There were strip clubs everywhere with neon lights flashing, luring men and women of all ages and backgrounds. On our way to the first strip club, my Colombian tour guides and I were heckled by scantily clad women, who were wondering if we wanted to taste them.
Strip Club Número Uno had no cover charge and looked downright derelict to me. I was pretty sure that a sign that read, “ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK” would greet us at the door. But, there was only the perverted door man with the beady eyes.
Inside, the club was fit to burst with male construction workers. They seemed to have just finished a ten days, were starved sexually at home, and were content to stare avidly at vaginas.
Suddenly, a dancer jumped unto the bar, and I must say that she was quite lean and good-looking, although she had some suspicious red marks on her inner thigh. For some reason, her marks made me think of the door man...
She started to do her little dance routine, which involved splits, head twirls, pole dancing, gyrating, hair flipping, breast licking, stripping, and pushing her hairless vagina in the overjoyed faces of the patrons. Her signature move was one where she lay on her side, one leg going up to her head- think an open pencil compass from a Geometry Set- and shook her little money-maker for all it was worth.
Her little routine was undoubtedly fascinating, but the fact that it was danced to the ultimate break-up song, ‘Don’t Speak’ by No Doubt, left me unsettled and confused. The others probably felt the same because we left soon afterwards.
Strip Club Número Dos had a little more class. It must have been home to business types, judging by the Mercedes Benzes in the parking lot and flashiness of the lights. There was a runway-like structure in the middle of the club, where the women would dance and entice the men. The women there were either asserting their dominance over men or desperate for a little cash. They brazenly squeaked my butt, brushed my nose, pinched my cheeks or winked at me from afar. One of them boldly latched onto my friend’s wrist, and stated, “Let's go now! $20,000 pesos for half an hour, anything you want!” She stormed off in a rage when he politely declined her offer. Ha!
We were treated to one of the night’s entertainment segments, Culo A Cara. Basically, the men paid $5000 pesos for the pleasure of having a girl's surgically- enhanced buttocks in their faces. There was something disturbingly funny about seeing grown men, my father's age, acting like Neanderthals. They were basically getting off on having their faces planted in a butt crack. I imagined all the things that could possibly go wrong, like an accidental fart. The poor girls probably had spit-stained thongs by the end of the night. It was too much, and I was elated when my guides announced that it was time to go.
I acknowledged a strange sense of pride when I lay in bed that night. I had just passed some male rite of passage, right? I chuckled to myself at the thought.
Until the next post.