January 8, 2019: Mandika

“Mandika” by O’Connor, Sinead from The Lion and the Cobra

Listen to it here

Jan 8 Mandinka.jpg

ANGELA paces nervously for a little while before speaking. You can see she is revving up to do so, to get out what she has to say.


It all started with a trip to the strip club on Seventh and Vine.

I know, I know. How many stories of nights gone wrong start that way, right? Well, if I can’t escape the cliché, may as well embrace it.

It was Amateur Night. That’s why we went. I mean, how else does one expect a 26-year-old woman to celebrate being in the best shape of her life.

To be clear, I am the woman in question. I was, and am, in very good shape. I mention this not to brag—although, hey, not opposed to that—but to make it clear my state of mind. I grew up feeling…unattractive. So this was the first time I had ever felt really truly hot.

Now my friends encouraged me, but I can’t blame them. Really, the only person I can blame is 13-year-old me.

See 13-year-old me was, well, no other way to put it. She was horny. And she had insomnia. And her parents had premium cable. So she, I, watched a lot of late night/early morning softcore. And there was this one series with this dancer. She just seemed like she was having so much fun. So even though I knew I shouldn’t I kind of started to think being a stripper would be a cool job.

Some girls saw Pretty Woman and grew up wanting to be a hooker with a heart of gold. I saw Skinemax and grew up wanting to be stripper who had sex with lots of her friends. We all have dreams.

So anyway, Amateur Night.

I want to stress that I was not drunk. I did not even touch a drop. I don’t wear heels much so I did not want to complicate things with trying to dance in them while legally over the limit. So I know you want to blame it on the booze. Hell, I wish I could. But I was as sober as…someone very sober.

The problem was—and this first problem was entirely predictable—I don’t know how to dance. I’ve NEVER been a good dancer. In high school and college, I was a skilled dry humper and that was enough to get by in the middle of a dark room surrounded by teens just as horned up as you. But dancing? Oh goodness no.

The thing is, when I thought about stripping, the dancing part never really occurred to me. I know they are literally referred to as dancers, but…I don’t know. I had always concentrated more on the being naked and lusted over and less on the getting naked and matching the beat. It turns out without the latter, getting to the former becomes a lot more difficult.

The second problem was attire. Wearing sexy clothes is all well and good, but the kind of sexy clothes you are wearing make a difference. Yes, my coral microdress was so tight it looked like I was poured into it. And yes, they don’t make a bra on this planet capable of concealing how hard my nipples were when I took the stage. However, it is not an easy garment to take off in a sexy way. It has a zipper up the back that is trying in my bedroom nevermind on stage while I trying to swivel my hips and drop my body.

The other thing is, once the dress was off, I had like two other pieces of clothes to lose, my bra and my underwear. Even with the awkwardness of getting the dress off, I was still looking at about 38 seconds before I was completely naked.

A good dancer in provocative clothing who gets fully naked just as her song ends is incredibly sexy. A bad dancer in sexy clothes that were not made to be shimmied out of in front of an audience who gets naked with about two minutes left in song and tries to improvise her way to the end of the thing? That quickly stops being hot, becomes parody and then, probably after about a minute, kind of losing any interest, artistic, humorous, lusty, or otherwise.

Then there was the real cherry on top. I have about 40 seconds left, I’ve taken to shaking my 34 A breasts at the audience, a maneuver that achieve no actual shaking as my breasts are size 34 A, as noted, when in walks in Clark. Clark is my work crush. My friend, who was drinking by the way, text him and encouraged him to come. He eventually agreed and arrived just in time to see his entirely naked coworker attempt to shake her small breasts and shout “If my showing you these, how about you show me the money.”

Not my strongest moment. Even if I hadn’t been paraphrasing Jerry Maguire, it was not a great way to introduce him to my nude body.

Clark being both decent and of sound mind, disappeared shortly thereafter, without explanation. While I do not wish him ill, if he perhaps was abducted by aliens on the way home from the bar that night, I would feel… ok about it. Not great. Not proud of how I felt, but still, yeah, ok.

On top of everything, I did not even place in the contest. That awkward “dancing” and all I got for it was the suggestion that, perhaps, I not attend next month’s contest.

But I’ll show them. I am working on a killer routine to a Sinead O’Connor song as we speak. Next time, there’s no way I’m not winning.