What Your Mama Gave You

5th August 2004

For years, I’ve yearned to be a go-go dancer. I thought it would be like stepping into a ’60s musical: mod mini-dress, tall white boots, an arsenal of kittenish glances. I imagined Ann-Margaret and Elvis palpitating in the foreground, me and five other girls rocking the bars of our cages in the back. We would shake it, pause for the briefest dramatic moment, and then shake it once more.

MTV squelched that dream.

The Rock the Vote party was empty at the street-level door, so we headed up a narrow flight of stairs, following the sound of a live band. Behind the band was a large sign with hot pink and orange lettering that read, “FRICKIN’ A!” In front of the band? Real, live go-go dancers.

My eyes opened wide, my eyebrows drew together. Where were the boots? Where was the fringe and the big hair? Why were they licking their lips like that?

The dancers were grinding in hot-pink bras and panties. They weren’t particularly good dancers, just… explicit. Forget the kittenish glances friends, these faces said much more than “come hither.” The crowd was slack-jawed, utterly still, and entirely male. They weren’t watching the band.

It was then I realized what go-go dancers have become: strippers who don’t take their clothes off. And that, my friends, makes for some lame-ass strippers.