PCP and Pole Dancing: A Portland Evening

The Portland Cello Project had a free concert tonight at the John Ross building. The small crowd in the small space had sold out in 4 hours.
While I was there, I got a message from Jen. She invited me to the Lucky Devil Lounge. Her classmates were giving pole dancing recitals. After the PCP concert, I headed to the east side of the Ross Island Bridge and saw the red sign. It looked like what it was: a strip club. The parking lot was full so I had to drive into the industrial area to park, adding to the experience. I parked next to a dairy, fully aware of the irony.
Today a friend send me an email with a quote from a play that focused on being “Gay-Ready,” ready to undergo the scrutiny of gay taste at any moment. No ‘just running to the store.’ Gay-Ready means put together at all times. As I was driving to the Lucky Devil, it occurred to me that I had a gay-ready shirt on. In fact, it’s an out-and out gay shirt. Luckily, I had a fairly plain t-shirt on and my jacket was invisible. As I thought about getting “Straight-Ready,” it occurred to me that I might have a baseball cap in the car. I did. Perfect.
Being straight-ready means blending in, thus eluding the scrutiny of straight people.
Without gay shame or self-judgment about wearing a hat indoors, I went in the club and quickly found Jen. A recital means the women’s bits are covered. It’s more about technique, which involves being sexy and/or slutty, demonstrating flexibility, clonking tall plastic shoes together, flinging hair, and using upper body strength to keep one’s self from falling. (It could be argued that flinging hair and clonking shoes is sexy and/or slutty, and therefore redundant.)
During recitals clothes can come off, but the bits stay covered. Recital night has a crowd wild with other female classmates and teachers screaming and throwing money. Boyfriends and other guys rounded out the crowd. Lucky Devil Lounge was out of tri-tip, the only thing on the menu that looked appealing. The whole thing is so weird.

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