Editorials on the Performers past and present
Our eyes meet across the dance floor, and he makes his way to my table, his gaze never leaving mine, his stride unbroken, his face a picture of desire. He comes to a halt tantalisingly close, I can feel the heat from his body and smell his aftershave. He raises one hand and traces the outline of my cheek millimetres away from my skin. Everything about him – the way he moves to the music, the barely parted lips, and oh those piercing, unblinking, blue eyes, make me feel as if I’m the only woman in the club – no the world. The song ends, he takes the fake $10 bill from my table and walks off, his oiled, naked torso glistening under multicoloured disco lights, without giving me so much as a backward glance.
Reader, I’ve just been lapdanced. I’m one of the very first to experience Lap Attack!, the first for-women table dancing club night in the world. Lap Attack! Takes place at Caesar’s nightclub in Streatham, south London, and its strictly ladies only. The dancers are a bit like a stripping version of the Spice Girls. There’s something for everyone. That’s Sporty Lap, practicing his naked backflips in the corner, while Baby Lap is the cute, blue eyed blond trying on a fireman’s uniform. The strong silent type in the tux is Posh Lap, and the man whose face is obscured by a Scream-style horror mask can only be Scary Lap. (Funnily enough, there’s no Ginger Lap). Before I’m allowed to sample the merchandise, I need some cash. Lap Attack! Dancers are paid in US dollars, available on the door. £15 buys you $20, and there’s no tucking the money into his thong because a) he wont be wearing it by the time he’s finished, and b) there is a strict no touching rule. I sit on my hands in case I’m tempted to run them all over Scary Lap. He whips off his cape and mask to reveal a grinning face and a stocky body encased in a pair of buttock revealing leather trousers. When I say buttock revealing, I don’t mean workman-style, but they have actual holes cut where the pockets should be. Although, given what I’ve seen tonight I wouldn’t be surprised if a man in a hard hat and a lumber-jacket shirt performed an x-rated version of Bob The Builder. Knob The Builder, perhaps?
As he gyrates inches away from my face to the Prodigy’s Firestarter,
I wish I wasn’t sitting on my hands. Not because I want to touch him, but to hide behind them. I’m laughing, but it’s a nervous giggle and I stare at the floor, wishing I’d had a couple more Babychams. When I raise my eyes, I see Scary Lap, totally naked groin liberally covered in baby lotion.
In real life, Scary Lap is Tristan Tristar a 28-year-old from Brighton. I interview him as he’s towelling baby lotion from his torso. I’ve never interviewed a naked man before and it takes a lot of effort to look him in the eye. Is this how men with our cleavages? “I’m actually an Equity member and I’ve been performing for 10years, but this pays the bills,” he explains. “I’ve mixed my own CD to dance to. A lot of thought goes into my routine. You ask my girlfriend, she’s bored of me practising me practising my routines in front of her.” Doesn’t she mind you getting naked and dancing in front of hundreds of women? “Nah, she understands, she knows the score. Its her I go home to at the end of the day.”
The Lap Attack! Organisers seem confident women will obey the no-toughing rule, which strikes me as naïve. Have they never seen a hen night? Everyone knows a gang of women + alcohol + Vaguely attractive male = at least one attempt to pinch his bottom/rip his shirt/grope his willy. We’ll treat a sexy man offering himself as totty as a sex object, but only in the same way we find if funny to turn on a vibrator and watch it travel across a desk (or does that only happen in the Cosmo office?) – because it makes us laugh.
Lap Attack! girls drink their own body volume in vodka cranberry and scream with laughter, clutching each other so hard their acrylic nails leave little dents in their friends’ arms. They’re not here to fall in love for three-minute pop song, but because naked men doing anything other than making love to you, are funny.