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Experimentation. You've heard me say it before, and I'll say it again: It is vital to any relationship. It allows for change and growth and gives you new perspectives on yourself and your partner. Whether it's your favorite porno or inviting a third person to join in, experimenting is a great learning experience that is fun too. However, this writeup isn't going to be about sex toys and my favorite positions from the Kama Sutra. What do poles, mirrors and a bunch of voyeurs remind you of? It's certainly not church.

Still guessing?

Well, my friends, I'm talking about strip clubs – "gentleman's clubs" if you prefer. Ah yes ... one of the many illegitimate children of society – or so they say. Well I'm here not only to defend such havens of entertainment, but also to suggest them as a form of experimentation. To eliminate any confusion, let me begin by stating the difference between a male and a female strip club: males perform at male strip clubs, while females perform at female strip clubs. There is about a one-to-50 ratio of male to female strip clubs out there. For any of you who have made the effort to look, you know the dilemma. It's of no importance though because I don't consider male stripping nearly as erotic as female stripping.

Think about it. What would you do if a half-naked man put his shaft of love right up in your face and started shaking it wildly? Trust me, there's nothing sexual about it. Now the female body is definitely beautiful to all and therefore pleasing to watch. Many of you men out there may already know what I'm talking about. After all, you dominate the female strip club scene. Now ladies, isn't it high time you, too, realized what strip clubs have to offer? It's really simple. Gather a bunch of friends (or your partner if you dare to be so bold) and head over to your local strip club.

You might be asking yourself what it is I'm getting at. In fact, I can hear many of you thinking, "Ammonia Pine 4 Me, why do you want us to go to a female strip club?" Well, it's simple. Growing up, we're all taught to like members of the opposite sex and that same-sex relationships should never exceed friendship. Society is not a big fan of change or variety and so, from a young age, all girls are taught to look for Prince Charming. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if most girls do seek him out and are now happy as a result. But prior to making such a commitment, there's plenty of room for these girls to try new things.

How many of you ladies have ever felt something more than friendship for another female? You don't have to be shy when answering this. Just remember it's between you and me. I bet you've even fantasized about being intimate with another female at some point in your life. Of course, the thought left as quickly as it came because you were told that such a way of life isn't normal or accepted.

A lot of women have found themselves pondering bisexual thoughts. There is nothing wrong with this – and I'm certain it's natural. My advice? Don't knock it until you try it. Strip clubs are a wonderful preliminary step in pursuing such a fantasy. It is a wonderful way to explore your feelings and gain a new perspective on your experimental capacity. Of course, the answer to your sexual preference is not the only thing you could gain from such an adventure. Seeing something new also serves to enhance the imagination. And remember: when used to its fullest capacity, imagination makes your sex life that much better.

Not only does imagination make sex better, but good sex is heavily reliant on it. The more erotic your fantasy, the more fulfilling your sexual escapades. Your experiences at a strip club can certainly help build your imagination. If it's something you have never experienced before, then there will be a definite improvement in your thought process during life's most intimate moments.

Even if you don't begin to explore different aspects of your sexuality or throw a girl or two into that head of yours, you can still gain new perspectives at a strip club. For example, if your partner really likes what he or she sees at such a club, you might want to invest a little time in learning the ropes. Granted, it might take you a while to learn how to walk in Stiletto heels, but it could be well worth the practice. Buy some sexy lingerie, put on some music and see what you can do.

Strip clubs may not be for all, but I still recommend trying them out just to be sure. After all, how else are you supposed to know your preferences in life? The more you try, the more you will know, and the greater your experience will be. With every new excursion comes newfound experience and ultimately wisdom.

As for me? I'm getting my very own pole installed at home today.

My best friend from elementary school had (and has) a pretty darn spectacular mezzo soprano voice, one good enough to get her into the local visual and performing arts high school and city-wide children and youth chorales. Upon starting university in another province, she acquired a taste for karaoke and found herself invited to compete in her favourite haunt's competition. Each establishment sent two performers on to the regional finals and then to the final finals in another part of the country.

I was visiting her after we'd finished our respective first years of study in the spring of 2004 and as she was preparing for said competition. She, wanting to be at her best for the first stage (incidentally occurring during my visit), dragged me to an assortment of other karaoke bars so she could practice.

Early on during my stay, she announced she was bringing me to the establishment at which the karaoke DJ and host she'd befriended at her usual bar were working that particular night. We, along with another friend of hers who was also competing, were on our way to this place when we ran into some of their other friends. They chatted for a bit, and she told them where we were headed.

"Uh," one of the guys said, shifting his glance to the other males in the group. "You know that's a strip club, right?" Upon hearing this, I glared at her , who was either oblivious or really good at ignoring me.

"Really?" she asked, surprisingly unconcerned about the fact that she'd just learned the place she was supposed to go sing was, in fact, a strip club.

"Well," one of the other guys said. "It's actually only a strip club on Wednesday nights." This particular night being Sunday, the three of us seemed moderately satisfied that she and her friend would not be encouraged to provide lap dances while performing karaoke standards, got into Sandra's car and set off. We eventually found the place; I wasn't sure whether to be disturbed or relieved by the fact that the exterior resembled the community centre in which I used to attend Girl Guides meetings. 

The parking lot was not paved and one of Sandra's tires became stuck in a reasonably large rut. Our concerns about that didn't last long, however, as it was soon dislodged and we were heading towards the building when we noticed for the first time the large sign just above the door: "Live entertainment, Wednesday through Sunday." I don't remember which of us was the first to vocalize our concern that Sunday's live entertainment was the same as Wednesday's, but we were almost certainly all thinking it. And yet, for some reason, we went inside anyway.

The outer door gave way to a small corridor area, replete with wood paneling and a conspicuous sign informing us that we absolutely, positively must be of the legal drinking age in order to gain access. This was somewhat worrisome, as She and I were both 18 at the time. Sandra was older. No one was checking ID, so we walked in through the second door, single-file. She went first, then Sandra, then me.

"Oh God," I heard She say as she crossed the threshold. I could only see what was directly to my left (tables filled with locals and a sketchy-looking dance floor) and to my right (booths), as Sandra's head was blocking my view to the front. "There's a pole on the stage."

I wasn't sure what to think just then, though I do remember sincerely hoping that there was neither a woman nor a man in the process of disrobing at that moment because the accompanying music was a single-note rendition of "La Bamba," belted out by a middle aged man. There was, in fact, a single pole on the stage at the front of the room. The wall behind the stage was covered in floor-length mirrors.

Holy six-inch heels, Batman. This really was a strip club. More disturbingly, it appeared to be the lovechild of a strip club and your friendly neighbourhood bar and grill.

"Thank God," the DJ said when he saw She and Sandra approaching (with me, the non-singer, in tow). "You can save us from this trainwreck." They chatted for a few seconds and grabbed the binder with the lists of available songs before grabbing a booth at the far end of the bar, the closest booth to the door save one. We sat down and they chose their songs as I looked for something to distract myself with (ultimately settling on a nearby TV displaying Stanley Cup playoff results) and tried not to die. She and Sandra sang one song each; this is something of a blur. She was trying to figure out what to sing at the competition and sampled a wide variety, including Killing Me Softly and I Will Survive.

I don't really remember too much until the point when She was singing her second song, Sandra and I were sitting in the booth and the charming gentlemen who had since taken up residence in the booth directly behind ours rather loudly requested that She expose her mammary glands. Sandra was sitting across the table from me (and, thus, facing the other table) and responded with the coldest stare possible. It worked, and the individuals sitting behind us sheepishly went back to their drinks.

Upon getting back to the booth and being informed of this incident, She decided it would be a good idea to put her arm around me and pretend we were a couple. While I said nothing at the time, I was secretly more concerned that the drunken imbiciles at the next booth would consider this to be more of a turn-on than a turn-off. We were not asked to make out.

It was probably around this time that a man whom I'd presume to be a regular at this particular establishment took the stage. He was a small man; average height but with a small frame, large glasses and a handlebar moustache. I wasn't really paying attention to him until he heralded his first song with a smooth "And here's one for the ladies..." I suppose I was expecting something sleek and romantic, something actually befitting the introduction this apparently sober man had given it.

I was wrong. 

The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

I am sure that at that point, had I actually been consuming any liquids, they would have been expelled from my nasal cavity. She and Sandra looked at each other for a second, then burst out laughing, then stole off to square dance on the dance floor, leaving me alone in the booth with the excitable individuals behind me.

Throughout the evening, only one act made use of the pole on the stage; the karaoke host and a friend of his decided to put on the longest performance of Meatloaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Light I'd ever heard. It was so long, in fact, that said host appeared to get bored and started doing novice acrobatic tricks on the pole. 

I can't remember how long after that it was that we left, but we eventually did and a made a mental note not to go back to that place nor to recount the story to anyone.

We were at a houseparty later that week when She decided to recount the story to as many people as possible. I, meanwhile, sat on a couch in the corner and tried not to die. One of the guys there took a particular interest in it as he had strange memories of that particular establishment on a night when it was actually a strip club. Further to that, he was there during amateur night and wound up chatting up a young woman who was about to perform.

"Her stage name was Phoenix," he said, "and she was nervous, so I told her to just go out there and have fun, and that if she won she had to give me her phone number."

"What happened?" another guy asked.

"She won," the first guy said. "So she gave me her phone number." The second guy slapped him on the back playfully.

"So you went out on a date?"

"No, I didn't call her." An uncomfortable silence followed, and those who had been following the story glared at this guy as if to say "A woman actually gave you her phone number and you never used it?" He rolled his eyes. "Guys, the whole point was that I got a great story out of it," he said.

So did I. Have you ever heard The Devil Went Down to Georgia in a strip club?

Every single word of this is true. Really.

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