Do the Hustle!
Women of the Hustler Club
discuss men and relationships.
A Barely Legal Special Feature Joint Article
by Brian Weaver and Phil Ramirez
The infamous Hustler Club in the North Beach district of San Francisco offers
$2 drinks on Tuesdays. It's one of the best topless bars in the Bay Area.
So, for a $15 entrance fee, you can get very wasted and feel a little bit like
James Bond for an evening. The ladies there are particularly good looking; even
the ugliest of the lot could win beauty contests. And most of them seemed
exceptionally intelligent and articulate (e.g. "You boys ready to Fiesta?").
We interviewed five women: four of the dancers and one bartender who were kind
enough to share a few minutes of their evening with us and answer our questions
about if and how the sex industry influenced their views of men and relationships.
So, follow us down the stairs, where the INXS song "New Sensation," never gets old,
and meet the ladies...
Tonight we have...
Length of time working in this industry: A year
If you were a love song, then who would sing you? Prince
Length of time working in this industry: I just started -- it's been about a year.
If you were a love song, then who would sing you? Bryan Adams -- his voice is perfect for love songs...No, wait! The Righteous Brothers! I like their love songs. Either one of them.
Age: I tell people 25 but I'm really 27. I guess it's not that big of a difference. Who cares anyway?
Occupation: Dancer, but I'm going to write a book about my life.
Length of time working in this industry: One year now! I started late. But better late than never.
If you were a love song, then who would sing you? Marc Anthony -- his voice is so romantic.
Length of time working in this industry: Four years now.
If you were a love song, then who would sing you? Marvin Gaye...because he has a voice like butter.
Age: None of your business
Length of time working in this industry: About a year and a half now, here.
If you were a love song, then who would sing you? Barry Manilow. And? What? What's wrong with Barry Manilow?
"Has your view of men and relationships changed since you started working in this industry? If so, how?"
Jasmine: "No. Not really.(vacant stare…) Bye."
Victoria: "Well, I lost my boyfriend because of it, so this scene definitely affected my relationship. Let's see, um, my view of men... yes, it did change. After I dance I don't want to be around men for a couple of days. Because I just feel (wipes invisible dirt off of her arms and then hugs herself) I don't know ...like, I don't want to be touched or grabbed. (then squeezes my leg and leaves hand on my thigh.) You know. (rubs my leg gently, while hips slowly gyrate on the side of Brian's leg, as she thinks with a smile...) Do I see them differently? Yes. Now I know the sincerity of a man. I mean, I can tell, when I'm not at work, whether a man is interested in me or just wants to get something. I'm more focused on that since I've started working here. That's how my view of men has changed."
Phoenix: "This is one of the few industries where women have a powerful position. So, if you don't take things personally and respect yourself then you can survive this scene. And not only that but you can really learn something as opposed to being a victim to all this (waves hand around the room). It's a very powerful position when you realize it. I've learned a lot from doing it. How it's not about looks -- it's about what's up here (touches forehead). You have got to be confident. You come at them with an attitude, thinking 'You want this!?' That makes all the difference, really. But my view of men hasn't really changed that much. This is all just entertainment, really...it's not real. It's a business, and you look at it that way. And it's empowering to know the power women have... the power of desire. You know? I want to make a book -- I think it would sell."
Tara: "Yes, my view of men has really changed since I started over three years ago. It's a constant challenge to not hate men when I leave this place. Even with gay guys, if they're talking to me, then I think, 'They just want to fuck me' (crosses her arms and frowns, haughty posture). So it's a constant challenge to not see all men like the men that come here. Because the men that come here, for the most part, have serious issues with women. In other words, they have unhealthy views of women, and this is where they go because they can't have any real relationships. And those guys that have the most serious issues are the guys that pay the most money. So we have to find them and then that's kind of weird. We (the dancers) have to rent the time here because we're independent contractors, and I've made as little as $40, which sucked, but then I've also left here with four grand on some nights. There's lots of drugs, too (puts finger to nose and taps it twice.) I don't do them anymore unless I'm in one of the private rooms, and then I'll only do just a little, and that's only because they're paying me $500 an hour. You start to see men as turkeys here. You have to go around fairly quickly because it's a numbers game. For every ten guys you approach for a lap dance one will say yes, so you can't spend too much time talking with one of them. It's all about timing (snaps fingers twice). So, I'm going to go now – I'll come back later."
Lonnie: "To begin with, a lot of these girls already have issues with men before they even get here. They're view of men is twisted by some thing in the past. So they hustle...they don't call this place the Hustler for nothing. For the most part they're good girls, they just get stuck and stop striving to do other things. I've known a few of us bartenders who have gone over to the dark side (referring to the dancers,) and most of them are still all right, but I've seen girls spiral down with the drugs and money -- yeah, lots dropped off on something and I've never seen them again. It's really kind of sad. Me? Guys try to hit on me here and I tell them, 'What makes you think I'd go out with a guy that'd come to the Hustler Club? Are you crazy?'"
missalette #18 home page
missalette home page