This story is hardly pornographic. It describes my feelings aged 18, a virgin, on my first visit to a strip club in the North of England. Not simply a virgin, an only child, lacking sex education, I had no idea of the anatomy of the opposite gender to whom I was, nevertheless, strongly attracted. I consider that this first visit, unwittingly, had a long term influence on my attitudes to them and the way their sexuality gives them an enormous advantage their ability to manipulate men. As the final sentence shows, I consider they truly are the superior sex.
The Empress Theatre Club, in Stockport Cheshire, was built in what had earlier been a cinema albeit extensively modified. At one end was a stage, a slightly convex affair about a metre and half above the auditorium. The seating area consisted of tables and chairs and extended to a depth of some ten metres from the podium. That area also extended to both sides of the stage such that it was possible to be seated almost in line with the curved front. A curtain arrangement lay at the back of it and provided space for a small quartet. Overall the stage was spacious, well lit and afforded everyone in the audience an excellent view. It was in such surroundings that I had the first view, in my hitherto sheltered life, of a naked woman.
By the standards of today what took place was no big deal. These days I am apt to lament that striptease as skill has all but disappeared. However, it was in places like the Empress, given unlimited space to move, that the art of burlesque could be practised to its full effect and the lady who was going to
demonstrate that art, the subject of this article, was called Toni Collins.
Swaggering on to the stage, the pleated skirt of her blue and white checkered dress swung to and fro in synchronism with the movement of her hips. From my perspective a pair of long, stiletto, high-heeled shoes seemed to glide across the platform and out of which extended a pair of perfect legs visible as far as the knees. The dress was very feminine and fitted tightly around her curving waist before covering both bust and shoulders in a formal manner. Her thin. long neck lead to a head adorned with short, blond, almost crewcut hairstyle. Overall, the effect was very Dutch with only clogs needed to replace the authority of those stilettos.
Since that day I have contemplated many times the difference between strippers who can and cannot carry off a gig. I have concluded that, in essence, there are two ingredients. A lot depends on their face. Irrespective of their bodies, girls who engage eyeball contact, girls who pout, but above all girls who smile are the girls who succeed where others fail. The other ingredient is the need for the girl to keep moving and achieve a flow from one item to the next finally discarding the last in flurry. It was indeed this very essence which made Toni such a success that, nearly 50 years later I can still remember her. As she swaggered to and fro she smiled, she engaged, she pouted to such an extent that I could hardly believe that this elegant goddess was going to remove all her clothing right before my very eyes. I was totally fascinated by her from the very instant she waltzed into view.
As she strode confidently from one end of the stage to the other, I passed the a remark that her legs were lovely and brown only to be told fairly contemptuously by my accompanying friends that "it was because she was wearing stockings." Now if I have one fantasy to this day it is the sight of a woman in stockings and suspenders. Whereas I cannot say from where this comes, it has certainly been augmented by the manner in which strippers such as Toni removed those diaphanous integuments. I cannot explain why but, as far as I am concerned, the sight of a woman stretching out her legs and undoing her suspender is one of the most erotic sights known to man. However, before such action Toni had had to first slip out of the garment which bedecked her superlative shape. She achieved this feat by neatly unzipping the back and simply stepping out of the cotton attire as she swaggered on what had seemed an endless series of crossings of the podium. The manner in which this was achieved was such that the dress fell to the floor quite naturally revealing that, indeed, she was wearing the undergarments to which I have just referred.
I possess at home a wooden chair which is practically worthless. Nevertheless, I know it as a stripper's s chair simply because it is like the ones which were commonly in use on stage in the Empress. Its chief significance is a rather swept back which enabled the girls to stretch their legs out forward in the direction of the audience in order to unclip their suspenders. These days, for reasons unknown to me, strippers no longer do this lustful routine. However, in Toni's day it was de rigueur for striptease artists to remove their stockings in a little routine as follows. Tthe most common was what I call the throw back technique. This is achieved by the girl slowly rolling the stocking down her leg until the nylon surrounds only her foot. The top part of the stocking is then passed over the toes and stretched tight against an extended foot. Holding the elongated integument tight with one hand, she then runs her fingers back and forth along the nylon in a very suggestive manner before releasing the toe so that the stocking flows back over her shoulder. Another variation is to make the end of the stocking into a phallus and run the hands up and down it. When the stocking falls limp the girl exudes expressions of sadness and when erect, she exudes one of delight. It was, however, the first technique which Toni employed on the night in question.
Toni was by now, stilettoes restored, confidentially striding that stage to and fro with her lovely smile and opening and closing her mouth like a goldfish in a tank. Her underwear consisted of white knickers and a matching singlet which up to now had held her bosoms high and forward in an audacious manner. As the time had come for those bosoms to be confronted with gravity, she engaged herself in this task in a manner no less spiritedly than that to which she had applied herself so far. This was accomplished by facing the audience with upper torso outstretched and after several deliberate false starts allowed the unhooked singlet to fall off her breasts revealing to all the beauty of her womanhood. As this happened a cheer went up from the crowd of onlookers -Toni was turning them (and me)on.
It it difficult to remember exactly how I felt. That woman so close yet so distant, so naked yet so untouchable, so feminine yet so fickle. That I loved her, that I loved every inch of her, that I wanted to fondle those breasts, that I wanted to place my arms around her, all of these thought were rushing around my teenage brain. The fantasy grew and grew, yet there was more to come, for such had been my sheltered life that I was unaware of the existence or meaning of a G string. That such a garment even existed had never occurred to me. However, before I was able to appreciate its effect Toni would first have to remove her knickers. The detatchment thereof would require the further use of the chair in a series of actions as follows. With her back to the audience Toni pulled them down across her posterior prior to pirouetting round and sitting down on the seat. Then using her thumbs, on the inside of the elastic, the drawers were gently rolled down to her ankles by raising one leg at a time. Rising to her feet, she simply cast then away by a flick of one of her stiletto clad feet as if to suggest they were of absolutely no value. The outcome was a woman dressed only with a lonely little cover held only by two minute threads tightly pulled across the top of her hips and disappearing between the gap between her gyrating buttocks.
With a final flourish the g string was cast away. Thus was transformed from what had been an embodiment of feminine discretion to the quintessence of impropriety. The smile remained, as did the confident gliding movement across the stage of flaunting buttocks and breasts of this outrageous, sensual wench with whom there was absolutely nothing I would not have given at that moment for carnal knowledge. A strumpet, a stripper, an Amazon, a tillilation or a tart, in some ways she was all of that. For me she had suddenly become a microcosm of the very sexual ambivalence my culture to the extent that had I been able I would have married her there and then.