The Sunday Times column: My secret life in strip clubs — and why it’s time we all joined in the fun

I started going to strip clubs as a teenager and was seduced by them immediately because, like all my favourite things, going to them seemed like a naughty thing to do. But after a recent trip to Los Angeles, I’m feeling differently.

The first strip club I went to was in New Zealand, when I was 18, working in a male-dominated office. My boss organised the trip as a night out: to a place that looked like a Bavarian beer hall meets working men’s club. We sat at tables covered in PVC (always a bad sign), and ate dinner. Later, half-naked girls performed: stomping down the benches like they were on the catwalk.

Surprisingly, I found myself enjoying it. So this is what strippers looked like! And, contrary to what Andrea Dworkin had led me to believe, they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

The experience was exhilarating. I liked the sexual prowess of those female Amazonians. And because there were no women’s toilets at the venue, I liked the way I had to go backstage and use the dancers’ bathrooms, where they fussed around me, doing my make-up, then later waved at me from the stage.

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