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Review: Sexxy (Las Vegas)

I’ve talked about strip clubs in Vegas, and the Magic Mike Live show. Our final bit of adult fun was to go see the Sexxy cabaret show. We also saw O at the Bellagio (such a unique show, even from the other Cirque du Soleil shows), went out to some truly amazing food (Bazaar Meat at SLS, can’t recommend highly enough), and went to a drag brunch at Señor Frog’s at Treasure Island (the VIP tickets come with an open bar).

Sexxy is at the Westgate Resort, a short cab ride from the Strip. It’s won a ton of awards, and best of all, it’s so affordable (by comparison). The room is small so it doesn’t really matter if you go general admission ($40) or VIP ($60).

Choreographed by Jennifer Romas, the numbers take you through a sensual set of burlesque numbers. Some of the more memorable included a cowgirl number choreographed to Pony by Ginuwine. (Damn you for getting that song stuck in my head again!), a pole number, and a water number with a tub.

It’s a topless show, so the girls strip down to just thongs. I found this far more sensual and sexual than Magic Mike, which overpromises and underdelivered–seriously, butt cheeks–you couldn’t even give us butt cheeks? Or maybe it’s just because I’m queer and women are really beautiful to look at, and burlesque numbers even more so, so there’s carnal appeal. Although I like dudes, too, and Magic Mike didn’t rev my motor in the same way.

I have to compare it to Magic Mike because the two shows were very similar in their marketing, and I saw them one night apart from each other. I think that there’s some amount of puritanism in creating a show of men for women–there’s still the assumption that we aren’t as visual or whatever, or that a six pack is enough. I think we women feed into that because there was LOTS of screaming women losing their minds over the men of Magic Mike (I think I’m probably an outlier). By comparison, it’s okay to sexualize women and to say that men are very visual and we should accept that as gospel. Both of these are cultural–we are taught to sexualize breasts in a very different way than we look at men’s chests. I certainly am the result of growing up in this culture–seeing breasts feels naughtier and sexier than seeing some dude’s chest.

The women are all accomplished dancers, and the choreography is tight. The only moments the show slows down are when a singer comes out and does some numbers, which I assume has more to do with the way things work in Vegas (there was one at the show we went to years ago, and one at Magic Mike, and this is a thing per my guidebook) and to provide a few moments for the dancers to change and grab a drink of water or what have you.

After the show the women will pose for (free) photos with the audience. This isn’t the best picture of me, but it’s my selfie with a few of the ladies.

I highly recommend Sexxy if you’re looking for a topless review. I know that Fantasy is the most booked on, and I can’t compare this to that show as I haven’t seen it, but I don’t feel like I missed out on anything by seeing Sexxy instead of Fantasy. The space is intimate, the dancers are talented and it was a fun evening. If you don’t mind the taxi ride (I think it was like 15 dollars each way from Bellagio?) you’ll appreciate this show.

Review: Magic Mike Las Vegas

There are many male reviews in Las Vegas–Thunder from Down Under, Chippendales, and Magic Mike among them. It looks like Magic Mike has some of the best reviews, so I bought a ticket. Ticket, singular, not tickets, plural, because the website said it was for women only. However, there were men at the show, so I could’ve brought my partner. I don’t know how strictly other shows police the “women only” policy, but next time I’d probably buy two tickets and assume I can bring him.

Magic Mike Las Vegas is, of course, capitalizing on the Magic Mike movie franchise. It brings together a diverse cast of male dancers (and two women) to perform twice a night (8 and 10:30) every Wednesday-Sunday. I want to take a moment and highlight that the cast is genuinely racially diverse, something that is extremely rare, which gives it bonus points in my book.

“Club Domina” is set up as a 360° stage with seats ringing it, and some balcony seating as well. There’s variation in what the seats actually look like–I was on a couch, others were at a traditional table and chairs, there were arm chairs–I just looked at Ticketmaster’s site and it looks like it’s hard to tell what sort of seat you’re signing up for, but I don’t think there are really “bad” seats.

In terms of dress, there were a lot of low cut tops and dressy clothes, but lots of jeans, too. I went for a little of both. Not shown–once I got to the show and saw the girls near me, I discreetly pulled my shirt down a bit more to display my cleavage better. Shown–I have resting bitch face.

I think I look damn cute
Prior to the start of the show waiters (mine was super hot–I was kind of hoping he was also a dancer) come around to take your order. Two small drinks cost more than one large drink, so they encourage you to buy the XXL drink for (assuming my somewhat fuzzy memory is correct) 28/30 USD (drinks are expensive in Vegas). I ordered an XXL amaretto sour (my drink of choice) and it was as big as my head.

Big as my head
The show starts with the dancers in costumes like Fireman, Cowboy, etc. I was kind of sad these didn’t make much of a re-appearance (one dance number at the end), but they were sexy. The frame of the show is that Mike (get it? get it?) needs to learn how to be a dancer, interspersed with other numbers. At various points, the guys came into the audience in various ways (entering via the big staircase, coming off the stage) and interacted with us. Worth noting, though, that unless you’re a twig, you won’t end up on stage. The guys do various moves with the women, and carrying them etc means really skinny (like REALLY skinny) women are the ones usually chosen. However, when they’re dancing in audience, they’ll interact with anyone. There was a slowdance number where a guy was pointing at either me or the girl next to me to come and dance–we both pointed to ourselves quizzically and then she got up first (neither of us were/are skinny).

Rocking number
For me the highlight of the show was a water number that begins with an “audience member” is brought on stage and ends the way shown below. Not to complain, but if you watch, you see what the guys usually end up in. It’s not the manties of Hunk Mansion, but I’m not seeing as much skin as you get at the female reviews. Equal opportunity nudity people–I want to see butt cheeks! That said, this number is very hot and most of the numbers have a burlesque element, which elevates the quality of the show.

My one real complaint is that there is a VIP meet and greet you can add onto the cost of the ticket. However, although I bought the upgrade, this never happened. There were no special instructions, no one hung back–the audience just exited back into the hotel. I stuck around a little to see if I was just supposed to wait or what. So I paid extra for nothing. Don’t buy it. Below is the closest I got to a meet and greet, when a dancer posed for a selfie with me and other girl I was sitting next to.

Strip Clubs in Las Vegas

I’m still readjusting to real life after my week in Vegas alone with my husband. I wanted to write about some of the adult fun we got up to, and it made sense to start with the strip clubs. This post is based on my experiences, and is not sponsored in any way. Obviously I don’t have personal photos to use.

First a bit of advice

1-Take the free limo from the club. Taxis and hotels get kickbacks for taking you and you have to pay whatever the full admission price is. If you take the club’s taxi, you will likely get reduced admission/drink tickets. However, getting home is your problem. Popular strip clubs like the two we went to had lines of cabs outside, but the small club near the Erotic Heritage Museum that we didn’t enter didn’t so we had to call an uber to get back to the hotel.

2-Read the Yelp Reviews before you go to the club. Had we read them in advance we wouldn’t have had the bad/ugly experiences. We went by the recommendation of the travel guide and their #1 pick sucked.

3-Do not go in expecting the sort of full strip down that you might get in your home state. Vegas has topless dancing, and dancers just usually get on stage in a bikini or equivalent and bare their breasts. In Rhode Island (the nearest state with good strip clubs to Boston) dancers would come on in a costume, like a schoolgirl outfit and strip progressively down to either just a thong or nothing at all–something more burlesque by comparison. Vegas does have a few fully nude clubs, but they were either grandfathered in and can serve alcohol (Palomino Club) or don’t serve alcohol (Little Darlings or the equivalent).

The Good—Spearmint Rhino

Our first club night out, we went to Spearmint Rhino, which had the best reviews from women based on my skimming Yelp and comparing it to Sapphire, one of the other big clubs. (Sapphire’s reviews were fine, but in my opinion, Spearmint Rhino’s were better). We took a cab there and had to pay full entry (they told us it would’ve been better if we’d taken the limo).

I have gotten used to what I call the “enthusiastic woman at a strip club effect.” Dancers LOVE when a woman is there and is enthusiastic. My experience at Spearmint Rhino was no exception.

Lap dances–the girls at Spearmint Rhino know how to give a lap dance to either a man or a woman. There’s a subtle art to giving a woman a lap dance as we don’t have a penis to grind on. I got lap dances from like four or five different girls (extra shoutout to Annamaria and Tyler Rain), and my husband and I shared a half hour booth dance from Tyler Rain. They weren’t cheap, but they were worth it.

Stage dances–We sat at the main stage right as you walk in. Like I noted above, there was nothing burlesque about the dancing, but some of the women did pole tricks, and the rest danced with varying degrees of flirtiness and interest.

Being approached–I was approached and not just my husband, which is refreshing.

Drink service was prompt. The drinks were a little weak, but I found that to be true in Vegas for the most part.

Overall it was a fun night out at a strip club, and we happily stayed there until something like three or four in the morning.

The Bad: The Hustler Club

(Sorry the pics won’t upload)

Let’s just say that the women at The Hustler Club are immune to the enthusiastic woman at a strip club effect. If anything I seemed to be an inconvenience or invisible to the women who came over to chat up my husband (I have no problem with him getting chatted up, but I don’t like being ignored or seen as an obstacle to his wallet). We’d taken the (battered) free limo to the club, and received drink coupons to be used either downstairs at The Hustler Club or upstairs at Hunk Mansion (we’ll get there in a second), but I couldn’t get any attention (in a club that was pretty dead) to use them. There were plenty of dancers, but they were clustered together by the bar.

I can only toss money at disinterested dancers for so long before giving up. There was one dancer who flirted a bit with me, but was uninterested in giving a lap dance to a woman, I guess–it was disappointing.

This is the top rated strip club in Vegas. I expected more. At minimum I expected to be able to get lap dances and have some fun flirting. But sometimes things just don’t work out as we’d hoped for.

That said, this is the third Hustler Club I’ve been to (the others are New Orleans and San Francisco), and I have never had fun at a Hustler Club. I don’t know if it’s a woman thing (in that they are disinterested in female clientele or assume I must be hostile) or if I have phenomenally bad luck or if it’s just some spiritual disconnect. Regardless, in my limited opinion–give it/all Hustler Clubs a pass and just go somewhere else.

The Ugly: Hunk Mansion

(pic unavailable)

On the roof of the Hustler Club on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays there is another club in operation–Hunk Mansion with male dancers.

My partner and I have done female strip clubs for over a decade, so the opportunity to check out the men was irresistible. I wish we’d resisted.

It’s kind of obvious that the space isn’t used or used frequently outside of hunk mansion. The stage is pretty much what my kid’s preschool used to set up–something temporary, almost rickety. The chairs and tables are much more fragile looking and battered compared to what’s downstairs. Just as downstairs, it was pretty dead.

The thing about male strippers is, apparently, that they leave me cold. “Stripping” seems to be comprised of impressive dance moves, but dance moves I have seen done equally well in the subways of New York City. They take off their shirts and pants, but there’s no burlesque or performative element to it. That can still work (see Spearmint Rhino) but there’s nothing to write home about seeing guys in manties that cover more than most European male swim bottoms that would pass muster with PG13 censors.

The above would have taken it to meh territory but there were a few elements that ruined it.

The first was, again, being ignored including by wait staff. I never used my drink tickets because no one was interested in selling me a drink, and I wasn’t waving the tickets around so there was no reason for them to think I wasn’t going to be paying for said drinks. There were one, maybe two dancers besides the one on stage and at least one of them seemed to be actively trying to avoid attention.

The crowd was a mix of apathy and from the bachelorette and several older women overt aggressiveness which made for a weird vibe. (I’d see this at Magic Mike as well).

It was, in a strange way, too well lit, unlike most strip clubs which tend towards low lighting. Which meant it felt like I was attending a PG13 talent show in a school cafeteria where some of the parents are bored and waiting for it to be over.

But the thing that truly raised my ire was discovering that men don’t get lap dances at Hunk Mansion. If you’re willing to pay 3x the cost you can get a short private lap dance, but the establishment is pretty anti-gay. The policy of charging men more and making it shameful for a gay/bi/curious man to even ask in the first place is ethically repugnant to me. If you don’t believe me, just read the yelp reviews. Most of the one star reviews talk about how anti-gay this place is.

So like anywhere, your strip club experience is hit or miss. But hopefully you’ll end up with the kind of experience I had at Spearmint Rhino. In fact, just go to Spearmint Rhino. I wish I’d gone back there instead of wasting a night, and ending it in a fairly irritated mood, at Hustler Club.

On moving, and writing

I moved back to the US in February. It’s now nearly August–nearly six months of being “home.” Except it’s not home. Not my coast. Not my state. Not my city–definitely not this as I live in the burbs. My neighbors tell me it’s a city and that there are over 100k people, to which I reply that my last home crammed nearly 7m people into the same geography of 1/4 the size of Rhode Island. In fact, it’s a lot like moving to Singapore, only I like the food more and there’s Target.

Six months.

Six months of my children begging to move back to Singapore, their unhappiness mingling with my own until even retail therapy is no form of therapy at all. Six months of scolding myself for not adjusting better, even as I know that re-entry is often as or more painful than leaving. Six months of having my youngest home all the time because here she’s too little for Kindergarten and the pre-schools all have waiting lists. Six months of trying and failing to find a place in my house where I could write but be away from my children (especially the one who can read over my shoulder and who doesn’t need this thorough a sex education at her age) when my bedroom is half the size it was and can no longer fit my office. Six months of getting lost every time I leave the house (thank Google for Android Auto and Google Maps).

Plunder was supposed to be done nearly three months ago. After all, I rationalized to myself–it’s not like I’ll have friends there, I can just write. And write. And write. Hell, I might even finish it in the two weeks my kids are with my in-laws.  I’ve barely begun to write the second draft.

When this entry publishes, I’ll be back in Boston for the first time in nearly four years. I’m frightened it will also be too unfamiliar, too alien and that nothing will feel like home again. I’m scared that I’ll forever be in-between. Not Boston. Not Singapore. Not the West Coast. Not at home anywhere.

That melancholy, right there. That’s where I’ve been for the past six months. Depressed. Frightened. Trying to reassure my children when I’m just as unhappy as they are. Looking for doctors, orthodontists, the good Target, the good grocery store, buying a car, talking to teachers, looking for a Chinese tutor, and sometimes just too depressed to even get out of bed.

I took the first really hard steps–I told my partner that I thought I was far past the normal amount of grieving. I’d even shut out my therapist (whom I have a skype relationship of 2+ years with). I got my mental health meds adjusted to help drag me out of the darkest parts of the depression.

I’ve started writing again. Who knows if any of it is any good, but I’m at least doing it. I’m sharing here because in writing erotica we lay ourselves bare–we share fantasies, we share desire, we share romance and sex and relationships. Sometimes, a relationship is difficult, even when it’s with ourselves.

Hold me accountable to write here again. Poke me on Twitter, leave a comment on the blog, email me at delilahnight at gmail dot com and say “hey, where are you?” Writing for me = mental health.

 

An Expat Fourth of July

200 Anniversary Button 2015

Today I’m over at Long and Short Reviews, talking about what it’s like to be an American expat in Singapore on the Fourth of July. I usually reserve that topic for my expat blog, so this is your chance to get a glimpse into the life of an expatriate American.

We spent July 4, 2009 in Washington DC. We watched a recitation of the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives, then sat down and watched the parade. We pushed my daughter E’s stroller through multiple Smithsonian Museums. E spent her first Fourth of July on the grass of the National Mall, enchanted by a light up ball we’d bought in a gift shop, rather than the gorgeous fireworks display by the Washington Monument.

At the time, we had no idea that would be the last Fourth of July we’d spend in the United States

 

Click the header or banner below to check out my full post and enter a Rafflecopter to win a 100 USD gift card to either Barnes & Noble or Amazon!

LASR header

Americans–Are you registered to vote?

Hi Americans,

I’m taking a one-day break from my usual content to ask you a really important question–Are you registered to vote? Registration deadlines are coming up, and remember, as (fictional) President Barlett said…

decisions

If you live in the US, you can find out the voter registration rules in your home state here.

Expats and military serving abroad should go here for voter registration help

 

We will return to our regularly scheduled smut shortly

Wicked Wednesday #200–My Best…

This week’s Wicked Wednesday theme is “The Best”–what is your best post?

The link I submitted to WW was Oh. My. God. (AKA that time Wil Wheaton saw my Wesley Crusher Fanfic)

If you’ve never read it, I’ll share the video below (the link includes a transcript as the video as it can be, at time, NSFW)

wicked wednesday