Brett Goldstein's strip club stories
Stand-up Brett Goldstein shares three tales from his days running a strip club in Marbella
Ten years ago my dad, a bookshop owner from Surrey, had a midlife crisis. But instead of buying a Ferrari, he bought a strip club in Marbella. I went out there to help him, and eventually ended up running the place. The year I spent at the club became the subject of my first solo show, ‘Brett Goldstein Grew Up in a Strip Club’. The show took a long time to construct, in part because there were just so many stories to choose from. So here, as a kind-of DVD extra (there is no DVD), are three mini-stories that didn’t make it into the show; a selection of deleted scenes for you to read on the loo.
Tania had come to us from Amsterdam, where she had worked in sex shows. She struggled with the concept of a lap-dancing club, and didn’t understand why we had a ‘no touching’ rule, but she tried her best to adhere to it. One night, I caught a glimpse of her in a private booth bouncing herself on to a customer’s fist. I waited for the ‘dance’ to finish. ‘Tania,’ I said, ‘can I have a word with you in the office?’ She followed me upstairs. ‘Why do you think I wanted to talk to you?’ I asked. ‘I don’t know,’ she replied. ‘This is a “no touching” club,’ I explained, ‘You appeared to be letting a man fist you!’ She burst into tears, said she didn’t understand the rules and asked if I could make them more specific. I tried to explain why we don’t allow touching, and that there should be three feet between the dancer and customer at all times. She promised she understood and that she wanted another chance. The next night Tania showed up excited and promised to stick to the rules. I kept an eye on her and noticed that she repeatedly asked the bar for small glasses of ice whenever she had a new customer. Later, as I was patrolling the club, I saw Tania in a private booth. She had obeyed the rules – she was more than three feet away from the client; that wasn’t the issue. The problem was she was firing ice cubes at the client’s chest from her anus. As impressive a feat as this was, it was still not really part of the club’s remit. I waited for her to finish. ‘Tania,’ I said, ‘can I have a word with you in the office?’
One night the head of security for the strip club called me over. ‘Brett, is there a kind of… erm… you know, secret back exit in the club, like a door that someone could leave through without being noticed?’ ‘Why?’ I asked. ‘Oh, no reason. It’s for John.’ John was a regular at the club, and a well-known gangster. I asked the bouncer why John needed to make a quick, secret exit, and he wouldn’t say. ‘Listen,’ I told him, ‘I’m not going to help John flee unless you tell me why.’ ‘Oh,’ he sighed, ‘It’s nothing really… he’s bought a new house and it turns out the previous owner had done a… um… kidnapping, and… it wasn’t him… but the police want to talk to him.’ ‘Well, if it wasn’t him, why doesn’t John just talk to the police?’ I suggested. ‘Brett, he just wants to enjoy a quiet night. He’s got nothing to hide.’ At which point, John walked in; his previously dark hair now bleached blonde and his usual suit replaced by a Hawaiian shirt. ‘Hi John!’ I shouted. ‘Oh,’ he said, looking disappointed, ‘You recognised me.’
Jack of all trades
A lesbian couple were regulars at the club. They came in every weekend for three months, sat at the front, having dances from all of the girls and generally spending a lot of money. One night they called me over. ‘We’ve had all of the dancers,’ they said, ‘We’ve seen them all. We want to see a man.’ I explained that we didn’t employee any male dancers, but they insisted: ‘We want you.’ ‘But I’m not a dancer!’ One of them gestured me closer and whispered in my ear: ‘We’ve spent tens of thousands of euros in this place, if we want you to dance for us, you will dance.’ I thought about it for a moment. I had done every other job in the club: from cleaner to waiter, barman to doorman. Why not stripper too? The couple grabbed four other female patrons and took me to a private booth. I began panicking. I can’t dance, let alone ‘sexy’ dance. I just had to get through one song: three minutes. But how? Did I even have rhythm? It didn’t matter. Before the music even started they all laughed and jeered, ripped off my shirt and pawed at me like I was a piñata. I ended up literally crawling out under the curtain while one of them tried to pull me back by my ankle. It was like the scene in ‘Interview with the Vampire’ when the corpse gets eaten. I retired from stripping three minutes later.