My best friend had just come through a nasty divorce and was somewhat confused about…well, everything frankly. I was much further down the road of recuperation than him, but it was Summer and fun should be had. I thought we could both do with some lifting of spirits. We had a high-school friend living in Prague who was forever inviting us over to visit him. At the beginning of the year he had found out that his wife had been cheating on him, he had separated from her and launched divorce proceedings. I thought it a good idea if my best mate and I visited our friend in Prague. The three of us could sit around, talk shit, catch up, have some laughs and maybe figure out the way forward together.
We flew out on the Saturday morning, meeting up with our friend before lunchtime at the airport. He came to fetch us with his son and we were all going to spend the weekend at his parent’s country house. They were away in South Africa where they spent most of their retirement years avoiding the Czech Winter. The house was a large multi-storeyed alpine-style house on a big piece of ground shielded from neighbouring properties by a mature, lush hedge. The sun was blazing overhead and the swimming pool looked very inviting.
For a few days we lazed around, had a barbecue with our host’s friends and relaxed. It takes about 3 days for the body to unwind sufficiently so that a holiday can be enjoyed. Once we had reached that point we decamped to central Prague and set up base in our friend’s city pad. His son went back to his mother as the school holiday was ending. The three divorced or divorcing guys sat around downing good, cheap Czech beers, bitching about women and relationships.
It was interesting to me to hear some of the things that my friends were saying as I had felt the same way when I was getting divorced six years earlier. They were embarking on a long road that was alien to them; all I could do was offer words of encouragement along the lines of “I got through it, you will too.” Nothing in our teenage years prepared us for being in this situation 25 years later.
My best friend and I spent a day sight-seeing together as he had never been to Prague before while I had in 2006. If you’re into architecture and history, then you have to visit Prague. If, like me, you have a thing for pretty blondes, then Prague is a must-see. On any street corner I could stand rooted to a spot and swivel around gawking at one stunning blonde after another for hours. It’s like an all-day procession of lookers coming off of a conveyor belt. I have never been to anywhere quite like it. There must be something in the beer that causes most little Czech girls to grow up to be blonde beauties. Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself.
With such an abundance of attractive women, it isn’t too surprising that Prague has something of a busy nightlife…the naughty, seedy nightlife. You know that Christmas carol about “good king Wenceslas”? Well, there is a square (which is more of a long boulevard) named after him that has the vast majority of Prague’s “gentleman’s clubs”. There are about a dozen strip clubs cited in and around this square. From dusk touts start appearing, pestering passing men with leaflets extolling the virtues of the shows and girls that their club, which is always the best club, offers.
I had been to a strip club once as part of my best friend’s stag do. That was years ago, 1998 to be exact, back when we were both getting married and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about everything. We had both enjoyed that night, so I thought “Why the hell not do that again in Prague?” It might lift my friend’s spirits out from the dark well of despair that they were drowning in. Suggesting my idea one night resulted in a muted response, the two of them just looked at each other, blinking and smiling. It didn’t take much coaxing and cajoling from me to get them to agree to give this a go. We agreed to sample this side of life the following night.
It was getting dark as my friends and I made our way on to Wenceslas Square on a Wednesday night. Tired tourists were enjoying their evening meal at pavement cafes and restaurants as another hot day gave way to what I hoped was going to be an even hotter night…in the strip clubs.
The three of us must have looked like the typical guys that go into strip clubs because within a minute a tout came bounding up to us, brandishing freshly printed leaflets. I asked “How much is entry and the drinks?” He was a black African guy, from Nigeria I think and he spoke good English. “Boss, for three hundred Crowns you get entry and three free drinks. Is cheeeap.” he implored.
So for less than ten Pounds Sterling we could get entry and a few free drinks – that was cheap. Perhaps too cheap. I was suspicious. “So what do the girls do?” I asked. “Anything except sex. Price depends on what you want. Everything negotiable. The womens is hot!” was the touts sweaty reply. My friends seemed shocked, even the one who lived in Prague.
We repeated this conversation with a few more touts, all of whom were illegal immigrants from Africa, all offering the same prices and deal as the first tout. All that differed was how “hot” they described the women to be. My friends were satisfied that they now knew the score and were comfortable choosing a club to start with. The nearest one had a clean, modern frontage so we decided to take our chances in there. It seemed safe.
The very first tout we spoke to sidled up to us and walked with us despite our ignoring him. We walked up to the doorway where a burly security guard was standing next to someone acting as a cashier. All this person had was a table and chair, with a metal cash box on the table and a stack of voucher books next to it. We handed over our money and were presented with a voucher booklet each in exchange. These were for our drinks, which was a selection of either beer, sodas or coffees; three pictures for each type which could be individually torn out. The security guard took our right hands and stamped a small ink emblem on the top, then waved us inside. The cashier, guard and tout then engaged in a conversation, which probably involved the tout getting some kind of commission.
The doorway lead down a flight of stairs that opened out in to a reception area dominated by a bar counter. We ordered our drinks and turned to our right, which was the only direction to head towards given that to our left were the toilets. Bright light shone into our eyes and our ears were suddenly bombarded by loud music. Undeterred I walked into the light and my friends followed me.
Through the offensive light I could see the hint of a table and chairs to my right and I headed for it, my mates in tow, our ears being assaulted by a constant rhythmic “Boom. Boom. Boom”. Out of the glare of the head-on lights I could see our surroundings clearly. We were in a large room laid out in a horse-shoe shape that could hold no more than 40 people. Around the outside of the horse-shoe was a terrace of tables with chairs and booths with bench-like padded seating. All of the seating was in a dusty red material and the wooden tables were painted black. In the centre of the horse-shoe was a catwalk stage with a shiny stainless steel pole at the end closest to the entrance.
There was only one other person sitting in the customer’s seats and it seemed that he was slightly drunk given how he was slouching in his seat, staring blankly with droopy eyes at the only girl on the stage. She was a brunette with a slender body and only wearing a bikini bottom. Her breasts were small and saggy, her nipples large, brown and hard. She was pretty enough, her face caked in make-up though, but constantly smiling as she went about her routine of endlessly gyrating up and down against the pole.
With drinks in hand I led my friends to a booth to the right side of the stage. I wanted a good view of all the proceedings in this alien environment, not just of the girls on the stage. I wanted to take in as much of this new, unfamiliar world as I could; to take it all in; digest it, analyse it, understand it. Titillation was a bonus for me, while it was the main event for my clinically depressed friends. On the other side of the room, close to the bar, I could see four women sitting talking and occasionally looking at us. They were in their twenties and thirties and I got the impression that they worked there, given the garish nature of their appearance: sequins, leather, plastered-on make-up, loud jewellery, high heeled shoes and overly-quaffed hair.
The club had obviously just opened and we were the first customers in for the night, except for the solitary drunk who was in danger of falling asleep in his seat. The brunette ended her routine by lying next to the pole, faced the drunk, splayed her legs in the air and ripping her bikini bottom off…and held that position for a few seconds. The drunk’s face lit up as he smiled. The dancer regained her composure and expertly leapt to her feet despite wearing high heels. She collected her scattered items of clothing and retreated to the dark side of the stage to disappear behind some curtains. The drunk lamely applauded.
This was not what I was expecting, it was seemed somewhat silly and even bordered on pathetic. My friends were bemused not because of what they had just seen, but I think more from where they found themselves. They were both guys who, like myself, got serious too soon in their life and didn’t play around at all. They hadn’t bedded scores of girls and done crazy shit at parties in their teens and early twenties. We were all straight-laced and moralistic – boring basically. I was further out of a relationship than my friends and intent on having some fun. What fun exactly, I quite honestly had no idea, but was interested in finding out what was on offer.
The music ramped up, a voice said “Sasha!” and a stunning fair-haired girl appeared on stage. She had a very trim figure, a pretty face, was quite tall with hair in a pony-tail down almost to her waist and was wearing a gold trench-coat. I recognised her as being one of the four women that I had spotted at the back of the room. She couldn’t have been more than 25 years old, possibly still a teenager.
Her routine was something that I would describe as classic. If you’ve ever seen snippets of a striptease on television or in a movie then you will have seen what she did. Her body was very tight and she had perfectly rounded, dense b-cup breasts with cute, small pink nipples. Her breasts didn’t flap about as she moved, but rather merely gently wobbled. I liked the look of her. There was an innocent awkwardness about her that appealed to me. I think she had a problem with her high-heeled shoes and didn’t make as aggressive or flamboyant moves as her predecessor. Sasha ended her routine without the parting of the legs move and disappeared behind the curtain accompanied by rapturous applause from our table. Okay, it might just have been me.
As if it was timed, the brunette that had been doing her stuff on stage earlier suddenly appeared at our table. She immediately started speaking English to us. How did she know?! Once the fake pleasantries were over (amidst stupid boyish grins from us) she moved on to the topic of private dances.
“Would you like private dance?” she purred in a sexy Czech accent, looking each of us in the eye in turn.
All three of us swallowed our adam’s apples. The music seemed to die down just then so that all of Wenceslas Square outside could hear our conversation.
I spat out the obvious question, “How much?”
She smiled and said, “A thousand Crowns for dance with no touch and one thousand five hundred Crowns for dance with touch.”
I looked at my friends. They were like statues in their seats, frozen by her words and seemingly having been struck by lightning too. Their faces showed shock, surprise and consternation. I could tell that they didn’t have a fucking clue about what to do or say. Sensing that neither of them were interested in taking up her offer (I wasn’t either) I somehow found the necessary words.
“Thanks, we’ll think about it. Maybe later”.
She smiled gracefully and left our table. As I watched her leave I saw that a few more men had taken up seats around the room and that several more were at the bar getting their drinks, obviously newly arrived. The voice on the tannoy announced “Monica!” and the music ramped up to a crescendo again.
The new stripper took to the stage and, how shall I put it, she was slightly past her prime. She was at least in her late thirties, probably in her forties and possibly in her fifties. My friends and I let out a simultaneous, collective “Jesus”. She was also a brunette and a little bit short for her weight…she was chubby. Now I don’t mind a little “cushion for the pushin” but there are limits.
She went through her routine with an ease that indicated that she had done it a million times before. I found myself grimacing and bracing each time she teased that she was about to take an item of clothing off. My mates were letting out little chuckles of embarrassment now and again. By the time she was down to her knickers I was ready for the show to end. Her breasts were big and droopy. Her nipples were large and dark. I think she must have been a mother. I felt sorry for her.
Her routine ended with her also lying on her back, lifting her legs in the air, parting them impressively and then whipping her knickers off and holding that pose for a few seconds. The drunk, who was sitting closest, had her pussy in front of his face and the sight of it stirred him from his half-slumber. His face came to life with shock, his lips parted, his spine stiffened and his eyes widened. Monica sprang to her feet, gathered her gear and slipped behind the curtain. The drunk got up and walked out.
The music subsided and I looked around, spotting “Sasha” sitting alone at a table near the bar area. She looked like a secretary, having changed in to a black skirt and white blouse. I had never had a lap dance in my life, but she was ideal to be the first to show me what it involved. She was possibly the prettiest girl I had seen in Prague. Of course by now I might have been wearing beer goggles and infused with some Dutch courage. There was a rush of blood to my head (the upper one) and I stood up, noticed the look of surprise on my friend’s faces and said “I’m going for it.”