Thinking With the Little Brain

patrons looking at legs in a strip clubThe other day, my cousin sent me an article about the boom town of Williston, N.D.  Yes, North Dakota.  Thousands of men have arrived, without their families, to work for oil companies.  And, apparently, they’re getting paid very big bucks.

As a result, two strip joints, Whispers and Heartbreakers, are doing phenomenal business but the competition amongst the dancers is stiff.  They’re applying from all over the world and the owner of Whispers has been inundated with applications.

Before this influx of well-paid men, strippers might’ve earned $200 a night – now they’re pulling in $2,000 a night.  One of the bartenders, who used to make $50 in tips, now makes about $200 a night.

My cousin’s comment about the article was that Williston will soon be producing more millionaires for Obama to tax.  In response, I told him they’ll have to actually start declaring all this income before he can dip into their pockets.  But that’s not the point of my story.

What’s interesting about this story is the primitive reaction of men with wallets full of money and, I’ll be kind, pretty girls.

Instead of thinking, “ok, I’ve got a wife and a couple of children back home that will need to go to college so I really need to step back and start looking to the future because this job isn’t going to last forever,” they’re primal instincts have kicked in, spending, I’m guessing, enormous amounts of cash in these strip joints, and throwing away even more the moment some stripper glances in their direction.

I remember listening to some interviews with working strippers at Scores in NYC some years ago and what struck me at the time was the disdain these gals had for the men who couldn’t give away their money fast enough.  As part of their nightly ritual, the girls would get together after the club closed and rag on the guys who were the most pathetic or who had given them the most money.  Most of the gals in the interview didn’t even like men!

So here you have all these guys in North Dakota, and in every other strip club in the world, thinking these girls are dancing just for them, have eyes only for them, and these girls are probably thinking about when their next pedicure is scheduled or laughing on the inside about how ridiculous this guy looks.  And let’s not forget how many of these gals are either hooked on drugs or alcohol.  I recall a mother in one of my cases years ago who was a stripper and also an alcoholic who told an evaluator, “Do you think I could take off my clothes the way I do if I were sober?”

Personally, I’ve never bought into the mantra so many “dancers” chant, “I’m saving for college.” I would really like to hear from any stripper who actually saved for college, earned a degree and is a success.  The other response I easily dismiss is “why should I work for minimum wage when I can make this kind of money?”  Uh, lady, did you ever hear of the concept “self-respect?”  I’ve known quite a few widows in my life who were left with very little money and a few children and not one of them went to work as a stripper.  They took legitimate jobs, at whatever salary they could get, to support their families and raise their children with dignity.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not man-bashing.  I love men.  I’d say the same thing about women who spend money on shoes and clothing when their wallets are flush without thinking if they have enough money to pay the rent in two weeks.

I, on the other hand, am the complete opposite – to the extreme.  I have a couple of hundred dollars in my Amazon account for Kindle purchases, thanks to my generous friends and family.  I stopped buying books years ago because I ran out of space in my house for more bookcases, so I get just about all my books from the library.  Now that I have a Kindle, I have to think about a particular book for about three days, debating whether to buy it or get it from the library, before I’ll spend the few bucks a download costs even though I’ve got plenty of money stashed away in gift cards.  But, hey, that’s just me.

But these guys in North Dakota, who are operating on animal instinct for instant gratification, are just not thinking with the brain on the top of their shoulders or worrying about what the future will hold.

Their behavior reminds me of many liberals who say they want free medical care, disability insurance, unlimited unemployment insurance, welfare, and lots of free money from the government, and they want it NOW.  Never once, for even a moment, thinking about the future, never figuring out how the government is going to pay for all this free stuff.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
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  • Txbarbie2004

    I agree my husband. Was working in williston and. I’m home I. Texas with five kids and found. Out was going to these strip clubs it makes me sick I heard that some of the men were going to the women’s battle shelter to pick up women too. These. People are acting like. Animals

  • Michelle

    Hello Leona,

    Nice to meet you! I am a stripper that has recently completed my B.S. (in geology). I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to attend my grossly overpriced state university had it not been for the generosity of many kind patrons. Now that I have graduated, finding meaningful work in my field has become difficult.

    Working as a dancer allows me a flexible schedule, awesome pay (that will allow me to work off my student debt in a relatively short time frame) and best of all… IT’s FUN! What an opportunity!

    I’ve never abused drugs, become an alcoholic or broken legal boundaries. I respect myself, as do THOUSANDS of other strippers. I have NO SHAME in sharing my all natural, BEAUTIFUL body with those who wish to appreciate it.

    Leona, you mentioned that you’d like to hear stripper success stories… I’ll bet that they are ALL around you. We are women involved in the community, volunteering, participating in charity events, visiting your local LIBRARY, taking growth classes at the community college, at your CHURCH…

    The problem, Leona, is that there is a strong STIGMA against women like me. Some people create such a strong correlation between strippers and troubled women that I rarely reveal my occupation. The reason why you haven’t heard any stripper success stories is because of this negative attitude.

    As for your case about finances… I don’t believe that there is a spectrum between “Shoes and clothing” and “Books and education.” I’ve got a great shoe collection AND my bookshelves are robust. I’m fortunate enough to have the financial support to cover both endeavors.

    I agree that many dancers have struggled with substance abuse, prostitution, and issues with men. This is incredibly sad and we can only wish them the best. Growing up a young woman is never easy, but can become even more difficult when one is financially burdened, without guidance from family, or support from friends. Stripping provides them with money, easy alcohol and sometimes the relationship with men can become convoluted and disturbing. The stigma can cause them to further withdraw from any support that they may have had and …quite frankly… it is easy to see how women end up in these situations.

    Leona, I respect your opinion, but I feel like you haven’t had enough exposure to the industry to write such a piece. I took great offense at what you said regarding both the women who dance and the men who patronize.

    I believe that if you take the time to FAMILIARIZE yourself with your subject matter (as any good writer should), you would find that the subject is much more complex than your piece would suggest.


  • chief98110

    I have many reasons to avoid strip clubs and not because I am a prude. Rather, I have empathy for the women that work in them. I have represented many in their legal problems and know most of them were sexually abused as children. I have yet to see any of them with a savings account or a college fund for their kids. On the other end of the industry I have represented men who were patrons. None of these guys ever had a savings account or a college fund for their kids. Does this mean that all of these people are losers? No, but the cards are stacked against having a productive family life while working or patronizing strip clubs.

  • tonyd

    You sound like a liberal telling people how they should spend their money. Even strip bars stimulate the economy. Strippers make money and buy drugs, high heals, make up etc. The bar makes money and buys alcohol, hires people, pays taxes etc. The customers spend money on chicks that rub on them and will never get any. It all works out.

  • Ron F

    Why does it have to be either or. It is possible that the men are going to see the strippers and are saving money for their childrens’ college. Most of us spend money on some form of entertainment. It does not mean that we are not saving money for retirement or college funds for children. It is also possible that most of the men who go to see the strippers are single or the men who go to the strip clubs are a small percentage of the men. When I was in the army in Korea, the vast majority of the soldiers went to the bars and strip clubs on their one month off a month. It does not mean that they were not good providers. And I am not sure this is a conservative and liberal matter unless it means conservatives want the least amount of personal freedom and want to control behavior more than liberals. I am a conservative and want all levels of government out of our lives as much as possible and do not want to control behavior through criminal laws.

  • Barker

    Bernie, you nailed it – those strippers lack self-respect because they worship the false god of money rather than the true God of creation.

    As for the men who spend their paychecks on these bimbos – it brings to mind that old proverb = “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

    • Leona Salazar

      Barker, you summed it all up in two sentences. (By the way, Bernie didn’t write this article – I did.)

  • Clarence De Barrows

    Why would anyone spend the time contemplating the capricious antics of horny males and – c’mon, get real – whores, and write this article, as Leona did, and then why would others spend their time analyzing said article and the antics of the involved individuals? It would seem to indicate that folks have much time to speculate on the ridiculous, or they just don’t get the fact that morality or decency have nothing to do with it. It’s in the jeans, Leona and, by nature, wants out!

    • Talon’s Point

      “and then why would others spend their time analyzing said article….?”

      You did

  • bill mc dermott

    1.It’s referred to as “the little head thinking for the big head”

    2.You obviously have had no Oilfield experience.
    I worked in Alaska in 79-81 and the “girls” at the Anchorage Airport lounge were making these amounts then.

  • Ken Hansen

    I read about these towns (minus salacious details) in the NY Times and the issue they focused on was that the available jobs exceeded the amount of housing available. It’s a gold rush mentality, and the ‘camps’ won’t last long enough for families to relocate and ‘clean up’ the place.

    Alana used to be like this (ten men for each woman)…

  • Hoyt Clagwell

    With all due respect, Ms. Salazar, no woman will ever understand the motivation of men to see women dance and strip. It is primal and can’t be untrained; only suppressed. It doesn’t have anything to do with the wife back home.

    Actually, the condemnation of guys who ogle women is just another example of the persistent wussification of the American male.

  • Patrickjk47

    Well they are merely providers in a supply and demand market, making good money and most of it is tax free if they work it right and that’s good business. So they are joint venture capitalists, probably conservatives. Chances are those married guys don’t have sex with their wives because their wives consider it work as well, and as Tiger Woods has shown us…why settle for self gratitude when you can buy it for a nominal fee. When you look at the women who support Obama…it’s likely none of them would ever work as dancers or strippers. It sounds more like you are the one with the problem with it…not those paying customers. I guess you’ve never read From Here to Eternity. Marriage is a far greater game of legal prostitution than what goes on in strip clubs. Look at the guys getting fleeced out of half of their empires due to a cunning woman via divorce court. Most of the women spouting Leona’s attitude are usually either jealous or envious and usually don’t like sex after the honeymoon is over anyway…so like they say…if you can’t do, teach, and if you can’t teach, be a critic.

    • Uncle Dave

      Patrick, I don’t know how you can say these women are “probably conservatives”. Conservatives are just that, CONSERVATIVE and are not real keen on tings like Porn or Strip Clubs.
      Back in my collage days I worked in a strip club (ast. manager) and I can tell you the girls and guys were supporters of a more liberal law enforcement system, especially one that would not encroch on thier “recreational habits”. On thier off days the girls liked to go to the local (Florida) nude beach to maintain their tan. And the majority of the girls were either gay or swung both ways. They did not like their customers and tolerated them for the money. The straight girls were either interested in their dealer (for more recreational substance) or a nice sugar daddy. I dated one for a while but I could not live the life-style and let her work the occational “side deal”.
      No, the majority of these girls have contempt for their customers. Their priorities are money and fun. And I can guarantee, if there are any conservatives on the group, it is a very small percentage.
      I’m just happy I grew out of the instant gratification years. In my mid-40s now I have a good, stable relationship with a wonderful woman who has self-respect and goals.
      As for your comments on Leona’s attitudes; I would guess you are projecting your own “jealous and envious” feeling of having a true and good relationship of your own.

    • Leona Salazar

      You found me out, Patrick. I always wanted to be a more-likely-than-not-drug-and/or-alcohol-addicted-stripper-with-no-self-esteem-who-has-no-marketable-skill-other-than-taking-off-her-clothes-and-no-economic-future-once-her-body-isn’t-good-enough-to-expose. Instead, I chose to educate myself, have worked in the legal field since I’m 18 years old, went to college and law school, am licensed to practice law in both California and Washington, am married to the “bestest husband in the entire universe” for over 20 years and live in a gorgeous home on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest. (By the way, I’m not a Obama supporter.)

  • Glen Stambaugh

    While the girlie-bar-men must be very well-repesented, I’m sure there are plenty of devoted family men doing just as you hoped, Leona. They’re just not as visible minding their own futures. Good piece about little minds.

  • Roadmaster

    I don’t get it either. I drove a cab for a while and one of my regular fares was to pick up the “girls” and take them to and from the clubs. I suppose since I wasn’t one of those “losers,” drooling on myself, they would share some of their unkind comments about the “suckers” with me.

    A good friend of mine was always inviting me to the girlie bars, but I always declined even tho he’s quite wealthy and would finance the trip. I told him what those women say about guys like him and he didn’t care one bit – he just wanted to see some skin. My friend also used to profess to be a good Christian, but I say “used” to because I wouldn’t know, having “unfriended” him a year ago.

    Maybe it’s the “stupid” law of supply and demand – if you’re stupid enough to pay me to take off my clothes, I will be stupid enough to do it. How degrading for both ends of the transaction.

    I wouldn’t dare offer advise to any women, but I do have an illustrative story for men. Want women to swoon and gush all over you? Try this: A few years ago, my adorable dental hygienist offered me the Sports Illustrated swim suit edition, while I waited in the chair. “No thank you,” I said, quoting Job 31:1, “I have made a covenant with my eyes, not to look with lust upon a young woman.”

    Now, I’m extremely fit for my age and still told I’m handsome, but nothing I ever did before or after in that dental office, full of attractive young women, got me as much attention. Now when I walk in, they ALL stop what they’re doing, gathering around me inside the door, grabbing my hands, stroking my arms, asking “how have you been, how’s your new wife, how’s work?” It’s almost as good as being Elvis…

    Guy’s, women don’t want a slobbering, pubescent fool – they want a decent man, one who is thoughtful and kind. And if you’re wasting time and money in a girlie bar, here’s a clue – you ain’t it!

    • EddieD_Boston

      Don’t agree. From my experience women prefer losers and/or a-holes.