Bob never mentioned that night. He showed up a few days later; we went to dinner as usual; afterwards we went back to my apartment and made love, again as usual. He left around 10 PM that evening.
The next morning I found the remote for the butterfly on the kitchen counter. I put it with the vibrator in my nightstand.
Things at work were going better. Since I was now being noticed I started to get some appreciation for my work. In a few weeks I was promoted to team leader and put in charge of five other programmers.
I continued to spend money on myself. I invested in nice clothes, had my nails and hair done professionally. I dressed as a business professional at work; nevertheless, I noticed men at work - and women too - continued to notice me. Looking down at my new boobs I thought, "These things are power!"
Bob and I continued to coast along. Our love making settled into a more or less familiar rut. He wasn't so interested in embarrassing me at restaurants any more, seeming content with weekly sex.
Strange I didn't notice his behavior. Strange that I didn't connect the dots, so to speak.
He'd come by on Monday or Tuesday, almost never on a weekend. We'd have dinner and sex; after sex he'd leave, usually around 9 or 10. He never stayed overnight. I never met his friends or family.
One evening around 7 I'd just changed into my jeans and tee shirt after work and was relaxing on the couch, trying to decide whether to go to health club or stay home and watch TV. Bob had visited the night before so I wasn't expecting him when I heard a knock on my door. I peered out through the peephole and saw a pretty blonde woman standing on my stoop.
I opened the door. "Are you Staci Livingston?" She asked. "May I come in?"
Long story short, she was Bob's wife.
Turned out he was sneaking out for a "night out with the boys" twice a week. The nice lady told me she'd had him followed; I wasn't his only girlfriend; and she didn't think I knew he was married but would I please leave her husband alone?
I cried and cried after she left. It wasn't that we were in love (why weren't we? I wondered) but I'd assumed we were exclusive. Poor, dumb me!
I never saw Bob again. I wish I could say he begged me to take him back, promised to leave his wife and I refused but truthfully he never called or tried to see me at all. Which made it hurt even more, like a knife twisting in my stomach.
And so I went to work every day and went home and cried every night. I felt empty inside, used.
Then slowly, gradually, the sadness turned to anger.
I became angry at Bob. Instead of crying I'd imagine I had him tied spread eagled to my bed while I slowly castrated him with a dull knife. Or maybe I'd beat him with a baseball bat. Or sew him up in the sheets while he was asleep and beat him with a frying pan.
I joined a health club and began to exercise every day after work. That helped too, the exercise made me so tired I'd fall asleep as soon as I got home. An added benefit was I looked and felt even better.
Work went ok. My team completed a couple of projects; they were well received. I started to hear a general buzz around he office, my name was being mentioned for a managerial position.
It was about that time the company went bankrupt.
So I found myself out of work. Not a big deal, I had some money saved - plus with two Engineering degrees and five year's experience I didn't think I'd have a problem finding work. I took a short vacation, played around on the beach at Cozumel for a couple of weeks, then returned to Raleigh and started hunting a job.
Now, I'm skimming over a lot here, mostly because it just isn't that interesting. During my "mad" phase I'd gone to the club Bob had taken me too where I met my second man. I never saw Bob or the man with the blue truck there again, but being a lone female in a bar I was an instant target. I let myself get picked up a couple of times, there were a couple of one night stands and a bout with Trich which made me itch like hell and also made me more careful.
Problem was work. I knew if people where I worked thought I was cruising the bars I'd lose respect. Since I wanted the manager job I needed the respect, so I quit going out and didn't date at all. For six months before the company went belly up all I did was work, exercise, and watch TV.
After my vacation I went on a couple of job interviews but wasn't in a hurry to jump into anything. The third interview changed my mind.
The job was in Atlanta. The man interviewing me was nice, polite, in his forties. He had a picture of his wife and two kids on his desk. He wanted me to set up an Internet site and do some programming for him. He was willing to pay me almost twice what I'd been making at my last job.
Intrigued, I asked him more about my job duties. He swore me to secrecy (common in IT interviews) and told me about his business.
"Actually a woman would be prefect for this job," he said. "The other girls wouldn't feel...exploited."
The guy (I'll call him Fred) owned and operated the largest strip club in the Atlanta area, two adult bookstores, and something called a "dungeon". I started to walk out right then but Fred assured me the businesses were legitimate. He told me he didn't have trouble with the police and didn't allow drugs or prostitution. He wanted to set up some websites to advertize the bookstore and strip club, and promote the dungeon.
Fred assured me I'd be working in an office, not in some sleazy club. He gave me "carte blanche" with respect to equipment. He even offered me THREE times my old salary.
I finally accepted.
The next week I started setting up my office. It was on the third floor of an office building, in the suite with Fred's office. He had an accountant and a couple of secretaries and the lawyer who officed down the hall was on retainer.
I bought computers, a server, and some routers and hired some people to set them all up. In two weeks I had an office network set up complete with development and production servers. I set up email for Fred and the accountant and secretary.
I did some rough drafts of the websites. After talking with Fred we decided to set up the strip club site first, since it'd be the simplest - just a "splash" page with pictures of some of the girls, a map, and a page for special events.
I had the club site pretty much ready to go, so I scheduled a session with a photographer. I discussed which girls to feature with Fred, and between the two of us we decided that I needed to go down to the club and experience it for myself, meet the girls, then decide which to feature.
This made me very nervous - I'd never been to a strip club but I'd heard all sorts of things about sleazy women and men hanging out at them. Fred understood; the next day he introduced me to a huge black gentleman named John who was one of the bouncers at the club.
John was about six-five and nearly three hundred pounds, all muscle. In spite of his enormous size he had a nice, pleasant demeanor. I didn't sense a threat from him. Almost at once I began to feel safe in his presence.
I later found out John was gay.
Anyway, I spent several evenings at the club with John. He'd pick me up at eight in a fairly new Mercedes which belonged to Fred. He was always dressed sharply, nice suit and tie, shiny shoes, not too much jewelry. I'd dress to match, a little more formally than was my custom, like I'd dress on a first date.
John would drive me to the club in the Mercedes. The perfect gentleman, he'd always come around and open my door, have the car valet parked, and usher me inside.
At first I was scared to death. John and I always sat at the same table, in the "VIP" section toward the back. There were four tables in the VIP section, all on a raised platform about two feet above the regular floor. The added height afforded an unobstructed view of each of the five stages. There were also curtains which could be slid out, shielding each table from view of the others.
The main stage was at the other end of the club. It was about ten feet square, hardwood, raised a couple of feet. There was a curtained entrance in the back where the girls came out when announced and two poles near the front. A ledge ran around the outside. Chairs were pulled up to the ledge so the patrons could sit around the stage.
The other stages were smaller, maybe four feet square, the same height as the main stage, scattered throughout the club. Each stage had a pole in its center.
The DJ would announce each girl; music would play and she'd come out of the curtains. Each girl was more or less dressed, usually a string bikini or halter top, short skirt, thong panties, and heels, usually sandals and always with very, very high heels.
The girl would dance to the first song, then the DJ would urge the men on by loudly proclaiming, "Ok, let's get Amber (or Brittany or Angel or Sparkles) to take her top off, whatdya say, guys??" And the men would hoot and clap and a couple would hold up dollar bills, and Amber (or Brittany or Angel or Sparkles) would wait and the music would start and she'd take off her top, usually slowly easing it down her arms, holding it against herself, teasing. And the skirt would follow and she'd be naked except for her thong and heels.
And the men would hold up more dollar bills and the girl would move over to each in turn and let him tuck the dollar under her thong or sometimes (if she was well endowed) between her breasts. And this would go on until the song ended at which time she'd climb down and go to the second stage, and the girl at the second stage would go to the third, and so on with the last girl going backstage or on to do lap dances.
And so it'd go, on and on, until 2 AM when the club closed. The men weren't sleazy like I'd thought. Most were dressed nicely; there were a lot of Beamers and Mercedes in the lot. There were several bouncers; they stayed out of the way unless somebody got a little too drunk or passed out or threw up, all of which were rare. Their only other duty was to stand at the front entrance from time to time - two were there at all times; they rotated - and escort each girl to her car when the club closed or the girl got off work.
I learned a lot about the club in two weeks.
The first thing that amazed me was when I learned the girls weren't paid by the club - THEY paid the club $100 a night (Friday and Saturday) or $50 a night (Sunday and weekdays). They made their money primarily by giving lap dances at $50 each.
Second, the men weren't allowed to touch the girls, not even when a girl, naked except for a tiny thong, was gyrating wildly between his legs as he lay back in his chair.
I don't know how the men stood that. I again blessed a benevolent God that I'd been born female.
There were other rules too, like, unescorted ladies weren't allowed in unless they were dancing; no drugs; the girls weren't allowed to drink on the job (although they encouraged men to buy them $25 "drinks" which were non alcoholic).
Also, most of the girls didn't have huge tits (Although a couple did - they always did real well on lap dances and tips). I figured my store-bought hooters would give most of 'em a run for their money. A couple of the girls were even very flat chested, not much upstairs except large nipples.
Strangest of all, about 1/4 of the girls were married. They all said having a wife working in a strip club "excited" their husbands. A couple of the girls even told me they were pretty well off financially - they just danced "for fun".
The first two times I visited the club were on a Friday and Saturday night; it was pretty crowded and hectic. My third visit was the following Tuesday. The club was pretty deserted at 8:30. I asked John to take me backstage to meet some of the girls.
John opened the small door to one side of the stage for me then stood guard outside it (the bouncers rotated that duty too). I entered into a medium sized room crammed full of dressing tables with lighted mirrors. Racks of clothes were all over the place; the floor was littered with discarded skirts and tops. Apparently all you had to bring was your shoes and thong; everything else was provided.
Wading through the mess I introduced myself to a couple of the women sitting at the dressing tables, waiting to go onstage. Strangely, none were smoking. I asked a girl named Charlotte about this; she nodded toward a "No Smoking" sign I'd overlooked.
As I was talking with Charlotte I heard a coarse voice from behind me. "Well, well!" the voice said, "New meat!"
I turned around and saw a large blonde girl, about my age, dressed in short white skirt and white tank top. She stood several inches above my five foot frame; her heels made her nearly six feet tall. The short skirt and white tank top accented her already large breasts (she was one of the girls who could definitely give me a run for my money). She had a slightly smirky, insolent expression on her face.
I bushed under her stare. "no, no," I stammered, "I-I have a college degree..."
I don't know why in my confusion I thought having a degree excluded me from being a stripper but on a subconscious level I obviously did. The blonde threw back her head and began to laugh; the other girls joined in as I blushed even redder.
"Honey, that's cute - I have a degree too!" the blonde exclaimed. "A couple in fact - BA, MA, PhD." She stuck out her hand. "Myrna Smith, or I should say, Dr Myrna Smith, clinical psychologist." Myrna peered at me, intently. "What are you, twenty one? Twenty two?"
"Twenty nine, actually," I said, taking her hand. "Sorry, I didn't mean..."
"That's all right, darling, no offense. Lots of people make that mistake."
Right then and there Myrna became my close friend. We talked for a few minutes; then I heard the DJ call, "Let's welcome Angel! Angel, come on out!"
Myrna AKA Angel excused herself; she was gone about a half hour before she'd made the rounds of all five stages. "Slow night, no lap dances" she said as she stepped back in through the dressing room door, now nearly naked. She sat down in the chair she'd vacated, right in front of me, unconcerned by her nakedness. I blushed and looked away: Out of respect for my modesty, not her own, she pulled a thin kimono top on and tied the belt loosely.
Myrna was twenty seven. She told me she'd worked her way through college dancing at clubs throughout the Atlanta area; she'd been at this one the past five years. She got her degree, then her Masters, finally her PhD and was a licensed, registered psychologist in the state of Georgia.
"One of these days I'll move on, move to Denver or Philly or Dallas, set up a private practice" she told me, "But for now the money's just too good here." I told her I was a programmer, told her about my job with Fred, explained what I was doing at the club. I was proud of my salary; I let it slip that Fred was paying me $150,000 a year.
Myrna laughed at this. "Hon, I make twice that, easy." I found that hard to believe but Myrna worked out the math for me: $50 a lap dance, drinks, tips, averaged to $1000 to $1500 a night, less $50 or $100 to the club. She'd made over $300,000 last year.
Myrna had a nice house in the 'burbs, drove a Cadillac, shopped at expensive stores. She took vacations to Europe or Hawaii or Tahiti or China. She had no family and no husband. She had what she referred to as a "nice nest egg" of around a half million in stocks and investments.
Myrna and I were soul mates. We started to hang out outside the club, going to dinner or movies together when our schedules permitted (This was sometimes difficult as she worked mostly nights, while I worked days). We shopped together, exercised together, shared secrets.
Myrna had done research in something she called "the dominant lifestyle"; that was how she got her PhD. I had no idea what "the dominant lifestyle" was. One evening Myrna told me all about it in excruciating detail. I was alternately embarrassed, shocked, and unbelieving.
She told me she worked at Fred's "dungeon" a couple of nights a week. "Not as much money as the club," she told me, "But lots easier and more fun!"
Turned out Myrna had helped Fred set up the dungeon and was actually a part owner. Myrna handled things there for Fred, hiring the girls, setting up the rooms, buying the equipment. She said the place "ran itself, pretty much" but I knew it was still a lot of work.
Myrna was a hard worker.
She got me to open up like nobody ever had. The very first night sitting in the dressing room at the club she'd looked me in the eye and said, "Looks like you haven't been laid in a while."
Just like that! I'd known this woman for an hour, and she knew that! I blushed and stammered; she just smiled; but we came back to the subject a few days later. "Bad boyfriend?" she asked, and I found myself pouring my heart out to her, telling her all about Bob and the man at the dance club and the guys at my old job and everything...
She let me run on and on, not interrupting, until I was finally finished and sat sobbing as she held me. After a bit I quieted down, got up and washed my face.
When I sat back down I started to apologize; Myrna hushed me with a wave of her hand. "I know what you need, Staci. I know just the thing for you."
And so Myrna began to talk to me about the dungeon. She told me what she did there, what the other girls did.
She told me I needed to spend some time working at the dungeon.
I refused of course. I didn't want to hurt her feelings but I couldn't imagine myself as a prostitute, paid to have sex with some sweaty fat man. But Myrna persisted. She explained that the girls at the dungeon NEVER had sex with the "clients" as she called the men. In fact, she told me, girls weren't even allowed to be naked, even topless.
I listened to her describe the "sessions" as she called them. She told me the men would make appointments by telephone. A half hour session was $200, an hour $350. The man and girl agreed in person as to what would take place.
I had trouble believing what Myrna told me the men requested. Being beaten, spanked, or whipped was number one, followed by bondage, humiliation, toe sucking, trampling.
The dungeon was in an old warehouse. It was divided into several small rooms, plus a "living room" with a couch and a couple of chairs, plus a back office complete with monitors. One of Fred's bouncers monitored the rooms at all times. There'd never been trouble but he wasn't taking any chances.
Myrna talked me into going with her and John and sitting in the back office, watching one night.
Three girls sat in the "living room", sprawled on two couches. The doorbell rang; Amy, a blonde who had her hair in two ponytails, got up and answered it. She escorted a nice looking man in his early thirties in.
The man looked around. "Honey, you scheduled your session with me," Amy told him. "Come right this way."
Taking him by the hand she led him to a door. "Go inside and undress," Amy told the man. "I'll be there in a minute."
The man went inside; he appeared on another monitor. He began to undress, folding his clothes neatly. The room he was in was called "the schoolhouse". It was made up like a school room, complete with blackboard, student desks, and a larger desk for the teacher.
He placed his clothes in a corner of the room and sat, naked in one of the student desks. I couldn't help admiring the man's trim form and flat stomach.
And his rather obvious erection. Large, larger than Bob, about eight inches long I estimated, and thick. It bobbed and swayed as he moved around, the purple head engorged.
I licked my lips involuntarily. Myrna poked me and smirked.
In a minute Amy came back from the bathroom. She was wearing black rimmed glasses. She entered and sat behind the teacher's desk.