I’m fascinated by the Taj-MaTitty and I don’t quite know why…
The Taj-MaTitty is what I call one of our local “adult establishments” that I drive by every time I go to Costco. It’s a big pink and white building on one of the busiest streets in town and looks like one would assume a titty bar would look if it had been designed by Saddam Hussein. I’m sure they don’t have French Provincial furniture inside, but then, I may be wrong. I’ve never been inside and probably never will….
I don’t really even know the current name of the place. At various times, it seems to have been called Tiffani’s Club Cabaret, Christi’s Club Cabaret and Mandi’s Club Cabaret. The only consistency seems to be the trailer park “i’s” and Cabaret, but I somehow don’t think it’s either a piano bar or a place Liza would hang out.
And I don’t know why it fascinates me. I mean, I’m gay. It’s not like I’m a Breast Man. I mean, I wasn’t even breast-fed as a baby as my mother considered that too inconvenient and an unnecessary invasion of personal space. I’m the last person to understand the attraction of the tits part of tits and ass.
But this place does fascinate me. I think the first time it caught my attention was when I noticed the changeable bill board under the main sign that was used for current promotions. I was waiting to turn into Costco one day and I saw it advertising their Annual Pimp and Ho Ball. I thought that was rather ballsy and, perhaps, a little too close to home for them to advertise on the sign, but it did get my attention….
I remembered that I had met some of the girls who worked there once. They had a day job selling patio furniture at a long gone store on High Point Road. They were real sweet and they did know their wrought iron. I also remembered passing the time with a stripper on a plane once and being surprised how normal she seemed. I even blogged about her….(https://mysoutherngothiclife.com/2010/10/18/chapter-30-travels-with-the-exotic-dancer/ )
None of them seemed remotely like “Showgirls”, the camp classic movie of a few years back.
Then I remembered the role strip clubs had played in the periphery of my life since I was a child…
I think one of the things that fascinates me about the Taj-MaTitty is that it’s on a main street and you drive by it constantly. It’s right there, high-profile as hell, in plain sight.
It stands, big and gaudy, surrounded by car dealerships, on one of the busiest streets in town when most of these establishments are relegated to industrial or other unpopulated parts of town. It’s in-your-face in a way most clubs that advertise sex just don’t dare to be in the Bible belt of the hypocritical South. But, there they are, open and proud to be a titty bar and I think that’s great.
They also seem to be open 24/7. Do people go there for lunch?
Had this been legally possible, this would never have worked in my hometown as people would have been constantly riding through the parking lot looking for cars they recognized and telling people who they thought was patronizing the club. I somehow think wives and girlfriends still do this here in Greensboro, but it’s kept quieter….
The Taj-MaTitty makes me think back to Miss Kitty’s Pussy Parlor in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I know that wasn’t the real name, but it’s what my Father called it. We were there on vacation one year and Miss Kitty’s was across the street from the Lido Beach Motel where we were staying. This was before my Father made enough money for us to stay in better establishments….
Anyway, it was a rainy day and we were on vacation and stranded in the motel room. The standard two beds with an efficiency kitchen that one paid extra for in the early 1960’s. My sister was a baby and I must have been 5 or 6 and it was a very small hotel room.
I do remember Miss Kitty’s. There was a neon sign in the window of a cat person with a short skirt and go-go boots that seemed to dance while holding a big, pink neon martini glass. The sign fascinated me. Daddy saw it flashing across the street and apparently it fascinated him, too.
Now, Daddy loved him a bar. He was of the “Mad Men” era of the 1960’s and a traveling salesman to boot. My Mother consider all bars to be dens of iniquity that no nice person ever stepped foot in. This was, to say the least, a point of contention between them.
Well, Daddy spent most of the afternoon at Miss Kitty’s and Mother got more and more perturbed. She kept pacing and walking out to the breezeway to look across the street at Miss Kitty’s, willing him to come back as she got madder and madder. She finally went down to the desk and did her best Moonlight and Magnolias routine on the owner trying to get him to go drag Daddy out of Miss Kitty’s.
The owner was a retired Marine from “somewhere up North.” He looked at her like she was crazy. I strongly suspect he had seen this show before. Basically, he told her she could walk across the street and drag Daddy out of Miss Kitty’s herself if she wanted to do so, but he was not going to interfere.
Mother was not amused. She would have died before she would have set foot in Miss Kitty’s. And nothing confused her more than when people did not respond to her repertoire of Southern Belle tricks as she expected.
She hated it when people strayed from the script. This man didn’t seem to realize he was supposed to be a Gentleman and go tell my Father his poor wife was upset and shouldn’t he come check on the poor little thing. No dice, from this Yankee ex-Marine….
Daddy finally came back to the hotel, staggering across the street, in the early evening hours. He got in the room at the Lido and Mother let him have it, as only she could do when she was sure no one else was watching….
“I cannot believe you spent the entire afternoon in some whorehouse, doing god knows what, with a bunch of trash while I sat here all alone with your children. What kind of a man are you?”
“Well,” he said, “I’m the kind of man that’s paying for this goddamn vacation and for you to sit on your ass in some hotel room at the beach for a week. If I want to spend the next 5 days at Miss Kitty’s Pussy Parlor, as you seem to think it is, then it’s none of your goddamn business.” And he marched back out the door and across the street back to Miss Kitty’s.
I understand the need for places like the Taj-MaTitty and Miss Kitty’s and I’ve seen the Gay equivalent.
Right after College, I used to occasionally drive up to Washington, DC with one of my former professors who became a close friend. He was a gentleman of a certain age and the epitome of Southern Conservatism. But he loved him a Gay bar with Go-Go Boys.
I picked him up in town late on a Friday afternoon sometime in the late 1980’s, to head up to DC. He got in the car and said: “Hurry, we have to get to the bank before it closes. I need to get my Dancer Dollars. There are poor exotic dancers that may starve if I don’t get my ones from the bank to pay them for their talents!” He got a couple of packs of 50 one dollar bills.
These bars where definitely not the Taj-MaTitty or Miss Kitty’s. These were bars, in questionably safe parts of Washington, where young men danced on the bar wearing nothing but white athletic socks. The socks were where one shoved 1 or 5 dollar bills as that was the only place to put them. The young men didn’t have the g-strings one saw in “Magic Mike”.
My professor friend used to just look at the young men with wide eyes and place money in their socks. If one placed enough money in their socks, the young men might lean forward and let some of the older gentleman “fondle their pendulosities”, as my professor friend would say. Sometimes, young amateurs would have a few too many cocktails and join the Go-Go Boys on the bar, stripping down and dancing for dollars.
I only went to this bar a couple of times. I always worried about these guys who danced on the bar. You could smoke in bars back then and these narrow little bars were packed. People were like the proverbial sardines in a can. I always worried that some drunken queen, making drunkenly clichéd broad hand gestures, would inadvertently hit a pendulosity with a cigarette…
All of which, brings me back to the Taj-MaTitty.
The sign a couple of weeks ago advertised “Come watch Football with us and enjoy our Wings Special.” If that is not some sort of euphemism with which I am not familiar, I find this rather disturbing.
I thought these places where there for frustrated, horny men to have a little outlet. To have a few drinks, escape their wives and jobs and watch a young lady dance with a pole and maybe do a little lap dance. Again, I did see “Showgirls”.
Instead, this advertisement seemed so pedestrian. It seemed insulting to the girls who paid for implants so they could make their money, in the time-honored tradition, off horny, lonely men.
I’m sorry, but given the choice between Wings, Football and Tits, I’ve never known a straight man with the talent to multi-task or split his focus so broadly.
I can’t imagine that they have the ability to pay the proper amount of attention to all three aspects of the Club Experience. This would be overload.
I mean, they could watch football and eat wings at home. Wouldn’t an almost naked girl dancing with a pole distract them? Or wouldn’t the wings and football distract them from the naked girl? This does not seem to be a well thought out experience….
Unless maybe it’s a marketing gimmick for a club in trouble needing to broaden its appeal. Maybe they need men to eat wings and watch football in addition to the ones there for the girls. Maybe they are trying to create a true heterosexual male haven.
I just don’t know…
But I do know there will always be a need for a place so openly and directly about sex while sex is still a dirty little secret to so many people. I don’t know that that need will never change as long as religion and repression are still taught as they are today….
I suspect the most interesting thing about these places is who goes there and what attracts them. Escape or titillation? Somewhere to go or somewhere to hide?
Maybe next week the Taj-MaTitty will be called Ami’s Club Cabaret or something else “new with an i”…..
But I have no doubt, it will still be there- or something like it will be somewhere else…..
At least, as long as sex is a secret shared between strangers…