Wednesday, September 27, 2023 Sep 27, 2023
94° F Dallas, TX

A Progressive Feminist Dinner

The agony and ecstasy of my first trip to a topless bar.
By Alice Laussade |

Over the dulcet sounds of “Get Low,” by Lil Jon, I yelled to one of the ladies working at The Lodge, “It’s for charity!” She replied, “I should change my name to Charity.” Not a bad idea. As someone with a background in advertising, I know that rebranding can be difficult, but something told me that her high heels and body parts and eyelashes were memorable enough that it wouldn’t crush the brand image she had clearly worked so hard to create.

I should back up. I host an annual barbecue competition and charity event called Meat Fight that benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Part of the event entails a live auction that always includes some unusual items. Enter Auction Item No. 6: The Progressive Feminist Dinner.

D Magazine’s Nancy Nichols and I treat you and three friends to a round of drinks at Twin Peaks, then appetizers at Tallywackers (because we’re feminists who are equal opportunity with our appreciation/objectification of nearly nakeds), and, finally, dinner at The Lodge.” The item sold for thousands of dollars. Because of this, the lives of many people living with MS would be changed. And there would also be boobies.

We began the night at Twin Peaks, which is like Hooters for lumberjacks (and also their toddler offspring). It was a surprise to see Addison so fully embracing the breastaurant. Ever since they took that exclamation point out of your logo, Addison, you’ve been different. When my bartender’s flanneled breasts asked me what I’d like to drink, I ordered a Dirty Blonde. In the process of serving that one beer, she bent over eight times. To be clear, it wasn’t sensual; it was contractual. I have full confidence that the Twin Peaks employee manual has pages upon pages about how to bend over while serving beverages and food in the required uniform and still adhere to TABC and food service laws. But the uniform there is simply not conducive to bartending. I have no idea where she kept her corkscrew.

Next up was Tallywackers, where the servers are all men, and are all required to wear boxer-brief Speedos in a dining room that is kept at an attenuatingly low temperature (if you know what I mean). Here, the big-screen TVs were either playing a Broncos game or Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover,” and the wait for a table was so long (we waited an hour to be seated for an 8 pm reservation) that I’ll never know whether the jerk chicken is any good.

Finally, we ended the night at The Lodge, where our dinner and drinks were generously donated by the club’s owner. Have you ever eaten dinner at a clothing-optional-while-dancing establishment? This was my first time. It’s hard to know where your eyes should look to be polite. On the one hand, you’re enjoying your mahi mahi. On the other, there’s a nice woman dancing for your entertainment, and she worked really hard to get such an even skin tone tonight, and that should be acknowledged.

As I was trying to figure out the right timing of forking food into my mouth and respecting the nakedness around me, I noticed something fantastic about the woman onstage in front of me. She was wearing next to nothing, dancing in skyscraper heels while making meaningful eye contact with every man in the room—and she was rocking a Fitbit. Because everybody’s gotta get their 10,000 steps, y’all.

The Lodge is the one place I’ve been since 2005 where everyone wasn’t staring at a phone. Strip clubs might be the most effective way to get everyone unplugged from social media. Of course, I understand it’s because you’re not allowed to take photos, and for some reason most folks don’t want to “check in” at The Lodge. But no matter what the reasons, I had uninterrupted conversations with everyone in my group. Maybe your friend who doesn’t have a Facebook account isn’t anti-social media after all. Maybe he’s just pro-boobs.

Wherever you find yourself this weekend, take a moment to put the phone down, to unplug from social media, and to take a good look at the world around you. If not for your own good, do it for Charity.  

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