Right before Christmas, I did what all good girls do and packed my bags and flew to Las Vegas. Alone. I’d never been to Vegas, but every time I told someone I was going, they were all, “OMG, AUNT BECKY, VEGAS IS SOOOOO CRAZY,” so I was kind of disappointed when I un-boarded the plane and all I found were a couple of creepy looking old people playing the slots. No miniature Dolly Parton impersonators, no monkeys juggling bottles of ether, no aging strippers grinding on any poles. It was just an airport. With gambling. I shrugged. Whatever.
I met up with a couple of my girlfriends at Baggage Claim. They had also ditched their families during the Most Wonderful Time of the Year when you’re supposed to be all I LOVE FAMILY, but secretly you’re all I LOATHE FAMILY and we trundled off to our hotel. I looked for weirdness everywhere. I was praying for it. Bring on the weirdness! NOTHING. My hotel clerk was shockingly normal. Our room, despite being a penthouse – which was almost entirely unlike Penthouse Magazine – was also unremarkable. Apparently, it was NOT the Weird Time of Year in Vegas.
(the Rodeo, however, WAS in town)
Okay, if it wasn’t the Weird Time of Year, maybe it was the Sexy Time of Year for Vegas. I’d heard about the sexy stuff in Vegas, too. Prostitution and strippers and cab drivers that take you to strip clubs no matter what you say your destination is. Okay, BRING ON THE SEXY, VEGAS, I thought. I’m a SEX WRITER!
I had a MISSION! I was going to FIND SEXY. I was gonna BRING SEXY BACK.
Okay, that was going a bit far. But I did know that the other bloggers I was meeting in Vegas had lined up a Stripping for Dummies class which seemed like a good place to start. I got my SEXY WRITER glasses on and prepared to take notes on The Sexy In Vegas. (Keep in mind that I’d just had major abdominal surgery and couldn’t participate in many of the SEXY VEGAS activities)
Here’s my what I found out:
Stripping for Dummies: I watched a seasoned stripper try to teach twenty of my favorite bloggers (and friends) how to give a lap dance at ten in the morning on a Saturday. In Vegas. After a night of very hard drinking.
Not one of them could keep a straight face while they shook their boobies or waggled their “cookie” (the stripper’s term for a vagina which I’d never heard before. I sat in the back of the room drinking tequila, yearning softly for a chocolate chip cookie.) in their “partner’s” face. Their partner was a folding chair. It. Was. Hilarious.
The pole dancing part of the Stripper 101 Class was worse. Our instructor made it look effortless as she twirled and whirled around her brass pole. She blithely informed my compatriots that “it was so easy!” As I sipped my tequila, I was secretly glad I couldn’t participate. I didn’t want a tour of Las Vegas’s finest ER’s under my belt. Apparently, by “easy,” she meant, “probably going to make you fall on your ass.” Because that’s what happened. Not one of my friends could twirl, whirl, or otherwise work the pole.
Bloggers aren’t coordinated, I guess.
For having a ridiculously hot and talented instructor, I give the class high marks. For being ridiculously absurd, I give the class low marks. Stripping for Dummies: PUSH.
Pants Free Vegas: Multiple unrelated sources had informed me that people didn’t wear pants in Vegas. I consider pants to be complete and utter bullshit and I avoid them at all costs so I was thrilled. I tweeted about it. I blogged about it. I would have gotten a shirt made that said “PANTS ARE BULLSHIT,” if I’d had the forethought.
So I eagerly looked around my hotel for pantsless people. I looked for signs that said, “NO PANTS ZONE!” I looked scoured bathrooms and casinos alike. EVERYONE WAS WEARING SOMETHING ON THEIR BOTTOM HALF. The whole “people don’t wear pants in Vegas thing” was a TOTAL LIE.
I was Furious George. Also: deeply saddened. I put on pants. I was angry. I may have cried.
Pants Free Vegas: FAIL.
Escorts In Casinos: While I was looking for evidence of a Pants Free Vegas, I decided that it was an appropriate to look for prostitutes. Not, of course, because I wanted one (shut UP!), but because I wanted to see if there really WERE prostitutes hanging around. We have plenty in Chicago, but I figured that the Vegas prostitutes that hung out in our upscale hotel would probably be a little…classier looking. Or maybe not. I just didn’t know. But I was going to find out! I was like Nancy Drew! But a sex writer! Which is, uh, kinda the opposite of Nancy Drew, now that I think about it, but I digress.
I sat with one of my girlfriends in a small bar right off the hotel casino and just watched. People watching is always fun, but Vegas made it extra awesome. And sure enough, just on the periphery, I spotted a few escorts. Or what I assumed were escorts, at least. I didn’t ask them because it seemed rude and my martini was very, very strong. There’s a chance I’d have barfed on them. NOT SEXY.
But they were hot chicks in small dresses wearing tons of makeup who just stood at the edge of the casino scoping the place out. The tourists were all dumpy people in fanny packs (except for us. We were always wicked hot) so I could tell that these women probably weren’t there for the Rodeo. They were there for a different kind of rodeo. (AWWW YEAH).
Even though prostitution is illegal in Vegas and the surrounding county, it’s clear that the laws didn’t really matter where we were staying. I saw one of the escorts find a well-dressed guy and saunter off with him. I’ve been around enough people to know that they weren’t heading away to play a nice game of Monopoly or anything. And sitting just next to us at the bar was a woman clearly not with the party who were drunkenly (annoyingly) whooping it up. She took the drunkest guy aside, had a quiet conversation with him behind cupped hands, and then proceeded to hang out on his lap for the remainder of our stay at the bar.
It was kinda awesome.
Escorts/Prostitution in Vegas: WIN
Vegas, on the whole, was neither as rowdy or rambunctious as I’d thought (read: hoped) it might be. It seemed sort of like Cancun, but with older people with cankles. I’m not unhappy I went there and I’d probably even go back. But the sexiness was no more or less than Chicago.
And at least at home in Chicago, I don’t have to wear pants. Pants, after all, are bullshit.
So, Toy With Me-ers, have you been to Vegas? Was I just there at the wrong time? Should I go back for more “field research?” Or is there a sexier city I could try to visit instead?