Here are some tips for getting the most out of this place: first off, go late. The second time we go, we arrive promptly at 1am and the bar is packed. Secondly, drink up. Probably what made my second time at Pumps more fun than the last (and surely this is true of strip club visits in general) is that I properly imbibed for the proceedings. "When Beyonce came on, you started throwing your hands up in the air," my boyfriend tells me as we recount the night the next day. Noted.
Also, get a lap dance. That second night, a buxom blonde walks over to us and starts talking to my boyfriend's friend, and the possibility of a lap dance is raised. "She wants one?" the dancer, who goes by the name of a city in Texas, asks. Yes, I do.
Houston* leads me past the black velvet curtain into the communal lap dance area. "Have you ever gotten one of these before?" she asks.
I have not. Houston spreads my thighs apart and hoists herself on top of me. "How long have you been working here?" I ask.
"About five years," she says, her pillowy butt gyrating on top of me, in tune with some random R&B song. "I do the bookkeeping." Houston lowers herself down to the floor and and cradles her breasts in between my knees. "I usually do this move, regardless of gender," she says. "It makes my titties look good, don't you think?"
Having another person jiggle all over you is distracting, but I resolve not to get off track -- I'm genuinely curious to learn more about her and about this place. Thankfully, Houston continues the conversation for me. She tells me she’s worked at other clubs before, in DC, before making the move to New York.
"The clubs are different everywhere you go," she says.
"Even in New York?" I ask.
"Yeah," she says over her shoulder, ass in my face. "And this place is a whole thing unto itself."
"Huh, it really seems like it," I manage to eek out as she starts motorboating my face.
"Mhm." Houston props herself upright. "Your three minutes are up, sweetie."