My wife and I recently went together to a fully nude strip club near our hometown. We found ourselves mere inches (and often closer) to the inner thighs and spread assholes of perfect strangers. And we found God there.
Let me back up...
In an age of ubiquitous porn - from Showtime softcore to YouJizz.com - there is no shortage of skin to be seen. What's the appeal, then, of the strip club? Unless we're socially awkward or living a sheltered life, we've seen skin and parts before. Just catching a glimpse of "naughty bits" is hardly enough to be titillating or keep anyone's attention anymore.
You could argue that it's the connection - as vapid and illusory as it may be - that is the draw. Men flock to these establishments to mingle and feel a self-centered, faux-intimacy to a woman that he probably wouldn't have a chance with otherwise. You could say it's an ego-boost of sorts. Or perhaps a glitter-coated elixir for the pains of loneliness. And for many patrons, that may be exactly what's happening.
But I suspect that in its best moments, something far deeper is going on. Something that's perhaps born unconsciously below many people's intentions. I feel this because my wife and I touched on it this night and proceeded to discuss it for days after. And what experience is that?
Yes, precisely the kind that happens at churches, temples and mosques all over the world. Patrons flock to those establishments to connect with the source of life, to be a part of something bigger than themselves, to experience Beauty. They lift their hands and sing with joy until their hearts open. They lay down their offerings out of gratitude and respect. And is this any different?
Nevermind the worn down and long-in-the-tooth or dead-behind-the-eyes strippers who are passionlessly gyrating their hips and staring off into space. The good dancers transport you and connect you to something … divine. Her genuine smile; her open, shameless and uninhibited body; her rhythmic and sensual movements, her piercing eye contact, her lustful invitation - we watch these with ever blossoming joy because they are the incarnated embodiment of Feminine Energy. She is Shakti, Mother Mary, the Sacred Whore, Mother Earth, the Goddess - and the quality of her energy is light, which much be seen. Our hearts are blasted open by her radiance and she is glorified by being watched. We inhale that energy and it becomes fuel and inspiration. The arousal coursing through our bodies is felt as the very juice of life, the power that births worlds and set the whole fucking universe into motion.
So we clap our hands and smile with joy until our hearts open. We lay down our offerings at their feet out of gratitude and respect. It may be a far cry from the self-denied asceticism of Jesus on a cross (which certainly has its time and place) - but for those of us who are more interested in cautiously seeking divinity in the world we live in (as opposed to an after-death fairy tale), we may just find it in the most unusual of places: the strip joint on the edge of town.
So there you have it. Leave it to me to turn the home of Tits and Ass into the Holy of Holies.