Asha pulled her jacket on over the black mini-dress she had been wearing out on the floor. On her feet she wore her clear stilettos; she wasn’t confident about their sturdiness outside the club, but they were all she had to wear. The clothes she had worn into work that night were too casual to go out on the town in.
Asha had had her first shift at Mademoiselle’s only two nights earlier. She had not yet been told about ‘outbookings’, but she had just been booked for one, with two other dancers named Jordan and Tara. Once they had changed, the three dancers met up with their customers again at the bar.
“Two hours,” said Nikki, the club manager, from behind the bar. “Stay in public areas.”
Stepping out onto the footpath, Jordan reached into her jacket pocket and held her hand out to her customer. In her palm were two small white pills. Her customer took one of the, and she swallowed the other one herself.
Jordan hailed a taxi, and the group of six climbed in. The casino was open all night long with no lockout time, so they could be out for as long as they wished, which gave the girls the opportunity to earn more money.
Jordan leaned in towards the driver from the backseat.
“Driver, can you take us to Brisbane Couples’ Club?”
“What’s that?” asked Asha.
“It’s a swingers’ club,” said Jordan. “My friend is the manager. I always take my outbookings there.”
Asha felt a mixture of excitement and hesitancy at the prospect of going to a swingers’ club. What would happen there? They were no longer under the watchful eye of Nikki and the security at Mademoiselle’s.
“It’s okay, we won’t do anything with them,” Jordan said discreetly to Asha. “I’ll give the guys a tour of the club, and we can do a stage show on the poles they have.”
When the group arrived at Brisbane Couples’ Club, the receptionist explained the rules to them.
“Entry is free for women, and one hundred dollars for men. Men are not allowed in without a female companion.”
The three men took out their wallets, and once everyone was paid for, the group headed inside. Jordan led them through the venue to the outdoor smoking area, where they sat around a bench table. Asha’s customer, Dave, placed his arm around her shoulders and leaned in toward her ear.
“Maybe we could find somewhere more private where you could give me a lap dance?”
Asha shook her head, smiling.
“I think I’d like to stay here with the others, if that’s all right,” she said.
The group stayed in the smoking area for some time, and eventually Jordan suggested a tour of the rest of the club. She showed them an area of private rooms. In another area, a sex swing was set up, but it was not being used at that moment. A massage table was set up in the middle of the floor. A naked woman was lying face down, her skin shimmery from the oil. Dave took a turn to gently rub his hands over her body.
Next, Jordan showed the group along a dimly lit hallway, to a small room, in which there was a bed with handcuffs bolted to the headboard. There was another sex swing in the corner. A television screen was set up on a table nearby, and a camera fed footage onto the screen from the bed. Jordan crawled onto the bed and jumped around playfully on her knees, amused by her reflection.
After the tour, the group returned to the smoking area. The booking was coming to an end, and Jordan persuaded her customer to call Nikki at Mademoiselle’s and extend their booking over the phone, using the credit card he had left behind the bar.
“Come on, girls. Let’s do a stage show,’ Jordan insisted.
There was a stage in the main common area of the club where three dancing poles were set up. Onlookers cheered as Jordan and the others dazzled them with their sensuous moves and acrobatic skills.
Finally, Jordan suggested they move on to the casino, and once outside again they hailed another taxi. When they arrived at the casino, Jordan excused herself to go to the toilet, and Tara followed. Asha didn’t want to be separated from them, so she too left their customers at the bar and followed the girls to the bathroom.
Upon their return to the bar, the girls found that their customers had disappeared. They looked around the crowded area, but their search effort was suspended in favour of a cigarette break.
“Maybe we should keep looking for them, before they get too far away,” Asha suggested, scanning the balcony.
“Just chill out, Holly,” Tara dismissed. “We’ll start looking again once we’ve finished our smoke.”
Asha feared their casual approach to their customers might appear unprofessional. They had previously plotted to take their customers back to Mademoiselle’s, and have them book in the private room until closing time at 5 a.m.
Once they finally resumed their search, the girls found Tara’s customer in the bar, equally as confused as to the whereabouts of his friends.
“Well, the least you can do is shout us a cab back to the club,” Jordan insisted, and he agreed.
Leaving the remaining customer at the bar inside the casino, the girls headed back outside and caught another taxi back to Mademoiselle’s. By this time, it was well into the early hours of Saturday morning. Asha stepped back out onto the floor, evaluating the room from a distance, spotting two young men sitting at a bar table in the far corner. Asha noticed that they were trying to get her attention.
Within five minutes of introducing herself, Asha was headed to the private room for half an hour with one of the young men, and shortly after another dancer named Madeleine appeared with the other. In passing, the friends high-fived each other.
After their half-hour had concluded, Asha’s customer elected not to continue. As she proceeded to leave the private lounge, Madeleine’s customer summoned her over, and Asha stayed with them for the next hour. Madeleine moved her naked body slowly over Asha, who lay reclined over their customer’s lap. She could almost feel Madeleine’s lips brush against her as she dipped her head in a cat-like roll.
“Are you sure this is okay?” Madeleine asked Asha. “I’m not invading your space?”
“No, not at all, it’s fine,” Asha breathed.
It was 3.40 a.m. by the time their second half-hour booking was up, and tiredness had begun to set in as Asha returned to the dressing room. It was the first time she had paused since starting her shift almost seven hours earlier. She changed into her regular clothes and collected her pay from her first shift.
The first train to the Sunshine Coast left Central Station at 6 a.m., and ninety minutes and one train change later, Asha arrived back to her mother’s house at Landsborough.
What a night, she thought.
In two years of working as an exotic dancer in Brisbane, Asha had never made money as easily as she had that night. All she had hoped for was to make $800 a week to cover her living expenses, but at Mademoiselle’s she could see how it was possible to make that in a night. Before she had started working there she had barely been able to believe the stories from other girls, but now she was glad she had made the switch from The Runway, her previous club. After the club’s cut of 40%, she had made $1,200 that night, just from gallivanting fully clothed around the city.
As Asha held her phone to her ear, her smile crept quickly across her face.
“That’s great news, that really is!” she exclaimed. “Thank you so much!”
Asha hung up and hurried out of her bedroom and down the hall to the living room, where she found her mother.
“Guess what?” she squealed.
Laurel looked up from her book.
“What is it?”
“I got approved for the unit!”
“Oh, that’s wonderful news!” Laurel exclaimed, standing up and embracing her daughter.
“Congratulations! When can you move in?”
Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two is now available for pre-order, for release worldwide on July 20th, 2018.