Chapter 1 – The Meeting

She watched him walk into the coffee shop where they had agreed to meet. The coffee shop was slightly busy at this hour, but she had chosen this coffee shop at this time for that reason.  Not alone in the shop, but not too many people there to overhear their conversation. From the picture that her friend Stella had showed her from the party, she knew that this was the guy she was after.  About six feet tall, he looked around, hoping to recognize someone, despite not knowing what she looked like.  Her palms were moist as she held her coffee cup, head down as if she was reading the magazine in her other hand, still unsure about this interview.  “He doesn’t look like a stripper,” she thought, watching him meander around the coffee shop.  “He looks more ‘boy-next-door’,” she thought, taking in his casual attire and dark brown hair in a modern, short haircut. She took a deep breath, and raised her head, pretending to just notice the tall, quite obviously athletic, brunette man walking near her. She lifted her hand in a slight wave at him, and he smiled and walked to the chair opposite her.

“Hi, you’re Pollyanna, right?”  he said, smiling at her.  A big, white, Hollywood smile.  Obviously not nervous in the least.

“Yes, hello,” her voice caught just a bit in her throat.  “You can actually just call me Polly.  I only use my full name for academic purposes.”  She looked away.  How could anyone have a smile that white? She felt that if she looked at him any longer, the heat that was building in her chest would invade her face, making for a very awkward interview.

“And I’m …”

Polly cut him off.  “Oh, remember for ethical purposes and confidentiality, I don’t want to know your name. “

“Right. So what are you going to call me?” He looked directly into her eyes, intensely.

The Stripper.  “Subject One,” she said matter-of-factually, although smiling inwardly.  She wanted this to be professional, but his smile and those green eyes were throwing her off.  She took a deep breath and continued.  “As I had mentioned in the e-mail, I am researching changes in female sexuality, and,” she lowered her voice, “am looking at the male sex trade as it relates to women.  I will be asking you some personal questions, as I had said in the e-mail.  Are you sure you are still okay with this?”  Polly wasn’t sure if she was okay with sitting this close to a stripper.  He just didn’t seem like a stripper.  He smelled good.  Although, she chastised herself, what did she know what a stripper should smell like?

The Stripper smiled his blindingly white smile.  “Yes, I enjoy what I do.  You can ask me anything.  But I will need a coffee first.”  He winked at her and got up to stand in line.

Polly couldn’t help but stare at his ass as he walked away. A high, tight, round ass. Her mother’s generation would say it was an “… ass you could bounce a quarter off of.” It was evident that with such a great ass he worked out. It definitely looked great in those jeans, she concluded.  What was she doing?  She chastised herself for staring.  She was a PhD candidate with a boyfriend who she loved.  She was a very educated woman, not the kind of woman to swoon over any man with prominent green eyes, a nice ass and hard pecs, let alone a stripper.  Oh God, she realized she had checked out other parts of his body!  She was going to Hell.  What was she doing?  Why had she let herself be talked into this avenue of research by her academic advisor?

Polly was uncomfortable to say the least. She had wanted to look at how society’s view of women’s bodies had changed from 1950 to present day by comparing it against advertising campaigns from the same era. However, her favourite professor and thesis advisor had convinced her to go a bit more raw. Polly was about to bolt for the door when The Stripper returned with his coffee.  He sat easily in the chair opposite her, and she again noticed his well-defined chest through his fitted white v-neck t-shirt.  When he took off his jacket to hang it on the back of his chair, Polly tried to avert her eyes from looking at how his arm muscles flexed, and how the white t-shirt fitted – seeming to curve around his chest and abs as if it were tailored specially for him.  The white fabric was slightly thin, giving Polly a slight view of the outline of a nipple. It was just enough to be enticing to the imagination.  He pushed his chair back a bit to be more comfortable, thereby giving Polly a better view of his entire body.  She wondered if he did that on purpose. “Pull it together,” she reprimanded herself.  “You’re here to do research, damnit.”

“So, what do you want to start with?” The Stripper asked, leaning back into the chair with his coffee, “and how graphic do you want me to be?”

“Please, be yourself.” Polly wanted to sound professional, but how graphic would graphic be?  “Why don’t you tell me how you got started? Do you mind if I record this in case I miss something with my notes?”  Polly pulled out a digital recorder from her bag.

He agreed, and Polly fumbled with the recorder.  Just think of Jason, she told herself.  She turned on the recorder, and spoke into it.  “Subject One, Male Stripper. Oh, how old are you?”

“27,” he said. She repeated this into the recorder, and told him he could begin whenever he wanted.

He began, “As with all good stories, this one began in Vegas,” he grinned, obviously enjoying the memory.  He took a sip of his coffee, and his eyes seemed to sparkle.  “I was in Vegas with some buddies of mine.  I’m not a big gambler, but hey, I like hanging with the guys.”  Again that white smile emanated from him.  Polly averted her eyes and focused on taking notes.

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