We settled into a table near the main pole-dance area and continued to be ignored by the entire establishment, which was just fine by me, because I couldn't help but stare. I suppose I should describe the joint, but you can probably conjure up an exact replica of the place: Las Vegas-style gaudy carpeting, chicks with their asses hanging out, dipshit customers in NFL coats hunched over drinks, and a liberal dusting of risqué insincerity.
I used to feel sorry for women who worked in these places, but I think that my "concern" was really just me being judgmental. Now it's not so much that I have been liberated from my judgments, it's just that I don't give a shit anymore. Go ahead, rut around in some guy's lap for money. I don't know you and therefore have no idea what your motivation is. I can't hold you down. Fly away and be free! (Is anyone else picturing a nuthatch in a G-string? No?)
We sat there and sipped our drinks. My friend had never read Hustler, so I told her what I could remember about it. Instead of a centerfold, readers can find a two-page spread of just that -- a spread. A total beaver shot that takes up the entire space. Flynt also ran a cartoon called Chester the Molester, about a predatory pedophile. He published pictures of horribly deformed people as a sort of sideshow extra. He was also brave enough to dip into the fetish coverage before any other pornographer of his stature.
I always wondered who would want to read this magazine regularly. What kind of person would have a subscription? A sicko, that's who. Larry Flynt is the last person I ever thought would end up getting mainstream attention. But pornographers are like cult religions. If they hang around long enough, they eventually become established. The Jehovah's Witnesses' doctrine is loony tunes, but we consider that group a full-fledged church now. Larry Flynt is a pig, but he now lends his name to a chain of pseudo-elite gentlemen's clubs.
Oh gosh, there I go again, being judgmental. It's not as though the Hustler Club is some über-grody den of vice. Actually, if anything, it was like a generic airport lounge, only with coochie.