They say that you’re not supposed to fall in love with a stripper — easier said than done. I fell hard a few years ago at Remington’s and lost a bit of my dignity in the process.

Still, I do have an issue with people who warn against falling in love with strippers because it implies that they aren’t people just like the rest of us. Every human deserves to be loved. The argument, of course, is that dancers are trying to make you fall in love with them, and if they’re good at their job, you will, and they’ll take all of your money. Thing was, I didn’t have any money so that wasn’t a problem.

Remington’s has always been my favorite strip club in Toronto. It’s a classic dive, spread over two floors, dark and narrow with mirrors all along the walls and multiple dancing poles throughout. It’s outdated, but that’s what I like — it feels sleazy and sorted, and it’s not trying to be anything but a Yonge Street strip club. The dancers are somewhat rough, but sweet and kind at the same time.

I used to go every Sunday with my friend Stacy, because it was the only night that ladies were permitted. This has since changed, and women are allowed every day of the week on the main level with a men-only area upstairs on Friday and Saturday nights. We always had a great time on Sundays though, because of the mix of people, all cheering and rambunctious, while the dancers cruised the floors, sniffing out their next dollar from us drunks. 

After a while, the dancers knew that Stacy and I weren’t interested in private dances, so they stopped coming by our table to try; instead, they’d come at the end of the night when most of the other clients had left. Sometimes they’d take a seat with us and tell us about their night — how much money they made or didn’t make, complaining, more than once, that the women didn’t tip nearly as good as men. They’d also tell us things about their personal lives, which you had to take with a grain of salt. They weren’t always honest about who they were, but whether they were telling the truth or not, this was my favorite part of the night.

There had always been a certain level of escapism in going to Remington’s. My work week was pretty tame; I was stuck in my routine and my love life was nonexistent. It was nice, each Sunday, to take a break from the monotony of life and enter into Remington’s.

One Sunday, Stacy and I were sitting right in the front row, discreetly rating the men who went up on stage. We categorized them based on who we would date or sleep with. That’s when I first saw Tony. 

He stormed onto the stage under the red light, and started dancing, already topless. He was pumping his fists in front of him, and shrugging his shoulders with each thrust to, “Protect Ya Neck” by Wu Tang Clan. 

He was tall, maybe six-foot-three, and he was thick and muscular with a shaved head. He wasn’t as young as the other dancers, but he was far more sensual, working up a sweat with his moves. He also had a lot more humility; as he danced, he had this goofy smile on his face, like he didn’t take himself too seriously. He kept looking at me and winking, but I avoided eye contact altogether. 

He was wearing Rocawear jeans with Timberlands, looking like he just walked off the street, which was another thing I loved about Remington’s. Their dancers didn’t dress in costumes — they walked from Yonge Street to the stage — so very authentic. By the second song, he was bouncing around in a pair of Joe Boxers. And the next minute he was completely naked.

Of course, he had the most beautifully monstrous cock — it couldn’t have been any other way. I couldn’t help but stare, but learned later that he thrived on this sort of attention.

“What do you think?” Stacy said. I couldn’t even speak so she looked over and laughed. “You’re in love with him aren’t you. I could tell that he’s your type.”

“He’s fuckin’ hot,” was all I could say. 

“I’m going to tell him that you want a dance,” she teased.

“Don’t you dare. And I’m not paying 20 bucks.”

She laughed. “Fine. But I’m going to ask him if he wants to smoke a joint with us out back.”

And that’s how it started . . .

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