Antonia Crane has been stripping for roughly two decades. When we asked her for her wildest bachelor party stories, Crane, never one to peddle in bullshit, got more real than we could have ever imagined. (Editor’s Note: This story was first published on June 21, 2017.)
The Time Cocaine and Pony Rides Gave Me My Confidence Back
There comes a time in every baby stripper’s life where one lunges toward an imaginary pot of stripper gold. In the late 1990s, I figured that gold was in Vegas, but what I found instead was a grubby titty bar off the strip called “Wild Jays.” It mostly had two things: Lots of rejection and poverty. In short, Vegas hated me. Greasy managers hinted I was too fat and too tattooed. In the end, I left — flat broke and distraught with the taste of ash in my throat.
Defeated, I flew to Los Angeles to visit my then-girlfriend, Cross. While she worked as a piercer during the day, I hit the streets of Silver Lake to window shop. A man ran up to me after he made the correct assessment that I was a person who took her clothes off for money. He asked if I would work a bachelor party that night. This was before cell phones, Facebook or swiping right. I was simply given an address and a time. He asked me to find another girl. I asked around and found Mindy, a stripper/contortionist who I sort of knew through another stripper.
I remember little about the actual show we did for the guys, but I was smitten with the man’s tasteful house straight out of a Design Within Reach catalogue. I also remember Mindy snorted fat lines of coke with one of the guys and then rode on his shoulders around the house long enough that I was worried he would drop her. I recall stepping out into the incandescent L.A. night a couple hours later at least $500 richer and feeling relieved and grateful because for once, I had worn the right dress and was at the right place at the right time, and now I could go hog-tie Cross.
The Time I Might Have Accidentally Caused a Punk Show Bar Brawl
I was stripping at The Century, the mangy, unwanted stepchild club across the street from the more desirable Mitchell Brothers Theatre in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. Atty and I were to split a cab and go work a bachelor party together after we made a couple hundred bucks. Afterward, we could come back and work until 4 a.m. if we so desired.
The bachelor party was above Bottom of the Hill, a rock club in Potrero Hill. By the time we showed up around 10 p.m. Bottom of the Hill was already packed with punks drinking beer in Doc Martens and studded denim jackets. Mike, the owner, found us and led us up narrow snaky stairs into the secret bowels of the club. My band had played several times here, but I still had no idea there was an apartment upstairs. Atty, an Uma-Thurman-scale tall, busty blonde, used the bachelor’s skinny tie to play-choke him, and we spanked him with his belt. We probably whipped-creamed our nipples and licked it off for him, before letting him join us in the sugar rush of tangled tongues and boobs — basic bachelor party shenanigans.
We walked out with about $350 each and went back downstairs. I asked Atty if she wanted to watch the band for a minute. She agreed. We stood together in our stripper outfits and insanely tall stilettos, perched high enough to easily see the whole show. We were completely smashed against two guys in front of us. One of them, a burly bald guy, said to his friend, “I know that girl.” The other guy responded, “No you don’t.” After which the bald guy dumped a full pint glass of beer he was holding onto the other guy’s head. We jerked to the side so we didn’t get drenched.
Next, the two guys got in a fistfight, which led to the entire crowd fighting and the singer stage-diving into the crowd while still holding his microphone. The crowd followed him onto the street where he sang outside. We moved with the mob of people onto the street into punk mayhem. We heard someone yell, “He’s got a knife!,” and we ran away from the club up the hill in our impossible stripper shoes with our bachelor party swag until we were away from the crowd.
We heard sirens. Cops littered the street. We hailed a cab and sped away from the scene. We were panting in the cab from running and laughing. I turned to Atty and asked, “Did you know that guy?” She looked out the window and whispered, “I don’t think so, but I think he knew you.”
The Time My Anonymous Lady Pimp Sent Me to My Creepiest Job Ever
When I moved to L.A., I was lying to my boyfriend about what I was up to. What I was up to was doing bachelor parties on the weekends for a bizarre “agency” — or rather, a lady pimp who I never met but who took a percentage of the money I made from the clients she procured. After I completed the show, I placed her cut in a plain white envelope and dropped it off at my friend’s house. She was the one who got me the gig and knew the lady pimp.
To keep the lie plausible, I dressed like I was going to a catering gig and slipped my sleazy outfit in my barkit bag to change into once I parked at the location: a dreary L.A. motel. I changed clothes in my car in the parking lot. I hid whipped cream, low-rent titty-clamps from Pleasure Chest and a vibrating dildo (again, nothing fancy) in the glove compartment of my shit brown 1978 Chevy Disco Nova. I was supposed to meet another girl who was scheduled to do the show with me, sight unseen.
When I got there, the grim motel room was packed with about 10 guys who seemed like they’d been drinking since the day before. The other girl, a skinny, cute brunette who was empty-eyed and bored, was already there. She’d brought some toys and wanted to know if we could use them. I told her we could if we washed them. I guessed they had already asked her for a girl-girl show. We decided on a mutual-masturbation show. The agreed-upon price was $300 each. I needed to pay my car insurance, which was why I’d said yes to the gig in the first place.
We pushed two twin beds together, pulled off the ugly orange bed spread and got busy making out and undressing one another. The guys didn’t want lap dances or any silliness. They wanted a sex show and were attentive but in a creepy way: quiet, angry and drunk. One took a phone call and walked outside. I used the girl’s toy on her, and she used a vibrator on me until my body was tired and overstimulated.
Doing the show in the disconcerting silence of a room full of drunk guys sitting around was awkward as well as the fact that the girl seemed just as vacant and unhappy to be there as I was. The hour dragged like I was waiting for my number to be called at the DMV. When I got dressed and left, I felt more depressed and alone than I had in a long time. “I’m Lily,” she said when it was all over. We shook hands, and I changed into my pretend catering outfit in my car and drove to the nearest ATM.
The Time I Found Myself Performing in a Double-Wide
During this time, no one ever knew where I was when I did shows except for Spike, my gay BFF who insisted on being my bodyguard for a bachelor party in Lancaster, California. We decided to make a friend date-night out of it — meeting for sushi in West Hollywood and then driving to my gig together in his silver Dodge truck. Lancaster was pretty far away: 70(ish) miles. We listened to music and chatted the whole way there. I brought music and was happy to have company for the trek. We made good time but had trouble finding the place. We drove around and around until we realized the address was in a trailer park. When we found the correct double-wide, we pulled over and laughed hysterically. “Are you sure you want to do this?” Spike asked.
We walked inside to a room full of vets. One guy was missing his leg from the knee down. Another was limping. All of them looked tattered and torn and much older than they said they were. I did a silly three-song set that was embarrassingly all-American: Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, ACDC.
When I gave lap dances, they were a tad shy and didn’t tip well. This was a blue-collar operation, and I knew I was going to be leaving with the bare minimum. Spike just stood against the wall with his full-sleeved inked arms crossed, looking tough. The bachelor tried to kiss me and asked me to do more in the bathroom. I told him it was super tempting, but unfortunately, I couldn’t.
Spike refused any money from me, and when we left, he rolled his eyes and carried my speakers. We drove in silence all the way back to L.A.
The Time I Had Sex With the Groom
Once upon a time in a strip club in New Orleans, a bachelor party went too far. A guy got too smitten. I got too lonesome. I believed the fairy tale of romance, and we both got swept away. I was stripping at the Penthouse Club and was sitting with a group of guys who were having a destination bachelor party. I was negotiating with them about going “upstairs” — or basically a pimped-out suite with all the fixings such as a pole, TV, couches and bar.
Sometimes bachelors treat me like I’m not there at all — like a fly on the window pane of their actual life. No eye contact at all. But Paul was different. He must have been having reservations about tying the knot because when he asked me, “Do you want to make some real money?” I looked him straight in the face and nodded yes. I took his number and called him the next day.
We met at Commander’s Palace for a romantic dinner. Afterward, we had unprotected sex in his hotel room, and I didn’t ask for any more money at all. I was in a downward spiral, reeling from the loss of my mother, who died from an aggressive cancer. I was in grad school and struggling to get by. I’d been having obsessive thoughts about getting pregnant. I had no one in my life to have sex with, but the thought of getting pregnant hounded me.
I didn’t end up pregnant, though.
I adopted a stray kitten instead.
The Time Even a Lap Dance Couldn’t Get the Groom Excited
The thing about working bachelor parties is that we’re supposed to pretend to dissuade the bachelor from getting married, but generally, we just end up giving them lap dances, embarrassing them in front of their new in-laws and homies, then spanking their asses and sending them on their merry way.
Recently, at the one strip club where I work in the Coachella Valley, the bachelor’s friends had some serious reservations about the upcoming wedding. The bachelor was in his late 20s and cute, well-dressed and polite. His eyes were glazy and wild. I spoke to Pete, the best man. “When’s the big day?” I asked. He told me the wedding was next week, and that they’d been drinking since 11 a.m. Then he added, “He doesn’t deserve what’s happening to him.”
“What?” I asked.
“He works his ass off. He deserves better,” Pete responded. Then he handed me 40 bucks. That wasn’t even two dances. I asked for 10 more. I took the bachelor, Sean, to the back and learned more about him. He slumped in his chair, barely there. I pressed my boobs in his face. He told me his fiancée was pregnant again. Second time. He hated her family. During the second dance, I asked him if he loved her. “I love my daughter,” he said.
The Time the Guy Wanted Me to Hurt Him
Once in awhile, a marriage goes sour and a stripper appears. Often, that stripper is me. Kacey Blue-Eyes, a weed trimmer from Yucca Valley, came to see me three times in a two-week period. When I was busy with other customers, he’d wait patiently then tell me, “I’m going crazy. I’ve been waiting so long for you.”
And he meant it.
One time I asked him to run to the store for me to fetch sugar-free gum and Red Bull. It would give me some time to spend with my regulars away from his stare and give him an opportunity to serve me. I finally asked him if he wanted me to hurt him, and he said he did. Then I asked him if he’d like to go to the smoking area and discuss. I learned Kacey Blue-Eyes thought he was in love with me, but he mostly wanted to act out and get even with his wife. He’d caught her with another man, and they had a 10-year-old son with behavioral problems.
After he told me all of this, he said, “I love her.” I explained that if he wanted me to hurt him we could discuss it, but I wouldn’t do anything to be destructive to his marriage or act as a tool for revenge. I hugged Kacey Blue-Eyes as he sobbed in my arms. “You’re an amazing person,” he told me.
“No,” I said. “Just a person.”
I haven’t seen him since.