I've been to 4 Hen's nights and last night I went to my first with strippers.
My first memory is of the Bride and her maids signing the release form. Then of the other dozen Brides and their maids making their way to the aisle seats.
And then they introduced The Premise.
The Premise - which seems to be present in most porn too - is whatever reason they think of to contextualise and justify the need to strip. (Watch as I deftly intellectualise this experience.) Our performance was about these brothers - nay, Princes - who had been kept virginal by their tyrannical father, The King, and were apparently/understandably bursting at the seams. But NOW (oh blessed day) the King had died, and the brothers were FREE! They were making the most of the occasion.
The eldest brother - the New King - did the MCing.
The MC cycled through referring to us as maids, virgins, wenches and goddesses and as a result I was very confused about myself. In the beginning I laughed and laughed - the set up was so painful, with guys walking down the aisles in monk robes, lots of temple images, very Excalibur, and all the guys named The Prince of Lust, The Prince of Temptation, The Prince of Seduction (an impressive title for a virgin) etc. And the MC had a weird Father-of-Robbie-Williams look about him.
But once they got into the dancing, and passed the premise, it was much more fun and easier to stomach. They had the Brides-To-Be up on stage alone or in pairs or fours and would seat them on chairs as they danced around - at one stage asking a few BTB to dance for them. They found the women who had been married longest and asked them to make some penises out of plasticine (one quite promising and the other more like a bowl, which was explained with "It's Italian") There was a guessing game and a fair bit of blindfolding.
Most promising were the referential performances: Dirty Dancing (no lift, mind you), Grease and Sex in the City remakes - even the poor token black man (great dancer) having to do African themed stuff (imaginatively named the 'Prince of Darkness'). Plus some excellent song choices such as Baby Did A Bad Bad thing.
More painful was the (un)surprising Robbie Williams mimed-cover from the MC (who would've thought?) and the 'bathing' at the end. By that stage a friend and I were up the back dancing away and getting the last of the drinks before the venue opened up for regular patrons.
Soon enough I was clapping too.
Come ON! All that dancing for over a hundred women and only two bouncers is pretty keen. And they were clearly nice guys doing the job; very supportive and forgiving when the BTBs or whoever declined or got too nervous. Also, I think I had been desensitised a little by our Bride's paraphernalia*.
All the dancers seemed older than us (although I'm betting a few weren't) which was comforting for some reason, and they showed a good sense of humour about the whole thing, even when the drunken women (not even a BTB!) got herself up on stage and had to be escorted off by the bouncers (who, by the way, were very entertaining to watch as they watched us.)
So we danced away for a few hours afterwards and I didn't feel any dirtier than when I went in.
Well, a little.
*One penis shaped whistle; two Hen's Night sashes (one with blinking lights); three penis shaped balloons tied to her waist; one tiara; one headband with two sparkly, flashing penis-and-balls on springs which also had a condom-laden veil attached; and one double-ended dildo (named Ernest & Clive).