Going on Safari in Moscow

There are strip bars and strip bars. Some feature a single near-naked dancer amusing a few gentlemen diners. Some feature scantily-clad hostesses, lulling teenagers into buying expensive glasses of sparkling wine. Then there is Moscow’s Safari. Unprepossessing at first glance, Safari has achieved a break-through in strip bar technology. It is a machine to strip money from its punters. And its punters don’t mind a bit. It’s easy to find, on the right-hand side of Moscow’s Pokrovka street when you’re walking out of the centre. Look out for an ATM on your right, and you’re there. That ATM will come in handy later when your money has been swallowed up in garters and suspender belts and clutching hands. Leave your coat with the coat woman, then slip down the darkened stairway. Your first impression may be the quality of the music -- Safari has been known to play seriously good drum and bass. Your second impression will come straight after: look at all these naked women! There are dozens of them. It is an effective draw for any male punter. Even if you are just popping in to use the toilet, or you lost your way when looking for the Baptist chapel, you will stay. Something pops in your mind.  Some women are engaged in lap dances over to your left, one is dancing round a pole straight ahead, a gaggle of them are chatting by the wall off on the right, while others are ordering drinks and snaring punters by the bar. Most wear knickers, some don’t. None wear anything more substantial.

You may want to buy a drink, catch your breath. It may be worth drawing up a plan of campaign before you get started. Put all of your money in an easy-to-reach pocket. Don’t think about rationing your expenditure, you’ll just feel bad when you decide to break your own rules in two hours time. Eye up the girls. As soon as you sit down, they’ll be queuing up to give you a dance. Which one will you go for? Will it be the long, lean one with the blonde perm (I wouldn’t recommend her actually). Or the one with the white gauzy skirt and the long chestnut hair. Look around, sip your whisky. There’s no hurry. But before making any decision, it’s worth heading through the door beyond the pole-dancer. The room you have been in so far is just a start to the visual sensation afforded by packs of naked women. Walk through and you’ll see 20-odd young ladies writhing around on the laps of punters on padded benches along the walls. Another 5 or 10 “exotic dancers” wait their turn, which comes when the songs end. The dancers stand, take their money, and walk away, hips swinging above their long legs. Without giving the punter time to breathe, to drink, or to think about whether the 500 roubles he just tucked into a garter would be better spent on little Boris’s new bike, another lady has appeared. With one
smooth motion, like mounting a horse, she swings her leg up and over and settles down like a nesting bird on the target lap. Little Boris’s father will by now be barely recognisable as a rational being. A fog of hormone rises from deep down. It dulls the brain, makes thought impossible. After the second or third lap dance, the customer enters a zone where all visual and tactile signals are maintained, but all higher brain centres have gone. He is swimming in warm honey. With naked girls. And he wants more. And now is the time for the girls to make their real offers. Natalya --  even she doesn’t pretend that’s her real name -- wants to give you a private dance, just a little sexing, a little dancing. If you refuse and just chat, you’ll hear that her little boy Alexei is doing very well at school. But she would like more money to buy him things. So maybe you’d like a private dance. The whispers come from girls all around you: you like private dance, you like go private room, you like sex, you want sex, sex, sex, sex. For anyone unobservant enough not to have noticed it yet from the steady stream of clothed man/naked girl couples passing through the unmarked doors on the right -- Safari is a whorehouse. But it is a whorehouse where you can choose your own level of corruption

Level 1: whisky, pole-dancers and naked girls

Level 2: lap dancers, more lap dancers, still more lap dancers

Level 3 is something I haven’t experienced but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what you might get in you half-an-hour for 5,000 roubles.

Time flies by and eventually, despite all your best intentions, you will run out of money. Even if you don’t, Safari must close by six in the morning. The girls have to head back to get their kids ready for school. And you will walk out onto Pokrovka street again, blinking in the dawn, stinking of cheap strawberry perfume and wondering if little Boris won’t mind not getting his bike this year. Oh well, too late now, little Boris’s school friends -- the kids of all the girls who just wiggled so nicely on your painfully sensitive lap -- will be getting that money. And maybe they’ll get bikes too.

Posted on Thursday, June 8, 2006 at 11:35 by Registered CommenterJam | Comments6 Comments