"Who are they? Actually, they're strippers."

Whenever I need to really chill, I leave Brooklyn and go back home to Maryland. It's difficult to sleep with the sounds of crickets instead of sirens at night and even more difficult to sleep-in with those suburban birds chirping all in those trees everywhere and what not. Truthfully, I'll take the sound of horns and the morning garbage trucks any day, at least I can sleep though those sounds… but I digress. The Old County, as I affectionately call Maryland, allows me to get away from the ever-constant hustle that is life in NYC. Everything is just really slow. The last time I was home, sometime around Thanksgiving, my best friend and I had a girl's night out at Jasper's, a local bistro (if you can call it that) with excellent crab cakes, fat, beer battered fries, and Bone Crushers, a local alcoholic beverage of which I have never figured out the contents, but order everytime I go there.

The goal was to have a chill night. Keep it local, have a couple drinks, some dinner and head on home before 2. But nothing is every simple when I roll with Ace.

We get to the bar and spot a pair of attractive, well-structured men drinking close by. At first, they look, but don’t speak to us. They are clearly on the hunt, scoping every woman that walks by. At some point in the night, after Bone Crusher One but before the end of Two, one of them eavesdrops on our conversation. So I've been told by more than one listening intruder, Ace and I's chat tend to TV-ready banter at its finest--especially after the first Bone Crusher.

The twosome engages us in playful banter. We tease them about the number of women who have been stopping by to say hello. One of them chuckles and says with no trace of humility, “Oh? You don’t know who we are?”

I screw up my face in the classic WTF? look. Ya'll already know I can't stand a man with an ego.

“Uh, naw, dude," Ace says, humoring the conversation. "Who might you be?”

Another chuckle and a shared glance between them. “Nobody at all.”

I'm completely turned off by these dudes now. So is Ace. We’re now giving them our best f**k-off’ aura, showing a clear disinterest and only speaking to each other. They don’t get it. (If you know me, you've heard my thoughts about men loving mean or disinterested women.) Now, they want to talk. Just great.

So they start talking and we're eating, half-heartedly paying attention. But eventually we start listening intently because with only two Heinekens each in their systems and me only half-heartedly using any journalism skills, this is what a pair of quite beautiful, six foot, two hundred pound black men made of sculpted muscle shared with us:

Who are they? Actually, they’re strippers. But don’t call them that. They like to be called entertainers. Oh, and they’re not dancers. Their “show” is more than dancing. They work 10 minutes a day, 7 days a week (one takes Sundays off to go to church and be with his WIFE and children). They get butterball, birthday-suit naked on stage...


READ THE REST in  A BELLE IN BROOKLYN: The Go-to Guide for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. ON SALE NOW