GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

September 4, 2014

Las Vegas Weekly

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Page 20 of 67

September 4–10, 2014 21 an you tell that my hair is out of place?" the girl asks. She's young. She's beautiful. She's wearing tiny, tiny lingerie in a crowded bathroom, run- ning manicured fingers over a bump in an otherwise flawless ponytail. Sweetly, the attendant says, "No, honey. And if they're looking at your hair there's a problem." It's Saturday night at the Spearmint Rhino, and I'm pretty sure no one is looking at the ponytails and beachy waves and French braids when there are so many breasts and legs and lips moving in the darkness. There must be 200 girls here tonight, working every corner of the cheetah-carpeted capital of mostly naked hotness. I am an inter- loper in corduroy pants. But I'm not looking for a story about the dark side of the industry, about the pimps, drugs and broken psyches. I'm looking for the Queen. That's no stage name; it's a notion of one stripper to rule them all, as stupidly reductive as it is intriguing. The beauty, the body, the powerful moves, person- ality, hustle and a head for business— these are weapons she wields to the tune of six figures a year, working way fewer days than the average American. Las Vegas is the best and worst place to look for her, because it draws talent from everywhere else. The field is huge, and the criteria are as subjective as attraction, whether you're talking about conversation skills or the ability to pop dollars off a pubic bone. It's an impossible premise—finding the ultimate stripper in the ultimate stripper town. But what is it that truly separates the women who dominate the business from the gyrating masses? In the ultimate stripper town, what defines the women who rule? By Erin ryan | PhotograPhs By mona shiEld PaynE

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