By Sean Pendergast
By Sean Pendergast
By Jeff Balke
By Richard Connelly
By Jeff Balke
By Casey Michel
By Craig Hlavaty
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Two of the Rick's girls who are in the video are pleased as punch to get the exposure. Their stage names are Miranda and Irie (they say their real names are Lisa and Jennifer). The other girls in the video are Max, Shasta, Suzette, Anna and Tigger.
Miranda is 23 and from just north of Lake Charles, Louisiana. She's been dancing for more than two years. Irie, from Houston, is 21 and has been dancing for 18 months. Both are blonds. Both are thrilled to be in the video.
"There's some pretty gynecological shots, but nothing vulgar to me," says Irie. Miranda describes it as "very tasteful."
Both Irie and Miranda know what many viewers will be doing after they dial in their pay-per-view order for The Girls of Rick's.
rie says, "We've been asked this question a few times: How does it feel to know that every man in America will be jerking off to you?"
"I try not to think about it," Miranda says. "I just try to think that Penthouse thought we were good enough. Mainly, we're doing this to get a little further down the road, to take us places. We try not to think about it. We know there's weirdos out there."
Miranda seems to realize that all that testosterone has to cause Isomething. "People come in here, we dance for them, they go home and do the same thing."
"Or to the bathroom," Irie adds. "We wonder, because we know sometimes they get hard-ons and they have to run to the bathroom. It kind of makes you a little curious what they're doing in there."
The girls are hopeful that something beyond a lot of titillation and masturbation will come of this.
"Dan O'Dowd -- he's a producer, you know -- has already set us up with a couple of music videos for MTV, and something with Pauly Shore," Miranda says. "The more our face is seen, the more offers we're going to get."
Irie adds, "I initially did not really expect this to be as big of a thing as it's coming out. We didn't come into this with intentions of running off to Hollywood and becoming a movie star, but we've been asked a lot and they really think we're wasting our time here and they really want us to come, so we're going to go and try and see what happens."
Both Miranda and Irie say that on a bad night, they clear about $100. On a good night, they may make $400. That's all table-dance and tip money; they receive no salary or benefits. They pay $25 to the bar each shift. They work pretty much when they want. They seem perky, happy and largely untroubled.
"We're not ashamed of the way we look," Irie says. "If people enjoy looking at us in the nude, that's fine. We don't have a problem with that. We are not ashamed of who we are and what we look like, and we don't think anybody else should. You were born naked.
"We don't make these men come in here," she continues. "When they have this bitchy wife at home and they're going to have to go home and hear her nag at them, here they can come in and get away from their life and leave reality for a moment and just enjoy themselves and relax. It's a different world.
"I think it's good, because with AIDS and everything else out there, this is the safest sex you can have," the 21-year-old stripper says.
They both emphasize that an upscale place like Rick's is "
"classy" and therefore different from a funkier club. "One of the reasons we don't feel degraded is because we're not dealing with sleazy people,Ó Irie says. "We're dealing with very nice businessmen." (Oh, those suits.)
But even in such a classy establishment, there are hazards to navigation. For Miranda, it's a 24-year-old mechanic who won't stay away.
"He's not bad-looking at all. He comes in here and offers me $700 to have sex with him. He tries at least a couple times a month. I keep turning him down. I feel like crying over it. Why doesn't he understand he's a good-looking guy and he can get a girl without having to pay for it? It breaks my heart every time he comes in here. I try to avoid him."
Irie has her own downers, but she says her view of men is unchanged:
"We're not man-haters. A lot of people think we turn into man-haters because we put up with jerks all day long. I probably more thought that as a waitress than I do as a dancer. It's taught me that men are very funny people. Get them drunk and put a naked body in front of them and they'll promise you the world....
"Sometimes I sit down with a guy and we'll start talking and I know he doesn't have a lot of money and I feel really guilty if I take a lot of money from him. But a lot of girls are barracudas. They're going to take him and wring him for every penny they can get out of him."
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