Breeality Bites

Goodbye, little sister, and farewell, totally '80s-era Shotgun Willie's

My reasons for a trip to Shotgun Willie's were two-fold: I had read our recent cover story on the thirty-year-old institution's revamp and I wanted to get a glimpse of the original location before it was torn down, and my sister was moving to Seattle and the girl loves strip clubs. So I thought, why not make my little sis's going-away party the best ever, while also doing some research on living Denver history?

The resulting trip Friday night took me inside a world that looked exactly as I had imagined: totally '80s everything, from regular old box televisions playing sports to creepy wood-paneled awesomeness and black lacquer covering every inch that wasn't lit with neon. Much like the episode of Walker: Texas Ranger set inside a strip club that I had seen early in the week, Shotgun Willie's was like a step back in time, complete with a DJ who played AC/DC and something that sounded like Motley Crüe but wasn't Motley Crüe.

See also: - Photos: See plans for the new, improved Shotgun Willie's - We heart the Internet: An ode to the glittery stripper GIFs of yore - Sugar House swingers' club has closed, and with it the G-rated Alameda Grill

I learned several things on this second trip ever to a strip club, the most important being: a strip club is no fun without stacks of money. We, of course, hadn't planned on going with much more than $40 -- but lucky for us, an unnamed patron of the exotic dancing arts and good friend to my sister swooped in at the last minute, handing us $300 in one dollar bills. (See photo to the right.) Now we were going to the strip club!

This anonymous Bruce Wayne-type also stopped by Shotgun's several times throughout the evening to pick up our tabs, which meant that our skinny boyfriends who were so dutifully by our sides sharing buckets of Bud Light with each other and steak dinners with us also got the free ride. It should be noted that my sister and I are the coolest girlfriends in the known universe, because we not only invited our significant others to the party, but we shared the bounty of our strip-club treasure with them.

Speaking of boyfriends in strip clubs, another valuable lesson I learned this night was that I cannot watch another woman touch my man, even if it is her job to do so and we are in her place of business. Each time a dancer approached my young stallion (that's what he called himself the other night, when I was complaining about being a cougar) I felt a deep rage brewing in my chest. My eyes and cheeks went red with every boob-smack to his face, to the point where I had to hand him a wad of money and turn away, for fear I might go into my Miss Piggy-styled blind rage, take the Bud Light bottle from his hand, smash it on the bar and just start cutting everyone involved.

How I feel when I see another woman touch my man.

Planning this trip to Shotgun Willie's had been difficult (we rescheduled three times to accommodate all of our extremely busy days doing nothing), so we ended up at the club at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday. Stepping out of daylight and into the dank room that was scented and decorated like a novelty-size cigar box, I learned my next valuable strip-club lesson -- there are two types of dancers: pre-7 p.m. dancers and post-7 p.m. dancers.

Upon arrival I was shocked by the women dancing -- but in a good way. I remarked to my boyfriend how happy I was to see "normal girl bodies" dancing at their various outposts. There were bellies protruding, boobies of all shapes and sizes, shaking and women with short hair writhing awkwardly under the stain of fluorescent lights. I was stoked! The strip club wasn't so bad after all.

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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies

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