Good, clean, naked fun

SN&R sends a writer out to the clubs (because, hey, we can!)

Hailey-just “Hailey,” thank you very much-works the pole at Deja Vu Showgirls.

Hailey-just “Hailey,” thank you very much-works the pole at Deja Vu Showgirls.


Strip clubs make me feel as though I’m James Bond. Not James Bond the debonair secret agent who can kill a man with one hand and shake a martini with the other. James Bond the secret agent who can trust no one. Strippers want you to feel like Bond, and if you let on that it’s going to your head, even ever so slightly, some will prey on that until you’re reaching for lint in your pockets.

I went into Deja Vu Showgirls (11252 Trade Center Drive in Rancho Cordova) on a recent Tuesday night, feeling like I was entering the Macau casino from Skyfall: I’ve got a million-dollar chip in my pocket; serpents, temptresses and henchmen alike await my next move. Ushered to the back, I meet with the manager, Bobby, who is the unicorn of strip-club managers, so mythical in generosity and affability I’d think I imagined it all had a friend not gotten the same praiseworthy service two nights later. Bobby assures me of royal treatment: If I need it, ask him. Five minutes later, I’m slumped in a chair 10 feet from the stage with a towering vape hookah on the table, a stack of protective plastic hookah caps for cleanliness at its base, and a bottle of Vitamin Water’s XXX brand for hydration. The bottle reads, “If X marks the spot, three of them have gotta be a good thing.”

Seated to my right is Jaime, a drink server that looks just old enough to be employable. On my left is Ruby, a 20-something dancer with fading red highlights—hence the stage name. We’re passing the “molly rancher” flavored vape, each with our respective caps, and discussing the merits of Deja Vu over other options in the area.

It’s agreed, and some of these girls split time at other locations giving them firsthand knowledge, that “the Vu,” as it’s colloquially known, is of the finest, cleanest and most relaxed in environment. Other clubs are “druggy,” though it’s never disclosed what that entails, while another is labeled “a brothel in the VIP room.”

Corporately owned, the Vu is not exactly the McDonaldization of public nudity, but it takes criteria like standards and practices seriously. The interior is plush and pink, the chairs are deep so that you sink in. The corners are dark, and even darker is the private dance area, where only silhouettes are discernible, some baseball-cap shaped heads, others with high, tight ponytails.

That said, wiggle room and autonomy are granted like state’s rights to regional chapters, which this location used to create a relaxed environment where the girls are not pressured to badger patrons for their time and, if you’re in no rush for a lap dance, she’s not either. At the Vu, you can get a girl’s name and find out her major at the community college first, which gives you the opportunity to time up those blue light specials of two dances for $20 (sometimes even three for $20).

One girl spends her time listlessly admiring her nails with her legs draped across a man of serious demeanor in a flat-bill hat. Both could be mistaken for mannequins until her name is called to report to the stage. Then it becomes competitive as he pays for attention, while three young men who just arrived try to woo her in their direction. Besides that one lively two-song interval, it’s unanimously chill mode on a Tuesday. The club is not going up.

Much later, as I’m waiting for Bobby to return with some parting favors (an overstuffed plastic bag of porn DVDs, Vu T-shirts, tiny rubber footballs and a windshield sun reflector), another dancer says she’s studying psychology at American River College. And it’s as though I could not escape the night without hearing those words. The deejay, C.J., walks over to me with rings in his hand, each roughly five inches in diameter. He says something like “leaving already?” and informs me, as guest of honor, I was about to be asked to play dildo ring toss on stage.

Hands full of pornos, head wired from over-vaping, and sober from Vitamin Water and Deja Vu-brand bottled water, I respectfully decline. There’s getting the story—and then there’s becoming the story on someone’s Instagram account.