Dee Simon’s book, Play Something Dancy: The Tragic Tales of a Strip Club DJ, is a sensational tell-all memoir recounting Simon’s wild days of DJ-ing for strip clubs. Raunchy, lewd, and explicit — this book could kill your average housewife’s Fifty Shades of Grey a couple of times, at least.
Should you read it? Meh — why not. The way-too-much-detail of it all might make you cringe. But what the hell — it’s still a good time. If by good time you mean read about a stripper fake get off with a hammer. Play Something Dancy is no Hemingway runner-up — but it’s not about the writing — the book’s juice is in its dirty anecdotes.
The Smoking Jacket: Tell the readers of TSJ how you got your start working as a strip club DJ.
Dee Simon: I moved to San Francisco to do radio but was having a difficult time landing a permanent position. I then found a dotcom job but was laid off when the dotcom bust occurred in 2001. Unemployed for a year, I took the first job I could get which was a strip club DJ at a seedy club on Broadway in San Francisco’s red light district in North Beach. For the next five years, I worked at clubs throughout the city.
TSJ: What kind of a lifestyle does a strip club DJ have? Late nights? Partytimes?
DS: Most strip club DJs lead dissolute lifestyles filled with sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Or more like rap music which we played more frequently than rock. I partied hard those years and had a lot of fun. I’m sure I shaved a decade or so off my life but do you really want to live past 80?
TSJ: What are the consequences of a life as a strip club DJ? Do you ever get bored of seeing women take their clothes off? Or do you want them just to take their clothes off in silence? Or do you like playing tunes for ladies to get them in the mood?
DS: I titled the book Play Something Dancy: The Tragic Tales of a Strip Club DJ because I found the life I led to be somewhat depressing. It was difficult to have a normal relationship because no girl-outside the industry-would be willing to date a guy who’s job it is to be surrounded by naked women and you could never take a vacation or you’d lose the prime shifts that you worked so hard to obtain. However, the most depressing aspect of the job was the inevitable desensitization to nudity. As a DJ, you see the same girls naked all the time and believe it or not, it gets boring. In the story “The Blowjob Adventures of Dr. Fellatio,” I write about how working in the industry ruined porn for me for a period of years.
TSJ: How did the book happen? Too many good stories to keep to yourself?
DS: I kept a journal during the time I worked in the industry and when I was packing for my move to Los Angeles, I found it tucked away in a closet and started reading through some of my notes. The stories cracked me up and I realized that I should share them.
TSJ: What does your family think of the hammer sex scene at the beginning?
DS: Well, my parents are deceased so thankfully they never had to endure the shame of hearing about their son’s sexual exploits. My brother and sister have always loved the hammer story and ask me to retell the tale every time I meet them for dinner with a new girlfriend. I stopped introducing new girlfriends to my siblings.
TSJ: Why is DJing for girl-on-girl scenes not a good time?
DS:I never liked DJing the girl-on-girl shows because at the club I worked at, the girls hated having to do them and I’d have to listen to them complain about it all night. I preferred announcing the various lap dance specials because that was a wonderful opportunity to ridicule the perverted patrons. I write about this in the story “The Red Light Special” where I discuss how entertaining it was to use the club’s spotlight to illuminate cheap customers who refused to participate in the 2 for 1 lap dance special. I’d goad them into buying a dance by playing Barry Manilow songs and questioning their manhood.
TSJ: How much hooking goes on behind the scenes?
DS: I don’t really know the answer to this question as I was never a stripper. But I imagine that everything has a price.
TSJ: How far will a stripper go to get her DJ to play the song she wants?
DS: When I worked at the clubs, the most popular song was 50 Cent’s “In Da Club.” To this day, I hate that song. I hear it and my right eye starts twitching. Every girl wanted to dance to that song but I couldn’t play it 30 times a night. I’d only play it for the girls who tipped me the most.
A more amusing question would be: What did you play for the girls who refused to tip the DJ? I discuss this in great detail in the story “Run to the Hills.” Every strip club DJ reserves a special cache of wretched or embarrassing music for girls who choose not to tip. After dancing to Weird Al or the Humpty Dance or MC Hammer three or four times in a night, they learn the benefit of tipping out the DJ.
TSJ: What would you say is the craziest story in this book?
DS: People have told me that the opening story “Lexi” with the hammer sex scene and the final story “Kashmir” were the most shocking. Personally, the most difficult story to write was the story “Dick Has a Sore Throat” where I discuss my first trip to the San Francisco City Clinic to treat an STD. That was a harrowing experience that I would prefer not to relive.
Dita Von Teese in LA
TSJ: What do you think would surprise people most about the life of someone who works in a strip club?
DS: I think the sexual fetishes of some of the regular patrons would surprise a lot of people. There was a businessman who would pay a dancer $300 to urinate in a champagne glass and he would drink it in front of them while they insulted his penis size. Believe it or not, this one of the tamer fetishes that I have heard about. Every stripper has a story or three about a perverted regular customer that they have had to deal with.
TSJ: Who’s the sexiest stripper you ever saw?
DS: The sexiest stripper I have DJ’d for was Dita Von Teese. Her show was quite impressive and included big band jazz from the 1930s and 1940s and elaborate props such as a giant martini glass. She’s a lot of fun to watch perform.
Play Something Dancy is available in print and digital HERE