If you have breasts and a vagina in Hollywood, and a passably pretty face, it’s the equivalent of having about $169 to spend in one Friday night. Let’s break it down…
–Cost of valet at restaurant: $10, covered by the guy friend who rode with you.
–Dinner and one glass of wine: $30, covered by the actor who pretended to use the bathroom and snuck the waitress his credit card. (You protest of course, but he insists.)
–Valet fee at club No. 1: $15, covered by the guy who meets you outside and is trying to impress.
–One cocktail: $12, covered by the guy wearing a swirl-embroidered button down who is talking your ear off.
–One glass of wine: $11, covered by the man in a blazer who insists he’s a producer, and that really, it’s better to discuss the script over coffee without agents getting involved.
–Seat at the bottle-serviced table you make your way to: $66, one ninth of the total of $600 paid for by the older gentleman who is surrounded by eight other straw-sipping girls.
–Cover charge at club No. 2: $10, covered by the Armenian hip hop artist your girlfriend knows.
–One vodka Red Bull: $9, covered by… well, you’re not sure.
–Parking space in seedy lot: $15, covered by the good dancer you’re going home with.
–One kickin’ night on the town: price-less, baby, and all because you’re female.
Now, there are actual expenses of your own that assist in getting you this wined and dined. The total depends on how budget-minded or brand-splurgy you are. Forever 21 dress: $20 vs. BCBG dress: $230. Buffalo Exchange heels: $13 vs. Dolce and Gabbana ankle booties: $600. Victoria’s Secret Pink strapless: $28 vs. Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Plunge: $55. Various cosmetics and beauty treatments (i.e., hair extensions, waxing, mani-pedis, spray tanning): between $100-400. Let’s say your fit bod is courtesy of a gym membership that was given to you at a gifting suite, and your purse is borrowed from your stylist friend. On the cheaper end of things, the total for dolling yourself up is about $61. On the higher end of things, you invest about $1,285 into your sexy fabulousness. If you go out eight times in one month, even this can be paid off by the courting men who will pay just to be seen with you. After all, you’re pretty much their admission ticket into the club in the first place.
Simply being female is a currency of its own. I know my place in the line outside Foxtail, Les Deux, or any of the other Hollywood night spots. In front, of course. When I go out with a group, all my girlfriends and I readjust our cleavage in the car as we pull up to the valet. The boys exit and subtly form a herd behind us. We flash dazzling smiles to the bouncers as we nonchalantly pass all the suckers from Chino and Costa Mesa who hope to get in and probably won’t. One of us shouts into the doorman’s ear, “Marco put me down on the list, plus eight.” We stand there smiling as he verifies this, then quickly shuffle into the nightclub checking back to make sure all our men got in behind us. One gets stopped, an out-of-town cousin wearing sneakers. “Oh, he’s with me,” I smile, leaning to grab his hand and aware that my skirt rides higher as I do this. Doorman notices and gruffly lets him in. And that’s how it works.
Actually, the men are not just paying to be seen with you. We all know the oldest exchange in the world: money for sex. Or at least the hope of sex. Prostitution is a little harsh, but isn’t that kind of what’s going on? The men buy us dinner, drinks, tickets, and more, and we women beautify ourselves and occasionally sleep with them. Because there’s typically more guys trying to get casually laid than girls (and I said typically), it is the doorman/promoter/bouncer’s job to make sure that the ratio of girls to guys in the club stays at ideally 70/30%.
I complain about the ratio of guys to girls that I observe in most Hollywood social settings. It almost nauseates me to overhear the host of a pool party tell his doorman, “Don’t let any more guys in.” Um, excuse me, but I didn’t come to a pool party to be evil-eyed at by a bunch of girls. When there’s just a sea of tits and old farts peppered here and there, awkwardly drinking in various corners, it’s not my idea of a good time and I probably won’t come back. If there’s charged energy with an equal mix of both sexes, flirting potential abounding, I’ll most likely have fun and want to return.
For a while, I didn’t understand why the gender ratio is so uneven. In my mind the club should lose its female patrons, the host his female guests, because it’s just not that fun. Why would I want to go back? A guy friend explained it to me… The guy-blockers don’t want the male friends they’re entertaining suddenly finding themselves in a sausage fest, so they try to get as many girls in as they can to try and balance out the Odds of Getting Laid factor. “It’s all about that,” he told me. Remember, typically men want to get casually laid more than women. Why do we girls return? Maybe because we’re bored. And we want to be wined and dined, or hit on just so we can complain about it later. If a girl wants an ego boost and a couple glasses of inebriation, all she has to do is put on a dress and some heels. Because, well, it is free…