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I asked them if I could just dance and do privates, but they said if I really wanted to make money I’d have to put out a little bit. That’s not me. That’s not me at all.” But at the Codette Hotel, things are different. There’s no full nudity. No extras. No touching. “We’re not going in the back doing sexual favours,” says Mandy Mars. “We’re just putting on a show. Our job is to tease them, not pleasure them.” Even so, in the moments leading up to her first exotic dance Mandy Mars is nervous. She struts back and forth off stage. To calm her nerves she takes a shot, then a couple more. Then it’s time to take the stage. “I’m a bit of an attention hog,” says Mandy Mars, “so soon as I got out there I sucked it up. They were all screaming and I told myself, ‘I got this.’” The day before Mandy Mars had invited Secret over to her house in Regina to learn some moves, learn how to exotic dance. Up there on the Codette stage, she puts the lesson to good use. A curvier girl than Secret, Mandy Mars plays to her strengths. “We both have different things that work for us. Secret is very thin. She does a lot of pole work and is an amazing dancer,” says Mandy Mars. “I have big boobs, big butt and thighs. So I shake my t**s or bend over and shake my ass to get them going. It makes them happy.” By the end of the first night, Mandy Mars is a bit tipsy. But for the next two nights, things are different. She becomes more comfortable on stage,

more at ease with dancing and working the audience. And that’s not to say it’s easy work. By the end of the weekend, eleven stage performances and countless private dances later, both girls are exhausted and sore. Secret has taken to wearing duct tape around her wrists, which have been cut by the pole. Both have scrapes on their knees, which they have covered with make-up. After their sets, Secret and Mandy Mars will walk up the hotel steps and lay on the kitchen floor in their room to rest, too tired to move any farther. But for the girls, it’s worth it. “As much as people put stripping down, when I left the hotel my confidence was sky-high,” says Mandy Mars. “It empowered me as a curvier girl. It made me feel good about myself.”

To hold a strip show at an out-ofthe-way place like the Codette Hotel may seem odd at first. But the more you look into it, the more it makes sense. In Regina, which both Secret and Mandy Mars call home, the introduction of the new liquor regulations have meant that city officials are scrambling to figure out how to deal with the situation. At the moment, it’s being recommended that zoning bylaws be adjusted so that “adult entertainment” establishments (like, say, strip clubs) are restricted to industrial areas. Farther north, in Saskatoon, such zoning bylaws are already in place.

However, in Saskatoon existing bars will be allowed to hold strip shows once or twice a month. That’s what currently makes places like the Codette Hotel so attractive to strippers in Saskatchewan. Unhindered by municipal bylaws, the Codette Hotel can offer as many nights of strip shows as its owners see fit. The first time out it was a three-day affair. And while Secret, who is a talent manager at ReginaStrippers.com, is glad establishments like the Codette Hotel are stepping up, she admits it isn’t the ideal situation. “Where this club is, it’s a little difficult because it’s a little far,” she says. “In the winter it’s good for our girls because there aren’t as many stag shows, what we usually do. So it gives them somewhere to work. But when summer comes, it’s a little far to send our girls. They can potentially make as much money in one night in Regina doing a stag show as they would in a weekend [at the Codette].” Secret pauses. Her thoughts shift closer to home and she says, “If a club or clubs would open up in Regina, it would be great. A lot better for us.” And a lot better for anyone in Saskatchewan who wants to take advantage of the new laws and watch some exotic dancing. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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Verb Issue S273 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)  
Verb Issue S273 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)  

Verb Issue S273 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)

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