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A few years ago, I was invited to a bachelor party by good friends to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of one of our own. Man code dictates that details of the night shall not be revealed, but we had an interesting experience not many people have had, which added a new concept to the idea of a boys’ night out.

No, we didn’t get lost on a rooftop in Vegas or end up with a dead horse in a hotel suite. We went to a place that is called a hostess club. Our planner wanted to do something different. Since most of us love Latin music, consider ourselves good dancers and are fans of beautiful women, he did his research and we all met up.

For those who are unfamiliar, hostess clubs are basically night clubs where women pay attention to, drink and dance with men for a fee. No one knows exactly where they started but signals point to Japan and the traditional geisha girls, where wealthy businessmen spend money on time to drink and speak with women with very little promise of sex. Stateside, these clubs have been around since the 1920s where lonely men would pay a dime per dance to spend time with a woman. Today, it’s transformed a bit since the patrons that frequent the clubs tend to be recent Latino immigrants far from home and looking for company.

As the night began, we arrived at the club and saw scores of nicely dressed women, far more than what we’d see at a regular dance club. The women were of every stripe you could imagine. Tall, short, fat, skinny, Colombians, Dominicans, Mexicans, even a few Eastern European women. The bar was small, but busy, as the men there were buying $3 beers and $5 mixed drinks — way cheaper than anything we had experienced. I noticed immediately that there was no English being spoken. Most of them seemed to be men who recently arrived to the country — working immigrants who probably left wives and families at home and needed a diversion for the evening. The smell was that of a typical dive bar — spilt beer mixed with a bit of sweat.

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