The Seville Series: Roosevelt Purifoy

Roosevelt Purifoy worked for the RCI corporation before they purchased Seville. When the buy out happened, RCI transferred Roosevelt to Seville. He was a floor host (bouncer/manager/pimp/matchmaker/cashier).


Roosevelt was kind of nice, but unfortunately he works for a corporation that wants to treat dancers as employees, while still calling them independent contractors, as long as the club isn't called “Rick's.” RCI didn't do a very good job of letting Roosevelt know that Seville is not Rick's, so he had a tendency to tell me to do things such as get up off my favorite sofa that I liked to lounge on, or direct me on which customers he wanted me to talk to.

Roosevelt wasn't on the show floor for more than a handful of times while I was at Seville. He was usually upstairs in the champagne lounge, so we didn't work together very often. Seville is a large facility, and it is easy to not see everyone working there all of the time. Once, while he was on the show floor, he told the dancers that they couldn't talk to customers who were seated at a certain area, unless they had his permission to do so. As a result, a dozen or so strippers were all sitting around at the edge of his special sectioned off area, waiting for him to shepherd them in.

During the few times that I was in the champagne lounge and saw Roosevelt, he would be the person to tell customers how much money to pay for blocks of my time, as he did with the handful of other dancers who I talked to. Maybe Roosevelt forgot that he wasn't at Rick's, or maybe RCI didn't want him to know the difference.

One night during a customer brawl when all of the bouncers had to get involved, I saw Michael Sigmon approach Roosevelt from behind, grab his shoulder and pull him back. Roosevelt said to Michael Sigmon, “Don't touch me!” Michael Sigmon continued to keep contact with Roosevelt despite Roosevelt's request to stop, as though he was more interested in brawling with Roosevelt than handling the customers. There was some tension between the two of them, and if Michael Sigmon gets what he has coming to him some day, I'm rooting for Ro.

Roosevelt and I are both Chicagoans-- he a South-Sider and I a south-suburban-sider with some Ukrainian Village living behind me. One day, Roosevelt told me that he liked that we are both Chicagoans and that he really appreciated the way I came in “on time” every day and hustled so well. I don't know how Roosevelt knew about my timeliness or hustling skills since we so rarely worked together, but he wanted to express his appreciation. Then, he invited me out to lunch to “get to know” one another. He insisted that I take down his number. Ugh. I already had that nightmare!

Leo Mena from Hustler Vegas pestered me about having sushi with him, so much that I had to sue Hustler for it and do an interview with Vice magazine. It's so difficult to find a strip club I can work in without getting bothered by oafs who have significantly more power than me. When Roosevelt asked me to go out to eat with him, I was worried that if I complained about this type of thing at a second club, after Leo Mena from Hustler, it would just make me seem like the boy who cried wolf. I don't want to go out to eat with any of these wolves or be eaten by them, but they are persistent to get my blood.

I passive-aggressively said “sure” to Roosevelt when he told me to call him, then never did. That is what I usually do when creepy coworkers ask me to hang out with them and I want nothing to do with them. Being blunt about that kind of thing can ignite a mob rule, fueled by rejection rage.

In subsequent shifts, the few times that we would run into one another, he would just turn away and give me the cold shoulder. That is a strange thing for a manager to do to their subservient when all previous interactions were professionally cordial. However, I was happy that he didn't keep asking me to hang out with him.

Roosevelt has several children and a broken relationship with their mother. That is not an uncommon thing to encounter when dealing with men who work in the strip club industry. Many men who exist in the strip club industry have shattered romantic lives, because they live in the moonlight like vampires, basking in the everlasting love of youthful lambs, who come and go on a conveyor belt of hiring and firing.

I do my best to support dancers who aren't sheep, and to prevent them from getting torn to shreds by wolves, craving our sweet sweet nectar to drink like red wine in the throat of a thirsty alcoholic, high on submission and bloodlust.