When I first played GTAV, like any red-blooded male the first thing I did was look for the strip club. After wrestling yourself away from the main story, you find it’s only a few blocks away from Franklin’s house – a tacit admission that I am the game’s target customer. It knows what I want and seeks to deliver it.
The sign outside is unmistakable, searing the sky in blades of electric pink. In typical Rockstar fashion, it’s completely devoid of irony, but at the same time culturally ironic. As in, there is no subtext or double entendre about candy or gold clubs or spearmint flavored rhinos. It tells me there are HORNY GIRLS inside. There damn well better be.
Once inside, the strip club plays like its real-life counterparts – a blur of fake lights, fake boobs, and hollow dreams. The energy the DJ pumps through the speakers is somehow deflating, as false as the room it plays to. This is not a brothel. The brass pole is not your dick. There is no sign to tell you what you already know:
Look, but don’t touch.
Yet like many laws in the world of GTA, even the most sacred of rules can be broken. The text tells me to buy a lap dance. It kindly reminds me to press R2 to touch her booty, but only when the bouncer leaves the room. This is an important distinction. After all, despite being alone with Juliet and Cheetah (which I’m sure is her real name), and being privy to this girl-on-girl circus of flesh, I spent my entire time trying to look past the strippers to pinpoint where the bouncer was. Goddamnit, Cheetah, move your ass out of the way, you’re blocking my view! And even after our friend Mr. Killjoy was spotted, and stripper successfully wooed, I still had to answer to that great bouncer in the sky. The sex, unlike the sign that promised it, is always implied.
Touch, but don’t look.
Like any true patron of Dibella, Jolene is not designed to be a tease. She’s designed to tear down the old hypocrisies – violence good, sex bad – and show that religion doesn’t have to be a gormless, enervating suckfest, at least not figuratively. Religion can be fun, if your religion is about fucking.
Jolene is, in fact, a sex artist. She can turn your knob into a firecracker and paint the universe when it explodes. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like. Jolene knows what she wants, and more often than not, she wants it all. Men and women, beasts and bots, boots and boot-lickers, mages and brutes, cats and dogs, brooms and dusters, meats and vegetables, Daedra and Dremora, witches and hags, priests and Draugrs, midgets and Giants. All of it brings honor to Dibella and pleasure to her. She is what Rockstar would call a HORNY GIRL.
However, much like in GTAV, the sign around her neck isn’t necessarily as advertised. While I don’t have the government on my back demanding I install anti-penis software, I have my own limitations as a modder. I can’t make new animations and nude textures. Nor do I feel particularly comfortable asking Marcy to grunt and make whoopee noises. Much of it will have to be left to the imagination, and by that I mean sex and prostitution mods.
In many ways, for all her proclivities, this makes Jolene no different than her fellow priestesses. The limitations are different, but the result, unfortunately, is the same. Like its more modern cousin, the Temple of Dibella ends up being a tainted oasis, nothing more than a fading mirage in a vast, sexless desert – no matter how hard I tried to make it rain.