In Praise Of The Man Who Doesn’t Get Strip Clubs

by Bubbles on June 30, 2011 · 12 comments

in Strippers

by squeezy on flickr

A coworker and friend of mine once told me there were three types of guys who could handle a relationship with a stripper: The scumbag who didn’t care what people thought, the perv who was turned on thinking about his woman dancing naked in public, and the rare open and trusting soul. I would add a fourth type, the type I’ve attracted more often than not, and that’s the one who considers the whole enterprise of stripping with detached bemusement.

From what I’ve put together from dating and being friends with this guy, his train of thought goes like “So you gear up in these crazy heels and spandex, put on a lot of makeup, hang out in this totally artificial environment, and convince guys to give you money. Well, I’ve never been able to suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy being a customer, but if it works, more power to you! And of course I’m not jealous of those guys. They’re customers!” This attitude is a relief if you’ve dated any of the other types or perhaps a former customer. Just as athletes or musicians might steer clear of groupies, a guy who really likes strip clubs freaks some of us out a little.

I’m thinking about this because, in response to Kat’s article, the Hairpin published one man’s account of his really unsatisfying trip to Mons Venus. That guy would make a great stripper boyfriend! He doesn’t think the stripper is sincere, so he wouldn’t be jealous. And he has a teensy bit of contempt for the customers*:

I’m not alone in my feelings on the lap dance, but there are a lot of men who have no problem forgetting it’s something they’re paying for and that everything else is fake, too. Most men at this particular bachelor party, in fact, had a blast getting lap dances.

In short, he’s very compatible with a certain type of stripper, probably the kind he’d look at with slightly condescending surprise when she used multiple polysyllabic words in a sentence. No, wait, I think this commenter would be a great stripper BF, because he jokes about asking the DJ to play LCD Soundsystem and I’m the kind of geek stripper who spent, like, 80 lapdances going to see them in April.

Guys, and especially those of you who are the allies of sex workers and customers in other sectors (I know you at least watch porn! some of you have seen escorts!), I am totally OK with those of you who don’t get strip clubs. I’m sorry if you had a bad lapdance. I’ve had them when I’ve gone to clubs as a customer, and it is a sad experience. You’re out money and you did something depressing. I haven’t had a stripper talk to me about astrology (I shut that shit down immediately in the dressing room) but one young lady once treated to a very graphic description of a C-section while dancing for me. Ugh. Ladybonerkiller. So I empathize. I wish the clubs could amuse you, and I pride myself on being able to be the one stripper who can find the least comfortable guy in the party and, to the shock of his friends, sell him a VIP. But not everyone needs to love the strip club. We need some of you guys to date us, after all.

* The whole “everything is fake” argument is ridiculous because guys only seem to care about this when it comes to strippers and strip clubs, as if your restaurant server’s affection and solicitous behavior is totally unrelated to the tip he hopes to earn, or your massage therapist rubs your shoulders for fun and the money is just a bonus. No one ever tells their hairstylist “I bet you’re just doing this for the money, aren’t you?” But getting a customer to spend money at a business where people work to make money is all of a sudden a great act of manipulation perpetrated upon tender male egos by wiley vixens when it happens at the titty bar.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Kat Kat June 30, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Hearing the “everything is fake” argument makes me feel like I’m listening to someone brag that they can tell that the Twilight movies are fictional, or that The Onion isn’t real or something.

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pdxtom June 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Wait, The Onion isn’t real?

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Tammi Murphy June 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm

I don’t get the appeal of a lot of entertainment offerings. Rodeos, for instance. What’s the point? It isn’t like riding a bull for 8 seconds is actually a useful skill to have. Then there’s professional wrestling. That’s well known to be choreographed (ie; fake). People still spend tons of cash on pro wrestling.

What really baffles me is that customers of strip clubs act like it is some big revelation that the dancers are just there to make money. Like they have unlocked some kind of secret code that other customers are completely unaware, and they feel compelled to inform every stripper they encounter in the club that they know the “game” and her hustle isn’t going to work on him. By making that statement, he is just showing that he really doesn’t get that strip clubs are an entertainment and not some kind of elaborate con to cause customers to part with their cash. They seem to have confused strippers with the UK lottery, LOL!

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Coco R. June 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

it’s the guys who don’t get strip cubs that always end of in the champagne room with me. but there is still appreciation because there is no, “so, uhh, when do you blow me?”

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Miss Trotwood June 30, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Yeah, I’m nodding along. I do some domination work, and I have a chilled out boyfriend who is totally bemused by the idea that anyone would want to go see a dominatrix, and finds the whole idea peculiar and funny in equal measure, but manages to not be judgmental about it either. I don’t think it would occur to him to be jealous of me getting my kink on with clients, because the fantasies and needs they bring to sessions are nothing like what happens between us.

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Elle Elle June 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I can’t agree with the “everything is fake”. I’ve met two of my closest male friends in that environment, both beginning as customers.

Part of my “hustle” is being myself, and I’ve consistently been told by regulars and random patrons, that part of my appeal (to them, at least) is that I seem sincere and natural. Other times, yes, I am definitley bullshitting, fudging, and telling the Dickwad with the Money what he wants to hear. But not always, and not even usually.

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_jsw_ June 30, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Their greatest joke is that they’ve convinced us all they’re not real stories. But they are. All of them.

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_jsw_ June 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm

And… that was supposed to be a reply to pdxtom’s “Wait, The Onion isn’t real?”, but since I forgot to add my email when I submitted (I’m not on my regular computer) and went back to fix it, it ended up down here.

So what wasn’t very funny to begin with now looks downright dumb. :o

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_jsw_ June 30, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Back on topic… I don’t think that it’s necessarily that those of us who aren’t into strip clubs are turned off by it being “fake” – as you say, there’s at least a degree of false friendliness in a lot of professions – as we are not turned on because it’s not an expression of genuine interest in us personally (I mean, how could it be – we’re typically complete strangers). And so, because it is, when you get down to it, just a job, and because the attention is just there to get paid (understandably), it’s just not… erotic. It’s a beautiful display of bodily movement, but it’s not arousing. I’ve only been to a strip club once, and I fully appreciated the talents of the women there, but they didn’t turn me on. They turned on a lot of other guys there, but not me – because it was clear they weren’t turned on by me. I prefer it to be mutual.

On the other hand, a girlfriend tried stripping for me a few times, and that was a complete turn-on, for both of us. It’s not the stripping that’s arousing, it’s the woman doing it and the relationship we have with her that matters. When a stranger is doing something that’s intended to arouse us, but she’s not also aroused, it just sort of makes the whole thing amusing but not arousing.

So I guess that it’s more correct to say that we absolutely “get” strip clubs, and we realize that they’re really alluring to a lot of men (and women), but we just don’t perceive what happens there as personally arousing due to the lack of an actual relationship (beyond customer/dancer).

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Catherine June 30, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I dated a guy who was really into strip clubs once. It didn’t last long because he *actually* believed/hoped that I just wanted to get drunk and have sex all the time; he didn’t get the performance/work/entertainment aspect and figured we were all a bunch of alcoholic nymphos just being paid to be ourselves. The guys who are all “whatever, a job’s a job” are much better.

Note: If you’re dying to date a stripper and totally fetishize them, pretending you don’t will get you much further.

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Antagonising July 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I wouldn’t date a girl because she was a stripper for the same reason I wouldn’t date a girl because she was a Veterinarian. That is to say I wouldn’t date any girl because of her job, I’d date her because of who she is and how she makes me feel. I’ve dated incredible women with varying occupations and it goes without saying that there are people with very admirable occupations that are idiots and there are those with less admirable occupations that are fantastic people.

That may sound pretentious but actually its just the opposite. I think admirable is a very appropriate word, as people admire some professions and shun others without just cause.

On a note related to the “fake” statements; A dancer doesn’t have to be the most attractive to catch my eye. It’s energy and charisma that makes a girl sexy. I’m also a big fan of witty banter coming from someone who doesn’t take themselves to seriously.

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jerry July 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Strip clubs are a bit ridiculous really,it may be the amount of booze I’ve drunk before I go in one but I can’t take it seriously.we all know the girls are going to try selling dances and the drink will be overpriced before we go in so what’s the problem? My problem is with the dire music,MOR rock for gods sake-some d’n’b or dub won’t go amiss

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