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.