Friday, November 2, 2007

Why Guys Go To Strip Clubs

Every day I check to see the googled words that lead to my blog. And every day I see a few searches done presumably by women that ask "why do guys go to strip clubs?" or "boyfriend at strip club" or "guys who really like to go to strip clubs." There are more variations on the theme, but I think you get my drift.

For the guys out there who like to go to strip clubs, this should give you an idea of the turmoil it causes your female significant others. As women, we tend to find it insulting when our men want to look at other women naked. It makes us feel like we're not good enough. It makes many of us jealous. And it makes many of us feel insecure and distrusting.

For the women out there who are proactive enough to try and understand this compulsion that many men have, I thought I'd attempt to describe why I think guys go to strip clubs.

Please note that this is all my own opinion and I don't presume to speak for all dancers.

Why do guys go to strip clubs? Well, they may say it is for male camaraderie, and I might even believe them if their regular club is like a neighbourhood pub for them. Every club has its very own regulars who live in the vicinity and come by on a daily basis.

If your boyfriend is one of these guys - he has a regular strip club where he hangs out with a bunch of other burly guys - then I recommend you not to sweat it. Regulars who generally stick to a home club are usually the most respectful and least likely to cheat of all the guys who go to strip clubs. Some of these guys will occasionally cheat, but not usually with a dancer.

The dancers generally view these guys as "safe." We can sit at their tables and trust that we won't have to endure dirty, vulgar talk, wandering hands, or requests for sex in exchange for money. Many of these guys bring their girlfriends to the club and they get to know the dancers. It's all very comfortable and safe.

Then there are the regular guys who travel from club to club. These are a diverse group of guys. Some would cheat in a heartbeat. Some are lonely, sweet, wonderful guys who get to talk to the dancers and even become our friends. Some are mentally challenged. Some are obsessed with strippers and don't have girlfriends or wives. Some are creepy and peepy. *shudder*

If your guy is a strip club traveller, I would suspect he developed this behavior out of insecurity or loneliness. Because strippers treat all guys the same, the guys know they won't be told to fuck off unless they're really ignorant. They can talk to pretty girls and see them naked and fantasize about them - and they're allowed to! Dancers are not usually "on the prowl" at work so every guy, regardless of social status, attractiveness or race for that matter, will be treated the same. Most guys don't get that kind of unconditional acceptance from women in regular clubs.

There are cases where a dancer will treat men differently, but it is always based on the guys behavior. A stripper will treat a funny-looking, slow, but sweet and generous guy with much more love and enthusiasm than she'll treat an arrogant, egotistical, HOT guy. If your boyfriend thinks he's all that, there's a chance he's trying to pick up strippers in the club. But his chances are slim to none.

Another typical guy that goes to strip clubs is the loner guy. He has friends but he doesn't trust them. He could probably get a girlfriend but he's too insecure to make the effort. He's the kind of guy that does favors but never dates strippers. He might have a drinking problem or there's just somethig slightly off about him - probably because he's just so insecure that his anxiety puts people off. If your boyfriend could be described as a loner who goes to strip clubs regularly - he's probably very happy to have a girlfriend and would never cheat on you. But his insecurity does put him in a position of being easy prey for a girl wanting to hook up with someone. His ego will like to be stroked. If he cheats, it will not be about you, it will be about making himself feel better about himself.

If your boyfriend hardly ever goes to strip clubs but acts like an ass when he drinks, chances are he's the kind of guy that gets all drooly over strippers and behaves in a way that would offend you sincerely. But his drunken idiotic behavior does not impress strippers. So you're pretty safe from having him cheat with one.

Now, I will tell you that there are guys who are married or have girlfriends who come into the clubs and try to pick up strippers. I have witnessed two kinds of stags - the kinds with grooms who act like royal losers and I feel utterly sick that some woman is marrying this asshole; and the kinds with grooms who are there because it's a tradition but they love the woman they are marrying and no stripper is going to make them behave disrespectfully.

I think my fear of marriage comes from seeing the grooms who get all vulgar and want to touch the stripper or ask for sex in exchange for money. I am sure that if they're fiances could see them now, the wedding would be OFF.

Now that I've broken the bad news, let me give you the good news.

There ARE good guys out there. There ARE guys who go to strip clubs who appreciate the beauty of the performers and enjoy the performances but that's as far as it goes for them.

All heterosexual men love to see naked women - many different naked women. Even the ones who don't go to strip clubs. As a woman, I don't really understand this phenomenon. I certainly don't want to see many different naked men. But I fantasize about having sex with many men - so I can relate to harmless fantasy. I would never cheat on a partner, but I will always have fantasies about other men.

For most men, strip clubs are a harmless fantasy. Most guys who go to strip clubs are respectful, sincere, and trustworthy. Strip clubs do not determine whether your guy is a cheater or not. If he is a cheater, he will cheat whether or not he goes to strip clubs. If he is not a cheater, he won't. You're in the same boat as every other woman that wonders. You won't know until you know or get out.

If you are a woman who feels insecure or jealous when it comes to strippers, please read these posts:
The Beauty Myth
Fun Feminism for Today's Woman
Cock-blocker or Nut-nuzzler: What Kind of Feminist Are You?

I felt empowered just writing the above posts. I am a woman, so I'm no stranger to feeling insecure and jealous. I've had two kids, major body changes, and even illness to make me feel less beautiful than the strippers or actresses in adult films my husband sees. But when I remind myself of the basic truths I learned about men when I was dancing, my insecurities fall away. And I remember that I can be sexy too - just the way I am. You don't have to be scrawny to be HOT!

27 comments:

Tyler said...

Another great post!

There is one club I frequent because me and my buddies are known there by name by the staff. It's like Cheers! Plus it's not a crazy insanely far drive away.

Why is it a strip club rather than a regular pub? It just happens to be where we started going. And the entertainment is usually pretty good. I would categorize myself as the nice, respectable guy who you can sit down with and have an intelligent conversation without me staring at your boobs or slurring my speech :)

I have meet some incredible people (including you) but visiting the strip clubs.

Why go to another strip club? Why go to another bar/pub? Change of scenery, meet new people have a good time. I've been invited out to the other clubs in the lower mainland, either to hang out or because it was recommended to visit.

I know people don't believe me when I have said it but I find exotic dancing to be an art. It can show gracefulness, athleticism, creativity, etc. The female body (hopefully this doesn't sound like I'm objectifying it) is a work of art and to see it in its natural beauty is great!

Though I have also see the other side. The side where guys are disrespectful towards the dancers or even to their significant other when they are they with them. The guys who lean in to take a closer look between the legs, the ones that some how contort their body for a better angle??!? What's up with that?

Anyway... again another awesome post!

Annie Temple said...

Thanks Tyler! Yeah, I think I should have emphasized a little more about the truly respectful, supportive, awesome customers. You're definitely one of them. Plus, you're now a part of an online community at The Naked Truth, so it naturally follows that you'd spend a little more time in strip clubs. I hope you do! We need more customers, not less!

Tyler said...

Well I do try to go to the other clubs or meet the TNT girls whenever they are in town.

I'm available to help out in anyway way too!

Anonymous said...

I go to strip clubs for the variety. I have had a few long term girlfriends and am now married. I look at strip clubs as a way to get the variety that i didn't get in dating.

I am able to see naked women of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicity in a sexual environment. I am respectful to the women.

Anonymous said...

I used to go when to different local clubs when I was younger: I stopped going in 1989. My girlfriend at the time lived several hours from me and I only got together with her every 3 weeks. My friends were going to the clubs, so I went too for several reasons:

Male camaraderie,
To drink lots of beer and Caesars,
To pass the time,
To stay out of regular bars where I might be tempted to meet another girl.

Yes, the last reason was for fidelity to the girl I ended up marrying. When at the exotic dancing clubs, I just drank and watched the ladies, often a bit bored. I knew that it was just a money-making show, so the temptation wasn't there to try and date/bed them. If I was at a regular bar, I probably would have met another young lady and therefore would have cheated on my future wife.

Chris

Anonymous said...

I am one of those nice guyes that always treated these girls nice, Got to know them and just liked the attention. And a little bit of the insecur lonley guies you refer to. I got divorced and started dating. I fell in love with my current girlfriend. I just recently confessed everything I have done in an effort to prove that I have cheated on her. While we were dating I went to the strip club 3 times. The first two times I was like, What am I doing here, I love my girl and I was out of there after two beers. The last time I went (over a year ago) we had had a bad fight that night. She told me to leave forever. I went to the strip club I always went to. I had a good time. Talked with the girls and as you know they can be perssitant about asking you for a lap dance. Well I did one that night. My girl and I never broke up that day but she did find out where I went. She was so hurt. I lied and told her I did nothing else but drink and talk to girls. Which really wasn't a lie. I just didn't want to hurt her or our relationship, so I never told her about the lap dace. After this letter of confession she is so hurt, appaled, Thinks I don't find her attractive anymore, She is ready to leave me and our home. Any advice for me? I really love this woman, she's all I need. She is beautifull and the best lover I could ever hope for. I have no desire to visit a strip club anymore. Any advice?

Annie Temple said...

Hi Anonymous, I'm so sorry that you are going through this with your gf. She sounds like she's feeling very betrayed and heartbroken right now because you both seem to consider this "cheating." In my opinion, you were feeling very low and upset, and you went somewhere that you knew people would appreciate your charm and you paid for a lapdance. You did not take a girl home, make out with some girl at a party, or anything that would (in my opinion) be a horrible and deadly mistake in a relationship. I would suggest you tell your gf that you regret having gotten a lapdance, admit it was just to try and make yourself feel better since you thought you just lost the love of your life, and the only woman in the world you want is her. If she cannot forgive you. Let her go. She will realize soon enough that there are very few men in this world who would feel as bad for going to a strip club as you do. (And stop beating yourself up - it was just a lapdance! The stripper was just doing her job cheering up a drunk and depressed guy with girl troubles. That's what strippers are for! lol)

Anonymous said...

Dear Annie. Thank you for the advice. I hope you caught my typo that should have said "...in an effort to prove that I have NOT cheated on her." :) I don't think typos are fruidians (sp). Anyway I never "cheated" on any girl I have dated.

(lets call her my gf Judy) Judy is very very hurt and I feel bad. Although she told be prior to this event how she feels about strip clubs, I didn't understand how badly this can hurt a woman. After she told me how hurt she was after like the 100th time I finally got it. An after googeling "Why Guys Go To Strip Clubs" I see many woman feel this way. And the ones that put up with it or try to embrace it by going with their man still really don't like it. So I think I should feel bad. And I do. Judy is making sure I do. One thing that makes this worse is that Judy believes there is only one reason for a man to go to a strip club and that's to get sex. And there is no telling her it's not like that at all, so this part complicates things and it's frustrating for me.
We have just agreed to consider a "lap dance" "Cheating". So getting Getting past that now I have told her that "I regret having gotten a lapdance, and I admit it was just to try and make myself feel better since I thought I just lost the love of my life." I say the words and I'll say them again and again. But I am prepairing myself for the fact that this may be our releatioship breaker. She tells me she'll find a man that dosen't go to strip clubs. A "Better" man than I. Judy is beautifull and a great lover. And I may have lost her because of my weakness for attention and an ego stroke.
(lets call me Dave)
-Dave

Nouska said...

Hi there

Found post interesting. I found out that my guy went to Prague a few times, before he met me, on his own and visited lots of strip clubs and had lap dances. Looks like he spent a lot of money too. I confronted him and he just broke down crying. Not sure what to make of it. I guess it was all before me and he was very lonely and quite unhappy, but I just find it hard to understand how he could go on his own and blow such a amount of money. It just seems so sad to me really. What does it say? Should I worry abt it? He seems much happier now with me.

Annie Temple said...

Well, I personally don't think that past time in strip clubs means anything, especially if your guy was single when he went. I would look at it as a good thing that he wasn't out trying to pick up women, spending a ton of money on random chick he met in the bar. At least in a strip club, there is an unspoken agreement that this there is no emotional connection. I believe that when a man participates in the sex industry, it is because he is looking for something he's lacking in his life. Obviously your guy isn't lacking anything now that he has you. And he's lucky to have someone who would be willing to learn more and educate herself rather than immediately judge and separate. I hope you give him a chance so you can find out if he's sincere or not. xo

Nouska said...

Thanks Annie. What you say makes sense. However I have also since found out that he went to clubs in the first year of our dating but stopped of his own accord. However maybe what we had wasn't love so early on and now it is. We are now engaged. I think you are maybe right he was looking for something lacking in his life. He told me he was very lonely and unhappy. The thing is he is just too ashamed to even talk about it, like I said he just cried. As you say it isnt emotional, but he must be getting something from it, an ego boost maybe? I guess I am worried if its a sex addiction or if he went to sleep with women. I mean I saw one one time he spent 700 pounds in only 6 days. Does that sound normal? I truly do love him but I can't deny it does make me feel uneasy. He is a very quiet, modest sweet guy (probably the loner type you describe) and I just can't imagine it, but I am trying to understand because like you say I also believe its not about the sex but rather trying to fill a void. Thanks again xx

Annie Temple said...

I suppose it would seem like a high amount. I'm not really aware of how much 700 pounds is because I live in Canada. Sorry! But I do know that it can get to be very pricey if you're paying for drinks and dances. Dances alone are very expensive. Do the dancers at clubs in your area provide sexual services outside of dancing? In my area, it is no contact in most places. But it can depend on the club. If he was crying, that would put warning bells up for me too. But there is a very strong stigma towards men going to strip clubs and if he spent a lot of money and he's worried about losing you, then I can see why he'd cry. lol I wish you greatest blessings and hope that you can work this out. If you don't have any other issues of concern, I'd recommend letting this one go for now. But then again, I don't know all your circumstances. xox

Nouska said...

Thanks again for your reply. I appreciate your advice! Well the clubs are in Prague in Eastern Europe and I read that some of them do provide sex at a cost. 700 pounds is around 1200 in dollars I think. That was over 6 nights. (I am in England btw) He has said he didn't sleep with anyone. I guess I will never really know the truth and he doesnt feel ready to talk. I think the amounts look like he had over 5 or 6 dances in a night, is that normal? I guess I will never know the real truth but if he wanted just sex, nowadays people can pick someone up in a bar so why go all the way to Prague, unless its easier? He appears to be very embarrased and angry at himself about his past actions. I am pretty sure all this is finished though and since we are engaged he seems committed to me. I have told him I think he may need therapy as he does have other issues after a difficult past. He is nearly 40 The past is the past but am just worried if he is unhappy in future he may seek solace again. I am open minded and dont mind the odd trip to a strip club but when its compulsive I think its a problem. Thanks Annie for all your advice!

Anonymous said...

Annie,

The other day my boyfriend told me he went to a strip club and chatted with some of the dancers, got a dance, and gave her money. well you see thats one of the things I like to do for him, I get dressed up and put on a little show just for him. That night I was at home up all night practicing a dance and making a CD, just getting ready to put on a little christmas show for him. (I even got fake money and a coupon for strip tease for a christmas present). But after he told me that i felt just so disappointed in him and almost sick feeling. Like thats what I do for him I don't understand why he would go and do that. He said it was stupid of me to be mad at something like this and we got in a fight and made up but I still feel uncomfortable about the whole thing. I know he would never cheat on me or anything. I just feel like I never want to dance again, and it makes me sad because i loved doing that for him. like im no where near as good of a dancer as the girls in the club, I know that. I just think its silly of me to even think I can dance like that and i know he saw some really cool stuff in there and I could never be that good at it. It seems to have lost all meaning. like what makes it special now? Am I being stupid for being upset about this? I just want the sick feeling to go away, but I don't know how to forget what he told me.

Thank You

Annie Temple said...

Hi Anonymous, I can totally see why you'd feel betrayed and insecure. Even though I was a dancer for seven years, I would be upset if my male partner went and bought a dance at a club too. I would feel the same way, that if you're getting it from me, then why do you need to get it somewhere else? Going to a strip club with friends is one thing, but buying a dance is another. I was even a little upset when my husband had a couple dances bought for him during his stag before we married. It made me feel insecure because I didn't think I could compare to the naked women dancing right in front of him. So, I can relate to your pain and I believe you are entitled to it. (And my husband even said it had made him uncomfortable thinking about me doing the same thing.) In my opinion, cheating is not just about physical contact. It's also about emotional fidelity. You feel like he emotionally cheated on you, correct? I would be honest about your feelings with him and tell him what your relationship boundaries are. If you're not comfortable with him going to strip clubs, let him know. If you're okay with him going to strip clubs, but prefer him to not sit in front row or buy dances, let him know. If he isn't able to see what he's got - a woman willing to be his personal stripper and also educate herself about strip clubs and what may have brought her man to a strip club - then he's not worth it. You sound like a good catch. Don't let anyone take you for granted. This one experience you can get over, if he respects your boundaries and you feel you can trust him to continue to respect them. I don't think going to strip clubs is bad. But if you're in a committed relationship with someone who isn't comfortable with it, then you need to ask yourself if it's worth it. For a guy who is not getting any sex from his gf, or other relationship issues, it is more understandable to seek a platonic sexual outlet through the services of sex workers (which is better than picking up other girls, for sure). But that doesn't change the fact that people have boundaries and shouldn't let others make them cross those boundaries if it makes them unhappy. Either he will get it and man up, or you can find a man who will. xoxox Good luck.

Annie Temple said...

ps. Guys WAY LOVE amateur dancers over the pros. So don't let that get you down. The pros do it like it's just one of the many things they do everyday. The amateurs are far more exciting. xox

Anonymous said...

Hi, Let call me michelle and my husband andrew. We have been together for 8 years and have three children under the age of 5 together. A year ago when i was just pregnant with our third he admitted going to a strip club alone and getting lap dances. i looked on his credit card and it showed spending $400. He has know from past strip club experiences that i feel he is cheating just by going and he always says he wont do it again. But when i was 4 months pregnant him and friends went to the same club and he got more lap dances as well as i went through his phone and saw text msg to a certian stripper. We got in a huge fight he was not to go ever again! 5 days before i went into labour i phoned and just know he was there, but not for sure! about two months after my baby was born i went through his phone and noticed on a weekeday alone he was there sending text msg to his friend how he was gonna fuck a stripper and theye needed to go sometime soon together, this past weekend they did go again, he says he didnt get a lap dance but i cant belive him. I am not an overwieght person, i am pretty slim, i lost my baby weight right away, i just dont understand!!! He wanted to to spice things up and dance for him, i tried but then found out he had been going and was furious, i dont want to dance for him when he goes and looks at other women. It makes my self confidence so low and i get so sad, i dont know how to fix this problem. I feel its cheating he doesnt, but if i were to go to a male strip club he would leave me!! HELP!! the time he went and text msg a stripper the credit card showed $700. What is my husband getting for this amount?? when getting a lap dance can he touch or be touched??? please someone give me some advice!!!

Annie Temple said...

Hi Michelle,

Sorry for not responding faster. I'm really sad to hear what you are going through. It is so hard when you have young children with someone to realize that it's time to say goodbye. Your guy doesn't seem to have any respect for you. The text message saying that he's going to fuck a stripper is not only insulting to you but to strippers! What a jackass! I don't think any woman deserves to be treated that way. But I especially don't think a mother of 3 children under 5 should be treated that way by the father of her children. You probably don't want to hear this, but you will likely never be happy until you leave this man. Just think how nice it will be to not be suspicious and jealous. To not be reduced to snooping through phone records because of your mistrust. I recently became single, and I will tell you - THERE ARE A LOT OF WONDERFUL MEN OUT THERE WHO WILL TREAT YOU LIKE YOU DESERVE TO BE TREATED. And lots of them are great with kids too. You are not doomed to this life, girl. If you can do it, financially, I think you should leave that jackass in the dust.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for getting back to me. I am in a difficult situation! i do love him but am frusterated and sick of his lack of respect. Financailly i would be fine, it was my money he took to go to the strippers!! just had one question.. do u think that he has cheated or will?? and if he is spending 700 in one night what is he getting?? how much are lap dances.

thanks!

Annie Temple said...

From what you tell me, I would not be surprised if he has cheated. I'm not sure what happens in the clubs where you are or how much they are. Where are you located?

Brian said...

Very interesting post. I like it

Me personally? I'm 21, never been to a strip club though I'll admit I have considered visiting once or twice. I would call myself a loner. I know a lot of people but don't trust enough or have enough in common with them to get close to me. So I somewhat fit the description, only difference being that me not having a gf has more to do with how picky I am especially personality wise

Anyway my personal little bio aside, I love women, so I don't see anything wrong with it. If I was married I would never even think of going to one, but I can see myself appreciating the fun, openness, and beauty of a place like that. There are some men who don't respect the women though they're spending money on them..but I would definitely appreciate the dancers

Folded Wings said...

Thank you so much for this article. You're obviously a gifted writer as well as a warm-hearted and compassionate person.

Please offer me some advice, too, if you have the time!

I come from a traditional Asian culture, and recently met someone (incidentally, also from the same culture) with whom I fell in love and got engaged. I've always thought that he's a great guy - sweet, intellectual, romantic and genuinely caring. But recently, I found out that he'd been to a strip club with his friends (before he met me), and I felt... shaken and upset. Not so much by the fact that he went to a strip club (strange as that sounds!), but because he went there and PAID for sexual services (and, as far as I'm concerned, visual titillation is still a sexual service, albeit a hands-free one). That made me feel that he doesn't respect women, and it made me wonder whether he would ever really value or care for me, either, if that's how he views women in general. I feel, now, that women are more 'replaceable' to him. I also feel kind of seriously creeped out by the thought of anyone putting a numerical value on something as sacred as a human body... I'm starting to worry about whether I've deeply misjudged him. I don't *want* to think that way, and most of my heart still wants to believe in him, but there's this niggling voice of inner doubt that's growing ever-louder. You see, it's not like I've known him for a very long time - only a few months - and he only told me about this immediately after the engagement, which makes me wonder whether he deliberately withheld this information until things were formalized, because he knew I would never have continued 'dating' someone who'd been to a strip club.

Am I over-reacting because of my traditional background? Please tell me if I am; I'm eager to learn, and to be fair and open-minded. Since I don't know much about strip clubs and the customers that frequent them, I might be operating on entirely inaccurate preconceptions of what those men are like. Is it really possible for a man to visit a strip joint and still genuinely respect women? (And himself?)

Oh, and my fiance is *still* friends with the guys he visited the strip club with, some of whom are *still* visiting strip clubs, *despite* being married and having their wives disapprove of it. In fact, my fiance's best friend even went to a strip club with his own elder brother, both of whom are married, with wives that were openly hurt by what they did.

Now, the question is... If this is what his friends do, and he cares so much about their opinions (because he does), then does that increase the chances of his also going to strip clubs after marriage?

He tells me that he finds such a thing heinous and unfaithful, that he's never been back to the strip joint since, and that he'd never consider going after marriage - but given that his best friend has continued to do just that, how much can I trust this statement? I personally could not be best friends with someone that was doing something I found truly morally reprehensible. At some level, I would have to tacitly approve of an activity if I could be friends with someone that was indulging in it.

I will never tell my fiance to stop seeing his friends, because a) that wouldn't change who *he* really is, and b) I don't believe in controlling people or telling them who their friends should be. I *do*, however, reserve the right to choose who *I* should marry. Even though I love my fiance, these revelations of his past visit and of his friends' continuing visits to strip clubs have shaken the image I had of him. I guess this is the first real test of my love - whether I can love the man, as he is, rather than what I had thought him to be.

But given his friends' continuing behavior of knowingly hurting their wives, can I really be sure he disapproves of what they're doing, and that he'd never do the same?

Please help!

TR said...

Thanks for your comments, Folded Wings. You seem like a very intelligent, strong woman. Your fiance must be so worried he's going to lose you. I will respond to your concerns one at a time.

"That made me feel that he doesn't respect women, and it made me wonder whether he would ever really value or care for me, either, if that's how he views women in general. I also feel kind of seriously creeped out by the thought of anyone putting a numerical value on something as sacred as a human body"

First of all, men will look at women whether they are in strip clubs or not. It is natural instinct for them to be visually stimulated by viewing beautiful women. This shouldn't worry you. It should comfort you that you can use this power as a woman to enhance your relationship and get your man's attention any time you want it. Nina Hartely said "getting mad at men for their sexual nature is like getting mad at water for being wet." I agree with her. Instead of shaming and punishing men for what comes naturally to them, we should accept it and use it to our advantage. I agree that the human body is sacred but I don't think that means that viewing the body in a sexual way diminishes the sacredness. If we were raised in a culture where sex was valued and people who sell sex were revered, can you imagine how differently we'd view it and treat it. It is the warped views of many in our society that view sex as shameful and dirty that perpetuate shame and insecurity when it comes to men's sexual nature. I could talk about women's sexual nature and how we've learned to ignore it and downplay it as well, but that's another story altogether.

TR said...

"Am I over-reacting because of my traditional background? Is it really possible for a man to visit a strip joint and still genuinely respect women? (And himself?)"

Yes, indeed it is not only possible for a man to visit a strip club and respect both women and himself, but it is the norm. Most men who go to strip clubs are respectful, decent, caring men who would never want to disrespect the entertainers or women in general. On the contrary, they appreciate and cherish us because they value what we are offering them by showing them our bodies and our compassion. We aren't punishing them for their sexual natures. The strip club is a place where they don't have to feel ashamed or bad for what comes naturally to them (appreciation of women's beauty).

Everyone has their own definition of cheating in relation to strip club. I personally don't consider going to a strip club as cheating. But buying a private show is. If I found out that a boyfriend or husband bought private shows before we were together, that wouldn't bother me. But it would bother me if he did while we were together. To me, watching a woman dance naked on stage is different than having her dance one-on-one for you. If you're in a relationship with someone who is not withholding sex from you, then you shouldn't seek "personal" sexual experiences elsewhere, in my opinion.

My opinion changes if the wife or gf is NOT having sex with her guy. Then I think him buying a private show might be useful to keep him otherwise faithful to his neglectful partner. I think that we should meet each others needs sexually in a relationship, and if we don't, then we should be free to have those needs fulfilled elsewhere. That doesn't mean having sex every time they ask whether we want to or not, but allowing other ways to get those needs met instead. For instance, I would encourage my man to look at porn magazines or videos if I'm not in the mood. Or I could pose all sexy while he "helps himself." This is getting pretty personal, I'm sorry, but I want to be really clear about what I'm saying. Yes, I think you're over-reacting because your man should not be shamed for something he did when he was single - and something that didn't hurt anyone. If he was a murderer, on the other hand... ;)

TR said...

"If this is what his friends do, then does that increase the chances of his also going to strip clubs after marriage?"

I have no idea the answer to this question. If you could bring yourself to be comfortable with it, I'd say let him go to strip clubs as long as he doesn't purchase private dances or sit in front row. Even better, go with him. Sit at a table near the back and watch the shows. They're fantastic. If you meet any of the dancers, there's a good chance you'll see they're usually really cool. They're not after your man, they're just working. You should at least check out a strip club with some of your girlfriends so you can see what it's really like instead of wondering and worrying.

"But given his friends' continuing behavior of knowingly hurting their wives, can I really be sure that he'd never do the same?"

Even though I am a strip club supporter, I don't think men should go to them if it upsets their wives. The relationship is more important than seeing a few naked women. (This is assuming that the wives are meeting their guys sexual needs and vice versa. If my guy was going to strip club but turning me down for sex, that would also send up red flags for me.) However, every person has to follow their own path and we can't control them. I wouldn't worry about your guy's friends behavior affecting your guy as long as you maintain an open, honest relationship where he can speak to you about anything. If you get mad and threaten to leave him because of something he did before you were even together, he might one day lie to you about going to a strip club. But if you accept it, let it go and say 'I wouldn't break up with you if you went to a strip club but it would really upset me and make me feel insecure, so could you please not do it," that is a much more respectful way for you to handle it.

Then, if a day comes in the future, when your guy is catching a ride with friends somewhere and they insist on stopping by a strip club, your guy can be honest with you about it without feeling scared to lose you. These things happen. Strip clubs are also known as "gentlemen's clubs" because they're a place for guys to hang out and be treated well. They are a part of our culture, in many respects, so they can't be completely avoided, in my opinion. And I feel sorry for the guys who are scared to tell their wives they went to a strip club because they couldn't convince their friends to go elsewhere. They're stuck between a rock and a hard place not wanting to look like they're controlled by their wives but also not wanting to hurt their wives' feelings. It would be best for your relationship if you weren't one of those wives.

If you trust your guy and he is the kind of person who is in control of himself when he drinks, you really have nothing to worry about. A guy who will cheat, will cheat regardless of whether he ever goes to strip clubs or not. Same for a guy who would never cheat. Your guys sounds pretty great from what little you've said about him. I would be inclined to trust him. Let him decide what he does in his life, if he goes to strip clubs or attends a stag in Las Vegas, or whatever it is that might worry you. Let him live his life and trust him. If he's not trustworthy, it will eventually come to light and you can leave him. But if he IS trustworthy, then you don't want to lose him just because he looked at some naked women before you were together. I don't know a single heterosexual man who doesn't like looking at different naked women. But it doesn't have any bearing on whether they respect women or whether they are trustworthy.

Folded Wings said...

Thanks so much for your detailed responses! Actually, even before you replied, I got back in touch with my fiance and told him that I trusted him, and in fact that I appreciated his honesty in telling me about his past. :) But your replies have definitely strengthened my confidence that I've made the right decision. I can't thank you enough... Just the fact that there was an informed person willing to listen to me and so sincerely offer up their advice is a huge help! You were pretty much my only option, you know. Obviously, I couldn't have told my parents or anyone close to me, as that might have affected their opinions of my fiance, and I wanted to protect him from that. (Like I said, I'm from a traditional background. My parents - and his, for that matter - might have utterly condemned him and even stopped the marriage from proceeding.)

I still think, at some level, that it's disrespectful to women if men go to strip clubs. I don't think that's blaming men for their sexual natures; I think it's fine to have sex and see women naked, AS LONG AS there's no money involved, and it's all for free. It's the attitude of thinking that a woman can be 'bought' that upsets me, rather than the sexual part of it. Does that make any sense...? I actually wouldn't have minded if my fiance had told me he'd had sex with other women before our engagement, as that's natural and there's nothing wrong with it. But what I minded was this phenomenon of 'paid' services (even visual services) - I can't help but feel that there's some disrespect/objectification involved. Sex is actually sacred and beautiful to me, not dirty or forbidden at all - so rather than condemning sex/sexuality, what I feel uncomfortable with is its commodification. Sorry, I guess that's just me...!

So, yes, while I'm still not completely on-board with the idea, I can conceive of the notion that a man can be *generally* respectful to women and still be able to go to a strip club, especially if it's as a result of peer pressure (which is what seems to have happened, in my fiance's case). Given my fiance's behavior as a whole, I've decided to trust in him and in his better angels. (No, I'm not Christian! But you get the idea.)

Thanks so much! Wish us luck!

TR said...

Good luck!