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In Living Commentary

When it comes to strip clubs, men and women often share different views.

In Living Commentary

Strip clubs aren't always like in the movies... or are they?

For couples, strip clubs prompt problems, possibilities


I know a number of women that do not and will not allow their husbands or boyfriends go to strip clubs.

Whether it's a bachelor party, client schmoozing or just a drunken guys' night out, these women lay down strict rules about setting foot inside a strip club. I know a few that even threatened divorce over the issue.

Personally, it doesn't bother me that much to know if my boyfriend is going to a strip club, as long as it's for one of those specific events. I'd rather know than wonder why he smells like cigarettes, cheap whiskey and cheaper perfume; and let's not forget the glitter. Left without ample explanation, that could end badly. I don't know whether it's jealousy or insecurity (if there is a difference) or just the basic dislike of knowing your husband or boyfriend is paying to hang out with a bunch of naked chicks, but it does seem to push some women to extreme measures.

Men like to look, they like to watch and they really get a kick out of seeing naked women slide down poles for a handful of crumpled dollar bills. We all get the visual metaphor. However, when you really think about it, it's easy to see how some women get overly sensitive; there is a gray area between cheating and going to a strip club. If you're just watching, that may be one thing. I can get into most porn as much as the next girl and I don't see too much difference between watching a stripper in person or watching a girl your computer screen or television. If the bouncer, the bartender and most of the girls know you by name, that's another story.

I've visited my fair share of strip joints, and none of them would be my first choice on a list of places to head on any given Friday night. But, it can be an interesting experience. I'm not talking Vegas, either; I mean the local places from Downtown to the Fox Valley. Vegas is another world and having never been -- yet -- I don't think I can make accurate assessments on it.

Getting a lap dance, which I wouldn't comment on had I not experienced a couple in my day, is exciting for obvious reasons. But guys need to turn the tables for just one moment and ask themselves a question: would you be OK if a strange guy did something that to your girlfriend or wife? Most men I know don't like when other guys so much as look at their girlfriends, let alone rub their crotches all over them.

So once again women get the short end of the stick? Sure, there are male strip clubs and once a year during widow's weekend the Chippendales dudes come to town, but I have to be honest, a man in a banana hammock only makes me laugh. For some, reason I instantly think of David Hasselhoff or Fabio and neither make me swoon, let alone enough to pull out my wallet to pay for it.

As a woman, if you are even vaguely attractive, stepping foot in a strip club means you just became the object of attention. The guys instantly hope its amateur night and the strippers know that there is no bigger cash cow than a little girl on girl action. Strippers have asked me to come on stage, take my shirt off and even kiss them for the sake of making the guys in the room feel generous.

I declined all requests and I wouldn't do things differently if those questions were posed again. It's one thing for me to put a dollar in a girls thong for shakin' it in my face, but I'm never going to be the girl that strips down in front of a room full of people for cash. I'm not cut out for that industry. Go figure.

More than anything, I think women have a hard time with strip clubs because as much as we want to separate ourselves from the topless women dancing for dollars, we also feel pity for them -- which is stupid because many of them make pretty good money.

My downfall while in strip clubs is making the mistake of watching the girls' faces as much as their breasts and butts. There is this glaze over them; whether drug induced or not, it's a little sad. Women can't help wondering why each of them chose to do this. We go all "Oprah" and dissect the situation.

Is she paying her own way through college? Is she trying to put food on the table for family? Did something bad happen during childhood? It rarely, if ever, crosses our minds that any woman would want to do this for a living. And it's that look on their faces that feeds that belief, along with our own absolute lack of desire to be in their position.

The fact of the matter is, strippers are paid to do what they do and yes there is a fairly thin line between the legal and non-legal acts happening in strip clubs. I know what I've seen.

Everyone's got a price, but it's got to come down to more than that. If you just don't like the idea of your man looking at other women, you can relax; he does it all the time, anyway.

Granted, these women are naked but they are in it for the money. They don't love your boyfriend as much as he'd like to think they do. If you're worried he's going to pay for more than a dance, you need to figure that out, pronto. No need to tell those of you that have frequented the local joints that you need merely sit on the chairs to feel like you need an STD test. You don't, just be sure to burn your clothes when you get home.

Maybe it's nothing more than a fear of the unknown. If you've never been, go. Go with a group of girls (this is by far the most fun) or go with your boyfriend or husband. It has the potential to be hot if you don't make it a regular thing or he doesn't push the envelope of your tolerance.

Not all women feel the way I do about strip joints. Some are more strict and some really couldn't care less. Obviously, if I hated them I never would've gone inside. It can be a lot of fun if you are with the right people, it doesn't get creepy and you don't overanalyze the situation.

And guys, it's not that women want to ruin all your fun, but on this one you may have to put yourself in our shoes for just a minute. Or better yet, picture a huge, muscular, tan Chippendale dancer with his package in your girl's face as she shovels dollars in his direction.

Author's note: Thanks to everyone that left a comment on last week's column. I know that we may not all agree on this or anything else, but I think it was a relevant topic and people obviously have strong feelings one way or another. Please keep in mind that this is my opinion and nothing more. What's important is that we have the opportunity and the venue to express our opinions. Whether you love or hate what I have to say, I find it invaluable that we use our right to debate as often as possible.

Talkbacks

mstodd | Sept. 4, 2009 at 4:42 p.m. (report)

That's hillarious, my girlfriend and I had this exact 'discussion' last week. I ended up doing laundry during my friend's going away party.

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whiteguy | Sept. 4, 2009 at 4:06 p.m. (report)

I'd just like to point out that going to strip clubs is, in of itself, sin. We certainly shouldn't be promoting it. It is equal to lying and murder in the eyes of God. Matthew 5:27-30 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell." Do not be deceived, it is sin, and you risk eternity in hell for a few minutes of pleasure. True, all men look. But looking at the beach, the office, or the mall, is in most cases, accidental. If you are planning it, and paying for it, it is true sin. Ladies: if your man is going there, you need to seriously re-evaluate your relationship. This man isn't being more honest - he is unable to control himself, and is willing to spend hard-earned money to be with other women. Why doesn't he spend that money going out with you? Because he can't control himself and he is selfish. I would advise you to keep looking for a better man.

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A_Barfly | Sept. 4, 2009 at 3:52 p.m. (report)

I took my wife to a strip club once. ONCE. It was the worst night of my life. She's a high school teacher, and one of her students that just graduated two weeks prior was on stage when we walked in. Let's just say that that was only the beginning of what turned out to be one of the worst nights of my life. I should note that we were a party of six (three couples), and no one had a good time. The guys were too tense to enjoy the show. The women were upset that the guys were paying more attention to the dancers then to them. On and on and on... Here's a tip fellas, if you love them - leave your wives, girlfriends, and even your mistresses at home. And if you have to go and you don't want your wife to find out about it - don't use the ATM in the strip club - that's just plain stupid.

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college_dave | Sept. 4, 2009 at 11:47 a.m. (report)

Nice, well-thought article. Opened my mind a little.

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alba | Sept. 4, 2009 at 9:06 a.m. (report)

Some of my friend's wives and girlfriends refuse to let their men go to strip clubs. Maybe they're afraid of cheating, but I think it's very unlike that someone is going to get any actual sex at a strip club - it's a lot easier to go home with someone at a bar. Lighten up ladies - by forbidding strip clubs you're just going to make them more appealing.

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