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Your Turn: “I Don’t Want My Boyfriend Hitting the Strip Clubs!”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter — a classic question if there ever was one — without commentary from me:

Let me start by saying that I am categorically against the idea of my boyfriend entering a strip club under any circumstances. Why? There are many reasons, but the two main reasons are: a) it goes against every feminist inkling I have to support a business which exploits women and their bodies so blatantly; and b) if you’ve got a good woman at home, I feel it’s extremely disrespectful to pay other women to take their clothes off.

Unfortunately, this weekend, my boyfriend will be attending a bachelor party that will venture to the clubs. Let me make it clear that I trust my boyfriend with everything I’ve got. I know that if it weren’t for the bachelor party, he wouldn’t even consider hitting a strip club. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not going to cheat on me. But I am NOT okay with this outing.

And here is the conundrum. The strip club outing is going to happen, because the organizers of the party have planned it. Boyfriend is going to the party because it’s for a close friend. If I tell him he can’t go, it creates major discord between us because he has to leave the party early and he, like me, doesn’t like being forbidden to do anything, on principle. But if he goes, I will be very, very angry and hurt. My stomach churns just thinking about it.

There doesn’t seem to be any solution here. The most common response to this dilemma is, “Oh, lighten up. It’s no big deal!” or “My wife doesn’t mind if I go to strip clubs!” Telling me not to feel what I feel strongly isn’t helpful.

So here are my questions to you, Wendy, and my fellow DW readers: Am I the only one who feels this way? Is there any solution that works for everyone involved? Why do we cling to this tradition and why are we expected to be okay with it if we aren’t? — Anti-Strip Clubs

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Public Pearl Public Pearl September 12, 2011, 8:06 am

I agree, strip clubs are gross and tacky and degrading to everyone involved. I certainly wouldn’t want my husband going (as far as I know, he’s only been to one once, before we were married, because his boss dragged him there). However, since you said this:

“I know that if it weren’t for the bachelor party, he wouldn’t even consider hitting a strip club.”

I’d let it go this once. It’s a bachelor party. It’s one night. If he knows how you feel and he truly wouldn’t go otherwise, then try not to make an issue of this. Let him have one night of bro-ing it up with his buddies, and do something fun yourself while he’s out so that you’re not obsessing about what he’s doing.

avatar anonymous September 12, 2011, 8:14 am

If he’s the guy for you, chances are he’ll feel equally uncomfortable being there, because (a) he feels the same way you do about strip joints and (b) he knows how it makes you feel.

When DH and I were newlyweds, he was in a similar situation (and btw, his bach party did NOT involve this “rite”). He solved it by going home early, after the restaurant dinner. Everyone was apparently fine with it…

In any case, this is NOT a statement about you, as you seem to understand. I assume he knows how you feel about strip joints in general (as opposed to this specific party)? If he knows and doesn’t agree with you, I have to say that your relationship might be short-lived. It’s probably going to end up being a dealbreaker for both of you. If he knows and does agree with you, he’ll come home and tell you how awful the whole thing was and you guys can snuggle up together peacefully. Or he may even leave once he gets there.

avatar ReginaRey September 12, 2011, 8:19 am

I understand your conundrum. I’m also of the opinion that it’s disrespectful to the woman you’re dating or married to to visit a strip club and watch half or fully naked women gyrate, or experience them gyrating ON YOU. I’ve dealt with a similar situation before, and this is how I handled it:

I didn’t forbid him from going. As much as you might want to, you can’t put him in that position. You’ll sound like his nagging mother, and you’ll make him choose between two things he really shouldn’t HAVE to choose between – you and his friends. Giving someone an ultimatum is usually the kiss of death for whatever you want to accomplish, because not many people want to listen to someone giving them a directive.

Given everything you’ve said, I think you need to just let this happen. You said that your boyfriend would never go if it weren’t for his close relationship with his friend. That, I think, is the most important thing for you to remember. He doesn’t really WANT to go, but he feels obligated in order to support his friend at his bachelor party.

But, I think it’s ok to have a discussion before he goes where you both agree on some “ground rules.” For instance – no lap dances or placing money in g-strings, etc. If he doesn’t really want to be there anyway, and if he understands how disrespected you feel by him even attending, there should be no problem with him agreeing to just sit back and watch and NOT receive any lap dances or throw money at strippers. I think that’s the best compromise you can reach while keeping your relationship strong and intact.

Lastly – it’s important for you not to be a bitch to him when he comes back. He already knows that it makes you extremely upset and angry, and it won’t do YOU any good to take it out on him afterwards. Keep reminding yourself that he isn’t prioritizing strip club over you, he’s trying to be there for a momentous occasion in a close friend’s life. When he comes back – make your best effort to be kind and not bring it up – I think he’ll love and appreciate you even more for trying to be understanding of something you are strongly against, and I suspect that he’ll return to you that same favor down the road in your relationship.

Lianne Lianne September 12, 2011, 9:26 am

Well said – completely agree with all of your points, especially the last!

avatar Kerrycontrary September 12, 2011, 9:32 am

Totally agree! Especially with that last part that the LW shouldn’t dwell on the situation when he comes back. I would also add that the LW should plan something fun with her girlfriends that night (and maybe something not involving alcohol since she still might be holding onto some displeasure). I understand how it is to be so upset you feel physically ill, so a distraction will probably help.

avatar ReginaRey September 12, 2011, 9:50 am

Yes! Great idea. Sitting around will only lead to sulking and anger that builds and builds until it releases itself in a bitchy call or text, only to cause a fight. Entertaining yourself with friends may not ease the stress completely, but it will prevent you from doing or saying something in the heat of the moment that you might regret.

avatar ktfran September 12, 2011, 10:08 am

I concur. I really like Regina’s advice as well. Especially the part about setting some ground rules and not holding it against him afterwards. Know this about his good friend, not a reflection on his relationship with you.

avatar lets_be_honest September 12, 2011, 9:37 am

Do you ever give bad advice? Between you and Wendy, I’m continually amazed how some people are able to sort out everything and give fair, level-headed, near-perfect advice. I wish I had friends like you guys in real life, or maybe just when I was in high school! haha. Anyway, this is a crappy situation to be in. I’m not comfortable with strip clubs either and would be picturing everything under the sun if my (imaginary) boyfriend were at one. Yuck. I think you’re advice to not give an ultimatum is key. Better yet, to not be bitchy when he gets home! Love it all. Here’s to hoping LW’s bf surprises her by coming home early right after the dinner!

avatar lets_be_honest September 12, 2011, 9:38 am

*your…I just committed my biggest pet peeve.

avatar ReginaRey September 12, 2011, 9:54 am

Ha! Well I think the reason I “sort out everything” is because I’m not good at editing or filtering what I write, so I just write it all! Hopefully the LW has the patience to read all of it haha. And I really, really believe that if you handle a really tense, stressful situation with grace and maturity, you’ll only do positive things for your relationship. If you get mad, then the boyfriend can turn it on you! But if you stay cool, collected and mature, the boyfriend will respect and care for you that much more. And honestly, he’ll probably feel even WORSE about it, though that shouldn’t really be the goal. Becoming a nagging B is the best way to lose a battle on something you care about.

avatar Callifax September 12, 2011, 8:22 am

In this instance, I’d give your boyfriend a pass. I mean – it’s for a bachelor party, which he didn’t plan, so he’s not going of his own volition. He’ll mostly be paying attention to drinks and conversation with his buddies anyway. And if you trust him as much as you say you do, you know he’s not going to do anything stupid. So I’d let him go. If it makes you feel better, maybe ask him to text you a few times during the night, just to assuage any lingering fears you might have. I think, in the long run, asking him to leave a close friend’s big event early will cause more damage to your relationship then one night at a strip club.

avatar honeybeenicki September 12, 2011, 8:34 am

I would have to echo the other comments here… you should probably just give him a pass on this one. Don’t make a huge deal out of it before or after he goes and just try to lay some ground rules about it (but calmly and without making him feel like a dirty old man). If you trust him and you know that he is only going to support his friend, then keep that in mind and show him that you trust him. It won’t help to yell at him or try to make him stay home and will ultimately strain the relationship.

avatar GatorGirl September 12, 2011, 8:37 am

What ever you say, don’t tell him “he can’t go.”

LW, I would say have a well thought out rational conversation expressing your distaste for the envoirnment and what it promotes. Then let it go. It’s just one night- chances are he’ll feel guilty all night about making you unhappy and won’t have a good time.

avatar Stephanie September 12, 2011, 8:41 am

My husband’s best man and groomsmen insisted he go to a strip club for his bachelor party. He had never been, having skipped previous trips because of my discomfort. As it was his bachelor party, I chose to let it go and not make a fuss about it. The next day, he came home and told me how acutely uncomfortable he was at the strip club and that he wouldn’t be going back. Sometimes the best course of action is to let things be.

avatar artsygirl September 12, 2011, 8:41 am

Strip clubs are loud, dirty, and generally unpleasant. Men go because they believe they need to tick this off the list before marriage, but for the most part the strippers are not the cream of the crop unless they the bachelor party is going somewhere really nice. The highlight of a bachelor party is the groom being dragged on the stage and publicly humiliated.

I think I would put yourself in his shoes. If you were going to a bachelorette party and there was going to be a male stripper there, would you leave? Chances are your BF will not enjoy the experience unless he is a class A creeper so let him go and know that this will likely reinforce the idea that he has better at home.

avatar honeybeenicki September 12, 2011, 9:44 am

I don’t know that I would agree that all strip clubs are “loud, dirty and generally unpleasant”. Ok, loud probably. My husband and I have been to a few strip clubs together and for the most party, they weren’t dirty or unpleasant. Sure, one or two of them probably were, but for the most part they were just like regular bars except some of the people were naked.

avatar Crazy in Love June 24, 2013, 2:28 pm

Honeybee – I totally agree. Some are very clean, bar-like atmosphere with a few women dancing. My husband and I also go together. I like it as much as he does. And most of the time, I am fascinated by their ability to dance so gracefully.

fast eddie fast eddie September 12, 2011, 8:48 am

This letter betrays a controlling attitude of the bride. I assume that he’s not going beyond drinking and jocularity with his buddies. If she can’t accept that fact that for what it is there’s going to be big problems later. What’s her reaction to his looking at porn on the internet in a few days/weeks/months from now? Be assured that this will happen.

avatar lets_be_honest September 12, 2011, 9:42 am

Hmm. I see where you’re coming from here, only given that she considered ‘telling him he can’t go.’ Maybe after she reads what others have said about ultimatums, she will realize how wrong that is.

avatar Renee September 12, 2011, 8:50 am

He may not be in a situation to change plans, but also he can speak up if he doesn’t like them either. My husband did this in the preplanning phase, by offering alternatives (indoor skydiving lessons/formula one race car driving). They went racing and it was fun, the one groomsman was under 21 and the father of the groom came also.

I really think most men rather do something else, other then going to a strip club. Maybe in the right wording and tone decline the invite and take the groom out on his own.

avatar Crazy in Love June 24, 2013, 2:31 pm

For real????? Most men tell their women they don’t want to go, but inside they’re like, “yeah, buddy!!!! I’m going to see naked women!” LOL!!! How naive we women are sometimes.

avatar lk September 12, 2011, 9:06 am

I’ve been to strip clubs and I wouldn’t have (and haven’t had) a problem with my SO going.

1) Strip clubs aren’t sexy or romantic – they are loud & surreal.
2) These girls are dancers! They are entertainers! Ok, they are partially-fully nude – but they’re not up there to “get” your guy & your guys isn’t out to “get” them. They can’t be gotten. You tip them, because that is how they make money, & you pay a lot to drink with your buddies.
3) I consider myself a 4th-wave feminist….& I am not appalled by the idea of strip clubs. Nudity in our culture is wayyy overblown & the fact that the women are paid to perform is more a reflection of capitalist society.

I totally sympathize with your feelings because I remember the first time a boyfriend asked me if it would be OK for him to go & I felt sick all night until he called me afterwards.

I would strongly suggest that you not try to change the plan or try to keep your boyfriend from going.

To feel better about the situation, when you find yourself ruminating over the scenario, take your boyfriend out of the picture & interpret the whole thing as a sort of neo-fertility ritual. The tradition of going to strip clubs (where, again, you don’t “get” the girls — you just look & occasionally rub, I suppose) for a bachelor party is actually kind of amazing because the idea is, “look at all these cute, young naked ladies & I know I have something better that’s going to be mine for the rest of my life.”

avatar honeybeenicki September 12, 2011, 10:13 am

I really like your last sentence. That is an excellent way to look at it. I also like that you see the women being paid for their performance (a service) as a reflection of capitalistic society. I agree completely with you. And you’re right… when I think “sexy and romantic,” strip club is probably not anywhere on that list.

avatar Crazy in Love June 24, 2013, 2:34 pm

Good responses. Totally agree!!! It’s strictly entertainment.

avatar mcminnem September 12, 2011, 12:33 pm

I agree. People seem to forget that strip clubs are licensed and controlled environments, businesses with employees. Those women aren’t slaves being exploited, they are professionals, most often trained dancers, who choose to work there because the money is good. I’ve known of university students who have taken up dancing at a club as a way to pay their tuition. To me, that’s actually very empowering, and not anti-feminist at all.

avatar Callifax September 12, 2011, 12:57 pm

I’m with you on your fourth point! I also tend to feel that people should have a right to do what they want with their own bodies as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else – dancing nude is their choice, so why begrudge them that? Just my two cents…

avatar PondLily September 12, 2011, 9:10 am

My personal opinion on strip clubs aside, the important thing about your letter is that you already know you are setting yourself up for hurt or disappointment if your boyfriend goes to this party. That being said, my advice would be to voice your displeasure, as you already have, and then let it go. This is not a battle that you are going to win without coming out looking like you controlled or manipulated the situation. And especially if your boyfriend is someone who, when pushed, does the exact opposite of what you would like, it isn’t going to end well or the way you want unless you step aside.

At this point in the game, chances are the party itinerary won’t change, and there will be strip clubs involved at some point. And your boyfriend is there to support his close friend getting married, not the institution of strip clubs. It is not a personal statement on how he feels about you or your strongly held beliefs if he goes with the gang. If he never would venture into one outside of this situation, hold onto that knowledge instead of the fact that just this once he is. It’s not worth your anger or your hurt, when you know in your heart that he isn’t really into it and isn’t doing it to spite you.

You’re right that you can’t control your feelings on the matter, but you can control how you choose to view this particular situation and if you are going to let it create a rift between you and your boyfriend’s otherwise healthy and compatible relationship.

avatar ktfran September 12, 2011, 10:19 am

This. Your last paragraph. I’m a very sensitive and emotional person. It has taken 31 years to learn that I can’t control other people, but I can choose how I react. My life is less stressful and a lot happier.

LW, just remember this and maybe some of your anger will subside.

Again, he’s not going to hurt or spite you. He’s going for his friend. I’ve been to a strip club twice. I find them quite ridiculous and it’s fun to people watch. I really think your bf will think the same thing and just enjoy hanging out with his friends. And just tell him outright – rationally of course – that you would prefer he didn’t get a lap dance or give girls money. I think that’s completely fair.

avatar Crazy in Love June 24, 2013, 2:41 pm

There’s nothing wrong with giving money. That’s how they make a living. If you think a girl is talented, lay a dollar in front of where she’s dancing. You don’t HAVE to put it in her string. To watch, be entertained, and not give money is a bit rude.

avatar soandso September 12, 2011, 9:15 am

Am I the only one who feels this way?

No, lots of people feel this way.

Is there any solution that works for everyone involved?

Not in this case. Time heals all wounds and one night at a strip club shouldn’t make you angry forever at him.

Why do we cling to this tradition and why are we expected to be okay with it if we aren’t?

It’s just stupid stuff. All guys I know that have been to one don’t really enjoy going there. If you aren’t okay with something then you aren’t expected to be okay with it.

avatar MiMi September 12, 2011, 9:22 am

There is no benefit to you, him, or the relationship for you to be “very, very hurt and upset” about this sophomoric outing to a strip club. Decide – really, just decide – that you are not going to throw a fit about this or punish your man for attending: these guys are not making a political statement, sending a pointed message to their women, calling all of their morals into question, or doing anything other than being lame and unimaginative in thinking up something to do for their friend before his big day. To me, this outing is on par with such mature manly activities as holding your head under the covers while they fart or burping their way through the alphabet at the 4th of July picnic.
A bachelor party planned by others is not a good enough topic over which to jump on the bandwagon of socio-political dogma at the expense of your relationship. Let your man know that you trust him and back up that statement by behaving impeccably before, during, and after the event.

landygirl Landygirl September 12, 2011, 10:50 am

Excellent!

avatar Mainer September 12, 2011, 9:23 am

I would argue that the best thing you can do is absolutely nothing. Don’t even address the issue with him. You trust him, which would suggest he acts and conducts himself in a way that would allow you to trust him. Therefore, there is no need to lay down “ground rules” like he’s a child entering a playpen. And I don’t need to go into the repercussions of “forbidding’ him to go. But by that same logic, don’t take the path that would be passively forbidding him to go. That is to say, expressing your deep disapproval but leaving the decision up to him. This is the classic trap that all guys fear. “It’s up to you” is the most stressful thing a guy can hear his girlfriend or wife say. This is exactly how it will play out: he’ll want to simultaneously please both you and his friends, which means he’ll still go to the strip club but he will be hating every single second. He’ll have a miserable time, be stressed and worried about what sort of conversation is waiting for him the next day, and just overall not having fun on his best buddy’s bachelor party (which, I think we can agree, is the whole point). In this situation, all parties lose. His friends do not enjoy their friend at his normal self, he does not enjoy his time because he knows his girlfriend does not approve, and you don’t win because he still goes to a strip club. So what, exactly, would you hope to accomplish by expressing your deep disapproval? Having him feel bad about going? That doesn’t change a thing about the situation except how HE feels, almost as if feeling terrible is the price he needs to pay for being dragged to a place he would ordinarily never have been to if it weren’t for his close friends. Manipulating those bad feelings because you don’t have any control over the situation is not fair. Relationships are full of compromises. This is just one instance in which you’ll need to compromise your disapproval. I know it sucks, but there will be a situation in the future that will require him to one day do the same. And you’ll appreciate it when he does.

So if you love your boyfriend, and you want him to enjoy himself, and you TRUST him, then there is absolutely no need to say anything at all.

avatar lets_be_honest September 12, 2011, 9:53 am

Thumbs up

landygirl Landygirl September 12, 2011, 10:51 am

Second that.

avatar savannah September 12, 2011, 9:56 am

I’m curious what kind of situation you think is comparable for someone who really believes all the things this LW associates with her boyfriend going to a strip club. I’m not judging weather or not the issues she is attaching to this event are valid or not but she mentioned a lot of them in her letter, including a whole spectrum of political and social values, issues of gender commodification, ways to show respect, and a rather large issue of forbidding vs. ignoring relationship dynamic. I’m trying to think about a scenario or situation that is comparable with the gender roles reversed, or even maybe just their roles reversed,that has that much complexity inherent in it and I’m coming up short.

avatar Mainer September 12, 2011, 10:18 am

Relationships are not about comparing compromises. People shouldn’t be tallying up various compromises they have made and assigning “severity degrees” to them so they can be sure everything is a one-to-one match. I could bring up hundreds of hypotheticals for you, but would they really matter unless they were true?

Here’s the basis of the compromise: he is doing something she is adamantly against for personal reasons, but he is not doing it FOR the reasons she is against it. So her distaste over the existence of a strip club does not mean he is attending a strip club to reinforce the very things she is so passionately against. I’ll try for a hypothetical, but it is not meant to be an exact one-to-one match: Let’s say this guy’s girlfriend had a friend who completely broke one of his friends heart – she cheated on him, manipulated him, treated him like trash, used him for money. I’m talking like crushing this guy’s soul to the point where he never fully recovered and it changed who he was as a person. One day his girlfriend informs him that she is having lunch with a bunch of her friends, and this particular girl is going to be there. Now the boyfriend could hate this girl with a passion for his own reasons and tell his girlfriend he would love nothing more than for her to not associate herself with this girl. But the fact that his girlfriend is having lunch with her does not mean she is supporting that girl’s decisions or her actions. She is doing something with a bunch of her friends and this girl just happens to be a part of it. Would it be fair for him to tell her that she can go to the lunch if she wants, but he’ll be very upset if she does? Or should he just realize that this girl is not the reason his girlfriend is going to lunch, it just happens to be an unfortunately aspect of the get-together?

avatar artsygirl September 12, 2011, 10:36 am

Thumbs up!

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 12, 2011, 11:25 am

I’m with you on this, savannah. I like the LW’s final question: “Why do we cling to this tradition and why are we expected to be okay with it if we aren’t?” It’s the toughest one to answer. I wish her BF would just say “no” to the strip club outing on his own accord and have his friends accept his wishes without the peer pressuring or “emasculating” comments that are sure to follow ( ie”Don’t be a pussy”). But alas, we don’t live in a perfect world. :)

avatar honeybeenicki September 12, 2011, 11:59 am

Well technically, he is more than welcome to say no but he obviously has his own reasons for not wanting to (probably to support his friend or maybe he doesn’t see anything wrong with strip clubs). And to answer LW’s question: no one really knows why we cling to this “tradition”, but if she doesn’t want to be ok with it then she doesn’t have to be. That’s her perogative, but she needs to consider the consequences of her own choices. If she absolutely refuses to “allow” him to go, then she would need to deal with the fallout of that decision (possible strain or end to the relationship). If she thinks she can just let it slide, but still not really be “ok” with it, then she needs to deal with that too (possible hurt feelings on her part, anger, etc).

avatar GingerLaine September 12, 2011, 10:35 am

I could not agree with this more.

avatar cdobbs September 12, 2011, 9:23 am

Everyone has their own opinion on where to draw the line on what is appropriate behaviour in a relationship, what constitutes cheating, etc. Personally, I don’t see the big deal, whats the difference between going to a strip club and seeing a naked woman, then watching a movie where a woman is topless, seeing scantily clad woman in a magazine, seeing scantily clad cheerleaders during halftime, etc. My brother’s now wife accused him of cheating because he was looking at a poster of a female wrestler for God’s sake! Personally I think you should cut your boyfriend some slack and not even worry about it. LW, can you honestly say you have never watched a movie with a hot guy and not fantasized about him, not exactly the same, but still, its fantasy, not reality.

avatar kf September 12, 2011, 10:24 am

[thumbs up]

avatar Nadine September 13, 2011, 5:55 am

I find it very hard to be ok with trying to help someone who is trying to control her SO.
I have my own issues with strip clubs (all based around exploitation, not “morals”) but if this club is not exploitative then I cannot imagine having a problem with my SO going. I would be very upset if he tried to stop me doing something in my own social life, with my own friends. I guess the only way it could maybe happen was if he explained to me logically and dispassionately why he was so against me taking this action.

Budj Budjer September 12, 2011, 9:35 am

LW,

Coming from a guy that feels horribly uncomfortable in strip clubs let me tell you how this will play out. Your boy friend will go and he will sit down and drink at the bar…(if there is one) and if there isn’t he will sit down at the most inconspicuous location around the stage hoping the stripper doesn’t make a stop at him and make him awkwardly hand a dollar into her strap. At the worst he will go find a lap dance for his friend and avoid interacting with strippers at all costs because most of the time they just want to lure you into that lap dance room for a shitty over-priced dry hump session while you try and make awkward normal conversation with a girl you don’t know rubbing her shit all up on you to music you don’t like….anything more than that is usually illegal and / or venereally risky anyways.

To quench your fear and anxiety even more….MOST of the time in a townie area or even just a non-major city area (excluding Canada and Florida) if you combine the best attribute of every stripper at a strip joint it would equate to ONE attractive woman…and I have seen enough skid marks at strip clubs to ensure the only reason I would go back is for a friend’s bachelor party.

You really have nothing to worry about if you trust your guy like you say….and even if you do live in one of the aforementioned “oasis of strippers” then my first paragraph is still true. One final tip…if you are ok with porn then you should just reason it out that the only difference is that he doesn’t have a computer screen between his eye and the boobs.

-Budjer

avatar ReginaRey September 12, 2011, 10:09 am

Thanks for demystifying the strip club experience for those of us who only imagine what goes on. I feel like your description is probably exactly what the LW’s boyfriend will experience. If he really wouldn’t go but for this friend’s bachelor party, he’s going to be pretty uncomfortable and probably wishing it would end the whole time. Also, I agree that strippers aren’t really Victoria’s Secret Angels. My cousin married a stripper (a very interesting wedding, to say the least), and neither she nor many of her stripper bridesmaids were real beauties. They looked average at best, but sluttier.

avatar honeybeenicki September 12, 2011, 10:14 am

“They looked average at best, but sluttier.”

That about sums it up. My husband and I got lucky at one strip club in that most of the dancer were actually quite pretty. I think the only time you truly get above average knock-out gorgeous women is when you get on the professional circuit of dancers who travel to different clubs across the country/world and are often also in adult films (not that most of them are exactly lookers either).

avatar savannah September 12, 2011, 10:30 am

This whole thread conversation is why I am always confused when people say that strip clubs are harmless and that the strippers are just part of the larger fantasy. Except in cases where they are actually real people who get married and then judged by everyone else and continually called sluts.

avatar ReginaRey September 12, 2011, 11:05 am

Well, just to clarify, I didn’t say that my cousin’s wife nor her friends WERE sluts. I said that they presented themselves in a slutty fashion. The way they were dressed, especially my cousin’s wife, was definitely trashy…even if I had had no idea she was a stripper, I would have considered her look to be slutty. This was my experience. I’m sure there are some strippers who don’t appear trashy in their off hours.

avatar honeybeenicki September 12, 2011, 12:01 pm

The strippers in question weren’t called sluts. It wasn’t a dig at their sexuality or whatever, it was commentary on how they dress or look. I absolutely do not believe every stripper is a slut, nor do I believe ever slut is a stripper. And on top of that, I don’t think being a slut is necessarily a bad thing (unless of course you are in a relationship and the other half doesn’t approve of that idea).

Budj Budjer September 12, 2011, 12:11 pm

Being a slut is defined as “a promiscuous woman” in webster’s and promiscuous includes having many sexual transient relationships so technically you can’t call a stripper a slut just based on the fact that she is a stripper. Exotic dancer is probably the most accurate description…however…at some places I think it goes a little further than that label.

Skyblossom Skyblossom September 12, 2011, 11:15 am

I think it’s harmless for him to go but I also think he’s a big boy and if this situation is as uncomfortable as you say, and I believe it is, then he should feel comfortable saying he won’t be going. As an adult it is okay to say no to peer pressure and this really is just adult peer pressure. He shouldn’t have to feel that the only way he can support his friend is that he must go to a club where he is pretty sure he won’t enjoy himself. It is a very liberating feeling when you reach the point where you say no to your friends if they are doing something you don’t like or enjoy and find that they are still your friends and really don’t care if you don’t do every last thing that they do.

He probably will go and probably won’t enjoy himself and probably wish he were somewhere else and life will go on and it won’t hurt your relationship. Maybe he needs to go and experience this just once in his life to see what it is like and then if it is distaseful to him he can think about how he would tell his friends in the future that he isn’t going.

Budj Budjer September 12, 2011, 11:45 am

In my experiences the strip club isn’t the last stop though for a bachelor party (unless they are open later than the bars) so if there are other things going on when they leave there he doesn’t want to miss out on those.

avatar 6napkinburger September 12, 2011, 12:10 pm

But haven’t you gone to bars that play music that you don’t like, or types of food you don’t like because its somebody’s birthday? That isn’t a sign that you are immature; its a sign that you’re willing to do something you don’t love to hang out/”support” someone you do (or like). I don’t think that if a man is mature (in order to establish that maturity), he will (or has to) refuse to go strip clubs for bachelor parties when he doesn’t really like them. I think he’ll refuse/choose not to have his there, and typically just deal while he is there for his friends’.

Skyblossom Skyblossom September 12, 2011, 2:16 pm

I used too. I think that having kids changed us. Once we had our son it was much more difficult to go out and so we went out much less often. There was a time when we went out almost every night so it didn’t matter so much if we went somewhere we didn’t care for because it was only one night. After we had our son we were much more limited and so much more picky about where we would go and who we would go with. It did matter if our only evening out was fun or not fun. We weren’t willing to spend our one night out doing something we didn’t like. We ended up spending our time with couples we enjoyed at places we enjoyed and we found it was easy to politely thank people for invitations we didn’t care for and to say we couldn’t go. We reached the point where most people our age were in the same situation and so people understood and everyone did what worked best for them. We ended up spending more time with the people we wanted to spend time with and that was okay. We’re still picky about going out. We usually go out once a week and it is our evening to relax and unwind and so we make sure it’s a fun evening.

avatar mcminnem September 12, 2011, 12:55 pm

I had no idea Canada was an oasis of strippers :P though I suppose the fact that I live within walking distance of the most well-known strip club in Toronto (and could name a number of others) and don’t think twice about it says something about the attitude here.

Me giving directions: “yeah, we’re going to that noodle restaurant on Yonge. Across from the Brass Rail. Yeah, just look for the forty-foot flashing neon sign and then cross the street. Can’t miss it.”

Budj Budjer September 12, 2011, 1:06 pm

Haha…I went to Toronto the other weekend to watch a rock show and just walking down the streets my neck hurt from all the (polite / discreet) craning I was doing. Must be something you guys have in the water.

avatar SGMcG September 12, 2011, 9:42 am

I personally don’t mind it if my husband goes to strip clubs. As long as he is faithful to me and makes our life together a priority, I am of the opinion that he can go look as long as he doesn’t touch. On the other hand, my husband thinks that strip clubs are cheesy. For his bachelor party, he opted to have a night of Dungeons and Dragons with the guys and lots of his favorite food and beer.

If your boyfriend normally doesn’t go to the strip club and only plans on doing so because of the bachelor party, then it’s not about him seeing the girls dance but rather a last wild night out with the guys. I don’t know why some men think that seeing other naked women equates to male bonding time – yet men have a lot of visual turn-ons and the surge in testosterone probably makes for a huge endorphin rush. It’s a potentially safer (and cheaper) endorphin rush than jumping out of an airplane/bungee jumping or similar adrenaline rushes. Yet your boyfriend is not the only one making decisions for the groom for the bachelor party – there are other people who want to celebrate for his friend too. It is rude to expect that all the guys in the group have to adhere to your stance regarding strip clubs when the only one who is committed to you is your boyfriend.

fast eddie fast eddie September 12, 2011, 10:56 am

Good point about it being not solely his entertainment, rather the the rest of the group needs to be considered. It’s a matter of trust, if she doesn’t then why’s she getting married?

avatar callmehobo September 12, 2011, 11:19 am

Eddie, I don’t think she’s actually the bride- I believe her boyfriend was invited to someone ELSE’S bachelor party. She is not getting married.

fast eddie fast eddie September 12, 2011, 5:28 pm

Opps your absolutely correct, I insert too much of my imagination into these things. Never the less, I do feel it’s a matter of trust…among other stuff of course.

leilani leilani September 12, 2011, 10:20 am

You say your boyfriend would never go to a strip club on his own accord. Him going to this one outing is not going to change who he is, who is someone that agrees with you about the merits of strip clubs. As you know him and know that this is not his kind of thing, you do not have to worry about him objectifying women and getting lap dances in the champagne room. He’ll probably be hanging out with his buddies feeling vaguely uncomfortable, and he’ll come home that night, and nothing will have changed whatsoever. I guess I don’t understand what about this makes your stomach churn. I understand that you don’t agree with strip clubs, but for your boyfriend, it is just the setting for another experience he wants to be part of, not the reason he’s going. I get that you passionately object to strip clubs to the point where you wouldn’t go regardless, but does your boyfriend have to?
Anyway, you basically have two options here: you can either forbid him to go, or you can let him make his own decision. And forbidding him to go doesn’t seem like your best bet. He would probably just resent you for being controlling and keeping him from sharing this experience with his close friends, when he knew that the “strip club” part was a minor detail to him and you had nothing to be upset or insecure about. That kind of simmering resentment isn’t good for any relationship, especially considering you can’t go back in time and give him that experience back. If you let him go, however, it’ll be just as bad if you decide to hold on to anger and hurt about it. If I were you, I wouldn’t say anything about it either way. I wouldn’t put him in the position of deciding between you and his friends, or make sure he’s miserable with guilt the whole time he’s out. I would just remember that this event has nothing to do with who he is or what he believes and that it doesn’t change anything.

avatar kf September 12, 2011, 10:27 am

I’m still trying to figure out what LW thinks the worst case scenario is here. Is she afraid he’ll pick up a stripper, and dump her? If so, (a) he has a better chance of gettign hit by lightning on the way there, and (b) if he’s the type of guy that would dump his gf for a stripper he met at a bachelor party, she might as well find that out now so she doesn’t waste any more time on him.

avatar Morgan September 12, 2011, 11:50 am

I think she’s worried that, given how strongly against strip clubs and everything they represent socially, that even though part of her knows her boyfriend is only going to support his friend, that she is still going to end up hurt and angry, resent him for going, and probably make passive aggressive remarks about it for months later any time she has more than two drinks. But of course she can’t say “No, you can’t go, I forbid it” because then he ends up hurt and angry and resenting her.

Her biggest worry is her relationship being seriously strained because she won’t be able to let the fact that he went go, or he won’t be able to let go of her forbidding him from going.

Jess Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com September 12, 2011, 12:00 pm

Yeah, I think its a moral/feminist discomfort rather than anything about her relationship –she just can’t find a middle ground between forbidding her boyfriend and honoring her moral code.

avatar 6napkinburger September 12, 2011, 12:26 pm

I think worse case scenario is that she told her bf that she didn’t want him to do something and he did it anyway, demonstrating that he clearly doesn’t prioritize her feelings or respect her enough to cease from doing things she finds abhorrent. (This is how I think she would perceive it).

But I dont’ think it has to demonstrate that, or mean that.