≡ Menu

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

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

{ 144 comments… add one }

  • 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.

  • avatar 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.

    • avatar 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.

        • avatar 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.

  • avatar Sue Jones September 12, 2011, 10:42 am

    Let him go. It is never good to be so controlling, especially if you trust him and he is a good guy. He will probably come to the same conclusion as you about these clubs if you give him the room to experience it. And another caveat, although these clubs pretty much exploit women, etc.,there are some women who are using this sort of work to pay for law school, etc…. While I wouldn’t make that choice personally, I am assuming that these women are working there on their own free will, unless there is some human trafficking going on…

  • avatar Rachel September 12, 2011, 10:49 am

    Your boyfriend potentially going to the strip club during a bachelor party is neither FOR him nor ABOUT him. This is about his friend who is getting married. It’s a special time in this guy’s life and, while it’s definitely not the most dignified place for grown-up guy bonding time, that’s where the majority of this particular group wants to go. And, you’re right, it’ll probably happen.

    If strip clubs are truly a dealbreaker for you, then you should stick to your guns and break up with him. But I don’t think it is. I think the idea of your guy paying to see half-naked ladies gyrate makes you uncomfortable and maybe insecure. I can understand that. But you need to remember that he CHOSE to be with you, the same way he CHOSE his friends and is choosing to support his friend’s upcoming marriage.

    Sure, you could use this as an opportunity to reiterate your disgust and give your guy a hard time, but then you’re taking away the significance of the event to make it about yourself. Your boyfriend LOVES and RESPECTS you, right? Otherwise you wouldn’t be dating him. And he KNOWS how you feel about this, because you’ve made it abundantly clear. TRUST him to do right by you even when he hangs out with his friend, whom he cares about. And trust the decisions he’s going to make. He may leave early of his own accord! But the worst thing you could do is alienate him from this group of friends by forbidding him to go or giving him a hard time about going.

    If you want, you can make a big deal about it. Give your boyfriend an earful about how idiotic and disgusting it is, tell him how you’ll think less of him if he goes, let him know how he’s choosing his friends over you and your feeling, and send him off with both of you feeling hurt and resentful. He’ll tell his friends how much hell you gave him and they’ll tell him he should find someone better who isn’t trying to make him choose between his friends and his girl.

    But, you know, if you tell him you love him and you want him to have fun with his friends, even though you don’t agree with where they may go, he’ll appreciate that. He’ll be really grateful that he’s with such an easy-going girl who trusts him. He won’t feel resentful and vindictive if he goes to the strip club. He won’t be worried about what he’ll have to face when the party is over. He’ll tell his friends about how cool you are. And his friends will be relieved that their friend is dating such an awesome girl who isn’t trying to wedge herself between them and their friend. That’s the solution that’ll work best for everybody involved.

    My husband and I had separate bachelor/bachelorette parties. Sure, I was anxious about what was gonna happen. He knew I wasn’t fond of strip clubs, but I didn’t press the issue. It wasn’t about me, it was about him. I went out with my friends, we wore fabulous party dresses, had mani/pedis, indulged in fancy Italian food, shopped and bar-hopped in the city, and had an amazing girl’s night on the town. And I didn’t think about seedy things they could’ve been up to. When we talked about our respective parties, my husband said he wished his had been that enjoyable. They went to a dance club, got trashed, ate terrible food at some late night diner, crashed at a run-down motel, and woke up with terrible hangovers.

    You could call up the bride (if you’re fairly close) and suggest that y’all have a girl’s night, because she may be just as anxious about her man going as well. If you’re not close, you should call your own friends and go out with them and have a good time. But don’t let this issue ruin your relationship. It’s one night. One you’ll both likely forget.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever read this article on The Frisky, but I appreciated it. http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-mind-of-man-what-actually-happens-at-a-bachelor-party/

  • avatar Vathena September 12, 2011, 10:54 am

    I agree with everyone who has posted above. I’d like to add that while I also feel that strip clubs (and porn, for that matter) can be degrading to women, the women are employed there of their own accord. By and large, most strippers/exotic dancers are not held prisoner and forced to take their clothes off. I’m sure that many women in the profession find that it’s good money, and some perhaps are working their way through school, etc. They’re not all helpless, exploited victims of a misogynistic patriarchal paradigm. Plus, I’m not sure this passes the double standard test. Are Chippendales clubs and male strippers degrading to men?

    • avatar fast eddie September 12, 2011, 10:58 am

      Thumbs up

    • avatar GingerLaine September 12, 2011, 11:04 am

      Ha! I should have refreshed the page & read your comment before I posted mine. :)

  • avatar GingerLaine September 12, 2011, 11:03 am

    This is not intended to be any advice to the LW re: her letter, but I had to put it out there.

    I really, really hate when a woman justifies her displeasure with something another woman participates in by adding the stipulation that “she’s a feminist.”

    If you’re a feminist, then you should be supportive of whatever a woman chooses to do whether that’s to become the CEO of Google, or to be a stay-at-home mom, or to be the best damn stripper she wants to be.

    Some women like being a porn star or a stripper. Just like some women like wearing veils or head coverings for their religion. Some like having lots & lots of babies, and being a helpmate to their husband.

    A true feminist says that just as a man can choose the path that he takes & be treated with respect for it, so can a woman. It’s not a “feminist’s” job to judge what is or isn’t degrading to women when many women choose to participate in & find empowerment in those things. What’s degrading to women is having to justify yourself, your actions, and your beliefs to another woman.

    • avatar Amber September 12, 2011, 11:50 am

      Yes!

    • Skyblossom Skyblossom September 12, 2011, 11:50 am

      Well said!

    • avatar NOLAGirl September 12, 2011, 11:56 am

      AMEN!

    • avatar honeybeenicki September 12, 2011, 12:04 pm

      I completely agree with everything you just said. And I’m so happy I had a thumbs up option again :) I figure if someone wants to be a stripper, a rodeo clown, a lawyer, a doctor, a CEO, or whatever it is then good for her!

    • avatar savannah September 12, 2011, 12:47 pm

      Agreed, but I will say that when traveling to other countries (and some places here I am sure) this sentiment becomes less true and people do need to be aware of that. It does not become totally untrue, just less true to varying degrees depending on the county and situation you find yourself in.

    • avatar SpaceySteph September 12, 2011, 2:38 pm

      I agree so much with you Ginger. It drives me crazy that this stigma exists in which a woman doing anything besides working in a high-power corporate job is antifeminist. I could quit my job (as an engineer) tomorrow to go have babies, it wouldn’t make me antifeminist.

    • avatar linds September 12, 2011, 3:06 pm

      Ginger, as someone who works in the adult industry, I want to thumb this up a million times. Very will put!

    • avatar Rebecca September 12, 2011, 8:45 pm

      Thank you a million times thank you!

      LW: Ginger said it best, but I’m going to add something to this. What you did in your letter is called Slut-Shaming and it is a form of bullying that frankly I’m sick of seeing. It is too common in this day and age to judge others and then hide behind an excuse…and that is all it is an excuse.

      The worst part is that it is all through the comments, most of women here seem to think it’s ok to trash other women because of the work they do, where they work or the way they dress. Personally I find the comments about strippers and strip clubs more offensive than any club I’ve been in before. Sad really.

      • avatar Nadine September 13, 2011, 6:03 am

        I agree. I dont think it is a convincing argument to say “well, its not like he’s gonna dump you for that ho, she is so ugly/trashy/low-class/slutty etc”.
        This is most likely not the issue at hand, and it is very offensive.
        Strippers are peoples’ mothers, daughters, wives and girlfriends too. They are not lower than you.

    • avatar clownface September 14, 2011, 7:06 am

      Lots of bravado and self righteousness here.

      The question is will you have a problem if YOUR daughter becomes a stripper ?
      Will you support her to help her become the best stripper in the world?

      If not, it doesn’t make you enlightened or better than other people. Most people don’t want their children become strippers, in spite of whatever dignity or respect you see in such a job.

      • avatar GingerLaine September 19, 2011, 1:23 pm

        Why the snark? Too difficult to get your point across without it? Bravado & self-righteousness? How about just speaking my mind about what I believe?

        If my hypothetical daughter were to become a stripper, of course I’d have a problem with that. Because in terms of places of employment, one’s safety and mental well-being as an employee are not necessarily highly valued at a strip club. I’d have some of the same issues if she were to want to work in a coal mine. Or if she wanted to go into the military during war time. I wouldn’t disingenuously throw around my feminism as a reason she SHOULDN’T do those things.

        I didn’t say anything about enlightenment, respect, or dignity in my post about degrading women with so-called feminism. But thanks for playing & for making my post a jumping off point for YOUR self-righteousness. Yay, you judged some people! You sure showed me.

  • avatar Matthew September 12, 2011, 11:04 am

    You have two perfectly reasonable options:

    1) Don’t say anything to him; let him go. Since you seem to full faith in this guy, what everyone has basically said above applies. Put your discomfort at the idea of a strip club aside, because in life there are plenty of things that will make you uncomfortable that you and your boyfriend will both have to deal with.

    2) Tell him something like this: “, Listen, I’m glad you are going to this party to support your friend, but I just wanted you to know how uncomfortable I feel.” Continue to explain why you are uncomfortable, but MAKE SURE he also realizes this conversation is not in any way an attempt to prevent him from going to the party. It’s not unreasonable for you to want your bf to know that something bothers you.

  • landygirl Landygirl September 12, 2011, 11:08 am

    The only time I’ve ever been to a strip club is with my SO and he probably wanted to leave even sooner than I did. You can’t control someone else, but if you trust him then you don’t need to worry about what happens. You seem to be taking this personally and you shouldn’t, he’s doing this because he is a good friend not because he has some great desire to go watch nekkid women.

    If you want this relationship to last, you’ll have to loosen the reins or your SO will feel suffocated. The tighter the grip, the more grains of sand will slip through your fingers until you’re left with nothing.

  • avatar Sarah September 12, 2011, 11:11 am

    Your feelings of distaste towards the strip club are absolutely normal.

    That said, as others have identified, this is more about the friendship than your relationship. (And strip clubs are awkward as hell, as others have already mentioned).

    With all that in mind, I would encourage you to have a talk with your boyfriend about strip club etiquette— what boundaries you prefer, and finally (and this may sound a little odd, but bear with me) I would suggest that you make sure that your boyfriend has money to tip the strippers. He doesn’t have to stuff it into a g-string— depending on what state you live in, he may not be allowed to do that, but he is going as part of a group, and strippers make money from their tips alone. If part of your concern is him not showing respect to women, I would suggest respecting them in the most tangible way possible: being aware that they are giving a service (that he may or may not enjoy or participate in) and paying them for it.

  • CatsMeow CatsMeow September 12, 2011, 11:13 am

    My first thought when I read this was – LW, if your boyfriend feels the same way as you do about strip clubs AND knows how uncomfortable you feel about him going to one, then why can’t HE just tell his friend how he feels? I don’t think it should be on YOU to “forbid” him or not (btw – do NOT forbid him). It seems like (some/most) men feel like less of a “man” by admitting that they don’t like strip clubs.I can just imagine their comments if he tries to back out – like, “What are you, GAY?” or “Dude, you’re so WHIPPED!” – and it irritates me to no end. I wish the BF would just stand his ground on his own and set an example for the others.

    But THEN I thought, hey, it’s his buddy’s party and his buddy’s choice of activity and he’s just trying to get along and be there for his friend. So I wouldn’t fault him for not going against the grain.

    It truly is a conundrum, and unfortunately the best advice I can come up with is like what the others have said… You might have to let this one slide and know that he’s doing it not because he wants to, but because he’s trying to support his friend.

  • Jess Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com September 12, 2011, 11:13 am

    Wanna know something funny? As I type, my boyfriend is in Vegas for a 5 day long bachelor party vacation!

    I don’t like it and my boyfriend doesn’t like it either. My attitude about it (and I’m not saying that it should be yours) if my boyfriends friends choose to participate in this ridiculous and juvenile ritual then it’s his choice if he wants to go. I don’t want to dictate what he does and I don’t want to drive a wedge in his friendships or look like the overly controlling girlfriend.

    My policy about it is that I really just don’t want to hear about it or know about it. I tell him to keep all of it off of Facebook. I don’t want to see or hear what they get up to. Out of sight, out of mind.

    And like you said, there are no trust issues, just discomfort. I know that most likely, the clubs will be gross, tacky, underwhelming and he’ll be wishing he could go to bed early or come home to me. haha.

    That said, if he’s a smart man, the first words out of his mouth when he gets home will be, “I hated it. You are way prettier than those girls and I missed you like crazy.” ;-)

    • avatar honeybeenicki September 12, 2011, 12:07 pm

      I wish I could go to Vegas for 5 days for… well any reason! My husband and I were both not-so-thrilled about the idea of bachelor and bachelorette parties, so before we got married we had a joint party with friends and made it in “steps” so people could go to the things they felt most comfortable with – dinner first, then played a few rounds of laser tag, then hit a strip club. It was a ton of fun and didn’t make either of us uncomfortable. For he and I, strip clubs aren’t a huge deal. I prefer we be together if either of us is visiting one, but overall could really care less.

  • avatar jena September 12, 2011, 11:21 am

    While I understand your frustration, I don’t understand the want to tell him he can’t go. If he doesn’t want to go, he won’t go. You aren’t his mother, and if you truly do trust him, why would it hurt you personally, especially since you say that he wouldn’t be going if it weren’t for the bachelor party?

    Furthermore, keep in mind that these women have bills to pay like the rest of us and no one is forcing them to work there.

  • avatar Nick September 12, 2011, 11:21 am

    LW, you say that telling you not to feel what you feel strongly isn’t helpful, but I disagree. On the contrary, I think it is what you should hear. To be kind, I’d tell you, less directly, to question how you feel. I know, nobody wants to hear that.

    Your distaste for strip clubs– where does it come from? I know you said in (a) that it goes against your feminist instincts. That may be a natural instinct, but just know that you are not necessarily in good company in that assessment. As at least one other poster above said, there are very strong feminist ways to support strip clubs. It’s a rather old (and shallow) school of feminism that treats strip clubs this way. Sorry to be blunt, but this attitude you describe as feminist has more in common with Taliban ideology than contemporary feminism. So, check into why you really feel this way and see if you could see it from another perspective. Free women engaging in voluntary exchange using their god-given and man-enhanced abilities to draw big bucks out of guys for just watching them (or light touching) sounds more exploitive of the guys than the women to me.

    I can’t even cover your second reason you disapprove of your man doing this, except to say that again, there are other ways for you to view this that don’t include you feeling disrespected. Your man may well have a pefectly good woman at home, but he’s got important friends too, and his friends need him there. A “perfectly good” woman at home, do you think she supports her man being a good friend to his guy friends? I’ll bet she does. Men need their guy friends and you could be proud that he has them and supports them.

    Good luck — I know it’s hard to be willing to reconsider your feelings.

    Your second objection.

    • avatar Nick September 12, 2011, 11:24 am

      Last phrase was an edit error, just ignore it.

    • avatar Rachel September 12, 2011, 8:36 pm

      I really like your comment and advice. I feel like the majority of her discomfort stems from insecurity in the relationship, as opposed to a well-developed feminist perspective. It seems like she wants to get her way without coming across as a bossy girlfriend, so citing her “feminist inkling” is a way to make it an ethical issue as opposed to an emotional issue.

    • avatar foo June 23, 2013, 6:50 pm

      there are many blends of all the waves of feminism – and we should be wary of thinking we “got it right” with 3rd or 4th wave. In other words, these later waves will have there own consequences. I personally think that the hyper-individualism and extreme pro-sexualization of later waves are extremely problematic in terms of striving for a healthier, more just society.

      on top of that, feminism blends with and materializes in individuals lives, experiences, and practices in complex waves. theory doesn’t always translate to action cleanly.

  • avatar Marina September 12, 2011, 11:37 am

    Oh, the drama…..it’s one night. One. At a party, to wish his friend well. Are you really going to put your boyfriend (who sounds like a gem) in that position because you want to Make a Statement? People are more important than statements.

    You say you trust him. Then trust him, and put a sock in it. No dramatic discussions beforehand about ‘ground rules.’ Good god, how insulting, treating him like a five year old. “Now, promise mommy that you won’t talk to strangers and you won’t cross any streets.”

    Forget about asking him to send you a text every so often. First of all, that fairly screams that you don’t trust him one little bit. Second, it looks pathetic and needy. Third, it will guarantee that his friends will tease him about being whipped.

    Yes, strip clubs are icky. Sounds like he feels the same way. Stifle the drama queen impulse and plan a fun night out with your friends.

    • avatar lets_be_honest September 12, 2011, 11:56 am

      Constructive criticism on its way–I don’t think your comment is fair. Have you never been uncomfortable about something that other’s may deem silly? I think we’ve all been there. She clearly is very uncomfortable with this, regardless of her trusting him.

      • katie katie September 12, 2011, 8:46 pm

        true- but the actions she is wanting to do will, definitely, put a strain on their relationship. so i agree- get over it.

        people are SO much more important then statements, and along that, her relationship should be more important, as well.

  • avatar ReadingIsFundamental September 12, 2011, 11:39 am

    LW: The real problem here doesn’t seem to have anything to do with strip clubs. If you feel strongly about this, why aren’t you talking to your boyfriend about it? There’s no indication of it in your letter. All I see is “There doesn’t seem to be any solution here.”, which gives me a very controlling vibe — you’ll decide what the proper solution is, and then he will go along, or else.

    If you and your guy are right for each other, great. If not, then sometimes that’s the way it goes. In either case, you’re going to find that life is filled with difficult situations that sometimes have no good solutions. You two will need to come up with some kind of plan, and from the sound of it neither of you will be happy no matter what you choose. Just wait until you get to do something really fun, like “What do you mean we need to move cross country away from my friends and family because you don’t like your job?” or “It’s time to turn off your dad’s life support.”.

    RIF (In the middle of “We need to put your parents in a nursing home and sell their house to pay for it.”)

  • avatar lemongrass September 12, 2011, 11:40 am

    If you asked him not to go, or worse, gave him an ultimatum, you would be asking him to choose between his friends and you. That is wrong, and frankly, a very unloving thing to do. You need to give him a pass, but set up some rules that make you comfortable (no tipping, lap dances, etc.) When that night comes around though, don’t just sit at home and get mad. Go out with your friends or go for a walk or something to take your mind off of it! Strip clubs are one of those guy things where they will look like a wussy if they don’t go because their girlfriend/wife doesn’t want them to.

  • avatar silver_dragon_girl September 12, 2011, 11:54 am

    1. Yay, we have likes again!
    2. A lot of women on here say that their bf’s “don’t like strip clubs either.” I am skeptical of that statement…don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there who truly do not like strip clubs. But I think there are way more who say they don’t just to avoid this exact discussion.
    3. To the LW: If you are not okay with your bf going to a strip club, you need to tell him. No, you can’t forbid him to go, obviously, but he deserves to know that it upsets you. Otherwise I fear he’s going to come home to days of passive-aggressive behavior…I’m sure you wouldn’t do it consciously, but believe me, if you’re mad about something and you don’t let it out, you’re just asking for trouble.

    I say sit down with your bf and tell him how you feel. Then tell him that you know he’s going to go to celebrate with his friends, and you understand why, but he needs to know that you’re not okay with it either. Try to avoid putting any “me or them” type choice into your inflection or tone…I think it’s important that your bf truly understands how you feel, but also knows you’ll still love him if he goes, and you’re not going to break up with him over this.

    But you don’t have to be a martyr here. You don’t have to keep your mouth shut and let him go and not say anything. That’s not fair to you either.

    • Budj Budjer September 12, 2011, 12:00 pm

      I agree with 2 for sure – the only guys that hate strip clubs are the ones that feel awkward. There is literally nothing to do except for the nekkid activities so if you don’t like to partake in that then you are stuck sitting there trying to avoid it.

      I disagree with 3 (See Mainer’s post).

      • avatar honeybeenicki September 12, 2011, 12:09 pm

        I also wondered about #2.

      • avatar silver_dragon_girl September 12, 2011, 12:13 pm

        Now see, I do see the point there…but I disagree. I don’t think it’s fair for the LW to have to keep her mouth shut about it just to keep the peace or whatever. She needs to let it out. Bottling up things because talking about them “won’t accomplish anything” is a recipe for disaster. Sometimes you just need to express how you feel, even though it won’t change anything.

        • avatar 6napkinburger September 12, 2011, 12:17 pm

          Plus, she already has! They’ve talked about it a ton. He’s not in the dark about her feelings on this subject, she hasnt’ needed to bottle her feelings.

          • avatar silver_dragon_girl September 12, 2011, 12:21 pm

            Have they? I don’t see that in the letter…we know how she feels, but I would like to know how they’ve talked about it. I’m sure she’s mentioned how she feels about strip clubs to him at some point, but I’m curious if they’ve talked about this specific event yet. That would of course make a huge difference…no need to beat a dead horse or anything.

            • avatar 6napkinburger September 12, 2011, 12:32 pm

              Fair enough. huh. I would have thought with all the churning in her stomach and the fact that the bachelor party is this weekend, that when she originally found out about it, she would have said something like, ew, a strip club? those are so gross and are so demeaning. (because I would have if my bf told me that if he mentioned a friend’s bachelor party involved strippers, so i assumed that she would have). I guess I assumed they had talked about it enough to have gotten to the state she is in now.

        • Budj Budjer September 12, 2011, 12:20 pm

          It will add an anchor of “holy crap I’m not having fun AND I have to feel guilty for being here too..awesooome” for her bf which could create resentment. I do see your point too, but I think that option would be best if HE was the one wanting to go because this really isn’t an issue for them outside of bachelor parties.

    • avatar lets_be_honest September 12, 2011, 12:23 pm

      Agreed on #1!!! As to #2, I’m laughing my head off!

  • avatar Morgan September 12, 2011, 12:02 pm

    LW, I get the “I don’t want to tell my boyfriend not to go but no matter how cool with this I try to be, I’m still going to end up hurt, angry, and resentful because I kind of can’t help myself.”

    My advice: you need to back off and let him go to this one, because its not about you, or the industry, its about his close friend. That said, you objectively knowing this probably isn’t going to help you feel okay about it any sooner. So I would start thinking over it now, to help you “get over it” sooner. All the commenters above have had some pretty good suggestions for how to think about this, so keep those things in mind.

    Accept that you probably will be hurt and angry, but you don’t have to let being hurt and angry damage your relationship. Take some time to just cry out of sheer frustration, or dance to angry girl music like you’re 16, or…anything, really. Whatever will help you process the hurt and anger, get over it before you carry it with you and make passive aggressive comments about strip clubs any time he does anything for the next two months, and realize that his going to a strip club isn’t about you or even about strip clubs. It’s about his friend.

  • avatar 6napkinburger September 12, 2011, 12:11 pm

    Its funny, because my BF used to go to strip clubs for work a lot (he would entertain clients and that’s where some of them wanted to go). I thought it was gross. He’d be like, its for work, and I was like, ok, but really? you’re going to be doing this when you’re 40? That’s just sad AND gross, and I was not ok with the idea of a husband going to strip clubs on some sort of regular basis, even to entertain clients, once there are kids. Or really, on any other basis than once-in-a-blue-moon. Once the bachelor parties are over, I couldn’t see a need. He and I kind of fought about this, he saw it as a business thing and many of his clients had kids, I thought that was really sad. I started to dig my heels in, but we kind of agreed not to talk about it for a while. One night, I knew he had to go to one entertaining clients, and he came home totally wasted, being like, You are so much hotter than the strippers! (which was just a funny night, harder to explain why). Since then, he hasn’t gone to a strip club and i feel like the whole thing is fading into irrelevancy — I think he’s changed from a guy who thinks that it is ok for business, to one who just doesn’t see the point at all, but would go for friends.

    My point is that after the bachelor parties pass and most of his friends are married, this will be a non-issue.

    Question for the LW though, and though it may read snarkily, i don’t mean it that way, so read it as an earnest question. Are you hurt if anyone you know goes to strip clubs? Like, if a guy friend went, would you be this mad and sad at him? If a co-worker went to a friends bachelor party, would it have the same effect? Because if the answer to that is no, then I think your feelings might be a little less political and a little more personal than you give them credit for.

    Ask yourself: “am I upset that someone is going to a strip club and helping to support an industry i find repugnant?” or “am I upset because I have made my feelings known and the person who is supposed to love me and care about my feelings is totally disregarding them?” If its the latter, that isn’t really fair to him.

    Maybe you would say you feel: “if he goes after I told him how I feel, it turns out i didn’t know him as much as i thought i did because no man I would love would want to go to a strip club.” But that is really just another version of the second question, because the continuation of that thought is “especially after I made it clear how much it matters to me.” Or else, the fact that he’d be considering it would be a dealbreaker for you,and you wouldn’t be dating someone who would consider it; you wouldn’t be “hurt” and “angry,” you would be out of there.

    So I think to you, it is about respect — general respect for women and his respect for your feelings on this subject. But don’t confuse the two, because I think you are blaming a little too much on the first one, when it really is the second that is causing your anxiety and anger. But by putting too much weight on the second, by turning this decision into a “symbol” (I don’t know how to italicize) of his respect for your feelings, you are doing yourself a disservice, and to him as well.

    Because it isn’t a symbol — its a bachelor party for a close friend. You know in your head that it doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect your feelings or your opinions, you know he’s in an impossible situation, so take him out of it. Take away the symbolism and leave it what it really is– one evening of gross-ness, which you know he won’t enjoy. Take solace that he dislikes it as much as you but that he’s a good friend and clearly willing to do crap he doesn’t like when it makes other people happy. That sounds like a good guy to have.

    • avatar Christy September 13, 2011, 10:54 pm

      “So I think to you, it is about respect — general respect for women and his respect for your feelings on this subject. But don’t confuse the two, because I think you are blaming a little too much on the first one, when it really is the second that is causing your anxiety and anger. But by putting too much weight on the second, by turning this decision into a “symbol” (I don’t know how to italicize) of his respect for your feelings, you are doing yourself a disservice, and to him as well.”

      100 thumbs up!

  • avatar bostonpupgal September 12, 2011, 1:09 pm

    I’m just going to throw in my two cents on this one. For me personally, going to a strip club constitutes cheating and would be cause for me to immediately, without question, leave the relationship. My fiance feels the exact same way. That is just OUR opinion within OUR relationship, more power to anyone else who has different boundaries and rules. We’ve always just held our ground at bachelor/ette functions and joined in for the other parts, and have never recieved much slack about it.

    I feel like the constant matra is “its’ not big deal, just accept it”. And the thing is, it IS a big deal and it does not have to be accepted. I brought it up at the beginning of the relationship, so it was crystal clear, and I can’t tell you how much heartache it’s avoided. If his answer would have been “I like to go occassionally, or would go for a bachelor party” I would have known then and there to MOA.

    If you aren’t comfortable with naked women dancing on your bf, THAT’S OK. And as for worrying about telling your bf what to do, relationships inherently come with boundaries and rules about what to do. If strip clubs are on your “not acceptable” list, you NEED to bring it up now and either set up rules that make you comfortable, or accept the fact that you’ll never be comfortable with it and MOA if he isn’t willing to say he won’t go

    • avatar amber September 12, 2011, 2:49 pm

      I think the difference between you and the LW is this: “I brought it up at the beginning of the relationship, so it was crystal clear, and I can’t tell you how much heartache it’s avoided.”

      She’s waited until after he had been invited to an event to even think about bringing up the subject. If she felt this strongly about it and it was on her ‘not acceptable’ list, shouldn’t it have been something that they talked about before now?

      Also I don’t think that every guy who goes in to a strip club has a girl dancing on them. They can politely make it known that they’re just their for the bachelor and won’t be participating.

      I’m not saying she’s right or wrong for feeling this way, but I think waiting until after an invite, and at this point the party may only be days/weeks away, to deal with somthing she feels this strongly about is unfair to the bf. He might not even know how much she dislikes them and he’s going along just excited for his friend’s bachelor party.

  • avatar Sarah September 12, 2011, 1:13 pm

    Ok, I’m going to preface this by saying that when it comes to many strip clubs, I agree with you. There are some women who feel embowered by being strippers, but many others are bound and restricted by club owners that are basically abusing their powers as legalized pimps and there are almost no ways to weed out the bad from the good. That being said, you’re wrong.

    First off, pleeeeease don’t say on here that you don’t want to forbid him from going to a strip club, because that’s exactly what you want to do, short of your boyfriend standing up to all of his friends to tell them that he is the only one who respects women here and he will never, NEVER enter one of those filthy SEX TRADE DENS. You want to forbid him, you just don’t want him to feel like he’s being forbidden, he’s just making the best choice. And that’s called manipulation.

    It must really upset you that you have very little choice in this matter that offends you, and that’s what makes it ok to you to emotionally threaten your boyfriend. Quick question though, have you even bothered to figure out how powerless your boyfriend might feel in this equation? Either he gets humiliated in front of his friends and forever on he’s known as the guy who’s girlfriend controls him, or he damages his relationship with you. This isn’t about the strip club to him. Titties are the farthest thing from his mind right now (well, as far as they can be).

    Ask yourself, if you were at a bachelorette party, and some kinky cousin of the bride decides to surprise the party with a male stripper. What would you do? Throw your piece of penis cake to the floor in indignation, lecture your best friends on their deviant natures and escort the young man to a safe house? Or would you stay there, look uncomfortable and try not to get flecks of grease in your eye when the said gentleman grinds his loins in your vicinity? You know you would stay and that doesn’t mean you don’t respect your boyfriend, or that you prefer men with a bowtie and no shirt to your boyfriend. It just means you did the right thing for the situation. Why can’t you give that option to your boyfriend?

    Here’s the right thing to do. Ready to hear the right thing? Tell him, that even though you are GREATLY against strip clubs in general, and even though it makes you DIE INSIDE at the thought of him going, that you think you would be ok if he went. BUT tell him you need a few things to make you feel better though. Reassuring texts during the evening, no lap dances, and in general has to act respectful to his girlfriend and to the women there. And btw, you think you have it bad? My sister’s boyfriend works for a company that get’s regular invites to the Playboy mansion parties. PLAYBOY. If she can strike a compromise with her boyfriend, you can certainly figure out an agreement for ONE bachelor party.

    • avatar mf September 12, 2011, 1:47 pm

      I hope you get lots of thumbs up for this reply. I totally agree, especially with your second paragraph. I think the LW already knows what the right thing is, she just doesn’t want to do it.

    • avatar bostonpupgal September 12, 2011, 1:56 pm

      While I get where you’re coming from, I think the wordind you use and some of your comments are a little strong.

      First of all, the LW has the right to say “No, I’m not comfortable with strip clubs. If you go, it means you and I are not compatible as a couple” Being up front and honest about your personal boundaries does not constitute in any way “emotional threatening” Also, I think the LW has made it clear that the thought of the strip club does more than “offend” her, it makes her physically ill. Why should she have to go along with something that upsets her so much? She might not be able to compromise for this ONE bachelor party, and if that’s how strongly she feels, she shouldn’t have to. It might mean that she and her bf have different boundaries and maybe they arent right for each other.

      And as for being humiliated in front of his friends or known for the controlling gf, in my experience that’s totally ridiculous. My fiance is totally against me going to strip clubs, and I would not be ok with him going, and we’ve each been to 5+ bachelor/ette parties where strippers were involved. I have never had my friends give me any slack for not going to that portion. And his friends know that he’ll go to the dinner before and the club after, but not the strip club. His friends respect him, and actually, you know, want to keep him as a friend because he’s loyal, kind, and fun. His reasons for not going to the strip club are non of their business, and any bf who would tolerate his friends calling him whipped, controlled, or whatever for respecting the boundaries of his relationship aren’t real friends anyway.

      • avatar Sarah September 12, 2011, 2:14 pm

        I think you’re under the impression that the LW is considering leaving her boyfriend if he goes to this strip club. However, in no part of the letter does she contemplate breaking up with him, on the contrary she seems to trust and love him very much. What she wants to do is either convince him not to go, or express her severe disgust if he does go to punish him.

        You picked a man who would not go to strip clubs under any circumstances while he’s in a relationship with you. The LW did not. She picked a man who would MOSTLY not go to strip clubs except for the rare circumstance (bachelor party). She can’t force her bf into yours, and she’s just going to mess up their relationship if she tries. The LW’s boyfriend is close with the bachelor, and the bachelor would likely know the reason he wouldn’t go would be because of his gf, because they have already discussed going and he just knows the dude in general. THAT is the reason why everyone would think his girlfriend forced him not to go, not because every guy has that frat boy REAL MEN LOOK AT NEKKID LADIES perspective, but because her forcing him not to go is, well, the truth.

        • katie katie September 12, 2011, 8:55 pm

          sooo true. this letter’s basic question if you read in between the lines is: how can i make my boyfriend not go to a strip club without ACTUALLY making him not go?

          if strip clubs are really out of the LW’s boundaries, i think we would be reading a different letter.

      • avatar HmC September 12, 2011, 11:40 pm

        I appreciate your post. This is going to sound condescending so I apologize in advance, but I do feel like girls nowadays are a little brainwashed to be like, “oh I’m super cool and easy-going, get all the lap dances you want, cuz I’m a cool girl!”. If you don’t want a boyfriend/husband getting lap dances, then you’re a controlling and uptight yenta and you’ve humiliated your manly man in front of his manly friends. Meanwhile, it’s still totally understandable to get bent out of shape if your boyfriend gets touchy feely *at all* with a random girl at a club or something. The whole thing just seems a little hypocritical to me, and overly appeasing on the part of some girls.

        And yes, I understand that a stripper is a business transaction in a way that a random girl isn’t. But I don’t care. The fact that money is exchanging hands is not enough of a reason for me to be ok with it. I’m into monogamy. That’s just how I’m built.

        If you’re all about free love, then go for it. But it feels like a lot of girls are more ok with strippers either because they don’t actually know what goes on in a strip club, or they’re terrified of coming across negatively to a guy’s friends.

        I don’t want a stripper touching my boyfriend’s junk, thank you very much, and I’m not ashamed to say so, even to him. Any guy compatible with me would get that, and wouldn’t be such a follower to his friends to take crap from them for it.

        • avatar Marie September 13, 2011, 3:12 am

          Yes,I definitely agree here.A girlfriend who doesn’t want her boyfriend going to strip clubs isn’t some controlling bitch.Although I would be fine with my boyfriend going to strip clubs(say,for a bachelor party,not on a regular basis),I can understand why some girls wouldn’t be okay with it.

          And the thing is,I don’t know if it’s true that guys actually care if one of their friends doesn’t want to go to a strip club because his girlfriend is uncomfortable with it.And if they give their friend heat about it or tell him he’s a pussy or whatever,then they’re the ones with the problems.Kind of reminds me of the argument that if a woman doesn’t change her maiden name to her husbands’, it’ll be sooooo emasculating for her husband.Seriously…nobody gives a damn.

        • avatar Sarah September 13, 2011, 11:35 am

          I think you think that a woman not being comfortable with a man going to a strip club is why she would be deemed controlling, when that isn’t the truth at all. A girlfriend (and boyfriend) is controlling when they force their beliefs onto their partner knowing that there is no compromise except to do what they say. Do like strip clubs? Don’t go to them. But if you find a boyfriend who isn’t as opposed to it as you are, this issue will always arise. Being controlling doesn’t just apply to strip clubs.

          For instance, I don’t like pot. Hate it. Hate the smell, hate everything about it. Should this apply to everyone? Absolutely not. Do I have the right to enforce this belief on my boyfriend or friends? Nope. But I do have the right to pick a boyfriend who also doesn’t use it. You think the “oh I’m super cool and easy-going, get all the lap dances you want, cuz I’m a cool girl!” standard for girls is damaging, what about the one where the girl thinks she can and should change a man?

          • avatar HmC September 13, 2011, 6:26 pm

            “I think you think that a woman not being comfortable with a man going to a strip club is why she would be deemed controlling, when that isn’t the truth at all. ”

            Actually that’s not what I think, which is my point. I think that too many women avoid verbalizing their gut reaction discomfort in this matter because they *think* they’ll be deemed too controlling. In actuality, in my opinion, any boyfriend that is sensitive and compatible with a girl who would be made uncomfortable by lap dances, would not find that girl to be controlling so long as she expressed herself well and was open to whatever compromise she was truly comfortable with.

            Of course there is a healthy middle ground between being a control freak and being a doormat. This middle ground looks different to every couple, but, in my anecdotal experience, too many women err too far on the doormat side. Particularly when it comes to this strip club/ lap dance issue.

    • avatar lets_be_honest September 12, 2011, 3:18 pm

      “Titties are the farthest thing from his mind right now (well, as far as they can be).”
      Do we still have COTW???

  • Skyblossom Skyblossom September 12, 2011, 2:54 pm

    I think that ultimately you have to allow him to develop his own sense of morality and see if it matches your own. He will try things and see if they work for him. If he goes off to the strip club it would be nice if he could come back and tell you about it, both the good and the bad. He should be able to tell you his impressions as he works through them. He should be able to tell you how the women dressed and what they did and if any of his friends shocked him with their behavior. There will probably be things he likes and things he dislikes and you should be willing to hear both. Part of being in a relationship is being the person your partner can come home and confide in, even if the event in question is one you don’t care for and would prefer didn’t exist. Also, if he can come home and tell you about it I think you will find that you don’t need to have your stomach tied in knots over it. You will find your guy is really the guy you thought he was.

    My husband has always felt that he could come home and tell me about an event from who wore what to who did what and also his thoughts and feelings about it all. I do the same and so we end up sitting together in the evening sharing our day. Sometimes it’s a very mundane day and sometimes it’s quite interesting.

    • avatar Rachel September 12, 2011, 5:49 pm

      I absolutely agree with this. It’s important for a couple to create an atmosphere where they feel comfortable discussing things that come up and listening to/considering both perspectives, even if they are different. If you don’t have that kinda openness and honesty, then you just end up omitting things from each other and avoiding important conversations.

  • avatar SpaceySteph September 12, 2011, 3:20 pm

    Alot of good points above me, so I want to throw out something that I didn’t see above:
    if the LW and her bf are in “that age” (as I am now) where everyone around you is getting married, this is probably a more than one time thing. There will probably be, over the next couple years, several bachelor parties the bf is invited to. And many of them will probably include strip clubs.
    LW, you need to decide more than to be okay with it “this one time,” you have to be okay with it for the next few years as the bachelor parties keep rolling in.
    If its such a serious thing to you (no judgement here, if it is, it is) that this ONE time is more than you can handle, how will you be doing in 2 years when he’s going to his 5th strip club for a friend’s bachelor party?
    I do think the only options are to:
    1. as someone said above, realize that his reasons for going have nothing to do with you and your issues with strip clubs, nor even with your bf, but instead with his friend who is getting married and decide to let it go. And not just this one time, but as a blanket bachelor party exception.
    2. torture him endlessly for going making him miserable before, during, and after the matter
    3. break up with him/force him to break up with you when you make him choose between his buddies and his girlfriend and he chooses his friends.

    • katie katie September 12, 2011, 8:56 pm

      i was thinking this exactly!! i wonder what the stats are on men, the average man, for how many times they have been to a strip club. i would say it hinges on how many friends they have…

      • avatar SpaceySteph September 13, 2011, 9:48 am

        All the data I can contribute is that my boyfriend has been a groomsman twice and has been to strip clubs with both of those bachelor parties.
        It would be interesting to note that in both of those cases the bachelor parties were not supposed to include strip clubs, but going to one seems kinda inevitable. In the first they went camping, and after cooking over a fire and drinking a bit decided that every bachelor party needs strippers so off they went to find a strip club.
        The second started with white water rafting, and was supposed to lead to a bar crawl. And of course ended up at a strip club. My boyfriend was the only common member of these two groups, and the way he tells it it wasnt his idea either time.

        Point being… even a bachelor party itinerary that doesn’t include a strip club will probably include a strip club anyways.

  • avatar Anti-Strip Clubs September 12, 2011, 3:29 pm

    As the writer of this original request for advice, I’m overwhelmed by all the feedback. I’ve scanned the responses and it seems that the consensus is to let it go, which is exactly what I did. I think I always knew this was the appropriate course of action, but venting my frustration helped me clear the mental hurdle that was keeping me from “sucking it up”. We talked further before the party happened and I told him that even though I didn’t like it, I trust him and as long as he was open and honest with me (which he always is), I was going to let it go. It was clearly a weight off his mind… we made up and then started in with the 893,745 obvious stripper jokes.

    I couldn’t have gotten past this hang-up without the outlet that writing this email provided. Thank you to Wendy and the DW readers for all of your help!

    • avatar Rachel September 12, 2011, 8:47 pm

      I’m so glad you came to this conclusion! It takes a lot to swallow your gut reaction, but I think that’ll really be best for your relationship and your boyfriend’s relationship with the groom-to-be. Way to handle it like a lady, ASC!

    • katie katie September 12, 2011, 8:59 pm

      im glad- you could have easily gone down a bad road with your boyfriend having to choose, and either choice being a bad one.

      good for you for sucking up your own views, and letting life happen. there are so many people who could benefit from doing that same thing.

  • avatar daisygarfield September 12, 2011, 5:27 pm

    (I’m posting this comment before reading everyone else’s so I apologize in advance if anyone else has pointed this out)
    “a) it goes against every feminist inkling I have to support a business which exploits women and their bodies so blatantly” I would just like to say that it’s not the strip clubs who are exploiting women “so blatanly” but, rather the strippers themselves. They chose that profession, so therefore they are exploiting themselves.
    Other than that she should think about how he feels in that situation or how she would feel in his situation. Or maybe have him send her a few texts to make her feel better while he’s there, and ask him not to touch the strippers. (at least that’s what I would have my man do if I were that uncomfortable)

  • avatar HmC September 12, 2011, 11:25 pm

    This is a very personal issue, and it’s up to every couple to define their own boundaries, but I will say that…

    1) If your boyfriend really thought it was a *horrible* thing to go to strip clubs, he wouldn’t go. Ultimately, he is going of his own volition, not because he is being forced. Whatever negative views he may have of strip clubs that he may share or partially share with you, his plan to go anyway is indicative that going to the party currently outweighs, in his mind, whatever philosophical objections you or he may have. Not saying he’s a bad person for going to a bachelor party, just want to emphasize that he would ideally take responsibility for wanting to go and you guys could talk about things starting from that baseline.

    2) If you feel this uncomfortable with him going, eating your feelings and forcing yourself to “let it go” is probably not going to work. The negative feelings would likely surface at some later point and in some inappropriate fashion. Best to just be honest, at a time when you’re feeling calm and open to compromise.

    3) A good compromise might be to make sure he’s comfortable not getting any lap dances. Not to be too judgmental, but I don’t understand how any woman who want physical monogamy would be hunky dory with another woman grinding her naughty bits against my guys’ naughty bits. Anyway, no guy that was compatible with me and in a relationship with me would be ok with doing that either.

    Good luck!

  • avatar Blitzen September 13, 2011, 10:46 am

    Let it go this one time. You don’t have to like it. Do it for your relationship. _You_ are in no way supporting “a business which exploits women and their bodies so blatantly”. Your bf is simply supporting his friend.

  • avatar demoiselle September 13, 2011, 10:48 am

    I see that the LW has made her decision and that it was the right one for her. I’m glad of it.

    For other readers in similar situations, if after all your soul searching as suggested by commentators above leads you to conclude that yes, you really still will feel physically ill and deeply ethically conflicted over the issue, that is OK too. People do have a right to their feelings and personal moral code. If you find yourself in a relationship where you are truly being torn up inside by your partner’s ethical choices, then you can and should seriously reconsider the relationship.

    Sometimes deep, nausea-inducing rage/dissonance over this kind of thing (going to strip clubs or other morally gray behaviors) is not just over your own personal jealousy or insecurity. This may be especially true when the sick feeling lingers long after you think it should. *Sometimes* these feelings are because you are beginning to sense a dark place in your partner that you may not be able to reconcile yourself to.

    It is OK to take a stand that a certain behavior is morally/ethically wrong (in your opinion) and that you want a partner who agrees. Unfortunately, it’s easier to find that thing out earlier in the relationship (through explicit conversation) than it is once you’re in the middle of it.

    Good luck, LW.

  • avatar clownface September 14, 2011, 7:12 am

    I just think LW’s boyfriend is full of shit. If he really doesn’t want to go to the strip club, he can wish his friend well, and leave. I would.

    I have no interest, or intention of ever setting foot inside a strip club. I don’t care about the peer pressure, any friend who holds a grudge against me because I have my principles (on any issue) is not a friend worth having.

    LW’s boyfriend’s social group sounds juvenile and immature. Typical.

  • avatar Kpie July 22, 2012, 2:26 am

    Clownface hit the nail right on the head!! *HIGH FIVE* This has nothing to do with her being insecure about herself. The fact that she is anti-strip club in relation to self-security and esteem would be because she IS secure with herself and knows that she is enough for her boyfriend. If he didn’t want to go, he wouldn’t go, just like Clownface said. I’m a commercial print model and indy film actress (I would like to stay anonymous), I am beautiful inside and out, and I know that I’m enough woman for my husband, just like he is enough man for me. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander. It’s a shame to see how many women excuse, accept, and even justify the disrespectful, piggish behavior of their significant others with their immature “friends” all for the sake of keeping their man happy so they wont upset him. “Oh, it’s just one night, let him go…” You’re not his mom, “allowing” him to do something. He’s undermining your relationship and you if he’s going to strip clubs, watching porn, or engaging in any other sexually questionable activities without you. There needs to be consent from both parties. Sorry, but there are so many other bachelor party options available than going to a strip club. Just like Clownface said, it’s a juvenile and immature “peer pressure” situation, and if we are all adults, I expect my husband to make decisions like an adult. This, for me, would be a deal breaker. If he cares about you, in a healthy relationship, your feelings would be his priority. You can’t find Mr. Right if you’re wasting time on Mr. Wrong.

  • avatar Apri4l December 6, 2012, 9:17 pm

    OMG Kpie, you prett much said it for me! I agree. I searched on Google, trying to find a way to make myself better about a fight I just got into with my bf about him going to a bachelor strip club situation, and I found this! Its helpful. I am in the same situation where I want to forbid it, but thats wrong, so I said, I can’t stop you, but if this is how you are going to be, ignore my extreme upsetness towards it, then thats not a good relationship in my mind and hurts (well what really happened is we fought and aren’t talking right now). I am at the point where I feel like this Could make or break us (but we are Prefect in Mostly every other thing! so its silly), cause I don’t think he thinks theres any problem with it, and his dad thought him the same, and I don’t want my kids growing up like that. He went to a strip club in the early stages of dating, and usually and nice gentleman of a b/f wouldn’t say anything about details (unless negative). But Noooo he goes and gloats of how the girls gave his group a special show and signed their cards for them and made a big deal. he was soooo pumped. I never had expressed my EXTREME distaste for it, cause it was pretty early inthe relationship. But I should have. He even brought me home a signed naked lady picture!! Then also asked me if we can go sometime! Of course its not the same going to a male strip club, in my mind. I still havm’t gotten over how pumped he apparently was and how hurt i felt when he was at the club, giving me a play by play for some reason. He really didn’t know it bugged me then. It hurts and kinda stuck in there on how pumped he gets. Then he tells me 2 years later, it was all just a show, it wasn’t really that great.
    But….there seems to be many variances in how girls feel about this topic… many of my friends just say… “well you can’t stop him, its only one night, dont be so jealous, its no big deal” Well to me, for some reasons that people above have helped me verbalize here, I DO have a large problem with it. I feel like even if he is not going to get a lap dance or place money, I still would wonder how “turned on” he’d get from these women. They are putting themselves out there sexually, FOR men, saying look at my boobies, and my twat. Mmm aren’t I sexy????? how are we supposed to feel!! In animal world, we have a threat against our male, why wouldn’t we get angry. Plus yes its disrespectful, for women in general, and the women your leaving at home, saying (not out loud) “I’m gonna go stare at womens privates parts”.

    Sure these women have a right to be strippers and apparently enjoy their job. You know what they probably enjoy? Being told how pretty” they are and sexy, and getting all the attention. But they are putting out what men want, not what they want. Men have the demand for it and theyll get paid. Its giving pig headed men what they want. Kinda makes me feel like they rule the world. But they don’t.

    Sorry If ive been to blunt and rambled, but I am venting from my own discussion.

  • avatar Jas May 31, 2013, 11:31 pm

    Hi,

    Wow, i am soo happy to have stumbled on this question even though it was so long ago;)!

    I am TOTALLY AGAINST my husband going to strip clubs. I think its degrading and disrespectful and never understood why people do it. I also think women are not very smart to let their man do this especially if your relationship is pretty serious. My husband has the same views.

    So i am very happy to know i am not the only one that feels this way…phew:)

  • bittergaymark bittergaymark June 24, 2013, 3:38 am

    I’m amazed at how silly and prudish many are on here. Talk about needy and insecure.

    • avatar Crazy in Love June 24, 2013, 2:18 pm

      Completely agree!!! Geez!

      I am amazed sometimes at how close minded people are!

  • avatar Crazy in Love June 24, 2013, 2:17 pm

    There are several comments I’d like to make…

    First, you cannot forbid him to go. That is very silly, childish, and immature thinking. And he would probably rebel against you trying to control him. You can’t control ANYONE except yourself!!!

    Secondly, a strip club is ENTERTAINMENT! Those women dancing… they’re doing it to make money. They leave at night with aching feet, sore muscles, all for the mighty dollar! They’re not getting off on it. It’s a J-O-B. Period. They’re not looking to take some man home with him. They’re there to get men excited so they spend MONEY!. It’s all about the game and how much attention they can give a patron to see just how much money he will lay before her.

    Maybe instead of looking at a club in such disgust, maybe try seeing the beauty and art form of it. If a woman has a nice body and is a good dancer, it’s actually quite amazing to watch. Gives you an appreciation of her skills. Not every woman can get up there and do what they do. Most women couldn’t even walk in the stilletto shoes they wear, let alone wrap themselves around a pole, do gymnastics, etc… without falling.

    Do you not want your boyfriend to go because YOU are insecure and don’t want him looking at other women? It’s YOU he comes home to, right? What are you so afraid of?

    I challenge you…. before your boyfriend goes to this party, visit a “reputable” strip club WITH him and try to see what it’s really about. Who knows, it might turn you on too. :-)

    My husband and I are completely monogamous. We go to clubs together, we watch porn together, we have a profile on a fetish website together. We hide nothing from each other. We prefer doing these things together and not separately. If he wanted to go to a strip club without me, I’d find another one to go to with the girls. We’d both have fun, come home and have crazy, passionate, hot sex! We both benefit!

    I have to agree with bittergaymark, the whole letter sounds very prudish… and extremely close minded. I think this all boils down to YOUR insecurities about yourself, your body, and your relationship. If you are settled on all these issues, it shouldn’t matter what your boyfriend does.

    Btw… would it be the same issue if you wanted to attend a “Male Revue?”

    What are you really afraid of?

  • avatar Purpleheather August 9, 2013, 10:21 pm

    When women say, “I trust him”, what exactly are you trusting? That he wont get a dancer’s number? He wont have sex in the VIP room? He wont get a lap dance? He wont talk to them?

    • avatar Samantha November 21, 2013, 7:09 pm

      I agree with Bostonpupgal. I would not like it if my SO went to a strip club-bachelor party or not. Boundaries and feelings should be respected. I’d have to end the relationship If my bf chose to go. Besides, he can still support his friend without seeing other naked women dance around for dollars.
      Also, to all those women out there who believe strip clubs are harmless innocent male-bonding places , think again! I’ve been in this industry for 10 years. More goes on than you’d like to think. Don’t believe it when you hear “oh! Nothing goes on in the champagne room” ha! Things go on. Touching, groping and feeling. A lot!
      Wake up people!

Leave a Comment


three × = 24