I’m Taking My Boyfriend to a Strip Club But I Hate That He Likes It.

As a woman going through some much desired transformation, I am taking my boyfriend to strip club to celebrate his b-day (because I know he likes ‘em). I would LOOOOVE to be the girl who doesn’t mind, but the images are stamped into my memories, and my heart hurts.

Please help me accept the human nature that is “men.”

Juliette

Dear Juliette,

Contrary to what many of our readers might think, you’re taking a very evolved stance and I want to congratulate you for it.

Relationships are about doing things for our partners that make THEM happy, not just doing what feels best for us. Holding the girlfriend’s purse when she’s shopping for perfume? That’s for her. Spending $350 on a meal because we’re hanging out with her wealthy friends? That’s for her, too. Calling her at the end of the night when I just want to go to sleep? That’s for her. It makes her happy, it makes her feel connected, and it keeps our bond strong, and that’s what I’ve got to do to make my relationship work. Believe me, I’m not complaining. I get a LOT out of my partnership and my girlfriend makes all sorts of sacrifices for me. I know it, I appreciate it, and I never fail to express how lucky I am.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, that’s all well and good, Evan. But holding your girlfriend’s bag in Bloomie’s is not a real sacrifice. Juliette is talking about ANOTHER WOMAN RUBBING HERSELF ON HER BOYFRIEND RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER. How could you even compare the two?”

Oh, but I can. For one simple reason:

Neither of the two acts means anything. Now, I could CHOOSE to feel emasculated when I take my girlfriend shopping. I could CHOOSE to feel like a loser when I stay home on girls’ night out. I could CHOOSE to feel like the third wheel when my girlfriend is telling inside jokes to her best friend and I’m standing there like a bump on a log. But I don’t. Because it doesn’t MEAN anything about our relationship.

For the average guy who goes to a strip club once a year for a bachelor party, it’s just a meaningless diversion that combines all of a man’s greatest pleasures: booze, boobs, and his buddies.

And that’s what any woman who is threatened by a stripper has to get. Strip clubs don’t turn us on. They make us giggle.

Now, if you ever went out with some guy who blew his paycheck at Crazy Horse or left you for a woman named Sierra and her six inch heels, feel free to ignore my advice. But for the average guy who goes to a strip club once a year for a bachelor party, it’s just a meaningless diversion that combines all of a man’s greatest pleasures: booze, boobs, and his buddies. We get to gawk and point and laugh and drink and bond with our friends before reality sets in and we go home a few hundred dollars lighter….

Forbidding this behavior is very shortsighted and very dangerous. In fact, forbidding desire is almost always a losing proposition, as losing as forbidding drugs or alcohol or cigarettes or religion. So the real question becomes, not “how do I make my boyfriend stop liking other attractive naked women”, but “how do I channel this male lust into a form that is out in the open and condoned?” And I’ll tell ya, Juliette, taking him to a strip club is a pretty good way.

It shows him you’re not jealous. It shows him you’re not threatened. It shows him you’re in control of your emotions. It shows you’re interested in his pleasure, rather than in neutering him and making him pretend he doesn’t find other women attractive. I just don’t seem to see the downside here.

Ah, but there is one: it HURTS you. I get that, and I’m not just gonna suggest that if you snap your fingers, it’s going to go away. I think it’s a matter of bringing a certain awareness to the matter that can somewhat temper the pain you feel as you watch your boyfriend and his shit-eating grin. It’s a matter of knowing that anything you’re witnessing doesn’t mean he loves you less. It means he appreciates you more. I can’t overestimate how important this is. Which is why any form of jealousy is pretty much useless, all it does it create anger, tension, and resentment and remind your partner of one thing: I Don’t Trust You! Well, thanks, sweetie! I feel GREAT about our relationship now!

Any form of jealousy is pretty much useless, all it does it create anger, tension, and resentment and remind your partner of one thing: I Don’t Trust You!

As a guy who has never cheated, and hasn’t been to a strip club in years, I can tell you that if forbidding it is the worst thing you can do, allowing it is the best thing you can do. (Oh, and by the way, if it hurts so bad, you don’t have to bring him to the strip club. Just let him go once in awhile without drama.) And if, in the most unfathomable circumstances, he runs off with Sierra and her heels, well, you should probably consider yourself lucky to be rid of him.

In the meantime, you can make him realize how lucky he is to have you.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Markus

    When I was, like, 18-22 I loved strip clubs. Then I realized that I was blowing lots of money and all I got from it was a lot of frustration. I haven’t been to one in a long time and I have no plans on going. I honestly think they are bad for you. Not like you’re going to hell for going. I just think that certain activities in life suck the life out of your soul and strip clubs are one of them. That said, if a buddy was having a bachelor party there I would go for him and maybe talk to some girls for the hell of it.

    Juliette,

    You are not crazy for hating him enjoying this activity. More, although this is 2008 and it seems like the whole world is one big porno, you do not NEED to be bi-sexual or even bi-curious to get and keep a good guy in my opinion. If taking him made you sad, DON’T EVER TAKE HIM AGAIN. It is bad for you. If it bothers you if he goes without you, let him know and consider your futures if he keeps going. Now, don’t be a crazy person. If he’s going because he’s out with 5 of his friends and they’re all going one night out of a million, be reasonable. But I don’t think you have to sell yourself out because you think that this is the current standard for young womanhood. More to come, I’m sure.

    Peace.

  2. 2
    Jennifer

    I don’t have any problem with a boyfriend going to the strip club occasionally, and I took an ex for his birthday. The difference between me and Juliette though is that I didn’t mind, it didn’t bother me and we both had fun. I think if Juliette tries to grin and bear it while she’s miserable, her boyfriend will be able to tell and won’t enjoy himself as much. And if she starts expecting him to do things that make him miserable because she did, she’s probably in for an unpleasant surprise because people often don’t work that way. Then during a particularly bitter moment she may throw this in his face in an argument, and that’s not good. I agree with Evan’s advice that she should let him go without complaint or hassle, but going with him and being miserable just seems lose-lose to me.

  3. 3
    Lori

    Great advice Evan! While I’d like to say, don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable…I like Evan’s advice better, but if it really is too difficult for you to go to a strip club, seeing your boyfriend enjoying it, then, by all means, send him without you.

  4. 4
    Steve

    Juliette, I agree with everything Evan had to write to you. I believe that our emotions are the results of our thoughts or our beliefs. Sometimes our emotions can change instantly once we rationally analyze our beliefs. Other times that isn’t enough to get an unpleasant feeling to stop. Sometimes we overlook ideas which look too simple to help.

    Have you tried writing down all of your upsetting thoughts about this situation? If you have not, do so. Then dispute the irrational ones in writing. Then come up with new, rational and realistic thoughts to substitute for the old irrational thoughts.

    Put those new thoughts on a piece of paper or in a reminder to be emailed to you. Read them several times a day at regular times ( when you get to work, when you eat lunch, when you get home, etc ). For a few minutes after you read your new realistic beliefs visualize yourself at the strip club NOT being upset because you looked at the situation logically and now “believe” your new realistic beliefs.

    Give it a few weeks to a month before you feel a change.

  5. 5
    trouble

    I have to agree with the comment above. Some of my best sex ever has been after going to a strip club.

  6. 6
    Damie

    I applaud Markus’s response and I couldn’t disagree more with Evan. I was in a similar situation as Juliette once, and for me I grinned through it because I thought I was being the “cool girlfriend”. But I never enjoyed it, it always seemed to cause more distance between us, and in the end we just realized we weren’t right for each other. A few years later, my fiancee now is completely different and would never want me to do anything for him that made me sad or hurt. Sure we make compromises but some things are going to far, in my opinion . I’m glad now that I have someone where I don’t have to even go down that road. It’s nice to have those values in common. It’s not that he’s denying some biologically engrained impulse, he just would rather see me than some other woman. (But all men are different.)

  7. 7
    Sally

    Juliette, I hope these words make you feel better: It’s NOT about who your boyfriend looks at while he is at a strip club… it’s who he goes home with. Several years ago. right after my divorce, I went to a strip club with the younger man I had started dating. Spur of the moment, he bought ME a lap dance. Even though, it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, I went along with it. Amazingly, after the lap dance was over, he only had eyes for ME and couldn’t wait to get me out of there. I’m not saying you have to go that far. But, by being a good sport, at the end of the evening, you will be the only girl he has eyes for. I guarantee it.
    (Apparantly several men had told him how lucky HE was!! His reply… “Don’t I know it.”)

  8. 8
    Evan's Girlfriend

    Evan, is this your way of telling me you’d like to go to a strip club for your birthday? ;)

    I honestly wouldn’t mind if Evan wanted to go to a strip club because I trust him. And because he hasn’t been to a club the entire time we’ve been dating, so I know it is not some weird addiction. And because he deserves a fun, breast-filled night out with his guy friends. Heck, I might even want to join him because, let’s face it, women’s bodies are beautiful and I can appreciate the aesthetics.

    I haven’t always felt this way. In my early twenties, I had a live-in boyfriend who went to strip clubs ALL the time. And it wasn’t just the fact that he could be found at Pure Platinum any random time of the day that bothered me. It was that he lied about it. That made me more suspicious, less trusting and highly uncomfortable. I suppose it’s possible that he anticipated my discomfort, so he lied about the frequent visits to the club. Which, in turn, made me trust him less, and that made him more apt to lie. And around and around we went.

    Juliette, if your boyfriend is anything like the guy I dated in my twenties, then I understand your concern. But if he is a normal guy who occasionally goes out to a club with his friends (not just on a random Tuesday during his lunch hour and not as a standing date every Friday with his frat-boy-like compadres), then you really have nothing to worry about. And, as Evan said, if it really hurts you to see him at the club, don’t put yourself through that. He will very much appreciate you making the effort, but if he cares about you, he doesn’t want you to be uncomfortable and sad all night. Just send him on his way with a fistful of dollars (Or is it up to 20’s now? Inflation is a bitch!) and a genuine birthday wish that he have a great time with his friends. He’s going to come home to YOU and that is what counts.

  9. 9
    Markus

    Hey Steve, little complicated don’t you think?

    Sally, that’s cool and all. I mean I would dig that if I bought a girl a dance but I’m not sure this is really where Juliette’s head is at right now.

  10. 10
    Steve


    Markus Mar 10th 2008 at 11:43 am 9
    Hey Steve, little complicated don’t you think?

    It isn’t quick for difficult issues ( what is?) but it works

  11. 11
    Sally

    Hey Markus! I have to admit, it was kind of fun! :)
    And I do realize that isn’t where Juliette’s head is at. I just hope she realizes that if she looks at it as just good natured bawdy fun, it’ll lose it’s power to upset her.

  12. 12
    Steve

    I can’t think of situations where women ask their partners to do something similar, like going to a male strip club with them.

  13. 13
    Selena

    I’ve had previous partners who went to strip clubs once in awhile with friends, I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I looked at it like a fantasy outing–the kind of harmless, bawdy fun Sally described. Putting it in that context, it was no big deal as long as it didn’t cost US money. I say that because once a live-in bf went out to a strip club and spent the money that was supposed to go to our electric bill–I was NOT happy about that lol!

    I never had a partner who was into it the way Evan’s gf described an ex of hers. That I would have been comfortable with. Once in awhile okay, every week? Not okay. But that’s just me. I wouldn’t want and wouldn’t have a partner who was that into the scene to that extent.

    Juliette, I don’t know if it’s good thing for you to bend over backwards accomodating your bf’s strip club enjoyment. Really, you are not a prude if this kind of thing bothers you. You surely shouldn’t feel you should go with him if it makes you uncomfortable. If he feels this is something he “needs” as opposed to the occasional bachelor party/breakup party/”let’s just go for the hell of it” with a friend kind of thing–he really may be just not the guy for you.

  14. 14
    Markus

    As I said Sally, it’s very hot. I was at one with my ex when we were still married and had great sex afterwards. If Juli is cool with it that’s fine. Right now I’m only concerned with helping Juli out and the whole strip club thing seems to freak her out which isn’t all that weird to me.

    It’s funny, like most men I fantasize about the lesbian thing and that is my overwhelming choice for porn. When I was married I always wanted a threesome. Then I heard a sex therapist on a radio show one day and she was suggesting all these awesome things. When the DJs finally said “what about another person” she said “no” flat out. She said that if you really love someone you would never want to share them with someone else, period. I wrapped my mind around that then. Hell, no strings attached and I’ll take on a whole room full of women. But if I think I’ve found the one, is it worth risking that for a few hours of lust? I don’t think so. Just so we’re on the same page though…not attached…whole room. Discuss. :)

  15. 15
    Sally

    Just another thought Juliette. Am I correct in thinking that the reason you don’t like the idea of the strip club is that he is looking at (and maybe fantasizing about) other women? I also got the impression that strip clubs are NOT a common occurance for your boyfriend. And this IS for his birthday. Think about it. He isn’t making a fuss at all about the fact that you are going to be there with him. To me, that means that he doesn’t feel at all that he will need to alter his behavior while you are there. Meaning, he isn’t doing anything that would upset you. Maybe I am just looking at it from a skewed viewpoint, and I want you to find peace with a situation that need not cause you so much pain.

  16. 16
    Sally

    Oh, and Markus, I agree. Threesomes for fun when you are unattached? WHEE! While in a committed, serious relationship?
    Bad Idea. IT. DOES. NOT. WORK.

  17. 17
    Lori M

    Juliette,
    I am not a fan of strip clubs. And I had huge issues with my guy going to them before I went to one. But now that I’ve been to them a couple times with a guy I was dating, it’s not a big deal. Maybe it’s because none of the guys I dated were all that into it… I don’t know if you’ve ever been to one, but it ended up being a huge ego boost for me. I mean, here I am, tiny, petite (and yes, that includes small boobs!) figuring these girls have got to have it all. But (and no offense to any strippers out there) there was MAYBE one really standout chick in the whole place. And even she wasn’t that great up close. A lot of the rest of them had A) less than average looks, B) even smaller boobs, or C) fake boobs that got EVERY guy’s attention. And I’m figuring most men don’t want something that’s been passed around the room 3 times over. So really, unless your man wants to go ALL the time, or lies about it, I wouldn’t sweat it. And like everyone else said, if it makes you uncomfortable, don’t go. He’s going to appreciate you no matter what, whether it’s because you let him have a night of fun without a fuss, or because he has a great girl to come home to/with afterwards.

  18. 18
    Markus

    I like petite girls.

  19. 19
    Markus

    Side note: If you’ve had a 3-way (or more) with other people and I’m not gonna get to go on that ride (for whatever reason), that’s find and all but seriously, don’t tell me about it…at all…ever. That’s bad mojo.

  20. 20
    juLiette

    oh my GOD you guys- thank you sooooooooooo much!
    evan, your words are so very inspiring=) i wish i couLd caLL you and your gf up to get a pep taLk when i need it! but since i don’t want a restraining order pLaced against me, i have copied and pasted this articLe onto my desktop!!!!!!!!!
    markus, you are friggin’ hiLArious!
    steve, that is awesome advice. it’s a Lotta foot work though… you actuaLLy dO this??
    ….ok…. i’LL try it

    there are many ways of interpreting any given situation. i choose the one i WANT but i need heLp every once in a whiLe. i stem from an eNormous amount of insecurity. Obtaining mentaL stabiLity and strength is my Lifetime goaL and it is stuff Like this that reaLLy gets inside my heart. i know that there is a piece of me hiding somewhere beneath years of shame that desires to come out so badLy!
    THANK YOU. EVERYBODY, THANK YOU.

  21. 21
    Simone

    Don’t ignore your feelings. His desire to get a charge out of naked women other than yourself is not more important than your feelings. And your feelings don’t seem to be coming from a place of control or jealousy — you said you feel hurt, which is different from being threatened or jealous. I question a guy who still wants to do something in full realization that it HURTS you, and I also don’t agree with the “just get over it” message in some of these posts, no matter how understanding the tone. I would urge you to pay more attention to how YOU feel than to how he feels — both are important, but you only have charge over your feelings and your life. You have to decide what kind of sexual relationship YOU want and what types of sexual expression, behaviors, attitudes, ideas, etc. that YOU feel comfortable with. Could be you two aren’t on the same page in that regard. There are plenty of guys who don’t consume what the sex trades offer — so you don’t have to stay with someone whose interests make you feel bad, you can find a more compatible partner — and there are plenty of women who would be happy to go with him or who wouldn’t care that he goes by himself or with the guys. Maybe if he knew the extent of your discomfort he would decide that he’d rather do something else for his birthday–something that makes the both of you feel good and sexy. :)

  22. 22
    Lynn

    Brilliant advice and support from Evan and Evan’s Girlfriend, Sally & others.

    I was once in a long term relationship when my boyfriend went to a strip club in vegas, during one of *our* friend’s bachelor party weekend. My boyfriend actually did not tell me about the strip club because he felt guilty! I found out about it weeks later when the bride-to-be mentioned it casually, in a joking way. Better for all of the fantasies and planned strip club outings to be discussed as a couple; all the better to have no guilt and no secrets.

  23. 23
    Ron

    I agree with Damie. If it doesn’t make you feel good about doing it, I wouldn’t go if I was the dame.

    Tell the guy you’ll fix him up with Rosie Palmer.

    Better yet, tell him you’re going to a Chippendale’s bachelorette party and ask him if you can borrow a few of his condoms so you don’t get pregnant.

    See how he reacts to that.

  24. 24
    Steve


    steve, that is awesome advice. it’s a Lotta foot work though’you actuaLLy dO this??
    .ok. i’LL try it

    Juliette;

    Yes it can be a lot of work. I only do all of that if I am stuck in a situation where I can’t get a handle on my emotions.

    FWIW, it is called REBT, invented by Dr. Albert Ellis, the psychologist who invented cognitive therapy… which has been clinically proven to be more effective than medication in many situations. In everyday life REBT is a very effective way for people to change their emotions and behaviors.

    If anyone is interested this concise but well written article is the best overview of REBT I have ever found:

    http://www.rational.org.nz/prof.htm

  25. 25
    Lance

    I’ve been to my share of strip clubs and–surprise surpise!– I don’t much care for them. They’re usually a special occasion deal for me, like for bachelor and birthday parties. This’ll sound weird, but I think it’s a really poor entertainment value. Hundreds of bucks for lap dances and $8 Bud Lights? Lame. I’d much rather hit regular clubs, dance with real chicks, and take one home. Cheaper.

    I’ve gone to strip joints with several gf’s and they’ve never minded…in fact, most of them loved it. They usually get fawned over by the strippers and enjoy the attention. I find it really unusual when girls express discomfort at the thought of their bf’s going to a strip joint. I mean, what’s the big deal? Dancing naked chicks. Chicks grinding on your jock. Seems pretty innocuous to me.

  26. 26
    Simone

    I can understand that the guys on this board don’t have a problem with stip joints and that you don’t understand WHY some women have a problem with it. But the point is, Juliette has a problem with it– she doesn’t feel good about it. She can jump through all sorts of hoops to try to change the way she feels about it — but maybe there is more behind her feelings than just some cognitive dissonance. If a woman doesn’t want to be with a guy who participates in the sex trades, she doesn’t have to. Just because a lot of people “think” it’s the norm doesn’t mean it is, and it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. And I’m not saying that it isn’t normal or healthy, either — there is quite a bit of debate about it, actually, among mental health professionals, religious thinkers, and people from other cultures who don’t condone the “American” view of easy sex. Juliette seems to think the problem lies with her, which makes me feel very sad. It’s really not a simple issue, and there is certainly nothing wrong with a woman who doesn’t feel comfortable with her boyfriend’s sexual choices. And, as someone pointed out, there doesn’t seem to be the female equivalent to the sex club for men — male strip joints just aren’t the same. It would have to be a situation that strikes more at men’s gender insecurities — to be stereotypical: maybe if Juliette were really into the trappings of material success and went on and on about how much money some guy she knows makes, and how he buys his girlfriend expensive things, and lives in a great big house with a pool, and drives a super-expensive car. And that every time some rich guy walks by she checks him out and maybe wishes inside that she were with a richer guy and wonders what it would be like to be with someone like that. Maybe that would get the point across. Or not. :)

    1. 26.1
      Anna

      That’s exactly what I think as well. There is no female equivalent. A naked male stripper rubbing his junk on me is not amazingly arousing. It’s purely ridiculous and funny. Most girls feel that way.

      The REAL equivalence is this: if lapdances are so innocuous and all in good fun, my bf would be fine with me being a stripper and grinding on clients in nothing but a g-string. It’s not cheating if it’s not f%cking right? (read: facetiously). If he’s okay with getting a lapdance by a stranger then he should be okay with me giving lapdances to strangers. It’s an exchange of goods and services where no one is cheating right?

      Would any stripclub-going men be okay with their girlfriends being strippers? A lapdance for a guy is fun and harmless. A stripper girlfriend giving lapdances… would give boyfriends nonstop anxiety.

  27. 27
    Steve

    Simone;

    I have never been to a strip club and I likely never will go to one. I can understand Juliette’s discomfort completely. I also can’t fathom how women can be good sports about going to such places. At a minimum I would feel like there was nothing for me at a club with male dancers. I would also be stunned if the women I went with expected me to enjoy it.

    If it is one thing the comments on this board have taught me is that there are many different kinds of people. Not everyone sees things the same way. There are many men and women for whom Evan’s advice will work.

  28. 28
    Simone

    Well said, Steve!

  29. 29
    juLiette

    i am learning strength through the man i am with.
    i am trying to become somebody i WANT to be, not just feeding into aLL my negative thoughts. i appreciate the support Simone- it’s nice to have some compassion. Steve, i LOVE the “rationaL” way of thinking- so much EASiER! if onLy it wouLd just come NaturaLLy! =D i wouLdn’t have to work so hard. rationaLLy thinking is just human nature to men??

  30. 30
    Steve

    Juliette;

    I am a man and I am NOT rational :).

    Seriously, I don’t think people are rational creatures, only creatures who the capacity to be rational for limited periods of time.

    I have been into REBT for a few years. Everyone else I know who is into has the same story to report. Every once in a blue moon they sit down, think about a bad experience, and have the bad feelings go away like a light switch being turned off.

    However, for any significant issue, anything ingrained, it is a process like jogging to lose weight. You have to consistently and repeatedly reapply it to get what you want. The good news is that it works. Unlike, festering in your emotions, which at least far as my mileage goes just ends up being self flagellation in the long run.

    The two best books I have read on the subject are:
    “A Guide To Rational Living” by Dr. Albert Ellis
    and
    ” Choose to Be Happy” by Wayne Froggatt

    The first book is a classic by the psychologist who invented it. You can probably find it in most libraries and used book venues. The second book was published in New Zealand, is a bit more expensive, but is well worth the extra money as it is extremely well thought out and well written.

    Dr. Ellis was a brilliant observer, a great speaker, and a lousy writer. The book I mention above, is in my opinion, one of the few books he wrote that was written well.

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