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

sexy woman wearing black two piece pole dancing

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.”


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.

Join our conversation (79 Comments).
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  1. 1

    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.


    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.


    1. 1.1

      “But I don’t think you have to sell yourself out because you think that this is the current standard for young womanhood.”

      I wish that were true. It seems that more and more, women are expected to be ok with things they aren’t. Strip clubs, porn, threesomes. You have to get comfortable with a lot of things you don’t want to, in order to keep the average guy.

      1. 1.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        I disagree. My exhusband didn’t like porn and didn’t like strip clubs. He also wasn’t very sexual.

        If you want a sexual guy, he’s going to enjoy a variety of sexual experiences than just the sex act with you. I’m saying cheating is not ok. But looking at porn or strippers doesn’t diminish you in his eyes. He’s not looking at those women to compare you to them nor wishing you were more like them. It has nothing to do with you or your sex life.

        They just feel naughty. And you wouldn’t want to know all the fantasies that go through men’s minds that you wouldn’t want to fullfill. Let him enjoy his alone time with his fantasies.

        They really mean nothing to the average guy. For a guy to whom strip clubs and porn mags mean something, you need to dump him. Just recognize the difference in those two types of men. For most men, porn mags and strip clubs are just recreation for their lizard brain 🙂

    2. 1.2

      The best way to get your boyfriend to like you more and is probably to not wear as much clothes, and/or no clothes. If this is something your boyfriend likes, then he will probably like it a lot if the person that he loves does it.

  2. 2

    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

    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

    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

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

  6. 6

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    I like petite girls.

  19. 19

    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

    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!

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