Letters From Men Who Go to Strip Clubs

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Journalist Susannah Breslin has started a compelling site called Letters From Men Who Go to Strip Clubs.

Yes, that’s all it is.

Here’s what a few big media outlets have to say about it. Salon: “A new blog gives voice to guys who empty their pockets just to see naked flesh, and reveals a lot about male desire.” Newsweek: “Gives men a chance to write anonymously about the complicated reasons they buy sex.” TIME.com: “[A]n online collection of purportedly real letters from sex workers and their customers.”

I’m sharing it with you because, as I see it, my job is help you understand how men think. Of course, every time I tell you how men think, somebody writes back and tells me that I’m wrong. I’ve always found it interesting – the concept of shooting the messenger – but as far as I can tell, I get shot mostly because a) you don’t want to believe that I’m telling the truth or b) you are an exception to the rule, which, of course, doesn’t negate the rule. I can say that it generally gets colder in the winter, and the fact that it may be 79 degrees in LA one day doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get colder in the winter.

In any case, Letters From Strip Clubs is a really entertaining read, right from the horse’s mouth, about why men go to strip clubs. I didn’t find any of it particularly surprising, because I’m, you know, a man. But it’s definitely a worthwhile read.

What resonates most to me is that all of the letters seems a little sad, which describes the state of a lot of men who are just looking for some sort of female connection. These men aren’t to be scorned. Pitied, maybe. But mostly, I hope you understand their loneliness and understand why I spend a lot of time trying to get you to give men a break. You don’t have to like strip clubs, but you can’t deny that their prevalence fills a temporary need for millions of men – not all of whom are scornful perverts, I assure you.

Your thoughts are appreciated, as always.

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Comments:

  1. 22
    Erinlee

    Vicki post #19 wrote:   There’s a 99.9% chance I will never meet a guy like the ones who go to strip clubs —   because they’re too awkward to talk to women in normal day to day life.

    Do you really think this way?   Is this some sort of self validation to make yourself feel like you are too good for any guy that would go to a strip club?   I think this statement is completely irrelevant because you are lumping a lot of people into one lump sum, “too awkward to talk to women in normal day to day life”.   You must be saying this to make yourself feel better.  
             Must it all be about people who are so sad or lonely?   Can it not be viewed as another form of entertainment?   There are issues with many of the ways we as humans entertain ourselves, not only this one.   In no way am I condoning mistreatment of women, but any establishment I have been in, mistreatment was not apparent and the women were treated with respect by patrons of the establishment as well as other staff.    
             I must assume that the majority of the women commenting on this post with anger and bitterness, are jealous of the thought of their men possibly being entertained by a stripper.   What world do you live in?   Men are visual, they like looking and that’s not about to change anytime soon.   Go ahead thinking that every man in a strip club is sad lonely and to be looked down upon.   Just remember that last weekend or next, it could be YOUR husband/bf there for some fun with the guys.   Plenty of sane, healthy, normal men in committed relationships attend strip clubs to unwind and have an entertaining evening.   Would you like to work with the way a man thinks, or against it?   Find some confidence in yourself to believe you are worth loving.   If you have this, then when the right man comes along for you, it won’t matter so much if he enjoys the occasional trip to the strip club, because he’s loving and loyal to  you every day of the year.   Women cannot blame men/strip clubs for their own personal confidence issues.   If you think you need to look as good as a stripper to attract a man, you have some serious work to do with yourself (emotionally and mentally)

    1. 22.1
      pat

      Unintelligent comment. Lusting after necked women dancing sexually to arouse you, when u have a wife or girlfriend at home, is not the true definition of commitment.   It has nothing to do with self-esteem but more to do with respect….respecting your relationships.   Things like porn, strip clubs, etc invite in and heighten temptations that people r often struggling against. If youre married n take vows n ur out lusting after other women n smacking bare behinds n grabbing breast in d club its all cheating n disrespectful. Etc etc etc blah blah blah if youve noticed….in modern society….most relationships dont last long…high divorce rates, separations etc because everythng not good for us is deemed acceptable by society. That is why society, our standards of living n who we relate to others on a daily basis r all tremendously declining

  2. 23
    mvlikesbikes

    While I think the self-professed loneliness is kind of a cop-out (how many opportunities are they missing to genuinely interact with women they come across in their day to day lives, only those ones don’t match their physical ideals?), and it’s plain sad in the long run, because they’re just reinforcing for themselves that they’re not worthy of female contact unless they pay for it, I can muster up a little leniency for men in this area. I think their programming runs incredibly deep, firstly because men are far more visual than women when it comes to stimulation, and secondly because they’re bombarded with images of women as sex objects with little or no counterpoint to this perspective, so objectifying women comes to feel like the norm for them. (Heck, women regularly objectify other women; that’s why all the beauty mags are so profitable.)

    I argued about this a lot with my ex-, and he told me that getting him to change his enjoyment of female nudity would be like asking him to change his accent – unnatural and extremely difficult. And he didn’t appreciate being made to feel demonized for something he believed was an unconscious response on his part. So he did manage to make me feel a little compassion for him there.

    All that said, I’m not with him today, because I felt like his whole world was centered on image and appearances, and not a lot of substance. I think his inability to genuinely interact with people without putting on a “show”, his vanity, and his constant defense of strip clubs and Playboy/Maxim were all related to the side of him that lacked authenticity.

    Anyway, just to get back to the original topic, I luckily married a guy who thinks strip clubs are boring and kind of gross, so there’s no debate to have in my household. I don’t think I would have ended up with someone for whom strip clubs are “good fun”. So I guess I do think they’re pretty distasteful and something I just wave off as something other people do. I don’t really care to launch an all-out crusade against them. In fact, when lap dances were banned in my area a few years ago, I did sign the petition to repeal the ban, thinking it was bit of an overreach. I wouldn’t put my foot down if DH were invited to a bachelor party for a friend or something, as I’d trust him to keep the whole thing in perspective.

    As for the whole female empowerment thing, I think there there are those who get a real charge from exhibitionism (the absolute opposite of me; I don’t think I could ever strip even if I had the body simply because I’d hate all those eyes on me). And I think there are a tiny subset of strippers who are truly stronger and more confident from the experience, albeit a little more cynical. I have a happily married friend who did a lot of nude work while she got her Masters in Journalism at Columbia. I also remember going to an “erotic lit” reading one night, where the keynote was a former call girl who held a Phi Beta Kappa key. Obviously, those women weren’t particularly slowed down by their pasts. However, I feel those women are rarer than most would have you believe. In fact, the ones I’ve met who most loudly advertised how empowered they were as strippers/fetish workers turned out to be the most damaged of them all.

    As for the presence of pornography in my house, I own some of my own well-hidden erotica (like the euphemism?), so I wouldn’t really have a leg to stand on if I wanted to keep DH from having his own. He just doesn’t own any because he says it’s not his thing. But I do think you would want to keep anything objectifying (especially porn) away from your children for as long as possible. I think it could really mess up the way they relate to others as they form friendships/dating lives/romances of their own.

    At the end of the day, maybe the 61 year old   guy – gross as he sounds – was the most honest:

    “I’m old in years — 61 … and I like to think this is my revenge for all the beautiful women in the world whom I can’t approach, whom I can’t get, this idea that I can have some young beauty dance and smile at me any time I want.”
    (<— ewww! ewww! ewww!) LOL.

    1. 23.1
      butterduck

      Mvlikesbikes23, your husband sounds cut from the same cloth as mine. I grew up with the feeling that strip clubs were kind of sleazy and that the men who frequented them were pervy. I couldn’t marry a guy who habitually went to strip clubs for entertainment, and he wouldn’t be happy with me. I would feel disrespected somehow if he were to start going, but he doesn’t find that kind of entertainment to his taste.
      I guess we all differ in what we think of as a good time.   

  3. 24
    Ann

    I’ve asked a couple of guys who go to strip joints if they’d ever marry a stripper. They were shocked that I’d even suggest such a thing. Of course, they wouldn’t. I told them that it was really puzzling as to why they wouldn’t. In one breath they’re saying how acceptable strip joints are, but somehow  being a  stripper is not  an acceptable profession?

    Hypocrisy is funny. There’s nothing wrong with creating demand for  something, but there’s something wrong with providing the supply. Suckers!

    1. 24.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Ann – Sigh. Of course, men will frequent strip clubs and not want to marry strippers. Plenty of women would sleep with rock star or a sexy surfer or charming poet, and not think that those men are marriage material. Sexual desire is completely different from commitment. The second you get that, the second you’ll do better at understanding and connecting to men.

      1. 24.1.1
        butterduck

        I think that the better analogy is why rock stars don’t want to marry their female groupies. Human nature has not fundamentally changed in the last 50 years. More women than men want to get married.

      2. 24.1.2
        Mummamamama

        Does your wife truly believe your line of bull. Or do you think maybe she might have it figured out better than you.. She’s decided to play her cards right and probably has somebody she really loves on the side. She’s using you as her income because you have it and provide good genetics for her offspring… No self respecting woman who actually truly lives her husband is ok with him getting humped and rubbed on by another woman… If she is it’s because she doesnt  know what truly goes on…and don’t take me on about this one… You will lose or have to ultimately delete my responses. I know too much. If we are dealing in business arrangements disguised as ‘marriages ‘ or convoluted concoctions cooked up after the fact to save the ‘marriage’ that would otherwise be destroyed nasty messes, then say that.. But no honest love entered into , under and within , and by the innocence and abiding pact that two people come by and to the point of ultimately marriage can HONESTLY withstand that kind of stabbing , insulting, disrespectful , raw, needing of something physical down to your very bone to where you would PAY FOR IT and then think its funny after. You should not call that a marriage.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Do you truly believe that you know my wife and my marriage better than I do? Do you truly believe that you can speak for all women, much less my wife, without ever meeting us? Or are you substituting YOUR feelings about how YOU would act and presuming that everyone else on the planet should feel the same way you do? No need to answer. I already know.

  4. 25
    Nicole

    So are we acting as though male strippers don’t exist and women don’t ever fantasize about sexy men with “perfect” bodies?   

    B/c I don’t know if it’s an age thing or not but you’d swear that women never went to strip clubs, looked at porn, or ever thought of anything but their one true Prince Charming.

    I’ve been to a strip club, and some of my female friends were regulars at some clubs in the past, and those places were packed to the gills with women of ALL ages who were throwing money down like there was no tomorrow.

    So stop the hypocrisy ladies.   Sometimes it’s nice to look at stereotypically pretty/handsome people and it doesn’t make you some kind of a degenerate or sleaze or “cheater” if you do that.   

    If it’s not an addiction that is keeping you from functioning and you aren’t throwing your whole paycheck at a stripper or never come home,   I really don’t care if men go.   Looking at a naked lady/man online or in real life in that setting is to me the BEST way for people to live out fantasies.   And I think that having a regular boys’ night or girls’ night out is more conducive to having a long term relationship than people want to admit.

    It is not the same as cheating, and it does not mean that someone is predisposed to cheating.   That is just so silly to me. I’ll never understand why people are so threatened by it.     

    1. 25.1
      Melody

      Amen.

      Strip clubs are not a big deal unless they become a substitute for being with one’s regular partner. I went to one with my ex-husband in Denver, and I was amazed at how average most of the women were. They were just gals making a living.

  5. 26
    Christina

    Strip clubs are a double standard. Where is a woman supposed to go to get her jollies short of cheating on her spouse while he is out at the strip club? I think the need for intimacy and filling voids are just cop outs, as if women don’t have these same needs (probably more so). And Male strip clubs are a cop out as well. A male stripper is more hilarious than sexy. So if my partner is out getting a lap dance (one can only imaging what their spouse does in a strip club, i prefer never having to wonder) why is it not okay (socially acceptable) for the female in the relationship to seek out a similar arousal from a stranger?
    All I know, is if my spouse were out at a strip club, I would love nothing more than to mingle with an attractive man.  

    1. 26.1
      Patrica Smith

      I hear you girlfriend!   Agree!  

  6. 27
    AnnieC

    @25 Evan.

    Saying that women should “tolerate” that men are the way they are, and we will get along better when we accept it, is to basically say we should accept what we feel is unethical or immoral behaviour. Ann is right in recognizing this hypocracy.

    We don’t have to accept that and if it means the only choice is to remain single, then that’s what some women will have to do.

    Why evan, would any woman want to be with a man, who has completely seperated sexual desire, for intimacy with a particular women? People have a choice in how they will view and treat sex. The men that focus on women only for the pleasure the woman can give, invariably end up crappy lovers and bad partners. Women would do well to stay away from them imo.

    Perhaps if these men accepted that women do not want to be treated purely as a means to sexual pleasure then they might actually do a lot better at connecting with and understanding women.

    It works both ways.  

    1. 27.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Annie, Annie, Annie – If you want to be in a relationship with a man, you have to tolerate, accept and love him despite his flaws. If you don’t find that a man has flaws that are tolerable, then you break up with him. I’m pretty sure we’re in agreement on that. If you find that every man has flaws that are intolerable, then you’ll be alone forever. That’s your prerogative, too, but it also means that you’re probably extremely judgmental, since 100 million people in the US ARE able to marry someone else despite his/her flaws. As a dating coach, I find that many women break up with men who have tolerable flaws (5’8″, bad taste in clothing, average job) and stay with men who have intolerable flaws (verbally abusive, inherently selfish, never wants marriage). I ALWAYS tell women to dump the latter and consider the former. If you have another interpretation of what I wrote, you’re objectively wrong, so please stop suggesting that “Evan says women should date men who see women ONLY as sexual pleasure.” Never said that. A 3 minute dance with a stripper is only sexual pleasure. A WIFE is a lot more than that. Thankfully pretty much all men can distinguish between a lap dance and a life partner. You just don’t understand how that’s possible since YOU don’t see it that way. This is YOUR limitation, Annie, not men’s.

      So if you falsely conclude that only “bad” men have been in a strip club, you’ll be passing up on a lot of good men (namely, every man I know). When I talk about good men who have gone to strip clubs, I’m not referring to guys who blow their paycheck in strip clubs, are regulars at the lunch buffet, and are on a first name basis with the dancers. I’m referring to guys who enjoy going to a bachelor party once a year or blowing off steam on a random guys’ night out. This is 100% normal. How can I say this? Because I’M normal. My girlfriend in 2003 dumped me because my FRIENDS went to a strip club in Vegas and she felt that if I was associated with such low life men, I must be one myself. She took me to her shrink for relationship counseling. After a half hour, the shrink concluded – much to my girlfriend’s chagrin – that I was a giving, kind, and devoted boyfriend and that she was being hypersensitive based on her insecurity about how she looked and about being cheated on.

      My wife, on the other hand? On the rare occasions I’ve gone to a strip club in our five years together, she’ll give me $20 and tell me to get a lap dance for her.

      THAT’s how you handle that situation effectively – by taking your irrational jealousy and disgust out of it. Take a deep breath and realize that if he’s good to you, loyal to you, married to you, and not cheating on you emotionally or physically, that strip clubs once a year are a very benign activity.

      If you CAN’T do that – like my ex-girlfriend – then go find a guy who also finds young naked dancing women repellent. I don’t judge you for it. There’s just fewer men like this, that’s all.

      With all of my advice, I’m talking about what MOST men do. MOST men find some enjoyment in the rare visit to the strip club. They’re not all bad. Stop with your value judgments and you’ll have more men who feel understood and close to you. Keep judging every guy who does something you don’t like, and you’ll find that most guys don’t want to stick around when they’re walking on eggshells.

      That’s some priceless dating advice, Annie, if you choose to use it.

      1. 27.1.1
        LAS

        Evan,

        I agree with your response completely, but why when strip clubs are mostly mentioned as a whole are classified as the innocent lap dance and viewing of women experience?

        What about classifying the strip club into two totally different experiences? I am much less offended in the front of the house attendance then I am in the VIP rooms where sexual acts and drugs are the whole reason for those rooms.

        How would your wife feel if you were naked and sexual in those rooms and how do you respond to women who are offended by their significant others/husbands who may have those things and just say they only get lap dances? Come on Is it the drugs and alcohol? Blowing off steam?

        1. Kevin

          No matter what strip club (or any place for that matter) you’re at, there’s always a line you don’t cross if you want to remain faithful/loyal to your partner.   Of course its depends on your partner, but I think most men know that getting a blow job in a VIP room isn’t what the wife or gf would consider blowing off steam.   Men who want to be faithful know that line and don’t cross it.

        2. DS

          ” Men who want to be faithful know that line and don’t cross it.”

          Men who TRULY want to be faithful will never even enter a strip club/adult-entertainment-place to begin with. Period. Entering such places is an act of infidelity by itself.

          Like Annie, I too prefer the few rare men who do not frequent such places.I cease dating men who do not share the same core-values as me. I have respect for myself, so will date a man who respects me by not going to such places. Any “guy” can go to the strip-club   BUT it takes SELF-CONTROL that separates the guys/boys from the MEN. Real men don’t indulge in either (strip-clubs nor porn.).

          Would any of these men commenting on through this post be okay with your OWN girlfriend/wife/mother/sister/daughter earning by stripping off her clothes for other men/your male-friends ??!! Similarly these strippers are girlfriends/wives/mothers/sisters/daughters of other men!!

        3. Karl R

          DS asked:

          “Would any of these men commenting on through this post be okay with your OWN girlfriend/wife/mother/sister/daughter earning by stripping off her clothes for other men/your male-friends ??!!”

           

          Would you  want your family members to work as migrant farm workers? Do you still buy fruits and vegetables?

          Would you want your family members to work in a sweatshop (either in the U.S. or overseas)? Do you still by clothing?

          Would you want your family members to work in high-risk professions (like lumberjacks or deep-sea fishermen)? Do you still eat fish and use wood products?

           

          I’ve been to strip clubs twice in my life. (I think they’re a colossal waste of money.) But I’m really not interested in hearing hypocritical  arguments about it either.

          Personally, I would prefer that all of those jobs be filled by people who genuinely enjoy the work, rather than those who take the jobs out of a desperate need for money. But we’re a long way from creating a world where that’s possible. (And the current political trend worldwide seems to be headed the other direction.)

  7. 28
    AnnieC

    @Evan

    You said “Thankfully pretty much all men can distinguish between a lap dance and a life partner. You just don’t understand how that’s possible since YOU don’t see it that way. This is YOUR limitation, Annie, not men’s.”

    Nonsense.  The issue that I responded to in part is with the hypocritical attitudes displayed by some men towards strippers. They would never marry a stripper just because she is one, not because of who she is as a person. Like the man who sleeps around but wants to marry a virgin.The best advice I could give to women, is to stay away from such men.

    A man who also supports an industry that often(though not always) takes advantage of women in dreadful circumstances is also a man, as far as I’m concerned that has poor character or at best willfully ignorant. It is much more convienient to see it as a bit of fun, and ignore the really dreadful dark side of this industry. The sex industry is about as bad as it gets in all forms. Some things are not okay, not matter how much you like them.

    I am not concerned Evan, with the fact that men enjoy looking at women, are aroused by women, or want to have sex with women they do not know or simply enjoy the pleasure of a lapdance. You are assuming insecurities where there are none. I do not see that there is any need for men or women to be ashamed of their natural sexual desires…that is not the issue here. It is what we do with those desires, that is the problem.

    I am unlikely to feel empathy nor tolerate the men that simply say “hey it’s a guy thing to like this, therefore it’s okay to do it” . So no, we do not have to put up with such a lowering of ethical or moral standards because men or women say “deal with it”.

    If you cannot understand why some women do not want to be with nor will accept men that see women(even just some women) as primarily objects for sexual gratification/pleasure and nothing more, then I will point you to a previous post of yours, where you are empathizing with men, who are treated only as sperm donors and bank accounts.

    They are one and the same thing Evan. The sex industry literally cannot be compared to any other industry, because of what sex means to humanity.

    And finally you said…..”Keep judging every guy who does something you don’t like, and you’ll find that most guys don’t want to stick around when they’re walking on eggshells.”  
    I do make a judgement call, on a few things, and this is one of them.   That doesn’t mean I judge every tiny little thing that a man does. So stop assuming please that when a woman has an issue with something she has issues with everything. Maybe, she actually has a valid point.

    1. 28.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Annie,

      Just because YOU wouldn’t put up with a man who has ever been to a strip club doesn’t mean that it’s good advice for ALL women to dump their boyfriends who’ve been to strip clubs.

      Telling them to do so – which would seem to be your point – is bad advice, since it becomes just another arbitrary dealbreaker… when you already have a LOT of them (height, weight, age, income, education, sense of humor, generosity, kids, kindness, loyalty, etc). Keep adding in dealbreakers just because YOU are bothered and there will be fewer and fewer deals.

      Are you at least logical enough to concede that if millions and millions of good, relationship-oriented men can go to a strip club for a couple of hours and still be a great husband, that perhaps dismissing ALL of them because of YOUR sensitivity may not be the best idea? Or are you going to assert that because YOU feel that this is abhorrent that everyone else should, too? If you say the latter, you should probably leave the advice to me and stop dissenting on everything I write. It’s getting tiring.

  8. 29
    Erin

    @ErinLee Post #22. I am going to completely honest about my feelings on this issue. Yes, I am jealous at the thought of my man being entertained by a stripper. Why should I be ashamed of that? Does that mean I’m insecure or am I just being realistic about what type of feelings that situation invokes for me? Do I think he is going to leave me for the stripper? No. But that doesn’t stop the jealously. Especially knowing just how beautiful strippers can be. I would say that’s a pretty normal reaction. Just as normal as his attraction to nearly naked women. If we don’t expect men to use any self control when it comes to indulging his hormones with other women, then why do we expect women to use any self control when it comes to indulging her own emotions? If men are visual, women are emotional. If strip clubs are okay then it’s also okay for a woman to have any type of reaction she wants to that. Even ones that include jealously.
    Men are visual. And no, that’s not going to change. But women are certain things too. Certain things that aren’t going to change either. Just because men are visual doesn’t mean everything men do under that visualness is “healthy” for every aspect of his life. Especially when they are in a relationship with another person and have someone other then themselves to think about. Men have a lot of potential to use their visualness for good and a lot of potential to use their visualness for not so good things. In my personal opinion, for men in relationships, strip clubs don’t seem to be the best place for them to be. We can downplay this by saying it’s okay as long as a man goes “once-in-awhile” or we can be realistic that even when men go “once-in-awhile” they are still looking to use strip clubs as an escapism from their real life relationships for a short period of time. They are looking to slip into a fantasy with other real women for a short period time that probably are hotter then their own partners. As many of the men in the letters illustrated when they made comments about their own partners vs. strippers.
    I would hope that in a relationship, where we are partners, a man would be expect to work with me on how I think just as much as I’m expected to work with him on he thinks.   Being attracted to women is healthy. Enjoying naked women is healthy. Indulging in that by stepping out for the night to blow of steam in a sexual situation with other women doesn’t seem that healthy to me for men that are in relationships. Blowing off steam with the guys at a baseball game, that’s healthy. Blowing off steam at a batting cage, that’s healthy. But when we get into sexual interaction with members of the opposite sex, things are a little different. And I don’t think it’s fair to ask women to control everything they are as woman and the things they desire out of a relationship while we also tell women that we need to let men indulge their sexual whims because men are “visual” or “sexual”. That’s not fair. Maybe this isn’t an issue of women needing to find confidence in themselves so much as it’s an issue of male confidence. Since many of the men in the letters seemed to have their own set of self esteem issues and since men go to strip clubs for not only the visual but apparently for some ego stroking, perhaps it’s time for men to have enough confidence in themselves that they don’t use strip clubs as scape goats for their self pleasure?   When the right man come along, he won’t be a man that finds strip clubs all that important. He won’t feel the need to even visit them “once-in-awhile”. While I agree that women should compromise in relationships, I don’t think asking women to compromise on sexuality within a relationship and asking men to not compromise on their sexuality in a relationship is going to breed healthier relationships. I know I don’t need to look as good a stripper to attract a man. But I also don’t want to be the woman a man settles for emotionally while he needs to escape a couple times a year to the type of woman he really wants sexually.  
    I don’t think a woman should just dump a man because he went to a strip club. And I don’t think men that go to strip club are “bad”. But I don’t think it’s right to justify strip clubs on the back that men like naked young women. And that women just need to accept and understand this and give our boyfriends/husbands a $20 for lap dances “once-in-awhile” to be the “cool” girlfriend or wife. You’re either in a relationship or you aren’t. If you want to to check out of a relationships “once in awhile” in indulge a passion for other women, then maybe your not as committed or as loyal as you thought you were.

    Men aren’t “bad” for liking strip clubs but lets not pretend they are being good partners either when they want to indulge in strip clubs and want their wives and girlfriends waiting for them at home with open loving vulnerable hearts and spread legs.  

    1. 29.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I hear your impassioned response, Erin. And I still think that a better move for you to think of a night at a strip club like a night at a baseball game. Because that’s exactly how threatening it is to your relationship.

      Unless YOU decide that watching women dance is tantamount to cheating. Then, of course, it’s quite threatening.

      To sum up, women who allow men to be themselves do better with men and engender their loyalty.

      Women who try to deny men even their own FANTASY life – the occasional strip club or online porn – are pretty much demanding that men LIE to them.

      If you don’t take his interest in viewing other women personally (and it truly is occasional, not obsessive), you will have a really amazing relationship with a man who appreciates how rare and special you are.

      If you go on a diatribe about how disgusting he is, it’s pretty predictable how he’ll feel about you and your relationship when you’re done venting.

      It’s your call, but as the guy in the room, I know what works better – acceptance. If acceptance doesn’t work for you, as you intimated above, you will either have to find the men who would NEVER go to a strip club or men who will attempt to sublimate their fantasy life with some degree of resentment. That often leads to cheating. Acceptance leads to him feeling loved, understood and not judged.

      As you probably know, I married a non-jealous woman who trusts me and sees me as normal, not aberrant – and every day that I read this blog, I thank my lucky stars.

      How exhausting it would be to fight these same battles at home!

      I sincerely wish you peace in your future relationships and hope you consider the wisdom in where I’m coming from – a guy’s perspective.

      1. 29.1.1
        Vera

        If a woman is okay with her men visiting strip clubs she is most likely unfaithful herself. You can deny this, but as a woman with some experience I can say that this is mostly true.
        It always confused me that a naked woman dancing for you isn’t considered cheating as long as you pay for her. What kind of logic is that? And honey, believe me I am in no way jealous of strippers. I am a young, pretty woman and I could sell my body if I wanted to and make much money – but I chose education instead.
        I am not a virgin when it comes to strip clubs. I’ve been to a strip club twice. I know a doorman of a stripclub and his stripper wife because before that the man used to work in a club (normal club, not sex club) where I was a bartender. So I know what goes on, I saw the clientele and I know what goes on behind. To the latter, let me tell you this: It isn’t very pretty.
        Furthermore, I think you are generalizing not every guy on this planet thinks going to a strip club is a great thing. I even know guys who went there once and found the atmosphere horrible. I know to guys who are (let’s say it like it is) male sluts and I overheard talking to another friend about this topic and even they said that it is not okay to got to a strip club or the like,   while being in a relationship.
        So why on earth should a woman or a man settle with someone who has a different attitude towards important things. That doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything in a realtionship – but a realtionship never works if you have a completely different basic attitude towards important topics. It depends on the individual what they consider cheating (I consider visting a strip club cheating, so does my partner – he doesn’t find the idea of a naked male grinding on me very appealing) and the individual limits should be discussed in all honesty in the beginning of the relationship.
        And just for the record, not wanting your partner visiting strip clubs doesn’t equal being insecure (my boyfriend and me are not insecure at all) or being prude (I like sex and I have no shame when it comes to speaking about sexual fantasies or desires).

      2. 29.1.2
        Marcy

          
        I found this site because I just realized that the guy I have been dating quite regularly   frequents strip clubs quite often.     I was not   sure how to interpret that or if it was a red flag or what.   I feel very enlightened by this particular entry   and after reading it,   I feel very reassured and I know how I am going to proceed in this potential relationship.   With acceptance.   Thank you! : )
          

  9. 30
    Joe

    @ Erin #32:

    It sounds to me like you equate your boyfriend simply being at a strip club to him having sex with strippers.   That sounds to me like a problem that you have, rather than a failing of your boyfriend’s.

  10. 31
    AnnieC

    @31

    My main point was addressing Ann’s comment, about men who visit women to use them for sexual titilation, then devalue these women for the very reasons they use them.And then you make a strange comment that men don’t need to marry these women. No-one said they needed to marry them, Anne called out the hypocracy of men who will devalue that which they are willing to use.

    These are men, that women should stay away from as this is a HUGE red-flag.  

    You are obviously quite welcome to dispense advise, but it’s not always going to be good or healthy for women and I hope you are capable of being challenged rather than suggesting other’s just “be quiet and let you dispense advice”. In this regard, your advice, imo is very poor.  

    Accepting that men like to look at women, is one thing. Accepting the we should support an industry that objectifies women and damages them, their children and society is another issue.

    Both you and your wife, are making a mistake, in supporting this industry. I wonder how you will end up feeling when your daughter turns 12, and is asked by boys at school, to dance like a stripper for their pleasure?

    I come from a country with legalized pretty much everything, and that is exactly what is happening to young women.

    There is being easy going, and then there is being foolish.  

  11. 32
    Erin

    Evan, if strip clubs are just like a night out at a baseball game, then why wouldn’t men choose the baseball game? My guess is they don’t choose the baseball game because they get something from a strip club that they don’t get from a baseball game. So it kind of worries me that you are asking me to view the two as the same thing. Please don’t mistake my intentions. I think male bonding is really important and completely encourage it! But wouldn’t a better environment be a baseball game and beer with the guys? What’s the need for a strip club as entertainment if baseball games are the same to men? I can only logically determine that there is something men take away from a strip club that is different then a baseball game right?  
    I want my guy to be himself. I want him to pursue the hobbies he enjoys. I want him to have fulfilling relationships with his friends and family. I want him to be happy with work and not feel discouraged by it. I don’t think it’s asking too much to not make strip clubs part of his life style. Are strip clubs that important to men that they define who men are, who he is?
    I want my guy to want me to be who I am too. And I’m not a girl that is comfortable with men in relationships that want to take a brief vacation for a couple hours from their relationship to have fun with other younger more beautiful women. I’m 30. I’m not stupid. I know men like me less and less as I get older. I know men want 18 year olds. Why do men have to throw it in our faces and then act like these things should make us more vulnerable and loving toward them? Why I’m expected to welcome him home with open arms, an open heart and spread legs when what he wanted to do was take a brief vacation from me and our relationship? It’s like I’m expected to congratulate him for having sexy time with other women.  
    No woman wants to be a killjoy. I certainly don’t. But I don’t think it’s fair that men put women in that position to begin with. We are told that men want us for more then our bodies. Except when they are bored with our bodies and want to take some time with sexy younger bodies. Having to be the dutiful loving girlfriend while he wants to indulge himself with other women doesn’t feel very good.   And I feel like there is a lot of shaming going on in your advice to get women to accept something that really, if we are honest with each other, is probably one of the hardest things women regularly have to deal with. Their man’s regular lust for other women. And I do take it personally. I give everything I can in my relationships. That includes controlling my own feelings and emotions when meet with things my boyfriends have done that hurt my feelings. I have never once told a man I thought he was disgusting for liking porn or strip clubs. I never told a man he couldn’t look at porn even though it hurts my feelings that they do. I think it’s unfair to tell women that we need to understand that men like us for so much more then our bodies but we also need to be accepting of his need to use other women for the bodies they have that are probably better then the real women in their life. That’s feels like a lot of pressure and expectations to put on women.  
    I totally get that men want to be accepted. And I want to accept my man. I except their flaws. I don’t have a boyfriend right now but I have accepted alot.   But I can’t think of anything that makes me feel less accepted as a woman for my heart, mind, body and soul then when my man wants to use porn and strip clubs. these things make me feel less loved, less understood and completely judged. Just as my feelings toward these things can make a man feel those same things as you illustrated. So who is right and who is wrong? Am I wrong? Because I have the same feelings he has just from a different vantage point?  
    I don’t want to sublimate a man’s fantasy life. I really don’t. Again, no woman wants to be a killjoy. But no woman enjoys the idea of her husband getting lap dances from 18 year olds then coming home to her old tired butt and it having to be a big sacrifice for him to be with her. But I don’t think that asking a man to use some self control sometimes and skip out on the strip clubs is really that big a demand if I am working hard to keep our sex life open and fun and fresh. Some boundaries in a relationship shouldn’t be seen as a detriment to a man’s sexuality. His feelings and sexuality aren’t the only think at stake here.  
    I am really happy for you that you have a wonderful lady. I am well aware that men give accolades to women that are cool enough for approvel of strip clubs and porn. What’s not to like about that? He can have his cake and eat it too. That’s kind of how I see it. It’s a win win for a man. But as a woman, it’s a daily struggle. Sometimes men’s sexuality is a really wonderful thing. And other times it’s a really scary and threatening thing. I wish more men would understand that and have some kindness in their heart for how hard it can be for women. And not just chalk women up to trying to be killjoys, or prudes, or trying to stamp him down when a lot of women feel beat down by expectations they have to live up to be as sexy as the kind of fantasy women men   repeatedly will turn to. Yes, I know I am insecure. But I think my opinion is still valid. And I think that if men need acceptance from their partners, we can admit that men have their insecurities too.
    Just like men can’t deny their feelings toward things like strip clubs and porn, I can’t deny my own feelings about how these things make me feel. They make me feel unaccepted. Just like men can feel. So how do I rectify my feelings of unacceptance with his own? Are mine worth less then his?  
    I know this is a long post but those are my honest feelings on the subject. If we want men to be honest about their feelings, then we need to let women be honest about theirs too. Thanks for listening.  

    1. 32.1
      Kevin

      You don’t have to accept a man who enjoys the occasional visit to a strip club.   That’s on you.   However, many good men enjoy strip clubs, some for the naked girls, some for a night out with the guys, some for bachelor parties, etc.   If you can get past the fact that he enjoys naked women (and has absolutely no intention of crossing agreed upon boundaries) and are cool with his occasional strip club visit, you’ll make him a very loyal and happy man.   On the flip side, he should be open to you enjoying your own porn, strip clubs, kinks, or whatever else gets you off.

  12. 33
    Helen

    As a married woman, I agree with both Evan and AnnieC, strange as that may sound – because there are at least two different discussions going on here.   And both of them center around that we make too big a deal out of sex in the US.
      
    On the one hand, I don’t see men attending strip clubs as any worse than women indulging in chick flicks and romance novels. In fact, it’s unfair to men that we happen to stigmatize sex but not romance in our society, so that women can get our kicks by watching Colin Firth on the screen but men (and strippers) get shamed by their preferences and choices. Now, whether this stigmatization originated from men or from women, or both, I’m not sure, so am not trying to assign blame here.
      
    On the other hand, I completely agree with AnnieC and Ann that the hypocrisy surrounding men vs. women who participate in strip clubs is intolerable – that men will watch strippers but would never marry them. Again, it boils down to our making too big a deal out of sex in society. Think of it in economic terms: there is a demand, there is a supply. Both sides get their needs met. Why should the suppliers (strippers) be shamed by the demanders (men) as not being worthy of LTRs? I wouldn’t automatically write off men who supplied me a washing machine, research funds, food, or anything else I demanded. @25: It’s not analogous to women supposedly not wanting to marry rockstars or poets because: 1) women do want to marry these guys, and 2) these occupations are not stigmatized to any degree approaching that of strippers.
      
    The sooner we shed Puritanical notions toward sex, the easier all of this will be. But it won’t be for centuries yet, perhaps.

  13. 34
    Nicole

    @Helen,
    So like every other woman on this thread, you’re going to ignore the fact that there are women who go to strip clubs to ogle hot men, and that those clubs are not hurting for customers?   

    Or are we back to acting like only women can be vulnerable and damaged and that stripping when done by men is acceptable b/c men are just animals and love taking off their clothes?

    For the record, I don’t know any woman who goes to strip clubs who would want to date or marry those men either.

    So the hypocrisy and exploitation of the opposite sex goes both ways, but no one here will EVER admit that.     

    As a woman, I get really tired of the insistence that all men are bad and shallow and all women are helpless and exploited by big mean men…  

    1. 34.1
      pat

      How many male strip clubs actually exist in comparison to the 100s of thousands of female strip clubs nationally n internationally? Hmmmm let me think….practically none. So let’s get real. That’s why ppl r ignoring the point ur attempting to make. Women r far more hypersexualized than men in modern society ranging from media to strip clubs. Stop reaching.

      1. 34.1.1
        Kevin

        There are a few, usually in cities. Gay clubs are also spots where you can find male dancers and yes, women do go there to look.   Just as men might exploit women for their young bodies, do women not exploit men for money and status?   I know many women who would gladly accept gifts and money from men yet never marry or date them.

  14. 35
    Helen

    Nicole, you clearly misunderstood me entirely (reread 37, if you will), as I never once insinuated that men were mean or exploitative or that women were the only vulnerable ones.   Nor is “every other woman on this thread” saying that either.  

  15. 36
    AnnieC

    @Erin

    You are far more couragous, and secure in yourself, than you give yourself credit for imo. I’ve mentioned something similar myself during these types of discussions, about the “baseball” game, vs strip bar. Of course they are not the same, otherwise, they’d go to the baseball game. Asking us to see it that way, doesn’t make it that way and we all know it.

    I don’t quite have the same insecurity issues around younger womens bodies, although I probably have some experiences that perhaps you may not. (I’m a bit older than you). Men ultimately prefer an authentic, creative enthusiastic woman, despite the fantasy of one that is younger. But your authentic heartfelt view,   is very much how many many women feel, and you have not allowed yourself to be shamed into pretending differently.Kudos to you.

    You made some really great points.

    @Helen,

    I think there is a reason that people actually “want” to view sex in a more puritanical way. Puritanical views towards sex, didn’t just appear out of nowhere. Most of society had to agree with it(or they would have rebelled). The only society that has ever successfully negotiated a free-for all sexual society over thousands of years, are matriachal societies. It’s a very complex issue. Add our biological drives, our massive population and our struggle for civility, and it gets even more complex

    Making sex something that is sacred, is far more beneficial for a civilized world than allowing it to become a free-for all. I agree with a lot of what you said though.

    @Nicole.

    No-one said here that women are always victims, and that men are always perpetrators. In fact I honestly think many men(and women), are very ignorant about the truth of this industry. They want to be liberal, cool, hip relaxed. Because being open minded and accepting of people is often a really wonderful thing and has allowed for many fair and equitable advancements.

    My current partner has watched a lot of porn.   We have talked about this a great deal, and I have made sure in every conversation that he does not, and will not feel shame for his sexual desires. I have however, asked him to read literature, and really really watch porn and what he knows about female sexuality, and pay attention to the industry. He now say’s, that I have ruined porn for him. Good. When the average decent bloke, really pays attention they begin to see the harm.

    I really do not see, that men that are strippers, are in the same situation as women. That may sound hypocritical, and if I am shown to be wrong, then I am all ears but I have yet to hear about a male stripper, at least in western society that is being “exploited”. Women simply do not have the same sexual drives that men do.

  16. 37
    Ann

    I applaud very very loudly what the women have said on this thread! So glad that you are being honest and speaking out!!!

    I know men who have lost their marriages because of their use of porn and strip clubs. And I know one stripper (relative of my SIL) who was practically destroyed by her experiences in that work. And I know professionals who have lost their reputation because of their after-work shenaningans with clients at strip joints.

  17. 38
    Louis

    Yes, these letters are sad, but mostly I just find these guys pathetic (esp. the fake huge boob fetishist), and are the type that I would laugh at. They don’t really “deserve” any sympathy. I’ll save that for cancer patients and victims of felony crimes. Losers.

  18. 39
    Pat

    Hi Evan & Everyone – I, too, do not really “approve” of guys going to strip clubs because:   1)   they make me feel insecure about myself/my relationship and 2) I don’t like the blatant objectification of women, in general.   

    But as Evan stated earlier, I would be able to “deal with it” for the sake of letting my man indulge occasionally with his friends (just looking though – no lap dances!).
      
    However, I believe that if I’m willing to give my man a “free card” to look at women who are younger, fitter, and prettier than me, I should be able to do the same.   That is, I should be able to hit a “Chip n Dales” for a night out with the girls on the rare occasion.   I would be doing this to fulfill my own fantasy (which is as important as his), curiosity, and also I’d be interested to see how he reacts.   Does he feel the insecurity I do?   If so, we should both talk about it.   If he doesn’t, then I can partake in it as freely as he does.     

    Evan and everyone else – would this be unreasonable in your opinion?  

    1. 39.1
      Kevin

      Not at all unreasonable and a good man would understand that you too, as a sexual human being, have desires and fantasies that should be fulfilled within certain boundaries.   I would be all for my gf having a girls night out at such a place.   Hell, if I wanted to go to a strip club, I’d love for my gf to join me.

  19. 40
    Nicole

    @Pat, Chip n Dale are cartoon chipmunks…but hey, if that is your ultimate fantasy, go for it.   

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