What do strip clubs reveal?
The appeal of strip clubs is as varied as their customers.
The stripper who gave me a lap dance on Friday had just been accepted to a fine arts program overseas. She also had an interesting scar on the back of her leg from a life-threatening disease contracted as a child. She was very sweet, and pretty, and spoke with a slight stammer. As I unzipped her corset, she said she loved dancing for women.
“Are you bi? Are you into girls?” I told her I was a writer, and I thought women were beautiful. I said she was gorgeous. “It’s always more intimate with women.” I agreed. I asked her what the men were like who usually sat underneath her slowly writhing body.
“There’re three types I guess,” she answered, pausing, folding her arms over her chest, biting her lip, and thinking.
“There are the young guys who come through who’ve never been before. They are all grab, grab, grabby. Then there are the guys with fixations – they’re usually older, and they can’t get enough of a particular part of you. Sometimes I wonder what they tell their wives, or whether they’re like that with them at home with the children down the hallway.
“And then there are the guys who just want to talk. They want someone to hold them and tell them everything is going to be ok.
“I feel sorry for those guys, but you usually make a lot of money off them.
“Still, I wonder why they come to me – don’t they have anyone real in their life?”
I don’t go to strip clubs that often. But when I do I enjoy myself. I like that things are out in the open. And I like looking at beautiful women dancing seductively. But I’m aware of the fact that my reasons for going may be very different from those of the blokes sitting next to me.
Would I ever feel the ‘need’ to go, for example? Would I go because I wasn’t satisfied with my sex life at home? Would I ever go there to escape?
I understand the desire for closeness. It’s a universal, natural, often urgent human compulsion. You might say it’s definitive of the human condition. So I understand why some people – mostly men it seems – would pay money to have that. It might not be ‘real’, but it’s something.
I also know what it’s like to be dissatisfied in bed. Though, as previously discussed, I don’t think that’s something that should be ignored. I certainly don’t believe you should pretend things are fine and buy a replacement for something that you should share freely within the bounds of a loving relationship. How would my husband feel if he knew I wasn’t satisfied and going elsewhere? Especially if it was the scent or stain from another that gave me away.
But going to a strip club to escape?
Escape from what, I wonder.
In the sense these places are little worlds of black and white existing in a larger universe of ambiguous grey, I see the appeal.
Is that why so many people go?
Somehow I don’t think so.
Have you been to a strip club? Tell us a bit about yourself, and why you went. Have you never been? Why? Or perhaps you hate strip clubs, and everything they represent?