Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Why are some guys so into strip clubs? Do most guys buy into the fantasy that the stripper is actually enjoying herself — or don’t they care?
Straight Single Guy (Colin): Lots of guys aren’t into strip clubs. Probably more are kind of weirded out by them than you might think. For the ones who do enjoy an outing to the nearest nudie bar, it’s usually about the visual overload of the body parts we fantasize about all day long. Finally we can be praised for overtly staring at a woman’s breasts. We might imagine what women around us look like naked and a strip club is an opportunity to live the dream. It’s fun to pretend the stripper is enjoying herself, and some are at some times, but in the end it’s just pretending and most of us probably know — like a twelve your old who still plays into his parents leaving milk and cookies out for Santa Claus.
Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): I’m not sure I’m really in a position to answer this, because I’ve worked as a stripper, and I kind of loved it. This is one way in which it’s much easier to be a gay man than a straight man: you don’t have to worry that you’re objectifying female sex workers.
That said: I think the fantasy that the stripper is enjoying herself is exactly what makes strip clubs so exciting. Your average Joe is not the kind of guy at whom a gorgeous, scantily clad woman is likely to hurl herself. He’s just not attractive enough, or manly enough, or sexy enough, or powerful enough, or whatever enough. But the moment he walks into a strip club, gorgeous, scantily clad women start hurling themselves at him — a thing that couldn’t happen unless he were incredibly attractive, manly, sexy, powerful, and whatever. In a way the excitement isn’t about the woman in front of him at all; it’s about how she allows him to see himself.
Stripping has its own psychological rewards, by the way, at least for men who do it; these too come from how it allows the stripper to see himself. I have to imagine that stripping offers at least some of the same rewards to women who do it.
Straight Married Guy (Matt): Guys are into strip clubs because it’s not only visual stimulation, but it also changes the dynamic of who’s pursuing whom. In any strip club you’ll see the fattest, baldest middle-aged guy there being approached by women, each one asking if he wants a lap dance, with him waving off busty 19-year-old after busty 19-year-old, not giving most of them the time of day. Sure, most guys like seeing naked women, plain and simple, but it’s the flipping of the power dynamic that creates the strip club “regular” — the guy who gets blown off the most out in the real world and gets off on turning girls down (as well as having a 19-year-old ass grinding his package when he eventually gives one of them the nod).
Do we believe that the strippers are enjoying themselves? I think it’s a suspension of disbelief while you’re on the premises. So no, most guys who are inside the strip club don’t care in that moment if the strippers are enjoying themselves, and don’t allow themselves to think about it too much, or they’d lose their erections and head for the door.
Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Engaged Guy is Joel Derfner, author of Swish. To ask the guys your own question, click here.