Wise Guys: Why Are Men Into Strip Clubs?

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.


  1. Ive had strippers grind me so hard and for so long that I hit a homerun. They even try to get me to hit a homerun. In fact im going to hit a homerun tonight. It doesnt count as sex because my thing isnt in her thing.

  2. LOL! Yes, men are visual creatures…but so many of them use that as an excuse to desire sex more and desire other women more. It doesnt mean that. That is how we have been brought up to expect things to be. We are socialized into that way of thinking. Men being visual creatures means, they need to be attracted to the person they are with and get turned on by sexy sights. It doesnt mean they will always look or will always look sexually. I have had all of my 4 boyfriends dislike the strippers. Absolutely hated them. Didnt find many of them attractive and just weren’t interested. On the other hand, I liked them (female strippers that is) and they wouldnt go along with me (Well one did). But, the others said even if the girl was hot they just didnt get turned on or enjoy it. That wasnt their idea of sexy. Also, 3 of them didnt want sex unless they felt loved (sounds very female doesnt it). The ‘men are visual creatures’ is taken too far these days. Women may also get turned on by sexy sights. I have no problem with porn or strippers. Its about the sight of sexy acts and naked bodies and thats fine. Male strippers in my opinion are VERY sexy! . Yes they are hot and attractive.I find strip clubs liberating and briefly dabbled in that line of work myself, however I didnt find it was a job I could live. I wouldnt want my partner to be happy with me performing for other men. Nannigans- I think you hit the nail on the head- men get away with much more for sure! AND they are allowed to go to strip clubs and they are allowed to point out women they would like to sleep with because its their prerogative due to their biology…Women that do that however to their boyfriends are sluts, or inconsiderate! The ‘biological differences’ of men and women have been taken to far. Why else do so many marriages break up these days? People have forgotten what it means to respect your partner. Too many men are allowed to get away with saying ‘i love you for who u are but damn that woman is hot and i would love to sleep with her’- because they are ‘visual’ lol. People that use this expression in such loose terms just dont have any class or maturity (sure, if thats how they work then thats fine! i have no probs! but dont put it down to your ‘male biological makeup’ and dont generalise it to the whole population, or even the majority!) If it meant so little- why do men get so defensive when their women do and say those things back to them ;o) To me, if it meant nothing, then men would be perfectly fine with it. BUT women are supposed to deal with these ‘biological’ differences and men dont have that expectation, they can say and do as they please. its their prerogative remember ;o)
    AND by saying that these male strippers are unnattractive. When not experiencing it first hand (and only going off wat other FEMALES tell you) and saying that women wouldnt like their cocks rubbed all over them is a tiny bit presumptuous in my opinion and im sensing a bit of insecurity ;o) maybe these women tell you its ‘cheesy’ to spare your feelings which are probably quite obvious to them, and also to avoid being judges as a slut ;o)

  3. Matt…
    OR is it that guys can get away with so much more in this case. If women acted like men in female strip clubs we would probably all be labeled whores or sluts who haven’t gotten any in a while…?

  4. ^Your explanation is very good, Matt. It would be a better world out there for sex craved women like me if there was more male nakedness. 🙂

  5. I’m only going on what I’ve heard, Rei. If there *are* less cheesy options out there, by all means, go support them. But I don’t buy for a second that the reason that there are far more strip clubs for straight men than straight women is that The Man is keeping you down.

    It’s lower demand, plain and simple–just like the XXX mags in the racks–all boobs, very few packages. Oh, and most of the ones that do features packages? They’re bought by gay guys. Guys are more visual, period. That doesn’t mean that girls don’t like to look–or that some girls don’t like to look a lot, it just means that pretty much all of us guys like to look–a lot. If there were some untapped market for women consumers in XXX clubs, magazines, whatever… trust me, people would be taking advantage of it.

    Sure, there absolutely needs to be better equality in pay. But I think people get confused and off-track when they look at every single gender discrepancy around them and everything has to be forced into being 100% equal. Some things aren’t, and won’t ever be, and in cases like this (very much unlike equality in pay), it doesn’t matter. Bringing up one in the context of the other merely weakens the argument for equality where it actually means something.

  6. Matt, no I do not agree. Cheesy men in thongs? What clubs are you going into? The clubs I’ve gone into have the hottest guys and they do a great job pleasing the women. Nobody likes to admit, but its still a man’s world out there, very unequal. Some women still do not get paid as much as men in the same job. If women had it their way, we’d have 3 male strip clubs in every city. WE need to have our fun too, Matt.

  7. ^ Rei: Sure, some women do actually want cheesy guys in leopard-print thongs rubbing their packages all over them–hence the existence of Chippendale’s. But how many strip clubs are there for men vs. women? Surely the disparity in supply suggests a similar disparity in demand. Trying to enforce some platonic sense of equality here is mashing the ol’ square peg into the round hole, don’t you think?

  8. ^John, does your wife go to male strip clubs where the naked men rub their ample cocks in her face, down her chest, and between her legs?
    If so that would be really awesome!

  9. I’ve gone to strip clubs off and on for 28 years and have been married for 26 years. My wife does not mind that I go. I’ve gotten to know several of the girls as people and found out that several of them are single moms just trying to survive financially.

    I like the clubs because it is a fantasy land escape. I’ve seen plenty and very often very good looking women who are just doing their job for the night. However, I think I could tell who was really into stripping. Those are the ones that I pick for table dances or lap dances in the VIP room.

    I often get completed about how polite I am compared to several of their customers. Maybe that contributes to my getting such nice lap dances in the VIP room. As in my 20ties, 30ties, 40ties and now in my 50ties, I love to have a lap dance in the VIP room from a female stripper who rubs her ample and sometimes more than ample breasts on my face, down my chest and between my legs.

  10. Great, strip clubs: where men go to pay women to look and act as sexual for as long as possible… but not to have sex with them. In other words, they’re the commercial embodiments of all the worst 50’s era stereotypes about heterosexual men’s and women’s libidos. Extra credit? Bouncers and, behind them, ordinary and vice police stand in for controlling fathers, brothers, and boyfriends making sure that the customers keep their hands off the “merchandise.”

    Almost everyone I know who, like Anathema, above, has worked as a stripper has said it was generally good, hard, well-paying work with generally smart, quirky co-workers so I can see why people would be into that side of the bar. What I don’t get so much is why people would pay to watch.

    What two (or, why not, more) people do together when they’re planning to actually have sex is entirely different: dancing and teasing each other is cool foreplay. (Very much so! And by the way, teasing can go both ways!)

    And sure, like Amanda you can go to a club with a partner who’s also into it, and sail home together just crazy with lust and inspiration! But… but… but… since most people don’t go with partners, and since (despite occasional lapses) stripping doesn’t end in sex… stripping *isn’t* foreplay! So thanks… sincere thanks since there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with dancing naked… but no thanks. I’d way rather *not* pay and have sex with a partner than pay, and pay, to *not* have sex with a stripper. 🙂


  11. I was actually having a fair bit of fun when I was a stripper. I enjoyed dancing, and hanging out with a bunch of smart, quirky, sexy women. The customers? Some were tedious, some were sad, some were drunk and awful, but many were decent guys who didn’t have any other place in their lives where they could interact with hot women. It’s not like it was social work or anything, but it wasn’t the worst way to bring home a grand in tax-free cash every night, either.

  12. What about women’s opinions? I personally enjoy strip clubs…if done well, they’re so removed from reality, such a fantasy, that it can be an extremely erotic activity to enjoy with a lover. You definitely need a certain level of intimacy, adventure and, most importantly, trust to enjoy it, but with the right guy, it can really spice up a sex life.

  13. I’m definitely on board here with the general consensus. I’ve been to 4 clubs in 20 years, and one of those was by accident. I bailed on the other 3 ASAP (they were for birthday parties). Every time, I felt embarrassed and apologetic and who needs to pay for that? I’ve met a couple of dancers IRL and they seemed to think that the patrons were the ones being exploited, although they appreciated the money.

  14. Strip clubs are dumb. Waste of money. Not that I’m into hookers, but if I were going to pay for a sexual thrill, I’d want to actually get off.

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