The other day, I was at a barbecue with Paul’s current and former coworkers. Paul wasn’t there because he was at his friend’s bachelor party. Rightly assuming that a strip club was involved in said bachelor party, and knowing that I’m not a fan of strip clubs, our pals teased me. “Paul probably has another lady on his lap right now!” “How many nipple tassels do you think he’s flicked by this point?” And while I didn’t intend it to, this sparked an intense, though friendly, conversation with nearly all the attendees at the barbecue, including the ones I just met.
My uncensored feeling that has solicited many eye rolls (and I’m sure will garner some fantastic comments below): I’m not comfortable with my husband spending our money to go somewhere with the sole purpose of watching topless women dance. If Paul absolutely loved going to strip clubs and could articulate his passion for it, that’d be one thing, but he’s not into it, either. So I have zero reason to support Paul going to strip clubs.
Men at the barbecue were shocked by my stance. They couldn’t believe that Paul’s own bachelor party didn’t involve a strip club (Paul said it didn’t, and I trust him emphatically). “It’s a ritual for bachelor parties! It’s one last night as a single man!” they argued.
Guys’ last night as single men is the day before they commit to being exclusive with their girlfriends–not the day before they exchange wedding vows. I don’t consider going to strip clubs to be cheating, but I don’t see why it’s a prerequisite to getting married. It’s an unpopular opinion, but I don’t think a guy should commit to a woman who’s anti-strip club if he wouldn’t be happy seeing more ladyparts in person than just hers for the rest of his life. If a girlfriend/fiancee/wife is fine with her guy ogling strippers, then fine, see all the boobies you want. But if the love of your life doesn’t feel hunky-dory about dancing naked women, respect that.
Why do I care, the guys at the barbecue wondered. It’s not because I think Paul’s going to fall in love and leave me for a stripper. But I’d be lying if I said it has nothing to do with insecurities about my body. Sure, Paul adores it, chub and all, but the thought of him lusting after a big-breasted, flat-stomached blonde woman (aka my exact opposite) makes me sad. He’d be sad, too, if some ripped, hairless dude (aka Paul’s exact opposite) was turning me on.
That’s not to say men and women can’t be turned on by anything but their spouses. It happens. We’re human. But why go somewhere where people are literally banking on you getting aroused by them?
Would I end my marriage if Paul went to a strip club? Of course not. But while I could get over him just looking, other things that happen at strip clubs wouldn’t sit right with me. I was floored that the male barbecue attendants think it’s okay for married men at strip clubs to touch the strippers’ bare breasts. So I asked, “You’d all be cool with your girlfriends’ touching a stripper’s junk?”
“That’s not the same!” a few yelled in unison.
Hello, double standard!
Just because men don’t have parts up top that polite society mandates be covered doesn’t mean penises are more sacred than breasts. I explained that a random person grabbing my boob is just as violating to me as being touched downstairs.
“Do you get mad when Paul hugs other girls?” a woman at the barbecue retorted. “He’s feeling their boobs,” she pointed out.
It’s about intent. When Paul hugs his female friends, he’s not doing it for the sensation of breasts against his chest. When guys touch strippers’ boobs, there’s something sexual behind that, is there not?
I wish I didn’t care. It’d be much easier that way. But I do. And Paul’s known I do since it came up when we were younger. Everyone has things they’d prefer their spouse doesn’t do. This is mine.
Do you care if your guy goes to see strippers? Do you like strippers? (I was traumatized by one dressed as a pizza delivery boy at my 18th birthday party, so I’m not a fan!)
P.S. How awesome is that Barbie-doll strip club photo I found?!
More Marriage Quandaries
Is This the Strangest Decision You Can Make as Newlyweds?
The 30th Birthday Party Couple Conundrum
Do Health Insurers Hate Childless Married People?
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