Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Throwback: Why Do Women Go to Strip Clubs?



Being a stripper is possibly one of the most demeaning jobs that a woman could have. You'd have to step out into an arena full of salivating men who view you as a headless body. You're required to strip down to nothingness--skin and dignity--and bare your naked body and all of its secrets for crumbled, dirty dollars from men who probably would be afraid to approach you in a different environment. You're nothing more than an object. It's got to be a mentally taxing profession...

Yet most of the women I know have been to, or want to visit, strip clubs. Some have even told me that it was always a fantasy of theirs to dance in a club, if only for one night.

I personally don't frequent strip clubs, but I do go to them if I'm out of town and a group of friends are going. Under those circumstances I see it as more of a social event and not an event in and of itself. Going to strip clubs is essentially a way to pay for attention from a woman, and to me, if it's not sincere attention it does nothing for me.

I've heard that some strippers get a high off of stripping because they feel that it's one of the few times in life that they felt that they could have complete control over any man that walked through the door. In a twisted way, it seems like some strippers view their profession as militant feminism--to use their bodies to control and break men financially. Now they can add their own gender to that equation.

I've been to my share of gentlemen's clubs, and it amazes me at the number of straight women that attend them. I visited a club in Atlanta once where about 25% of the patrons were women. I've even visited a strip club with a group of very straight, professional female friends. They told me that they liked going because they think the female body is beautiful and they always fantasized about being strippers. A couple of them have even taken stripper aerobics classes.

Could it be that women just want to see what the big deal is about? Do they want to destroy our dirty little secret? Or perhaps they just want to get a few ideas from the pros to take back home to their men.

Whatever the case may be, women are frequenting strip clubs more than ever. No longer is it a vestige for men only. I'm not entirely sure what women's motivations are, but writer Ian Brown gives a good explanation of why men go. In an essay from What I Meant to Say: The Private Lives of Men, Brown breaks his experience down like this:

"I went to the club to bring lust into a more honorable place in my life, to normalize my desire, to make it less of a big deal. For a man, looking is part of his education. It's one way he learns the difference between what he wants and what he can have; or between what he thinks he wants, is supposed to want and what he actually needs."

I think that's a pretty good assessment. Does someone care to explain the other side's reasoning?

32 comments:

beautifullife00 said...

Power- when we look into the lives of strippers we find that many (not all) of them come from broken homes, fatherless homes, and experienced abuse and rape. It's just a mask to appear strong. These women are controlled by the strip club owners who pimp them. A lapdance is not power because her bills depend on getting money from these men. If he didn't tip or pay, she wouldn't eat. So who really has the power?

Women in strip clubs...A guy I know who lives in Atlanta told me that women are so nervous about the high rate of down low brothers in ATL that they are going to strip clubs to find men because they feel they have a better chance of meeting a straight man in a strip club. He goes to the strip club not to see the strippers, but to meet women. I thought that was both funny and sad. I'm praying for him and for women who feel that's the best place to meet a man.

Brandon said...

Wooow... that's interesting. So the strip club is the spot for singles in ATL? Crazy, but I believe it.

As far as the power thing goes, you make a great point about the men paying the money really hold the power. But it definately goes both ways. I've been with guys who left the strip club BROKE after getting hypnotized by the fake attention. Once the money was gone, the attention left, and my boys would be standing there with no shoes and a piece of twine holding up their pants. Seduction can be pretty powerful.

Opinionated Diva said...

I just can't believe that Atl is so bad that straight women are going to strip clubs to meet what they hope are straight men...that's BS.

Are they not watching the "dancers"? Giving them money? Getting lapdances too?

I think they go for the same reason straight men go, because they like the show and they like the attention from these half naked women.

I read this book once about a guy who kind of forced his girl (he didn't have to try too hard) into getting a lapdance from a woman, so he could watch. She was so turned on, she eventually left his ass for a woman.

JustMeWriting said...

Hi Brandon (thanks for coming to my page). This is a good post and one that probably would have had a different answer some years ago, but NOW, I think some women go to strip clubs because they like looking at women as much as the men there. "Bisexuality" has become "cool" in today's society.

I'd say there's another percentage of women frequenting these places to 'appear' cool, lol. Women have come to know that most men love a women who can be 'down for whatever' a homie, lover, friend (in honor or R.K. lol)...so they want them to feel comfortable knowing...'hey boo, I can kick it where you kick it.'(and I'm talking for single women giving that message to the men there too) That's just a bunch of bull...bottom line there are some issues involved in either case.

I also agree with the power aspect of beautifullife00's comment.

Gene said...

I think any woman who thinks using her body is empowerment has a very twisted view of feminism. The philosophy that a woman's strength is in her physical aesthetics is rooted in sexist ideology!

*shaking my head*

Andrew The Asshole said...

Shake that ass girl while I make it RAIN.... I'm not in love with no stripper but we should support all these young ladies trying to pay their way through school. Join me in creating the

United Stripper College Foundation - today's stripper will be tommorrow's teacher.

chairman said...

I think all of you made some valid points so I'll start from the top...

Life: I'm never going to the ATL if I have to go to the strip to meet a respectable lady!!

P.U.S.S.Y. and the seduction that comes with it does have power over men. This power extends the walls of the strip club... For years if 2 women of equal qualifications were up for a promotion the better looking one usually will get it. They get to take longer lunches, flirt with professors for better grades etc.

Of course at the end of the day men strive for power money and fame all to have more control over women stripper or not.

So who really has the power?

chairman said...

Diva: speaking of women liking women Have you heard the new song "My girl has a girlfriend"

Andrew The Asshole said...

JustMe: "Bi-Sexual" women are very cool so when are we going to hang out at the strip club together?

chairman said...

Andrew The AssHole: That is so true that they all seem to have the same MO: I'm taking care of my little sister and putting myself through college.

United Stripper College Foundation That's some funny stuff!!!

Saun said...

Plain and simple, women go to strip clubs because that is where the men are. The average club night is predominately women. The average strip club night is predominately men. Women will go anywhere they know there are men even if they may not enjoy it. Strip clubs, football games, basketball games, fight parties, etc.

Anonymous said...

What woman in her right man wants a man that supports the degredation of women? I mean if you go to the hoe stroll, I'm sure you'll find men - pimps AND Johns! But are those the mofos you want?! Women, we got to do better!

Andrew The Asshole said...

Don't hate on women...they just tryin to get their nut too quit hating...ITS NOT SEXY!!!

Sojourner G said...

Bruh, I don't know why women go. I'VE actually never gone to one. But if I had to guess, I'd say women just feel differently about the implications.

No self respecting guy I know would go to see a Chippendale's show ya know?

At the same time, if a couple of partners HAD to share a hotel room, they'd sleep on the floor before sharing the bed. Women on the other hand, will pile in and not think twice.

Interestingly enough, why do women have stalls at the gym, while guys have open showers?

Uh...nevermind.

Brandon said...

I think it's just that women are more open with their sexuality than men. Just like sojourner said, you won't catch a straight man at a male strip club, but most women have NO PROBLEM admitting that they find other women attractive. It's just a fundamental difference between the sexes.

With society becoming more liberal, women are just now in a position to act on their urges and not be judged like back in the day.

YAZMAR said...

I also agree that more women are bisexual which is Y they frequent strip clubs....
The female that swears she's straight is usually the one you find up in the strip club or online trying to get down with a women

Saun said...

Simply put straight women go to the strip club cause that is where the (straight) men are. It's a big trend in Atlanta.

Carah H. said...

This article and the subsequent responses has definitely been amusing. Good discussion!

I'm a straight woman who like to hit up the strip club from time to time -- especially if I'm in ATL. It's not as deep as some make it seem. As empowered as I am as a woman, I don't think about how demeaning it is. I mean they CHOOSE to strip, just like I CHOOSE to work at an office. Even if I was against it, my opinion wouldn't deter thousands of women (and men) who make a living off of it.

Spending the evening at the strip club is a fun, social activity enjoyed with friends -- just like going roller skating, bowling or club-hopping.

It's a great place to simply have a good time. You can learn dance moves (low key) and get ideas for swimsuits and hairstyles. The music is great and the DJ is usually hilarious. Anytime drinking is involved usually makes for a light, carefree time. And of course, free drinks are usually flowing, courtesy of male attendees, since they're already spending $$$ freely and making it rain. But that's not my goal or my expectation when I go.

LOL about singles going there to meet other singles. I never thought about that, but I guess it makes sense.

Do I have a secret desire to be a stripper? Nah. I can't make it clap -- I don't have a desire to and I really don't have the time to figure it out, among other things.

The whole strip club phenomena is not that serious for me. If it rubs you the wrong way, don't go. If you enjoy it, cheers.

Stella said...

As a stripper, I must say that I am disappointed. I'm 20, I own my own house (no mortgage) and I'm paying my own way through school. And I did all this from working at a strip club. What's so degrading about that? Yes, some men drool, but I also have regulars that come in just to talk to me. They are usually traveling businessmen in a new town or very busy, prominent local men in search of someone to vent to.

In fact, the only part about being a stripper that i find degrading is reading things like this filth:

Being a stripper is possibly one of the most demeaning jobs that a woman could have. You'd have to step out into an arena full of salivating men who view you as a headless body. You're required to strip down to nothingness--skin and dignity--and bare your naked body and all of its secrets for crumbled, dirty dollars from men who probably would be afraid to approach you in a different environment. You're nothing more than an object.

I have never felt like an object. As far as I can tell, this article was written by a man. So I can't understand how he would have the faintest idea what it's like to be a stripper, much less the gall to insult an entire profession.

(And in answer to your question, women come in for very different reasons. Some come to find out what all the fuss is about, some tag along with guy friends, and sometimes couples come in. Getting a couple's lapdance is really fun for both partners.)

StellaTheStripper@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

My wife is a stripper. I had never been to a club before, basically straight laced and professional. I was visiting a nearby city and asked the hotel for a safe bar..a taxi took me to a club. I walked in, and of course as the job demands, my wife was right on me. Anyway...my marriage is good but yes, these women will strip you financially more than you strip them. Just last week she walked in with $1400.00 in five hours (no sex) from one older man. She said she felt bad but she knew another girl would get the cash so she took it. The guy was enamored by her and kept offering trips to Mazatlan, etc. to her (she's 26 but really small and petite) and kept flipping hundreds at her claiming "money is nothing." When her shift ended at 9:00PM he tried to get her to leave and of course she didn't. She said he looked sick as he walked her out of the door and prodded her for some time alone. Yes, she has a conscience, but also wears a ring on her finger so the guy knew what he was getting into.

You folks have it right, these girls are often left no other options due to abandonment by mothers (my wife) no fathers (my wife) and little education or skills (my wife). Yes, most will sale sex, but the best looking will only do so to the high end guys; unfortunately my wife engaged in that before too. Their life style becomes a trap; cash on hand, an average of $7000.00 a month, eating out all of the time, high end clothes, etc. Unfortunately, they all end out sucking c.... and in the streets as they become less desirable.

The men I observe treat these girls like meat; slap their asses, bubble with glee at every kiss of a nipple or brief touch of a vagina..it's sick!

My advice; stay the hell away from the clubs and the strippers. From the inside I can tell you most are hung up on themselves, are bisexual or lesbian, and don’t like sex; they live it every day and are frigid as hell at home. It’s a fantasy and a mirage, stay the hell away.

Anonymous said...

You will probably never find a stripper who is going to pass a litmus test for good mental health. It can be a romantic notion to talk about control and power, but remember more often than not people do what they do because it is what they know. Treated like crap by your mommy or daddy? It WILL have a consequence. If you add economic issues into the mix, you have a model for the sex industry.

Keep in mind also, that women tend not to simply leap out of the world and onto the pole. As with so many things that make us wonder "what the ****", this all starts with small steps. Maybe the only good attention a women (or as a girl) gets is because she's pretty. Self esteem gets linked unhealthfully to the praise, leads to risky behavior... given the stats on the number of women who are raped or sexually abused, it isn't a wonder that there are so many strippers. As for straight women in strip clubs, it is either going to be a matter of familiarity in a cultural setting, or they're bi/gay. Sometimes a cigar is a cigar after all, and when I see someone watching a sex show, the money isn't BAD that they are there for something other than the smoky ambiance and overpriced jello shots. People lie, they get hurt, and since it sounds better to say "I love sex" or "I feel powerful" instead of "I'm a bird with a broken wing" or "I was molested and my sense of self is so crushed and warped..."... hence the "mystique".

This isn't a moral issue, it's just human nature. If you're willing to let drunken strangers (most of whom according to bell curve won't be attractive to you) stuff bills into your thong, you have issues. Stupidity, the money, opportunity... none of that gets you over the precipice unless drugs or other damage is present.

As for people who go to a strip bar, again, not a moral issue. I personally find the experience unpleasant and transparent. I can't help but look at the pathetic scene... women pretending to be aroused by the flash of some bills... and not want to be in it as a consumer. It's one thing to accept that damaged people will hurt themselves whether I'm there or not, but it simply feels wrong to be a part of it.

As another mentioned, these women are treated like s**t in the end... and the shelf life of a stripper isn't long... and the kind of guys who enjoy strip clubs usually seem to be emotionally retarded. Only an idiot is fooled by purchased affections, and if you're just looking for a body to sc**w, then even sleeping around is a better option. No... Guys go to strip bars for the same reason that they fish in ponds... easy, guaranteed results without effort, capacity, or skill on their part.

Women going to a strip bar are either bi, gay, along for the ride, curious, or have major issues. Need some insight? Guys, imagine goin out with the girls to a MALE strip club. Will a straight guy with no issues really ENJOY paying 10 bucks for a beer while he looks at some franks and beans? Please. Women always get treated like shit, and frankly a women going to a strip bar = Stockholm Syndrome on a social scale.

Sophia said...

It sounds like most of the people here have only seen a strip club on a t.v. show, or in some noir type detective movie.

Not all strip clubs are populated by loose women from broken homes. Some strippers come from regular homes and just need a little extra money. Few of those women treat stripping as a full time career, and only use it as a temporary job to make money.

And what exactly is wrong with people visiting a strip club to give their hard earned dollars to see these women naked. These women aren't being depreciated at all. They are glorified in movies and literature and are a secret form of inspiration for some people.

The real shame comes from people who criticize them for having such a job. If a stripper wasn't such a controversial job, there wouldn't be so much shame on the stripper's part.

It also seems that whenever women take their clothes off, everyone gets angry. Why is it that it is completely okay, even comical, for a man to strip down naked and it's not okay for a woman to do so? If everyone here is so for woman's rights, then why not let these women continue to dance and earn money without harassment.

I don't see how some people here can't understand why a woman would want to go to a strip club. Some women are attracted to watching naked women dance. Hence, lesbianism. I think that the real sexism here is the uproar over women attending female strip clubs. Women should be able to enjoy watching naked women dance, just as much as any man can. Where else can they go to see such a thing? An allocated female only strip club?

What about gay men attending male strip clubs? I don't see hundreds of articles about that.

By the way, I'm going to the strip club tonight, because I can and not because it's trendy to do so. I couldn't care less about what people think, I'm enjoying myself and those lovely ladies can pay their bills.

Anonymous said...

I know I am late on this but a lot of single straight women go for the men. How else will they know who can afford to make it rain endless bricks of ones without even putting a dent in their wallets.

As much as some people like to believe that women go because they are secretly turned on or in some kind of way gay n such n such. Nothing turns a woman on more than a man who has money to blow and don't mind spending it.

All women are attracted to men with money. Some just let it be known and some pretend that they don't care.

Anonymous said...

For those air head women who lack critcal thinking skills posting comments and proving what certain men said to be true. You should really be ashamed. The bottom line is no self respecting woman in her right mind is going to the strip club. If you support women being demeaned then you might as well get on the stage and strip too. No straight women wants to see another woman naked. Men who have respect for women dont want their female family members in the strip club. The strip club is pretty much a brothel. And its women like you who make the standards so low for women like me. Ill be damned if I go to a strip club. For what? Nothing there for me and if thats the ebst place to meet a man then I will have to die single.

Anonymous said...

The strippers I knw do have very low self esteem and were treatedly badly at home as children. Of course that is the case for all strippers but it's the majority. The men I knw tht go to strip clubs do have money but they are emotionallu retarded and have a minimum amount of respect for women and themselves.

Stella said...

Why don't you take some advice from a stripper... like me?
I just love how all these men get so heated over women's rights. If it bothers you so badly, then just don't go. Everyone's convinced that every girl on the stage is on crack, with 5 kids at home and no daddy, 15 minutes from being out on the street sucking d*** for money. You are truly pathetic.
Okay, I can see that the girls become accustomed to the money. But that's only if you let it, and only if you think your looks are going to last forever.
I stripped for three years. Because of that, I have a house. I have a career. I took my money from the strip club and got a degree with it. And you know what? Not once did I feel degraded...until I stumbled upon this article. Maybe you need to get off your soap box and ask a stripper how her day was, instead of going on about how degrading her job is. I've worked at several low-paying jobs (both before and while dancing). I worked as a janitor, cleaning movie theaters at night. Now THAT was degrading. I worked at Cracker Barrel, running to get people's food and being berated whenever a cook got the wrong order. That, too, was more degrading. Even my current job is more degrading. Strippers do not really have to answer to anyone. If a guy at one table is a jerk, you can tell him so, and then move on. In other jobs, you'd get fired. You have to sit there and listen, apologizing profusely. Really, I'd rather be back at the club now, but my husband would be concerned, because he, like the rest of you idiots, thinks it's demeaning.

And if you think I'm just some strip club oddity, let me tell you about some other women I've worked with.

Tessa - worked to go to college, because she didn't have any scholarships. She spoke with perfect grammar, and was polite. No drugs, no bad childhood, no prostitution.

Taylor - Still lived with her parents. Came from a country background. Stripped so she could support her dream, rodeo of all things.

Kayla - A woman who came into the club I worked. Had a great conversation. She used to work at a strip club, and her money went to opening her own franchise. I actually worked for her for about six months. She actually went on stage one night, just for old time's sake, and had a blast.

Anonymous said...

you dudes are idiots. "strippers have low self esteem and were treated badly as children". Way to stereotype. I bet you think all black people smoke crack.

Anonymous said...

It depends on the person and the situation. SOME women are runaways or are kicked out of their homes. SOME women are tricked and sold into sexual slavery. Both of which are horrible, and it's important to help those women.
But not what we are talking about.
What we are talking about here are women who make the CHOICE to strip or dance in bars which is not the same thing as prostitution.

Women are people and some people are exhibitionists. Just as some people, women too, are voyeurs. Some women, just like male dancers, enjoy the attention, and for some it is an actual turn-on.

I am a lesbian and I enjoy going to go-go bars. The first woman I had sex with, and fell in love with, was a go-go dancer. It gave me great pleasure to watch her dance. She is very talented. There are many erotic dances that are seen as more artistic, and many times strippers and go go dancer dont get credit for their talents. Why do people think it's so shameful to want to turn people on? I was aroused watching the woman I love dance, what is the harm in that?

To the person who said you might as well just get up and strip, I disagree. I am not an exhibitionist for one so I would not be comfortable. Second I am not bisexual I am lesbian so I would not want male attention. However, I do not mind dancing sexy for the woman I love in private. And she has certainly tried to get me up on stage with her lol! But I refused.

Let strippers and dancers alone. If you want to help someone, help the runaways, the abused, the ones smuggled from their countries into servitude. They are the ones who truly need help.

Melany said...
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Melany said...
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Melany said...

Personally i think you all pose interesting opinions and I find myself conflicted.
Im still young(18) and as far as i know im straight, though find it arousing to watch naked women.
What i do find degrading is the over all objectification of women within society, saying that what makes us beautiful is this generalized notion of emaciated bodies with huge breasts and immaculate features.
How millions of sane women are willing to subject themselves to starvation and voluntarily go under the knife to achieve this.
The ideology that this is what men want though throughout time mens fantasy has changed based upon societies influences, and now to say you like small tits and a healthy fertile body is to be shamed.
This notion of an unreal female hybrid as being the sex symbol has been influenced upon both men and women to be excepted. resulting in a woman's appearance to be seen as her best asset, when they disappear so too dose she-some exceptions- and a mans brain to be his best asset.

- the beauty myth by naomi wolf- is a confronting and necessary read particularity for young girls on such issues.
Women focus so much on there appearance and of being sexy rather than striving for intellectual recognition. I think that the sex industry is exceedingly oppressive and holistically degrading and objectifying. There impressions conforming a sort or neurosis and narcissistic tendencies
I dont think the issue is women striping off as a profession IF THEY CHOOSE 2

Anonymous said...

AIam a dancer myself and iv been dancing for 5 years and I absolutely love my job bc I love people I love the passion of dancing and being nude I have 4 children that's why I started dancing to give them what the needed and so they'd never have to want for something bc when I got pregnant I promised myself I would do what a real mom or dads supose to do I would do anything to make sure they are taking care of I don't do drugs I don't turn tricks and my point on the whole thing about women comming to a strip club they are some awesome women that I have as customers but the majority come inn there to judge and spit opinions out like someone ask them but I feel bad for them bc theyr men talk them into it and they come to be petty bc they don't trust theyr men and they are that insecure and women that do that listen that's our job how would you like it if we was able to tell you payroll guy to not pay you or if I came to your job talking smack about you think about it seriouslly before you leave a negative remark seriouslly who cares what we do with our pay day nobody sets and says for example well I don't think we should give her a. Paycheck she's a drunk I know shell spend her money on beer if you work your butt off at any job unless your a volunteer you get paid and I promise for y'all guys that seem tothink let's go to a strip club for a free show .that's pathetic that's our body that's our job that how we make it and all u morons that come inn a STRIP club looking for a girlfriend its a fantasy that's the real purpose of a strip club and to the girl that says when u think of a dancer you think of a cracked out looking girl honey seriously iam 5.9 125 blonde hair crystal blue eyes beautiful complection tanned 36dd 24 36 and shaped like a hour glass I'm built and take care of my body and I have fake boobs and have had plastic surgery on my poo nanny so no not every stripper looks nasty why are women so insecure