Bachelor party lap dance
April 16, 2010 5:05 AM   Subscribe

My guy is going to a bachelor's party. Help me stop feeling unhappy about it?

Our friends are getting married, and a bachelor's party has been arranged by the best man. The only details I know are that it will involve a strip club and drinking, which I imagine are pretty normal bachelor party activities. Typically, neither strip clubs nor drinking are my guy's thing, but I definitely got the vibe when he brought it up that he'd like to go as he views this entire wedding experience as an important event (first wedding for his circle of friends).

I don't mind my guy watching porn or going to a strip club or a burlesque show and watching nudity on stage. After considering it a bit, I'm also okay with him tipping a dancer on stage and getting the extra "attention" for his money. I am really not feeling okay about him getting a lap dance, though. I'd like to think I'm open-minded about these things, but I'm having a hard time viewing a dancer grinding all over him as anything but almost-cheating.

I'm not really sure how to get myself over the issue. Since it's not actual cheating, I don't feel like I'm in a position to tell him he "can't" go or get a lap dance, and even just saying it would make me unhappy feels a little bit manipulative. What can I do for myself so I can stop thinking about this? Or come to terms with it? Am I out of line in my thinking?

And since I realize I didn't mention before, I'm female, we're in our mid-20s, and it's a monogamous, long-term relationship. Anon because I'd rather this little piece of neuroticism not be tied to my real identity.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (91 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
You don't want naked women sitting on his lap and behaving sexually. That seems reasonable to me. I would tell him that you would rather he not get a lap dance. That is a reasonable request and no decent guy would refuse it.
posted by DWRoelands at 5:24 AM on April 16, 2010 [33 favorites]


He is unlikely to get a lap dance. They do cost extra (not sure how much), and I would think that most bachelor party guests would rather spend the money on booze. Maybe the guys would chip in to get a lap dance for the groom, but not for a lowly groomsman/friend.

If it helps, just think of a lap dance as regular stripping in extreme close-up. Because basically, that's what it is.

And given that your guy is not into these things normally, I doubt it will be the kind of experience you fear. It's just a novelty. He'll be more into having fun with his buddies, and the strippers will just be eye candy.
posted by wwartorff at 5:25 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't assume, first of all, that your guy would even be considering getting a lap dance. The groom-to-be is the guest of honor here, so if anyone gets that kind of special attention, it would be him.

Secondly, you're in a long-term monogamous relationship. Your partner knows that cheating is off-limits. I don't think it's out of line to say, "I don't really know what goes on at bachelor's parties, but I'd feel uncomfortable with lap dances. That feels like cheating to me." That lets him know his boundaries. I don't see a problem with being clear with that.

And finally: relax. Your partner has been tempted before. I'm sure you have, too. He is perfectly able to say "No" when the time comes if something is in danger of crossing the line.

My experience with bachelor parties is that people generally act in character. If someone is going to cheat, it's an excuse to cheat. If someone is not the cheating kind, a bachelor party won't push him over the edge. When my partner's gone to these, I haven't had a qualm. Knowing who was going with him, I could tell you ahead of time which of these guys might get crazy. If you think about your guy and his friends, you probably could, too.
posted by misha at 5:32 AM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Since it's not actual cheating, I don't feel like I'm in a position to tell him he "can't" go or get a lap dance, and even just saying it would make me unhappy feels a little bit manipulative.

There isn't some externally-defined standard of what constitutes cheating that you both have to go by here. It's better to think of it as going past the acceptable boundaries that you've agreed on with him.

So you're right that you're not in a position to tell him he can't do certain things, but neither is he in a position to tell you that he can. It's a negotiation, and you have to sit down and work out with him what you both find acceptable and what you don't. When you do that, start by saying how you feel, rather than what you want him to do or not do. Then it's not you telling him what the rules are, it's the two of you working together to establish the rules.

Where it becomes a problem is if you either can't agree on the boundaries, or one of you goes beyond them. But you've got to try to set them first, specifically for yourselves, rather than assume it's common knowledge what they are for everyone. You might find you feel a lot better about the whole thing by doing that.

Also, talk to him about how he feels about this whole event/experience. I know that when I went to a strip club under similar circumstances, it wasn't a particular interesting experience. If it's not his thing, maybe he feels similarly and is just going to be sociable.
posted by FishBike at 5:33 AM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hmm. Well, think of it like this: Would you be jealous if he were going to get a massage at a spa? Probably not, right? Because there's no real intimacy about the touching that happens, it is just business.

Well, let me assure you, the ladies who work at a strip club are there for the money, period. There is no emotional component; they are at work. They have no desire to be with your guy, it's all just part of a show, and there are usually very strict rules about how far any touching can go.

I can see how it can be threatening, but the best way I can describe it is that a strip club is more about spending an evening in an exciting environment and feeling desired by women (who doesn't like to feel attractive?... even if it is an illusion), and less about actually wanting to have sex with the women there.
posted by Menthol at 5:36 AM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


Do you actually know if he's going to get a lapdance? He may not have anything specific in mind, so you may be over thinking things. Either way, you should talk to him about it, express how you're feeling and at least get it off your chest. Tell him that you realize that it's not necessarily cheating, but that you kinda feel that it is, that you love him and love having sex with him and don't want to do anything remotely sexual with anyone else and you hope he feels the same.

It's not a matter of you trying to be manipulative or controlling, just a realization on your part that there's line you prefer he not cross. Now that you realize that, you really need to articulate it to him, so he understands that there is line and what it is.

And before he goes to the party? Give him a lap dance of your own, one he won't forget.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:36 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, from my experience in strip clubs, the only people getting lap dances are:
1) Skeezy guys, which I assume he isn't.
2) Guys who legitimately are into strip clubs, which you say he isn't.
3) Grooms-to-be / centres of big events
4) Girls.

I think it's unlikely he'll be planning on getting one at all. And more to the point, I know that I wouldn't be offended at all at hearing your concerns. As everyone said above, it's a negotiation as to what's acceptable. If this isn't his thing, he shouldn't have any problem going along with your wishes.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:38 AM on April 16, 2010


I don't exactly have a lot of experience with strip clubs but I do know that lap dances are optional and your fiance may not want one, especially if he's there with all his friends and doesn't drink much. They also aren't as "intimate" as you may think they are.

You imagination may also be getting a little carried away about the extra "attention" you think your guy is likely to get from tipping a dancer. It'll earn him a closer look at her assets, but he can see far more erotic sights on his computer. A computer with an Internet connection is probably a greater threat to a relationship than an occasional trip to a strip club.
posted by 14580 at 5:39 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd probably tackle it thusly (because I'm a passive person). Sit him down for a talk "I'm cool with the party, but I'd prefer no lap dances. Are you ok with that?". Post-talk pull out a wad of 1's and say "Have fun [insert peck on cheek]".

This shows you're ok with the party, just not this aspect of strip clubs. Plus, unless he's a robot, he'll probably be pulling out those 1's and he'll remember where they're from and the cool lady waiting for him at home.
posted by syntheticfaith at 5:44 AM on April 16, 2010 [14 favorites]


IF its not his thing then why is his best man doing it? For my bachelor part yso to speak we are going to a yankee game then dinner. HE knows I am not a stip club guy and planned this knowing that.

IF your fiance is worth getting married to then he wont do anything that he shouldnt be doing.
posted by majortom1981 at 5:48 AM on April 16, 2010


Okay, a bit of dissenting opinion here.

This is important to your guy. He has a strong fraternal connection to his friends. This is a modern day fraternal rite of passage, like it or not. (Yes, it's not for everyone, but it is for him.)

* He's not going to leave you for a stripper.
* He's committed to you.
* Interfering with this will cause much more damage both long term and short term and will do nothing to assuage your (let's be honest) very unlikely fears.

Are you projecting emotional or sexual fears upon him? Where do these feelings come from.

I'd recommend that you cowgirl up, slap him on the ass and tell him to have a good time. You've got a night off, why not take advantage of it? Go visit your parents or friends or something. Do something, don't just sit and fret about it.
posted by unixrat at 5:53 AM on April 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


I'm sorry, I do not believe we have to "cowgirl up" to anything that makes us that uncomfortable. Definitely talk to him about it. I feel the same way about lap dances that you do and so when my ex was invited to two batchelor parties I told him I was not happy about the idea. I found out that he didn't really like lap dances anyway. So, the first time he just said okay to no lap dances. The second time I made a deal with him. If he agreed to look but not touch, I would let him teach me Python. Apparently he really wanted to teach me how to program and jumped at the chance to make it happen.

note: neither of these event are the reason he is my ex.
posted by Nolechick11 at 6:01 AM on April 16, 2010 [22 favorites]


Just say, "Honey, I want you to have a good time, but, if you don't mind, I would feel pretty uncomfortable with you getting a lap dance. If you *could* refrain from that, I would be really grateful and happy. I want you to have a great time, though! I just don't feel comfortable about the lap dance."

It'll be fine. Seriously, this is just one of those long term couple conversations that you have sometimes; letting the other person know where you would prefer the limits. If you have a relationship of mutual respect and the limit is reasonable (as it is in this case, I feel), this should be a pretty smooth conversation. :)
posted by smoke at 6:01 AM on April 16, 2010


1st: As someone who spent a few years working at and managing gentlemen's clubs, let me start by saying that American dancers are NOT sex workers.

2nd: Jealousy can be normal, but again...dancers aren't there to pick up guys. They're there to take the guy's money.

3rd: It is highly unlikely that anyone *but* the groom will get a lap dance, because odds are that the groomsmen will band together and buy him lap dances. Lap dances aren't free. Once upon a time, they averaged about $20 per song, plus tip...I'm not sure what prevailing rate is now.

4th: In all but a few jurisdictions in the U.S., there is no touching in a lap dance. The dancer doesn't actually squirm all over the client, as it is illegal almost everywhere for them to do so. Depending on your local laws, dancers must stay from 6" to 24" away from the client at all time.

I think it's ok to tell your guy that you're uncomfortable with the thought of him getting a lap dance. But I think telling him that he can't go to a traditional American male bonding ritual would be a mistake. I also think "forbidding" a lap dance is a recipe for trouble. It *is* possible that your guy's friends would think it was funny to get him a lap dance if they knew you'd forbidden it...and then you put him in a really weird place where to "obey" you, he would be teased by his friends. For years. Cause guys are like that. (At least the guys I grew up with and currently know. They're forever giving each other shit about stuff. It's some sort of alpha competition, I swear.)

I know it's going to sound strange, coming from one of the more strident feminists on Mefi, but on this occasion, I think you should tell him to have a good time, and just suck up the jealousy. There is no basis in fact for the jealousy, and it seems to me that there's no reason to put a damper on a ritual as happy and bonding as bachelor parties tend to be.

Remember, this isn't about you at all. This is about a bunch of guy friends getting together to celebrate one of their own taking a step away from the Boy circle, into the Man circle. It's harmless fun.
posted by dejah420 at 6:15 AM on April 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'm sorry, I do not believe we have to "cowgirl up" to anything that makes us that uncomfortable.

Agreed. Please don't let the peddling of raunch culture convince you that you are somehow honor bound to allow strange women to touch and grind on your partner with the intention of arousing him. Personally, I don't think physical sexual contact with another person - paid or not - is almost cheating. I think it's cheating. The above is said not to bring an argument about whether it is or is not into this thread, because that really doesn't matter. What matters is your comfort level, and the expectations and relationship rules that you and your partner establish together.

I don't think anyone has given a better answer than this, from syntheticfaith:

I'd probably tackle it thusly (because I'm a passive person). Sit him down for a talk "I'm cool with the party, but I'd prefer no lap dances. Are you ok with that?". Post-talk pull out a wad of 1's and say "Have fun [insert peck on cheek]".

That approach has the benefit of a couple of good relationship habits: honesty about your feelings, open communication, respectfully-given requests, inviting your partner to communicate his feelings on the subject, and friendliness. I don't even think it's a passive approach: I think it is assertive and honest, but respectful and kind. IMHO, you can't do better than that when talking about issues like this with a partner.

It's possible your partner disagrees with you about how verboten it is to allow strangers to touch either of you for the purpose of arousal. There are an entire wide distributions of opinions on the fact, as you see in this thread. None of them, other than yours and your partner's, matter. So please feel validated, and that you have the right to your opinion even if others here tell you its invalid, and discuss with your partner. Better to talk about it, than to leave things unsaid.
posted by bunnycup at 6:15 AM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm sorry, I do not believe we have to "cowgirl up" to anything that makes us that uncomfortable. Definitely talk to him about it.

I can't really argue that this doesn't make sense, and perfect mature adults would always do this.

However, the other side of this is that a lot of guys will hear this conversation as, "I do not trust you/I am insecure, and you cannot now go out with your friends without thinking of me the whole time and wondering if you are going to be in trouble when you get home, even if I tell you I am okay with it, because I am really not."

If it really is a big deal to you, I would have that talk. But, if it is just "kinda-sorta" bothering you, you might consider sparing him the worry over your emotional state during the party for his friend.

I'm not trying to give you guilt over it or anything, I'm just sayin', that is a possible reaction/outcome.
posted by Menthol at 6:17 AM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


No. Don't "cowgirl up" and let him do whatever unixrat believes men need to do in "this modern day fraternal rite of passage." Which, by the way, are you effing kidding me? Modern day fraternal rite of passage? Snort.

It's perfectly alright to ask him to respect your boundaries and your boundaries are that a mostly naked woman not grind down on his lap, please.

Strong fraternal connections are not built on ogling women, they're built on friendships. His not getting a lap dance is not in any way going to cripple his relationship with his buddies.
posted by lydhre at 6:18 AM on April 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


"Honey, I don't want to sound manipulative or crazy, but the idea of you getting a lap dance is really upsetting to me. I really don't have a problem with the rest of the bachelor party, but thinking that you'd get a lap dance is freaking me out. Can I convince you to skip that part of the evening?"

I agree with the posters above who say that if anybody is likely to get a lap dance it's the groom-to-be, so you are probably worried for nothing. The key to this issue to me is that you need to communicate with your boyfriend. It isn't manipulating him to let him know that it makes you uncomfortable. How is he supposed to know if you don't tell him.

What would be manipulative would be to pout and throw a fit after he got the dance if you never told him you didn't like them or forbidding him from getting the dance and threatening to withhold sex if he did.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:27 AM on April 16, 2010


Those who are coming up with elaborate arguments for why it's "not sexual" or it's like a massage are kidding themselves. A massage has genuine therapeutic value, but the whole point of a lap dance is that it's a sexual experience (and the fact that one person involved keeps all his clothes on doesn't change this). You don't want another woman sexually touching your boyfriend -- that's totally reasonable. The fact that you would be comfortable with things like him looking at porn and watching on-stage nudity suggests that you're not being overly neurotic or close-minded. If it's worrying you this much, you should honestly express your concerns to him.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:30 AM on April 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Disclaimer: Everyone is different.
I was in the same but opposite situation. I was the groomsman going to the party, my wife was staying home.
As I am not accustomed to going to those clubs, it was a very foreign experience and an eye-opener. I did not want a lap dance, and to be honest it really wasn't that much fun for me.

I will agree on the "don't worry" verdict: your mind is getting more action right now than he will get at the club.
posted by Drasher at 6:33 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I don't get the comments saying everyone will be too interested in spending the money on alcohol to spend it on lap dances. We have no way of knowing this.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:33 AM on April 16, 2010


My personal opinion, as a guy with two bachelor parties under his belt, is this:

The point is for the groom-to-be to get the attention of the strippers; other attendees who are getting lap dances for themselves always seem sleazy and are taking advantage of their friend's wedding to get a little side action on their partner that's excusable because "it's a bachelor party."

I can tell you from my experience that respectful, committed men behave differently at bachelor parties than the single guys and those who don't really aren't worth being committed to. You're completely in line to expect your man to behave like someone in a serious relationship and not someone who looks at his friend's bachelor party as a "get out of jail free" card.
posted by Hiker at 6:40 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It *is* possible that your guy's friends would think it was funny to get him a lap dance if they knew you'd forbidden it

Yeah, it depends on his friends, but at some bachelor parties I've been to, there's been dudes that buy "surprise" lap dances. Usually it's not a big deal to send it the groom's way, but drunks who think they're doing you a favor sometimes take offense easily.
posted by electroboy at 6:40 AM on April 16, 2010


You say that "Typically, neither strip clubs nor drinking are my guy's thing," which means I wouldn't really worry about it. Strip clubs (and drinking) aren't my husband's thing, and when he's had to go for a bachelor party, he just kinda goes, but he doesn't think it's very much fun. (He says strip clubs "reek of desperation.") Like your man, he likes celebrating these milestones with his friends, but taking in a basketball game with the same group would be more his speed. So he chips in for the groom's lap dance, buys a couple rounds, and sits back. I would claw someone's face off if they starting moving in my husband, but if his friends think it's hilarious to buy him a lap dance? I'd probably crack up because he'd find the experience so uncomfortable. I wouldn't be thrilled with his friends about it (and they've never done it), but it doesn't mean he wants to be with other women or he's going to cheat.

Plus, I think strip clubs are possibly the most homoerotic thing imaginable -- "Hey, straight friends! Let's all go sit in a group and get boners together while watching naked women we can neither touch nor be with, and bond over our arousal!" I think it may be the weirdest possible straight-guy bonding ritual, honestly.

I keep asking guys about that, and they keep saying to me, "Dammit, now you ruined strip clubs!" Nobody's yet given me an answer about the straight guy arousal thing, though.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:40 AM on April 16, 2010 [17 favorites]


While "cowgirl up" might not be a good way of putting it, I think unixrat's advice is very good. He's basically telling you to trust your partner. If you have issues that prevent you from doing that, then do him a favor and end your relationship. If you can't trust him because he's just not trustworthy, then do yourself a favor and end your relationship.
posted by 14580 at 6:42 AM on April 16, 2010


However, the other side of this is that a lot of guys will hear this conversation as, "I do not trust you/I am insecure, and you cannot now go out with your friends without thinking of me the whole time and wondering if you are going to be in trouble when you get home, even if I tell you I am okay with it, because I am really not."

I agree with this. Say something if you really need to, but if you trust your guy, you trust him, and you don't need to make an issue of it in this case any more than you do in everyday situations where he could choose to be unfaithful, but doesn't.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:50 AM on April 16, 2010


Anyone who is dissing the fraternal rites of passage either have never been through one or are simply outside the sphere of where this is important. If you do not interfere, he will come out the other side a happier dude. The strip club is not truly important to this, it's just a venue.

Let's see where we all agree:
* No one thinks he's going to run off with a stripper or cheat on you.
* There are specific, enforced rules of conduct inside a strip club. Enforced by gigantic bouncers who enjoy making pretzels of people.

Fully matured, complete, whole people are still able to make decisions independently. You don't think you crossed his mind when the words "strip club" were floated? Of course you did. He's not going down to the club to hang with his slacker buddy Dino and have a few brewskis while you stay home and take care of six children. This is a sea-change in his relationship with his friend and his friend's life.

Cowgirl up, as much as people malign it. This is not a trip to a strip club, this is something he wants and needs to do.

If you had a life changing experience coming up, would you want his buddies modifying his actions to mollify themselves during it? No you wouldn't. Show him some respect and he will do the same to you.
posted by unixrat at 6:53 AM on April 16, 2010


I agree that it's not your place to tell your partner what he can and cannot do. However, I disagree with the idea that it's manipulative to express your feelings about it to him.

I think it would be good, honest communication to tell him that you're comfortable with him going to the strip club, but the idea of him getting lap dance makes you uncomfortable. Then, you can ask what he thinks/feels about your feelings - is he in agreement with you, or does he feel like no lap dance is unreasonable, or something else entirely.

I think the best way forward would be for the two of you to have a honest conversation about how you're feeling about the strip club/ possibility of a lap dance, and how your feelings make him feel. If you're both able to stay calm and use I statements ("I feel" rather than "You are"), I think you'll get the best resolution.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:53 AM on April 16, 2010


Say something if you really need to, but if you trust your guy, you trust him, and you don't need to make an issue of it in this case any more than you do in everyday situations where he could choose to be unfaithful, but doesn't.

The problem with this is that (as evidenced by the thread) some people consider lap dances to be a big deal and some people don't. It might not be a question of him being 'unfaithful', it might be that he and her have two different definitions of what unfaithful means.

Without wading into the moral argument about strip clubs, my advice to the OP is that if she thinks her boyfriend is about to do something (regardless of where it happens) that she's uncomfortable with, she should tell him now rather than after the fact.
posted by Jairus at 7:00 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nobody's yet given me an answer about the straight guy arousal thing, though.

The male telegraphs his status as a virile and potent male to other males, thus securing their admiration, while bonding with other potent and virile males, which means he's in the right pack group. Plus boobs and beer!

Yes, it's an illusion but nobody said we were smart.

Except us, when we're bonding.

And drunk.

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:00 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


What can I do for myself so I can stop thinking about this? Or come to terms with it? Am I out of line in my thinking?

You can realize that this line of thought is only making you suffer. There is NO upside to continuing down this path. It is much easier to go through life giving others the benefit of the doubt. People have amply demonstrated why your fears are illogical, so if jealousy remains, you need to look at the source of it. I'd bet my last dollar that it has nothing to do with lap dances per se. How's your body image? Do you fear he'll find strippers more attractive than you?

I can be very jealous and possessive, but I keep it to myself, because it's MY problem, not his, and he does not need to be burdened with my baggage. If I really don't trust him, I shouldn't be with him. If I do trust him, then I need to let go and let him do whatever he wants to do. This makes life a lot more harmonious; he doesn't feel controlled and I don't feel all the angst that comes with jealousy.

If I were you, I'd grit my teeth, say "Bye honey, have fun!" and go see a movie with a friend.
posted by desjardins at 7:09 AM on April 16, 2010


People have amply demonstrated why your fears are illogical, so if jealousy remains, you need to look at the source of it. I'd bet my last dollar that it has nothing to do with lap dances per se. How's your body image? Do you fear he'll find strippers more attractive than you?

desjardins, with all due respect and without intending to create debate with you, I don't think that's fair to say. Many people have validated the OP's opinion that she would prefer her partner not participate in lap dances. I would say that all that's been "amply demonstrated" is the wide range of opinion on the matter. Acknowledging varying opinions - rather than pretending they don't exist or are invalid - is very important if you view the issue through the context of Jairus' comment. Further, if you acknowledge that open communication is far less manipulative than pretending not to oppose the lap dance and then being upset about it later, then accepting wide opinions exist is even more important.

As a side matter, there are few things I detest more than people who accuse a woman who opposes her partner having sexual contact with others of having low self-esteem. How utterly invalidating of the OPs feelings, agency, individuality and opinions.
posted by bunnycup at 7:20 AM on April 16, 2010 [33 favorites]


Many people have validated the OP's opinion that she would prefer her partner not participate in lap dances.

A bunch of people experiencing the same emotional hangups does not make that hangup any more valid.

No one is asking her to pretend. Acceptance and understanding is what we're hoping to achieve, not some sort of emotional tamp-down. Those are worthless.
posted by unixrat at 7:23 AM on April 16, 2010


A bunch of people experiencing the same emotional hangups does not make that hangup any more valid.

My comment is one of the ones bunnycup linked to. Am I "experiencing the same emotional hangups" as the OP? I don't think so. I'm a 29-year-old straight male.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:28 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've been to strip clubs. Living in Edinburgh it's very easy to wander from the Grassmarket (lots of good pubs) to The Pubic Triangle (guess what they have there). You go in, you get an overpriced beer, pay for a dance, then leave and get as far as the end of the road before forgetting what the girl looked like and what the fake name she gave you was.

It's nothing.
posted by Biru at 7:30 AM on April 16, 2010


As someone who has gone to strip clubs and received lap dances while in a committed relationship, I will say that it's no big deal, and you would be making it a bigger deal than it is by asking him to be a wimp the night of his friend's party. All his friends may be getting lapdances, and with or without their pressure, he may want to try one too. He's not going to want to say "But my gf doesn't let me..."

So, he's either going to do it, which is no big deal, or he's not, and then he'll feel remotely controlled by you, which IS a big deal.
posted by eas98 at 7:34 AM on April 16, 2010


No one is asking her to pretend. Acceptance and understanding is what we're hoping to achieve, not some sort of emotional tamp-down. Those are worthless.

If I may elaborate a bit...

There are varieties to the human experience. The people preaching 'talk to him about your fears' are simply pushing a one-sided acceptance - he has to accept your version rather than you accepting his.

He made his decision, even bringing you into consideration. You need to accept this, not just pretend to accept this, and not try and impose on this situation because it will only cause damage.

This is ask, you can ignore this point of view if you want.

But you shouldn't.
posted by unixrat at 7:35 AM on April 16, 2010


My comment is one of the ones bunnycup linked to. Am I "experiencing the same emotional hangups" as the OP? I don't think so. I'm a 29-year-old straight male.

These are not gender-specific hang-ups. Men can suffer from them as well as women.
posted by unixrat at 7:37 AM on April 16, 2010


These are not gender-specific hang-ups. Men can suffer from them as well as women.

*sigh* ... OK, you have a valid logical point that a man could have a similar hang-up -- but I assure you, I have never been remotely concerned about any girlfriend of mine going to a strip club or getting a lap dance or anything like that.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:40 AM on April 16, 2010


Unixrat, I'm not sure I undertand why you're equating communicating a concern with " pushing a one-sided acceptance." I would hate to do something that didn't matter to me one way or another only to discover later that it really upset my partner. I'd say the OP should go ahead and tell her partner she's not comfortable with it, and then let him make his choice with a full set of data.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:41 AM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


I would hate to do something that didn't matter to me one way or another only to discover later that it really upset my partner. I'd say the OP should go ahead and tell her partner she's not comfortable with it, and then let him make his choice with a full set of data.

Exactly.
posted by Jairus at 7:42 AM on April 16, 2010


The people preaching 'talk to him about your fears' are simply pushing a one-sided acceptance - he has to accept your version rather than you accepting his.

Myself and others have suggested, many times, that she talk to him, ask for his opinion, discuss it openly, etc. This has been said with the express comment that he may have different opinions than she does.

On the other hand, your proposal strips OP of the right to even discuss her feelings! One, but not the only, of the ways you have done that is to refer to her relationship boundaries as "emotional hangups". Please stop doing that - I respect that you are pro-lap dance and if you have a partner who is too, power to you both. No skin off my back. Please give others the same respect: the ability to draw our own relationship boundaries. Your opinions are of course welcome, but there are much much more respectful ways to express them.

Again, the purpose of my continued commenting is not to fight with any one person, or to encourage a general consensus that lap dances are not allowed. It is a contentious issue, and people hold widely differing opinions. Let's just treat the subject - and the OP - with mutual respect, please.
posted by bunnycup at 7:46 AM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Honestly? He's getting a lap dance. Why? His friends will make it happen. They think its' funny to embarass him, etc. Is he leaving a stripper for you? No. Is he getting "a little something something" at the club? Doubtful. But she will grind and pop on him. It's one day and if you let it, it's going to eat at you.

Go have your own fun on that day to help get it out of your mind. Next time, you go to a club WITH him and you get the dance--not him.
posted by stormpooper at 7:55 AM on April 16, 2010


A bunch of people experiencing the same emotional hangups does not make that hangup any more valid.

This is odd, seeing as one of your previous arguments was that "This is a modern day fraternal rite of passage, like it or not."

A bunch of people performing the same action and calling it a "rite of passage" does not make that action any more valid either.

It's quite normal in a relationship to have boundaries that cause you emotional stress and it's incredibly healthy to talk about those boundaries and to come to a resolution that makes you both happy. To suggest she just "cowgirl up" and suppress her feelings as irrational because she should trust her man rather than talk to him is less "modern day" and more "archaic patriarchy."
posted by Hiker at 7:55 AM on April 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


I'd probably tackle it thusly (because I'm a passive person). Sit him down for a talk "I'm cool with the party, but I'd prefer no lap dances. Are you ok with that?". Post-talk pull out a wad of 1's and say "Have fun [insert peck on cheek]".

This seems perfect to me. It's also worth emphasizing again, because it has come up in a few responses, but not nearly as many as I'd expect, that the strippers won't be grinding all over him. A lap dance is undeniably sexy and definitely close-up, but (in most places in the US) it's absolutely not something that involves any touching.

Have you ever been to a strip club? I ask because going to one and having that experience yourself might help to reassure you. Maybe you could go to one together before he goes to the party. Obviously it depends hugely on the club and the people you're with and all sorts of other factors, but in most cases, I think you'd find that the experience is less sexy (and potentially more fun) than you're currently imagining. It might help put your mind at ease.

Strip clubs are built up in American culture to be this scary, overwhelming, sexy thing, and the reality is that they're much more mundane than you might think. It makes sense that it's making you nervous, and you should absolutely be frank with your partner about that, but it also makes sense to do what you can to help assuage that nervousness.
posted by dizziest at 8:00 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that some people are saying it's fine because he won't be getting a lap dance, but other people are saying it's fine because getting a lap dance is such a natural part of going to a strip club that it won't mean anything.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:02 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd say the OP should go ahead and tell her partner she's not comfortable with it, and then let him make his choice with a full set of data.

Unless they just met, he's already made his decision with a full set of data. All the OP wants it to re-open the question by injecting her insecurities into it. I cannot see how this is even remotely like accepting the choices a partner has made.

Sometimes they make choices you don't like, even with a full set of data. This is where true acceptance must come in.
posted by unixrat at 8:06 AM on April 16, 2010


You claim that you are open-minded about these things, yet in the previous sentence you say that you don't mind those same things. Do you see that one view is judgment-free whereas the other implies a judgment?

It can be quite a lot to think through on your own. I mean, looking at the big picture: the stag party is a pretty old tradition/rite that can seem somewhat out of place in modern times, in which people marry later in their lives. So, definitely do talk with others about it, including your s.o., and learn from their perspectives.

One concrete thing you can do—plan an outing or nice date with your guy a week or so prior to that bachelor's party. Just for the two of you to have a good time.
posted by polymodus at 8:07 AM on April 16, 2010


I really dislike the whole bachelor party "thing". But, unixrat is mostly right about it.

Thinking strategically, you're probably not going to get your boyfriend to not go. So your option is to try to control his behavior while he's there.

If you can ask him not to get a lap dance and trust him to respect that boundary, then just ask him not to get a lap dance. Don't be upset about it, don't whine, don't nag, just act normal and chill and be firm. Don't worry about him feeling bad about it, he's grown.

However, if you don't trust him 100% not to do it, think about it a little more. Is it always going to drive you nuts not knowing for sure if he got a lap dance? If so, remove his incentive to lie about it. Tell him to get a lap dance if he wants, and act relatively cheerful about it.

I am obsessed with being in control, so to remove my feeling of helplessness my actual behavior would be to give him the $20 myself and tell him to get a lap dance. I do not necessarily recommend this for other people, but it would work for me because the part that would bother me is not the actual physical contact, but the implied hiddeneness and deception involved in the entire semi-secretive gender-segregated bachelor party genre.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:09 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Unless they just met, he's already made his decision with a full set of data.

I'm... not sure what question you're reading. The OP just came to the conclusion that she's not comfortable with him getting a lap dance after considering it in regards to this specific situation.

It's also not clear at all that he's made a decision one way or the other about a lap dance specifically. He wants to go; that's all the OP has told us.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:10 AM on April 16, 2010


Where are you commenters getting the idea that dancers are going to be grinding on the recipient of a lap dance? It doesn't happen, except in states and localities with weird laws, like Florida.

OP, check your local laws - I bet you'll find some comfort in knowing that your partner will only be participating in what you originally said you'd be comfortable with: I don't mind my guy watching porn or going to a strip club or a burlesque show and watching nudity on stage. After considering it a bit, I'm also okay with him tipping a dancer on stage and getting the extra "attention" for his money.
posted by RajahKing at 8:10 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thinking strategically, you're probably not going to get your boyfriend to not go. So your option is to try to control his behavior while he's there.

Except that she wouldn't want his friends modifying his behavior towards her based on 'their feelings' for Big Life Things. Would she want him to bow to their demands on how to act during her activities, especially if it would detract?

"Sorry honey, I can't say part of our vows because Bob hasn't gotten married yet and is feeling a little vulnerable as part of the wedding party. I need to respect his feelings."
posted by unixrat at 8:13 AM on April 16, 2010


polymodus: "One concrete thing you can do—plan an outing or nice date with your guy a week or so prior to that bachelor's party. Just for the two of you to have a good time."

On a similar note, you could always hedge your bets by having enthusiastic and raunchy sex as often as possible on the morning/afternoon prior to the party.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:15 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


He wants to go; that's all the OP has told us.

Yes, but his wanting to go has already taken her into consideration. She needs to accept this in a healthy way.

There's no way that she could expect him to wait around to decide on how she feels about each individual situation before making decisions. He knows her, he's got a good idea about how she'll react. There's not a man alive who doesn't know that some people object to the idea of strip clubs or bachelor parties.
posted by unixrat at 8:16 AM on April 16, 2010


"I'm cool with the party, but I'd prefer no lap dances. Are you ok with that?"

That's a loaded question. Don't do that.

Also if you can't trust him on his stag night, I'd worry. I'd say it's good to worry - it shows you care. In the end either you trust him or you don't. Let him have his stag night.
posted by devnull at 8:18 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I'm cool with the party, but I'd prefer no lap dances. Are you ok with that?"

That's a loaded question. Don't do that.


Yeah, it's manipulative. It's not literally an order, but your boyfriend knows it will lead to drama if he says "no," so unless he's on the verge of breaking up with you anyway, he'll say "sure" whether it's true or not.

Just because you have a feeling does not mean it has to be expressed. Think through the logical consequences of expressing your feelings in this situation. Will you come off as insecure? Controlling? Are you setting up a situation where he feels he has to lie or withhold information so you won't be upset? In a perfect world, you could express your discomfort, he could neutrally say "thank you for your input, but I would like to have a lapdance anyway," you would say OK, I respect your free agency, and that would be the end of it. No resentments, no hurt feelings. Most of us don't live in this world.
posted by desjardins at 8:28 AM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yes, but his wanting to go has already taken her into consideration. She needs to accept this in a healthy way.

Dude, there is a world of difference between gladly accepting that one's boyfriend happily wants to go to a strip club with his buddies for a bachelor's party and accepting anything and everything that could potentially happen at that strip club.

She's happy for him to go and have fun, why can't he be happy to go and have fun without getting a lap dance, once he knows that the idea of him getting a lap dance bothers her?

The idea of my boyfriend getting a lap dance bothers me, too, unixrat, and I'm pretty damn far from repressed, pathological, or suspicious. I trust him, and I trust him to NOT DO SOMETHING, please, if he knows that it bothers me. It doesn't mean I'm curbing his fun, or ruining his night, or intruding on some sacred manly ritual I can never understand. It means I respect him, and he respects me, and he goes and has fun and looks at girls and drinks with his buddies and toasts the groom and gets involved in all sorts of epic shenanigans but at the same time happily agrees to not getting a lap dance, because him enjoying that particular as-close-to-physical-without-actually-touching sexual stimulus from another woman would bother me.

Hell, I'm bi. I like women. I think lap dances are sexy. If my boyfriend asked me to not get a lap dance because it would bother him, I'd respect the boundary he'd asked me to follow. Done. I wouldn't find him repressed, pathological, or suspicious of my overall trustworthiness or intentions.
posted by lydhre at 8:28 AM on April 16, 2010 [12 favorites]


Are we running into yet another one of those Ask vs. Guess culture things here? Because I am having a lot of trouble following some of these arguments, but I'm pretty firmly an Ask.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:33 AM on April 16, 2010


All his friends may be getting lapdances, and with or without their pressure, he may want to try one too. He's not going to want to say "But my gf doesn't let me..."

Ew. I'm not even sure how to respond to that besides just saying ew.

Since lapdances are less common for women, let's use a slightly different, but fairly parallel example. As a young adult, I've gone to plenty of parties where people ended up playing spin the bottle. This is almost always done with a jokey, congenial tone. No one is really serious about the kissing. But I've abstained from playing, because I'm in a committed relationship, and I know my husband wouldn't be cool with it. In fact, I just asked him, and his response was "I'd rather you get a lapdance. That would be totally fucked. No."

And you know what?

At these parties, no one questioned my participation, or even seemed to really care. I didn't need to go out of my way to defend myself. There was no overwrought peer pressure. No one told me I was whipped, and if they did, what do I care?

The emotional security of my husband is more important to me than lip locking with a bunch of friends, or even getting a lapdance from a sexy stranger. It's a really mild, inconsequential request, and my peers are reasonable people who aren't going to act like huge freakin' assholes if someone doesn't want to participate in something like that. You have to set your own reasonable guidelines for behavior in your relationship. Saying, "Hey, dude, it's cool you're going to Tim's bachelor party, but I feel kind of squicky about the lapdance thing. Mind not getting one?" should really, really be no big deal.

(Incidentally: not a prude, totally fine with my husband watching porn--and he's fine with my watching porn, too. But every relationship is different and you have to set your own boundaries.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:34 AM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


If he is a good guy, he will do the right thing which is to respect you. If he ends up in the champagne room he is not doing the right thing. The level debauchery depends on the type of guys who are attending this bachelor party as well as the venue. I have seen these things go completely out of control, but it was usually the single guys that ended up being involved in these activities.

I am a bit confused by the statements that only the groom will be getting lap dances. In my experience money is usually raining down for anyone who wants shots, lapdances, etc. As far as lap dances are concerned, depending on the venue / money involved / girl, these things can range from no touching to no limit.

At the end of the day, a casual statement like "No lapdances alright?" is perfectly fine. But if you make it a big deal, you will insult his morals.
posted by jasondigitized at 8:39 AM on April 16, 2010


I think for your own peace of mind, you need to be more frank with your boyfriend about your objections. I will chime in with my own (sole) experience at a bachelor party, which was at a high end strip club in NYC that was later busted for prostitution: the "lap dances" in the main room involved paying a stripper $20 to take off her clothes off a foot away from you instead of on stage. Just like 14580 and dejah420 describe. No touching, no grinding, no frottage. Your question suggests you'd be okay with that.

But at the same time, the women kept asking guys if they wanted to go in the private room in the back. I wasn't sure what that entailed, but I assumed it was some combination of close-up hard-core nudity, touching, grinding, and (for enough money), illicit sex. I declined.

I think it's perfectly valid to be upset if your boyfriend went to the private room, because he'd be paying someone to touch him in a sexually gratifying way. Some people would consider that infidelity. Some might not. Some who consider this infidelity might be willing to excuse it because of the circumstances and context. Some might not. But it's your right to identify your feelings on the subject of sexual monogamy. It's your right to share those feelings with your boyfriend. And to ask him to recognize and take into account the importance of these feelings to you. With that in mind, I'd be fine if my partner said, "Please look but don't touch," or "I don't mind you looking at naked women up close [if that's true], but don't pay someont to grind on your junk." Make it as casual and lighthearted or as serious and imperious to suit you and your relationship.
posted by hhc5 at 8:48 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


You should not have to feel neurotic or apologize because you don't want another half naked woman in his lap while he pops a boner. I think it's well within reason to ask your boyfriend NOT to get a lap dance.

Furthermore, perhaps I am just super naive about the way men interact, but why the hell would her boyfriend have to say, "Nah, my girlfriend won't let me." ? If she lets him know she is uncomfortable with him getting a lap dance, and he refrains (or doesn't for that matter), it is a choice he made based on that knowledge. So it's not that she isn't letting him, it's that he doesn't think that a few minutes and who knows how much money is worth making his girlfriend feel uncomfortable.
posted by too bad you're not me at 8:48 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


dizziest, you're right: it really does depend on the club. I've been to clubs in Nevada and Hawaii. I've seen people get lap dances-- right on the main floor-- where the customer could easily have had an orgasm. There was that much contact, that prolonged, and that purposeful. Some clubs I've enjoyed; some had a really disrespectful atmosphere with customers making horrible remarks to dancers, etc. (Some of those customers are probably horrid to waiters and flight attendants too, but sex being in the mix makes it seem worse to me somehow.)

I think you might feel better if you and your partner went to the club together in advance of the party. You could see what the scene was. Is there indeed anything going on there that bothers you at all? If so, you can spell that out to your partner. That way at least you won't be dealing with the unknown, which does tend to feel sort of neurotic even if it's not. As a bonus, if there is a troublemaker in the bachelor group-- the kind who likes to incite his friends to transgress-- being told that you'd already been there would probably make him focus his attention elsewhere.

I sort of wish bachelor parties of that kind would go away, less because of the lap dancing and more because of worries about drinking/drugs and driving.
posted by BibiRose at 8:51 AM on April 16, 2010


For the win, you give him $50 and tell him his lap dance is on you! Now the lap dance isn't cheating; it's a cutely-kinky part of your relationship. Seriously, you can either be a drag on his relatively innocent lads' night out, be a vicarious part of it in a fun way, or stay out of it. Which two of these do you think lead to greater happiness in the long run?
posted by nicwolff at 9:04 AM on April 16, 2010


Which two of these do you think lead to greater happiness in the long run?

I think the answer to that depends entirely on whether both people involved are comfortable with it. If not, I think your suggestion would lead to resentment, anger, discomfort, a feeling of violated boundaries, etc.
posted by bunnycup at 9:08 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Except that she wouldn't want his friends modifying his behavior towards her based on 'their feelings' for Big Life Things. Would she want him to bow to their demands on how to act during her activities, especially if it would detract?

The ranges of appropriate behavior for a friend and for a significant other overlap but are not identical. It's perfectly reasonable for an SO to make certain requests that would be unreasonable for a friend to make.
posted by asterix at 9:24 AM on April 16, 2010


I had my bachelorette party at my city's only lesbian bar. (I'm bi, and married to a man.) Before I left for it, my fiance said "Hey, I don't really know what kind of a thing this is, but I'd prefer you not kiss or grope anyone. It's your thing, it's just. . . anyway, now you're fully informed." I didn't consider that to be remotely a downer or a buzzkill at all -- I considered it respectful and open. (I did end up pushing that boundary somewhat, but I didn't cross it.)
posted by KathrynT at 9:44 AM on April 16, 2010


"I'm cool with the party, but I'd prefer no lap dances. Are you ok with that?"

That's a loaded question. Don't do that.

Yeah, it's manipulative. It's not literally an order, but your boyfriend knows it will lead to drama if he says "no," so unless he's on the verge of breaking up with you anyway, he'll say "sure" whether it's true or not.


I don't know how two adults are supposed to talk if one of them isn't allowed to (a) express a preference, and (b) ask the other person to adjust their conduct accordingly. That's not a loaded question or manipulative by my lights. It's the beginning of a conversation.
posted by chinston at 9:44 AM on April 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


Isn't communication and expression absolutely vital for healthy relationships? Those advocating that the OP shouldn't even bring it up seem to be suggesting poisonous actions. Sometimes it's hard to, sometimes we doubt whether we should, but the fact remains that there's no telepathic bond between people that allows them to silently get over problems and fears, however insignificant they may be. Which is more dangerous: the OP calmly discussing this with her guy, or her bottling it up?

If in your relationship you can't say "You know, I think this would bother me a little... can we talk about this and reach some sort of compromise?" then it has a very weak foundation. So OP, talk to him. It's alright to, and you'll both be better for it. Don't ignore your feelings when your partner can help you through them.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 9:54 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Grinding" style lapdances are allowed in my state. I've gotten one. It was a little bit exciting, for sure. It's probably even more exciting for men, for obvious physical reasons.

This would be a good time to talk to your SO about what expectations each of you have for each other's behavior, and what sorts of things you would expect each other to refrain from engaging in with others. For instance, how does he feel about you giving lap dances to other guys? Discuss.

If you are unwilling to talk about what does and does not make you happy, your long term prospects for happiness are not good.
posted by yohko at 9:59 AM on April 16, 2010


[comments removed - time to dial it back a little bit and answer the question and not fight with other posters thanks. go to metatalk if you need to.]
posted by jessamyn at 11:12 AM on April 16, 2010


MeTa. Sorry, posted that before seeing the Jessamyn note.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:13 AM on April 16, 2010


Either you should ask him what his expectations are about lapdances (it could be he is totally uncomfortable with them too) and try to accept it if he says "I guess I have to get one, don't worry they're totally harmless!" or try to relax and not think about it and trust him. Whatever you do, don't just drop a quick passive-aggressive line about how he's not allowed to get one as he's leaving. That's basically just saying, "Hi can you lie to me later? Thanks."

I can tell you this about groom-lapdances having seen them in many environments: They are public and hilarious spectacles, not sexy grinding and touching in backroom, more like burlesque shows with the guy as a piece of scenery. From what I've seen, even the most overprotective bride would merely be grossed out by them, and not at all consider them cheating.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:35 AM on April 16, 2010


I wouldn't assume, first of all, that your guy would even be considering getting a lap dance. The groom-to-be is the guest of honor here, so if anyone gets that kind of special attention, it would be him.

Lap dances aren't really "special attention" in a strip club. They're the strippers' best way of making money, and they all try to sell them as hard as they can to everyone in the room.
posted by ignignokt at 11:56 AM on April 16, 2010


It is for each couple to define their own parameters of acceptable behavior, even in the relatively permissive atmosphere of a bachelor party; there is nothing wrong with you wanting to veto lap dances. Hell, I've been to a party in which the wife-to-be had vetoed any lap dances given to the groom; the groom abided by that restriction, and I know that I respected him much more for doing so than if he'd ignored it... and I have to believe that any guy who's not a complete asshole would do the same.

However, I would suggest that you not go so far as to explicitly veto lap dances by your man; that'll make him feel like a "kept" boy. Instead, I would simply tell him how uncomfortable the thought of him getting a lap dance makes you feel, and tell him that if he does choose to get one to make sure that you never, ever find out about it. Give him the chance to volunteer to restrict himself; it'll be a huge self-esteem booster, and (quite frankly) his response, or lack thereof, will be a good way to judge his worth as a partner for the long haul.

And by the way, you're awesome for actually being okay with, rather than merely silently resigned to your partner going to the strip club. That's all the "cowgirl-ing up" that anyone could ask for, and don't let anybody tell you differently.
posted by The Confessor at 12:08 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, and if you do slip him a handful of ones and a kiss before he leaves, he'll think you're awesome.
posted by The Confessor at 12:11 PM on April 16, 2010


He'll get more enjoyment from a trusting fiancee and guilt-free night out than he will from a lap dance.
posted by rocket88 at 12:26 PM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


The bachelor and bachelorette parties are not merely pre-ritual celebrations, a way to tack on more expense and more interaction between groups of people. Everything about the marriage ritual, whether you are roping hands together or the father "gives away" the bride, is about recognizing a fundamental change which is about to occur. He and she to they. Me to us.

Thus, these particular pre-ritual rites are a way to say, "This is your last chance as a single person. Get it all out of your system, because after tonight, you will have less say about your life and in turn more say about mine." This happens in both directions. It is also some entertainment for the fellow-goers as they get to make one of the boys squirm from the attentions he will receive. He is the first to leave the tribe of single men. They will want to do this up right. The last guy to get married will receive the same treatment. And part of this is making the other half of the spousal team a little jealous.

With that in mind, do you really want to cut into the purely symbolic "last night of freedom" with your what you know to be baseless because he is not that kind of guy worries? You trust him enough to marry him, yes? Would he trust you with a reversed scenario? Yeah, right? Okay then.

Just say to yourself: He wants me. He is coming home to me. He is going to marry me. None of that applies with some stripper who most likely will not even remember his face a week later. I am the winner here and I have no reason to feel threatened. This is his part of the ritual.

And then call up your gal-pals and make sure you have however much fun you want to have, and whatever kind, at your party, with as much winking and "I'll never tell" as pleases you. Have fun!
posted by adipocere at 1:48 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just wanted to say that being unhappy is not manipulative, telling someone you're in a relationship with that them doing something makes you unhappy is not manipulative, and you have the right to be bothered by anything you want.

You are both adults. If you are bothered by something tell him, and he will have the right to decide that you are being unreasonable and he's going to do it anyway, and he will also have the right to decide that you are being reasonable and you guys can come to some kind of compromise, or that it's not that important to him in the grand scheme of things.

If he does things that bother you, you have the right to decide to continue in the relationship or not.

It's really very simple but it starts with honesty to yourself and to the other person, and internalization of the fact that it's okay for anyone to have whatever kind of relationship preferences they have, it's okay to compromise, it's okay not to compromise if you can't reach a deal you're truly okay with, and it's okay to break up if you can't compromise.
posted by Ashley801 at 2:11 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you feel a lap dance is too much, then just say so. Different people have different limits, and that's fine. There's no need to bend over backwards to seem especially hip here. Just be honest and everyone will be happier.
posted by ignignokt at 2:13 PM on April 16, 2010


Also -each couple defines on their own what's cheating and what's not. If you see getting a lap dance from a stripper as cheating, that is totally your right to think and you guys should discuss that. I know for a fact that no guy *I* have ever dated would have been okay with me getting a lap dance from a man.
posted by Ashley801 at 2:14 PM on April 16, 2010


Dear Ms. Anonymous,

You have asked, "What can I do for myself so I can stop thinking about this? Or come to terms with it? Am I out of line in my thinking?" and you have gotten a wide range of responses-- probably so many that you will be left feeling conflicted. If something bothers you enough to try and get answers from complete strangers--people who don't know you or your boyfriend or what kind of relationship you have-- then I would say it is important enough to talk to your SO about. The trick is how you present it: don't be whiny, don't be bitchy, don't be childish.

Sit him down, make sure you have his full attention, and confess how you are feeling. If he loves you that means he won't ever want to hurt you or make you feel bad (just as you don't want to hurt him by spoiling his night out.) Don't stop talking until both of you agree that the issue is resolved. Get it all out on the table. While you are at it, why not ask him what you should do while he is out at the strip club? He knows you better than I do and I would like to think he would have some ideas on what you enjoy doing. The trick is to talk to each other as adults who love each other. Both of you have feelings, fears, insecurities, and if you can share them honestly, your relationship will be the stronger for it.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:31 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Have a great time sweetie, but do me a favor and stay away from the lap dances - that lap is all mine!" Then follow on the promise when he gets home. :)
posted by platinum at 2:57 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


You need to talk to him about your feelings about this, like tonight. Please, please don't wait after the fact.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 8:14 PM on April 16, 2010


Why is nobody giving this guy the benefit of the doubt? He's a sentient being - not all men are drooling inebriates who have no sense of boundaries and what they should or should not do while in a relationship.

He's going to a strip club with a bunch of friends specifically because one of them is getting married. They'll all pool their money to get the groom a lap dance. This doesn't mean he'll be getting a lap dance, and everyone is assuming he definitely will. He probably won't, because that would strike him as inappropriate.

I went to a strip club for a friend's stag night (UK English for bachelor party). Lap dances are optional at these places. I didn't get one a) because I'm too tight-fisted to pay for one, and b) I had a girlfriend at the time and wasn't comfortable with the idea of it.

I didn't need to be instructed by my girlfriend not to have one because, like the OP's partner, I'm capable of having my own thought processes.
posted by idiomatika at 3:04 AM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


idiomatika, I think most people here feel that talking to the SO is a good idea not because he must be stupid, but because, clearly (if you read the responses here), not everyone feels like lap dances are off-limits while you're in a relationship; there's really no assurance that he'll come to the same conclusion that OP would alone.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:32 AM on April 17, 2010


Ditto what PhoBWanKenobi said AND also when people bottle up their feelings, what tends to happen is everything spills out in the next big confrontation. A year from now the OP and fiance might be arguing about something entirely different and suddenly the OP out of nowhere goes BLAMMO: Any way if you really loved me you wouldn't have gotten a lap dance last year." Boyfriend blinks, sputters, and responds, "But how was I to know? You never told me it would bother you. You said to me, 'Go. Have fun.'"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:47 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This isn't going to be a particularly popular opinion, but here's the reality:

1) This guy is making a VERY serious and VERY public commitment to you.
2) He is beginning a path that, by its very nature, involves deep and irrevocable changes with respect to his relationship to his closest friends, and indeed with the world itself.
3) He is doing this all, because he loves you.

This night has nothing to do with you. This night has everything to do with somebody you love, making peace with the consequences of leaving quite a bit behind. You want him to be at peace. You want him deeply comfortable with what he's doing, and comfort comes from closure -- of an entire era of his life.

How many parties is he going to be able to have now, without you?

There is another context to the party: "We will still be bro's after this." Constantly worrying about what you'd think of things is directly antithetical to this.

Your fiance may do all sorts of crazy things you might not like. He isn't going to sleep with anyone, but past that, it's not your business to know or care. This is part of a huge, massive change he is undergoing because he loves you.
posted by effugas at 1:20 AM on April 18, 2010


This night has nothing to do with you. This night has everything to do with somebody you love, making peace with the consequences of leaving quite a bit behind

effugas, I think you may have misunderstood the question, it isn't a bachelor party for the OP's fiance, it is a bachelor party for one of his friends.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:12 AM on April 18, 2010


OP--

Indeed, I apologize for misunderstanding. There were lots of points where you were clear, I just didn't read you correctly. Thanks, Secret Life Of Gravy.

I'd say it's a different situation, to be sure. But the basic truth is that a bachelor party is a final blast of bonding before a transformation that'll really test the group. You really, really don't want him spending the entire time out there, saying 'I can't do this, the girl ordered me not to'. The weekend isn't about you and it'll come at some expense if it feels like it is.

I'm not going to tell you what to do here, but there's a short term gain (he'll play nice if you insist) at long term risk (he may regret having lost this once in a lifetime chance to be 'safely out of control' during the first Bachelor party of his crew).

If you guys have a history of really talking things out, oh yes, do that. But if not, I don't think I'd start with this particular subject, just because there's a third party involved. Most of what represents bad advice comes from not recognizing the historical context into which recommended behavior would be slotted.
posted by effugas at 7:33 PM on April 18, 2010


Ridiculous. Not talking about this when the OP is uncomfortable and choosing another time (and subject) to bring up her feelings is unhealthy. Hopefully this situation has already been resolved between them, but I feel like anyone advising the girl to keep this to herself has some very misguided notions.

Moreover, pouting to your friends because your fiance is uncomfortable with lap dances, is a childish reaction. A mature person would find a way to handle it gracefully, without making the person he loves seem like a party-pooping possessive control freak to his buddies. Asking the OP to worry about his friends' reactions, or possible friendly ridicule, or regrets of not having some other woman shake her breasts in his face, is weird.

When a person promises monogamy, their partner tends to expect it. "Can I have a random woman rub against me sexually for a little while, for a special event?" doesn't have to sit right with everyone.

It's incredibly important to highlight this: You should never be quiet about something in a relationship that bothers you. Never. There may be questions about the best ways to bring it up, but never the fact that it's important to talk about things together.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 9:20 AM on April 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


« Older I swallowed gauze!   |   I think my sister is delusional Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.