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what happens in a mexican strip club?
July 3, 2006 10:12 AM   Subscribe

MexicanSexRelationshipFilter. How to best question my partner about his sexual escapades without accusing him of infidelity?

I'm in a monogamous committed relationship with a guy I've known for a few years. Recently he went to Acapulco with some buddies and I know that they visited a strip club there. I'm generally sex-positive and have visited strip clubs a couple times here in the US, both times with him. However I am of course concerned that the line between stripping and prostitution may be blurred in Mexico, and while I don't want to accuse him of partaking in those services, I don't want to catch something NASTY if he has.

To my knowledge he's never cheated on me in the past, and has gotten very defensive when I (drunkenly) accused him of it before. I want to protect my health but I don't want to cause unnecessary tension or make him feel like I don't trust him. How can I bring this up in a way that shows I'm just looking out for my own well-being, and don't really think he's that sleazy?

Also, if anyone out there wants to disprove my assumption that prostitution is tacitly legal in that sort of club, please do!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Given that even in the US, some strip clubs are tacitly prostitution fronts I don't think anyone will be able to answer the question unless they went and experience the club personally. That said, I don't believe you will find the answer you are looking for by looking for evidence that Mexican strip clubs cater to prostitution. Even if girls offered extra services beyond stripping, there is no way anyone can prove your boyfriend engaged in such activities.
posted by geoff. at 10:18 AM on July 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Why not the both of you go down to the clinic for an STD test? Everyone will be happy or not depending on the results.
posted by JJ86 at 10:19 AM on July 3, 2006


"Hope you had a great time there babe... so how friendly do the girls down there get, anyway?"

For bonus points, do it while nibbling his ear or something.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:23 AM on July 3, 2006


Well the problem is if you don't care about the infedility you will be implying that it's okay to have a little something on the side once in awhile. If you're okay with this then explain in very simple, uncomplicated terms that you are fine with him getting busy on vacation but want to know if there is any risk to your health. The key is to stay unemotional about the entire thing.
posted by geoff. at 10:27 AM on July 3, 2006


There's really no easy way to do this. The issue is trust, and you don't really trust this guy (or you wouldn't be in the position of needing to ask). The real crux of the problem is that if you make an accusation and he's innocent, you've now proven to him that you don't trust him. So, like I said, there's now easy out here, either you trust him or you don't.

If you don't, I'd say just be upfront about it but be prepared for the consequences. I'd also add that having a real relationship with someone you can't or don't trust isn't really possible.

Also, some people are just paranoid, and you may be one of them. So building a trusting relationship has to work on both sides, both parties need to be capapble of trusting and being trusted.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:37 AM on July 3, 2006


Not to snark, but you've happened into the classic relationship dilemma that has plagued the human race since Columbus brought back syphilis to Europe. Plainly stated for your case, the dilemma is:

"Is (your/my) boyfriend's pride worth more than (your/my) health/life/peace of mind?"

The price of admission to a Mexican strip club for a monogamous tourist guy should, in my opinion, include frank answers to frank questions back home, and a "no grudge" exemption on condoms, STD tests and follow ups until the incubation period for major STD's is over.

A gentleman would understand, and be gallant.

But another way to view this is, if you have to ask, you know the answer...
posted by paulsc at 10:40 AM on July 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Don't allow yourself to be bullied by his defensiveness. Don't get so inhibited about this that you have to get drunk to ask it.

This is an area that highlights all the power dynamics of your relationship - are you comfortable with a relationship in which you can't ask legitimate questions that involve protecting your health because your bf wants to do as he pleases without being held accountable?

It's perfectly legitimate for you to insist that you both get checked for STDs. "Trust but verify!" as the saying goes.
posted by jasper411 at 10:53 AM on July 3, 2006


You could also try being a little more mature than (drunkenly) acusing him. Ask him once. If you trust him; that should be enough. If you're asking him repetitvely, he's defensive - and rightly so - because no matter what he answers, you already have an answer in your head.

Do you think you have an STD? Go get tested. If you're certain he gave it to you, it doesn't matter where he got it, does it? He could have got it from a hooker at the hotel down the street, or from some bar slut last Thursday, or from his rancher-cowboy buddy the last time they went fishing. They have STDs here in America, too.
posted by clearlynuts at 10:53 AM on July 3, 2006


However I am of course concerned that the line between stripping and prostitution may be blurred in Mexico

Why is this an "of course?" The blurry line isn't Mexico, it's whether he acts differently in strip clubs when you're not there.

If you want to know if he picked up any STDs by cheating on you with a stripper, he's going to consider this an accusation no matter how you put it. You're concerned about your health because you don't trust him. My advice is to go get yourself throughly tested. If you've caught something, then you can ask him where it came from.
posted by desuetude at 11:02 AM on July 3, 2006


You: "I'm sorry. This is going to sound ridiculous and xenophobic but the idea of you being in a Mexican strip club makes me nervous about STD's. Am I being silly? Did anything sexual happen?"
posted by Aghast. at 11:16 AM on July 3, 2006


Am I the only one wondering why you are in a relationship with someone that you think you can't trust to be honest with you and consider your welfare, nevermind someone with enough intelligence to wear a condom if they were ever with a hooker?

You think he had sex just because he went into a strip club, or because it was in Mexico? The whole point of a strip club is to take yoru money and NOT let you get off - orgasm=no more money. At least that's what my stripper friends have told me.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't protect yourself, but it seems like the real issue lies with the integrity of the relationship and a set of assumptions that are not rooted in fact. Perhaps the issues here are larger than an evening at a mexican strip club.
posted by gregariousrecluse at 11:44 AM on July 3, 2006


Does he believe you would you punish him for being honest? If so, that is the root of the problem. Unless you have discussed it at length, I would assume "monogamous relationship" is another way of saying "Don't ask, don't tell". Hence, his defensiveness when you broke that pact.

The truth is that when the cat is away, the mice may play (or whatever the particulars may be in your situation). Accept the fact that sex is an instinctual drive that does not answer to modern reasoning and act accordingly. To me, that would mean having regular honest discussions in which both the instinctual desire for sex and love are truthfully discussed and any "rules of engagement" are ennumerated. If you have any doubts after such conversations, abstain or protect yourself until your doubts are resolved.

I don't think you need to accuse him of anything. Let him know that you imagine that many men fuck around when they can find a willing woman and have no chance of getting caught, and that your concern relates to the health consequences of that entirely typical behavior. Despite all the denials of the perfect gentlemen, if he is an honest male he will acknowledge your concern is not irrational. A STD test wouldn't seem overly burdensome or even distrustful. It is realistic.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 11:44 AM on July 3, 2006


It's perfectly legitimate for you to insist that you both get checked for STDs.

You: "I'm sorry. This is going to sound ridiculous and xenophobic but...

The price of admission to a Mexican strip club for a monogamous tourist guy should, in my opinion, include frank answers to frank questions back home, and a "no grudge" exemption on condoms, STD tests and follow ups until the incubation period for major STD's is over.


Yeah -- the question is going to sound ridiculous and xenophobic because it is. Gregarious has it right. Some of the rest of you? I dunno. I'm kinda shaking my head here and rather disappointed. What is it about Mexico that implies the strippers are 'looser' than they are in Northern climes, aside from a racist notion about Mexicans? And McGuillicuddy, I'm sorry if you don't think that monogamous relationships are possible, but there are plenty of people in the world who do just fine trusting their mates and not assuming the worst. Bottom line -- if you have reason to think that your mate may give you an STD, then you probably shouldn't be in the relationship.

This thread is mightily disappointing.
posted by incessant at 12:14 PM on July 3, 2006


What is it about Mexico that implies the strippers are 'looser' than they are in Northern climes, aside from a racist notion about Mexicans?

The same thing that allows Mexican drivers to run red lights twenty times per day with a clear conscience: the fact that in Mexico, the enforcement of laws is looser in general than it is in the United States. Certainly it's got nothing to do with looser morals of Mexican girls - if anything, many Americans would be surprised at the amount of 50s-esque Catholic sexual conservatism that's alive and well down there.

In other breaking news, be sure to ask for hielo purificado with your cocktails, because Mexican tap water in many places is not potable.
posted by bingo at 12:30 PM on July 3, 2006


It's never easy to have to anguish over questions of infidelity (let alone worry about STDs). I'm not sure how much this is really bothering you, but it sounds as though you find it difficult to talk to your partner about some pretty fundamental issues. There are three solutions: 1) forget about it; 2) get couple counselling; or 3) say something like this: "I'm trying to work on my ability to trust people in general. But I find our level of trust a source of comfort, most of the time. It would really help me if you could find words to tell me why you think we've been able to build this level of trust, and how we can strengthen it even further."

And then watch and listen v-e-r-y carefully.

Depends on how comfortable you are with psychobabble, of course.
posted by YamwotIam at 12:39 PM on July 3, 2006


Yeah -- the question is going to sound ridiculous and xenophobic because it is. Gregarious has it right. Some of the rest of you? I dunno. I'm kinda shaking my head here and rather disappointed. What is it about Mexico that implies the strippers are 'looser' than they are in Northern climes, aside from a racist notion about Mexicans?

My family is from Mexico and I can attest to the assumptions. I didnt take it as xenophobic or as a cultural statement. The truth is that although the laws governing prostitution are often just as strict as US laws, the enforcement leaves a lot more to be desired. So, yes, in general, a Mexican strip club is much more likely to be a front for prostitution - definitely.

That said, I agree with others that this isnt even the core issue here. Its almost irrelevant.
posted by vacapinta at 12:46 PM on July 3, 2006


Maybe you have a good enough relationship with one of his buddies and could ask them on the side if you have anything to worry about.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:55 PM on July 3, 2006


Ask him once. If you trust him; that should be enough.

That's pretty much it. This isn't really a trust issue. There are a million things that might've happened down there and it's completely understandable that you're concerned. It's perfectly reasonable for you to tell him you trust him, but you're concerned. He'll assure you and once you've heard him say it then life will go on. You should make it clear that you're not accusing him and you do trust him, but still you want to hear it from him. If he's a reasonable guy he'll "get it" and he'll try to put your mind at ease. Once you've asked him though you have to put it behind you. Dwelling on these things is poison.
posted by nixerman at 1:08 PM on July 3, 2006


"... Its almost irrelevant."
posted by vacapinta at 3:46 PM EST on July 3


Almost, but not quite, amigo.

But the local mores vary with geography in Mexico, as they do in the U.S. Cancun is not Tijuana. Tijuana is not Juarez. Pounding back shots all afternoon in a bar full of pretty women in Guadalajara will present different possibilities than that the same pass time will net in Morelia.

Or, as I've heard it put about other strays, "How big was your dog, and how long was he gone?"
posted by paulsc at 1:16 PM on July 3, 2006


In any case, even in a monogamous relationship you should get tested for STDs once a year. Folks may rip on me for being cynical, but it was my doctor who urged this on me based on all of the women she has seen who thought that their partner was faithful, only to discover they had mysteriously contracted an STD. So at the very least, get your self tested.
posted by zia at 1:36 PM on July 3, 2006


That's pretty much it. This isn't really a trust issue. There are a million things that might've happened down there and it's completely understandable that you're concerned. It's perfectly reasonable for you to tell him you trust him, but you're concerned. He'll assure you and once you've heard him say it then life will go on. You should make it clear that you're not accusing him and you do trust him, but still you want to hear it from him. If he's a reasonable guy he'll "get it" and he'll try to put your mind at ease. Once you've asked him though you have to put it behind you. Dwelling on these things is poison.

So, does it logically follow that any time a partner goes on a trip, you should question them as to whether or not they cheated on you?

It seems like, in a truly trusting relationship, this question should never come up. True trust is faith that your partner is faithful to you. Those "million things that might've happened" are not running through your head. You, you know, trust your partner.

If that is missing, and you're talking about this being "the tip of the iceberg", you have your answer. Have a much bigger talk than "what happened in dirty Mexico" and get over the trust issues that exist.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 2:00 PM on July 3, 2006


How can I bring this up in a way that shows I'm just looking out for my own well-being, and don't really think he's that sleazy?

You can't. You're asking "did you do this thing that you know you shouldn't have and that I know you know you shouldn't have?" You wouldn't be asking if you didn't think the answer might be "yes, I did the thing I knew I wasn't supposed do" which means you think he might have done it.

Aside from that, what exactly is the point of asking unless you think he might violate your trust and not tell you about it but he will answer truthfully when asked directly? Odds are good that if he'll do the Bad Thing that he'll lie about it later.

Your real solution here is to stop having unprotected sex with this guy. Given that you've had issues with trusting him on this before you're likely going to keep having them for some period of time. Either you have good reason or you don't. If you do, you should be playing safe. If you don't, what's the downside to playing safe?
posted by phearlez at 2:00 PM on July 3, 2006


So, does it logically follow that any time a partner goes on a trip, you should question them as to whether or not they cheated on you?

No, it doesn't logically follow. At all. I really can't why people think these sorts of reductive arguments-by-scale are logical. Gah.

True trust is faith that your partner is faithful to you. Those "million things that might've happened" are not running through your head. You, you know, trust your partner.

Er, no. True trust isn't a matter of faith. True trust in your partner means that you're not afraid to share your concerns and hidden fears with her. True trust means that your relationship is strong enough to handle these sorts of irrational insecurities that plague every human being. True trust means that if there is a problem you don't twist it into some sort of 'trial of faith' but instead work with your partner to find a solution.

Come on. How do people even get by with such severe, black-or-white views of things? It's perfectly possible for a person to love and trust another person and yet still have doubts. Resolving these doubts shouldn't be difficult or a big deal.

Anyways. To the asker, I'd point out that the green really doesn't seem to be able an issue as complex as infidelity. Check past cheating threads to see this for yourself and take all the answers here with a big grain of salt.
posted by nixerman at 2:54 PM on July 3, 2006


If you don't care about the cheating, go to one of his friends who was on the trip and say "I don't know if any of you got with any whores on your trip, I don't care, but, if you did, you should know they many of them have diseases they don't even have names for yet that make your dick turn black and fall off. Any of you guys that tapped that should get tested even if you wore a raincoat" "I'm not asking you to rat anybody out, just lettin gyou know the facts"
posted by Megafly at 2:55 PM on July 3, 2006


Let me get this straight: you don't trust this guy not to screw some stripper whore while he's in Mexico, but if you can get it through his head that you're only grilling him about it for your health you feel you can trust him to tell you the truth about it? If he actually did it wouldn't he just think "fuck it, I wore a rubber" and lie? If you're truly worried about your health your only option is to go to a clinic and get a comprehensive screening.
posted by nanojath at 11:42 PM on July 3, 2006


I don't think asking one of the friends is a very good idea... for so many reasons. As someone who got an STD from a philandering ex-husband, and is terribly, terribly grateful that it wasn't AIDS or something that couldn't be treated... I would just urge you to just do the most obvious thing, and ask him calmly and reasonably (and without alcohol) to join you in getting tested. I don't think there's another good way.

If he's furious and wants to break up over it... well, that doesn't seem like a very modern, realistic attitude, and will be unfortunate, but fear of this is not worth putting your health at risk. Simply asking him if he did anything is completely unreliable, and you're betting your life and health that he will answer honestly - if you trusted him that much, you wouldn't have to ask in the first place.

Having total and complete faith in a partner's fidelity is not something that comes instantly or easily, and despite the ideals of romance, is not the best default setting with so much at stake. One of the benefits of a good, solid, long-term relationship is that it allows you to grow to that level of trust with experience and the time invested to really know somebody. Until one reaches that point, it's just naive not to use some caution. Emphasize that your request is not an accusation or assumption of guilt, and that absolute trust simply isn't an instant thing, but a point you will reach together in time.
posted by taz at 2:12 AM on July 4, 2006


a) I've yet to be in an American strip club where the girls didn't make it clear that they were available after closing time for the right price.

b) There's a difference between going to a strip club with your buddies and having unprotected sex with a prostitute. I understand this difference. So do you. So, I imagine, do most adults who are not mentally impaired. If you suspect your boyfriend can't understand this difference, why are you dating him?

c) If you suspect your boyfriend understands the difference but is lying to you because he likes to have unprotected sex in the context of your monogamous relationship, you need to work this out with him. Anyone understands that that kind of behavior is a deal breaker.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:00 PM on July 4, 2006


Well said, ikkyu2. (Though I would amend that to ...where SOME of the girls didn't make it clear that they were available after closing time. There's always a proportion that don't accept freelance work.)
posted by desuetude at 6:00 AM on July 5, 2006


I realize this is a little off topic, but as a sideline you need to address the fact that there is something seriously wrong with your relationship. I can't tell what exactly it is, but it's definitely one of a couple things.
posted by nanojath at 10:21 PM on July 6, 2006


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