Is it believable for a young adult male to go to a strip club and say that he doesn't enjoy the entertainment?
September 19, 2011 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Is it believable for a young adult male to go to a strip club and say that he doesn't enjoy the entertainment?

If a guy were to be dragged to a strip club by his friends, would it be possible for this guy to really not enjoy looking at naked, attractive women? This question isn't about insecurity, I'm really just curious how and why a straight male would genuinely not like it (and I don't mean he didn't like the food, it was too expensive, the girls weren't his type, it was just that specific strip club, it was embarrassing, he's a virgin, he's repressed, etc). And by "it," I mean, watching naked girls dance.
posted by DeltaForce to Human Relations (88 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yes.

I imagine that people that really enjoy strip clubs are either able to ignore the skeevy aspects, or the sight of boobies (any boobies) outweighs the skeeviness.
posted by supercres at 9:25 AM on September 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


maybe he doesn't like the idiotic staged power play involved in the whole thing. exchange of power is hot when it's real, but faking it is absolutely not.
posted by patricking at 9:25 AM on September 19, 2011 [17 favorites]


I'm a guy, and straight. I have no desire to go to a strip club. If I was there I don't think I would like it. Part of that might be because I know my wife wouldn't be a big fan of me going.

Seriously, I want to see my girl's boobs. Not just boobs in general.
posted by theichibun at 9:26 AM on September 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


would it be possible for this guy to really not enjoy looking at naked, attractive women?

Yes.

He might find the experience far too seedy to enjoy. He might find it akin to being at Hooters, where everything is part of a multi-layered scenario designed to part you from your money, utilizing insincerity and society's bizarre ideas about what you're supposed to be attracted to.

Straight men are not all Maxim-reading oafs (oaves?). A lot of straight men might be socialized enough to be dragged out to a thing like that with friends but not enjoy it.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:26 AM on September 19, 2011 [16 favorites]


Yes, happens more frequently then you'd think. There's a certain strange dynamic at strip clubs which many guys find off putting.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:26 AM on September 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've had men tell me this before. One said he doesn't enjoy it because "what's the point of looking if you can't touch?"
posted by la_rousse at 9:27 AM on September 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Umm, not everybody is comfortable with the environment of a strip club, which is, by definition, pretty goddamn seedy. I could definitely see somebody just being horribly embarrassed and self-conscious about being in a place like that, irrespective of the nakedness on display.
posted by killdevil at 9:27 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Did he give a reason for why he disliked the experience? I have a brother who enjoys looking at nude women (I mean, he'll make that guttural growling sound when an attractive female disrobes in a film) but when he had to take clients out to strip clubs he always said the experience depressed him. He probably thinks too much, but his reasoning was that the girls pretended to be attracted to male customers when all they wanted was the men's money, and he felt like the men were being duped, etc.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:27 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a gay female and while I enjoy both watching people dance and the female form, I find strip clubs offputting in the extreme, in a way that seems like it could certainly be shared by a man. (It has to do with both the false intimacy and the mercenary nature of the business.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:27 AM on September 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yup. As a young adult male, I can confidently say that I would thoroughly dislike every minute of being at a strip club, and that the stripper thing just doesn't do it for me at all.
posted by Rallon at 9:28 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seriously? Did your boyfriend just go to a strip club or something, say he didn't like it, and you don't believe him? That's kind of the vibe I'm getting here.

I know plenty of totally cool, totally happy, healthy, and non-sexually-repressed guys who have been to strip clubs and don't like them. And I do not care in the slightest if the guys I know go to strip clubs, so they have no reason to lie to me. Some people just don't like strip clubs.

Let your boyfriend off the hook.
posted by phunniemee at 9:28 AM on September 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yes. Oh god yes.

Everyone has their own kink, and that's not his. Sometimes women look nicer in sundresses at picnics than gyrating in g-strings while covered in oil. To each their own. That doesn't make him gay or a pussy, it means that he finds women appealing in different situations, different power dynamics (read: upaid) or when he can have a real conversation with another human being that isn't about him buying a round of drinks or a lapdance.
posted by JimmyJames at 9:28 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why you exclude "if the girls weren't his type" and "it was embarrassing" as reasons why someone might genuinely not enjoy the experience.
posted by argonauta at 9:28 AM on September 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yes it's possible. For me because it's lame, contrived, fake, obvious, ugly, and nobody comes out with their self-respect intact.
posted by krilli at 9:29 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was one such young man.

Strip clubs are very artificial places. You're paying women to be attracted to you. The power dynamics are really screwed up. Even when the stripper is clearly into the act, and some are, being there feels demeaning (to me, to her, to everyone) and dehumanizing.

They're turn-offs for me, rather than turn-ons.
posted by bonehead at 9:29 AM on September 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


I haven't been in years, but it always weirded me out. I couldn't help but look at the dancers and wonder what they were doing there - was it just like any other job? were they strung out on drugs? Did they hate it? And what was the deal with all those other guys there? Were they lonely losers, or was this somehow supposed to be fun? Also also, it's very frustrating from a "look, but don't touch" standpoint when you're a strapping young lad with urges.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:30 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm male. My partner (female) and I once took a couple of pocketfuls of small bills into San Francisco and wandered around Columbus and Broadway for an evening. We enjoyed the Lusty Lady, but most of the other places were some of the least erotic displays I've ever witnessed. Some fantastic acrobatics, but for the most part it felt like the women were just going through the motions, not enjoying themselves.

In the Lusty Lady (behind glass, coins pop open a timed shutter) the women actually seemed to be enjoying themselves, smiling, having fun, and interacting with the clients. In the other places it was more of a "here's my wares, I'm trying to convince you to come upstairs and spend more", and we did go upstairs and spend more and... yeah...

I can totally understand someone not getting off, in fact not even getting on, on the whole strip club scene.

Possibly related anecdote: On Facebook someone was recently passing around a "how kinky are you?" quiz, and I took it and posted my results with the note that I was disappointed that it didn't think I was very kinky. A friend of mine who has worked as a professional dominatrix said "yeah, but you know you're a lover, not a kinkster". Actually, I didn't know that, but she nailed it. Yeah, I'm more interested in some sort of nebulous hard to define relationship and personality aspect rather than "oooh, boobies!".
posted by straw at 9:30 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


The broader point here is that men are not stimulus-response sex robots. We have, you know, preferences and feelings and different male individuals may find different things attractive.
posted by killdevil at 9:31 AM on September 19, 2011 [37 favorites]


Yeah, because it's really awkward.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:32 AM on September 19, 2011


It's possible for a straight man to not be socialized to find strip dances to be sexy. If you look at a typical strip dance in an anthropological way, there's nothing inherently sexy (even nakedness is not inherently arousing).

I don't want to get TMI here, but one straight male I know, who enjoys sex lustily, does not really enjoy watching pole dancers, or getting lap-dances from many strippers. It's just not his bag.
posted by muddgirl at 9:33 AM on September 19, 2011


Yes. I didn't enjoy the "thinly veiled brothel" atmosphere and the drinks were too costly and the music sucked.
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM on September 19, 2011


If a guy were to be dragged to a strip club by his friends, would it be possible for this guy to really not enjoy looking at naked, attractive women?

My friends dragged me out to one, and it was boring.

1. The women weren't attractive.
2. The women were bored.
3. The music was bad.

I would have had more fun and seen a lot more attractive folks at a music show. I would have had more of a turn on with my own porn collection. I would have been less bored playing videogames at home.

TV and movies make strip clubs all seem awesome. But most of them aren't. They're kinda run down, skeevy and the women there are doing a customer service type job. Meh.
posted by yeloson at 9:38 AM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Strip clubs are creepy and disgusting. They are like the airplane food of sex.

I am a boob loving, sex enjoying, heterosexual male.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:39 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Absolutely. That guy is me. I hate strip clubs. Absolutely despise them. And I really don't like guys who go there.

I despise them because for me they reek of everything unhealthy and exploitative about the relationship between the sexes. In both directions.

Do I like looking at naked women? Hell yes. I like looking at wild animals too, but I sure as hell don't like zoos. You know?
posted by Decani at 9:40 AM on September 19, 2011 [26 favorites]


...and I don't mean he didn't like the food, it was too expensive, the girls weren't his type, it was just that specific strip club, it was embarrassing, he's a virgin, he's repressed, etc...

What do you mean, then? Those are all (well, maybe not the food part) pretty good reasons for not enjoying the experience of a strip club.

Also, we are in a technological state of culture where a dude can see naked women doing anything he likes at any time he wants. The fact that they are live is pretty much just a checkbox on the big list of sexy stuff he can't physically get involved with. So if a guy doesn't find girls dancing naked to be particularly hot, the fact that they are live and in front of him isn't going to help all that much. Add that to the decidedly ...unique... atmosphere of a strip club, and it just turns into a perfect storm of boring and awkward.
posted by griphus at 9:42 AM on September 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


If a guy were to be dragged to a strip club by his friends, would it be possible for this guy to really not enjoy looking at naked, attractive women?

Yes. Strip clubs are artificial and creepy.

Why wouldn't it be possible for a straight man to not enjoy strip clubs?
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:42 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


The only time I've had fun at a "girlie show" type of place was at a transvestite bar in San Francisco, where it was fun because the ladies were enjoying themselves and the interaction with the audience, who (mostly) knew it was a show. I've been to a little local topless place with college friends and a Reno strip club for a bachelor party, and both experiences were uncomfortable. There is often really loud music, a loud MC/DJ who tells you to cheer or shout for the ladies on stage, and it is in no way sexy for me, a hetero dude. One of the ladies in Reno even told the bachelor of the night that this was her first time stripping, which we all had an awkward laugh about after leaving the place.

Strip clubs are unlike porn in that with porn you can fantasize, imagine yourself involved somehow, and it'll only be your imagination. At a strip club, there is no fantasy.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:44 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's also the public aspect. Someone could like watching porn in their own home but not enjoy going out to a porno theater.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:45 AM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is it believable for a young man to dislike high-pressure sales, objectification of women, objectification as a consumer, participating in highly sexualized male bonding, or Being The Kind of Guy Who Goes to Titty Bars?

Yes. They're people even though they have penises.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:47 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, why not?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:50 AM on September 19, 2011


I’ve always thought strip clubs were unappealing because they objectify men maybe even more so than the women. I’ve been in a few places where I felt like an ATM machine. Uninvited strippers would literally sit on your lap, grind their butt around, and then ask (demand) $20 for the lap dance. (I work in sales and sometimes the strip joint is practically a requirement.)

I know these women are pretending to really like me and I find it annoying.

Fake boobs a can be ridiculous looking.
Once when I was in college a friend and I were sitting at a stage table and trying to be cool watching the dancer. You know, not acting like it was a big deal to be watching topless ladies gyrated and shake their bits at us when one guy sidled up to us and screamed, “woooohooooooooo boys! What would you do to that PUSSY! WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO THAT PUSSY!” It kind of sucked.
posted by Che boludo! at 9:50 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes. My one experience, half a lifetime ago, was forcefully unerotic and got very dull very quickly. I'm open to the possibility that there are ways of configuring the "service" to avoid this, but I have no desire to seek them out, and I think that yeloson makes a really smart point about the media's cultivation of the idea of the strip club -- the fantasy of the fantasy -- vs the reality.
posted by holgate at 9:52 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


If ALL young adult males enjoyed going to strip clubs, there would be many, many more of them, I would think.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:54 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've been dragged to strip clubs (ok I admit, sometimes I wasn't dragged all that much) for various bachelor parties and other stupidity (client entertainment...jesus!) for about 22 years now and I can honesty say I've always thought it was stupid. It's just not entertaining. Like, if you went to a restaurant and they put the most amazing, exotic food in front of you and said, hey for 20 bucks we will hold it under your nose for 3 minutes but you damn well better not touch it and by the way that beer will be 15 bucks, you'd be like FUCK YOU. That's how I feel about strip clubs. I think most people's fascination with strip clubs could be cured in one fell swoop by simply turning the lights on.
posted by spicynuts at 9:56 AM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Of course it's possible. This is a polling-the-audience question, and you already know the answer.

Whether it's an honest statement coming out of the mouth of any specific young adult male, well, that's a different question.
posted by box at 9:59 AM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


My husband has gone a few times for bachelor parties and not enjoyed it. He didn't like the air of desperation, even in the nicer ones, and he didn't like the equally-repellant air of douchey desperation some of his strip-club-loving friends gave off. It just squicked him out.

There's one major strip club where we live now and we know the bartender and so we know, at least as social acquaintances, a number of the long-term women who strip there (not the two-semester college girls). Because this is a tiny town, and we run into the bartender friend when we're out to dinner and she might be out with a couple of the dancers and we all get to chatting ... Anyway, we haven't been there, but I imagine if either of us went, it would be super-non-sexy now because we know everyone and it'd instead be like, "Candy! How's your kid's T-ball team doing? Is he still scared to play third base?" I think once the mystery is gone and the dancers are real people, that takes a lot of the "fun" out of it too.

Also a lot of men seem to prefer porn in the privacy of their home, instead of with six other straight guys. Cause going out to view porn as a group of straight guys ... that's not weird. :P
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:03 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Most straight dudes I've known don't like strip clubs. Maybe some of them were lying to me so I wouldn't get offended, but I think most of them don't like the sleazy atmosphere and the transactional, inauthentic feel of it.

And they're sort of in the uncanny valley of sexual experiences: more real than porn, but nowhere near actual sex. Just close enough to be uncomfortable.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:03 AM on September 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


Absolutely!
I've never enjoyed strip clubs. I've been dragged to more than a few over the years by friends and co-workers , and I've always come away feeling very depressed, sad, and, somehow, degraded, by the experience. The women acted bored and were simply going through the steps. The whole place reeked of desperation. I learned very quickly to make eye contact with one of the girls coming to work the group for lap dances and make sure she knew that I was not interested and was off-limits.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:04 AM on September 19, 2011


Certainly.

The real question is why some men pay good money just to get blueballs.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:04 AM on September 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I dunno if my voice is strictly necessary but: I'm an oversexed hetero guy and I don't like strip clubs. Really, they're just milking machines for the wallet. Rands might say that they were at least honest about what you're getting for your money but even on the best night in the best club I'd pretty much just wind up slightly deaf, with a headache, bad breath and sticky pants. Not my idea of a good time. If you're gonna blow $500 in a decent club maybe sign up for a couple hour GFE instead?
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:05 AM on September 19, 2011


Absolutely possible. I was dragged to one on my 18th birthday, which not only meant seeing the sights, but getting called up on stage to sit in a chair and... um... well, a bit beyond that. I think I was a normal enough guy of that age, not to mention somewhat exposed to the industry (I'd met plenty of workers via my club-regular father). You'd think I'd wouldn't have needed to be dragged there, or at least that I'd enjoy myself once there, right?

Nope, not even close. Resisted going, didn't find any of it enticing at all, and once given the special birthday treatment I couldn't get off stage and out of the place fast enough. I have never felt any desire to go back the 22 years since. It all was just way too fake.

Thanks for asking the question, though... I kinda always wondered if I was the strange one.
posted by Pufferish at 10:10 AM on September 19, 2011


To filthy light thief's "transvestite bar in San Francisco": Now we're talkin'! Yes! Drag shows in the Castro, burlesque in the Mission, underground theatres with secret knocks and no permits out in the Richmond District, people having fun, playing with stereotypes in perception altering ways, far from the drunk frat boys being louts while pretending to be high rollers, and where the performers are in the venues they choose rather than ones where the money seems easy.

That's how you get hot and sexy.

(Oh, also: When I was a professional whitewater guide, and everyone on the river was there because they loved the water, a few of the women I paddled with also danced. They said the dancing was harder on their bodies than the whitewater, and they just did it for the money. More boner killer.)
posted by straw at 10:15 AM on September 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


My husband works in film production. A few years ago he was working on a scene in a strip club. It was a long scene -- took several days to shoot. On the second or third day he called me from there and said, "I'm so sick of these strippers, I could just shit."

Have I mentioned how much I adore my husband?
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:15 AM on September 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've been a few times, never really liked it. I'm fond of naked women, but context matters a lot and a strip club is a weird context for a whole bunch of reasons.

Once or twice I've been as a band outing, the other guys were into it in a casual "I like drinking and looking at naked women" fashion that was fine in a not-gonna-bother-with-that-again sort of way; they suggested it, it wasn't new to them, I found the whole experience interesting as a cultural experience ("well, that's something that people do") but didn't otherwise really find it comfortable at all; nobody was weird about it, didn't really come up again.

Once it was a bachelor party for a friend, and the crowd was obviously a lot more mixed going in as far as who was a strip club person and who was just going to a strip club because it was a bachelor party and the bachelor party was going to a strip club and that's just that. The guys who were strip club types had a good time, some of them tried to sort of take the newbies under their wings, a couple of the newbies seemed just entranced by the whole thing, a couple others seemed deeply uncomfortable, and the rest were at various points between. There was an overall sense of free-floating anxiety to the whole thing, and I think all in all most of use were just glad to be leaving when the party moved on because it was really obvious it wasn't twelve guys all having a really great time and validating the bachelor party fantasy.

"Do you find the female form attractive" and "do you enjoy being at a strip club" are two really, really different questions, and I think a lot of people just don't really get the magnitude of that distinction until they've really planted themselves three feet from some strange woman's crotch for a while. Some folks really dig that, some folks really don't. The idea that strip clubs are a universal dude's paradise is more beer commercial than reality.
posted by cortex at 10:20 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I admit being pretty excited to check them out (with high school friends) during summer vacations but would NEVER go to them alone because the atmosphere was just too creepy (all the miserable, judgemental old men lining the stage floor) Plus, it seemed weird to have sexual entertainments taking place in the middle of a pack of drunken, douchy frat boys.

There are exceptions. I can still remember one really fun night in Vancouver 25 years ago because the girls were pro entertainers who did all kinds of trick flips and had costumes and props like big, over-sized powder puffs. We had a crowd of friends from work and everyone was laughing and cheering. That stands out as the only time I really enjoyed myself.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:22 AM on September 19, 2011


Ive gone two times in my life. Maybe not seedy, but definitely cheesy and overdone. Oiled up girls (most older than I expected), heavy makeup, fake tits, smelly interior, fake "I'll be nice to this guy for tips" attitudes that are so off-putting. Even at the "nicer" club I went to, the girls looked somewhat beaten up. There's no hint of youth and healthiness, two things that evolution wants us to find attractive. Its like this bizarre carnival act of things that should be attractive but taken to the nth degree and suddenly are a little repulsive. Tans? Sure, but the girls are orange. Makeup? Sure, but these girls could be mistaken for men in drag. Sexy hardbodies, sure, but not in the glow of cheap florescent lighting and in a smelly mirror covered club. Smiles? Sure, but not this forced Hooter's style tobacco stained smile.

Also, during this experience you'd being forced to buy x amount of drinks, girls are always coming by trying to sell you shots, the DJ is playing shitty hair metal, other girls come by trying to sell you on expensive bottle service, expensive lap dances, and to top it off other dudes are sitting there mentally getting off. Its also difficult to enjoy a lap dance when you're thinking that this girl is some kind of addict or has a million STDs. Yeah, its not for everyone. Its a pretty low class thing to do, especially when there are real girls at real clubs who look a million times better.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:32 AM on September 19, 2011


My husband doesn't like strip clubs. He says, "Why would I like to pay money to have women pretend to like me?"
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:35 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


would it be possible for this guy to really not enjoy looking at naked, attractive women?

Probably not, but the above is bad framing. You're questioning this based on the assumption that a straight man must enjoy looking at naked women regardless of everything else involved.

Just to add to the data points and divert from the above strip-club-eww pile-on, personally I don't mind em. I like looking at attractive naked women, though I'd say there's a fair quantity of folks working at the clubs I don't find all that attractive. There's aspects of the dynamic I don't like, but I've been to clubs where it didn't seem to be in effect and the women seemed to have appropriate personal agency.

But the only time I really like it is when it's as if I've gone to a bar with slightly higher beer prices and in exchange I get to look at naked women too. At least half the time there's other shit that comes with it which I find sufficiently unpleasant such that I'd rather be at a regular bar just hanging out with my friends without naked women wandering around.

Perhaps that helps you imaging a circumstance where a guy might not care for the strip bar experience.
posted by phearlez at 10:48 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


DeltaForce, I think you see the pattern here (and thank you all for supporting what I always suspected, that my husband is not alone in this attitude), but now I am really curious as to the genesis of this question.
posted by blurker at 10:53 AM on September 19, 2011


Definitely possible. I was at a pretty high-end club in Hamburg, where they know a thing or two about that sort of entertainment, and I didn't like it. Mmm, 40-euro-glasses-of-champagne.

It's worth noting though that open admission of genuine like or dislike for a strip club may bring up some complex motivations. For years I never went to one when my friends did because I disliked the whole idea of it. But that meant that at the point they decided to go, I would have to go home or go somewhere else. And it led to 'Oh look at you and your moral code' issues, either open or subtext. And while I tried to explain that I didn't care if they went or not, I must admit that a part of me did indeed look down on them for partaking of what I would consider to be a base from of entertainment. But then a part of me just wanted to be one of the lads and go and bump chests or whatever guys do there. (It turns out they don't bump chests).

So for me at least, there was an internal clash between wanting to be one of the guys, curiosity at what it would be like, and dislike of the exploitation of someone's body for cash. When I finally went, I didn't enjoy it. There were scantily dressed girls of unusual beauty, and at the surface you have to ask, what's not to like? At any level other than the surface, there is lots and lots not to like. And indeed I suspect that full enjoyment of the experience requires you to be the type of person that does not delve deeply into the experiences they are having, or the type of person who can close that side of themselves off.
posted by StephenF at 10:57 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm 40. I'm straight. I'm on the far side of normal when it comes to what I will do and enjoy doing sexually with a partner. I find attractive and sexy women to be attractive and sexy. Yet I have never, would never, and will never set foot in a strip club. There is nothing sexy or interesting about a naked woman whom you have no personal connection with whatsoever pretending that you do. It's exploitative for both parties.
posted by davejay at 10:58 AM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, and I felt this way when I was a young adult, too. This isn't old, curmudgeony me talking, it's for-as-long-as-I-can-remember me.
posted by davejay at 11:01 AM on September 19, 2011


I like looking at a nice pair of titties as much as anyone. However, I'm not a fan of strip clubs.

I always find it incredibly awkward when the dancers come over and try to convince you to get a lap dance. To combat the awkwardness, I end up talking about really lame stuff like what an archivist does, etc., which only adds to the awkwardness.

Basically, the awkwardness and the sense that I'm paying quite a bit of money to not accomplish something I could do in my bedroom for free really turns me off on the whole strip club thing.
posted by Fister Roboto at 11:07 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes. Went to a number of them in my younger days, never really enjoyed it.

Also please reflect on how callously dismissive this question is of men.
posted by MillMan at 11:14 AM on September 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Let's say you are a straight woman and I am a man and I take off my clothes and writhe around in front of you, right now. Is there any way you wouldn't like that?

Well, don't answer that.

But that is essentially what you're asking. Then add to the calculus that you have to pay for the experience. This is not really "men are from Mars" territory. There are plenty of reasons not to like strip clubs.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 11:17 AM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Going slightly meta here: is this the most unanimous series of answers in AskMe history?

To chime in with the chorus: I don't have a problem with strip clubs in principle but I'm not a fan and am not entertained when I go, particularly after the first 5 minutes when the "ah, yeah, nekkid everywhere..." initial reaction wears off.
posted by mikel at 11:18 AM on September 19, 2011


Possible? Of course. The real question is, why's this classy guy hanging with such sleazy friends? And why wouldn't those "friends" leave him alone, when he said he didn't want to go?

My guess, because of the OPs handle: the military was a factor, in this scenario.
posted by Rash at 11:20 AM on September 19, 2011


You could ask "Why would a man not be into (S&M, ). Well, he isn't...that's all. I myself only go when someone else drags me there. I don't like to pay people to pretend to like me, I can take the truth. Perhaps the best experience I ever had was when one of the strippers came by looking for a lap dance. I declined but we chatted for a while and when she left I told her to come by again if she's bored. And she did.
posted by CodeMonkey at 11:30 AM on September 19, 2011


Absolutely it's possible. I've never been to one. While I'm not morally opposed to them, they do kinda seem like buildings of sad with a happy facade.

So good for him for acknowledging his feelings in the face of universal dispproval from his peer group.
posted by inturnaround at 11:39 AM on September 19, 2011


Yes.

I'll add to the chorus. It's not secret that I enjoy going to strip clubs. This very weekend while out and about we wandered into an overpriced downtown Portland strip club. We had a drink, and decided that meh, we'd rather be on the lookout for women we'd like to date instead of ogle, and we left after one drink. Happens all of the time for us.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:44 AM on September 19, 2011


I don't think I will ever visit a strip club again even though I like naked women, beer and generally don't avoid bars or pubs. Hell, I even like high-fives and boys nights once in a while. The strip club experience just isn't all its made out to be in movies, tv, and men's magazines.

A lot of it has been covered in this thread, but I'll just chime in a couple of personal observations.

One, I've never enjoyed the thought of any kind of intimate interaction with anyone who wasn't very enthusiastic about it (I can only recall one stripper I've seen that seemed to be having a genuine good time).

Two, there is a pretty small variation when it comes to naked people. Life experience tends to make the whole idea of going to strip clubs kind of simple and plain after a while.

I probably wouldn't lose friends over this, but I don't find strip clubs to be a fun or rewarding experience.
posted by Intrepid at 11:51 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm really just curious how and why a straight male would genuinely not like it (and I don't mean he didn't like the food, it was too expensive, the girls weren't his type, it was just that specific strip club, it was embarrassing, he's a virgin, he's repressed, etc). And by "it," I mean, watching naked girls dance.

I hate strip clubs. Its because the women don't actually like me and I have a low ability to suspend disbelief. Also, what can I do with this woman where I actually get off? Nothing. Hell, I can't even get myself off in the situation. So why in the hell would I want to watch that?

Seriously, I have never gotten the appeal. I'd much rather go somewhere where I can meet women who would like to get to know me better.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:55 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I went to strip clubs many times as a young man (say, ages 18-19), but it really had nothing to do with the strip clubs themselves. Rather, I was enticed to go watch the ladies dance by curiosity at the ubiquity of the experience in our culture.

There's nothing really sexy about a strip club, as many people upthread have pointed out; but there is some sort of social expectation that a guy should find a woman (ANY woman) sexy, no matter what. So, sitting in a greasy strip club, over-priced drink in hand*, handsome woman swinging her semi-prosthetic breast in my face, I got a sense that there was something wrong with me for not being turned on by it all. I went back again and again, hoping that I'd suddenly 'get it', but I never really did. That hung me up for a while.

I don't know what has prompted you to ask this question, but I can tell you this - I don't know anyone who thinks strip clubs are sexy; everyone I know thinks they are depressing, seedy and needless.

*This was in Tijuana, so it was OK to drink.
posted by Pecinpah at 12:32 PM on September 19, 2011


To play devil's advocate, there's also the possibility that he did indeed enjoy the experience, and is telling you the opposite in order to avoid your wrath. Either way, you two might have some communications/compatibility issues to work on.
posted by Grither at 1:11 PM on September 19, 2011


My boyfriend says, and I trust him in this matter, that he doesn't like going to strip clubs because you can't touch the girls. So you end up paying a cover charge and buying an overpriced drink, and he'd rather save the money and look at porn at home.

(This is also the same guy who was grousing at not being able to make the breasts on his City of Heroes female character small enough! He tends to buck the trend in some respects.)
posted by telophase at 1:35 PM on September 19, 2011


Why would I want to pay women, who I couldn't be sure aren't being exploited, to pretend to be interested in me?

So, for the same reasons not all guys visit prostitutes.
posted by cmoj at 1:49 PM on September 19, 2011


When I first went, I'm not sure what I was expecting. me, it was probably burlesque -- a crafted stage show, built around the art of the tease, with a jazz band and a comic between acts.

Instead, it's a parade of nudity, and there is a relentless upsell. The whole point of the strip club nowadays is simulated sexual encounters -- lapdances, bed dances, that sort of thing. The dancers come over to your table and try to get you to buy them overpriced drinks, then try to sell you on a lapdance, and keep trying to upsell you from there.

I don't even like it in movie theaters when the concessions person tells me it's twenty-five cents more for a large drink. And I'm not interested in a bump and grind with a stranger in some dark room. And it's really expensive. A guy can drop hundreds of dollars a night.

Some people are just into that. And some men really get turned on by buying sexual attention. That's their thing, and they are welcome to it. I personally do not get turned on by being treated like a cash machine with a penis. And if I want to see somebody with their clothes off, there is no lacking for opportunities nowadays. Heck, I'm friends with some exotic dancers, and they'll pretty much take off their clothes any time there is a party.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:55 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Personally, arousal and sexual interest in a woman, and privacy and intimacy, are inseperable. Strip clubs lack any kind of privacy and intimacy, and thus they do not hold any appeal for me whatsoever. I've heard of booths with private lapdances too, and this falls down on believability grounds. I would be unable to shake the knowledge that the woman was doing it for the money, rather than for me.

I have often felt in the minority in this sense, but I have never felt alone.
posted by fearnothing at 1:56 PM on September 19, 2011


For some reason my answer didn't post earlier, so here it is:

I think that you're framing the question in a frankly ridiculous manner. You can't ask about a strip club while ignoring all of the elements that make a strip club what it is. It isn't just about naked women.

Is it likely that a straight male would not like looking at naked women? No. Is it possible? It certainly is.

Personally, I quite enjoy looking at naked ladies. But, like many of those who have already commented, I am not a big fan of strip clubs. I find them to be generally awkward and unsexy places to be. Sure, a part of me is enjoying the naked women on stage, but that's overwhelmed by all of the other things about the situation that I do not like (most of which have already been mentioned up-thread).

So, yes, it is possible that a young adult male did not enjoy the entertainment at a strip club and this doesn't necessarily have anything to do with whether or not he enjoys the sight of naked women.
posted by asnider at 2:21 PM on September 19, 2011


Absolutely. My boyfriend is a legitimately "good guy/sensitive type" and he says all he could think about (the few times he's actually been to one of these places) were the awful childhoods most of these women probably had and about their little kids waiting at home. He said he just felt sad.
posted by lovableiago at 3:21 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just another data point - I am a young heterosexual male, and I detest strip clubs. They are sleazy, expensive, and filled with bad music and douchebags. It's beyond me why anyone likes them, especially in this era of free internet porn.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:46 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh god, they are like the most depressing places in the universe. On the audience side, you have crowds full of young dumb frat boy style kids - the kind of kids that picked on me in high school, are dumber than a bag of rocks, and have the most nauseating gender attitudes imaginable. And then you have the creepy older men who are loners. Fake tans, alcoholics, desperately lonely. So lonely you can smell it coming off em like ammonia. So lonely they think the strippers are their friends, or are really attracted to them, or so lonely they can pretend anyway. Creepy as fuck and saaaaaaaaad, too.

On the other side you have the strippers. Clearly not into it. Clearly despise the audience (and, honestly, if they don't despise these bro-yahoos and creepy older dudes wtf is wrong with them??), mechanically going through these motions like factory robots on an assembly line that stopped producing anything decades ago; just assembling air. Desperately begging you for money, private dances etc, pushing their tits and vaginas and arseholes on you like they're free deli samples at the grocery store - and just like a piece of baloney, it's meaningless, flavourless, junk food that's not special or hard to find, or carefully prepared or made just for you.

Just looking into their carefully hooded eyes compels you to ask why they're doing this; do they have kids at home that miss their mother at night? Do they have bills they cannot pay otherwise and jobs they cannot get? Is there a drug addiction, or a gambling addiction hiding behind those lids? Do they moonlight with some sex work before or after, or even in the club? Is this woman trying to get me to pay her for sex? Would this woman rather be doing anything else in the world that would pay her than this? Does she hate me? Does she hate all of us? Does she think I'm the same? I'm not! I'm not like those other guys, but I'm still here, aren't I? With my 12 dollar beer and nervous, darting eyes. For her, I am like those other guys. Fuck. I don't want to be like that. I'm better than that, she's better than that. Sex is better than that.

That's how I feel, at any rate.
posted by smoke at 5:00 PM on September 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Is your friend former Australian PM Kevin Rudd? He made a similar claim.
There's also a quote from Neil Gaiman about how depressing strip clubs are.

Speaking for myself, I only went once and I did find it depressing. Besides my general prudishness/uncomfortableness around sex I was too nervous to really be attracted. Plus, it was obviously the women weren't into me and if I wanted to just look at naked women I'd look at porn.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:18 PM on September 19, 2011


My boyfriend says he thinks they're gross. I believe him, because I know him and trust him.

If you have trouble believing what your boyfriend says (I'm assuming that's the situation here), then you have other issues to think over.
posted by imalaowai at 5:22 PM on September 19, 2011


Yes.

A few months into my first job in the public service I went to Brisbane for some training. For lunch, the local lads said they were going to take me to a club. I figured they meant a typical footy / sports club - schnitty and chips with a pot, that sort of thing. No, they took me to a 'gentleman's club'.

Hrm, I thought, $23 for a bowl of second rate gumbo sounds a bit steep. And why is everybody grinning like a maniac? And then out came the entertainment. The girls looked bored and tired, and it was all just a bit too 'realistic' to be entertaining. Oh look, you've got a pimple on your butt. My, that's a nasty bit of shaving rash you've got there. No, really, stop...no, I'm not going to put that prawn in my mouth now that you've done that with it, why not try one of my idiot mates?

It was just boring, and a little bit gross, and they weren't enjoying it, so why the hell would I?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:27 PM on September 19, 2011


Most guys I know who have been to strip clubs say they're boring as hell -- you're watching some woman gyrate around with a look on her face of either boredom or contempt for you (and if she's been on the job a while, she can do both at once!), and she's mostly naked but you don't get to touch her, and she's not going to touch you, and absolutely no one in the room is going home with her. (Depending on jurisdiction, she may not be able to get within 3-6 feet of you, either. Oh, and no actual alcohol in the club, at least up in the Seattle area. So, to recap: drinking $6 soda, watching a bored angry naked woman grind her hips several feet away. Yeah, that sounds like a swell time.)

To quote an ex, "Strip clubs are so gross... why would I want to sit in a dark room that smells like balls and baby powder with a bunch of other dudes with boners? What a strange milieu."

The few guys I've known who were really really into strip clubs in the way that the OP's example wasn't into it have tended to be guys with not-so-great relationships with women -- they can't get a girlfriend, they have a contentious relationship/marriage, they're going through a divorce, they have odd ideas about women as a monolithic entity and/or don't actually know any women, et cetera.
posted by palomar at 6:13 PM on September 19, 2011


Well, way down here at the bottom of this threat, I'll just point out that you're probably getting a pretty skewed set of answers to your question (not that I think they're wrong - IMO these clubs are sad places on a bunch of levels), insofar as I haven't seen anyone acknowledge the matter of target audience. That is, without over-generalizing too much, I'll go out on a limb and claim that the target audience strip club promoters aim at and the composite audience that hangout around mefi don't likely form a Venn diagram of overlap of any sort. If that's the case, then most of the opinions above don't matter much, since club promoters aren't concerned with the sorts of criteria folks have been repeatedly invoking to support their opinions. (Again, I generally agree myself, but that's not the issue.)

I'm bringing this matter up mostly because it seems to happen quite a lot across a range of topics in pop culture and pretty much wastes everyone's time: Critics, professional or lay, don't like a given album, tv show, book, cuisine, style, etc., and labor over all the reasons why, without ever acknowledging that the obvious reason why the given cultural artifact doesn't meet their personal standards is that, changes are, the creator/producer of said artifact didn't/doesn't care a hoot about those standards in the first place; she/he's concerned with a different group of people and, as a result, a very different set of preferences. FWIW, when it comes to strip clubs, they seem to stay in business overall, which suggests that the promoters have accurately keyed into some sort of target audience and its preferences. But that target audience's likely not any of us around these parts....
posted by 5Q7 at 7:15 PM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


would it be possible for this guy to really not enjoy looking at naked, attractive women

Depends on the guy, the strip club and what you mean by "enjoy".

There's different kinds if strip clubs, some are holes in the wall, others go for a classy atmosphere. A guy in a classy strip joint is probably going to enjoy or at least admire a higher class of professional dancer, even if he doesn't like strip clubs much.

A good looking babe who is directing her attention is going to be pushing some buttons, even if the guy walks away.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:19 PM on September 19, 2011


My husband's always been like this too. He tried to explain it once to me (I don't have an inherent problem with them, it depends on the specifics of the club) by saying something like if the same girls just happened to be hanging out with him for some reason and he got to see them topless as the result of a more natural organic sort of social process (not that this happens much, just hypothetically) he'd probably be turned on a lot but in the forced and kind of depressing setting of a strip club it's a total nonstarter. I guess it's that weird and artificial power dynamic mentioned above.
posted by ifjuly at 7:20 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]



I'm bringing this matter up mostly because it seems to happen quite a lot across a range of topics in pop culture and pretty much wastes everyone's time: Critics, professional or lay, don't like a given album, tv show, book, cuisine, style, etc., and labor over all the reasons why, without ever acknowledging that the obvious reason why the given cultural artifact doesn't meet their personal standards is that, changes are, the creator/producer of said artifact didn't/doesn't care a hoot about those standards in the first place; she/he's concerned with a different group of people and, as a result, a very different set of preferences. FWIW, when it comes to strip clubs, they seem to stay in business overall, which suggests that the promoters have accurately keyed into some sort of target audience and its preferences. But that target audience's likely not any of us around these parts....


Or if we were, we wouldn't say it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:21 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


FWIW, when it comes to strip clubs, they seem to stay in business overall, which suggests that the promoters have accurately keyed into some sort of target audience and its preferences. But that target audience's likely not any of us around these parts....

Strip clubs have somewhat fewer customers than you may think. Each customer is quite profitable, though, and the beer's heavily marked up, so that works out. Also, remember the importance of the "regular" at the strip club - dependable repeat business from a customer, as opposed to a few smaller customers just coming in off the street.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:28 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Each customer is quite profitable, though, and the beer's heavily marked up, so that works out.

With a little extra insurance provided by the stage fee paid by the dancers for the privilege of dancing that shift.
posted by desuetude at 11:23 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been to a strip club on three separate occasions with a group of people of both genders. The majority of the time the women watched the stage while the men drank, talked to each other, and sometimes glanced at the stage, but more so watched the reaction of the women, not the strippers.

Strip clubs, they are not hot.
posted by it's a long way to south america at 11:51 PM on September 19, 2011


I have polled many boyfriends and male friends about this. Almost every single one answered along the lines of this thread - they are Not Sexy. My more aware friends admitted that somewhere in the recesses of their brain, the "ooo, boobies" light still went off dimly, but the overall sadness of the situation quashed any titillation.
posted by mrs. sock at 4:53 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Casinos are an excellent analogy, I think.

You like money, right? If you also like to play games and drink, why wouldn't you love a casino? At the bar, you pay for your drinks and maybe pay to play pool -- at the casino, you don't have to pay for your drinks and you may come out with extra money in your pocket. I can see the appeal, and I have friends who just go as a night out, a fun thing, not even as Gambling Enthusiasts.

But I find casinos boring as hell and they make me cranky -- the noise, the weak drinks, the carefully-orchestrated atmosphere, the simmering promise of "free money," the obligatory repetition of favorite gambling-related pop culture tropes, and this sort of undercurrent of latent aggression sparking off of certain types of gamblers waiting for their well-deserved payout.

I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with any of that per se, I just find the atmosphere irritating.
posted by desuetude at 9:30 AM on September 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Another data point from a heterosexual male with a healthy sexual appetite who has never liked strip clubs, not because I'm some sort of sensitive, New Age guy, but because:

A) When I was single I was always to some degree on the lookout for women I could actually date and/or hook up with, so I much preferred going to regular bars and clubs where that possibility at least existed. Going to a strip club automatically took that option off the table and instead insured I would go home alone and sexually frustrated (and much poorer).

B) As a married guy, I see an attractive naked woman several times per week without the strict "no touching" rule (well, at least some of the time), so going to a strip club seems entirely pointless.
posted by The Gooch at 9:34 AM on September 20, 2011


Yet another: yes.

It's too obvious that they don't really like you, the customer, or what they're doing. A big smile can't hide that. Plus, it costs too much to just look at boobies.

Though I've been to them from time to time on friends' insistence (Bachelor parties and such,) I've never understood the attraction.
posted by ctmf at 6:23 PM on September 20, 2011


Why not go to a strip club yourself so you can see what the environment is actually like and why some men don't appreciate it?
posted by 6550 at 8:05 PM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


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