n00b in the strip club
March 14, 2007 2:01 PM   Subscribe

My bachelor party is in a few weeks, and my friends are likely dragging me to a strip club. Since I have never previously patronized such an establishment , I am seeking advice on etiquette and how to play it cool.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (40 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I think that the whole point is that you, the apparently strait-laced future-groom, aren't supposed to be cool. Your friends are going to tell the strippers about you and the girls are going to spend the evening trying to get you hot-and-bothered. Just enjoy it, and don't sweat "being cool".
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:08 PM on March 14, 2007

I've never been in one because the whole idea makes me uncomfortable. That having been said, why play it cool? Your bachelor party should be memorable, and to that end, playing it cool is not helpful at all. Things will be more fun and memorable if you're fully (even foolishly) engaged in the situation, rather than doing the detached thing. Have fun! Get a little toasty!
posted by adipocere at 2:10 PM on March 14, 2007

Wow, I should have previewed.
posted by adipocere at 2:10 PM on March 14, 2007

I hope your fiance is OK with this event. And congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

As for strip club etiquette, if you get a lap dance, which I presume you will if you go, tip your dancer at least $5. Many (all?) strip clubs also have VIP rooms - I have never been in one, but I hear they are a) outrageously expensive, and b) might make your strip club experience very shady indeed.

If someone offers you a lap dance and you don't wish to have one at the moment, look them in the eye and say "no thanks." General rules of social interaction still apply, except where they obviously don't. When it comes down to it, the dancer is in charge of the situation, not you.

And what SCD Beste said.
posted by taliaferro at 2:11 PM on March 14, 2007

Don't touch the dancer. She may be allowed to touch you but you cannot reciprocate. That is probably the only rule you have to worry about.
posted by JJ86 at 2:12 PM on March 14, 2007

@JJ86's comment: this is true unless you are in Las Vegas. But you should always be respectful (that may not scan well for some).
posted by taliaferro at 2:19 PM on March 14, 2007

Look with your eyes, not with your hands.

Your friends will likely take care of all your dances, drinks and tips.

Expect to end up on-stage, tied to a chair.
posted by PEAK OIL at 2:24 PM on March 14, 2007

(oh, and your hands might be able to wander a bit if you're in VIP or whatever, but make sure you're not overstepping any bounds... if the girl politely moves your hands off of something, don't put them back there.)
posted by PEAK OIL at 2:25 PM on March 14, 2007

Expect to end up on-stage, tied to a chair.

stripped down to your tightey whiteys, with a severely hot naked girl riding you like a horse, using your leather belt as reigns around your neck.

^^scene from a strip club BP I attended several years back (quite glad I wasn't the groom)
posted by tdischino at 2:28 PM on March 14, 2007

Be prepared for the possibility that you will to be singled out and onstage for a dance. In certain areas, the usual routine involves all of the stag attendees chipping in and paying the DJ for the "special". This involves having the future groom tied to a chair with the dancers ... well why spoil the surprise. Being a good sport is alot easier than fighting it.
posted by greedo at 2:28 PM on March 14, 2007

Get hot and bothered, and get the rocks off with your fiance when you get home. That's etiquette. That's very cool.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:29 PM on March 14, 2007

Read Boobiebar's LJ, written by a dancer at a strip club. She writes about her day-to-day work and talks a lot about what's good behaviour and what isn't. She's very smart, articulate, and humourous - it's good reading anyhow.

Basically: tip, don't be stingy, be polite and respectful, don't touch the girls (not allowed), and don't be creepy.
posted by divabat at 2:30 PM on March 14, 2007

Don't bother trying to play it cool. You're at a strip club, on your bachelor party in an all male group. (If you want to be cool, go with girlfriends, dancers or a friend trying out.)

Try and act like a gentleman. You might want to avoid a private dance (rules seem to vary by state but there could be the chance feel very guilty). Don't forget to tip the waitresses.

This is the only advice I can offer as, despite having been in clubs from Portland to Key West & Madison to Reno, I've only ever been with women. I've had some brilliant times and met some very interesting women.
posted by i_cola at 2:30 PM on March 14, 2007

During a lap dance, SIT on your hands.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:31 PM on March 14, 2007

Since nobody else is saying it, I will: are you absolutely sure this is what you want? A friend of mine in a similar situation was dragged to a strip club, and we all basically sat around wondering how soon we could decently leave. He regretted ever agreeing to it. If you're on board with the idea, great, but if you're not sure, consider that the actual strip-club experience can be amazingly seedy and boring. YMMV, obviously.
posted by languagehat at 2:42 PM on March 14, 2007 [2 favorites]

I'd just like to add: if the whole being-dragged-on-stage-and-stripped-down thing terrifies you (it would me), then tell your best man/party organizer/whoever that it's not going to happen. If he's the right man for the job, then he will make sure that no one in the group gets the bright idea to drop a hundred bucks or whatever it takes to scar you for life.
posted by flipper at 2:53 PM on March 14, 2007

I would agree with not going unless you're really into the idea. It is really an uncomfortable place, and everything is very unnatural about the whole experience. I have a few guy friends who really like the experience, but they are not the type who would be asking a question like this.

Also, there is no sex in the champagne room. I don't know why the comments above allude to it, but the only time I've heard sex being offered was at very, very seedy joints in the middle of nowhere and it was usually prefaced with the intent to buy drugs.
posted by geoff. at 2:58 PM on March 14, 2007

Have fun. No when to say when (I am not talking about booze). The touching rule depends on what state you are in. Cali - sit on your hands. Texas - don't rub her skin off.
posted by Big_B at 2:58 PM on March 14, 2007

Just go with it, even if you're uncomfortable. This is your time to let loose and go outside that comfort zone. I don't, personally, like strip clubs but just let go and have fun. Remember, your gang is also there to have fun by making you the man of the hour.

If you aren't attracted to a girl that wants to give you a dance, let her know right away. Otherwise, she will think you're interested.

Make sure they take you to a nicer establishment.
posted by melt away at 3:20 PM on March 14, 2007

If you don't want to go to a strip club then tell your friends you don't want to go and try and figure out something to do that is actually fun.
posted by dgeiser13 at 3:21 PM on March 14, 2007

Thank you.

I honestly intended for the OP to get something out of that. Not just to score points for the funny. That's the goal though, enjoy yourself. I too was uncomfortable in the strip club even though it seemed to be an enjoyable time for my friends. I honestly felt weird being there. I had thoughts like:The girls were just being nice to me cause they wanted my cash... I'm not sure what I should be looking at here...they eyes or 'the other parts'....

Here's what I've discovered. You need to find the right strip club for the real experience. It shouldn't be a sleezy strip mall type. The girls aren't enjoying themselves. It also shouldn't be an upscale 'gentlemen's club' where they serve martini's and steaks. I don't enjoy myself there. These establishments should be seen as a 'men's day spa' where you can watch sports, hang out with your friends, have some beer and attractive girls will sit on your lap and talk to you and act like they like you.

The ideal club should have a lounge area. If sitting at the table makes you uncomfortable, then you can retreat there and hang out. Girls _will_ hang out with you if you're nice to them and you don't even have to pay for a lap dance.

Keep in mind that it's your bachelor party and all the rules are out the window. You will be drunk and unsmooth. They will take you on stage and remove your shirt and cover you with whipped cream(unless you convince your friends that its not cool). Its most likely going to be on a night where the club is packed and rowdy. Go with the flow and have fun.

Just keep in mind that the girls are people too. Be nice to them and talk to them like you would your haircutter.
posted by kookywon at 3:28 PM on March 14, 2007

I would add that a lot of this depends on where you are. The stip clubs I have been to are in Iowa, which I think makes them by definition seedy, but in my lovely home state you are most assuredly allowed to touch the girls. It will be made clear to you what is allowed. Watch other guys' behavior when you're near the stage, and the dancer is likely to lay down some ground rules before a private dance.

Also, I would get behind making sure you really want to go. If your friends identify you as a bachelor you are in for some kind of public humiliation cum titilation. And PLEASE make sure that it is a "reputable" club- I've heard all manner of horror stories of what happens to bachelors in Iowa's less-than-classy clubs. Horrible things I dare not relate here. You might consider agreeing to go so long as you are not singled out as the guest of honor.

Egad I sound like an expert on titty bars.

On preview, expanding on Big_B's comment.
posted by PhatLobley at 3:29 PM on March 14, 2007

Don't be afraid to talk to the girls and be friendly with them. Remember that despite the fact that the girls are smoking hot and probably way out of your league, there is basically zero chance of rejection if you've got money in your pocket. The best way to "fit in" is just to relax and enjoy the situation for what it is.

Alcohol helps, a lot, but don't get so drunk that you A) throw away all your money, B) cause a scene/get kicked out, C) do something you'll feel really guilty about, or D) all of the above.

Speaking of money, have however much you are comfortable spending (depending on where you are going, $100-200 is probably about right) in your pocket. Strip clubs charge jaw dropping fees at their ATMs.

And remember, no matter what a stripper tells you, there is no sex in the Champagne Room.

[Two other thoughts on preview: 1) I strongly agree with flipper's point about discussing what you are comfortable with with your best man. Included in this conversation should be explicit instructions not to hire a hooker (assuming you don't want that). 2) As others have said, it makes a great deal of difference what city/state/club you are in. The stripper will probably tell you the rules before giving you a dance, if not, ask.]
posted by hihowareyou at 3:31 PM on March 14, 2007

Damnit I was going to post the 'No sex in the Champagne Room'.

Don't sweat it. Expect to be embarassed (wear clean boxers!) so just get really sauced.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 3:55 PM on March 14, 2007

Despite how they are portrayed in popular entertainment, most strip clubs, even the "fancy" ones, are filled with lonely, creepy men staring clinically at hollow-eyed meth addicts or sad single mothers who lack better options. Everything will be covered by a yellow patina of nicotine. Everyone will try to pretend they are having a glamorous time. The chairs and floors will be sticky. Shitty nu-metal will blare through fuzzy speakers. Or worse, music you like will be ruined forever by the image of some poor girl soullessly sliding around a greasy pole. That sound fun to you?

To me, the way to play it cool would be to have my friends take me out for a good steak and a few beers.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 3:59 PM on March 14, 2007 [5 favorites]

Don't let them "drag" you. Have them do something you like or get new friends.
posted by DU at 5:01 PM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

A couple of links that may be useful: a reader asked Dan Savage a strip-club etiquette question in case you need to decline a lap dance; other tips at the bottom of this sex column.
posted by Dasein at 5:35 PM on March 14, 2007

I've been to good strip-club bachelor parties, and bad ones, and I threw one, once. The gang you go with seems to be the most important thing, from what I've seen. Definitely talk to your best man about what's absolutely off limits, and let it be known to the other participants that he's in charge (and let the girls know that, too--he'll thank you for that).

I think the most fun is had when all parties concerned don't try to be cool, but kinda goofy, revelling in the ridiculousness of it all.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:57 PM on March 14, 2007

The very entertaining Rand's Vegas System has an article on Girls, Girls, Girls which may not completely apply depending on where you are but it does give some good strategies (and its a fun read).
posted by mmascolino at 7:39 PM on March 14, 2007

Or worse, music you like will be ruined forever by the image of some poor girl soullessly sliding around a greasy pole.

Reminds me of the time in a sad midwestern "showbar" I watched a poor girl soullessly sliding around a greasy pole to the song "Old Man" by Neil Young. No one should ever have to hear a banjo in a strip club.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:05 PM on March 14, 2007

Ditto what M.C. LoCarb! said. There is nothing enjoyable, pleasant, or otherwise worthy involved in getting drunk, ogling whores (or whorish-looking women), getting felt up (or feeling up), and "cutting loose."

Turn the tables - do you want your bride-to-be in a similar situation with her girlfriends?

And at the risk of being ridiculed by the so-very-hip "let it all hang out" crowd, consider this: would you be OK with your wife - daughter - sister - mother being one of the those strip-club women?

Go out for some awesome food with your buddies, and do something less icky. Sporting event, perhaps.

Have some dignity, man.
posted by davidmsc at 10:01 PM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

(Worked behind the bar at a strip club, and these are what come to mind...)

–When you find yourself talking to a girl, don't try to make some big issue about the fact that you've "never been in a strip club before!" and you're "different!"

–Don't look around at the other guys (particularly, the ones who are alone) and start freaking out that the women see you as being as desperate as they are. Ladies can tell the difference between a guy who is there for his bachelor party, and a strip-club junkie.

–Don't be stingy and think that just because you're not a strip club "regular", you are somehow above everyone else in the club and you therefore don't have to part with a penny. Remember the girls are there to make money and if you can't spare 10$ you probably shouldn't be visiting their place of work in the first place!

–Oh yeah and don't fret... no matter how uncool you think you are, the dancers have seen worse, much worse.
posted by mjao at 10:30 PM on March 14, 2007

I dunno, anon, but it seems to me you're overthinking this. If your krewe is taking you to a club, suggesting you want to go bowling or for steaks may or may not dissuade them. Good luck with that, if you don't want to go to a strip club. I've seen a groom trying to steer his bachelor party work against the groom more often than I've seen it pan out, so I'm not going to recommend that, but again, good luck with that, if you decide to try it.

Otherwise, this is probably, in the U.S., the one night of your life when you get a pass to make a bit of an ass of yourself publicly. Don't waste it, and recognize that you can't save it, for later use. This one night, you get to get red faced drunk, look at good looking women until your eyes dry up, and laugh like hell at every stupid thing you and your boys can spout. If you're not too obnoxious, and can pay, depending on your jurisdiction, good looking women wearing little or nothing may come sit on your lap and wiggle professionally. You can tell them they're pretty. You can tell 'em you're grateful. You can tell 'em you never done this before, and you won't ever be doing this again, but while you're here, you're happy as hell to have their attention. You can buy 'em drinks, and tell 'em you've never seen anything like 'em. If they smell good, you can smell 'em. If they speak well, you can listen to 'em. You can put your hands where the law allows and where they tell you, or not, depending on your jurisdiction.

But when you hit the parking lot, bud, it's over, like a good movie you can't really see twice. Most wives aren't too happy if you're dropping strip club money regularly. So enjoy that night for all you're worth, as the rite of passage it's intended to be, and tell stories later, if they're memorable. But like deep sea fishin', the best stories are about the ones that flashed and danced, and got away...
posted by paulsc at 11:49 PM on March 14, 2007

VERY IMPORTANT: When the hot girl who has been giving you a lap dance coyly asks you if you want her to keep going, she's not being polite- she wants more change in the meter, so to speak.
posted by mkultra at 7:30 AM on March 15, 2007

nothing to stress about. sit on your hands and let them do all the work.
posted by mikshir at 11:52 AM on March 15, 2007

Pay attention to what mkultra said!!!
posted by brautigan at 12:17 PM on March 15, 2007

hollow-eyed meth addicts or sad single mothers who lack better options.

That's a little harsh. I only know one stripper but she provides anecdotal data as neither an optionless single mother or a meth addict. She tends to enjoy the job, in fact.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:23 PM on March 16, 2007

I went to a strip club with some buddies before I got married. I honestly don't even remember much of that night, but having said that...yes, don't forget how many dances you've had. They will be expensive and will add up quickly. And she's not going to suggest you stop, that's for you to do.

If you don't want a dance, your best bet is to say something like, "sorry, I'm broke". That magic phrase works wonders. Of course it is very likely that your friends will have pooled together a little fund for you, so make sure they can't hear you pleading poverty if that's the case.

Otherwise, just relax. It's supposed to be fun. Go on a Friday or Saturday night, stay away from groups of young guys who seem to want to fight, do anything the bouncers say, and don't bring in any more money than you're comfortable spending (leave your credit cards, and maybe your bank card, in the car or at home).

They're not taking you to a bordello, it's a strip club for pete's sake. Though what Chris Rock says is *not* always so. At least not in the Great White North. Or so I've been told.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:07 PM on March 17, 2007

Mmmm, I'm gonna get in trouble for that. Just to be clear, I personally have never had sex in the champagne room.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:11 PM on March 17, 2007

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