Reality check, please. April 16, 2010 10:59 AM   Subscribe

Can I get a reality check on the lap dance AskMe?

I'm feeling really bad for the anonymous OP, because I feel like she's** maybe going to walk away from the thread feeling worse, rather than better.

Her question was boils down to "What can I do to stop thinking about or come to terms with the possibility that my boyfriend might get a lap dance at a bachelor party?"

Responses started off helpful: And then we move on to "Cowgirl up," you're projecting. Here, let me tell you about your partner because I certainly know him better than you since we're both men [insert chest thumping]. Seriously, cowgirl up. You're being disrespectful. Oh, and by the way, get over your emotional hangup.

The direction the thread has taken is off-putting to me. I can't tell if it's just because there's a lot of stuff in there I disagree with (which I suppose is a possibility), or if it's legitimately gone off the rails. The OP knows that she has an issue with this -- that's why she's asking the question. Calling it a "hangup" belittles her and where she's coming from.

In any case, like I said, I feel bad for the OP, because had that been me, I'd feel a hell of a lot more conflicted after reading the back-and-forth than I had been to start with.

** Operating under the assumption that the poster is female, though it could be a guy.
posted by mudpuppie to Etiquette/Policy at 10:59 AM (274 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

The poster is a female, as she says in the last paragraph.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:01 AM on April 16, 2010


I think it's just unixrat being... aggressive. I don't even so much disagree with him as I literally cannot understand what question he thinks he's answering. There are so many weird assumptions there...
posted by restless_nomad at 11:02 AM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeah, if you comment that many times in an Ask.Mefi thread you've probably gone off the rails.
posted by chunking express at 11:11 AM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Its just seems to be one poster who thinks that perhaps a lap-dance is a "sea change" event in a man's life, I don't think the OP will lend that much credence to the one voice calling "that lap dance will make him a happier, more whole man"!

Its like the crazy guy hollering on the street corner, smile to yourself, avoid eye contact, and keep walking.
posted by stormygrey at 11:12 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


unixrat is being really annoying and argumentative in that thread. and I don't necessarily disagree with everything he's saying but damn is he being persistent and obnoxious and responding to stuff that doesn't even seem to really be in the question.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:12 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is going to sound slightly counter-intuitive, because I know we strive to keep any weird bullshit out of ask.metafilter and restrict that stuff solely to metatalk, but - well honestly, in this case if I had answered that question I think I would've tried to say that there instead of here.

I know it can seem like she's facing a lot of conflicting stuff, but unfortunately that's often the nature of the internet. What you can do is be as clear, concise, and direct as possible. My own personal rule (maybe the mods have a different idea, but it doesn't seem so) is that it's okay for me to disagree with other posters, even strongly, so long as I'm channeling that disagreement into a focused answer that is aimed solely at the person who asked the question. It's okay to say something like "hey OP - I disagree with x, y, and z above. I can see how that all might leave you confused, but you don't have to be - here's what I think you should do..."

The thing is, it's an anonymous question, so it's almost certain that the crew have had their eye on it since before it even went live. I don't see anything outright offensive in there, so it's all fair game. Of course, if you can post an answer that cuts to the heart of things and helps the asker in a direct way, that's the answer they'll remember - I think that's the best weapon you have to fight bad answers in ask.
posted by koeselitz at 11:12 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


unixrat is being aggressive and I dropped a note in the thread tat it needs to stop, now. That said if you're complaining about comment that you think may be remove-worthy it makes our lives a lot easier if you don't link to them. Once something's in MeTa it's a lot less easy to remove without a million eyeballs saying "what did you just do there??"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:14 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Although, yeah, unixrat is kinda going nuts in that thread. It's not really over the line yet, but I'd say he's done his fair share of answering the question, and should probably let it drop.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:14 AM on April 16, 2010


I think it's just unixrat being... aggressive.

I think it's unixrat using a poor choice of words ("cowgirl up"), others reacting to that phrase and unixrat defending his position as both sides continue to see the other through a distorted prism while getting upset over that view, instead of realizing it's just one opinion of many and not deciding "I've been in front of the computer too long, I need to leave other people's problems behind and go outside and get some sun. Maybe a little ice cream too."

*Takes a breath*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:15 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry, I honestly didn't think they'd be removed, because I thought he was answering the question (if in a way that way, to me, wrong-headed). I didn't flag them and move on for the same reason.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:16 AM on April 16, 2010


Yeah, that's a good reason not to bring this kind of thing to meta. If a comment is offensive, crosses the line, or is any way deletion-worthy, it seems like the best protocol is

1 Flag it
2 Drop a message to the mods about it
3 Wait for response (which usually takes only a few minutes, awesomely)
4 If you still have huge issues, or if it should be community-discussed, meta
posted by koeselitz at 11:17 AM on April 16, 2010


also for some reason everyone thinks that is argument thread central which is bizarre. Critiquing other peoples' monogamies is drearily boring to all but the most self-righteous and insecure.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:19 AM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I thought he was answering the question (if in a way that way, to me, wrong-headed).

Let's definitely be sure to open a MeTa every time someone answers an AskMe in a "wrong-headed" way.
posted by toomuchpete at 11:22 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher, I'm perfectly willing to concede that his opinion is one among many. What I'm primarily confused by is his(?) apparent assumption that the OP and her(?) partner have already had this discussion, she lost, and she's stirring up shit by bringing it up again - which seems to have no basis in the text. I have misread things before, so I generally like to try to check my assumptions when they don't seem to match with other people's.

(Also, can I just say that when we're talking about AskMe, of all things, "I need to leave other people's problems behind and go outside and get some sun" is just fucking insulting. This is what the site is FOR, dude. Using it as it's designed is not some sort of moral failing.)
posted by restless_nomad at 11:25 AM on April 16, 2010


Some comments felt too dismissive to be helpful, but not perhaps crossing the line into needing removal. Thus the rain of other posters trying to explain that "This needn't be true, you don't need to be down on yourself for wanting to bring this up." I too felt bad for the OP, and I can understand the desire to make her feel like she's not doing something wrong. (Plus, I know from my own anonymous AskMe's that one "wrong-headed" answer can make a stronger impression than a dozen helpful ones, especially when you're experiencing self-doubt.)

Can't expect everyone to be sensitive with their word-choices, though!
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 11:25 AM on April 16, 2010


The direction the thread has taken is off-putting to me.

I feel bad for the OP, because had that been me, I'd feel a hell of a lot more conflicted after reading the back-and-forth than I had been to start with.

OK, but you didn't ask the question. The OP asked this question: "Am I out of line in my thinking?" You are OK with the responses that answer "no," but not the ones that answer "yes." But both are valid answers to that question (even if they are phrased somewhat indelicately). The purpose of AskMe is not for people to provide answers that you agree with or make you feel good, it is to respond to the question.
posted by googly at 11:28 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Cowgirl up," you're projecting. Here, let me tell you about your partner because I certainly know him better than you since we're both men [insert chest thumping].

This tactic of derisively caricaturing someone's comments (and annotating them with imagined gestures) doesn't lead in the direction of anything constructive as far as I've ever seen.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:30 AM on April 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


Ugh. Really? Oh, well.
posted by unixrat at 11:35 AM on April 16, 2010


unixrat, it's nice to see you cowboying up like that.
posted by Plutor at 11:41 AM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


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

I had far more of a problem with the text I made bold in this comment than unixrat's first or second one. I agree with bunnycup's assessment of it.
posted by zarq at 11:44 AM on April 16, 2010


(Also, can I just say that when we're talking about AskMe, of all things, "I need to leave other people's problems behind and go outside and get some sun" is just fucking insulting. This is what the site is FOR, dude. Using it as it's designed is not some sort of moral failing.)

I probably wasn't clear then, apologies.

Of course AskMe is a cool resource and there's nothing wrong with offering advice to others. But sometimes people seem to get caught up battling down other opinions. IMO, it would make for a smoother, more helpful AskMe if people said their piece and moved on.

One of the benefits of the site is that a person can get a wide variety of answers, though some of those answers make seem bizarre to you and I. But it's my question or your question, so why we trust the OP to be smart enough take all these opinions in, weigh them and decide what's best for their situation?

No, I'm not advocating saying nothing about other opinions, particularly when they're factually wrong. But the tone of the this MeTa is, IMO, a little too "I'm worried about the poor poster and she'll just be confused by all these different answers!" She's an adult, she can cope and obviously tell what one particular poster thinks about her situation.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:47 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like the phrase "cowboy up". Chin up? Turn that frown upside down? Think positive? What has a 'suck in that gut, straighten your back, look trouble in the eye and wrestle it to the ground' kind of oomph?

SITGSYBLTITEAWI2TG, people.
posted by unixrat at 11:49 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The thread seems pretty unified in the "talk to him about your legitimate hangup" camp. Yeah, the OP's going to have to sort through this, but the consensus is pretty apparent to me. Because it's anon, we're never gonna have the benefit of a best answer selection to know if she did, but I'm not concerned about it.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 11:51 AM on April 16, 2010


I'm leery of continuing to comment in any of this for fear of appearing to have too vested an interest, or appearing to be stirring a pot. I have no interest in fighting with any MeFite about this issue. I have no interest in censoring views, and so on.

But I wonder why a couple of the commenters who wrote pro-lap dance comments felt the need to drip such disdain over the issue. I truly do not understand why they included the "emotional hangup" comment, or the low self esteem jab, as examples. If lap dancing and stripper contact is so innocuous, why include barbs like that? Certainly taking pot shots at the OP isn't going to persuade her that the lap dance is A-okay. Rather than increasing her comfort level, comments like those seem designed to make her feel worse about the whole thing. As a result, my sense is that a subtle purpose of those comments is to make the OP feel guilty for her relationship boundaries, and thus to use that guilt to pressure her into sabotaging her wishes. I find that approach manipulative, and I would like those who might have written such comments to think about why they felt the need to be disdainful and digging. I am deliberately not linking, so as to avoid calling out individuals and creating a defensive response.

On the other hand, I saw certain pro-lap dance comments that read perfectly respectfully. I take no issue with those.

But sometimes people seem to get caught up battling down other opinions. IMO, it would make for a smoother, more helpful AskMe if people said their piece and moved on. (Brandon Blatcher)

I certainly had this concern about my own repeated commenting/interaction in the thread, and attempted not to cross that line. If others feel I did cross it, I am perfectly willing to hear that critique.
posted by bunnycup at 11:52 AM on April 16, 2010 [12 favorites]


Okay, what I've learned is a) yes, things went off the rails, and b) I shouldn't have posted this. Apologies for making a bad decision. I was honestly looking for a reality check, not trying to stir the pot.

I'm now going to do that step-away-from-the-computer thing that people are always talking about.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:56 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


But I wonder why a couple of the commenters who wrote pro-lap dance comments felt the need to drip such disdain over the issue. I truly do not understand why they included the "emotional hangup" comment, or the low self esteem jab, as examples.

You characterize it as a low-self-esteem "jab" but I thought it was advice offered in a good faith effort to be helpful.

Do you think the most likely explanation is that desjardins (And that's who you're referring to, you even replied directly to her comment) meant to manipulate the OP into feeling guilty so that the OP would sabotage the OP's wishes? Or do you think desjardins might have found that line of thinking helpful in the past, when dealing with her own insecurities?

Which is what she stated, earlier in the exact same comment?

I understand why you're feeling protective of the OP but you're going to far in this particular instance.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:04 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's probably just me but I can't think of anything more depressing than going to a strip club, and if that's supposed to be a rite of passage for my gender then I'd like to start looking into other options.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:10 PM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


This idea that going to a strip club and getting a lappy with your bro dawgs is a Major Life Experience that a man needs is pretty hilarious.
posted by The Straightener at 12:23 PM on April 16, 2010 [31 favorites]


I'd like to start looking into other options.

I'd like to suggest WhirlyBall. [danger, sound]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:26 PM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


internet fraud detective squad, station number 9: "Or do you think desjardins might have found that line of thinking helpful in the past, when dealing with her own insecurities?

Which is what she stated, earlier in the exact same comment?
"

This ties back into the whole "awkward word-choice" thing, so I'm hesitant to tread through it, but what made me take note of that comment is "I'd bet my last dollar that..." left little to no room for other options. It can be dangerous to project your own experiences onto someone else's problem so strictly. Basically saying "I can 100% guarantee what's happening is [somethingsomething]," comes off rude, whether or not that's the intention.

(And I know through desjardins' other posts that being rude is super low on her priority list. It's just a matter of sensitive reading.)
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 12:26 PM on April 16, 2010


It's probably just me but I can't think of anything more depressing than going to a strip club, and if that's supposed to be a rite of passage for my gender then I'd like to start looking into other options.

Agreed. I went once for a bachelor party, and also thought it was depressing.
posted by zarq at 12:28 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or do you think desjardins might have found that line of thinking helpful in the past, when dealing with her own insecurities?

I think that line of thinking, where people are "persuaded" into changing their mind through statements or implications that the feelings they hold about any given subject are invalid, a result of mental imbalance or a personality flaw, is a fairly common but very underhanded way of achieving behavior change. In this case, I felt it did not respect the OP's capacity and free will to draw lines about the boundaries of her partner's sexual activity with which she was comfortable. It indicated, even if unintentionally, that the sole reason the OP would oppose her husband's receipt of paid, sexualized, personal attention from other women is that *something must be wrong with her (the OP)*. It is my opinion, and I am not trying to force it down others throats, that this is, to put it simply and bluntly, not okay to do.

I worded my AskMe that contained a response on that issue in as unaccusatory a way as I felt I could draft. I did not want to call out desjardins by name here, because I feel the above is something a few people in the AskMe did and that many people do all the time. I have probably done it! But it came to my attention there, and it's something I'm aware of. I hope my comments on it come off not as a callout or damnation, but more in a "Hey, maybe we could all think about this and just be aware when we are talking about these sorts of subjects."
posted by bunnycup at 12:30 PM on April 16, 2010 [12 favorites]


I had never heard the phrase "Cowgirl up!" before seeing that thread today. I don't plan on using it myself, but I'm glad to know that there's a female equivalent of "Man up!," which has always struck me as rather sexist (against both genders!).
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:35 PM on April 16, 2010


"Cowgirl up!"

I don't like Man Up or Sac Up or Grow A Pair most of the other terms along those lines, but Cowgirl Up sort of sounds like a porn director line. Like, if someone is talking about cowgirls, the chances that they're talking about sex positions is probably eight out of ten.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:38 PM on April 16, 2010 [22 favorites]


That's a good point and also a good reason to avoid using that kind of language in a thread where someone is expressing insecurity about a sex-related relationship issue (and I'd say the same thing of "grow a pair").
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:42 PM on April 16, 2010


Like, if someone is talking about cowgirls, the chances that they're talking about sex positions is probably eight out of ten.

You learn the most fascinating things reading MeTa, cross checked with Urban Dictionary.
posted by zarq at 12:42 PM on April 16, 2010


Can someone, in a PG rated fashion please, tell me just what a lapdance is????

I used to wait on strippers at Waffle House at three in the morning years ago but we didn't talk shop.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:45 PM on April 16, 2010


I thought it was 'COWBOY UP' gender-modified. Doesn't everyone folllow the Red Sox?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:45 PM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Just like it says on the label, St. Alia. Stripper gyrates in patron's lap.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:46 PM on April 16, 2010


Can someone, in a PG rated fashion please, tell me just what a lapdance is????

Person A sits in a chair. Person B straddles them (hence the 'lap' part) and dances, rubbing their body again the other. In a strip club, person A is usually forbidden to touch B, but that can vary, from what I understand in more private clubs or rooms.

I've only been a strip club once, in New Orleans, with male and female cousins, 'cause we figured we should at least see what it was all about it. The money was spending on movies, books, comics and CDs instead of strip clubs was well spent.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:50 PM on April 16, 2010


Like, if someone is talking about cowgirls, the chances that they're talking about sex positions is probably eight out of ten.

In this case, "cowgirl up" is likely a reference to "cowboy up" which is likely a reference to Kevin Millar.
posted by mkb at 12:55 PM on April 16, 2010


I had never heard the phrase "Cowgirl up!" before seeing that thread today. I don't plan on using it myself, but I'm glad to know that there's a female equivalent of "Man up!,"

Ah ha!

All this time, I've been thinking it was supposed to be some sort of sideways reference to "reverse cowgirl", and the implication was that a good shagging before he went off to the boobie-bar would inoculate him against cheating.
posted by No1UKnow at 1:03 PM on April 16, 2010


Agreed. I went once for a bachelor party, and also thought it was depressing.

You want depressing? When I was in my addiction I used to go to strip clubs all the time on like Monday and Tuesday nights because at 1:30am on those nights strip clubs were the only places you could find somebody to get fucked up with. I would sit around with the girls doing lines, hammering shots of Tequila and lamenting how all our hopes and dreams were slowly dying.
posted by The Straightener at 1:07 PM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


I thought he was talking about your friends growing up and getting married as the "sea change", but I could be wrong. I don't think he meant getting a lap dance was the rite of passage. Going to the nudie bar as part of your bachelor party is traditional almost to the point it's cliche. The only times I've ever been to a strip club were friends' bachelor parties, and my buddies know me well enough that for mine it wasn't really an option. In my experience, he's totally right to say that it's nothing to worry about, but maybe his presentation wasn't the best in this case.
posted by Kirk Grim at 1:16 PM on April 16, 2010


I don't like Man Up or Sac Up or Grow A Pair most of the other terms along those lines, but Cowgirl Up sort of sounds like a porn director line. Like, if someone is talking about cowgirls, the chances that they're talking about sex positions is probably eight out of ten.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

FWIW, totally, utterly not what I meant.
posted by unixrat at 1:18 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I used to go to strip clubs all the time on like Monday and Tuesday nights because at 1:30am on those nights strip clubs were the only places you could find somebody to get fucked up with. I would sit around with the girls doing lines, hammering shots of Tequila and lamenting how all our hopes and dreams were slowly dying.

I think you have "depressing" confused with "awesomely cool".
posted by dontjumplarry at 1:22 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Person A sits in a chair. Person B straddles them (hence the 'lap' part) and dances, rubbing their body again the other. In a strip club, person A is usually forbidden to touch B, but that can vary, from what I understand in more private clubs or rooms.

Probably important to include the information that Person B is probably in the later stages of undress.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:24 PM on April 16, 2010


I think you have "depressing" confused with "awesomely cool".

I don't really think that's how addiction works.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:25 PM on April 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


My experience with lapdances is limited to seeing Elizabeth Berkeley give Kyle MacLachlan in "Showgirls", where later in the movie she remarked "I liked your eyes when you came".
posted by Burhanistan at 1:26 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Person A sits in a chair. Person B straddles them (hence the 'lap' part) and dances, rubbing their body again the other. In a strip club, person A is usually forbidden to touch B, but that can vary, from what I understand in more private clubs or rooms.

Probably important to include the information that Person B is probably in the later stages of undress.


...and that Person A will never get the smell of bad perfume out of their clothes no matter how hard they try.
posted by rocket88 at 1:27 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Probably important to include the information that Person B is probably in the later stages of undress.

Traditionally sure, but not always. There's professional lap dances and lap dances between couples and the whole spectrum in between.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:29 PM on April 16, 2010


...and that Person A will never get the smell of bad perfume out of their clothes no matter how hard they try.

Nor, if my experience is anything to go by, the lingering bits of glitter out of their ears.
posted by bunnycup at 1:30 PM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


> It's probably just me but I can't think of anything more depressing than going to a strip club, and if that's supposed to be a rite of passage for my gender then I'd like to start looking into other options.

I went to a strip club for a good friend's bachelor party because he was a good friend and I thought that's what he wanted to do, but it turned out he'd pretty much been bullied into it by one of the "rite of passage" idiots, and after a while we all sort of looked at each other with that "what the hell are we doing here?" look and sheepishly left, except for "rite of passage" dude, who was really into sticking dollar bills on the women. Yes, it was incredibly depressing.
posted by languagehat at 1:31 PM on April 16, 2010 [19 favorites]


WhirlyBall

Wow! A mixture of dodgems and lacrosse! In the UK those 2 activities are at opposite ends of the class scale - like (as a comedian I can't remember now said) playing polo on skateboards. Or something.

Obviously couldn't take off here though, as stag night = drinking, and there would be too many lost limbs. Is it a big craze in the US that we don't know about?
posted by meosl at 1:33 PM on April 16, 2010


In this case, "cowgirl up" is likely a reference to "cowboy up" which is likely a reference to Kevin Millar.

Without turning every MeTa thread today into a Red Sox thread, I will take this moment to mention that Millar getting signed by the Cubs gives me a reason to go to Cubs games. I will continue going to them, wearing my #15 Sox Jersey (NOT a Pedroia jersey, love him though I do) until I am able to get him to sign it. He is a dream-maker.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:37 PM on April 16, 2010


I honestly can't think of a reason to oppose a lapdance besides jealousy or mistrust, both of which have their roots in low self-esteem. So I would appreciate it if someone would shed some light on that for me. I'm asking in good faith, why is it a big deal?

And I know through desjardins' other posts that being rude is super low on her priority list.

you know what's high on my priority list right now? homemade chocolate chip cookies, i'll tell you what.

posted by desjardins at 1:42 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


St. Alia: Here (slightly nsfw) is a lapdance more in line with what lapdances at Bachelor Parties are sometimes like (with the genders reversed obv). Big public spectacle with the groom right in the middle everyone cheering. Often involving spanking by the stripper of the guy. Anyway. I love being the strip club expert.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:43 PM on April 16, 2010


Desjardins, while I don't find them anything other than marginally squicky, I can see a couple of reasons:

- Objector isn't really familiar with them and is imagining something much less tame than standard
- Objector lives in an area (or strip club is one of those) where "tame" isn't in the same zip code, and has well-founded squick about secondhand private part touching
- Objector finds physical contact to be emotionally intimate in general; doesn't want parter to share emotional intimacy with complete stranger
- Objector finds objectification of women common to strip clubs inherently gross and doesn't want to associate that with her partner

That's just a few off the top of my head. As I said, for me, I just find them a little bit creepy and won't get one for myself, but I don't have any particular issues with a partner getting one - done that, never been an issue. But I can certainly imagine why someone with a different mindset would be uncomfortable.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:50 PM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


I honestly can't think of a reason to oppose a lapdance besides jealousy or mistrust, both of which have their roots in low self-esteem. So I would appreciate it if someone would shed some light on that for me. I'm asking in good faith, why is it a big deal?

It might not be, but lots of people get icked out by things for a wide variety of reasons, rational or not, and they often have to go through a process with their partners that involves "you're going to have to deal with this one" or "I love you and will humor you."

It isn't so much whether it's legitimate or not as how a compromise should be reached in a particular case, and there's no single answer.

We do lots of stuff for each other in our house because we've found that humoring each other and being tolerant makes for a more tolerant existence than fighting for one's rights, and the one who does the humoring is the one who's less upset.

Which is why Mr. Llama is the one who has to take spiders out of the bathtub.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:50 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


tolerable existence. i mean.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:51 PM on April 16, 2010


desjardins: as strip club expert i can vouch for the fact that some lapdances are definitely cheating. some are not. it depends on the intent of the one receiving it (and the level of propriety allowed in the club but most clubs have a sneaky relationship with the legalities.) In the end, like most things, you have to trust that whatever he's 'allowed' to do, or whatever is possible, your man isn't going to do anything he knows would hurt or disrespect you.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:52 PM on April 16, 2010


The only reason I oppose lap dances is this idea that someone might get glitter on their person. My OCD, it will not tolerate the stuff. Whoever it was who first called glitter "the herpes of craft supplies" will go down in history as a great philosopher.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:54 PM on April 16, 2010 [15 favorites]


the lingering bits of glitter out of their ears.

do i dare ask..?
posted by ServSci at 1:55 PM on April 16, 2010


the lingering bits of glitter out of their ears.

do i dare ask..?


$20 SAIT.

Sorry, I've never done that before.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:59 PM on April 16, 2010


I honestly can't think of a reason to oppose a lapdance besides jealousy or mistrust, both of which have their roots in low self-esteem. So I would appreciate it if someone would shed some light on that for me. I'm asking in good faith, why is it a big deal?

In my case, the thought of my partner getting a boner while a live girl stands there and shakes her boobs in his face and/or potentially touches said boner is offensive to my sense of partnership, trust and intimacy.

That's MY job. Per se. Ahem. Not really but you know what I mean.
posted by tristeza at 2:02 PM on April 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


restless_nomad: "- Objector finds physical contact to be emotionally intimate in general; doesn't want parter to share emotional intimacy with complete stranger"

That'd be my reason, so I can vouch for it not always being about pure insecurity or jealousy. In my head it's just "This is what we do as a couple, not what we do with friends or strangers." Even if it's a meaningless once-for-a-special-event scenario, I can't entirely wrap my head around doing that within the context of my relationship. If my guy greeted close friends by kissing them on the lips, and everyone of them found it completely meaningless, I'd end up feeling uncomfortable because to me it's something more special.

Chocolate chip cookies must never drop from the top of one's priority list. I'm pretty sure it's in fact illegal in a few countries.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 2:08 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Get'r Done is clearly the superior, gender-neutral analogue to Cowboy/Cowgirl Up. Don't let the Larry the Cable Guy association deter you from its simple, effective essence. It's got everything you need.

I also find "This will not stand" to be helpful, but it's a lot more syllables and is better suited to loud declaration than muttering to oneself before doing something unpleasant.
posted by Copronymus at 2:08 PM on April 16, 2010


My bachelor's party was me hanging out at an arcade/bar type place with my closest friends, all girls, and drinking and chatting into the night. It was awesome.
posted by kmz at 2:10 PM on April 16, 2010


Maybe a little ice cream too.

Ice cream tastes like soap. Metallic soap.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 2:11 PM on April 16, 2010


I honestly can't think of a reason to oppose a lapdance besides jealousy or mistrust, both of which have their roots in low self-esteem. So I would appreciate it if someone would shed some light on that for me. I'm asking in good faith, why is it a big deal?

People define inappropriate intimacy in different ways. For some people, it's OK if their significant others have sex with other people. Some people are not OK with their significant others kissing other men or women. And others are not OK with nude people sitting on their SOs.

I don't think these boundaries necessarily have to do with insecurity or a fear of someone leaving them. And they're all fine, frankly. No need to question anyone's personal strength because of their standards.
posted by ignignokt at 2:11 PM on April 16, 2010 [19 favorites]


fairytale of los angeles: "Whoever it was who first called glitter "the herpes of craft supplies" will go down in history as a great philosopher"

Demetri Martin, I believe!

posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 2:11 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't think of anything more depressing than going to a strip club
At the Manhattan strip club I described in my answer, all the dancers had thick Russian accents that made it hard for me to imagine that they were dancing their way through NYU. All I could think about was international sex trafficking. I left that bachelor party early.

I honestly can't think of a reason to oppose a lapdance besides jealousy or mistrust, both of which have their roots in low self-esteem.
On my wedding day, I promised my wife monogamy. I believe she puts some stock in that promise, and I consider paying someone else to touch me for my sexual gratification to be a betrayal of that promise.
posted by hhc5 at 2:12 PM on April 16, 2010 [17 favorites]


I thought Cowboy Up/Cowgirl Up was like "Get back on the horse" as in what they might yell when a cowboy mounts the bronco or bull. For the millionth time.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:16 PM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't know. I've been to bachelor parties involving strippers. They were fun.
posted by shmegegge at 2:29 PM on April 16, 2010


- Objector finds physical contact to be emotionally intimate in general; doesn't want parter to share emotional intimacy with complete stranger

This is it for me. Well, that and a feeling of ownership, however wrong such feelings of ownership are for other couples. Mr. WanKenobi's boners are mine, except when they're his--and that's fine--but they're certainly not some skanky ass stripper's.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:32 PM on April 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


"This idea that going to a strip club and getting a lappy with your bro dawgs is a Major Life Experience that a man needs is pretty hilarious."

I have only been to a strip club once in my life, when my friend Adam turned 18. He'd been a freshman when a group of us were seniors, and he'd tagged along with our group so we treated him like a kid brother.

On his eighteenth birthday, we all headed over to my friend Jeremy's place, where we met up with another Jeremy, and the first Jeremy's friends and neighbors, some brothers named Andrew, Tony and Kevin, who also happened to be our drug dealers. We smoked honey-dipped blunts, drank warm brandy out of hip pocket flasks, and generally got fired up for the half an hour drive out into seedy Ypsilanti, where the club was located.

It was a Deja Vu, one of a national chain of strip clubs, and I'd kinda sorta wanted to check it out since high school. Jeremy S.'s high school girlfriend was rumored to work there, the girl who'd gone down on him up in the sound booth during our production of Raisin in the Sun. I had coupons from the local arts rag (the place I'd later work for and find out that Deja Vu was one of the few advertisers never behind in their payments), which got us in for free, though there was still a two-drink minimum. With Deja Vu being full nude, and Michigan being weird on liquor laws, that meant two cokes with grenadine in plastic commemorative cups.

It was dark in Deja Vu, and smoky, and a lot smaller than I would have guessed. I was working a pizza delivery job at that point, so had a shit ton of ones, but was also desperately aware of just what every single meant—most runs going to college students, I got a buck at best. We got seats, got our "drinks," and then started watching the show. Honestly, anymore, I couldn't tell you a thing about the girls. I don't remember them, I don't remember their dancing. I assume they were naked, I remember that they played "Don't Stop Believin'" and that the whole thing made me feel profoundly cheap. I didn't have another feeling like that until going to Vegas—something else I recommend as a rite of passage—where so many people wanted my money for so little in return.

But it was Adam's birthday, so we pooled our money and got him the $65 lap dance. Because we told them it was his birthday, he got shooed up on stage for his lap dance, where three women dressed in nurse costumes tied him to a chair and ground their bodies on to him while taking off their clothes. They rubbed their tits in his face, rubbed their pussies on his leg, all while the DJ mocked him mercilessly for getting turned on or for not getting turned on enough, alternating between yelling that Adam was a pervert for creaming his jeans and calling him a fag for not doing so. I don't think I've ever seen anyone's face turn as red as Adam's got; there couldn't have been any blood left in his dick, the way he was blushing.

We left pretty soon after that, Adam uncomfortable, not sure whether he should say he enjoyed it or didn't. Andrew and his brothers stayed, stuffing drug money into g-strings, and we had to drive Adam home in their car, a long, silent ride back to the house (where we recovered only with more pot and lots of Goldeneye).

The next time I was offered a chance to go to a strip club, I had too much work to do. But when the group of guys got back from the club, all that anyone wanted to talk about was how Jeff freaked out and left.

"She stuck my glasses in her pussy," Jeff said. "She smiled at me, took my glasses, and stuck them right up her pussy. They're fucking disgusting and I can't see shit. They're all slimy. I had to leave."

I'm vaguely curious about Jumbo's here in LA, as it's ostensibly a "weirdo" strip club. But I'm never curious enough to get a gang together and go, and none of my friends here really seem like the strip club type. They're all much more like Adam, and I don't want another silent drive home while we all try to come to terms with how we felt about strippers, personal space and capitalism. Plus, most of my friends wear glasses now.
posted by klangklangston at 2:33 PM on April 16, 2010 [21 favorites]


I've been dying to go to Jumbo's, and I know there's been a meetup there before. Maybe I'll just have to call one.

Personally, I get a little tired of enthusiam for or against strippers. I understand why MY man is anti -- he's pretty shy, and dislikes being the center of attention like that. But hating on stripping is also kind of too close to hating on strippers sometimes, and I don't want to hate on strippers. PLUS, I almost never hear from men what I often do from women, which is "I don't much like stripping but I LOVE burlesque." You'd think there'd be more vocal male burlesque fans if they're really so turned off by the downtrodden aesthetic of the strip.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:40 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


PhoBWanKenobi: "Mr. WanKenobi's boners are mine, except when they're his--and that's fine--but they're certainly not some skanky ass stripper's."

Non skanky strippers are okay, then.

Anyway, this sense of possessiveness is why I suggested practically forcing the dude to get a lap dance (and paying for it) because then she would be the one providing the sexy fun times (albeit by proxy). But I don't know the normal people's monogamy feelings so maybe it is bizarre advice.

Also maybe she doesn't want him to get a lap dance because his pants are dry clean only.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:43 PM on April 16, 2010


I, too, have been to a strip club. Which, 20 years later, I am still amazed at. The husband and wife who owned the restaurant where my husband and I worked, decided to take us to a strip club at 3:00 pm (after the lunch rush.) Why? I haven't a fucking clue. All I know is 20 years later I am left with the nasty image of unfettered, strange muff gyrating inches away from my face. Gah! The club and the experience where so sordid and gloomy that I felt immensely sorry for anyone who ever got a boner there.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:46 PM on April 16, 2010


desjardins: I honestly can't think of a reason to oppose a lapdance besides jealousy or mistrust, both of which have their roots in low self-esteem.

hhc5: On my wedding day, I promised my wife monogamy. I believe she puts some stock in that promise, and I consider paying someone else to touch me for my sexual gratification to be a betrayal of that promise.

This. desjardins, my wife and I draw the line at sexual intimacy with someone other than each other. That decision has nothing to do with our senses of self-esteem, or feelings of jealousy or mistrust. Nor body image.
posted by zarq at 2:46 PM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


You'd think there'd be more vocal male burlesque fans if they're really so turned off by the downtrodden aesthetic of the strip.

Legitimate question: is a straight man who attends a burlesque show considered a perv? In what ways are the cultural attitudes about acceptable level of arousal different than what's been described upthread?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 2:47 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


"PLUS, I almost never hear from men what I often do from women, which is "I don't much like stripping but I LOVE burlesque." You'd think there'd be more vocal male burlesque fans if they're really so turned off by the downtrodden aesthetic of the strip."

C'mon, you've been to the Edison on burlesque nights. There's tons of dudes.
posted by klangklangston at 2:47 PM on April 16, 2010


PLUS, I almost never hear from men what I often do from women, which is "I don't much like stripping but I LOVE burlesque."

I mean it's just me and I'm pretty weird (plus the shy and etc) but I just generally hate the idea of sexual interaction with strangers. This isn't stripper-hate, I just prefer to be erotically stimulated by people with whom I have a foundational relationship.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:50 PM on April 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


> C'mon, you've been to the Edison on burlesque nights. There's tons of dudes.

Is it weird that I think you think I've been to some bar a lot really odd? I'm not playing some weird coy "besides the Edison" game. Fuck if I know what burlesque nights there are like; I live 90 minutes away.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:53 PM on April 16, 2010


I can't make up my mind on...

MetaFilter: I liked your eyes when you came

and

MetaFilter: The herpes of craft supplies

Incidentally, I have friends who have gone to Jumbo's, and the skanky factor is apparently very, very high.
posted by davejay at 3:10 PM on April 16, 2010


scody and I went to Jumbo's along with HighTechUnderpants and scody's boyfriend and his friend I think. I've pretty much never been to a strip club before. The dancers were nice. I could not comment vis a vis skank factor.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:15 PM on April 16, 2010


"Is it weird that I think you think I've been to some bar a lot really odd? I'm not playing some weird coy "besides the Edison" game. Fuck if I know what burlesque nights there are like; I live 90 minutes away."

I thought you were there on that night I was doing the cocktails story. Maybe you left early, but it turned out that it was also burlesque night, which involved mostly some girl with a very sluggish and bored python writhing on the counter, and a herd of dudes migrating from end to end of the bar to watch her, plenty of them in their faux steampunk arm garters and spats and shit.
posted by klangklangston at 3:18 PM on April 16, 2010


I'd be down with a Jumbo's meet-up. And I've been to a good burlesque show (a hula-hoop routine set to Iggy Pop!).

You'd think there'd be more vocal male burlesque fans if they're really so turned off by the downtrodden aesthetic of the strip.


I'd wager that removing the odd power/money dynamics from stripping also removes the frisson for a lot of guys, whether they can vocalize it/realize it.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:19 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


... "or not", he types to complete the incomplete sentence above.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:20 PM on April 16, 2010


Non skanky strippers are okay, then.

Frankly, if we're talking about the interaction of my husband's genitals+anyone's besides mine, they're all skanky. I realize this is unenlightened of me or whatever, but I know my husband shares the sentiment--other dudes have junk covered with herpes and AIDs and pure evil, as far as he's concerned.

I get what you're saying about having her buy him the lapdance, but I still think it makes just as much sense for the guy to just abstain for the sake of his significant other's comfort. It's a really inconsequential request in the scheme of, like, real life. Plus the whole "you can have a lapdance if I buy you one" seems even weirder and more controlling, in a way, to me. Like you don't trust your SO not to do it if you ask, so you force yourself to be complicit in something you're really not comfortable with.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:35 PM on April 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


...so you force yourself to be complicit in something you're really not comfortable with.

This is exactly the crux of the issue to me. I cannot wrap my mind around the idea of why it might be really, really important for someone to let their SO go get a lap dance, so much so that they shouldn't even talk to their SO about his (in this case) feelings. Literally, the OP was told she shouldn't even raise the issue. I truly deeply and sincerely do not understand that.

Because at the end of the day, we are talking about a person who is uncomfortable with sexual activity, a sexual circumstance or event, in which their partner might want to participate (we don't even know if the partner does want to! and the OP isn't allowed to ask about it?!?). I am opposed to putting people in situations where they feel pressured about accepting sexual situations. That is where I am coming from.

I have NO issue with stripping in general. I lived above a strip club in lower Manhattan for a few months, and made friends (glitter issues aside). I have safety and crime issues, and I think both patrons and workers should be better protected against them. It's not moral heebie-jeebies about stripping that guide my answers, it's a very low tolerance for pressure.
posted by bunnycup at 3:44 PM on April 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


PLUS, I almost never hear from men what I often do from women, which is "I don't much like stripping but I LOVE burlesque." You'd think there'd be more vocal male burlesque fans if they're really so turned off by the downtrodden aesthetic of the strip.

As someone who has enjoyed mainstream strip clubs from time to time, I always think of burlesque as a campy mocking of mainstream stripping.

I have the same feeling about roller derby. That it's a sport which exists in part to mock mainstream team sports (though I don't doubt there are very sincere roller derby fans and participants).
posted by mullacc at 3:52 PM on April 16, 2010


"She stuck my glasses in her pussy," Jeff said. "She smiled at me, took my glasses, and stuck them right up her pussy. They're fucking disgusting and I can't see shit. They're all slimy. I had to leave."

OK, as much as I despise glitter... that might be my new personal threshhold for visceral horror. "Thanks," klang.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:55 PM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm amused that some of the replies in the thread advise the OP to not bring up anything with her partner, and also refer to her getting married, or having a fiance.

"Communication gaps are great! Check out mine!"
posted by yohko at 4:05 PM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


This idea that going to a strip club and getting a lappy with your bro dawgs is a Major Life Experience that a man needs is pretty hilarious.

I also love the fact that the kind of dudes who actually believe that crap tend to be the ones who are most uncomfortable when you point out that what they are doing is sharing a sexual experience with their male friends. "Dude, no, it's totally not gay. I swear."
posted by Nothing... and like it at 4:32 PM on April 16, 2010


> I honestly can't think of a reason to oppose a lapdance besides jealousy or mistrust, both of which have their roots in low self-esteem.

That's absurd. Do you actually believe that, or are you just showing off how cool you are? Just because you don't get jealous doesn't mean jealousy is a symptom of low self-esteem, for fuck's sake.
posted by languagehat at 4:39 PM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


> Like, if someone is talking about cowgirls, the chances that they're talking about sex positions is probably eight out of ten.

Before I ever heard about that usage of "cowgirl" the first image the word called to my mind was Phoebe Ann Moses, with Dale Evans a close second. That actually hasn't changed much even now: mental search term cowgirl, first result Phoebe Ann, then Dale, then a bunch of other increasingly less famous real or Hollywood cowgirls. First skanky link somewhere on the second page of results. I know I trend in the laughably unhip direction and there's no use trying to reform at this point.

But sheesh, jessamyn, eight out of ten? For real? That's the first time i've ever been so forcefully reminded of being incurably unhip by an offhand comment from a librarian. fuller rises, tips Bat Masterson hat :)
posted by jfuller at 4:50 PM on April 16, 2010


> I always think of burlesque as a campy mocking of mainstream stripping. I have the same feeling about roller derby. That it's a sport which exists in part to mock mainstream team sports (though I don't doubt there are very sincere roller derby fans and participants).

Oh, NOW you've done it. I'd punch you in the dick but I can't move my right arm. For a sport that only serves to mock "real" sports, derby sure does HURT.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:54 PM on April 16, 2010


I didn't say "only."
posted by mullacc at 4:59 PM on April 16, 2010


klang, yeah you've seen 50% of my trips to The Edison. I left early to proctor a final. I guess I know they have a "burlesque night" but I remain dubious as to the sincerity of said burlesque. And I'm not at all cool with the feeling that I convey "Edison regular" in any way. Faugh. And in any case, as bookhouse avers, vocal male fans of burlesque may be fewer than vocal male fans or detractors of strip for unenunciated reasons. But burlesque is, typically, done for fun more than for money, so it makes zero sense to me that red blooded feminist men wouldn't be all over it. In my experience, the vocal fans have been mostly women. I sure as shit love a good burlesque show. I will probably be performing in some for my roller derby team in the not too distant future. :O mockery of mockeries!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:59 PM on April 16, 2010


I want to see roller derby combined with Ultimate, is what I want to see. Some sort of Discs Of Tron on wheels.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:05 PM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


But sheesh, jessamyn, eight out of ten? For real?

That may just be the internet talking. It's been a rainy day here and my real life/internet life statistics get out of hand when I stay indoors. If you are interested in cowgirls, please let my mom (momlink!) tell you more about them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:10 PM on April 16, 2010


languagehat: Just because you don't get jealous doesn't mean jealousy is a symptom of low self-esteem, for fuck's sake

Here are my actual words, excerpted from my initial comment in the AskMe: "I can be very jealous and possessive, but I keep it to myself, because it's MY problem, not his, and he does not need to be burdened with my baggage."

I am not cooler than anyone. I get jealous. I'm a jerk sometimes. I find that jealousy and possessiveness always leads to suffering, and when I'm mindful of my intentions I shut my trap and trust my husband.

The OP seems to recognize her own suffering; she calls it "neuroticism" and asks us what she can do for herself to come to terms with it. My suggestion was not to inflict her own suffering onto her boyfriend, and to look within to find the cause. I was probably presumptuous as to what that is. I still do not believe that it is as simple as her discomfort with lap dances per se.
posted by desjardins at 5:15 PM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I first went when young, like real young, maybe 14 or 15, definitely before I had a drivers license; went with guys I worked with, construction guys. My heart -- yeah, I knew it was not really worth a damn. My hormones -- through the roof. I mean, come on, a young kid around real live authentic breasts?

Anyways. Then a bit later, moved south to Florida, legal age then and there was 18 and that's probably what I was when I was going to those clubs, yet again with guys from work. Hormones -- through the roof. And, worse -- I would fall for these women, most esp the younger ones, and while I never tried to get anything going with any of them, my hormones were lying to me, telling me that my heart was involved. I pretty much had to stay out of those clubs to keep from getting lied to by my very own personal hormones. And, when away from the clubs, I was able to see, as I did when I was a kid, that it was not worth a damn, and I didn't go to them for years, couple decades.

Twelve years ago, give or take, a couple of running buddies liked going to those clubs for lunch, and while I didn't want to get lied to by my hormones, thus sortof didn't want to go, I did go, and found that I was no longer lied to by my hormones, the power of it was gone. Except: There are some women who just flat know where I live, they've got my number. I'd guess that dancers who are good at this learn to turn this skill on pretty much at will; no telling.

What I *can* tell is that I found I'd best not make eye contact with them, at all, not for two seconds, damn sure not for four seconds, if I didn't want to get hooked back into that stupid loop. It was like getting tied to the mast and hearing the sirens, or something like it -- if I allowed myself to give in to this thing I was pretty much gone into stupidity.

But. Again, the cool thing is that I found that I can speak with dancers; real live breasts in my face or not, I can clearly see that they are people and stuff, and act accordingly, like talk with them and whatnot, and hear what they said back to me. Seemed to me that the dancers were mostly pretty surprised by this -- they're waving boobs in my face, and I'm happy about it and all, but still, we're talking about something, I'm not lost in it. Experience in life, some years -- there's something to be said about this whole being an older guy thing.

Part of it might be that a daughter of a friend of mine has been a dancer for years, but to me she's still Cara, my buddies daughter.

Last. The few times we went at night, there was a larger number of dancers who had my number. The pros, for sure. This one redheaded woman who I foolishly let down my guard toward... Oy. This woman absolutely knew where I lived, and she absolutely knew it, too. Twelve years later I *still* see her eyes, and other stuff, too. Seems many of the lunch crew were/are single moms and/or students, and not 'at it' as a professional. Or they *are* at it but just not as good at it.
posted by dancestoblue at 5:20 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


PhoBWanKenobi: "Plus the whole "you can have a lapdance if I buy you one" seems even weirder and more controlling, in a way, to me."

Yes. As you might imagine, my intimate relationships ooze weirdness and control.

In fact, control is much more important to me than monogamy.

Vive la différence!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:26 PM on April 16, 2010


It's interesting to me that there are certain things that everyone will defend to the death your right to seek in a relationship if you describe those things/yourself as kinky, but if you make no mention of kink, people will call you neurotic/pathological/etc. for wanting those very same things.
posted by Ashley801 at 5:33 PM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Well, there's a sideways barb if I ever saw one. Care to elaborate, Ashley 801? I assume that was directed at me or another particular person in this thread (or both of us).
posted by desjardins at 5:39 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


No no, please don't take that as a barb, it wasn't meant as one to either of you. It did occur to me after seeing ifdssn9's comment, but it just made me go "huh."

ifdssn9 has been open before about being dominant in her relationships.

It just occurred to me that if I made a post about being in a vanilla relationship, yet wanting more control over my boyfriend, people would probably react very differently.
posted by Ashley801 at 5:43 PM on April 16, 2010


Frankly, if we're talking about the interaction of my husband's genitals+anyone's besides mine, they're all skanky.

I'm pretty sure that lap dances don't involve the interaction of anybody's genitals with anybody at all. While I've never actually had one myself, friends tell me that it's mostly all about the titties in the face.

I've only ever seen a stripper once or twice, in a bar on the Dock Road called The Dominion. I was at college with a guy who had worked as a welder on the docks, and so on our way home, we stopped in their a couple of times. It was curious because the strippers would go on every half hour, on the half hour and the pub would be empty until 2 minutes before. Then, all of a sudden, the docks would empty out and the bar would be crazy, the stripper would do her three minute thing, and then the pub would empty again.

There's only two things that I really recall. All of the women had this thing in their act where they would invite men to rub either talcum powder or baby lotion on their titties and belly. Then, after they'd done so, they'd immediately press their bodies up against the man, thereby covering his suit in lotion/talc. It was pretty clear they were doing this so as to send the men back home or back to the office where they'd then have to explain why their suit was covered in lotion/talc at midday. (They always picked the suited office workers/salesmen types for this, never the dockers.)

The other time I went, there was a group of young guys who were there, one of whom had suffered from thalidomide exposure. When the stripper is on the floor in the middle of her act, simulating masturbation or something, a couple of the thalidomide guy's friends picked him up, carried him across the room and dropped him between the thalidomide guy's legs.

Many women would have freaked out or at least been squicked by such an action. This stripper didn't turn a hair. She immediately incorporated the guy into her act, got much, much filthier than she'd been so far in her act, and gave him the absolute time of his life.

Until that point, I'd always thought that the sex worker with a heart of gold was nothing more than an urban legend. If such a thing exists though, this woman was unquestionably the real deal.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:55 PM on April 16, 2010


OK, sorry, I jumped the gun there. I agree with you, people would react in a predictable fashion.
posted by desjardins at 5:57 PM on April 16, 2010


Strippers at Bachelor Parties creep me out completely.

I've read lots of anecdotes about the strippers being raped by the groom as a kind of rite of passage for him, and sometimes by his band of friends, too (possibly in works by Susan Griffin, Susan Brownmiller or Andrea Dworkin-- I'll have to try to look it up).

And at some point it popped into my head (or I could have read it, but I don't remember doing so, though I do recall puzzling over that Duchamp title, The Bride Stripped Bare for the Bachelors Even in college), that the stripper is really a substitute victim for the bride, somewhat as the ram caught in the thicket was for Isaac in Genesis.

Then I went looking for stories of brides being forced to have sex on the wedding night with the husband and all of his friends, but this was a long time ago, and all I can drag up at the moment are vague impressions that there were customs like that among some military bands in Europe historically and possibly in some chapters of the Hell's Angels more or less contemporaneously.

Almost an hour of Googling hasn't been enough to find again the things I seem to remember.

But I do think that brides who hate the very idea of strippers at a Bachelor Party with their future husbands for reasons they can't quite articulate are absolutely right to feel the way they do.
posted by jamjam at 6:41 PM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ashley801: "It's interesting to me that there are certain things that everyone will defend to the death your right to seek in a relationship if you describe those things/yourself as kinky, but if you make no mention of kink, people will call you neurotic/pathological/etc. for wanting those very same things."

If I went into some of the specfics about my relationship, I'm sure I would get a significant amount of "that's fucked up", kinky or not, so I don't really buy this particular assertion.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:53 PM on April 16, 2010


And this is where I mention the People from Metafilter on Fetlife group that I founded, it is here.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:08 PM on April 16, 2010


Am I the only one who, upon seeing or hearing the phrase "cowgirl up," immediately thinks of MeFi's Own CwgrlUp?
posted by Kattullus at 7:09 PM on April 16, 2010


Ok. Well this thread is really long so I skimmed. So forgive me if I am duplicating a response.

I had NO problem when a boyfriend of mine was going to a strip club for one of these events. Best man and wedding party pretty frequently. I knew about lap dances. I never thought of them or asked if he got one. I had seen them on TV. Big deal. I was like- oh I am secure.

Then I saw them. For real. Dudes with sweat pants on (zippers and jeans cut down on the sensation). Women grinding, rubbing breasts ALL over the men. Face, crotch, everywhere. Until men came. WTF?? Ick.

It's cheating in my book. It's like massage parlours or online video sex (I'm too out of touch to know what the kids are calling it these days). If my guy and a girl work 1-on-1 together to get him aroused I do not approve. I don't care if the poor girl is just trying to make money for college or her sick mom.
posted by beccaj at 7:14 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nothing about bachelor parties could possibly depress me as much as trite penis party favors and goddamn penis straws and inexplicable penis millinery. Though I readily admit my glee for most things puerile, there is nothing more fucking hopeless and banal than the stereotypical bachelorette party, except maybe the stereotypical bachelorette party where the bride's mother is present and also wearing a tiara with dicks on it and hellbent on persuading random strange men to purchase rounds of shots.
posted by little e at 7:24 PM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's always been my opinion that bachelor/ette parties should be whatever it is the impending married person likes doing to excess, done to ridiculous excess, whether that is playing Settlers of Catan, basejumping, donking, War of the Austrian Succession reenactment, fencepost-whittling, or something altogether ridiculous. That is, a 24-hour Catan marathon, basejumping off Burj Dubai, donking non-stop till the donk won't bonk, reenacting the entire Battle of Chotusitz, whittling a majestic redwood into the very Platonic ideal of a fencepost, or something ridiculously excessive like sitting around with some friends drinking and talking about that time that weird couple on the same floor in the dorms, what's-their-faces, built a scale model of the Great Wall of China out of a crateload of drinking straws and then there was a party to celebrate when they were done, heh, college was a wild time.
posted by Kattullus at 7:50 PM on April 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


MeTa has got to be the best supplier of band names ever. In this thread, I nominate Unfettered Muff. Secret Life of Gravy, come and collect your prize!
posted by Ghidorah at 8:03 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Most of you people are all so painfully unmarried that it almost makes being married worthwhile.
posted by vapidave at 8:15 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's a scientific fact that marrying someone who objects to you getting a lapdance at your bachelor party will lead to unhappiness 95% of the time.
posted by planet at 8:22 PM on April 16, 2010


"klang, yeah you've seen 50% of my trips to The Edison. I left early to proctor a final. I guess I know they have a "burlesque night" but I remain dubious as to the sincerity of said burlesque. And I'm not at all cool with the feeling that I convey "Edison regular" in any way."

You've been to 50 percent of my trips to the Edison too! I just forgot that you went home early. The dancing was sincere, or at least the costuming was. I was a little disappointed that by "burlesque" they only meant snake dancing and fire blowing by girls eventually reduced to sequins. But it seemed like they were taking it far too seriously. I mean, a burlesque should be a burlesque!
posted by klangklangston at 8:27 PM on April 16, 2010


"It's always been my opinion that bachelor/ette parties should be whatever it is the impending married person likes doing to excess, done to ridiculous excess, whether that is playing Settlers of Catan, basejumping, donking, War of the Austrian Succession reenactment, fencepost-whittling, or something altogether ridiculous. That is, a 24-hour Catan marathon, basejumping off Burj Dubai, donking non-stop till the donk won't bonk, reenacting the entire Battle of Chotusitz, whittling a majestic redwood into the very Platonic ideal of a fencepost, or something ridiculously excessive like sitting around with some friends drinking and talking about that time that weird couple on the same floor in the dorms, what's-their-faces, built a scale model of the Great Wall of China out of a crateload of drinking straws and then there was a party to celebrate when they were done, heh, college was a wild time."

So, how was your bachelor party, Kattallus?
posted by klangklangston at 8:29 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't have one. I don't really know what I would've done, to be honest, I just never really thought of having bachelor party. An overabundance of dancing, definitely, but everything else I don't know. I've never gotten to plan one either, but when I do, it'll be epic, in the ancient Greek sense of the word.
posted by Kattullus at 8:43 PM on April 16, 2010


Ghidorah: MeTa has got to be the best supplier of band names ever. In this thread, I nominate Unfettered Muff. Secret Life of Gravy, come and collect your prize!

You missed Inexplicable Penis Millinery.

Also, Katttallus, when I get married, you can plan the bachelor party for me AND my partner.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:49 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is the kind of question where I kind myself parting ways with a pretty good-sized chunk of active Mefites. I think one of the worst possible ways to "celebrate" the eve of a wedding is to go pay for some inauthentic sexual experiences with strippers. Ideally a person would be inching closer to a lifetime of committed monogamous intimacy with a beloved partner, but instead a lot of people send an inherently contradictory signal that "even though I will say tomorrow that I am willingly committing myself to you alone, I'm going to demonstrate how deep my reservations are about monogamy by letting naked strangers grind themselves into my lap tonight."

Several people called it a "rite of passage," which I find just find absurd. A rite of passage is supposed to be an experience that lets a person demonstrate the good qualities they have developed--honor, loyalty, courage, perseverance and so forth--in an experience that tests their mettle, at least symbolically. I can't wrap my head around the idea that someone thinks "lets get a lot of one-dollar bills and slip them into some g-strings with our friends!" demonstrates anything remotely commendable, much less some attainment of adulthood or whatever it is that this "rite" represents a "passage" into.

In a lot of the atheist vs. Christian stuff around here, I wind up siding mostly with the atheists, at least in the context of the particular Christian foibles or crimes that are under discussion. (We don't get a lot of threads about "hey, check out this group of people doing really self-sacrificial poverty relief because of their faith", although those sites are certainly out there.) But we have a thread like this, and I am reminded just how fundamentally I have been shaped by my Christian commitments, no matter how liberal my politics and theology may be. I find stripping to be a demeaning and objectifying experience for all people involved, that caters to some of the basest impulses of human nature. I'm a big fan of two committed people pledging themselves exclusively to each other forever, although I know that's an ideal that can't always be maintained. It seems obvious to me why a woman wouldn't want her boyfriend to have a lapdance--so obvious that to explain it feels like trying to explain why it's not a good idea to hit your grandmother over the head with an iron skillet. Sure, I could explain it, but do I really have to?

So, blah, here I am in the middle again, too critical a reader of scripture and too big a fan of science to be comfortable with the fundies and evangelicals, but ultimately too loyal to a certain vision of Jesus to just rock along with the atheists when it comes to the sexual free-for-all that AskMe can be. I really find the way a lot of you guys think about this stuff fascinating (if a bit off-putting) because it is just so alien to me and my experiences. Lots of days (although I lurk more than I write), I feel like kind of an insider here, and then the stripper thread comes along and I'm a stranger in a strange land again.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:00 PM on April 16, 2010 [26 favorites]


Metafilter: donking non-stop till the donk won't bonk
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:09 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pater Aletheias: "So, blah, here I am in the middle again, too critical a reader of scripture and too big a fan of science to be comfortable with the fundies and evangelicals, but ultimately too loyal to a certain vision of Jesus to just rock along with the atheists when it comes to the sexual free-for-all that AskMe can be. "

Uh, I think that you are assuming a lot about who thinks what about what. I am an atheist and I think the concept of the bachelor party is jacked in the same way that you do. It's so ingrained in our culture though, so I just, hey, whatever, don't judge individuals who like it or want to participate in it. I think there is usually little reason to tell people about how much I don't like it, especially in a question where it's irrelevant.

I guarantee that a lot of pro-bachelor party people are NOT atheists...!

And there are a lot of atheist monogamists! Sexual free-for-all?

Dang.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:23 PM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Pater Aletheias: "so obvious that to explain it feels like trying to explain why it's not a good idea to hit your grandmother over the head with an iron skillet."

I...think I might have been going about seasoning my skillet wrong.
posted by Drastic at 9:24 PM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


What a bunch of fucking nerds metafilter is.

Wait to take a first experience to a strip club and turn it into hundreds of comments about absolutely nothing we know for certain.

The dude prolly went to the strip club, prolly hunked down $20 for a lap dance for the groom just like all the other dudes, and they ended the night at Denny's where they all talked about how their lives will all change since the first of them is getting married.

But by all means, lets all continue to talk about what is and what isn't correct to say in a thread where someone is about to experience their first time letting their dude go to a strip club.

nerds (all. of. us.)
posted by hal_c_on at 9:44 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It seems obvious to me why a woman wouldn't want her boyfriend to have a lapdance--so obvious that to explain it feels like trying to explain why it's not a good idea to hit your grandmother over the head with an iron skillet.

But isn't it equally obvious why a guy might want that lap dance, or might want to share the stripper/lap dance/drunken stupidness experience with his friends?

I don't at all want to go down some path of "men are like this and women are like this" -- I think this is just about being human, and there is a tension sometimes between maximizing social cohesion with your friends, and maximizing social cohesion with your partner. That tension exists whether you are religious or not, sexually permissive or not. If that tension doesn't show up around strippers, it will show up over late night LAN parties, or credit card bills, or whether you should have done the dishes before going out to meet your friends. It's just a part of life.

I've never gotten a lap dance in my life, and maybe never will. But I'd be upset if my partner instituted limits on my behavior while out with my friends, rather than just knowing me well enough to know what I would and would not do. Clearly that puts me out of step with many people here, but that's ok -- I'm not dating any of them, and I'd only date someone who shared my values around trust and communication.
posted by Forktine at 9:46 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not nerdiness, it's just batshit insanity.

This entire discussion has given me the depressing realization that, according to a nauseating number of mefites, anything a woman thinks or says about or to her male SO can be twisted into someone's definition of manipulation. Let's not let the actual question get in the way of implying that the female poster is hysterical and manipulative. It's a great excuse for guys to complain and for other women to show off how much hipper they are than some anonymous square.

Apparently, the only acceptable form of a heterosexual relationship is for the woman to either have absolutely no opinion on anything or to DTMFA. Otherwise, she's crazy and manipulative.
posted by tastybrains at 10:00 PM on April 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


cowgirl up is a phrase that adorns many a truck south of the mason/dixon. these trucks are often driven by tiny women who live out of town and have mud on their tires. it's a phrase associated with FFA, boots, pearl snap buttons, and trisha yearwood.

growing up in the sticks i thought all sex mentions of cowgirl were referencings specific people, not activies.

as for all this other stuff in the thread? all i can say is that i'm so glad to be in my relationship.
posted by nadawi at 10:14 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


This entire discussion has given me the depressing realization that, according to a nauseating number of mefites, anything a woman thinks or says about or to her male SO can be twisted into someone's definition of manipulation.
Well, many of us are bitter toward women because we find relationships unbearable, but we aren't attractive enough to procure a reliable supply of casual sex. Justifiable? Maybe not, but surely understandable.
posted by planet at 10:49 PM on April 16, 2010


Well, many of us are bitter toward women because we find relationships unbearable, but we aren't attractive enough to procure a reliable supply of casual sex

Well damn. It's not often something on Mefi really leaves me feeling at a loss for words, but I think planet has just about managed it.
posted by jokeefe at 10:58 PM on April 16, 2010 [18 favorites]


Well damn. It's not often something on Mefi really leaves me feeling at a loss for words, but I think planet has just about managed it.
Oh, don't worry about it. I'm pleasant enough in person.
posted by planet at 11:05 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


My mother, former step-aunt and cousin, and I think a few others took my grandfather's second wife to Chippendales for her hen party....I wanted to go too, but I was 14 and too young.

I've since seen Margaret Cho's Sensous Woman show (which included Princess Farhana aka Pleasant Gehman), my cousin's contortion performance--which was straight out of Weimar Berlin-- and a fan dance which was part of the entertainment promoting a group for women writers (there was more, but the room had been too crowded up until that point).

I'm curious about going to Jumbos, but I'd rather not go by myself and would feel more comfortable observing from the background with a group of other women. I don't know when I'll be in LA next (maybe this summer), but would the female LA mefites be willing to join me?

My take on the original askme is that OP's discomfort is valid and it is reasonable to share her concerns with her SO. He doesn't have to agree with her, but it's best if he understands her side.
posted by brujita at 12:17 AM on April 17, 2010


What a bunch of fucking nerds metafilter is.

I thought that was the point. On the off chance that anyone here is not individually nerdy, once we're all grouped together as little atoms to make Metafilter....well, Metafilter's a nerd.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:09 AM on April 17, 2010


This thread makes me want to give my guy a lap dance. It will probably be drunk and silly :) song suggestions please?
posted by By The Grace of God at 3:14 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mozart's Symphony No. 29 in A Minor?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:07 AM on April 17, 2010


song suggestions please?

N.E.R.D. obviously
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:47 AM on April 17, 2010


Pater Aletheias from what I have seen in life, bachelor parties don't break neatly along religious vs. atheist lines. Both of my husbands were and are atheists; neither had a bachelor party with hot and cold running strippers. On the other hand, I have known clean-cut church-going young men to take a trip to the darkside as an acceptable -- even a desirable-- rendezvous with sin in order to come to the marriage alter with a joyous heart. I'm sure that-- like Christmas and Easter-- there are pagan customs mixed in with the Christian marriage rituals, and depending on the prevailing attitudes of one's circle, a man might wallow in mud before donning the robes of monogamy.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:47 AM on April 17, 2010


a man might wallow in mud before donning the robes of monogamy.

oh brother.
posted by pinky at 5:58 AM on April 17, 2010


LOLUSians afraid of sex.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:36 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think that you made this thread because you disagree with unixrat and you want as many people as possible to know about it.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:44 AM on April 17, 2010


And fwiw I'm no nerd, but reading that askme made me think metafilter is a bunch of puritans. A lapdance? That's what we're going to freak out about? "Oh no oh no my man is going to see another vagina!" Who the hell cares? As if that is going to be the moment when he goes, "Hmm, well this stripper sure has a lot more to offer than the person I'm currently invested in a relationship with" - this is pure and simple jealousy.
"I'm nervous because my man is going to the beach tomorrow and he might see someone in a bikini." "I'm nervous because my gal has started going to a gym and I'm a doughy, puritanical nerd and I'm afraid she'll see someone more attractive." Who cares? He's not having sex, doing drugs, committing a crime, he's not hurting anybody - ffs you can't even drink alcohol in most strip clubs. When did "looking at a vagina" become a punishable offense?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:53 AM on April 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


It's always been my opinion that bachelor/ette parties should be whatever it is the impending married person likes doing to excess, done to ridiculous excess

My (at the time) future sister-in-law threw me a bachelorette party. It basically involved her and her friends (whom I'd never met before) taking me from bar to bar, while I sat at the side and watched them dance.

I ended up leaving after about an hour and a half. I don't think they noticed me go.
posted by Lucinda at 8:09 AM on April 17, 2010


As if that is going to be the moment when he goes, "Hmm, well this stripper sure has a lot more to offer than the person I'm currently invested in a relationship with" - this is pure and simple jealousy.

I don't get this attitude, expressed with varying degrees of frustration (why?) here and in the AskMe.

Same could be said of any sexual activity. The same logic applies to screwing hookers, doing blow off a stripper's ass, rubbing face in glitter-crusted tits or whatever. If the idea that one's significant other is not going to end the relationship to start one with the paid partner in that activity is the only appropriate guidepost to apply, then no sexual action is off the table. And while that logic might be emotionally persuasive for some (and doesn't bother me a bit, if your partners' give sincere consent), I find the inability to believe - not to agree, but simply to believe - that exclusivity in sexual contact has physical, sexual, emotional and interpersonal advantages for those who prefer it either disingenuous, or worse a mere rhetorical tactic. Faux shock, or something.

What I won't do, is respond back in kind by suggesting y'all have personality flaws or mental illness because you don't prefer sexual exclusivity, and nor will I take the tactic I saw in Baby_Balrog's and others' comments of belittling your choices or berating you for making them.
posted by bunnycup at 8:19 AM on April 17, 2010 [13 favorites]


Who the hell cares?

Obviously, some people in some relationships. Obviously, not you. You're not in those relationships. Telling people who are not you and who are not in a relationship with you that they should only care or not care about the things you care (or don't care) about seems absurd to me. Why the hell do you care that some people in some relationships feel differently about their relationships than you do about yours?
posted by rtha at 8:31 AM on April 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


When did "looking at a vagina" become a punishable offense?

I'm not entirely sure, but I think it was when John Ashcroft became attorney general.
posted by Sailormom at 8:36 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


tastybrains: This entire discussion has given me the depressing realization that, according to a nauseating number of mefites, anything a woman thinks or says about or to her male SO can be twisted into someone's definition of manipulation.

There have plenty of threads where a guy asks "is it OK for me to restrict my girlfriend from hanging out with her guy friends" and the answers are almost unanimously "NO YOU'RE BEING CONTROLLING AND NEUROTIC."

and for other women to show off how much hipper they are than some anonymous square.

So a woman politely disagreeing with you is "showing off"? INTERESTING.
posted by desjardins at 8:38 AM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Boy, it sure looks like this callout is "You aren't allowed to disagree with the poster's views on visiting strip clubs", rather than anything meaningful.

but ultimately too loyal to a certain vision of Jesus to just rock along with the atheists when it comes to the sexual free-for-all that AskMe can be

I love you as a poster, and it is from that love I say: This is the stupidest and most insulting thing you've ever posted to MeFi.
posted by rodgerd at 8:38 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Same could be said of any sexual activity.

No, I completely disagree. If her question was something like, "The boys are going to a whorehouse and I'm worried he'll sleep with a prostitute," then I'd be right there with you. Sleeping with prostitutes is a dangerous activity, it puts both partners at risk. Looking at a vagina is harmless. The absolute worst that could happen is your man could develop an unhealthy attitude toward vaginas or something. I dunno. I'm coming up blank here.

Obviously, some people in some relationships. Obviously, not you.

You know, if the question had been, "I'm worried because my partner is thinking about going to a gay bar" and someone said, "You shouldn't let them! Gay bars are immoral places where bad things happen! You have a right to prevent your partner from going to a gay bar!" you folks would be sharpening your damned pitchforks. But apparently going to a strip club is beyond the pale. You want to legislate that belief? Ban strip clubs. Then no males anywhere will be able to see actual vaginas outside of your approved circumstances.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:41 AM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry for the caps.
posted by desjardins at 8:42 AM on April 17, 2010


So a woman politely disagreeing with you is "showing off"? INTERESTING.

No, but accusing those who disagree with you of having their sexual preferences rooted in low self-esteem might be. It's an "I don't feel this way so I am better than you" argument disguised.
posted by bunnycup at 8:42 AM on April 17, 2010


"I'm worried because my partner is thinking about going to a gay bar" and someone said, "You shouldn't let them! Gay bars are immoral places where bad things happen! You have a right to prevent your partner from going to a gay bar!" you folks would be sharpening your damned pitchforks.

I've been insanely active in these threads, and no one said that. The question isn't even about stopping the partner from going to the bar, which the OP says in that top little bit you may not have read, that she is comfortable with. It's the close, physical, personal, purposely arousing, individual contact that disturbs her.
posted by bunnycup at 8:44 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


rtha: Why the hell do you care that some people in some relationships feel differently about their relationships than you do about yours?

Because it's this exact kind of moral panic that gets us stupid laws. You know what? I also don't care if people want to look at porn or smoke dope or build a shed within 20 yards of the easement. I don't care if women go outside without their burkas on. I don't do any of these things - and I don't think you should care if people do them either. Because when people get wound up about this stuff it leads to stupid laws.

I apologize if I seem tense about this stuff but lately I've been seeing things a little more clearly and I'm getting kind of fed up with the way we let other people tell us what is morally acceptable and what's not. And I can't believe that being in a relationship means that you can't look at a naked woman. There's so much dumb, puritanical moral baggage tied up in that sentiment that it boggles my mind.

And, fwiw, I know that my partner would be unhappy with me if I went to a strip club. I sort of can't go to a strip club because of my job and even if I could I think strip clubs are dumb, pointless places (no drinking and a painful erection for several hours? sounds awesome.) But I think it's ridiculous that the status quo is "You get to tell your partner where they can go and what they can look at."
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:47 AM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure how you are making the jump frmo "OP comfortable with strip club visit for stag party, uncomfortable about potential lap dance, wonders how to handle the it" to "this will result in stupid laws". Please explain how AskMetafilter influences legislative change, because if it does, I have some questions to start writing!

But I think it's ridiculous that the status quo is "You get to tell your partner where they can go and what they can look at."


Again, also unsupported by the question and its answers (link to my own because it contains a link to many questions advocating discussion, not prohibition).

As stated in my linked answer, I think it's ridiculous that the status quo some have advocated is more or less "You are honor bound to accept any kind of strip club activity in your partner, and you can't even ask about it, discuss it, or express your preferences." But I guess we will have to agree to disagree.
posted by bunnycup at 8:54 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


And I can't believe that being in a relationship means that you can't look at a naked woman. There's so much dumb, puritanical moral baggage tied up in that sentiment that it boggles my mind.

I'm pretty sure the OP said and many if not most people concurred that the issue isn't strip clubs, the issue is lap dances, what may or may not go into a lap dance, and how the OP [and others] feel about that within the context of their relationship. Helping people with their relationship questions sometimes involve getting into their heads and given them advice that is either contextually appropriate to their circumstances even if they aren't yours, or sometimes telling them that you think their framing of the issue may be off and that may be part of the problem.

It doesn't, or shouldn't, start casting aspersions on their entire relationship and/or approach to sexuality. Again, we see people sometimes being like "hey this doesn't seem like the relationship for you" but also being like "only an asshole would do that to you, ditch the guy and seek counseling while you're at it, you seem like a co-dependent freak"

So, naked women is not the issue. My take is that the issue has more to do with the fuzzy notion of lap dancing [is the woman just dancing real up close with my boyfriend or is she rubbing herself on his erection until he orgasms? to me those are different things, one totally okay on my planet and one totally not okay] and how to have a difficult conversation given that there are a lot of unknowns in this scenario.

My feeling is that there really is no status quo for a lot of people which is why situations like this are difficult. People have a lot invested in their own ideas of normal, so much so that they'll fight with other people about them.

In short, Baby_Balrog, I think you are misreading this conversation and reading a lot into it that isn't at all here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:56 AM on April 17, 2010 [13 favorites]


bunnycup: No, but accusing those who disagree with you of having their sexual preferences rooted in low self-esteem might be. It's an "I don't feel this way so I am better than you" argument disguised

I don't feel I'm better than anyone else, but I can see I might be coming across that way. However, as I posted upthread, I specifically said that I DO feel jealous and possessive. I try to be mindful of when I feel this way so when I talk to my husband, it's not coming from a place of insecurity. If the question were "I don't want my boyfriend to talk to female coworkers" surely her "preferences" would not be honored here, because they are ludicrous. So the line must be drawn somewhere, and you and I (and she) draw it in different places. And that's fine, but I suggest she examine where her opposition is coming from and be honest about that.

The proposed question of "I'd prefer you not get a lap dance, is that OK?" is manipulative because there's only one right answer, just as if she said "Do these jeans make me look fat?"
posted by desjardins at 9:13 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hrm.

Isn't how we, personally, feel about strippers, lap dances, etc. completely irrelevant to the OP's question? Which was how not to over-react to her partner maybe getting one?

As far as I can tell, my own personal feelings on lap dances are kind of beside the point, and definitely nothing to do with whether I am kinky, jealous, or worried that I'm fat.
posted by gaspode at 9:31 AM on April 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


So a woman politely disagreeing with you is "showing off"? INTERESTING.

desjardins, first of all, I didn't even give my opinion on the matter. How I feel about strip clubs or lapdances was neither the point of the original question or my comment. For what it's worth, I really don't care. My husband and I hold a shared definition of what cheating is and isn't, and the typical lapdance is not it...in our relationship.

However, the fact that so many people seem to think that it should automatically be understood WITHOUT EVER TALKING ABOUT IT what cheating is or isn't in a monogamous relationship is utterly confusing and frustrating to me. The definition of cheating varies on a relationship by relationship basis. There is no black and white here, and if I really had to guess, I think that the OP's main concern was that she felt uncomfortable knowing where that line was for her, and whether her boyfriend had the same general concept of where the line was. Some posters felt that OP was being ridiculous for not trusting her boyfriend to do the "right" thing and not get a lapdance. Some posters felt that OP was being ridiculous for not trusting her boyfriend to do the "right" thing and not run away with a stripper. Some posters felt that OP was being ridiculous for not wanting her boyfriend to go to a strip club at all (which wasn't even OP's issue). Some posters just wanted to assert how awesome and important lapdances are to male development. Based on this wide array of answers, how can anyone deny that this is not a black or white issue and that it's worth talking about sanely and non-manipulatively with her boyfriend?

My ONLY issue is the implications that OP bringing her concern up to her boyfriend ("I am uncomfortable with the idea of lapdances.") is controlling or manipulative. It just reinforces this entire "you're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't" scenario. If she says something, she's manipulative and controlling. If she doesn't say something, and remains uncomfortable (which is bound to happen), she'll be manipulative if she ever lets her discomfort show. Basically, the only thing she can do is to suck it up and have no opinion whatsoever. If she has an opinion that isn't full-on encouragement about this, then she's a controlling bitch. If she questions whether her boyfriend has the same boundaries about physical contact with other strangers as she does, then she obviously doesn't trust him and thus doesn't deserve to be in the relationship.

Pardon me if I don't think that's fair.

I think everyone should be allowed to have their own relationship boundaries without being belittled about it, and I think everyone should be allowed to openly and directly discuss their boundaries and feelings with their partner. Please note that I am not saying that everyone has the right to dictate to their partner what they are allowed or not allowed to do. However, if someone is an adult in a relationship, they have the right to know if something they might consider doing would make their partner uncomfortable.
posted by tastybrains at 9:32 AM on April 17, 2010 [18 favorites]


So the line must be drawn somewhere, and you and I (and she) draw it in different places.

I'm with you on that, completely. I do feel that, perhaps completely unintentionally, you came off as if you were suggesting there was something wrong with her for where she draws the line. Again, I one hundred percent recognize that this may not have been your intention, and I think - based on what you've said here in the MeTa - that it definitely was not your intention to suggest that those who draw the line elsewhere from you, do it because there is something wrong with them.

The proposed question of "I'd prefer you not get a lap dance, is that OK?" is manipulative because there's only one right answer, just as if she said "Do these jeans make me look fat?"

That the question as phrased (and that's not the phrasing I endorsed in the thread, you are paraphrasing in a significantly different way, just for the record) is a problem, leaves some great room to suggest the OP approach the discussion differently. I don't agree that it is a data point in support of the OP's not approaching it at all. If there's a scale of manipulation, the worst is pretending to be okay with something that bothers you, but really being upset about it. Or at least, my husband tells me that bothers him very, very much, because it reflects dishonesty.

God I wish someone would honestly tell me if pants make me look fat. That's why I so rarely buy them - I can't tell, and no one will fucking tell me. But that is an issue for another day. (smile)
posted by bunnycup at 9:34 AM on April 17, 2010


I'm just going to shut up and agree with tastybrains. Well said.
posted by bunnycup at 9:36 AM on April 17, 2010


jessamyn: In short, Baby_Balrog, I think you are misreading this conversation and reading a lot into it that isn't at all here.

After a more thorough reading of this and the original thread I think you're probably right. I apologize for jumping to conclusions.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:39 AM on April 17, 2010


The proposed question of "I'd prefer you not get a lap dance, is that OK?" is manipulative because there's only one right answer, just as if she said "Do these jeans make me look fat?"

"I'd prefer you not get a lap dance, is that ok?" is not the best way of voicing her discomfort, nor is it in the same vein as "Do these jeans make me look fat?"

These are great examples that support the stereotype that women are conniving bitches out to trick our men into saying or doing the wrong thing. Is the idea that maybe we're all adults who can learn to phrase our concerns and questions fairly and honestly and respond to said concerns and questions directly and honestly without negative repercussions THAT out of the realm of possibility?

Maybe I just live in a different world. In my world, if I was uncomfortable with the idea of my husband possibly getting a lapdance at a bachelor party, I would probably say something like: "I'm not really sure why, but while I'm cool with the general idea of the strip club, the idea of the possibility of you getting a lapdance makes me uncomfortable. I am not sure if it crosses a line for me. Do you think it crosses a line, or is it just a normal part of the bachelor party experience for your group of friends?" Then we could discuss where our boundaries are. Guys tend to not like it when women expect them to read their minds -- why are we as women expected to be able to read their minds? Just because you know and love someone doesn't mean you do or should know what they think about every possible circumstance. There IS no right or wrong here.
posted by tastybrains at 9:57 AM on April 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


The direction the thread has taken is off-putting to me. I can't tell if it's just because there's a lot of stuff in there I disagree with (which I suppose is a possibility), or if it's legitimately gone off the rails.

It's because there's a lot of stuff in there you disagree with. Never has an issue been more clearly rendered in stark black and white.
posted by bingo at 11:46 AM on April 17, 2010


Baby Balrog: I don't do any of these things - and I don't think you should care if people do them either. Because when people get wound up about this stuff it leads to stupid laws.

I apologize if I seem tense about this stuff but lately I've been seeing things a little more clearly and I'm getting kind of fed up with the way we let other people tell us what is morally acceptable and what's not.


Do you see the irony in getting fed up with letting other people tell us what's morally acceptable, and at the same time deciding what other people should care or not care about - especially in their own relationships?

Deciding what other people should think is the very foundation of what you're saying you're sick of.

Telling other people what should be okay in their own relationships is more Puritanical than anything else I can think of.
posted by Ashley801 at 12:40 PM on April 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wow. I'm pretty shocked at the interpretations of 'Cowgirl Up.' I'm no prude and I know what a reverse cowgirl is and such, but as a Southern girl, that's the last thing that phrase brings to my mind.

cowgirl up is a phrase that adorns many a truck south of the mason/dixon. these trucks are often driven by tiny women who live out of town and have mud on their tires. it's a phrase associated with FFA, boots, pearl snap buttons, and trisha yearwood.
posted by nadawi at 12:14 AM on April 17 [1 favorite +] [!]


This. Not a sexual thing, not a chin up thing, but a Southern thing. So, that's my interpretation when I chose my user name. And a strong Southern woman who drives a big ol' truck doesn't just 'suck it up' and let her soon-to-hubby do something that makes her uncomfortable without a word.
posted by CwgrlUp at 1:38 PM on April 17, 2010 [15 favorites]


AV: Personally, I get a little tired of enthusiam for or against strippers.

Ditto. The "how could anyone possibly object to this unless they're controlling and manipulative?" thing is weird and wrong, but the stampede of "I was at a strip club once and oh my god it was depressing how could anyone who isn't a loser go here??" these threads also bring out are just tiresome.

My suspicion is that whether a trip to a strip club is fun or depressing depends heavily on your attitude going in. Leaving aside, of course, obviously sleazy gross strip clubs which I'm sure are kind of inherently depressing in the same way a sleazy, gross dive bar is inherently depressing. But I don't feel the need to mention how depressing a sleazy dive bar is in order to prove my bona fides.
posted by Justinian at 3:51 PM on April 17, 2010


I also don't care if people want to look at porn or smoke dope or build a shed within 20 yards of the easement.

Look at all the porn and smoke all the dope you like, but you violate the planning regulations over my dead body.

[is the woman just dancing real up close with my boyfriend or is she rubbing herself on his erection until he orgasms? to me those are different things, one totally okay on my planet and one totally not okay]

My understanding from my reading on the subject is that the former is what constitutes a regular lap dance. However, if you're prepared to let a couple of hustlers take you into the VIP lounge and riffle through your wallet at will -- perhaps taking you to the club ATM if what they find doesn't please them -- then if you're very lucky you might get the latter.

And then again, you might not.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:08 PM on April 17, 2010


Aw, look mudpuppie. Our little thread baby has grown up into 175 comments!
posted by unixrat at 5:53 PM on April 17, 2010


Peter McDermott, I think that the difference has a lot to do with state and local laws. I used to have a roommate who worked as a stripper, and she said that the "standard" varied widely, from a no-contact rule to an expected orgasm every time. I think that's what some of the difference in response is based on; I can definitely see how the "hey look boobies" kind of lapdance wouldn't be cheating but the "dry-hump to orgasm" kind would be.

Personally, I'm pretty lackadaisical about such things, but if my husband came home from a bachelor party with another woman's vaginal juices on his pants, I'd be somewhat miffed. I don't think that's so out of line.
posted by KathrynT at 8:34 PM on April 17, 2010


I don't think it's out of line either. Personally, because I have the boundaries I have and the relationship I have and the views of why we have such an industry as performing sexually for money that I have, for me it would be an act of low self-esteem if I didn't object to a partner getting a lap dance (or a daughter giving a lap dance, or a whole set of other things I think are negative manifestations of the state of politics, inequality and gender relations in this society). Other people have totally different opinions about that, which might even vary depending on the kind of lap dance, and that's totally fine to negotiate within their relationships; who's to say that in a different relationship, or in a different stage of life, I too might not make a different judgment? I can't say.

But I don't accept as legitimate the suggestion that my holding this stance is a problem or hangup of mine, or that it results from a personality failing of some kind. It's a position I take, the result of an intellectual process; it's not really something that can be evaluated by anyone outside the context of my life and relationships, or put down to some simple lack of relative coolness, sophistication, or dignity. Standing up for that position as reasonable is an act of personal self-respect, as is standing up for any other position I hold. It's a difference of opinion, not a psychological flaw.
posted by Miko at 8:56 PM on April 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


I would do or not do anything my wife feels strongly enough to ask of me and she would do or not do anything I feel strongly enough to ask of her. If you are really married it never comes up.
posted by vapidave at 9:31 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What Miko said, a hundred times over, especially this:

because I have the boundaries I have and the relationship I have and the views of why we have such an industry as performing sexually for money that I have, for me it would be an act of low self-esteem if I didn't object to a partner getting a lap dance

I have too many bad memories from the 70s of being bullied (and of my friends being bullied) into sex we didn't want to have simply because we didn't want to be called uptight, or accused of having hang ups, or of not being "free", for me to have even really participated calmly in this thread, so I thank Miko for so sanely and articulately speaking for me here.
posted by jokeefe at 11:11 PM on April 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Aw, look mudpuppie. Our little thread baby has grown up into 175 comments!

I imagine a thread baby must have buttons for eyes. And you have to keep the cat away from it.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:42 PM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


"My guy is going to a bachelor's party. Help me stop feeling unhappy about it?".
Is a pathetic plea for support citing an instance that hardly ever comes up and a naked attempt for crowd validation. He's not "your" guy and your very question proves that. Get another guy. Or a relationship.
My wife goes out dancing, help me stop feeling unhappy about it.
Please. Get a cat. It's inevitable.
posted by vapidave at 1:00 AM on April 18, 2010


I have too many bad memories from the 70s of being bullied (and of my friends being bullied) into sex we didn't want to have simply because we didn't want to be called uptight, or accused of having hang ups, or of not being "free"

Totally.

It's fantastic that now, if a woman wants to have a sex life that takes a form other than ultra-monogamy-one-man-one-woman-no-porn-no-strippers-missionary-position-lights out, it's a lot easier for her to do that. That kind of sex life is no longer mandatory and that's a great thing.

But there's this flip side - where, for some people, it's not about what the woman wants at all. It's not about telling people - "accept who you are and what you want, and don't let anyone make you ashamed of it."

On the flip side, what becomes mandatory is NON-ultra-monogamy-one-man-one-woman-no-porn-no-strippers-missionary-position-lights out. And that is, once again, other people telling women what they should want, what they should submit to, how they should feel about it. And "diagnosing" what's wrong with them if they don't conform.

It just makes me feel really bad because it seems like there's this new feminine mystique cropping up, where you see these questions (invariably from really young women in their teens and early 20s) saying stuff like "Sorry for this totally irrational and neurotic question but -- I know I'm not supposed to be jealous or clingy, and I'm supposed to be GGG, so I'm fine with the guy I'm dating [sleeping with/getting lap dances from/secretly taking nude pictures, using my camera, of] other women. But why am I so unhappy? Please help me accept this situation."

It's like the idea that their desires/non-desires are just as valid as anyone else's is completely laughable to them, and they couch these questions with all the talk of being irrational like they think it would be laughable to everyone else too.
posted by Ashley801 at 1:21 AM on April 18, 2010 [30 favorites]


Nice of you to say that Ashley801 but your considered screed has nothing to do with the question at hand yo.
posted by vapidave at 1:43 AM on April 18, 2010


Ah, trying to live up to our handles are we, vapidave? That's cool, bro. Fist pound yo?
posted by Justinian at 1:50 AM on April 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Nah, just taking the dangerous tack that not all roads lead to feminism.
posted by vapidave at 2:02 AM on April 18, 2010


Indeed not! Some roads, in fact many roads, lead to women being made to feel that they are wrong for having feelings or preferences. In some places, these lead to forced marriages or honour killings. That is indeed a dangerous tack - dangerous for the women who are railroaded into denying or hiding their own feelings for fear of being the victims of social exclusion or physical violence. Compared to which, I suppose, having an angry chap shouting at them on the Internet is really not that bad at all. I'm sure your contribution to the cause is appreciated, though, vapidave.
posted by DNye at 7:07 AM on April 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


your considered screed has nothing to do with the question at hand yo.

It's quite possible you misunderstood it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:10 AM on April 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I used to have a roommate who worked as a stripper, and she said that the "standard" varied widely, from a no-contact rule to an expected orgasm every time.

This makes no sense to me. The whole point of being a lap dancer, from a strippers point of view, is to make money. If your customer blows his wad during a $20 lap dance, presumably that'll be his total spend for the evening. I can't see either the club or the dancers being too keen to encourage that, regardless of state rules. Also, while I daresay it's possible for some men to achieve orgasm from someone writhing around on them during a three minute dance, it seems kind of unlikely once you get past 18 or so.

I take your point about differing from state to state though. Here in the UK, the rule appears to be that the woman can do what the hell she likes, but the man has to keep his hands off. Any touching and the bouncers will toss you out on the street.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:19 AM on April 18, 2010


If your customer blows his wad during a $20 lap dance, presumably that'll be his total spend for the evening.

If the customers always know they're going to be satisfied, that's a way of bringing in repeat business.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:36 AM on April 18, 2010


If your customer blows his wad during a $20 lap dance, presumably that'll be his total spend for the evening.


Unless he brought a change of pants.

Jesus fuck. It's the very opposite of manly to go for that shit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:03 AM on April 18, 2010


Ashley801: "And that is, once again, other people telling women what they should want, what they should submit to, how they should feel about it. And "diagnosing" what's wrong with them if they don't conform.

It just makes me feel really bad because it seems like there's this new feminine mystique cropping up..."

Ashley801, thank you. I've been putting that whole experience under the catchphrase of "Sex 9.0" or of people trying to pull off this "more liberal than thou" schtick. Your comment helps me more fully articulate my thoughts on this.
posted by runningwithscissors at 8:23 AM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I honestly can't think of a reason to oppose a lapdance besides jealousy or mistrust, both of which have their roots in low self-esteem.

(bit late, but...) couldn't you just as easily say, you can't think of a reason to oppose an open relationship besides jealousy or mistrust? I mean, why is the boundary one person sets the result of low self esteem, and the boundary another person sets justifiable? Everyone has their own levels of comfort. All that matters is that partners in a relationship respect one another's limits, and agree to apply the same rule to their own behavior that they expect of their SO.
posted by mdn at 8:48 AM on April 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


Paying for a lapdance means that you have become a customer of the paid sex industry. It's a fair degree different from watching strippers on stage, and you're absolutely right that I'd have a problem with my partner getting one. Not because I'm prudish, or unfun, or not GGG (and Dan Savage has an amount to answer for here, but that's another comment) but because I have complicated feelings about the sex industry and what it means to participate in it. Our poor OP, who has been batted around here like a cat with a new toy, is experiencing perfectly ordinary signals of discomfort with this, and because they contradict current "thinking" on acceptable behaviour, she's trying to deny them, been told that it's her fault, that's it a character flaw, and that she should get over herself and not stand in the way of a man's pleasure. Same old same old, as far as I can tell.
posted by jokeefe at 9:32 AM on April 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


Ashley801, men pressuring women to have sex and put up with stuff they don't want to put up with has been happening for forever.

Dan Savage, sex-positive feminists, porn, sex workers, the sex industry, video games, did not invent this problem.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:24 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't believe I'm coming back into this after apologizing and bowing out, but this needs clarification -

jokeefe: Paying for a lapdance means that you have become a customer of the paid sex industry.

I have never paid for a lap dance, but I think you're intentionally conflating lap dances with prostitution here and I just don't think that's how it works. There are a million reasons to be against prostitution. I'm a big fan of monogamy and don't think people in a relationship should sleep around on their partner because it puts your partner and yourself at risk of diseases, unwanted pregnancy, and finally it carries the emotional trauma of essentially telling your partner, "I find you less appealing, sexually, than this other person." And this last part is where things get confusing.

If you visit a stripper and pay for a lap dance because that's how you get off, and you do this at the expense of your current relationship, then there is obviously some sexual dysfunction there. It's like saying, "I need to be with a stripper because you can't do it for me." I find this morally repugnant.

However, if you find yourself at a strip club because of some secondary reason - i.e. a bachelor party - and your friends buy you a lapdance (assuming no actual physical contact with the stripper, as is supposedly the case) then the only different between what's happening on the stripper pole and what's happening in the booth is a function of proximity. And I don't think men should be banned from visiting strip clubs or getting lap dances until and unless it becomes a sexual dysfunction or deleterious to their relationship.

So, in short, "Visiting a strip club and paying for lap dances instead of having a healthy sexual relationship with one's partner" = Bad.
vs.
"Visiting a strip club and paying for lap dances despite having a healthy sexual relationship with one's partner" = Neutral.

It is a complicated issue.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:29 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


No one here has suggested that men should be banned from visiting strip clubs.

And "deleterious to their relationship" is a phrase that covers a huge area, and that is precisely what we're talking about. To one couple, "deleterious" might mean a temporary phase of being upset and having difficult conversations while each person figures out how they feel about the issue; for others, it might be a deal-breaker for one partner to go to a strip club at all, let alone get a lap dance. Strangely enough, different people are different, and calling someone a prude with hang-ups and low self-esteem when she admits she's not wild about the idea of her partner getting a lap dance doesn't really go very far in helping her figure out how to talk to her partner about her feelings.
posted by rtha at 10:40 AM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ashley801, men pressuring women to have sex and put up with stuff they don't want to put up with has been happening for forever.

Which makes it totally okay!

I think you're intentionally conflating lap dances with prostitution here and I just don't think that's how it works.

Baby Balrog, I mean exactly what I wrote. I said "sex industry", and lap dances are part of the industry which sells female sexuality to paying male customers. Are the men getting lap dances for free? Are the women dancing for free? No? Then it's part of paying for arousal and performed sexual activity. Trying to parse it out any more finely is just obfuscation.
posted by jokeefe at 10:47 AM on April 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


the only different between what's happening on the stripper pole and what's happening in the booth is a function of proximity.

And further: the proximity issue is not a small one. It's really the crux of the matter. And does anyone recall just how recent lap dances are in terms of what's on offer at strip clubs? It's a new level of performance and expectation, that level of personal attention and contact.
posted by jokeefe at 10:51 AM on April 18, 2010


assuming no actual physical contact with the stripper, as is supposedly the case

Many people in this thread have said that you cannot make a safe assumption that this is, in fact, the case.

So, if you want to have a fuly qualified discussion with your partner about what you feel is and is not okay, that's totally fine. What is getting untangled here is that the basic-seeming "I don't mind you going to the strip club, but I have mixed feelings about you getting a lap dance" is actually a statement that it itself somewhat ambiguous. What is a lap dance? What is and is not okay to make a relationship dealbreaker? How much is okay to get in your partner's business when you're not with them?

Baby_Balrog, I am assuming your heart is in the right place but you seem to be simultaneously saying that this is a complicated issue and also that other people's views on this complicated issue are incorrect.

I don't think men should be banned from visiting strip clubs

This is not, at all, about whether or not to go to strip clubs, please stop saying that it is. Most people are saying that even the lap dance issue is something that people should respectfully work out with their own partner and that if your partner does not share your views on the subject that is a good jumping off point for further discussion or possibly a reasessment of you and your partners' fitness for one another.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:57 AM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


> But I don't feel the need to mention how depressing a sleazy dive bar is in order to prove my bona fides.

No, instead you feel the need to insult anyone who doesn't think the same as you in order to prove your superior coolness.
posted by languagehat at 10:59 AM on April 18, 2010


Our poor OP, who has been batted around here like a cat with a new toy...

Maybe we should give the OP some credit for being able to deal with a couple of threads of advice on the internet, rather than reducing her to a poor defenseless woman.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:31 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, instead you feel the need to insult anyone who doesn't think the same as you in order to prove your superior coolness.

Huh? Saying that a completely predictable bunch of comments about how depressing strip clubs are every time they get mentioned on Mefi gets kind of tiresome after a while is insulting anyone who doesn't think the same as me? Are you absolutely sure you don't have me confused with someone else?
posted by Justinian at 11:44 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


But I don't feel the need to mention how depressing a sleazy dive bar is in order to prove my bona fides.

Sometimes in conversation people will participate by sharing their opinions without regard for whether their stated opinion makes them cool.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:22 PM on April 18, 2010


Ashley801, men pressuring women to have sex and put up with stuff they don't want to put up with has been happening for forever.

I agree.

Dan Savage, sex-positive feminists, porn, sex workers, the sex industry, video games, did not invent this problem.

Definitely, I agree with this, too. But -

I consider myself a sex-positive feminist. And I thought the whole point of sex-positive feminism was to remove guilt and shame from womens' (and mens') sexuality, and enable people to express and accept that sexuality, whatever it is.

The idea was that there are all sorts of cultures and social groups in the world where women can't be themselves when it comes to sex, and that's a bad thing.

My whole point is -

A lot of us think of conservatives and religious fundamentalists as the groups who not only force women to hew to the dominant sexual norm, but *have* dominant sexual norms in the first place.

But unfortunately, it's not just them.

Liberal, young, educated East Coasters (my personal social group) also have dominant sexual norms. The norm is different from the norm in Provo, but it still exists.

I think this site also has a dominant sexual norm.

And I still find that it is widespread to guilt and shame women when they don't hew to that norm, or encourage them to hew, rather than encouraging them to be themselves and accept what they want. No matter whether the group is liberal or not.

It's just more disappointing when it comes from people who should know better. (I am not talking about you personally.)
posted by Ashley801 at 2:01 PM on April 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


(Also, I invoked Dan Savage because he absolutely tries to push a certain sexual norm. [E.g., that everyone, male or female, has a duty to perform oral sex or they are not a good partner]. He tries to push it on both men and women, but that doesn't make it any better. It's norm-enforcement that I think is bad for everyone).
posted by Ashley801 at 2:06 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


All of society is "norm enforcement." Unless you live on an isolated island by yourself, you don't get a choice, with respect to sex or anything else.

You can try to change the norms, but you'll just be inventing a new set for people to conform to thereby, including the "norm" that individual choice trumps all social obligation.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:39 PM on April 18, 2010


Maybe we should give the OP some credit for being able to deal with a couple of threads of advice on the internet, rather than reducing her to a poor defenseless woman.

Oh please. Can you deny that her situation has been the source of much speculation, assertions about the mental health, and even condemnation? Her original question has hardly been answered, though it's been much discussed; you'll notice that we're in Meta about it at the moment. So, yeah, I think her questions, and by extension her person, has been come under pretty thorough examination, and likely in ways she didn't anticipate.

Re: Dan Savage: yes, he absolutely tries to enforce certain ideas. Strangely enough, they look just like many older ones-- for example, he often falls into the "women are monogamous by nature, men are not" thing, is rebuked for it, pays lip service to being sorry, and then later on does it again, or answers a question in a way that reveals that it's still a rigid part of his conception of straight women. Anyway. I think he's not bad at giving sexual advice-- probably right about 50 to 75% of the time-- but people write to him asking for relationship advice, and he's terrible at it.
posted by jokeefe at 2:41 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can anyone explain from experience what makes a lap dance among buddies an important rite of passage? I honestly would like to hear about what might be transformative about it. Is it a self-control thing? Is it the experience of coming tits to face with a woman who's maybe more conventionally attractive than your partner and yet objectively preferring her all the while, and having that sesne of satisfaction in a choice viscerally driven home?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:04 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


As has been said above, it's normally (in my experience, and in the stories friends tell me) only the groom-to-be who gets the lap dance. So the common group experience is in getting drunk, going to a strip club, getting drunker, watching girls, and making the groom get one or more lap dances, often on stage. It's fun, in a dumb and homosocial kind of way. There's beer, there's naked women (who are often quite unattractive, but hey, they are naked and you are drunk), and there's the group of guys to crack jokes with.

The only person for whom it is meant to be at all "transformative" is the groom, because he's the one who is getting hitched, usually a week or two later. So for him it's symbolic of all the supposed freedom he's losing by getting married, right? Except in reality, half or more of the guys with him that night have already gotten married, and their wives let them come to the strip club, so maybe there's not all that much freedom being lost?

I've heard of, and seen pictures of, but have never attended, much raunchier bachelor parties where instead of dancers they hired actual sex workers to perform and to do things with the groom and maybe also the other guys. And I've been to far, far tamer parties, where maybe someone makes a joke about strippers but really the only racy thing that happens is someone running for more guac. So it all just depends on what kind of group of friends they are, and what their shared expectations of that kind of evening actually are.

Seriously, they can sometimes be fun, but more often are kind of sad. Because the whole premise is an expectation that by being married, they are losing the freedom to hang out with their same-sex friends and do dumb things for fun. And if that were really the case, marriage would be a sad place to be, instead of the awesome and cool place that many of my friends find it.
posted by Forktine at 5:13 PM on April 18, 2010


So no, you can't tell me what might be transformative about it. Maybe someone else can. Your run-down is the same "it's just a stupid thing buddies just do" explanation I'm familiar with from my experiences (I know plenty of people who've had lapdances and I've been to the female equivalent at Hollywood Men, and the bride-to-be got us kicked out, actually). I don't revere it, but there must be some actual value to the tradition if people keep doing it, I expect, and unixrat called it transformative, so apparently some people do believe it's a valuable rite. Unfortunately, masculine homosocial traditions aren't famously auto-articulated, so I'm asking.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:50 PM on April 18, 2010


It's not really my scene in the first place, but my take is that in general most guys don't necessarily have any deep belief in a transformative experience or whatever the fuck; they just have a collective belief that taking the groom to a strip club and getting drunk and ordering him a lapdance is some mix of Correct Because It Is An Awesome Thing and Correct Because It Is The Done Thing.

I'm sure there's the occasional philosopher out there who has some kind of well-developed theory of the transformative nature of the bachelor party stripper nexus, but my impression is that there's really there's just not that much thought invested in it. For a lot of guys in the position to plan a bachelor party, a strip club being involved is closer to axiomatic than to anything reasoned from principles.

Like, there's just some hazy calculus that rams together (naked chicks = awesome) with (booze = awesome) with (naked chicks, booze = transgressive) with (marriage = reduction of capacity to transgress) and out comes the (bachelor party = drinking and naked chicks wooooo) result. That there's a huge weird cultural momentum behind the Strip Club Bachelor Party concept probably keeps the whole thing rolling nicely along, tautology as motivation; that there's various cottage industries that make their money in part off that tradition doesn't hurt the momentum either.

I dunno. I'd be fascinated too to hear some well-developed, nuanced explication of a theory of a perceived genuinely transformative bachelor party lap dance tradition, but I'm doubtful. An excuse for boozing and naked women and being some kind of naughty, all with in a societally condoned structure, seems like justification enough to motivated parties without having to really get into the weeds of tradition and self-conscious social ritual.

To maybe put it another way: there's paying lip-service to the easily sellable idea of Bachelor Party Lapdance As Transformative Threshold-crossing Experience, and then there's actually feeling strongly that that's what's going on. I think the vast majority of folks involved hew more to the former than the latter.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:12 PM on April 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


I suspect it's just being out with your buddies, getting drunk and looking at boobs, so you have memories of how awesome and fun it is to hang out together.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:49 PM on April 18, 2010


It's a scientific fact that marrying someone who objects to you getting a lapdance at your bachelor party will lead to unhappiness 95% of the time.

Ignoring everything else, um, interesting about this statement...like multiple commenters in the original thread, you seem to have it in your head that this OP's boyfriend is the one whose bachelor party is impending. Actually reading the question shows that this is quite clearly not the case.
posted by naoko at 8:41 PM on April 18, 2010


there's paying lip-service to the easily sellable idea of Bachelor Party Lapdance As Transformative Threshold-crossing Experience, and then there's actually feeling strongly that that's what's going on. I think the vast majority of folks involved hew more to the former than the latter.

Certainly. But there's still this huge disconnect: some of the dudes getting these lap dances are the sort who maybe would (before or after matrimony) buy themselves a lap dance, granted. Most, however, from my observation, are not. Most guys don't buy a lap dance in their lives, I'm assuming. For them, it's just not what they're into. Some men are even totally reticent to allow it, for relationship reasons or individual ones. But despite that reticence, sometimes they allow it anyway, because of peer pressure of some kind. By what logic are men convincing themselves or their shy buddy that having a strange woman shimmy on his lap is a valuable experience he would be a wet blanket or even a pussy to refuse them the privilege of providing for him?

Just to reiterate, so I'm not judging the decision to get one at all. I don't think lap dances are of evidence of moral or societal failures or something. But for something that's just lip service and a dumb tradition, which I'd agree the bachelor party lap dance mostly is, there's kind of a lot of drama and discomfort in the body of stories surrounding these bachelor blowouts, that I've heard about. Someone got punched, someone took off drunk, someone was super uncomfortable, etc. etc.

So, I'd suggest that perhaps more than being only about woo titties woo jager woo buddy, for the reticent types, it's also about affirming one's own limits, trying something naughty and determining that you don't like it. A deliberate transgression, an attempted dismissal of personal limits, in the guise of "freedom." Too much freedom, like. Some of the language used for this kind of party alludes to such a thing: "going out to do something you know you'll regret," perhaps. So, that's not really a fun project to consciously undertake, or a way I would celebrate a major event, but on the other hand, reaffirming your values and weaknesses with close friends is definitely good for bonding. That's something we can call transformative, at least. Moreso than the pieces that comprise the whole.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:24 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't revere it, but there must be some actual value to the tradition if people keep doing it, I expect, and unixrat called it transformative, so apparently some people do believe it's a valuable rite. Unfortunately, masculine homosocial traditions aren't famously auto-articulated, so I'm asking.

My perspective, but I suspect it's not a common one....

Marriage is one of the largest steps a person can take towards being a fully-functioning, fully-responsible adult. It's a time when a person (hopefully) puts away distractions and childish behavior and takes on a new role in a new partnership, which may or may not progress towards parenthood.

Because of this, the bachelor party is a "last hurrah" which signifies an end to irresponsibility. One last night of over-the-top debauchery, which is expected to culminate in a morning-after revelation that drinking, partying and whoring is a less attractive life choice than falling in love, getting married, growing up and maybe having kids one day.

Can a lap dance be transformative? I don't know. But I can tell you that if one had been done on me in a strip club the night before my marriage, it probably would have reinforced to me how lucky I was to be marrying someone I loved and respected so much, because I'd just seen and experienced the alternative.
posted by zarq at 9:27 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh gag me with a spoon!

OK, let me explain this to you. A major part of the human condition is that making a choice usually eliminates a whole raft of options that you chose not to exercise when you made that choice. This is a limitation, and, if you actually think about it, a pretty onerous one. It's part of what makes us humans and not gods.

The decision to get married forecloses a lot of other options. Forever. (Assuming you're going into the marriage in good faith.) If you're a serious person, this should give you pause. (And I realize that a large proportion of MeFites, at least of those who regularly comment, aren't. They're like Nietzsche's Last Men.*)

To properly acknowledge this truth, paying lip service to it is not sufficient. One must do something that brings it home. The bachelor party is a primitive, denatured way of doing this. But at least it's an attempt to seriously confront the lived truth of existence for a human being. As such, it's more honorable than the unserious, detached bleatings of the over-socialized.
_______________________
*"What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?" -- so asks the Last Man, and blinks.

The earth has become small, and on it hops the Last Man, who makes everything small. His species is ineradicable as the flea; the Last Man lives longest.

"We have discovered happiness" -- say the Last Men, and they blink.

posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:20 PM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


The decision to get married forecloses a lot of other options. Forever.

Talk about the bleating of the over-socialized. There's not one way to be married, you know, and a lot of those ways don't involve cheating or lying.
posted by rtha at 10:48 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Come now, rtha. Be serious. Serious people can face the existential truth of mortality, to which we over-socialized are blindly inured, emblematized in all the decisions, grave and glib, we make as we disguise the prosaic stumble toward the grave as a labyrinth's path and give chase after the phantom of reason.

The best way we can see this truth reflected is in the looking glass of sweat, Purell and Victoria’s Secret Shimmer Powder in Peach Passion scent on a stripper's buttock.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:15 PM on April 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


"The decision to get married forecloses a lot of other options. Forever."

"Look, no, I got the whole Viking invasion irreversible voyage marriage metaphor thing. I'm just asking, did you really have to keep us from backsliding by lighting the strippers on fire?"
posted by klangklangston at 11:43 PM on April 18, 2010


Ignoring everything else, um, interesting about this statement...like multiple commenters in the original thread, you seem to have it in your head that this OP's boyfriend is the one whose bachelor party is impending. Actually reading the question shows that this is quite clearly not the case.
I've never read a question on AskMe, and it would take a hell of a lot more than a few naked women to make me do so. Perhaps legions of naked women, yes grim legions of naked women, and then, perhaps, my stubbornness would give way.
posted by planet at 11:56 PM on April 18, 2010


The decision to get married forecloses a lot of other options. Forever. (Assuming you're going into the marriage in good faith.) If you're a serious person, this should give you pause.

As with any other social construct that is expected to last a lifetime, marriage requires a certain amount of mature conformity by those undertaking it. This entails an understanding that being married will have positives and negatives. It is not for everyone.

To properly acknowledge this truth, paying lip service to it is not sufficient. One must do something that brings it home. The bachelor party is a primitive, denatured way of doing this.

Bacchanalia is primitive, yes. Whether it paves a path to personal enlightenment depends on one's subjective experience. But it's worth noting that people rarely drink heavily and go to strip clubs to challenge their future ability to remain sober, respectful of women and monogamous.

Also, did you really mean to use "denatured" here? It seems out of place.

But at least it's an attempt to seriously confront the lived truth of existence for a human being. As such, it's more honorable than the unserious, detached bleatings of the over-socialized.

Are you really saying that honoring a social partnership in a manner that doesn't entail having an emotionally detached third party shake her breasts in a person's face and grind her genitals against theirs is a form of over-socialization? Am I misreading you here? Because if I'm not, that seems like a pretty inane assertion.
posted by zarq at 11:57 PM on April 18, 2010


I wonder if one of the reasons this whole thing - the idea of bachelor party as transformative - seems ridiculous is because of the increase in cohabitation and delay in average marriage age.

That is, the bachelor party ritual being discussed here seems something that to me, attracts some 19-25 year olds who are more or less moving out of their parents' houses or dorms into a marital home for the first time. On the other hand, I lived with my now-husband for 3 years prior to our wedding date. The day of the marriage resulted in a change in my name, and the terms we used for each other - husband, wife - and some insurance and tax issues, but in terms of the basic, enduring nature of our relationship, not much changed. We were living as husband and wife long before our marriage. Thus, in our individual situation, which of course may be very different from other peoples', the idea of an event taking place the week before the wedding being "transformative" just doesn't seem credible. Not, at least, the way I could at least envision the argument going for a bunch of young kids, just out of college, haven't had many or any prior adult relationships, etc.

(OT, but do bachelorette parties irk anyone else? I feel like weddings are a damn party fest now - between the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette and wedding, the number of gifts to be bought, events (sometimes expensive) to attend, etc., honestly seems just silly to me. But that's another complaint for another day.)
posted by bunnycup at 6:39 AM on April 19, 2010


Serious people can face the existential truth of mortality, to which we over-socialized are blindly inured, emblematized in all the decisions, grave and glib, we make as we disguise the prosaic stumble toward the grave as a labyrinth's path and give chase after the phantom of reason.

I stand in awe. I hope you don't mind if I file the serial numbers off some of this stuff and use it myself. I guess I'd need a liberal arts education to learn how to sling it in such a masterful way.

The best way we can see this truth reflected is in the looking glass of sweat, Purell and Victoria’s Secret Shimmer Powder in Peach Passion scent on a stripper's buttock.

Love the image, but I think I made it pretty clear that I don't think it's the best way. Now if you let me plan your bachelor party (and you're the kind of person who can approach the notion of a bachelor party without irony) I guarantee you a transformative experience.

(zarq, I'm going to reply to your comment. Sometime. I have to do work now and, frankly, thinking about your stuff makes me tired.)
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:58 AM on April 19, 2010


(zarq, I'm going to reply to your comment. Sometime. I have to do work now and, frankly, thinking about your stuff makes me tired.)

Take your time. I'm here all month. ;)
posted by zarq at 8:03 AM on April 19, 2010


zarq: But I can tell you that if one had been done on me in a strip club the night before my marriage, it probably would have reinforced to me how lucky I was to be marrying someone I loved and respected so much, because I'd just seen and experienced the alternative.

Not wishing to be the squeaky wheel, but I think there are other options - I'm not married, but I am typing this with my view of the screen completely unimpaired by a naked lady.

Slightly less frivolously - I think bunnycup makes a very good point. Most of the friends of mine who have gotten married have lived together for several years and have been de facto spouses for much of that time. As a result of which, possibly, their stags have been pretty calm and about food, drink and sodality rather than nudity. I have had friends who have gone to stag parties at strip clubs, or have had strippers turn up - their reaction ranged from amused interest to acute self-consciousness, but I don't think there was a sense that they had tapped into something primal and necessary.

So, to Ambrosia Voyeur's question - speaking as an unmarried man who has been on a few stag nights, I don't think there's a single specific transformative element in the stripper. For some it may be a symbolic demonstration of their ability to resist temptation, or a last defiant look at an unclothed lady before signing up to only seeing your unclothed wife in the future (assuming that is what you are signing up to). I suspect my peer group are past the age at which staying out late sounds like a good thing to do ever, much less stay out drinking £10 beer and looking at gyrating women. In many cases, it's probably just expectation and tradition

None of which makes me think that it would be compulsory for a groomsman to get a lap dance during a stag party, or that it is outwith his partner's rights to ask him not to, or talk about what it might involve. One thing I'm learning from this thread is that I have no idea what a lap dance can entail in some states of the US. I think in the UK "legitimate" strip joints (i.e. ones which are not a front for brothels or for shaking down tourists with incredibly expensive cocktails) had extremely firm rules about touching, because under the 2003 licensing act, as long as dancers were not naked and did not make physical contact, your lap dancing venue could apply for a license as a café, whereas the loophole has now, I think, been closed by the Crime and Policing Act 2009, and it has to be licensed as a "sexual encounter venue". This being Britain, not having an alcohol license is pretty much the death of your establishment. That said, there's some apparently contradictory detail in a 2008 Guardian article interviewing a London lap dancer:

"The clubs maintain a veneer of no touching, but touching is more standard than not," she continues. "If I had a boyfriend now and he said he was going to a lap-dancing club, I would consider it to be infidelity. The fact is that if you break the rules, you make more money. If one dancer starts breaking the rules then the pressure is on others to do the same. Otherwise a bloke would think, Well, that dancer charged me £20 and stayed three feet away, but that one charged me just the same and she put her breasts in my mouth and sat on my crotch. Once you've been there a while, you learn that certain things are profitable, and no contact is the first rule you learn to break. Eventually you start to wonder, what is the difference between me and a prostitute?"

Full article here. That's anecdata, of course...
posted by DNye at 8:34 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, did you really mean to use "denatured" here? It seems out of place.

Just to get this out of the way, what I meant was more like some combination of denatured (in the sense of "adulterated") and attenuated, speaking metaphorically. Or "debased" (but probably not in the sense that you would use the term).
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:05 AM on April 19, 2010


Not wishing to be the squeaky wheel, but I think there are other options...

Of course there are.
posted by zarq at 10:16 AM on April 19, 2010


> Now if you let me plan your bachelor party (and you're the kind of person who can approach the notion of a bachelor party without irony) I guarantee you a transformative experience.

Aww!! I am just that kind of person. But I have never had someone offer to plan my bachelor party before! I guess it would have to be pretty transformative, if it means I get a giant boner and wind up with a wife afterwards. You may be a wizard. Call me.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:47 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought that the bachelor party with strippers was more or less an updated version of the shivaree or other ritual humiliations visited upon the bride and groom before the wedding (and, in sexually repressed societies, often an outlet for a type of violent resentment-- remember the wedding night scene in Ryan's Daughter?).
posted by jokeefe at 10:58 AM on April 19, 2010


Sorry, Ambrosia. Didn't mean to get your, uh, hopes up. I was using "you" in the general sense, not addressing you directly. I thought using "one" would be absurdly formal in that context, but I regret the ambiguity. (Or are you just flirting with me?)
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:01 AM on April 19, 2010


Hmm. I am interested in the people who are not into lap dances because anti-contributing-to-the-sex-industry.

If anyone wants to discuss their views about the sex industry in general, I am game. I have a pretty set view of it but am always interested in hearing from people who have thought a lot about it and are really against it, and what those thought processes are for them.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:10 AM on April 19, 2010


how are lap dances contributing to the sex industry, but watching the girls on the pole aren't?


also: industry which sells female sexuality to paying male customers.

does that mean that if a guy buys a burger from hardees he's contributing to the sex industry?


and finally : on the rubbed to orgasm thing - in texas, home of the lax stripper laws, i've never once heard of this happening and i know a lot of people who have gotten lap dances. now, i do know that you can pay for a lap dance and have a girl just sit on your lap while you play with her boobs. i happen to agree with the thought upthread that actually getting a guy off diminishes his willingness to spend more money.
posted by nadawi at 12:45 PM on April 19, 2010


If anyone wants to discuss their views about the sex industry in general, I am game. I have a pretty set view of it but am always interested in hearing from people who have thought a lot about it and are really against it, and what those thought processes are for them.

Um.... you're interested in discussing the sex industry in general, but only to defend it?

I'm not against lap dances or the sex industry. I'm for laws against sex trafficking, and against anti-sex industry laws. I expect I'm probably versed well enough to hold my own in a discussion.
posted by zarq at 1:11 PM on April 19, 2010


does that mean that if a guy buys a burger from hardees he's contributing to the sex industry?

Hey, what he does with a greasy handful of meat and a nice set of buns on his own time is his business.
posted by zarq at 1:13 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Full article here. That's anecdata, of course...

Anecdata, of course, but that was a pretty interesting article. Thanks, DNye.
posted by torticat at 6:10 PM on April 19, 2010


Are you really saying that honoring a social partnership in a manner that doesn't entail having an emotionally detached third party shake her breasts in a person's face and grind her genitals against theirs is a form of over-socialization?

No. Did you really think that's what I was saying?

What I'm saying is that doing just about anything that acknowledges in some way the fundamental features of the human condition as they pertain to marriage, on the occasion thereof, is better than mouthing platitudes from the essentially fraudulent world view issued to us like an army uniform by "society". What's inane, if you want to know, is holding a bourgeois contempt for the feeling of breasts being shaken in one's face, or for the smell of perfume on a stripper's buttock, when those are at least real experiences, as opposed to the baseless abstractions that seem to hold your allegiance.

The fact is that marriage can be a great gain, but it is also, fundamentally and by its very nature, simultaneously and no less a great loss. The fact is that you're committing to a relationship with another person when, the fact is, that as a human being you're fundamentally alone from cradle to grave. You cannot know what is really in another person's heart. Such a commitment can be the height of moral courage with awareness, or the height of folly without.

You refer to marriage, a unique and sui generis relation between two individual human beings (if it's anything of any value whatsoever) as a "social partnership". And you blink.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:05 PM on April 19, 2010


Crabby, it's not really a zero-sum game here. Just because people are "bleating" here about various subjects as a form of recreation does not mean they lack the capacity to mark major life transitions. That's weird.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:15 PM on April 19, 2010


Oh. OK. Or, I dunno, Burhanistan, it might mean that. Or maybe not. I don't know, do I have to append "in my humble opinion" to every declarative sentence? That's weird.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:30 PM on April 19, 2010


Yes, do that. Perhaps twice each sentence.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:07 PM on April 19, 2010


That's redundant.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:15 PM on April 19, 2010


zarq: "Um.... you're interested in discussing the sex industry in general, but only to defend it? "

Yeah, I was trying a new stimulant medication today and it seemed to hit me at a weird point where I was able and willing to follow through with things, not get bored, etc, but unable to concentrate. That comment was a jumbled mess. It has to do with the med only having one variety of amphetamine, which gave me a much different effect than the mixed amphetamines that I'm used to. Anyway.

What I meant is that I can't think of too many great reasons to be vehemently anti-sex-industry as a whole, and I would be interested in being educated. However, the fact of the matter is that google exists and there are probably other, better ways to deal with my lack of understanding of contradictory viewpoints.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:06 PM on April 19, 2010


> a bourgeois contempt for the feeling of breasts being shaken in one's face, or for the smell of perfume on a stripper's buttock, when those are at least real experiences, as opposed to the baseless abstractions

What's the point of respecting this dichotomy? The spectrum between real and abstract experiences is idiosyncratic (in my humble opinion) to say the least, and, well, people are people. They like philosophy AND titties. Nothing wrong with that, it's good news, right? Big forebrain pride! This way, they can stick horizontally folded baseless abstractions printed with baseless abstractions about unity and god in the thong of a lady. Gonad response isn't what makes something real. Something something Velveteen Rabbit plushies.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:02 AM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've heard from so many guy friends that stripper clubs turn out to be a disappointment. I would be willing to bet that our culture (mainly movies and TV) pushes this idea that:

alcohol + naked women + men friends = fun, crazy time

when more often than not:

alcohol + naked women + men friends = not as much fun as you imagine

especially for any guy that likes his sex private and intimate rather than public and non-intimate. This would be something that each individual has to learn for himself and 21 year old would be more open to the experience than a 30 year old.

Like in my head, Brownie + ice cream + hot fudge sauce = heaven
but the reality is too sweet and cloying.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:17 AM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ambrosia, I agree that both philosophy and titties are important. Necessary, even. The point of respecting the dichotomy between real experience and baseless abstraction is that some philosophies seem to encourage people to think of themselves as immortal, disembodied intellects guided solely by disinterested reason. When in fact we are mortal, embodied, and driven by (largely unconscious) emotions. When we forget that inter faeces et urinem nascimur, we get into trouble.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:18 AM on April 20, 2010


I dunno, I feel like guy friends are sorta obligated to tell women that strip clubs suck.

It's a part of culture that we'll never really experience in the same way, and it's a sex thing, so talking about how great it is with a platonic female companion comes off as creepily boundary-crossing (I enjoyed this sex thing very much, I got an erection!) and bragging (ha, my gender has an entire industry devoted to making me horny, you will never know what that's like).

So getting an honest positive opinion from a socially apt dude does not seem like it would be easy.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:36 AM on April 20, 2010


Yeah, I was trying a new stimulant medication today and it seemed to hit me at a weird point where I was able and willing to follow through with things, not get bored, etc, but unable to concentrate. That comment was a jumbled mess. It has to do with the med only having one variety of amphetamine, which gave me a much different effect than the mixed amphetamines that I'm used to. Anyway.

Ah. That sucks. :( I remember having similar problems when I was put on Imitrex, and then several years later when I was put on drugs to regulate my blood pressure. Everything seemed to give me blinding headaches and photosensitivity. (Ironic for Imitrex, 'cause that's what it was supposed to be helping.) Hope things have settled down for you.

What I meant is that I can't think of too many great reasons to be vehemently anti-sex-industry as a whole, and I would be interested in being educated.

Agreed. I do tend to think that the more people learn about it, the less people are likely to think it's negative as a whole.

The two most coherent explanations I've heard given against the sex industry are that the vast majority of sex workers are female rape survivors who have Stockholm Syndrome, or that they are people who are unable (economically, emotionally, etc.,) or unwilling to be sexually independent. Exploitation and violence do exist, of course. But these two explanations don't bear up under scrutiny. Worse, they tend to inaccurately cast all sex workers (women especially) as powerless, voiceless victims.

However, the fact of the matter is that google exists and there are probably other, better ways to deal with my lack of understanding of contradictory viewpoints.

Yes, but it's less fun. ;)
posted by zarq at 8:47 AM on April 20, 2010


I'm not a dude, but I am a lesbian, and I think strip clubs kinda suck - for me, anyway. I like boobies as much as the next guy, but the "dancing" and the near-nudity just don't turn me on at all. It lacks all the subtlety and mystery a normal woman has wearing normal clothes, and so doesn't really have much appeal.

I mentioned above that I'm kind creeped out by lap dances as well. I don't know that I can really articulate why, they just feel terribly fake and manipulative. I find physical contact pretty intense, emotionally, and I'm not much into touching strangers or having them touch me. That being said, I joke about having the "magic lap" - it's irresistable to cats, small children, and strippers with sore feet. Every time I've been in a club I end up with someone on my lap just chatting - sometimes looking for interest in a dance, sometimes just wanting to have a conversation. That's fine by me - a little weird, but fine. I'd like it a lot better if I managed to encounter a stripper who was more sober and/or a better conversationalist.

And the overall setting is icky - dark, filled with people who don't really want to be seen, and loud. (Actually, that describes my favorite dive bar, but at least there the booze is reasonably priced and no one is going to try to sell you anything.)

I'm not a fan of the objectification of women in general, and it's no better in strip clubs. But what makes me dislike them on a visceral level is that the strippers are objectifying me right back.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:09 AM on April 20, 2010


The two most coherent explanations I've heard given against the sex industry are that the vast majority of sex workers are female rape survivors who have Stockholm Syndrome, or that they are people who are unable (economically, emotionally, etc.,) or unwilling to be sexually independent.

If that were true (and I'm not sure it is true) what gets me about this argument is that it essentially punishes the victims twice--by seeking to prevent them from benefiting from their problems.

Hey, sorry your life has sucked, but don't you dare make a profit off of it! Because...that makes me feel icky!

Always feels like one more way of denying women the ability to use their sexuality for their own benefit.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:10 AM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


internet fraud detective squad, station number 9, I think the idea behind that line of thinking is that the women aren't really active participants in the decision-making process, that they aren't doing it for their own benefit, that if they had access to other ways to make money, etc., they would not choose to participate in the sex industry. I don't know whether these things are true, but I know that I see a difference between a sex-positive woman who openly chooses without coercion to participate, and someone forced to participate because they either don't have or don't feel as if they have, a viable economic or social choice. Again, I am only attempting to explain what I understand the critique to be saying. I have mixed feelings about whether I agree with the line of thinking.
posted by bunnycup at 9:20 AM on April 20, 2010


If that were true (and I'm not sure it is true) what gets me about this argument is that it essentially punishes the victims twice--by seeking to prevent them from benefiting from their problems.

More dangerously, the same arguments have been used to prevent legislation legalizing various aspects of the sex industry. This has often meant that sex workers would not come forward if they were a victim of a crime -- even a violent crime -- out of fear of criminal prosecution or unfair treatment by the criminal justice system. If a sex worker were to be raped, beaten and robbed, they might go to a hospital for treatment, but not the police, whose reactions would probably range from "you deserved it," to "sorry, but you're under arrest."
posted by zarq at 9:40 AM on April 20, 2010


I think the idea behind that line of thinking is that the women aren't really active participants in the decision-making process, that they aren't doing it for their own benefit, that if they had access to other ways to make money, etc., they would not choose to participate in the sex industry. I don't know whether these things are true, but I know that I see a difference between a sex-positive woman who openly chooses without coercion to participate, and someone forced to participate because they either don't have or don't feel as if they have, a viable economic or social choice.

It has been and continues to be true of some people's experiences in the industry. But those experiences are not representative of the industry as a whole. I think that distinction is important, because too often we see condemnation coming as a wide brush when it really shouldn't be.
posted by zarq at 9:45 AM on April 20, 2010


I'm not necessarily against the sex industry as a whole, though I am unapologetically critical of it. I think that money distorts sexual expression and that a lot of general malaise is bound up in social constructions of desire, and that economics undoubtedly has a large part to play in that.

Strip clubs in particular, especially because they're public, have a lot of normative pressure for both men and women, a lot of externally determined ideas about what you should want or how someone should behave to be desired, and where I think that a lot of that might get sorted out if it were simply private parties coming together out of mutual interest, the money means that there are incentives not to deal with each other as people, but rather as roles. Sartre's Being For Others seems desperately apt, exacerbated by cash.

There's also the friction that comes from stripping being jobs held by people—it's rare to find a job that's intellectually and spiritually fulfilling, and I doubt that the vast majority of strippers are in that position. As such, it becomes a rote job, and I always tend to feel more sympathy for working stiffs than arousal.

This is all combined with the overall economic structure that sex workers exist in, something that gets ignored in the "personal choice" rhetoric. These women by and large work for the economic enrichment of men, men who don't respect them or particularly value them as people. I don't see that as particularly just. I realize that some dismiss that with the argument that it's no different from working at any job, as the captains of industry tend to be men, but I think that the intensely gendered aspect of sex work makes that defense facile at best.

My experience with porn is that roughly one in five women involved is someone who really enjoys what they're doing as a lifestyle and would be doing it even without payment (these also tend to be the kinksters), and it's great that they can do something that they enjoy and that is fulfilling. The other 80 percent are in it for a variety of reasons, usually poorly articulated and with an undercurrent of desperation. They'd rather do something else, but are trying to convince you that no, really, what they truly desire is to fulfill your fantasy. It's bullshit, they know it's bullshit, and the choice is how much you want to believe that it's not bullshit.
posted by klangklangston at 9:47 AM on April 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


> alcohol + naked women + men friends = not as much fun as you imagine especially for any guy that likes his sex private and intimate rather than public and non-intimate. This would be something that each individual has to learn for himself and 21 year old would be more open to the experience than a 30 year old. Like in my head, Brownie + ice cream + hot fudge sauce = heaven but the reality is too sweet and cloying.

You know, this comparison definitely provides a vaguely helpful answer to the question I'm rolling over in my head, about why men who basically don't want to go to strip clubs or get lap dances do it anyway under pressure. Our culture uses excesses in celebration, whether they're enjoyable excesses. So men who are more sexually nuanced or private than they were as 14 year olds, or grownups who no longer have the sweets obsession that many kids have are still offered these overloading combinations of stimuli, and it's thought to be some kind of consumer good to be grandiose, even if it gives you a tummyache. "Chug, chug, chug!" being the national motto.

But this overfed on brownie asplosion analogy interests me and illuminates the problem differently for me, because it complicates the assumption I was working with: that the men who don't want to go do these things are too grave in their avoidance for political or personal reasons, to not feel violated in some way by their acquiescence. When maybe it's not always so dire, but just a matter of being forced into overstimulation and confusion, rather than soul crime.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:59 AM on April 20, 2010


"soul crime"
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:16 PM on April 20, 2010


This is all combined with the overall economic structure that sex workers exist in, something that gets ignored in the "personal choice" rhetoric. These women by and large work for the economic enrichment of men, men who don't respect them or particularly value them as people. I don't see that as particularly just. I realize that some dismiss that with the argument that it's no different from working at any job, as the captains of industry tend to be men, but I think that the intensely gendered aspect of sex work makes that defense facile at best.

This is my main objection to the industry as well. It bothers me very much that there is no job description more remunerative for women without professional credentials than the one involving exposing one's body for the entertainment of some men and the enrichment of others. The fact that the industry's so shockingly one-sided says a lot, to me, about the patriarchical way in which we've constructed access to sexual experiences, and monetizing sexuality might not bother me as deeply if it were monetized in equivalent ways for both genders, across the board. But this isn't the case, and because of that fact it simply can't help but be exploitive. I'm not one of those who thinks that it's always individually exploitive (I agree that most women in the industry probably have a reasonable degree of agency in the choice to take part) but it is exploitive in that it literally exploits a large class of people whose economic needs are satisfied much better by this, a job type which they usually would not choose as their first preference, than job types that are closer to their preferences. It would be hard for me to enjoy a stripping performance knowing, as I do, that in most cases, the women dancing would rather do something else if it paid the same money and fit their schedules as well. Sometimes there are things they enjoy about the trade and they do manage to derive some satisfaction from the role, it's true; and sometimes some women go on to become more entrepreneurial and make a career out of it. But these aren't powerful enough arguments in support of the trade that I think they override the general negative realities of the experience.

For me, the objections don't come from prudery, jealousy, or discomfort with sex, nor do they come from a lack of familiarity with who dances and why. It's the evidence of institutionalized economic and social disparity that rankles. Someone above noted that burlesque is often viewed differently, and I would say that part of the reason is that the gendered environment of the sex industry is absent from burlesque. The audience is gender-integrated and the troupes are often female-run; burlesque is rarely a full-time job for its dancers, it's something done as a recreational/performance outlet that also happens to pay a little money (nothing like stripping money).

I'm also saddened by how strip clubs affect men. They cause conflict for some, and I can understand some of that conflict - people who have women in their lives whom they consider equals, their friends, co-workers, girlfriends, sisters, and mothers of course find it odd and somewhat uncomfortable to be in a situation in which women no different than the women they know are definitely not in a position of equality with them. The environment privileges their maleness and money in a way that might not sit well with an egalitarian-minded person.

Not everyone experiences this conflict. The unconflicted audience probably runs the gamut from people who are distant or unsuccessful in relationships and looking for a sexual outlet, fantasy material, or the illusion of intimacy to people who are simply comfortable with the whole proposition and able to enjoy it on a surface level. I think this requires a certain degree of compartmentalization, because while many people argue there's nothing wrong with the job, many of the same people seem to agree that they wouldn't like the thought of their wife or mother or themselves doing this job. And for me that surface level is impossible to find anyway, because I identify with the dancers and am always conscious of the sharply uneven power dynamic between them and and audience. Though individuals may benefit and succeed within this world, the conditions of the industry across the board don't offer that degree of success and benefit to all the workers.
posted by Miko at 3:02 PM on April 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


Man, this thread used to be interesting, but then the grad students showed up and it got real boring real fast.
posted by hifiparasol at 4:18 PM on April 20, 2010


Wow hifiparasol, I totally disagree. I feel like the thread went from a lot of bellyaching and assumptions - positive and negative - about the OP, her boyfriend and their relationship, and has opened up into a really honest and multi-faceted discussion of some difficult issues that aren't really straightforward for anyone. Frankly, I love when a MeTa does that and that's why I keep reading them, because I am often bound to get either a nuanced discussion of a difficult topic and/or a lot of good recipes.
posted by bunnycup at 4:37 PM on April 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


easily sellable idea of Bachelor Party Lapdance As Transformative Threshold-crossing Experience

This. Of course, the same could be said of almost every tradition associated with weddings.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:37 PM on April 20, 2010


OK, uncomfortable sex worker anecdote for the evening:

I'm hanging with a couple of pals who are lesbians married to each other. They had a shared bachelorette party where they both hooked up with a stripper/hooker (well, more than one, but this is about the one). So, this hooker, they go back to Vegas a couple of times and hook up with her again ("I got to wake up between this hottie and my wife!") and the last time, the hooker even waives the fees. It's like, hey, cool, you wanna bang hookers and your wife is into that? Cool, you're living the dream. And it's free? That's the American dream. Damn.

But so then, they're like facebook friends with her now, and one of their other pals, a dude (I don't know why that's relevant, but it totally is to my personal weirdness about this), puts up a wall post thanking them for the recommendation and giving a mini-review (non-explicit, but still). That weirds me out for reasons I can't articulate, like, that there's supposed to be some sort of exclusivity or anonymity with regard to hookers, like, it's fine to have sex with them if that's what you're into, and if you're into that, I assume you'll have friends who are into that, but to share both a friendship and a hooker seems to cross some line for me that I don't understand. Maybe it's a-lack-of-slash-more-advanced compartmentalization, but that's something that I just couldn't do.
posted by klangklangston at 10:55 PM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hooker reviews are just creepy, full stop.
posted by contraption at 9:33 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is interesting to me. Sex work is inherently creepy to me and I don't like it no sir I don't,* so it's interesting to me that people who aren't philosophically opposed to get creeped out by reviews. I wonder if for a lot of people sex work is okay as long as the commodification of sex (and people) that sex work entails is kept at a remove, that an illusion is maintained that this is different from anything else that happens in a capitalist system. Prostitution has been heavily romanticized through the centuries, I thought that was a something that was extrinsic to sex work, but I wonder if for sex work to exist in society, this romanticization needs to happen for most people to be able to buy sex, since sex is an inherently emotional act.


* Caveat: I think that the sex work is something that will continue to exist forever and does exist in every known society past or present. I would rather that it was legal and heavily regulated than the purview of criminal organizations.
posted by Kattullus at 9:55 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


On the topic of the transformative marriage rite: someone asked about bachelorette parties, above. I've only been to one that fit the description of, if you will, the "contemporary classic" bachelorette party. And I didn't find the things that happened then any more transformative than a bachelor/stripper experience is likely to be, and neither did the bride. It was a combination of skeevy and ho-hum that still rank as one of the lamest nights out I've ever experienced.

The small party was organized for a friend of mine by two friends of hers from work. They weren't women I know well - I had met them a couple times at events and parties - but they clearly felt she needed this kind of party and she agreed to go through with it (she's generally a gamer). It was held three nights before her wedding.

The two work friends (one married, one in a committed relationship) and me and our other old friend (both in dating-level relationships) made up a little posse for a bar-hopping spree planned by the work friends. The night began at my bride-to-be friend's house, where she was presented with a t-shirt with lifesavers sewn all over it with dental floss. This, it was explained, was the "suck for a buck" T-shirt. Guys would be invited to pay my friend a dollar and then, using only their mouths, suck the lifesaver off the t-shirt. Doofy, but tame enough. They also gave my friend a plastic tiara and we all did some shots and off we went.

I would never have known this, but bachelorette-party behavior is apparently well encoded into the cultural schema of the twentysomething bar schene. Whenever we entered a new place, there was a ripple effect through the parties of men who were already there. "Bride!" they would say upon seeing the tiara, pointing, and then they'd flock over and do the lifesaver thing. It was OK. At some point mid-evening the lifesavers ran out and she progressed to body shots. I'll never forget the sight of my poor embarrassed friend in her lifesaver-stained t-shirt laying on a pool table squinching her eyes while some bullethead sucked a lemon drop off her hip. We kept checking in with her but she was being a good sport, buzzed and bemused but not objecting to anything, so fine. At the last place we went, a guy told her she needed "the turkeys," and proceeded to grab a Sharpie, place both hands over her breasts one at a time, outline each hand and then decorate it to look like a turkey. This kind of thing went on most of the night, a series of awkward short boozy interactions with barfly men.

My friend later declared it "goofy, gross, silly," and most of the night bore a look that combined both startle and amusement. It was certainly not transformative for her, it was endured in a spirit of mild and, speaking only of nights out we've had with other groups of friends, definitely not the most fun any of us had ever had or were capable of having. She was going through the motions and so were we. It was a long night. The guys made their interactions with her as lascivious-seeming as possible, complete with attempts at slow seductive motion, ass grabs, and sexy breathing, but would then tend to finish with a paternalistic daddy's-girl behind-slap and a "be a good girl now!" or "too bad, honey..." This had a slight unpleasant overtone of reinforcing the "you're some other guy's property now" idea of marriage. At some level the men were eager to enjoy the free kisses, tongue-baths, and body grabs they could have under these rules.

The two work friends actually seemed to enjoy watching my friend get a bit mauled, with a mild voyeuristic stance that was definitely odd to me, and they spent a lot of time talking and flirting with the guys who had been drawn into our vicinity by the bachelorette scene. In fact the whole thing seemed to serve their interests more than anyone else's.

So it was a weird experience. Just boring, really, a little icky, embarrassing, and somewhat sad in its lack of imagination and genuine feeling.

So I agree with AV that our conventional scripts for these rituals may not be all that well constructed to bring about the effects they're commonly supposed to have.
posted by Miko at 11:19 AM on April 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sorry, I was just being playful. You're right about the direction of the conversation, bunnycup.
posted by hifiparasol at 12:20 PM on April 21, 2010


So, Miko, from my point of view the stripper is the substitute (simulated) gang rape victim standing in for the bride at the bachelor party, and the bride herself is the actual (simulated) gang rape victim at the bachelorette party!

Some powerful forces at work producing that convergence.
posted by jamjam at 2:57 PM on April 21, 2010


That was a very educational comment, Miko. Thanks.
posted by languagehat at 3:13 PM on April 21, 2010


Now we need a movie, if it hasn't been made already, where the bride disguises herself to a point of unrecognizability from the neck up and appears as the stripper at her own future husband's bachelor party, and gives him a lap dance which is so overwhelmingly sensual that he and his buddies...

Well, I don't want to spoil it for you.
posted by jamjam at 3:40 PM on April 21, 2010


So can I say "cowgirl up" or not? Did we ever decide that?
posted by unixrat at 5:30 PM on April 21, 2010


Seems like there's a lot of regional variation in how people take it, but feel free to say whatever the heck you want.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:36 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


cowgirl up is the kind of thing that someone should probably only say to themselves or a close friend. Not because of the specific term but because the sentiment is annoying.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:02 PM on April 21, 2010


So can I say "cowgirl up" or not? Did we ever decide that?

Ironically or not? If you want to say it unironically, you'd better be comfortable with jacked up trucks and cowboy culture and redneck pride. Ironically, you are good to go in pretty much any urban area, same with ironic wearing of John Deere hats and drinking PBR.
posted by Forktine at 8:31 PM on April 21, 2010


I was way off on the meaning of "cowboy/cowgirl up." I always thought it meant "buy yourself some western-style fashion accessories and go line dancing."
posted by contraption at 8:38 PM on April 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


> So can I say "cowgirl up" or not? Did we ever decide that? Ironically or not? If you want to say it unironically, you'd better be comfortable with jacked up trucks and cowboy culture and redneck pride. Ironically, you are good to go in pretty much any urban area, same with ironic wearing of John Deere hats and drinking PBR.

Ugh. You guys. Really. Rodeo term. Means the cowboy is up. Mounted. Ready for the chute to open and to show his mettle. To "Cowboy Up" means to be up to the task, to be tough, rough and ready. Therefore, since rodeos don't (uh... ever?) feature female bull or bronc riding, "cowgirl up" is a pretty egalitarian aspirational suggestion, and totally cool with me. Has nobody here ever been to a rodeo?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:00 PM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Cowgirl cred: My mama was a barrel racer and I spent my summers on grandpa's ranch, the Lazy 84, in South Dakota, ridin' horses, checkin' on the herd, ketchin' snakes in the pond, dodgin' tornadoes and goin' to the occasional rodeo. My favorite one was where they reinacted the murder of Wild Bill Hickok on a moving wagon stage as the halftime show.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:06 PM on April 21, 2010


Ugh. You guys. Really. Rodeo term. Means the cowboy is up. Mounted. Ready for the chute to open and to show his mettle. To "Cowboy Up" means to be up to the task, to be tough, rough and ready. Therefore, since rodeos don't (uh... ever?) feature female bull or bronc riding, "cowgirl up" is a pretty egalitarian aspirational suggestion, and totally cool with me. Has nobody here ever been to a rodeo?

Yeah, that's where it comes from, but it's use goes beyond people who participate in or attend actual rodeos. The way the phrase is actually used, in real life, is as a cultural marker. Back window of a pickup truck, front and center on a t-shirt, yelled to your friends. Similar to other slogans like "Bad ass girls drive bad ass trucks" -- simultaneously egalitarian and not, and a clear display of culture. You can display that cultural marker ironically or unironically; about 99.9% of MeFi users are going to use it ironically if at all (assuming that they don't think it's a sexual reference).
posted by Forktine at 5:51 AM on April 22, 2010


Well, using slogans ironically without knowing their origin is hardly the hallmark of cleverness. The cultural division perpetuated in the behavior you describe, between dumb redneck and snarky hipster, is foul.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:19 AM on April 22, 2010


The cultural division perpetuated in the behavior you describe, between dumb redneck and snarky hipster, is foul.

The only person here calling rednecks "dumb" is you. I work with real, honest-to-god, self-proclaimed rednecks every day of the week, and the last thing I'd ever do is call them dumb. For that matter, they are quite willing to use phrases like "cowgirl up" both ironically and unironically -- but insider irony sure feels different than outsider irony. The cultural division is real, though it's super complicated and sometimes counterintuitive in the ways people choose to articulate it.
posted by Forktine at 1:06 PM on April 22, 2010


It's a scientific fact that marrying someone who objects to you getting a lapdance at your bachelor party will lead to unhappiness 95% of the time.

Say what? I call into question your methodology.

I've been to a strip club, with someone I worked with. Seeing him get off on it felt strange, as though I'd accidentally seen him naked or on the toilet; a kind of odd sensation. As liberated as I like to think I am - I don't know or care much what my partners like to look at in the privacy of their own monitor - I can't say I know I'd be completely objective about someone I was involved with going. Most stag parties I've known that involved strip clubs and the like never made it known to the bride, and I think that's probably the best way. No bad feelings for anybody.


Well, many of us are bitter toward women because we find relationships unbearable, but we aren't attractive enough to procure a reliable supply of casual sex

I hear TheGays are good at casual sex. Maybe you should think about that more.
posted by mippy at 3:24 PM on April 22, 2010


I've just read, next to each other,

have too many bad memories from the 70s of being bullied (and of my friends being bullied) into sex we didn't want to have simply because we didn't want to be called uptight, or accused of having hang ups, or of not being "free", for me to have even really participated calmly in this thread, so I thank Miko for so sanely and articulately speaking for me here.

and

"My guy is going to a bachelor's party. Help me stop feeling unhappy about it?".
Is a pathetic plea for support citing an instance that hardly ever comes up and a naked attempt for crowd validation. He's not "your" guy and your very question proves that. Get another guy. Or a relationship.
My wife goes out dancing, help me stop feeling unhappy about it.
Please. Get a cat. It's inevitable.


We haven't come a long way at all, have we.
posted by mippy at 3:37 PM on April 22, 2010


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