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We Get Hate Mail
"There's no excuse for domestic abuse"...right? Well, not unless the abuser has a vagina. I wrote an Advice Goddess column, Marrying The Hatchet, condemning a woman for throwing an ashtray at her husband, and condemning the double standard that has people shrugging off domestic violence against men. Here's an excerpt of what I wrote:

If your husband tossed an ashtray at your head, do you think he’d be describing himself as “Still So Angry Inside” or “Still In Court Trying To Get The Charges Reduced”?

It doesn’t take much for domestic violence against men to be taken seriously…usually, just a chalk outline where a man’s body used to be. The rest of the time, people tend to shrug it off or even find it cute: “Well, well, well, she’s quite the firecracker!” Granted, male abusers can do much more damage with their fists, but put a heavy object in a woman’s hands, and good morning brain damage! (Just wondering…has your husband gotten the ashtray out of his skull, or does he have to hang around smoking areas with his head bent down so people have someplace to flick their ash?)

(Column continues here.)

Here's an e-mail I got in response from an angry female reader:

Subject: Re: Domestic abuse isn't a one way street article

I just had to write back over this one. My mother sends me your articles and this one just set me off. Just like the woman whose husband went to a strip club, so did my husband of 10 years (we have 3 kids together). I have to say that I had much the same reaction as she did. I do not advocate any type of abuse from either side of a relationship, but going to a strip club IS JUST THAT....ABUSE. It is no different from hiring a hooker for sex except that you don't stick it in. I find it disgusting that you attack this woman for her reaction, and then advocate this strip club behavior as "normal". This world seems to put strippers on a pedestal these days and it is acceptable behavior for men to do these things. I have to say I absolutely disagree with you, I think the man did deserve an ashtray in his skull ( or perhaps the loss of one important piece he needs to get excited for strippers), and I think your advocating porn, hookers, and perversion is just disgusting. This behavior should not be legal ANYWHERE, but it seems that you're okay with having it in your life. I think that's sad, because I know that no matter how "crazy" the world may think my reaction to going to strip clubs is, I know that it is absolutely insane to sit back and accept live porn as normal, acceptable behavior.

My response:

You write: "I think the man did deserve an ashtray in his skull ( or perhaps the loss of one important piece he needs to get excited for strippers)"

I think you're scary.

She writes back:

Your advocating porn as acceptable is equally scary. Let's hope it lead to rape or sexual abuse of any child or person in your own life. You are a sick woman. Someone needs to take that pen out of your had.. your ego is way too big.

She writes back again:

I meant to say I hope that it DOES NOT LEAD to rape or sex abuse in your own life.

Typical crapthink, promoted by angry feminists with fistfuls of bad data. The studies of those who aren't "advocacy researchers" debunk this notion. Gad Saad details a number of them in a terrific new book, The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption, showing that, for example, with "exponential growth in the availability of sexually explicit materials available on the Internet from 1995 to 1999, the rate of forcible rape (as obtained from FBI data) during that period has steadily declined." This is just one example. I've read numerous other examples like this in Saad's book, and in the past, debunking the notion that porn leads to hatred of or violence to women.

Hmmm, speaking of violence and hatred, I wonder how this woman who wrote me would respond if I, in the mode of her bloodlust to dismember a man for eyeballing a few naked titties, suggested a similar punishment for a woman who, say, had an affair with the neighbor? Off with an arm...a leg...whatever!

I mean, she was asking for it, huh?

Posted by aalkon at October 31, 2007 1:55 PM

Comments

Hookers are supposed to let you stick it in? I want my money back!

Posted by: Jim Treacher at October 31, 2007 12:50 AM

Violence is ok, but looking at titties is not.

The crazy thing, other than this woman, is that this is a commonly held belief.

Posted by: Shawn at October 31, 2007 3:46 AM

As for those who think strip clubs are an abomination… “Just because you’ve had lunch, doesn’t mean you can’t look at the menu”.

Posted by: Roger at October 31, 2007 4:27 AM

She sounds like she's jealous! And, as we all know, jealousy is a manifestation of your own insecurities. Don't want your man going to a tittie bar? Let him see yours more often! Stop being a shrew, and start being a fun sex partner. Accept the fact the men like to look, as long as he's not touching, what's the big damn deal? I like looking too, and some of those male dancers are hot! o_O

Posted by: Flynne at October 31, 2007 5:47 AM

P.S. Before I met Gregg, he got hired to do a month of research in San Francisco strip clubs. Had he gotten hired after I met him, I would've gone along.

And actually Flynne, contrary to popular belief, men don't not look or not cheat because they're necessarily unsatisfied at home. But, there's a big difference between a porn addiction or giving all your dough to Cherry Bombs Away and going to a strip club some night with the guys. I can't imagine there's much that's more embarrassing socially for a grown man than to say he's not allowed to go to a strip club. I mean, Gregg doesn't go, but if he got invited to go, I certainly wouldn't stop him. And if he went every night, I still wouldn't stop him, but he wouldn't be my boyfriend.

In short: You don't get to control other adults. Find somebody who basically behaves the way that works for you, and the rest of the time, either shrug your shoulders or make plans to leave.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 31, 2007 6:33 AM

As I was once told "I don't care where he gets his appetite from, just as long as he comes home to eat."

"It is no different from hiring a hooker for sex except that you don't stick it in." Um, guess she got her sex ed from Sunday school. It's not sex unless you stick it in some where, even if Bill doesn't think so.

Posted by: vlad at October 31, 2007 6:37 AM

"I still wouldn't stop him, but he wouldn't be my boyfriend." Why? Assuming he's doing it on nights your not around due to say a deadline.

Posted by: vlad at October 31, 2007 6:40 AM

I get turned on every time I read that "stick it in" bit. A rare quality in my hate mail!

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at October 31, 2007 6:40 AM

Oh I know that Amy. But still, if you get all up in his face because you're insecure about him going to a strip bar, then you need to figure out why that is and either explain it to him in such a way, without being nasty about it, that he'll get it and not go out of respect for you, or you need to let him go the bar and find someone who will respect your wishes that he not go. It's one thing to be that controlling that the guy can't have a piss without your say-so; it's totally another when you can explain to him why it bothers you, without trying to emasculate him. And if it's something that, to his mind, is not up for negotiation, then you (both) should make the decision to end it. Life's too short to be miserable on someone else's terms.

Posted by: Flynne at October 31, 2007 6:42 AM

"And if it's something that, to his mind, is not up for negotiation, then you (both) should make the decision to end it."

The problem is if he concedes once who far will it be pushed. If she's insecure then likely strip clubs will only be the start of it. Then it's the weekly beer swill with the buddies. Then it's the having a drink after work with co-workers. Slippery slope depending on how reasonable everyone is.

Posted by: vlad at October 31, 2007 6:49 AM

I just don't understand women who have issues with men looking at strippers. Well, I understand it on a basic level - I get what their issue is. I just don't agree with and find it hard to wrap my head around said issue. Hell, I told my husband's best man "Y'all feel free to go to a strip club. My only stipulation is no extremities being inserted into any orifices."

I had to laugh about you saying you'd have gone with Gregg had you been together at the time. I like going, too. I like looking at pretty things/people. And totally agree about porn.

Anyway, good column (both the original and this letter).

Posted by: Anne at October 31, 2007 6:54 AM

I think there are times when an ashtray to the skull is warranted. If some guy is trying to rape me, I'm going to use whatever weapons I have at hand to stop him, and if he ends up in a coma due to that, I won't feel sorry. But STRIPPERS? Someone actually thinks that an ashtray to the skull is justified because of STRIPPERS? I mean, I've known of couples who literally threw plates at one another when they got angry, but that was a mutual thing - not a healthy thing, but a mutual thing. Throwing an ashtray at anyone's skull because you're unhappy about them going to see STRIPPERS is a mark of mental instability.

I really don't care if someone I'm dating goes to strip clubs, assuming no actual cheating goes on. Men like visual variety. As long as that doesn't lead to sexual variety when they're in a committed relationship, I have better things to worry about. But I have to say, I've been to strip clubs myself and they typically seem really...depressing. Okay, the male stripper clubs for women don't seem terribly depressing, but the other ones do. I keep thinking about Carl Hiaasen's Striptease whenever I'm there, and how everyone in that fictional strip club ended up totally being turned off of actual sex. Now, I well admit that I'm not the target audience, and I haven't been to superexpensive strip clubs. But if I were dating someone who had a serious strip club habit, I'd question my relationship with that person...not because he was looking at mostly naked girls, but because I'd wonder how he could go, say, three nights a week and not pick up on the dreary side of it all after a while.

There's a fine line between a healthy interest in visual variety and an unhealthy immersion in artificial sexuality. A guy who regularly turns down his attractive wife to go beat off in front of porn sites has a problem. I actually think this whole "if you look at porn/go to strip clubs it's cheating, CHEATING!!!" thing obscures the issue by painting the guy who subscribes to Playboy and the guy who spends $10,000 per month on porn Websites with the same brush.

I wonder what Amy's letter writer would say to the many women I know who enjoy porn...

Posted by: marion at October 31, 2007 7:16 AM

Shhh, Marion. You'll give away all our secrets. Enjoy porn?!?! Never! ;-)

Posted by: Anne at October 31, 2007 7:21 AM

I keep thinking about Carl Hiaasen's Striptease whenever I'm there, and how everyone in that fictional strip club ended up totally being turned off of actual sex

Gregg found going to strip clubs night after night rather depressing.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at October 31, 2007 7:22 AM

I wish I could say I found the idea of my man going to a strip club disgusting.

Only because then I could unbiasedly point out that physical attack is NOT an acceptable response to any non-physical infringement of whatever offends me. Your hate mailer needs to re-think her logic. I can't figure out where her moral compass is coming from. It can't be biblical as I'm pretty sure it doesn't say an eye for a stray glance anywhere in there. Perhaps its some reverse islam thing...one where men are treated worse than dogs??

As it is, I'm just another "sick woman" who actually encourages my guy to head out with the guys when they have any sort of boys night planned, including those at the strippers. He also came to find the places depressing after spending a few regular nights there in his sexually frustrated youth, 20 years later, the occassional visit brings him home to me tipsy and "up" for whatever I've got in mind. It's really a win-win situation.

Posted by: moreta at October 31, 2007 7:44 AM

"Find somebody who basically behaves the way that works for you"

Such a simple sentence, but SUCH brilliance!

Posted by: Gretchen at October 31, 2007 7:53 AM

Fabulous comment, moreta!

I have a diabolically inconsistent attitude to strip clubs.

In theory, I'm cool.

In reality I got very irritated when my husband's best man made a big, furtive, giggly deal of suggesting a strip club visit for my husband's stag night.

I didn't like the dusty implication that it signaled the very last time the husband would be a free man. It was probably my problem though.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at October 31, 2007 8:04 AM

I think this woman is psycho. It reminds me of another psycho strip club story:

My friend's girlfriend expressed an intense desire to go to a strip club with him. She did so repeatedly, over the many months they were dating. My friend is aware, as am I of an amazing strip club outside of St. Louis. So they take a trip down to STL, to visit some friends and go to the strip club.

They Go.

They are there for 10 minutes when she proclaims how disgusting it is, and how she is revolted, and proceeds to slap my friend in the face.

The most messed up part, he is still dating her. *brain explosion*

Posted by: Shinobi at October 31, 2007 9:01 AM

As a straight man I can't see the attraction of strip clubs. Don't you just get all frustrated? Or am I missing something?

Posted by: Norman at October 31, 2007 9:12 AM

Norman, as a straight man, I think your assignment for the weekend should be to go to a strip club and report back! :-)

Actually, I used to wonder about a group of guys heading off to a strip club together. It seemed almost as weird as a group of guys getting together to watch porn. Admittedly, I haven't seen this happen with anyone over the age of 20, but as a teenager, I never understood why a bunch of straight boys would get together and watch porn. Did they giggle about seeing naked boobies, or nod knowingly at each other about how they'd "been there, done that" (yeah, right), or what?

However, having since been to a strip club, my observation was that for most of the guys, the stage action was mostly just background entertainment as part of the boys getting together and knocking back a few beers. At a pub, the ball game is in the background, at the strippers, its naked girls. I can see the attraction and it seems harmless enough to me.

Posted by: moreta at October 31, 2007 10:07 AM

Gregg found going to strip clubs night after night rather depressing.

Most well-adjusted guys I know have said the same, unprompted. It's not that they don't enjoy the occasional trip, but they don't want to go ALL of the time.

That having been said, the great Richard Feynman apparently used to head to strip clubs when he was stuck on a particular problem. He'd work through the equations as the show went on. At one point, the authorities wanted to shut down the club he visited, and none of the usual respectable visitors would testify in favor of the club...except for him. However, if you're not a super-genius, I think the "liking strip clubs TOO much is kinda skeezy" rule still applies...

Posted by: marion at October 31, 2007 10:21 AM

Jody's spin is most insightful and original.

If I went to a local grocery store, bowling alley or gas station and a number of attractive women unexpectedly got nude and started writhing I'd probably involuntarily reroute my bloodflow due to the novelty of the experience.

Mindless fun with friends is cool, but treating a strip club as a gestalt of Dangerous Adventure, Simulated Mating Ritual, or Independence from a Controlling Partner is silly and tired. If I wanted to experience those gestalts, I'd sure aim MUCH higher, if only to do something worthy of LW's psychotic reaction.

Posted by: DaveG at October 31, 2007 10:25 AM

"Hmmm, speaking of violence and hatred, I wonder how this woman who wrote me would respond if I, in the mode of her bloodlust to dismember a man for eyeballing a few naked titties, suggested a similar punishment for a woman who, say, had an affair with the neighbor? Off with an arm...a leg...whatever!"

Amy, thanks so much not only for calling these violent women exactly what they are but also for making this point. It's amazing to me how many women will make a casual comment about mutilating a man's genitals. If we were to switch the genders around, even as a devil's advocate argument sort of thing, they'd be screaming that we're sick perverts just for thinking such a thing. Enough already.

Posted by: Brian at October 31, 2007 10:33 AM

Great responses, the disconnect in our society between violence against men and women is striking (pun intended).

I suspect that the woman who claimed "a strip club visit is abuse" has no idea at all that SHE would be the abuser in such a scenario. Her feeling that arguably 'bad behavior' justifies physical violence is textbook 'abuser' rationalization. Of course in the textbooks the 'abuser' is always a man... so of course that means she CAN'T be one... right?

Personally, I'm a guy who's never really understood the strip club mystique. I wouldn't call them depressing as one poster did, but I would say that I just don't 'get it'. Go out somewhere, spend a ton of money to get yourself all rev'd up... for what? You want naked women... they're all over the internet. You want to hang out with the guys... there're a LOT of places that are more fun and less money. Having said that, I know guys who do go to strip clubs on occasion... and I doubt there's any correlation between occasional visits and marital problems.

Posted by: Dave at October 31, 2007 10:41 AM

Amy,

I LOVE YOU!

Thanks for the appropriate understanding and compassion for the legitimate MRA's (forgot a word)issues!

b


Posted by: Bernie Misiura at October 31, 2007 11:51 AM

"going to a strip club IS JUST THAT....ABUSE"

Did they let Andrea Yates out of jail long enough to write you a letter? I wonder what this nitwit things of women going to male strip clubs? No, just kidding. I don't really care what she thinks about anything.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at October 31, 2007 11:55 AM

I really feel for this guy.
Strip clubs are so incredibly boring and sexless I'd (1) have to be dragged in by a buddy after some alcoholic booster shots or (2) have a shrew for a wife who left me desperate for any experience to remind me of my manhood.
Looks like the ashtray target suffers from both.
Poor bastid.

Posted by: Gog_Magog_Carpet_Reclaimers at October 31, 2007 12:51 PM

Right or wrong, going to a strip club is legal, and NOT legally defined as abuse.

Right or wrong, committing a violent act against another person (of any gender) is illegal.

Do not date anyone who considers something you might do as abusive.

And do not date anyone who would respond to abuse with abuse of his/her own.

Posted by: Robert V at October 31, 2007 12:55 PM

Strip clubs used to have much more allure for the majority in attendance at our annual Vegas Gusy Weekend.

Then we all got into poker.

Now, you're far more likely to find us at the Venetian poker room after a big Delmonico steak than anywhere populated by mean Eastern European strippers.

Posted by: snakeman99 at October 31, 2007 1:01 PM

I never had an ashtray thrown at me, but in college my girlfriend hurled a solid crystal ball past my head when I refused to move up our plans to get married. I never saw her again after that night, though she called me dozens of times a day for months. "Fatal Attraction" still scares the hell out of me.

Posted by: eric at October 31, 2007 1:02 PM

Thank you for this very common-sense advice column, Amy! You are so very correct that violence against men is seen as, "he must've done something to provoke it". And you are so right that her response was just as bad as saying a woman should have her legs cut off for screwing around with the neighbor.

People like that woman who wrote blasting you for your opinion? They have no common sense, and they seem to think people should feel privileged to be around them.

Again Amy, thank you for a very sound and equal-opportunity piece of advice!

Respectfully,

Thomas Lessman
. www.ThomasLessman.com
Blog: www.talessman.blogspot.com

Posted by: Thomas Lessman at October 31, 2007 1:05 PM

> never saw her again
> after that

Now that's an anecdote.

Posted by: Crid at October 31, 2007 1:13 PM

As a happily married former stripper, I feel it necessary to point out that strip clubs are like any other entertainment venue. My husband rarely goes to clubs (though he goes to clubs more than concerts and games combined) and when he does, I'm usually with him. He has a better time when I'm at the club with him because I "get it" and the dancers love being treated with common courtesy and respect from other women. The dances are much better as a result.

Mrs. Freakout sounds like a real bore except when she is flipping out. Of course, some marriages depend on that sort of chaos. The participants mistake it for interest in each other.

Posted by: miche at October 31, 2007 1:34 PM

A guy I used to be in love with would go to a strip club twice or three times a year. It was usually a birthday event or something. He'd come home drunk and horny. I was glad.

A friend of mine was a bartender at a strip club in Atlanta...The Gold Club, I believe. Anyway, I had to meet her up there once when we were going to a concert after she got off work. I got caught looking too hard a couple of times. It was interesting to me, and some of those girls were really beautiful and could move. I've used some of those moves myself when I have stripped for the man in my life. Being in my 30's, you have to inspire a man your own age sometimes. They are not like those bunny rabbit 20 somethings.

Something else I found interesting was watching the men watch the strippers. I guess I am just a dork, but the whole experience was sociologically interesting. I didn't see any abuse, except for the fact that my friend said most of the strippers were coke heads. I don't know that as a first hand fact, though.

Coming into a public establishment hysterical and throwing an ashtray, however, is a superior display of disrespect for the patrons, the strippers, the law, and the reputation of the establishment. Of course, the ashtray thrower is above all of this. She should have been jailed and sued.

Posted by: kg at October 31, 2007 1:36 PM

.."As a happily married former stripper..."

God, I'd love to hear that line at a boring dinner party, miche!

(And watch the wine shoot out everyone's noses as they struggled to maintain their poise!)

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at October 31, 2007 1:43 PM

Wow, honestly this woman is infinitely more frightening than the original email. It seems to me this woman has a vendetta against man. Which brings up my question, why do men allow this to happen? I have a friend who has been sent to the hospital several times by his wife, and I always ask, why do you let this happen? He doesn't have a reason, but it's totally more acceptable in society to get beaten up near death by a girl than a guy. Same pain though.

Posted by: Staplez at October 31, 2007 2:06 PM

lets put this as simple as possible:

If you as a WOMAN don't like strip clubs, but you choose a man who thinks it is acceptable to go to them. You chose POORLY. You FAIL.

Don't even try to give me the excuse that you didn't know he liked to attend strip clubs. It should be expected that most men WOULD. That just argues that you didn't know your own man well enough when you decided to be with him. You FAIL at life.

Now go find a new man who has your same moral/family values, or learn to live HAPPILY with what you have. He was your choice in a companion/mate.

Posted by: Daniel at October 31, 2007 2:18 PM

> You FAIL at life.

Like, wow. The was harsh and judgmental, not nurturing and empowering.

I don't like strip clubs because you can't just sit and stare at naked young women (which is otherwise a lot of fun). You have to buy bad beer at a wicked markup and listen to coarse pop music played through bad sound reproduction equipment. You have to put up with endless entreaties to part with a few more dollars for the jukebox, or the dancer, or another drink, or whatever. And even if a woman's attractive, you know you're looking at a child of divorce/single mother who got beaten up by a used car salesman last week. And she can't dance for shit, not that she needs to. The other guys in the place seem to be inspecting your clothes as they tap their pool cues on the nearby chairs, as if imagining how much money they could pull from your wallet if they club you over the head as you walk out to your car.

There are two things about all the comments from men here ("Now I personally don't go to strip clubs, because it's beneath me...") and from women here ("Now all the men I love and admire tell me that they never go to these places...") and deserve consideration. I'll list those points for you here, now.

1.) First, many of these men are pandering senselessly to the skittishness many otherwise admirable women feel for masculine nature. (See Jody, above.) Mere pandering would be forgiven; I think women are supposed to contain men's scarier impulses. But they shouldn't do it by being meek little weasel-girls, who by manipulation decline to see men as they are.

2.) I forgot the second point. Maybe it got blended into the first one, but the deal is this: Looking at naked young women is a lot of fun! It's a lot of fun for every man, whether he has the wind in his lungs and the bones in his spine to do it or not. Whether he's ashamed of it or not. Whether he's married or not. Whether he's happily married or not.

We shouldn't let anyone be convinced that manhood is really just an exciting new variant of womanhood that has, through corruption by peer pressure, acquired a few nasty habits that need correction.

Prager used to say that when women to strip shows, they laugh. When men go to strip shows, it's often a pretty serious evening. When women learn their strippers are gay, it makes absolutely zero difference to them. When men learn their strippers are lesbian, it makes it even better.

Summary: Looking at naked women is a lot of fun!

Posted by: Crid at October 31, 2007 2:45 PM

"If you as a WOMAN don't like strip clubs, but you choose a man who thinks it is acceptable to go to them. You chose POORLY. You FAIL."

I agree, Daniel.

But I think there may be an underlying, semi-tragic point to consider about the ashtray victim: he probably is NOT someone who "thinks it is acceptable to go to them." Let's consider:

1) it was the night before his wedding, cause for many a man to act out sheer nervousness that their dicks will shrivel up the next day, never to be found again
2) he was trashed. I don't advocate getting so drunk that you can't control yourself, but again...wedding's eve. How many people have found something appealing, whilst being trashed, that they'd otherwise not? It happens the at bachelor/ette parties.
3) The bro seems like a hard core egger-on'er. He just wanted his brother to have one last legal hurrah. I applaud Brother for not getting Groom a hooker instead.

She didn't say he went all the time. As Amy said earlier "Find somebody who basically behaves the way that works for you," It seems that this guy probably DID basically behave in a way that worked for the wife, *except for this one night*. I know, I know, "it was only one time" doesn't fly in many circumstances, but given the three factors listed above, and his begging for forgiveness = he doesn't seem big on strip clubs.

So, this isn't about him having vastly different moral/family values, it's about him doing something ONCE which didn't please Miss Moral High Horse. And it's about her grudge holding, "what about MYYYY feelings" attitude and inability to see the unfairness of her battery w/ a potentially deadly weapon.

Unfortunately, hitting him with an ashtray "only once" is grounds for jail and calling off the wedding.

Posted by: Gretchen at October 31, 2007 2:56 PM

Retraction: I shouldn't have said "all the comments from men and women here..." Amy has a disproportionate number of sane and well-adjusted readers, in this comment stack and elsewhere, compared to the culture viewed whole. But let's all watch our boundaries, 'K?

Posted by: Crid at October 31, 2007 2:56 PM

I didn't really come to my conclusion in my post.

It is: ...she threw an ashtray at a perfectly decent (according to her non-strip club standard) man. She threw an ashtray at a drunk guy who was out with his brother the night before his wedding. She looked at him as if he were a two-timing perve when, in fact, it doesn't appear that he actually is**. She threw a fit over nothing and is an asshole and should get mental help.

** again, a perve being, in her mind, someone who willingly and with full conscious goes to a strip club, likes it and doesn't feel an ounce of guilt. Many assumptions there, yes, but people like her a a tad predicktable. Tee hee, end of the day at work and a little naughty spelling errors make me laugh.

Crid: Summary: Looking at naked women is a lot of fun!

...looking at naked men is too!!

Posted by: Gretchen at October 31, 2007 3:04 PM

A cognitive fact is that everything that you do, think or look at, changes your. Not very much, but bit by bit. What you look today effects what you think tomorrow. What you think today effects what you do tomorrow.
I just don't want to be changed to a man that goes to stripclubs.

Posted by: jjj at October 31, 2007 3:41 PM

I disagree wholeheartedly with Prager's stereotypes about men and women. I've read the blog of a guy who used to run security at a place that had both stripping men and women, and he wrote that the only time the crowd got out of hand was when it was women lustily cheering on stripping men.

I've never been to a strip joint -- don't care if you believe me or not, Crid -- but such an action is still legal. Aggravated assault is not.

Posted by: Brian at October 31, 2007 3:42 PM

> What you think today
> effects what you do
> tomorrow.

JJJ, tell us more about what concerns you.

Brian, love to see a link on that. OTOH, I've never heard of things getting out of hand at a strip club with men.

Posted by: Crid at October 31, 2007 3:55 PM

Posted by: Brian at October 31, 2007 4:31 PM

When I was in the Navy, lo these many years ago, I went to the occasional strip joint with friends. And I found it . . . boring. I mean, sure, I like a naked woman just as much as the next guy (unless the next guy is gay or something), but after a little while Bambi/Bonnie/Suzi/Nursey all start to run together, and there is no chance you're going to hook up with any of them anyway.

And the beer was *really* expensive.

I found the whole thing just a bit tacky, a little juvenile, and not much fun. But that's just me, and it's certainly not cheating, nor does it deserve a blow to the head.

Posted by: Steve Daniels at October 31, 2007 5:07 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with the general tenor of what you are saying but two points:

1. "Typical crapthink, promoted by angry feminists with fistfuls of bad data." Not sure why this has to be associated with feminism. It seems to have more to do with iron girdered Victorian morality and/or, as you rightly say, insecurity. Now, maybe some Feminists are really Victorians but not all Victorians are feminists and not all feminists are Victorians. I suspect your correspondent, for instance, is more of a worried-by-the-world-in-general/aggressive against anything-that-is-different-from-me/kill-an-Iraqi-a-day/tie-everything down-with-restrictive-pseudo-religious-morality type/everything-is-about-the-poor-little-bunny children type.

2. On a different point, pornography and strip clubs can be addictive and can effect male psychology. They do effect relationships. Certainly not worrying if a bloke visits one when drunk on his stag do. But something to be addressed if it becomes a regular obsession. It is probably worthy of a separate advice column.

Posted by: A man at October 31, 2007 6:16 PM

I find it very strange that these clubs can be a threat to anyone. Maybe it was my habit of associating with disreputable women, but I have never been fooled by the venue: no woman is more or less "available" because of her presence at one of these clubs, employee or not. Consider any ordinary college campus. Therefore, there is some sort of mental breakdown going on. Maybe it's the pole?

When I was stationed in Orlando, we had a couple of guys on the staff who were "regulars" at a couple of the clubs there. They were trusted enough to handle "seed" money - the owner would slip them a handful of ones and fives to "set the example". This was good for the dancers because they knew at least a couple of guys in the audience well. It's a business, though, and there are a bunch of realities that the oglers don't know.

Nearby in Augusta, the regular staff leaves the stage to make room for imported dancers from Atlanta and elsewhere for Masters Week. It's not a pay cut, really, since a dancer serving drinks can pocket a buncha tips while the oh-my-God is doing the impossible on stage.

If you want to see the professional's take on an even harder-core part of the industry, look for asiacarrera.com and read the FAQs.

Meanwhile, there is no link between sexual crime and pornography of any kind. Ed Meese was ordered to find a causative link during the Reagan administration and couldn't. Pornography is an incidental, not a causative, activity of sex offenders.

Posted by: Radwaste at October 31, 2007 8:11 PM

I find it very strange that these clubs can be a threat to anyone.

I view strip clubs and porn as being more or less similar to alcohol - fun to participate in in a moderate way, but with the potential for addiction that turns them into a major drag. If you're consistently turning down actual sex with a real live attractive woman (or man, if that's your bent) in order to visit strip clubs or consume porn, then you have a problem. If your stripper/porn habit is interfering with you finding a relationship with a real live person, then you have a problem. I do think that too much commoditized sexuality warps people's perceptions. It's one thing to be attracted to women who, say, have large chests - it's another to be attracted only to women who look as though they could star in a porn movie. Yes, yes, if you're Donald Trump or the like you can get those women and be happy, or some facsimile thereof, but sooner or later they'll start doing things that are incompatible with the idealized portrayal of a porn goddess...

...good lord, where did that come from? Anyway, attractive naked people, good. Large-scale replacement of real sex with artificial approximations of sex, bad. Never let it be said that I'm not judgmental.

Posted by: marion at October 31, 2007 8:46 PM

Ok, suprised I haven't seen anyone else point this out- he's going to a strip club. Unless he's into straight-up paying for sex, and I like to think most aren't, there's not much chance he's going to hook up that night. He's going to blow all his money, look silly, get drunk and stumble home. Who cares? My hubby went to a strip club on his bach night, my friends and I went to a regular club. Tell me, who had a better chance of getting laid that night? Not that I would do that, but let's get real here.

As for habitual topless bar patrons, I figure the draw is that at a regular bar, a man has to buy a woman drinks to get her attention, and may or may not get anywhere as a result. At a strip club, he also has to spend money, but the girls are friendlier and they get naked. Girls don't get this, but we get treated like V.I.P's at regular bars.

Posted by: Allison at October 31, 2007 8:47 PM

Oh yeah, and he shouldn't have married that girl, she's a psycho. If she'd have been a guy, she'd have been arrested.

Posted by: Allison at October 31, 2007 8:54 PM

"Violence is ok, but looking at titties is not."

Now entering the United States of America.

Posted by: Daniel at October 31, 2007 9:16 PM

> (or man, if that's your
> bent)

Marion, I like you more and more with every comment.

What follows is a quibble sitting out on a remote, perhaps rickety branch of logic, OK? But I think it will hold. Maybe this belief comes from being in my generation (late in the baby boom). Or it comes from being ignorant (because I'm straight).

But it seems one reason that men were gay --at least before the plague, and partly as a cause of it-- was because they could indulge a masculine approach to sexual fulfillment that wasn't anything like what their little sisters would pursue with their boyfriends. I'm not saying gays didn't or don't fall in love, or that we shouldn't hope they seek and find fulfillment in longer-term relationships.

(And this is one of many places where the word 'relationships' fails us. Gay, disco-ish sex in the years just before AIDS crisis was an orgy perhaps unprecedented in history. These encounters were something more than a handshake, but often less bonding than a shared cup of coffee. To call them relationships would be grandiose.)

I think gay men in a gay community, perhaps to this day, can enjoy strip-clubby-type presentations without having big or even nuanced impacts in the more profound contexts of their romantic lives, i.e., with their main sweethearts... At least, more than straights can.

You're not wrong about this:

> too much commoditized sexuality
> warps people's perceptions.

But it warps men's perceptions of women most grievously.

Posted by: Crid at October 31, 2007 10:18 PM

By the way, none of the forgoing applies to Larry Craig, who's all fucked up.

Posted by: Crid at October 31, 2007 10:20 PM

This is a simple control issue. She can say "I do not like/want you seeing strippers." She can even ramp that up to "This is a deal breaker for me," although doing so is exceedingly unwise.

What she cannot do is use the immense social power of our society's effort to stop woman-abuse as a weapon to control her husband! That is abuse on HER part.

There exists a line which cannot be crossed without abusing one's spouse. The woman who wrote you has crossed it.

Posted by: jw at November 1, 2007 1:11 AM

I like how she thinks strip clubs lead to rape but never stops to think that domestic abuse leads to other types of violence. I'm sure her kids will never be under the impression that hurting people is okay because mommy does it.

Posted by: Voideka at November 1, 2007 4:54 AM

"When I was in the Navy, lo these many years ago, I went to the occasional strip joint with friends. And I found it . . . boring. I mean, sure, I like a naked woman just as much as the next guy"

*Snorts* I was almost sure that the next words would be something like, "Whores are totally better." Having been the the navy, that's what most of us think.

Posted by: tomare utsu zo at November 1, 2007 5:27 AM

The woman that wrote you back probably has something to do with with favorable ideas of a fictional character known as Jesus, a mythical figure passed down traditionally from generation to generation for the purposes of social control and female subjegation(sp?).

I would imagine she is of the highest form of hypocrit(sp?) because of the fact that she cannot cope with the perceived notion of the social status of a man not being fully under her power and control as is commonly dictated by the society of people that speak to themselves in their head where no one can hear it out of a belief that a mystical being can hear it and themselves, she seems delusional as to what is and is not acceptable adult behavior and most likely watches a quite a bit of television herself.

Some women enjoy being looked at, some do not, some men enjoy looking at women, some do not. For the men that enjoy looking at women and the women that enjoy being looked at, well that is a problemless solution. Wanting to touch and be touched is normal, however it is a delicate process and there is a way about going about these things, something called conversation and dinner, maybe herself and her husband have not had a conversation over 15 minutes in the last three years, that might be true, and would explain, well, everything.

Posted by: Nicholas Lawson at November 1, 2007 6:03 AM

Hi, I am a young person and this may be beside the point, but I just want to say that what makes me gay is being attracted to men and male bodies rather than women and female bodies - not casual sex or wild orgies (neither of which I participate in). I couldn't get turned on by a woman no matter how wild the sex. I'm just not sexually aroused by women. The chemistry just isn't there. I don't think it's really possible to be a gay man without being attracted to men rather than women.

I have been (non-sexual) friends with women who have found enjoyment in wild and casual modes of sexual intercourse though.

Posted by: marc at November 1, 2007 6:26 AM

This is simple. If a husband, boyfriend whatever was getting what he wanted at home within reason. He wouldn't have to go get a fantasy from somewhere else.

Posted by: Frustrated Hubby at November 1, 2007 6:42 AM

"This is simple. If a husband, boyfriend whatever was getting what he wanted at home within reason."

Love the "within reason" trailing along at the end of your observation, Frustrated Hubby.

Within those two words lies the whole history of human civilization!

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 1, 2007 6:50 AM

Going to a stripper is abuse? Having sex with a hooker is abuse?

No it fucking isn't, you nut. Well, not the kind of abuse you think of when you hear "I was abused!". Sure, it can be construed as emotional abuse, but emotional and physical abuse aren't the same fucking thing.

I pray to whatever deity exists, that "Angry Feminist" (named coined by the author of this article, not me) gets some common sense.

Posted by: Anon at November 1, 2007 6:58 AM

This jealous and enraged attitude about the man viewing and interacting with younger women was also the reason for the IMBRA law that forces background checks on Americans using international dating websites. It is 99% pure jealousy about, for instance, some successful American men visiting or moving to St. Petersburg, Russia (where I live) because attractive single women outnumber males in this place.

The nonsense about the American men and foreign women being desperate losers has a strong hold in the psyche of the kind of American who doesn't think logically. How is it logical that international businessmen who travel the world are losers? The answer: Marxism says that people from rich countries should not date those from less rich countries.

A knee-jerk feminist group called the Tahirih Justice Center, that was looking fore funding, named a bill that had failed several times to pass "The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act" and got Congress to pass it.

Now I am looking for a female American plaintiff to challenge IMBRA because it really does take her right away to talk to an Italian man or a French man online via a site like www.meetmenfromeurope.com.

The law also takes away the right of foreign women to decide their own level of security, in that signing background checks is impossible for someone who does not have email and who is expecting men to call or send snail mail.

IMBRA effectively blocks most communication attempts between Americans and foreigners on internationally oriented dating sites now.

Some American women actually wrote to Congress to get such a law passed because their ex-husband ended up happy with a foreign woman and they were not at all amused that he ended up happy.

Posted by: Jim Peterson at November 1, 2007 7:03 AM

If a man can't visit a strip club, every once in a blue moon, then I don't think a woman, should be able to go near a mall. Christ! I don't pay for porn, I've got morals. Yet, my girlfriend would happily spend $50 on makeup, $100 on shoes, a couple of hundred on clothes she doesn't need. Isn't that a guilty pleasure? Imagine a man cutting off his woman's parts, because she bought expensive shoes?! We all have guilty pleasures, if it crosses that line, that it becomes cheating, or for instance, if a wife or girlfriend wants to spend the rent on shopping, not my personal experience, but that's grounds for some arguing. I seem to notice some women like the power, of having the vagina, and getting to decide where and when, sex will occur. No woman on earth, would let a man decide when she could go shopping. Imagine that. Here's my suggestion, if wives want to hit their husbands, I go by the rule of three, my girlfriend gets 3 hits for free, and then I'll treat you like a man, and beat you silly. Funny thing is, we've never made it past one, she might start to take a swing at me, in a heated argument, but I just give her a look, that says, don't go there. Violence is an insult to the intelligence of both parties.

Posted by: yarleybrown at November 1, 2007 7:04 AM

"2.) I forgot the second point."

You, sir, are ready for the big time.

Posted by: martin at November 1, 2007 7:12 AM

Typical crapthink, promoted by angry feminists with fistfuls of bad data.

... I love you.

Posted by: KRM at November 1, 2007 7:39 AM

If I constantly prohibit my kids from eating candy they just end up wanting it more. If I let them have a piece they realize it isn't that big of a deal.

Posted by: Rob at November 1, 2007 7:46 AM

when emotions go up intelligence goes down. No exceptions....

Posted by: Meebs at November 1, 2007 7:55 AM

"If I constantly prohibit my kids from eating candy they just end up wanting it more. If I let them have a piece they realize it isn't that big of a deal. "

And by capitalizing one letter we reveal the fear underlying the behavior of the ashtray-flinging psychobride:

If I constantly prohibit my kids from eating Candy they just end up wanting it more. If I let them have a piece they realize it isn't that big of a deal.


Posted by: Gog_Magog_Carpet_Reclaimers at November 1, 2007 7:56 AM

"The nonsense about the American men and foreign women being desperate losers has a strong hold in the psyche of the kind of American who doesn't think logically. How is it logical that international businessmen who travel the world are losers?"

I'm sure you don't have an ax to grind here, Jim Peterson.

But these "international businessmen" of which you speak sure need better PR.

Because the individual "international businessmen" who allow themselves to be interviewed in every investigation (print or TV) I've ever seen about guys looking abroad for young, foreign brides are not a remotely awe-inspiring bunch.

(And I'm not - nor have I ever been - a Marxist).

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 1, 2007 8:07 AM

As a young man, I find this type of attitude disturbing. This woman, and the one who wrote the previous article, are suggesting that looking at a woman's figure is a justifiable excuse for not only assault, but for domestic abuse.

Here is something that has bothered me for quite a long time. I am a senior in high school, and I often see situations similar to this one in school. I will describe.

Here is a common senario. My friend Andi, a senior girl at my school, had an abusive boyfriend. She would often come to my friends crying because she would hurt her when she looked at his friend, or had a conversation with another guy. She dumped his ass, and he was arrested on three different counts of violence.

Here is another common senario. My friend Ian is and upstanding student, he is blessed with more musical talent than anyone I've ever met, and he is kind and outgoing. He was dating a girl last year, who would slap him whenever he said something she didn't like, kick him between the legs when he looked at her the wrong way, and nearly broke his nose with a tennis racket when she caught him staring at her best friend's rack.

He dumped her. Her parents got a restraining order against him, because his dumping her had made her cry, and her parents decided this was "emotional abuse."

He told her parents she had smashed him in the face with a racket, and her parents said he probably deserved it.

Can anyone tell me how looking at another girl when she bends over deserves an 800 dollar hospital visit? Can anyone explain to me why Andi's boyfriend got arrested, and Ian's girlfriend actually managed to get a restraining order??!


Lady, you are a sick f*ck. You are openly sexist, and I deplore your attitude. If you don't like strip joints...well that sucks for you. You do not own your husband, you have entered into a two way relationship. If you went to a male strip club, would he be justified in taking a swing at you with an ashtray? No. He would not. In fact if he did, he would go to jail, no questions asked.

One of these days I suggest you grow up. In the big world, we don't use physical violence against our significant others. Either you never emotionally grew past the age of an elementary student, or you're a dumbshit.

But excuse my language. I wouldn't want you to taze me for swearing.

Posted by: CoPL at November 1, 2007 8:21 AM

I find it unfortunate that you had to label "feminist" in this manner. We aren't all crazy rabid bitches hell bent on cutting off the penis of every man.

Posted by: Simone S. at November 1, 2007 8:24 AM

Simone S.: Please read back over your post carefully and find the one word that makes it so very priceless. Hint: it starts with "A" and has some "L's" in it.

Posted by: martin at November 1, 2007 8:34 AM

If a husband, boyfriend whatever was getting what he wanted at home within reason. He wouldn't have to go get a fantasy from somewhere else.

Oh please. Fantasy is what enriches our lives. It's not an either-or situation. I regularly lose myself in the worlds of "Battlestar Galactica" (well, I will if it EVER COMES BACK ON ALREADY) and "Bones," to name a few - I don't think that means that I'm not getting my intellectual needs regarding discussion of genocide and human anatomy met by my friends and loved ones. It means that I enjoy a bit of fantasy. We all enjoy a bit of fantasy. Sometimes that fantasy comes in the form of a boy wizard, sometimes it comes in the form of hunky criminalists, sometimes it comes in the form of bionic women, sometimes in comes in the form of romance novels, sometimes it comes in the form of porn/strippers/etc. The problem is when you try to lose yourself in the fantasy and in the process lose your money and/or the people who love you in real life. Fantasies can't take you out for chocolate and sympathy when you've had a terrible day at work, or help you move, or tell you when your "brilliant" idea is going to make you into a laughingstock.

I am well aware that some men increase their porn/strippers habit as a reaction to their actual sex life decreasing. But plenty of guys who enjoy flipping through Playboy or visiting the occasional strip show aren't missing anything major at home - they just want a little safe variety that is disease and pregnancy-free. Nuthin' wrong with that.

Posted by: marion at November 1, 2007 8:49 AM

This ties in with the column, and this blog item.
If your spouse does something you think really crosses the line, you can leave - you can pout - you can tell them they're a shithead - or any number of other things, but violence isn't a solution. It's just as illegal for women to do to men as vice-versa, too. The writer above should consider how they'd react if a guy threw an ashtray at her head if she talked to another guy in a way they didn't like. Then again, I don't go to strip clubs, I just don't want to. But if I did, my wife wouldn't care - would likely come with me.

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween!

Posted by: Jamie at November 1, 2007 9:00 AM

This is definitely a commonly held notion, but within the US. It is scary to think how socially conservative we are as a nation compared to Europe. I think feminism isnt responsible for all the blame here, it also comes from the deep rooted religious values. From a very early age, kids in America are Brainwashed into thinking sex is bad, and to give into the pleasures of sex is committing a sin. The Church exerts these scare tactics, and the end result is we are too afraid to speak to our kids about sex because it's taboo . In Europe kids learn how to protect themselves from STDs, and our kids learn sex is bad.

Posted by: Fon at November 1, 2007 9:11 AM

> It is no different from hiring a hooker for sex except that you don't stick it in.

I've got to laugh at this. "It's just like having sex with a hooker -- except for the sex!" As if the sex were not the essential part of "sex with a hooker" that makes it wrong. People still really think like this? In the twenty-first century?

Posted by: Jerry Kindall at November 1, 2007 9:29 AM

If porn (live or not) is abuse, then my partner is far more abusive than I. Not that I don't enjoy the porn on occasion, but she is pretty hardcore about it.

Posted by: DuWayne at November 1, 2007 9:47 AM

Strip clubs equivalent to cheating? (except of course, no actual sexual contact) Hmmm....well, I think using a woman using a dildo is worse than a man going to a strip club. It has a similar effect on intimacy in a relationship, oh, and she does allow it to come in contact with her privates.

Posted by: Panique at November 1, 2007 9:47 AM

Panique -

What if the male partner is the one controlling the dild? One of our favorite kinks...

Posted by: DuWayne at November 1, 2007 9:49 AM

People still really think like this? In the twenty-first century?

I wouldn't be too quick to suspect a whole lot of actual thinking was involved.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 1, 2007 9:50 AM

CoPL:

What did Ian's own parents do in response to his being victimized AND the restraining order filed against HIM to add insult to injury? Seems to me his own family and friends should have united against his abusive girlfriend and her parents...

Posted by: Brian at November 1, 2007 9:50 AM

this lady should be beaten then submitted to being forcefully made to watch male porn and then choose which she finds more suitable. By the way this woman should be discovered shunned and divorced for being such a stuck-up narcasistic bitch.

Posted by: fredscereal at November 1, 2007 10:28 AM

I think that enough has already been said about the stupidity of believing that a man looking at a stripper justifies planting an ashtray in his skull. However, I think it's also important to realize the stupidity of using violence for domestic arguments in general.

Frankly, if someone deliberately planted an ashtray in my skull - anyone - I can't vouch for their safety afterward. I would defend myself, and while I wouldn't want to hurt them, if they're stupid enough to clobber me with an ashtray, they might be stupid enough to try to fight me instead of running away to wait for me to calm down, and they could get very hurt if they fought me.

Not every man reacts peacefully to being hit, and many men have defensive instincts that you really, really don't want to trigger.

Posted by: Tom at November 1, 2007 10:35 AM

> I wouldn't be too quick to suspect a whole lot of actual thinking was involved.

Excellent point.

Posted by: Jerry Kindall at November 1, 2007 10:36 AM

Marion - BSG is my favorite. It made me so excited to read this hah.

My boyfriend called me a dork, but changed his mind when I said I'd go lesb for a night if the chick was Starbuck.

I need season three out on DVD RIGHT NOW!!!

A BSG fantasy wouldn't be half bad...

Posted by: Gretchen at November 1, 2007 11:36 AM

"Typical crapthink, promoted by angry feminists with fistfuls of bad data."

Please don't lump all of us in with that sex-fearing psychopath! There are lots of feminists (me for one) who don't give a rat's ass who patrons strip clubs or prostitutes for that matter.

Posted by: Nicolette at November 1, 2007 11:47 AM

Women have trashy romance novels. Men have porn. Both fill a need, neither are wrong. I really don't understand why lots of women do not understand that.

Posted by: kidmidnight at November 1, 2007 11:49 AM

Timely & relevant radio ad I heard last night: Man has come home with a shiny new Ford F150, woman calmly asks if he bought a new truck, he answers with a tentative Yes. She goes off, yelling at him about how its just like him, he doesn't consult her on major decisions, he's so inconsiderate, etc....meanwhile in the background, you can hear things smashing and crashing, presumably, her actions while in this rage. He meekly tells her its a gift for her, and then she's all sweet, she has to tell her friends, and so on.

They'd never make a commercial where the roles were reversed. It would be making light of spousal abuse. While some might suggest that violent outbursts not aimed directly at a partner doesn't count, there was no doubt in my mind what was going to be next if I didn't "smarten up" when my ex would put his fist through the wall.

Posted by: moreta at November 1, 2007 11:54 AM

I find it curious that there is such a clear difference in attitudes between physical and non-physical attacks.

Both are wrong, but human relationships can be intense and can go wrong in many ways. Maybe its just that its so much easier to spot someone throwing an ashtray.

I'm still uncomfortably at the self-righteousness celebration being displayed in these comments towards a stranger, especially one who is not thinking clearly.

Posted by: lofi at November 1, 2007 12:25 PM

http://tinyurl.com/2zvdpg

While this is only one study, please feel free to embrace the truth, and educate yourselves on comparative studies of female vs. male aggressive and violent stereotypes.

Myth: Men are overly violent and aggressive
Fact: Women who hold the same qualities in comparisons to the worse of the male offenders are far, FAR more aggressive in both their ideals and actions. The most common adjective used to describe their behavior towards one another in case studies, and anecdotal texts by prison guards, attorneys, judges, etc.; regardless of the sex of author, was "vicious".

This is America: deep seated sexual repression brought on by heavily reinforced puritan roots. While you may have opened your mind and ideals; even come to a utopian middle ground between God, life, and science: There continues to be indoctrination of core values that equate challenging someone's value hierarchy. I.e. Their ambivalence for violence in lieu of nudity is to question their belief in God.

God will forgive astray assault, but Adultery in *any* form (even flashing flesh for a bit of cash) is Adultery; thou shall not covet. You're breaking a commandment, in doing so invoking righteous indignation which will always end poorly for the freethinkers of the world (see: http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/chi/63157665.html )

There's always the chance this person was sexual abused as a child and formed an unhealthy and irrelevant belief structure around perversion, porn, and the sex trade in general. As above, the problem is with them; however in all cases most conflict can be avoided by simply forming an honesty based relationship with someone who is liked minded; at the very least “just as fucked up as you are”, subjectively speaking.

Personally, I also find strip clubs depressing. Not because I feel for the women stripping, if anything they're probably making ~60-80k a year if they're good at their job.

True desire, lust, and eroticism comes from the lack of full disclosure, not the embrace. I.e. after seeing 20 girls’ breasts, the 21st will have lost its flavor....thus depressing. A lap dance restores a bit of the eroticism, but never fixes the core problem: "you're paying a lot of money, to get really frustrated." I'd rather use that money for 3 dates toward a potential relationship, and be really frustrated at failing or elated at reoccurring actual sex, and endearment... at the very least look at untold quantities of FREE porn on the internet to fulfill my carnal needs...Needless to say the hours social interaction beyond “hey there, want a lap dance?” at the cost of dinner.

If there’s one thing that Myspace has proven it’s that social-interaction is IN. The only real lure continues to be “going out with the guys,” where the pseudo-freedom runs rampant and a few dollars can buy almost anything. As we learned in the 80's overindulgence is the ultimate de-stressor. As we learned from Paris Hilton, overindulgence ALL the time will always lead to trouble.

Violence continues not to be the answer. Nudity continues to be a dull substitute to engaging conversation. God fearing zealots continue to corrupt rational thought. Your loss of innocence is not a free-pass to act however you please, regardless of current societal memes’.

Posted by: Austin at November 1, 2007 12:41 PM

Lorena Bobbit ?? Thought so !!

Posted by: zorro plateado at November 1, 2007 1:02 PM

We typically defend views that protect us from having to examine our own feelings about subjects we feel awkwardly about. (hurt, ashamed, afraid etc) When we start taking shots at others for their sexual behavior - be it homosexuality, promiscuity, nudity, pornography etc etc etc, this is typically because deep down we feel alot of fear of our own feelings of sexuality. Why care so much about what other's do? Resorting to claims that these things will lead to violence or a breakdown of society of some kind is of little substance and is about trying to rationalise an intense feeling.

I think that once we get to the point of being able to express our sexual energy - without shame but with sensitivity and love - to see our sexuality as completely natural and healthy. To be able to ask for what we want, accept other's response without judgement of them or ourselves - we will be a long way towards relieving so much of the tension and supressed feeling that often leads to things like violence. Violence is essentially an intense release of trapped sexual energy. And sexual energy goes way beyond just sticking a penis in a vagina or other variations depending on orientation. Its about your relationships with other energies in the world.

Sex is so scary because sexual energy is at the heart of everything. We've covered it up with clothes and rules and social convention by the dozen. It rules our lives - yet is something we seldom speak of. I struggle to communicate my own sexual energy to even my partner - so wrapped up it is in shame and guilt and all kinds of feelings introduced to me as a child. Unwrapping that light that has been dampened can be a lifetime's work.

I wish i could have been born into a world where my sexual being was supported and nurtured and educated as my physical being was - I think I would have had a much happier adolescence :-)

Posted by: J at November 1, 2007 1:57 PM

I think that once we get to the point of being able to express our sexual energy - without shame but with sensitivity and love - to see our sexuality as completely natural and healthy

I get what you're going for here, but talk about desexualizing sex!

You could benefit from a good REBT therapist.

http://www.albertellisinstitute.org/aei/find_therapist_a_list.html

Woody Allen: "Sex is only dirty when it's done right."

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 1, 2007 2:14 PM

That last entry by: Posted by: zorro plateado at November 1, 2007 1:02 PM

Was so loving and real and exactly the truth of what this discussion is all about. Very well said.

Posted by: Person at November 1, 2007 2:46 PM

Feminism's about leveling the playing field, not about claiming superiority of EITHER sex over the other. This woman isn't a femninist, but she's certainly angry and particularly nuts. She sounds like the type of person who'd get all up in arms (as she should) if a man were to catch his wife in bed with someone else and proceed to beat the tar out of her. Hey kiddo, it ain't right when anybody does it, what makes women so special?

Posted by: C. Marie at November 1, 2007 4:58 PM

> This is America: deep seated
> sexual repression brought
> on by heavily reinforced
> puritan roots.

Don't cluck. Every time someone talks that way, we have to wonder what their idea of a sexual paradise is. Not their imaginary land (after all, you critiqued "America", not "Reality), but an actual culture where things go better than here. When people talk about erotic Utopia on some primitive Pacific island of muscular, humping linebackers and their tawny, sexcandy girlfriends, it always turns out that the place is full of scabies and life expectancy is 27 years.

American sexual liberty is much underrated. You can pretty much live how you want here. The surviving Puritanism, now much diminished, is just a peppery seasoning to our enthusiasm. We have to make adjustments to culture, but every human being does that, to wit:

> with sensitivity and love -
> to see our sexuality as
> completely natural and
> healthy.

I think you are so wrong. Amy's was right: "talk about desexualizing sex!"

The social context in which sexuality gets expressed has a lot to do with what (or who) goes down. And apparently it works that way for everyone, no matter their culture. That fact that Inuits on the Tundra handle things differently than Pygmies in the jungle is irrelevant: People in each setting have their behavior vectored profoundly by their environment, social and otherwise. And in those cultures as in ours, some people fuck it up, but only because they behave so naturally.

Rape is the best expression of natural sexuality. Let's all give a round of applause to civilization for struggling to eradicate it, and to Alkon, who called your bluff first.

Posted by: Crid at November 1, 2007 5:10 PM

She sounds like she needs a dictionary. I would have thought that constituted 'cheating', if anything. Not abuse.

She should meet this guy. They could have a lovely time accusing each other.

Posted by: kitty at November 1, 2007 6:52 PM

You're officially my favorite advice woman.

Posted by: Adrian at November 1, 2007 7:17 PM

Alot of people believe their declaration of virginity or promiscuity somehow ascends them to a higher plane of morality.

Posted by: PurplePen at November 1, 2007 7:28 PM

Thanks, Adrian.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 1, 2007 7:41 PM

This whole thing made me laugh, then studder in disbelief that it is even the center of an arguement.

The fact is, what that crazy female did, is just that, crazy. I mean, if my girlfriend goes to a club and views male strippers, or cheats on me, it's not okay for me to hit her right? Well, by that logic, I would think it's not okay for women either. Actually, it's not okay for ANYONE to act like that. We don't scratch our armpits, groom each others fleas and sit hunched over a banana anymore, you know?

Something though that I want to clear up, MOST MEN don't goto strip clubs. And a good portion of the ones that do, go for special occasions. So in a sense, no it isn't a normality. However, there's nothing wrong with that.

Women, in my oppinion, merely feel threatened by other women, and get aggressive for that reason. Possibly because of insecurities about their appearance or how their significant other feels about them. In saying that, it is the same for men too. (Just noting so that I don't get flamed as a stereotypical male.)

I can't fit all I want to say in this comment, that'd fill the page up. But the bottom line is that Violence toward anyone is dead-wrong. Nothing, not even looking at someone elses bits justifies it. Feminism is supposed to be about the right of a woman to choose what she wants to do in equal stride with men. So who are these people to say that men can't go and watch a woman who choses to flaunt her body? That is, infact, what her choice was.

Eh, Just enough with the concieted and ignorant values. We can all learn alot from the response of those women. I just hope we all learn the right lessons.

Posted by: Josh M. at November 1, 2007 9:41 PM

Gretchen I am so disapointed in you - What about 6?

Posted by: lujlp at November 2, 2007 6:25 AM

Ok lujlp, six is hot but in a different way. Here's my idea: me, Starbuck, Six...at the strip club with the LW's hubby. Then, when she start chucking ashtrays at us, we can all kick her ass. haha oh the sheer dorkiness of it, I absolutely love it.

Posted by: Gretchen at November 2, 2007 7:35 AM

I agree with Amy's take completely, except for the part where she conflates this woman's crazy actions with feminism.

She's hardly an angry feminist. Maybe she is if your image of feminism is rooted in the angry late 1960s, but last I checked we're a generation or two beyond that. This is 2007, right?

Modern feminism -- going back roughly a decade -- has grown up a lot. It's about women being confident, equal, and empowered: free to choose what they want out of life. If you think women and men should be held to roughly the same standards, if you are a woman and you've been to a strip club yourself, if you think the letter-writer is a nutjob: those are all feminist principles.

These days, even though the principles are almost universally agreed upon in our country, the word "feminist" is hardly ever used. Very few people self-identify as feminists; it's mostly used as a strawman by conservatives. But really, folks, that's dumb. Don't do it.

Posted by: dt at November 2, 2007 10:21 AM

Ah, but I did not say she was a feminist; I commenting on her thinking and the likely origins.

SHE WROTE: I meant to say I hope that it DOES NOT LEAD to rape or sex abuse in your own life.

I WROTE: Typical crapthink, promoted by angry feminists with fistfuls of bad data.

Feminists "researchers" put out some of the worst "data" out there because they're advocacy researchers -- knowing what they want to say and piling up "research" in such a way that it looks like they've proved their point.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 2, 2007 10:41 AM

Thanks for the comments on my post.

Amy - I wrote:

I think that once we get to the point of being able to express our sexual energy - without shame but with sensitivity and love - to see our sexuality as completely natural and healthy

You suggested this de-sexualising sex.

To me - not judging someone's desire to be beaten up violently while having sex is sensitive to that person's needs. Not judging my own desire to have completely unattached sex with more than one partner at a time is being sensitive to my needs. Accepting my own needs - whatever they are - and finding ways of fulfilling them without harming others or myself is a loving act.

Its just a different take on what is perhaps a common perception of the meaning of sensitivity and lovingness. Lovingness to me implies greeting someone else's needs openly without judgement.

I think some of the "dirtiest" things conceivable can actually be very loving.

Posted by: J at November 2, 2007 3:27 PM

Er, um . . . physical violence is not acceptable under any circumstances. Male against female or female against male. It has nothing to do with any kind of psychobabble. Let's get back to a civilization with moral absolutes that ensure a functioning society. Does that address everybody's issues? Good. Now go take a good old fashioned ethics class - the kind they used to teach before universities were taken over by marxists.

Posted by: metalman at November 2, 2007 4:51 PM

a BSG stripclub, with Boomer's everywhere. I don't think I'd get the value of my cover charge out of the visit before....

Damn, I need a BSG fix. The series had a number of well written, very strong and well thought out female characters. I miss it as much as Firefly.

But I'll quit before some hapless fool googling BSG or Firefly hits this page and goes "WTF!?!"

Yeah, I'm pretty pissed at the double standards for sex(intimacy), reproduction, violence and money. And Humor. And law enforcement.

Really, the NOW crew, and the Shotgun Mary's of the world (Mary Wheeler) have done enough to make me highly skeptical of any "women's rights" issue.

I put up with someone who constantly accused me of an affair, would start screaming and swinging anytime she thought I was 'looking'. I spent way too much time and effort to defuse the problem, only to discover it was all manipulation, and she did it because she could get away with it, and it because it kept me on the defensive, trying to 'make up' with her, and win back her affection and favor. The verbal and physical abuse went hand in hand. It went on before me, continues after me with the next person who thinks he's found Ms Right, only to find she's Ms Right Hook, and since no one puts a stop to it, it continues.

I sincerely hope that the husband of Ms Outraged, and the husband of your Lorena-to-be have the sense to start covering their butts and making plans to get out. Until "making your spouse as miserable as possible" stops being the national pastime, and endorsed by NOW, I think I'll continue to take a long break from any relationship, and focus on my kids.

Posted by: Wayne at November 2, 2007 9:08 PM

Great job Amy!!!

I had an ex-wife like her and she used running off to affairs, taking the kids from me and threatening divorce constantly to control everything.

Finally I had enough and when she took of out of state the second time with the kids and destroyed everything I filed for divorce. She actually demanded I apologize to HER and beg forgiveness, move to the other state and put her though a FOURTH school.

Your comments about abuse are dead on! Her hitting me, beating the kids and years of emotional abuse were nothing to the police, courts or domestic violence places. The same groups jumped through hoops though and STILL do every time she makes a false accusation against me. Passing out my info on the internet claiming I am a child molester put my life in danger with tons of threats against it but nothing. Her claiming I molested my daughter to the police gets investigated constantly even after being cleared 8 times of just that claim alone!

Someone needs to reel in the insane system we have that promotes the lunatics like the psycho who wrote you and take the violence and abuses they commit against men just for control seriously.

Posted by: Quentin0352 at November 3, 2007 6:01 PM

Oh, and the most common phrase a man who gets beaten is "What did you do to deserve it?" If she kicks the crap out of him then he is a wimp that must have done something to deserve it somehow is society's view. On the other hand, dare to even try to stop it by grabbing her hands and plan on jail, a lifetime of being stigmatized as an abuser and everything he owns becoming her property as well as a large part of all future earnings to support her while she recovers from the trauma and abuse she suffered from him.

Posted by: Quentin0352 at November 3, 2007 6:05 PM

J WRITES:

I think that once we get to the point of being able to express our sexual energy - without shame but with sensitivity and love - to see our sexuality as completely natural and healthy

You suggested this de-sexualising sex.

To me - not judging someone's desire to be beaten up violently while having sex is sensitive to that person's needs.

Uh, J, English, please, and not the kind Foucault spoke.

I can see you're trying to backtrack into having the first comment not read like something out of a Hallmark card by way of some perverse cross between Dr. Joyce brothers and some braless, hemp-scarfing hippie mama, but sorry, that's how it reads. Reading it makes me want to drink a mug of warm cocoa and crawl in bed and nap. I'm reminded of the feminist nutbag I wrote about in a piece I did for Hustler who lauded the idea of "more egalitarian" sex.

As I wrote in the piece, "I'm not quite sure what that entails -- and I hope I never find out."

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 3, 2007 7:27 PM

P.S. What I am staunchly in favor of is an egalitarian approach to justice.

Also, I think it's great that a lot of men are coming forward here and talking about how they've been abused. There should be more of that. Also, it'll take the right man or men, but it would be great if men would go on the air and say "I've been abused." "And I've been abused." To show the faces of guys who've gone through this -- so people can see that it happens to all kinds of men. It's not just a crime that happens to wimps. In fact, very big, strong men can just stand there in the face of some pretty extreme violence.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 3, 2007 7:33 PM

I just want to say that I am not a huge fan of the strip club and when I started dating my boyfriend, the issue came up. But I didn't throw something at him and hope that I knocked his brains out! I respectfully said that I know guys look and I look as well, but that is when we are just out and about and we honestly make fun of some of the people we see but I don't see that it is necessary to go to a strip club if you are with someone seriously, married, living together, etc. He respects that completely and does not go ever unless there is a bachelor (sp) party or what have you. We actually went together once for a friends birthday and I didn't really mind, I just didn't really care to see my boyfriend staring at all these girls when I am right next to him. So I obviously do not go but I will not stop him since he rarely goes. Oh and if you noticed, (if you have been in a strip club) that the girls there, are in the dark for a reason.. the only thing they have to show are their big tits. No worries. He is a guy, its nature.. at least I can say that my man gets fed at home and no where else, regardless of where he has been for the night. =)

Posted by: AC at November 5, 2007 7:30 AM

Worth repeating, very aptly put Crid

Bernie


> You FAIL at life.

Like, wow. The was harsh and judgmental, not nurturing and empowering.

I don't like strip clubs because you can't just sit and stare at naked young women (which is otherwise a lot of fun). You have to buy bad beer at a wicked markup and listen to coarse pop music played through bad sound reproduction equipment. You have to put up with endless entreaties to part with a few more dollars for the jukebox, or the dancer, or another drink, or whatever. And even if a woman's attractive, you know you're looking at a child of divorce/single mother who got beaten up by a used car salesman last week. And she can't dance for shit, not that she needs to. The other guys in the place seem to be inspecting your clothes as they tap their pool cues on the nearby chairs, as if imagining how much money they could pull from your wallet if they club you over the head as you walk out to your car.

There are two things about all the comments from men here ("Now I personally don't go to strip clubs, because it's beneath me...") and from women here ("Now all the men I love and admire tell me that they never go to these places...") and deserve consideration. I'll list those points for you here, now.

1.) First, many of these men are pandering senselessly to the skittishness many otherwise admirable women feel for masculine nature. (See Jody, above.) Mere pandering would be forgiven; I think women are supposed to contain men's scarier impulses. But they shouldn't do it by being meek little weasel-girls, who by manipulation decline to see men as they are.

2.) I forgot the second point. Maybe it got blended into the first one, but the deal is this: Looking at naked young women is a lot of fun! It's a lot of fun for every man, whether he has the wind in his lungs and the bones in his spine to do it or not. Whether he's ashamed of it or not. Whether he's married or not. Whether he's happily married or not.

We shouldn't let anyone be convinced that manhood is really just an exciting new variant of womanhood that has, through corruption by peer pressure, acquired a few nasty habits that need correction.

Prager used to say that when women to strip shows, they laugh. When men go to strip shows, it's often a pretty serious evening. When women learn their strippers are gay, it makes absolutely zero difference to them. When men learn their strippers are lesbian, it makes it even better.

Summary: Looking at naked women is a lot of fun!

Posted by: Crid at October 31, 2007 2:45 PM

Posted by: Bernie Misiura at November 6, 2007 7:32 AM

So yeah, I've done the strip club thing some. I admit it, okay? AND I'M PROUD OF IT! Seriously: Several years ago, I was working in a job that required a ton of travel. Now and then, I'd go to a strip club with some co-workers. Why? Mostly for the sheer novelty, and because it beat sitting in the hotel room watching that 18th rerun of "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" on HBO.

What did I get out of it? To be honest, I never really found it that stimulating. At best, it was erotic in an abstract, looking-at-nude-paintings-at-the-art-gallery sort of way. Amy is right about this: There is an air of desparation that hangs over all those places. If you only go now and then, you can usually ignore it and have a reasonably good time. I think if someone told me I had to go every night for a year, I'd shoot myself.

And besides, the last few times I went (it's been a while now), I noticed a distinct decline in the quality of the talent. Nowdays, even in the nice places, the occasional classy, reasonably healthy strippers are outnumbered by the crack whores about 6 to 1. The crack whores all look like Kate Moss was putting on makeup while she was driving and had a bad accident. And they fall into two categories: either they're man-haters who sleepwalk through their routines, or they are so wasted that they'll let anything with a convex surface nail them.

These days, when I'm on travel and I'm bored, I'd much rather find a place to go ballroom dancing. You meet a far better class of women that way -- and you get to actually touch them!

Posted by: Cousin Dave at November 8, 2007 2:13 PM

A person who equats going to a strip club and braining someone with a heavy object (or castrating them) is unbalanced.

Going to a strip club means spending a few hours drooling and staring at a woman. Being brained by a heavy object means spending a few years drooling and staring at a wall.

The two actions have radically different consequences and cannot be compared.

She is controlling and manipulative. He agreed to a coed piano bar bachelor party? Did he? She probably insisted on the coed piano bar party so she could keep an eye on him.

And for him to put up with it for two months...! That's not a marriage, it's a prison sentence.


Posted by: Minderbinder at November 29, 2007 1:04 PM

I used to be a frequent visitor at the strip clubs. My sister and I would go for a night out where we could have a good time, get wasted, and not worry about guys hitting on us and being persistent about it. I couldn't go out dancing without having at least one drunk jerk a night try to feel me up or get pissed that I wasn't interested in them. However, a female patron at a men's strip club enjoys the same protection from the male patrons that the female employees do, so we could cut loose a bit without worrying about some jerk making a scene.

I made a number of visits to strip clubs with the man I eventually married as well. We'd go out, have a good time, he'd get excited watching me go to the stage to tip the dancers, and then we'd go home and have an even better time.

So I don't find strip clubs depressing. Nor do I mind if my husband goes to one with his friends. More fun for me when he gets home!

Posted by: Celeste at November 30, 2007 8:41 AM

Funny how women don't really "get" (i.e., understand) male sexual desire, even though it is a pretty easily described thing. That lack of understanding is worsened by unsuccessful attempts to control male sexuality. The result is shrewish behavior like this.

I think the original letter writer and the follow up hate email writer traces back to a woman's inability to accept that after about 25 or so, it is all downhill for her in terms of physical attractiveness. Strip bars as a concept probably scare the *$%^#% out of women who cannot accept that fact.

Another woman commenter touched on this when she said "Being in my 30's, you have to inspire a man your own age sometimes. They are not like those bunny rabbit 20 somethings."

Here is is assumed that flagging male desire in general is to blame for a dip in physical performance. Let me suggest instead that the stimulus generating the response is now less effective in general. Simply put, you are not as hot as you used to be, lady. It happens to all of us, if we are lucky.

If a 20-something cheerleader showed up, most men would likely need much less additional inspiration than if her 30-something post-marriage, post-weight gain version showed up. Most guys love their wives and GFs too much to tell them that the crows feet and extra 20 pounds are very effective libido dampeners. We still want our older gals, but we are not quite as powerfully turned on by the sight of them as we were 10 years ago. Sorry, gals, but don't blame us. You are less fertile, and evolution programmed men to desire fertility.

Evolution played a cruel joke on us--a women who is attractive in her 30s is hard-pressed to compete with the glowing fertility of even a simply cute woman in her 20s.

Now that the generalization has been stated, let the "THAT IS NOT TRUE!" denials of reality and anecdotal truth-twisting commenece.

True, true, there are plenty of very attractive 30-40 year old women. But that does not negate what I'm saying: men desire younger women more than older women. Nothing will change this, and older women know this at some level, even if they want to believe otherwise. They often express the resulting cognitive dissonance through seeking to deny "their" men access to even the *sight* of younger women, let alone sexual access.

Posted by: Spartee at November 30, 2007 9:16 AM

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