Two words can send a chill down my spine: bachelor party. Why? Because it seems like an inevitable part of this right of passage involves strippers, and strippers do absolutely nothing for me. I mean that. I may be one of the five straight men on the North American continent who doesn't relish the idea of seeing tanned flesh, a G-string, and breast implants twirl around on a metal pole all night. I feel like I'm violating some fundamental part of the macho code by saying it, but I don't like strippers.
I remember the last bachelor party that I attended when I was a groomsman for my friend J. We ended up going to a strip club about 30 minutes from where I live. I remember walking into the dim room, full of neon and black light, seeing fog roll across the floor of the stage, and loud dance music pounding on the speakers. I looked across the room and made eye contact with a woman clad in tight spandex, heavily made up, with long hair. Unlike so many times when I've spotted a woman across a room, she started moving toward me. My body momentarily reacted with a rush that was all about "there's a beautiful woman heading your way". Until she spoke, that is. Her first words to me were "would you like a private dance?" She didn't even say hello.
It is the economics of strip clubs that leaves me cold. It's naked capitalism at perhaps its most basic level. It isn't about meeting someone and being civil, it's all about procuring a service. I rub my nearly naked, well groomed body against yours, you give me $25 plus tip. It has all the humanity of going to an ATM for me.
I understand why other men must like going to see strippers. Attractiveness for some men must be all about being able to decide where and when sexual behavior occurs in their lives. After all, women are often the true gatekeepers where sex is concerned. The old saying goes "when a couple meets for a date, the guy only hopes he'll have sex that night, but a woman knows." The ability to engage in sexual behavior with a woman on a momentary whim completely of his choosing makes him feel powerful and attractive. The fact that money changes hands is somehow incidental.
That sort of thinking doesn't cut it with me. I like having people around me who like me because of who I am, not what I can do for them or what I can pay for. I would rather attract a woman through the force of my character, the excellence of my ideas, or just because I'm a kind gentleman. I want us to connect for reasons completely unrelated to the $25 that pays for an anonymous lap dance from a woman named something like "Candy". A strip club is never going to scratch that itch.
No, if I have a bachelor party sometime in the next 18 months or so (and indications are that I might), I'm going to have to plead with my friends to take me out to taste fine tequila, single malt scotch, or brandy. Good food would also be a plus. Maybe an excellent cigar (though I don't smoke them often). No strippers, though please. It's not going to do much for me.
on 2003-03-18 at 4:57 p.m.
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