This is a comment by KKZ on the post “Lap Dance Anxiety“.
“”I don’t think it’s fair to say that men go to the strip clubs with this idea of “Oh yay, I get to objectify me some women with no consequences.” The objectification is not the draw, nor the primary reason they’re there. And it’s not the objectification that bonds them.
“The draw, and the reason this is a bonding thing for them, is that the strip club environment is designed with the men’s desires in mind. No feminist agenda. No being told how to behave (aside from the club’s rules), no being shamed for giving these women sexual attention or for wanting sexual attention back. Out in the real world, they get pummeled with the message that male sexuality is insatiable and dangerous, they should be ashamed of themselves for it, and they must police their actions around women at all times if they don’t want to be labeled as misogynistic creeps (or worse, falsely accused of wrongdoing) just for letting their gaze linger too long on a nice pair of boobs.
“In the strip club? The women are eager to please. They don’t put up so many barriers to sexual attention—they invite it. Here it is safe to be a sexual man, to ogle and gawk and comment and catcall, without fear or shame. You’d think that men who go to these places do it for greedy, selfish, objectifying reasons—”Here’s my chance to treat women how I *really* want to treat them.” I’m sure some men probably have this attitude. But I get the impression that for a lot of men, it’s more about relief and relaxation in an inviting, nonjudgmental environment, than it is about intentionally breaking the rules of how they’re supposed to behave because they secretly want to break those rules all the time.
“I think the stigma we still have around sex gives us this idea that the sexual appetite is dirty and wrong, and any act/profession/image etc. meant to satisfy that appetite, outside the bonds of a committed relationship, is also dirty and wrong. But, as has been written here before, it’s an appetite just like any other. It’s like having a sweet tooth – you know that if you indulge this appetite too much and too often, it will not turn out well for you. But every now and then you have to cave and order that molten chocolate lava cake. There’s an appetite for it that demands satisfaction – no, you won’t die if you don’t get to eat that cake, but it sure will make you feel oh-so-good for just a fleeting moment, right? And it doesn’t make you a bad person to eat your cake and satisfy that craving every once in a while, especially if you are otherwise vigilant about keeping your sweet tooth in check. What’s more, society understands the sweet tooth and provides an abundance of options for satisfying it. You’re not judged for wanting sugar, that’s totally normal!
“It’s only because we view the sexual appetite as dirty and wrong that seeking to satisfy it is also considered dirty and wrong. I don’t see much difference between occasionally breaking the rules of your diet for some sweet, sweet cake, and occasionally breaking out of the restrictive rules of ideal and equal gender relations for some sexy, sexy ladies.”
Photo credit: Flickr / the_toe_stubber