Me, Dad, and the Tijuana Strip Club

Sponsored Content

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Cole Gamble

Cole Gamble's writings on the crimes of Willy Wonka, man-eating beds, and tales from his cringe-worthy life appear at Cracked, Babble, The Daily Beast, The New Yorker, Funny Crave, Mental Floss, The Huffington Post and Salon. Find him at his site, Fun with Cole and on Facebook.


  1. Fucking fantastic. And all captured perfectly.

    My favorite line is: “If whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, whatever happens in Tijuana makes unicorns cry.”

  2. That was hilarious! I’m sorry you had to live it, but thanks for sharing!

    I too wonder where your dad got those mad skills. These days there is the Internet and you can learn all manor of strip club “tips” like Dressing For Success. But where did you learn that stuff before that?

  3. Mervyn Kaufman says:

    This is a great father-son bonding story. It was fun to read, even though it brought back memories of my own father’s various failed attempts to talk sex to me. Once, when my parents and I had to share a motel room on a family trip, I was awake (though feigning sleep) while they were doing it. Though a kind of shocking experience I could never talk about it, it told me more than Dad ever could about his view of sex and love.

  4. Bonding over strippers? This is why masculinity is so messed up – men bond over objectifying women. When are guys going to realize that there’s more to masculinity than lust? How about treating women decently? About seeing value in them even when they’re clothed?

    Men encouraging their sons to act like this makes me sick.

  5. Wylee: Give me a break.

    Of course men bond over objectifying women. Whether that’s at a strip club or the time my dad showed me my first Playboy, fathers and sons (with obvious exceptions) will inevitably bond over beautiful women. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re really too uptight and Puritanical to reconcile this fact, look at it as a father and son doing their part to financially contribute to members of the young female workforce.

    You don’t think mothers and daughters bond while ogling hot men? Because the Chippendales don’t even exist right? It goes both ways and I see nothing wrong with it.

    It is possible for men to go to a strip club and still be good men. Also, one’s mere presence at a strip club does not mean a man can’t treat women decently. If anything, your broad snap judgments about people are sickening.

    Relax will ya?

  6. “Of course men bond over objectifying women.”

    What do you mean, “of course”? It doesn’t have to be like that. Thinking about women as objects is not something insignificant. It’s such a big part of male culture that I understand why people scoff, but thinking of women as property was also a big part of the culture not too long ago. There’s nothing “Puritanical” about thinking that men stop behavior like this. Don’t bond with other men at the expense of women – find a different way.

    And, no, I don’t think that this is how women bond. I’ve never heard a mother say to her daughter “check out the package on that one! He has a big dick.” or “Damn, don’t you want to squeeze that ass?” Objectification is not a big part of female culture. And that’s a good thing. Compare how many men’s magazines (playboy, penthouse, Hustler, etc) there are to how many there are for women at the news stand. Playgirl? One? And that has more gay subscribers than female. There’s really no comparison between how women objectify men vs. how men do it to women. And yes, there is something wrong with that. Chippendales is one club chain. How many locations does it have? How do you think that number compares to the amount of lap dance clubs for men? No woman I know has been to a male strip club – every guy I know has been to one for women, probably multiple times. Where’s the comparison?

    If you walked up to a woman on the street and said “I’ll give you a few singles to show me your tits” that would be disrespectful, wouldn’t it? Just because these women want the money and are okay with that type of attention doesn’t mean that it’s any different from the man’s perspective. The mentality is the same.

    I don’t think that men at strip clubs act respectfully to women. Yelling “Shake your ass over here!” is not particularly respectful. I would venture to say that most men wouldn’t want their wives and mothers to see how they act when they’re there – and there’s a reason for that. I’m not saying they can’t be respectful in general, or at different times. There was no broad judgment.

    I’m just sick of the idea that objectifying women is was “makes boys men”. It doesn’t.

    • You don’t think women bond over hot guys???? I just showed my wife your statement and her exact words were “Are you kidding? Does this guy even know any women? That’s bullshit.” Most of the women I know have seen a male stripper and they’ve also gone to a regular strip club with guys. And we’re talking about good, solid people.

      Your comparisons are so off it’s not funny. If you walk up to a woman on the street and offer money for nudity, out of bounds. And it’s that way because a strip club is an establishment where women (and men) are there willingly providing a service. You can’t compare that to harassing someone on the street. It’s ludicrous.

      I never said going to a strip club makes a boy a man. Hell, I don’t even care for strip clubs. Not to mention I think Cole’s article was a condemnation of strip clubs and archaic forms of male bonding more than anything, so I’m not sure what you’re so up in arms about.

      But I’m telling you that bonding over a beautiful woman is legitimate between father and son, and not something to knock. And as my wife can attest, the same is often true for mothers and daughters.

  7. Wylee, read the story again, if you will. You see, this is a story of how arcane and outdated the strange ritual of bonding over pornography is. You’ll notice I take a whole passage to point out my confusion over the allure of strip club bonding. In the end, it’s not the porn that brought my dad together, ironically it was what happened after we left. So this isn’t a tale about strip club bonding rituals at all, but a refutation of them, of the old ways men bonded with men.

  8. enjoyed this article. . . I grew up in SD and spent some time in Tijuana in my late teen years. Fascinating place from a sociological point of view. I liked your subtle and dry humor. Glad you’re on Dads Good.


  9. To be clear, I did get that the article had a negative attitude toward the whole situation. My comments were directed at the responses that didn’t seem to strike the same tone.

    In general, I feel that most men take the objectification of women too lightly. It is actually a very pervasive mindset. Men see it as fun, entertainment, something that they are entitled to because they’re men. In my example about the woman on the street, i never said that the situations were the same… I said that the mindset is the same. And it is. Going to a strip club doesn’t make you a horrible, awful man. But it is behavior that I is not for the best and could be reduced. You don’t have to go. IF you don’t like it anyway, why not decide to not go back? It would be better for women and would maybe give other men the option to say that they, too, don’t want to go.

    And to say that men go to strip clubs to see “beautiful” women is absurd. They’re not about beauty at all – they’re about the illusion of sexual availability. To say that these drunken men are there to “appreciate” women is quite a stretch. It’s like comparing art to playboy.

    And I never attributed my comment about “making boys men” to you, Daddy Files. It was a reference to the article, where someone says something like that.

    I don’t know how you can say that women’s objectification of men is any where close to their objectification of women. By volume alone, it’s not even close. What percentage of the sex industry do you think is funded by men?

  10. Wylee’s got a good point. But you have to wonder if they would have been able to foil the pick pocket? Or if they’d notice the tranny waiter. If a strip club is a bad idea in America, and worse in TJ, don’t you have to go to know?

    That was the idea when I flew wingman for an Iowa guy I met at a San Diego conference. I used a fake cough and sniffed my nose to direct the table ladies his way. He followed one to the curtained off place in back…and came running out in ten seconds. The stripper was a dude who looked like a lady. And that made a unicorn cry.



  1. [...] A personal story, a coming-of-age tale featuring beer, strippers, and a transvestite pickpocket. Please enjoy! [...]

Speak Your Mind