Fear the Towel

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About Nathan Graziano

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is the author of three collections of poetry---Not So Profound (Green Bean Press, 2003), Teaching Metaphors (Sunnyoutside Press, 2007) and After the Honeymoon (Sunnyoutside Press, 2009)—a collection of short stories, Frostbite (GBP, 2002), and several chapbooks of fiction and poetry. A chapbook of short prose pieces titled Hangover Breakfasts was recently published by Bottle of Smoke Press this fall. For more information, visit his website at NathanGraziano,com.


  1. GentlyGoodNight says:

    I really appreciate this article. I think the towel is a clever metaphor for the intentional blindness some men participate in when it comes to female sexuality. I just really don’t like that this piece ends with a judgement, especially one that seems to buy into patriarchal stereotypes that all these hypothetical women who go to see male strippers must have a man at home. I get the whole bachelorette party, blah, blah,blah that you might use as an excuse, but that’s not good enough for me.

  2. JoAnne Dietrich says:

    If you are in a committed relationship, it is not o.k. to go to a strip club. I think it is wrong for both men and women. This article says it is acceptable for married men to go to strip clubs that married women should do it too. No person in a relationship should be licking whip cream off someone’s body.

    • GirlGlad4TheGMP says:

      I’d say that, if you’re in a committed relationship, regardless of gender, it is only okay to do what’s deemed appropriate for that relationship, which should be mutually agreed upon.

  3. Random_Stranger says:

    Oh god here we go with the gynocentric social critique of the gender binary -sure that’s right, the entire system is a vast plot by men to extract privileges from women for the past one thousand years, bohowahaha!

    Geez, seriously can we try some balance in our analysis. Sure the gender binary does not require male chastity, but it doesn’t expect or value it either. So yes, consequently men have enjoyed the relative “privilege” of suspended judgement with regards to sexual promiscuity but also endured in tandem a culture prejudiced and fearful of a man’s sexual intentions and hostile to man as object of sexual desire.

    I think the “towel” is a curtain behind which we find a contradiction: the women as sexual actor and the man as sexual object. Its get’s us out of our 2×2 box for a change, and we like it.

  4. Nate Graziano says:

    While I certainly appreciate the comments, I want to say that I wasn’t trying to cast a large net about “gender binaries.” I wrote it tongue-in-cheek, playing off stereotypical male frailties. I agree 100% with GirlGlad: it really should be determined by individual couples and their comfort level. I thought it was funny—not “ha,ha” hilarious”—how guys get worked up over women asserting the same primal sexual urges that males do and the disparity between both. Anytime you write sometime like this, you’re constricted by stereotypes and gross gender roles. It wasn’t my intention to make it trenchant. I was trying to giggle. Maybe I failed.

  5. I have one main rule for any man who is with me: what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If we cannot come to mutual agreements about sexual matters, than obviously we are not right for each other.

  6. Wait wait wait….a dude goes to a strip club and his “special treat” can end up to be getting a “tug job” or BJ. A girl goes to a strip club and her “special treat” can possibly be to….basically give a dude a BJ on a stage behind a towel? What a rip off! News flash….that’s not a “treat” for the ladies…


  1. [...]   (This is the fourth in a seven-part series over seven days, in colloboration with the Good Men Project, addressing the question: Is Porn a Good  Thing? For GMP’s most recent posts in the series, check out The History of Porn  and Fear the Towel.) [...]

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