Yeesh. Tuesday at The Stir (part of Cafe Mom), Janelle Harris, under the headline Strip Clubs + Cheating = A Natural Combination, argued that she’s “not crazy insecure,” but that she thinks “going to strip clubs is right up there on the cheating scale. As close as 7.9 is to 8—that’s how close I think sitting in a sleazy little den of smutty dancing is to actually carrying out the dirty deed of infidelity.” Wow. There’s more:
All of the pieces for the freaky-deaky equation are right there: mental fantasizing, physical desire, and emotional hot-and-heaviness. And let’s not pretend that, for a few extra bucks, Mercedes, Vanilla, or Delicious won’t momentarily throw their upstanding ethics to the side to perform a little more than a lappy and a pole routine. Private dance my foot. I’ve heard what goes on in those back rooms and if I found out my man was even tarrying around the doorjamb, I’d be ready to set it off Jada Pinkett-Smith–style.
In the book of Janelle, if a guy wants to see other chicks naked, if he wants to run his hands across some other gal’s skin and squeeze on her soft, cushy girl parts, and especially if he wants to give cash in any dollar amount to support her—which is ultimately what sliding 10s and 20s down a G-string or any other place on a stripper’s person is doing—then he can’t seriously want to be in a committed relationship at the same time.
It means he hasn’t gotten all of his wild oats sown in order to settle down and appreciate just one woman. When he’s immersed in happy coupledom, he doesn’t need to get off from being in the presence of other ladies shaking what their mamas gave ’em. Unless, of course, what he has waiting at home just isn’t enough to keep him satisfied.
I’ve never been a big fan of strip clubs for a few reasons: First, they’re ridiculously expensive to the point of being personally insulting ($75 cover? Really?). Handing over that kind of money to look at naked women entails a tacit admission that the line between rationality and animality is a lot blurrier than I like to believe it is. I haven’t even walked through the door and I already feel dirty, like I’ve sacrificed a little slice of self-respect.
Second, they’re kinda sad. If you’ve ever been in a strip club at 4 p.m. on a Tuesday (and yes, I have), you know what I mean. I feel bad for the women and I feel bad for the guys who have, in essence, paid for the luxury of being manipulated out even more of their money. It’s a little like watching the guy in front of you at 7-11 blow half his pay check on scratch tickets. (That’s not to say that I haven’t made plenty of choices that that guys who love scratch tickets and strip clubs would find sad—I most certainly have.)
And maybe worst, they’re inherently frustrating—when I was a skirt-chasing single guy, I’d always prefer going to a bar than going to a strip club, because at a bar at least I’d have the chance to flirt with women who aren’t being paid to flirt with me. I’ll take a smile from across the room over a stripper in my lap any day.
With all that said, I’ve paid my share of ridiculous covers, shelled out for lap dances, and had good times hanging out with friends at strip clubs. And I can say with all certainty that you can go to a strip club—and be a participant in all the naughty goings-on—and not be a lecherous, adulterous bastard.
Ladies: You can get a lap dance—and I imagine that most women will probably agree with me here, even if Janelle doesn’t—and “seriously want to be in a committed relationship at the same time.”
According to Janelle’s “freaky-deaky equation,” Mental Fantasizing + Physical Desire + Emotional Hot-and-Heaviness = Cheating.
Seriously? Every adult has fantasies and “physical desire”—and every married person, at one time or another, fantasizes about and has some degree of desire for a person other than their spouse. The question should not be whether these occur, but whether they’re acted on. So, if a guy pays to have sex with a stripper, then yes, he’s cheating. (But if that happens, she’s not a stripper—she’s a prostitute.)
I’m not totally sure what emotional hot-and-heaviness is, but if it’s anything like emotional infidelity, then the problem is not the strip club—it’s your relationship. As far as I’m concerned, after love, trust is the most important ingredient of a successful partnership. If you equate going to a strip club with adultery, you don’t trust your husband. You may have some good reasons for that, but the fact that he went to a strip club isn’t one of them.