I was recently asked why men go to strip clubs. It was a text message and I was responding in way too many parts. So, I decided to write it out here. I think this question is similar to what kind of woman strips? There is no “typical” customer as there is no “typical” stripper. There are many reasons why the men who enjoy strips clubs go. I suppose, though, the short answer is in the same way that the kind of woman who strips is the kind of woman who needs to earn money, men go to strip clubs to see T & A. Some more A than T and vice versa but you get my drift.
1) Men are highly visual. The Club, the endearing nick name for strip clubs, are chock full of visual stimulation. There are beautiful women. The attire depends on the club. It could be long evening gowns. It could be nothing more than coordinated bra’s and panties. Then there is everything in between. At any rate, it’s a sight to see. Numerous women dressed up with full hair and make-up. Nails done and, hopefully, smelling good. There are usually big screen televisions showing sporting events. There are cocktail waitresses bringing you your cocktail of choice. Or if you choose to sit at the bar you’ll be catered to there. The folks at the door welcome you with open arms, if the club is doing their business the right way. No one is going to tell a strip club customer that they are being disrespectful for looking at numerous beautiful women.
2) A break from societal expectations is enjoyed. The conversations had with dancers and staff can range from sports & current events (personal or news worthy) on down to sharing the raunchiest of stories, jokes and fantasies. It could be a conversation about the divorce that he’s going through right now. No one at the club knows the people in your life so you can say what you want. There is no need to worry about what type of talk is socially acceptable. There’s the company of beautiful women and dances. I’ve spoken to guys who enjoyed coming to strip clubs because they are shy and they know dancers will approach them first. This is another nice change of pace for men. Traditionally, men are expected to be the initiator in the real world. (Though, ladies, I hear that you making the first move is more than welcomed contrary to traditional beliefs.) And after a conversation, she may seductively take off her clothes just for you. If a dancer isn’t digging your chat she most likely will politely walk away. A. Why would she want other potential customers see her be hostile. B. A successful night often depends on attitude so why would she want someone to take her away from her happy space. C. There’s the dressing room where dancers can vent, share experiences, give warnings or accolades, etc. So the main floor is like a safe zone unless he gets way out of hand.
3) He’s treated like king of the castle. One thing you can expect to be stroked is your ego. One night, I sat talking with a customer while he ate his steak. At one point he stopped and said, “You know, I go to work, my employees don’t appreciate me. I go home and I’m taken for granted. I come in here and I get treated like a king. The door men know my name. Beautiful women talk to me. Everyone wants to make sure I’m having a good time…” He shook his head then continued with his meal. After being in relationships or a marriage for a while, messages go from “I wanna do xyz (insert sexy, flirty action here) to you…” into ,”Can you get some milk on your way in?” I know I’ve been guilty of it.
If a guy with expendable income is into strip clubs, this can be a very welcomed part of his day. However, the reasons why are wide and varied. Some may go because they had a good day and want to celebrate. Perhaps, he had a hard day and wants to get away for a moment. Maybe his partner is sick and he doesn’t want to cheat on her. Maybe he cannot stand his partner and wants an escape. It could be a business meeting, birthday or a bachelor party. It could be “boys night out”. It could be he enjoys the conversation and company of a particular dancer(s). One thing is clear. Either it is a man’s thing or it is not. But for those who enjoy it, you never can pin the reason why on just one thing… Well, except the T & A of course!
ESSENCE REVEALED – Essence Revealed is first generation Bajan born & raised in Boston. She got her BFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and MA at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education. Her writing has appeared places such as $pread Magazine, Corset Magazine, BurlesqueBible.com and 21st Century Burlesque. She now performs & teaches nationally and internationally both solo and as a member of Brown Girls Burlesque. Her favorite thing to do besides reading is to lay on the beach in Barbados to rest up for a night of calypso dancing. Help Essence get to the Milan Burlesque Awards!