Erotic dancers have been around for centuries. And throughout all that time there has been resistance against them. The argument of the moral depravity of sexualized female performances has raged on for years, these have also leaked into the supposed aggressive sexuality of working-class males. This has played into the loss of male sexual orderliness in a rapidly industrializing world that has become more chaotic than ever. These fears continue to influence the objections to strip clubs that exist today.
There are some caricatured ideas of the kind of men who frequent the strip clubs. However, the reality is that there are all sorts of men who go to strip clubs. They aren’t all sexually depraved men or aggressive men who think that they have the right to touch a woman’s body because she is naked. There is always some personal space that clients are required to respect. Just because a man is rich and has money to throw around does not mean he is entitled to a woman’s body or to treat the dancers like a piece of meat.
There will always be a group of entitled men who will ruin the strip club experience but they are few of them and if they do step out of line, they can be quickly ejected. Why do men visit strip clubs in the first place? To escape reality and the stress of work and family life for a few hours. These tend to be working men, successful men who work hard and need to find an outlet to release their stress. The strip club is a safe space with no judgement. For most of these men, sex is the last thing on their minds. They don’t enjoy themselves at a strip club because there is a promise of sex. They just want to loosen up, maybe feel important or wanted by some really beautiful women. Some even appreciate a little conversation and it doesn’t have to be mindless chatter, but they find that strippers know a lot more about the world than most people think.
Another category of men who come to a club is the “socially awkward” kind. The kind of men who find it hard to socialize in the real world, especially with women. A strip club allows these guys a safe space to engage with beautiful, attractive women. There are no moral judgments. There I none of the social fears and pressures that they feel in the outside world. Some of these guys probably have a hard time asking a normal guy out on a date. In a strip club, they can talk to beautiful women and even get tips on how to approach that one woman they have been pinning after.
Whilst there is so much that can be said about the subtle gender-based power dynamics that are at play in strip clubs. It is important to emphasise that men who visit strip clubs do not fit into one stereotype or caricature. They are diverse. Even the rowdy, drunk college boys that come through or bachelor parties cannot be painted with the same brush. They are all different.