The Strip Club Dilemma

Strip clubs are a popular form of adult entertainment in
the United States. But how might strip clubs effect a relationship? I started
thinking about this after a conversation with a friend the other day. My friend
recently began dating a new man. She thinks he is a great guy, has a blast
spending time with him, and has a passionate and strong sexual connection with
him! All sounds perfect for the beginning of a relationship right? Well, for
her…wrong! She is having an issue with the frequency at which he goes to strip
clubs! According to him, he goes because the guys at the office including his
boss, enjoy going. He does admit that he enjoys it as well, but says he
wouldn’t go if it wasn’t because his co-workers and boss. My friend went on to
say that she did communicate with him about her discomfort with the frequency
of his going. She is actually a pretty sexually open woman and would not mind
him occasionally going—like for a bachelor party or other special occasion. She
went on to tell me that she loves being sexual with him and in fact they have
intercourse or other sexual play several times a day (as often as she can see
him). So, is this a problem especially given the freshness of their
relationship? What do you think—is it ok for your partner to go to, or even
frequent, a strip club? How do you feel about this issue?

27 thoughts on “The Strip Club Dilemma

  1. Hmmm… An interesting question to me would be what is her resistance to it? I don’t think that it would be a problem for me as long as it did not interfere with our relationship. Is she afraid this will lead to cheating?

  2. For myself, I see no problem in my partner visiting strip clubs. If it is a problem for her, she should identify why and continue to have open and honest conversations with her partner. They can determine boundaries together that make them both comfortable.

  3. Personally I do not take issue with strip clubs and my partners prescence within one. However, my partner has never gone on a regular basis, and if he did I may want to discover why he was going so often. I think everything in moderation makes sense, the excessive nature should definitely be discussed. If he truly cares he may alter his behavior to make his partner feel less threatened.

  4. I think it is okay if the couple goes together…but if only one of them is enjoying the strip club, and the other is against it…or if one is coaxing the other into going…that’s a recipe for disaster!

  5. It can be fine, or not fine…it really depends on the frame of mind of the person attending the club. For instance, if it is strictly for entertainment, for business, to relax, or to unwind, without expectations beyond, then probably not an issue. However, if the person going is “searching” for fulfillment that he feels he is not getting at home, he may start looking for more, fantasizing about what he “could have,” and comparing and resenting his mate for lacking “components” that he assumes the dancers possess and his partner doesn’t. This could create problems in the relationship.
    Dr. Lori Eickleberry

  6. My two cents:
    I think that people should be allowed to do what they want to do. If there is distrust and loyalty issues, this relationship is doomed from the get go. Why does this girl have to be on top of him if he’s being honest with her with regards to what he’s doing? What is the point of having an open and honest relationship if its going to lead to this?

  7. Thank you for the interesting comments so far. It sounds like many of you feel like this should not be an issue as long as it is not excessive and that certain boundaries are not crossed. What exactly is excessive? In other words, if her partner is going once a week, would this be considered “excessive”. That might need to be something that both partners agree upon. I am also curious if you feel other issues might be important, for example, is the boyfriend spending a lot of money at the strip club and should that matter? Is the boyfriend touching other women and getting excited when he puts money in their mouth, breasts or down her pants? Is he getting lap dances and becoming aroused by another woman grinding on him and stimulating him, and if so, is this ok?
    Also, to respond to a comment posted by Jim A. It sounds like this is an issue you feel quite strongly about. I just want to clarify that while you may be correct in that with a situation such as this one, there could be distrust and loyalty issues, that is not necessarily the case. In addition, being open and honest is extremely important in any relationship! However, being honest does not automatically mean that someone must be ok with and agree with what you tell them. Think of this–if someone has an affair but is honest with their partner, does that make the affair ok simply because the partner was honest about it? I can promise you that if someone is not open and honest in their relationship, they will not be happy, and the relationship will not last!
    One more important thing to consider, is how might the boyfriend feel if the situation was reversed? Would he be ok with her looking at other naked men, becoming aroused, and being touched by them when getting a lap dance?

  8. I went through a summer where i went to a strip club at least twice a month. I always went with friends, in many cases, with a boyfriend/girlfriend couple who loved nothing more than going to the strip club together. But now that I’m in a relationship, i just don’t feel the need to go. They’re fun, yes, but they’re also expensive, and let’s be honest, they’re not innocent fun. You go there to look at other naked girls, and more often than not, be touched by them. If you’re a guy in a relationship and you’re getting grinded on by a naked girl on a regular basis, i don’t really see how that’s okay. once in a while (bachelor party, birthday party, or other special occasion), that should be fine. especially if you’re not trying to hide it. But I’d be suspicious of a guy who said he was in a serious relationship but spent a significant amount of time and money at a place where the whole point is to be aroused by other women.

  9. I would absolutely look at it as a serious red flag. Let me first start off by saying I am by no means a conservative person and have gone to strip clubs before both male a female.
    Having said that I do not feel that that it is a place that either partner should be going to if they are in a relationship never the less frequently going !
    Now before everyone goes crazy think about how you would feel if the roles were reversed !

  10. Hi again. Frequency that I may have an issue with would be once a week or more. When during the week? I have always sneered at the men I see leaving the club at 2pm, unless it’s a business meeting at Rachel’s “steak house”, I think strip clubs are best left for after the sun goes down;)
    Regarding your questions…is the boyfriend spending a lot of money at the strip club and should that matter? Is the boyfriend touching other women and getting excited when he puts money in their mouth, breasts or down her pants? Is he getting lap dances and becoming aroused by another woman grinding on him and stimulating him, and if so, is this ok?
    The money spent should not be a concern, if it’s her boyfriend and not her husband or fiancé she can’t dictate how he spends his money and it’s not her business. As for getting excited and getting lap dances, I would have to say isn’t that the point of the guy going, who goes to the strip club and does not get excited?
    As I previously posted, I have never been in the situation where frequency of strip clubs became a problem, so my answers may not be relevant as I don’t know first hand.
    I do agree with the poster that said this may be a red flag early in the relationship, especially if the woman had spoken to him about how this makes her feel and he has not even attempted to alter his behavior slightly.

  11. I’ve been to strip clubs and they always make me feel really sad for the strippers. Moreover, I’m personally a little grossed out by strippers and strip clubs, so I would probably feel disappointed in my partner if he truly enjoyed that kind of entertainment. However, I appreciate the importance of fitting in socially and in the business world, and if fitting in meant occasionally having to go to strip clubs, I would be ok with it.

  12. Hi Dr. Rachel. I enjoyed your blog and I thought I would respond because I am a dancer/stripper. I am 25 years old and have been dancing since I was 20. I make ALOT of money, which is the main reason I do it. The truth is as open as I am I wouldn’t want my boyfriend coming here! A lot of the girls I work with use a lot of drugs or have some past issue with men even though I actually don’t. Many of them take things to far sometimes in the back and probably have herpes or something.
    I mean I lie about my name most of the time and my story (most of us do) and we laugh at the men in the back later trading stories and making things up about them. Our whole goal is to get the men fantasizing about us and give them a hard on so they want more and give us more money. We are not genuine with them obviously. I think of my self not only as a dance but an actress really.
    I like what I do because I make alot of money but I understand why your friend would not like her boyfriend coming to strip clubs.

  13. Having a lot of experience on this topic, I also have a lot of opinions (informed opinions, I think). But I’m not going to try to subject your readership to all of them! 🙂
    The longest “career” I have ever had was as a “dancer” (as opposed to a stripper). Yes, my partner at the time and I referred to what I did as “dancing,” rather like a crackhead will call herself a “cocaine addict.” I’ve worked in all kinds of clubs from “bikini bars” to topless to bottomless to no contact to full contact/full friction. And I can tell you that Mike L is absolutely correct in saying there’s “NOTHING INNOCENT” about a man going to a strip club. Not only are men acting out sexually with other women when they go to strip clubs (even the most “benign” of strip clubs), but also there is always mutual exploitation. I also agree with A on this (the above comment). Of all the girls I got to know working in that business, everyone who became close to me admitted a history of sexual abuse. So this industry is “not innocent” on many levels.
    On that topic, the most frequently used joke around the dressing rooms is this: men are like ATMs; you push their buttons and they spit out twenties. All the girls lie; we have to. It’s part of our job. We sell fantasy. The customer is paying to NOT have reality. And we’re quite good at frabicating that (at the emotional and psychic expense of all parties, of course). They take several hours (usually around 3 or 4) to get ready. There’s body paint, wigs, make-up artists or “house moms” back in the dressing room. So these women are not “real” — they are manipulating you to get your money.
    Obviously, you as a customer are exploiting them as well. Telling someone who is desperate for money to be sexual with you by holding the Almighty Dollar over his or her head is one of the lower forms of exploitation. When money is involved, there is no consent. Particularly when you’re dealing with addicts. Most women (and men) who work in the skin business are SUPPORTING A HABIT — hello.
    Anyway, I justified doing it for so long because I was in a relationship with a woman. I believed that women who were with men should know better and they deserve what they get. Now I’m with a man. Recently, I found out that he lied to me and went to strip club in Atlanta when he was on a business trip (while we were fighting about some other of his infidelities that surfaced). I can’t tell you how horrible it makes me feel. Yes, I do feel like it was cheating, and it was exploitive. It was a violent act against our relationship, against me as a woman and a sexual partner. And I know strip clubs. And I know Atlanta strip clubs. It really makes me sick. Of course, I see the irony. But it’s not amusing to me.
    Many thanks to Mike L for his comment, which gives me hope that there are responsible, honest, loving heterosexual men out there.

  14. P.S., how can a business justify going to strip clubs as a valid form of business interaction? Talk about your glass ceilings and boys clubs. That’s REALLY unethical and unacceptable business practice.

  15. Wow this reads like us weekly for average people with no names but who like to live life under or over a microscope. Who cares what anyone else thinks except the two people involved. How many times is frequent? 2? Why is this issue receiving so much attention?

  16. , i think poeple are not mature enough to handle casual lovers as close friends why must there be a separation of the two? i am big supporter of having your cake and eating to tool #imjustsaying

  17. i tllatoy agree with you, you really cant put one above the other but at the same time you have to remember that this is your bf/gf and certain ppl will naturally get more of the attention

  18. I’m going out on a limb here to say that I really don’t like strip clubs and I don’t date men who go to strip clubs “regularly” (or at all… but who knows, guys lie.) To me, going even once a month is too much. I am CONSERVATIVE and I don’t give a sh*t about being liberal or open-minded. I don’t play the “cool girlfriend” if something legitimately makes me uncomfortable in a relationship, and strip clubs are in the “discomfort” zone.
    Knowing how sexual guys are, I don’t like knowing my man is sitting around somewhere staring at naked girls jiggling their tits. Then when he comes home, thinking about all that tit jiggling. If that’s done excessively (let’s say once a week), how does that not lead to cheating? I want to experience my sexual life *together* with my boyfriend/fiance/husband. I’ve seen too many marriages split up because couples grow apart or think they can find something sexier and more satisfying elsewhere. I think that strip clubs lead men into a frame of mind that is disloyal and unrealistic. I know it certainly leads *me* into a cheating mindset (I’m bisexual and love looking at women’s bodies.) Knowing that my man is 10x more sexual by nature leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I think the only reason why women are “okay” with their men going to strip clubs is because they can’t really fathom how sexual guys are.
    That being said, I would tolerate my boyfriend/husband visiting a strip club every now and then, as long as he was with people I knew and trusted (aka people who would also support our relationship and not encourage cheating.) So far that hasn’t happened. I’m conservative and I date conservative men. I also have an awesome kinky sex life with my boyfriend, and I’m very happy with it.

  19. , they’re wirnokg, and only interested in earning tips. I would go with him if we lived closer (not because I’d be jealous if I was home and he went, but because I think it’s fun) but if he wanted to go with friends then I’d say go for it.

  20. Strip clubs are a problem for a “Couple”. He starts comparing “the girls” to his partner. She feels inadequate and neglected. He gets difficult to talk to and non communicative. She gets angry! He spends MONEY! LOTS OF IT! the strippers are happy to see him. He Lies even to himself as to how much he spends. The “girls” call him and sex text them hoping to get him back to the club. he is excited and wants to go back because the “girls” “WANT” him. He seeks attention from an 18 year old. He life partner is 60 and works hard but he has “LOST” his desire and cant get a hard on. But with the “girls” he “THINKS” he can! In the process, he “KILLS” ALL OF THE DESIRE HIS PARTNER HAS FOR HIM. The family is unhappy. His partner is disgusted with him. When he attempts to cuddle in bed with his partner, he brings all of the strippers into the bed with him in the imagination of the partner.
    Who wins in this situation? Just the strippers as they have his money, his life is destroyed, he is happy until he leaves the club and has to go back to reality and his partner who does not talk to him for two weeks. Was it a good thing? Not in this household.

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  22. i tllatoy agree with you, you really cant put one above the other but at the same time you have to remember that this is your bf/gf and certain ppl will naturally get more of the attention

  23. I am a woman who personally cudnt stomache the thought of my bf stepping foot in one, been with him three yrs. and he went once he says business, was entertaining owners of a company for work, he was out of town and I was pregnant, I got a text from him at 2:30 in the morning from him, I was pissed, I knew her was out to no good, two montha later he tells me what he did, I”m thinking he actually felt guilty me being alone and prego, hell i dont know if men even feel remorse for the disrespectful things they do. I know what goes on in the gent clubs, and its utterly disgusting to me that a man who says he loves me or any woman would disrespect her like that, a man in love would want to walk foot in there, what kills me is men feel that its ok for them to go but as far as wanting the woman to strip period, pot calling kettle black!!!!!

  24. I worked in a strip club for a while in college and I would be completely mortified if my boyfriend went to a strip club. I’ve seen and experienced just how into the strippers these men are. Strip clubs are very sexual places and a lap dance can be very intimate. You can feel the warmth of each others bodies and there is touching. You hang out and talk and they buy you drinks. Its like little dates where you get to know each other and your naked and stuff kinda happens and it kinda doesn’t. I say, if its ok for your man to go to the strip club then how would he feel if you worked there. Would he be ok with you dancing for other men? Probably not. I hate strip clubs!

  25. My boyfriend just told me he was planning on going to the strip club with his best friend. I’m 5000 miles away from him going to school and won’t see him for another 3 months. I said no I don’t want him to go. It made my heart drop that he would even want to go see other women especially because I won’t be seeing him for a while. I’m extremely uncomfortable with him going and don’t want other women near him. I’m not insecure. We have great sex all the time and he always tells me how great it is and how much he loves me. I think I’m the only woman that should be able to dance for him.

  26. I really hate the boys will be boys comment. It should be wiped from our vernacular. Because they are men their bad behavior is acceptable and allowable? They have no control or judgement? I call BS. I personally think much more of men than that!!
    I think that if a male is in a relationship with someone, and he goes out and touches another woman in a sexual manner it is cheating. And vice versa…
    There are many levels of cheating and a penis does not need to enter an orifice to make it so.

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