A lot of people probably say they fall in love with strippers. After all, any single guy wandering into the smoky den of the strippers gets undue attention, surrounded by beautiful women and treated probably nicer than any girl has ever treated them.
But I don’t fall for them, I realize their amazing and random interest in me is totally based in their need for my dirty wad of cash. I simply have a strange and backwards reaction to strippers in general. I empathize with them. Some would theorize this would result from my treatment of women in general. I basically act like I’m constantly at a strip club when I’m everywhere but a strip club. I hug girls and objectify them and generally make a lovable asshole of myself.
Somehow this trips the reverse reaction in me when I’m confronted with women that objectify themselves, hit on me, and go out of their way to sit on my lap and show me their tits. I feel bad for them. I want to buy them coffee and learn about their lives. I want to give them a jacket and believe the best about their situation. To be honest I don’t fully understand it. Maybe it’s because I can sense their fake sales attitude and realize that each one of them is struggling to make money by lying.
They aren’t really interested in me, or the 200 other guys that blow through there in a night. I guess I feel more pity for a girl who has to pretend to like a guy than a girl who pretends not to like a guy, which is so often the case. Sometimes the worst is when they are bad at it. In fact I usually avoid strippers that are good at their job. If they seem very at ease and quick on the draw I’m usually turned off instantly, because I know I’m about to get hustled, and that it will probably work if I relax for a minute.
No it’s the girls who seem to not know quite what to do, or why they are there. They are probably worried that I’ll be creepy and overly drunk or forward. My heart immediately reaches out to them and makes me want to just give them 20 dollars to take a break and understand that all men aren’t evil.
It’s probably a little patronizing, to assume that a lot of strippers are people to pity or feel sorry for. Some would probably hate me for what I’ve written so far. It’s some combination of being sexist, sensitive, misogynistic and inherently kind. I just find myself conflicted and strippers to be fascinating. Because they’re real people, almost universally beautiful, acting as fake as they possibly can. They are basically paid to be nude retail actors. Selling a product, convincing you it’s worth it and overcharging like hell.
It’s also been theorized that people that go to strip clubs fall into very few categories. Lonely and degenerate men who cannot see a girl naked any other way. Lonely men who are celebrating degrading women, or lonely men who have too much money and are travelling. While I think that the majority of these are true, I find myself trying to categorize myself. I’m not particularly lonely, I have a girlfriend. She doesn’t particularly mind me going to see naked women, understanding that this is, for men, basically a fashion show, makeup sale and disturbing gossip all rolled into one.
I’m not trying to sleep with them, I’m not willing to spend ridiculous amounts of money, and I’m probably the last person that they actually want to talk to, since I’m cheap and sensitive to being hustled. Yet I go and actually do engage them in conversation, which they are happy to do because they think it will lead to them getting me to pay them. Most find out in 30 seconds or less that I’m not really going to give them hundreds of dollars to prance in front of me for 5-10 minutes. But a few actually relax and engage me in conversation with a fervor that’s surprising. Once the sales pitch is over and if there’s nothing else going on, a lot of strippers are happy to start talking about their day or problems. Which are often varied and complex.
This evokes in me a sense of empathy, interest and a genuine urge to improve their day. This is probably a side effect of them being beautiful and right in front of my face. So the question remains, am I just victim to a pretty face, and tight with my money. Or do I somehow relate to the plight of people who force themselves to be fake and appear attractive to get by in life? I’m not pretty enough to be a stripper and there’s not much call for male strippers in the same context, but I get the feeling that, if I could, I would be a stripper. Maybe if I were female.
I have to admit, this is all more of a train of thought than a clear direction. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that I secretly want to be a stripper, a woman, beautiful and objectified. Since I remain unable to do so and painfully heterosexual, I guess I will lock this deep into my psyche along with my conflicted feelings about my family and embarrasing sexual episodes during my teenage years (and beyond). Then I’ll go home and kiss my girlfriend, high-five my best male buddy, crack open a corona and think about video games.
The difference between men and women, is that this kind of stuff probably lingers with women. I’m such a fucker.