Op-Ed: I’m Definitely Not OK With My Partner Going To Strip Clubs 

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I was on the phone with my best friend, and I’d never heard her so upset. During what was supposed to be the happiest year of her life — she’d gotten engaged and was planning a wedding to a man she was madly in love with — she was crying, shaking, and couldn’t eat.

This lasted about a week.

The reason? Her fiancé was going to his bachelor party, and although he said he didn’t think there would be strippers there, and her brother who was going said there probably wouldn’t be strippers there, she kept seeing the signs.

Her fiancé would get defensive and say he had no control over what his friends had planned, even though she voiced to him (over and over) that she wasn’t comfortable.

Her brother would tease her and make jokes. Her soon-to-be father-in-law lectured her about how it wasn’t that big of a deal, and all guys saw strippers at bachelor parties. It’s just what they did.

This was almost 25 years ago, and I have never again seen or heard her in that state.

When my ex-husband had his bachelor party (which was a whole weekend getaway), I didn’t think much of it. I trusted him and I wasn’t worried about a thing. It was before cell phones and I wished him well and sent him on his way.

He came home and literally said to me “I never want to see another naked woman besides you again in my life.”

He went on to tell me they went to a strip club on Friday night. He went on the stage and got a lap dance and several women danced for him.

On Saturday afternoon, they went back.

On Saturday evening, his friends had five strippers come to their hotel room for a private party. One of his friends was slipping one of the strippers a lot of cash to take my fiancé into a hotel alone and give him a private show. That is, until his brother stopped him. “He’s not going to want to do that.”

The strippers stayed all night long.

I remember feeling kind of sick when I heard all this. However, I knew the man I was about to marry, and aside from watching these women dance and strip, I don’t believe anything else happened. He did say that it was exciting at first, then it got old. He was glad his brother stepped in because he felt like he had to “man up” and act “all horny for the strippers” or he knew his friends would get after him.

He was 23 at the time, and he cared a lot more about what his buddies thought back then.

He never went to a strip club or attended a party if there were going to be strippers there again. That was his choice. He could tell by my reaction to his stories it wasn’t something I’d put up with again, and our relationship wasn’t worth risking for a night out with his friends watching women take off their clothes.

I’ve had friends who are strippers. I have zero disrespect, and I believe you get to choose what you do for work. But they’ve told me some stories I’d rather not know about all walks of men and the things they have done with them and for them.

My current boyfriend told me he went to a bachelor party when he was 21, and the woman who came to strip for them in the hotel room charged them money to take a shower with her. They couldn’t touch her, but they could do whatever they wanted with themselves. All of these men had girlfriends or were married. They all took a shower though.

I realize women have bachelorette parties and see male strippers too, but it’s not as common and we all know it. I know there are couples who enjoy going to these clubs together, and women who don’t mind if their partner goes to strip clubs. That’s fine, and I have exactly zero judgement towards them.

But I do mind. Quite a lot. As in, it’s a deal breaker for me, personally.

I don’t blame any woman for anything my partner does. If he crosses a line with me, it’s on him. And for me, crossing a line is watching another woman take her clothes off, dance topless, give a lap dance, or take a shower with them.

I’m so fucking sick of men thinking this is a rite of passage for them and saying shit like “men will just be men.”

The excuse that it’s “not cheating” doesn’t cut it for me. It’s not about cheating — it’s about disrespecting the person you are with. Full stop.

If the person you are in a relationship with doesn’t feel comfortable with you going to strip clubs, or attending a party where there’s booze, drugs, and naked women, then you shouldn’t.

It’s not about trust. I can trust someone all day long and still wonder why they need to watch another woman undress … not to mention pay them money to do it.

I don’t care if nothing else happens or there’s no sex involved. It disturbs me greatly to think my partner needs to partake in an activity like that.

Don’t doubt my confidence. In fact, I’m so fucking confident I’m not afraid to say when something doesn’t work for me. I will not stand there and act like I’m down with something I’m not. I’m not comfortable with my partner going to strip clubs.

If you ask me, looking at strippers, especially if there is alcohol involved, isn’t trustworthy behavior. It goes beyond anything physical happening. It boils down to this: I simply don’t want to be with someone who thinks it’s his right to go to a party or club and watch naked women and that I should just accept it.

I don’t care if he thinks he’ll look “whipped” in front of his friends if he doesn’t go. I don’t care if he tells me over and over I’m the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen and no one can compare.

It makes me feel completely and utterly disrespected, and too many women have been made to feel like they have to just accept this behavior and swallow their feelings on the subject.

They don’t.

It’s 2021 and it’s time to hold men to a higher standard.

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