Lately, I’ve seen a number of hot takes circulating the interwebs about how some women are not cool with their husbands or partners going to strip clubs because it’s disrespectful to them and we should hold men to higher standards.
And, I don’t want to sound like an asshole, but who cares? Who cares if your partner is going to a strip club or supports an entrepreneur on OnlyFans?
I mean, these women do, obviously.
And far be it from me to tell someone what they should or should not be comfortable accepting in their lives. That’s their business and relationship — not mine.
Let me just say that as a cis-het-woman in a committed, monogamous relationship of twenty years, I am 100% fine with my husband going to strip clubs or checking out OnlyFans content.
What person hasn’t looked at porn on the internet? (I include erotic stories in this, too.) Or been into a particular person online? (Cue me and real person fanfic.) My husband has gone to strip clubs with his friends when they had bachelor parties — and I kind of cared at the time because in my personal opinion, a fool and his money are soon parted and nothing is more foolish than a man with tiddies in his face.
However, even with all that, I knew who he was going to come home to. I was more concerned about our budget than the activities he was partaking in.
I trust my partner
Look. I get it. It’s not always about trust.
If this is your boundary, this is your boundary. And I’m all about knowing yourself, knowing your boundaries, and being clear about what you will or will not accept.
Plus, like all things sex or sex-adjacent, it’s about enthusiastic consent. If you’re not cool with your partner attending such activities — be it looking at porn, going to clubs, or having threesomes — then it’s hurtful and breaks trust if your partner still partakes despite knowing your objections. It’s likely even more hurtful if they hide it from you and you find out later.
That being said — if it is about trust and security, you have bigger problems than your partner going to strip clubs. These actions are symptoms of a root problem — and the root problem is not looking at hot, naked women in person or on the internet.
If your dude is going to cheat, he’s going to cheat. Barring him from a strip club isn’t really preventing him from stepping out on you — nor is it actually stopping him from going to a strip club. It definitely won’t stop him from accessing X-rated content on his phone.
It just serves to make you feel better — as if you have control over the situation. But, you don’t.
Also, what about me?
Another reason I’m cool with my husband going to strip clubs and the like is because I would like to be extended that same courtesy. It would be a tad hypocritical if I refused my husband access to all the naked-ish people yet consumed it for myself. What an antiquated notion that women are not visually impacted beings and wouldn’t like to gaze (or chat with) an attractive, naked-ish person.
Plus, I definitely read explicit novels and fiction — how is that any different? And before you get on your high horse and say it’s fiction — please do not tell me you think what sex workers are selling isn’t. They’re selling a fantasy, and we’re buying it because it’s appealing and sexy — and maybe we just really want to orgasm beyond self-pleasure.
It doesn’t actually hold men to higher standards
The writer of one of the pieces I read said she feels disrespected and that men should be held to a higher standard — as in, not expected to partake in such extracurricular activities. And again, I get it. If you feel as if something is disrespectful, you should not have to tolerate it in your relationships.
But don’t make it seem as if men enjoying strippers is inherently disrespectful. That somehow, men being held to a standard of respecting their partners’ wishes is tantamount to not going to strip clubs or their online equivalence.
Let’s be honest.
If we really wanted to hold men (and people in general) to a higher standard, we would — as a friend of mine commented — make the men who own clubs pay sex workers living wages, provide healthcare, and not actively steal funds from their workers. It would also decriminalize sex work, strike laws prohibiting groups of women from gathering or living together, and allow sex work and alcohol to exist in the same spaces (because if they don’t, sex workers who are strippers make no money).
Of course, I want to reiterate: the key to all these things is consent — preferably enthusiastic. However you feel about your partner paying people for sex work (in whatever capacity) is how you feel. But let’s not conflate the act of paying for sex work with disrespect.