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cuauhtemoc
07-28-2003, 11:17 AM
I was on vacation last week, and I thought I'd better try forcing myself to have some fun before I got back to the pointless, soul-crushing routine that is my working life. So I went to a bar. I went alone, because that's how I do everything. I had friends once, people I hung out with, now they're all gone. So if I want to go to a bar, I have to go alone.

As you might imagine, it was pretty depressing. I sat on an uncomfortable stool nursing my Harp Lager while people all around me sang, danced, and had a good time with their friends and significant others. And nobody wants to talk to a loser alone in a bar. Since I was not contributing to the festive mood of the place, I felt it would have been unfair to the other patrons for me to stay, so I left.

Down the block was a different kind of bar - one with "exotic dancers". I fiddled with the idea of going in. On one hand, I was really bored and depressed. On the other hand, I was brought up to believe that such things are too morally repugnant to even contemplate. And I'm not even religious, but politically, there's still the whole "exploiting women" thing. Not that I've never been in a place like that before, I've just always felt uncomfortable and vaguely guilty about it. In the end, curiosity got the better of me and I went in, thinking "I'll try not to exploit the women too much".

Well, my eyes were opened. Nearly as soon as I took a seat, women started walking up to me and striking up conversations. I met lovely young women from Belarus, Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic who were easily as friendly and interesting as any women I met during four years of college. We talked about America, Europe, language, culture, dancing, hopes and dreams... it was almost like a little five-minute date with each one.

Now before you start laughing at me, I'm well aware that they have to be nice to you, it's how they make their money. I'm not an idiot. But just for the sake of comparison:

Regular bar - A roomful of women avoiding eye contact with me as if I'm a magical djinn and they'd burst into flames if they accidentally looked me in the eye.

"Exotic Dancer" bar - Beautiful, fun women smiling and paying attention to me.

Regular bar - Watching other people have fun while drinking a beer in wretched solitude.

"Exotic Dancer" bar - Actively involved in something resembling social interaction.

What sounds like a better deal to you? Looks like no contest to me. And yet these places are frowned upon. There's a pervasive attitude that only bums and lowlifes patronize such establishments. Any politician caught in one would face shame and scandal. Nobody wants them in their neighborhood. Yet you can find a regular bar in some of the nicest neighborhoods in America.

Some of you might describe this position as a rather sad and pathetic one to hold. I say, if being tired of drinking alone on a barstool is pathetic, if recognizing the hypocrisy of some of modern society's moral standards is pathetic, if paying women to talk to you in bars is pathetic, then yes, I'm pathetic. Who's with me? Fellas? Or for that matter, who's against me? Anybody think this is a crock, and that strip clubs/go-go bars are morally wrong and that I should go live in a cave somewhere? Tell me what you think.

pestie
07-28-2003, 11:45 AM
I with ya, man, although my only significant experience with a strip club involved a rather poor-quality one where most of the girls were, as far as I could tell, dumb as dirt. I went there with a friend of mine who knew several of them personally and he confirmed my suspicions. I actually had to explain to one of these girls what a "wang" was. No, I'm not kidding. And no, I'm not referring to a computer manufacturer.

What I'd like to know (and this seems as good a thread as any to ask) is where I can see some of these studies that are often cited that proport to show a connection between strip clubs and other sexually-oriented businesses and an increase in crime. These are usually mentioned at local government meetings where decisions are being made about "adult by-laws" and the like. I really want to know who does these studies, how biased they may be, and whether any of them actually show a cause/effect relationship or just a correlation.

Kalhoun
07-28-2003, 11:49 AM
I'm a woman and I see nothing wrong with strip clubs. The women make good money and they do it most times because it's fun. The sleazier places are pretty depressing, but nicer establishments don't bother me at all. My husband and I went to one together and had a blast. I think most people have a dislike for the sleazy places because the management doesn't make an effort to control drug trade or prostitution on the property. Those are two separate issues from naked dancing girls.

Jackknifed Juggernaut
07-28-2003, 11:51 AM
Not at all. Anytime that I want to go out and none of my friends is available, I go to a strip club. And in NJ, strip clubs that serve alcohol are usually not too sleazy. You're not allowed to be nude or even topless in alcohol-serving establishments. I always say to my friends: Why would you go to a regular bar by yourself when you can go to a go-go bar where there's beautiful half-naked women dancing around?

Bruce_Daddy
07-28-2003, 12:17 PM
Movies. The clubs you see in movies are usually suspect and seldom accurate. Think Bada-Bing (Sopranos) or any club you see in an action movie. Dancing at the Blue Iquana? is the only exception. And maybe Flashdance. In the movies it usually it's loser guys hanging out, sometimes whooping it up like morons. (who stands up and cheers in a strip club?)

Chefguy
07-28-2003, 12:28 PM
I don't have a problem with them, but I never really saw the point in the whole thing, and after a couple of forays in the military, never went back. That is, until a couple of years ago when one of my employees left. He wanted to take us to a strip bar here in town for some farewell beers. Holy crap, have things changed! It's no longer just a place where a woman dances for awhile, then takes off her top. It's more of an anatomy lesson, with little pretense of dance, unless you want a "private dance". There is nothing left to the imagination, and frankly I'd rather read a book.

emmaliminal
07-28-2003, 12:37 PM
As a former exotic dancer, I can tell you that if I were a guy, the reason I wouldn't patronize strip clubs is that the dancers talk an incredible amount of shit about you as soon as you leave. We are there to exploit you, and 95% of our flattery or flattering attention is out-and-out lies. In our minds we are likely to be sizing up how much more bullshit, or listening to your bullshit, it'll take before your wallet makes an appearance.

Plus, Kalhoun, my experience was not that most dancers did it because it was fun (though it occasionally was), but because it offered good money for women with pretty bodies but
a) few regular worksplace skills,
b) little confidence in themselves as regular workers,
c) obstacles to working day jobs, like being single mothers, or, most sadly,
d) substance abuse habits that made them too unreliable to get regular jobs.

Oh, and the occasional e): prostitutes looking for safer leads on clientele than walking the streets. Ick. They didn't seem to last long, though.

When I did this, I worked one night a week and only with a good friend, because it was way too stressful to do more often. I couldn't maintain the necessary perky, flirtatious attitude if I worked any more than that. I often got my evening's cash stolen by other dancers, I saw a lot of backstage behavior I'm not interested in seeing ever again thankyouverymuch, and

And cuauhtemoc, I honestly think a good part of the moral indignation is perpetuated by local cops. A raid on a strip club looks good in the papers... and the [guy] cops are just as eager as you are to spend the evening chatting up scantily clad women, even if they do have to arrest some of them at the end of the evening.

Giraffe
07-28-2003, 12:39 PM
There's nothing wrong with going to a strip club. I've been a few times, and they can be a lot of fun, especially if you have a chance to chat with the different girls. If you're craving social contact, it's a safe, simple way to get it.

I think the only problem would be if you started using it as a crutch to avoid forming real world relationships, or lose sight of the fact that the strip club is a fun but inherently artificial situation, a business transaction and nothing more. Going to a strip club is better than sitting in a bar by yourself, but it's not a replacement for making friends and dating people. This of course may not be relevant to you, in which case disregard.

X~Slayer(ALE)
07-28-2003, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by cuauhtemoc
In the end, curiosity got the better of me and I went in, thinking "I'll try not to exploit the women too much".

Three Cheers for cuauhtemoc!!! :D

Its all about moderation, baby!

actually its all about your hold on reality. You knew the "girls" were doing their jobs. It was a curiosity-fantasy thing and you werent pawing them like a maniac. Its all in fun which was what you were looking for. In that respect, the strip bar you went to was great.

Keep in mind that because of years of ill-reputation, strip bars are magnets to the dregs of society also and theyre pretty well mixed in with the regular crowd. Theyre usually the ones causing all the problems and are the ones cited was what would happen to you if you do go to these places.

rjung
07-28-2003, 01:24 PM
Who said there was anything wrong with strip clubs? :D Okay, the $4-for-a-glass-of-Coke bit is a bummer, but you just learn to drink reeeeeeeeeeeeeeal slow.

The way I see it, the girls are there to pretend they're interested in you, and you're there to pretend you're doing something besides ogling their assets. As long as everyone realizes it's all a charade for the sake of a harmless diversion that's being done with full consent, what's the deal?

El_Kabong
07-28-2003, 02:50 PM
I presume what the OP is talking about is the so-called 'upscale gentlemen's club', rather than the dreary biker-run dive that more typifies the form and which I've always found almost suicidally depressing. Here in Houston, upscale clubs are practically an art form.

Even for these clubs Emilyforce, sad to say, has it pretty much nailed, although I think the part about 95% of the flattery being lies is a bit harsh. I'd say no more than 90% :D

Seriously, though, I personally try to avoid saying or asking anything that would cause a stripper to want to lie to me, and avoid the ones who are obvious substance abusers, can't hold up their end of a conversation or haven't the skillz to keep the hustle subtle.

The simple fact is, stripping is more about customers voluntarily being exploited by the dancers than the other way around. If you're personally OK with that, there's nothing wrong with it as long as you:

a) practice moderation: this is more difficult than it sounds, given how much effort everyone involved is making to separate you from your dollars, and how tempting it is to take the 'easy way' to meet attractive women

b) remember always that you are basically paying women to be nice to you and that as soon as the supply of money stops, so does their interest, even if they sincerely like you

c) it's not any easier to make a real connection with a female there than in real life; in fact it's probably much harder

d) a vast number of 'entertainers' have severe socialisation problems of their own, some of which only become apparent with time.

Lastly, there's something to be said about the idea that stripping tends to ruin the ability to have a healthy relationship for both stripper and customer, in that it promotes an attitude that honesty is of no particular value and that relationships all boil down to an exchange of services for compensation.

X~Slayer(ALE)
07-28-2003, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by El_Kabong
Lastly, there's something to be said about the idea that stripping tends to ruin the ability to have a healthy relationship for both stripper and customer, in that it promotes an attitude that honesty is of no particular value and that relationships all boil down to an exchange of services for compensation.

Well, you know what the say,

"the key to a great and lasting realtionship is Sincerity. Once you fake that, you got it made."

cuauhtemoc
07-28-2003, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut
And in NJ, strip clubs that serve alcohol are usually not too sleazy. You're not allowed to be nude or even topless in alcohol-serving establishments.
So that's how it works, eh? I've been to a couple of topless places before (and once in Baltimore, an all-nude place) in different states, and there seem to be a different set of arcane regulations for each jurisdiction. Once in Florida, I asked a dancer about the tiny band-aid(TM)-sized sticky thing covering her nipples. She told me the law said she had to wear them. Kind of silly, I thought.

All told, I think I like the non-topless ones better. There's just less pressure. Dancing provocatively is one thing, but when a woman shows you her breasts it's like you feel some sort of obligation. Like you really owe her something good now.

Originally posted by emilyforce
As a former exotic dancer, I can tell you that if I were a guy, the reason I wouldn't patronize strip clubs is that the dancers talk an incredible amount of shit about you as soon as you leave. We are there to exploit you, and 95% of our flattery or flattering attention is out-and-out lies. In our minds we are likely to be sizing up how much more bullshit, or listening to your bullshit, it'll take before your wallet makes an appearance.
Well, the women at this particular club certainly didn't seem that cynical, but they could just have been doing their jobs really well, in which case it's really none of my concern what they said about me after I left the club. Basically, I'm not paying them to fool my cerebral cortex, I'm paying them to fool the part of my brain that produces those special endorfins, the ones that make my heart race and my breath quicken and my face get warm, which is much, much easier to do.

Originally posted by Giraffe
I think the only problem would be if you started using it as a crutch to avoid forming real world relationships, or lose sight of the fact that the strip club is a fun but inherently artificial situation, a business transaction and nothing more. Going to a strip club is better than sitting in a bar by yourself, but it's not a replacement for making friends and dating people.
Unless making friends and dating people are not an option, in which case what's the problem?

Originally posted by El Kabong
I presume what the OP is talking about is the so-called 'upscale gentlemen's club', rather than the dreary biker-run dive that more typifies the form and which I've always found almost suicidally depressing.
I hear that. I was in CA on business one time and I wandered into a Deja Vu, which is apparently a chain with strip clubs in several states. I ended up talking all night with one of the dancers, and we still email and talk on the phone sometimes. Some of the stuff she tells me makes me feel bad that I've ever given money to this industry. And this is supposed to be a reputable club! Sleazy business, this stripclubbery.

As for the place I was in on Saturday, I don't know how "upscale" it was, but it was no dive either. Just a very laid back atmosphere with lots of friendly people.

emmaliminal
07-28-2003, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by cuauhtemoc
So that's how it works, eh? I've been to a couple of topless places before (and once in Baltimore, an all-nude place) in different states, and there seem to be a different set of arcane regulations for each jurisdiction. Once in Florida, I asked a dancer about the tiny band-aid(TM)-sized sticky thing covering her nipples. She told me the law said she had to wear them. Kind of silly, I thought.
Heh! The blue laws that regulate this stuff are incredible and vary hugely from place to place. In the not-too-skanky Déjà Vu I worked in, there was a lot of discussion about exactly how wide the back of your bottoms had to be. It seems the state law mandated that one could not display one's genitals, breasts below the areolas, or "anal cleft" (unless one was "on stage"). But different local jurisdicions had different opinions about exactly how much covering a buttcrack has to have to be covered enough... ah, those were the days.

In Washington state, at least the last time I was up on this stuff which is admittendly about a decade ago now, you couldn't serve alcohol in a club where women take their tops or bottoms off either, just like NJ. (In practice, this meant that all WA strip clubs reeked of cigarette smoke, moldy spilled soda in the carpets, and sixty layers of cheap perfume.) And a nekkid dancer had to be at least 2 feet above and 2 feet away from any patrons (this was the "stage"). We could touch patrons if we had all our bits properly covered, but not "with intent to arouse". That piece of brilliance let the cops haul in a lot of clean dancers. "Judge, it may have been my shoulder, but she had Intent To Arouse!"

Really Not All That Bright
07-29-2003, 12:53 AM
It all depends on what you really want. Presumably, if you go to a bar to meet woman, you'd like to see them again at some point. One may also presume that friendly as a stripper may be, you aren't going to want to see them again.

Personally, I rarely frequent strip clubs; partly, its because the quality of such establishments here in Orlando is pretty low (although Mons Venus over on the west coast is rather nice.) Partly, its because I'm a broke college kid and my wallet tends to get carried away when it comes to buying my friends lapdances.
My fraternity buddies and I will go, say, once a year, basically just for laughs.
On the other hand, I dated a girl I met at a strip club for a few months, although it was a long time before I was convinced that a) I wasn't going to catch anything, and b) that she didn't expect the relationship to involve a transfer of funds for "services rendered".
She was a great girl- intelligent, putting herself through college, unable to pay for both living expenses and tuition with any other job, and unable to apply for financial aid because her parents didn't file their taxes. I couldn't really stomach the idea of my girlfriend grinding on other guys two nights a week though, and broke things off.

So, the point is, if all you want is an evening's entertainment, by all means go for it... if you want to meet chicks, you might want to go back to looking forlorn on a bar stool.
And if you choose option #2, learn to play pool.

t-keela
07-29-2003, 01:12 AM
The only thing I ever found wrong was the price of the drinks...rjung you know it :D

I actually went in one once, they had lost their liquor license and were entertaining w/ no alcohol. It was BYOB, yep you heard right! A BYOB strip joint...damn it was a first for me and yes I had my cooler in the back of the Jeep...:D :D

t-keela
07-29-2003, 01:15 AM
BTW I did tip quite generously since I didn't have to pay for any drinks.

Shodan
07-29-2003, 07:29 AM
Pardon my naivete, but do you have to pay these women to talk to you? Or are they soliciting you for prostitution, and then leave you alone when you decline? Or do you have to buy them over-priced drinks, as rjung seems to be saying?

How exactly are they making money off you?

OK, OK - I've lived a sheltered life.

Regards,
Shodan

ralph124c
07-29-2003, 07:55 AM
Have you ever dated a stripper? I never have, but I wonder if the lively conversation carries over into a date..but maybe, some nucleat physiscits also strip in their spare time?

cuauhtemoc
07-29-2003, 08:11 AM
Shodan, in the club I was in, the dancers do their thing on the stage, then go out among the customers and smile and chat with them. Usually you tip them something for their dance and they let you put it in the straps of whatever scant garment they happen to almost be wearing, and the understanding is that you're basically copping a feel when you do this.

Prostitutes are strongly discouraged. They draw attention from cops and increase the risk of the club getting raided, which is bad for business. Plus, the other dancers hate them. My friend let one of her regular customers from Déjà Vu kiss her on the lips in the "Champagne Room" and one of the bouncers caught her. He threatened to tell the manager and get her fired unless she gave him more money (the dancers are expected to give a certain percentage of their tips to the bouncers, and he was demanding extra for hush-money). So apparently they do take prostitution seriously.

El_Kabong
07-29-2003, 09:21 AM
Pardon my naivete, but do you have to pay these women to talk to you? Or are they soliciting you for prostitution, and then leave you alone when you decline? Or do you have to buy them over-priced drinks, as rjung seems to be saying?

The deal in Houston is that you can elect to tip a girl on stage or not; girls not on stage will either cruise by and check to see whether you want some company or you can ask a waitress to bring one over. You are not obligated to pay a dancer sitting with you for her time or drinks, but if you don't ask for any dances within a few minutes, chances are she'll be off to look for a paying customer.

Offical policy at these places is to fire a dancer caught doing something that might result in a prostitution bust (basically anything that involves genital or oral/genital contact) but, in my experience a significant fraction of Houston-area dancers may offer 'extras' at their discretion, and some managers will look the other way for a cut of the proceeds.

I haven't gone many place outside Houston, but tried out a couple of Philly clubs one time just for, uh, 'research' purposes. In both, there was much less chance for conversation, and the dancers went round soliciting tips after each set; kind of put me off.

Have you ever dated a stripper? I never have, but I wonder if the lively conversation carries over into a date..but maybe, some nucleat physiscits also strip in their spare time?

Well, you get the full range, really. A really large number are single mothers who have no other marketable job skills, but I've met my share of university students who were studying in medical or engineering disciplines, a librarian and even a couple of moonlighting grade-school teachers.

And, er, this boggles my mind a bit, but two of the dancers I've met who were most up front about offering 'extras' both claimed to be cabin attendants for a major airline with its main hub in Houston...

Not really dated any, but became good friends with one and would meet her for lunch quite a bit. She had had a rather difficult relationship with her parents and previous history of substance abuse, but she had turned things around and is currently going for a degree in physical therapy. Sharp wit, interested in lots of different things and great fun to be around, but major trust issues which were perfectly understandable given some of the things she told me about her past. We've drifted apart but I think most guys would be more than happy to date her.

Otto
07-29-2003, 10:47 AM
I'm just glad to know I'm not the only person in the world who doesn't think going to see strippers is nasty. I don't know how many times in the last few weeks I've been challenged about my decision to go to strip shows. There's no club in town that caters to gay men specifically but one of the local gay bars has weekly shows. The dancers know me and recognize that I'm a regular and do right by them, they trust me and they always make a little extra effort for me because they know I'll show my appreciation. Only one has ever been a complete asshole; he actually tried to steal money from me which I was perfectly willing to give him as a tip. So no more tips for him.

It may be as emilyforce says that once their in the dressing room they talk trash about me and everything they say is a lie. I don't really care. With the exception of one I don't consider any of them my friends and I'm not paying any of them for their friendship. As long as they keep doing their job and treating me with some level of respect then it works for me.

Zenham
07-29-2003, 11:43 AM
I pay women to talk to me all the time. It's called a date, and I end up blowing $50-75 on the evening. Apparently this makes every women I've gone oout with in my 34 years an opportunistic sleazeoid.


Careful with your labels, they may just stick.

rjung
07-29-2003, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Shodan
Pardon my naivete, but do you have to pay these women to talk to you? Or are they soliciting you for prostitution, and then leave you alone when you decline? Or do you have to buy them over-priced drinks, as rjung seems to be saying?
Well, the overpriced drinks are for me, because most of the places I've gone to have a "x drink minimum" (you must buy at least x drinks).

The dancers will mingle with you and try to talk you into buying drinks for them (more money for the club), and/or try to talk you into a "lap dance" (girl sits on your lap and wiggles for three minutes). The dances start at $10 and go up, depending on the club and what "VIP rooms" are available. You are also certainly welcome to tip the girls if you like, and the more generous you are with the money, the longer they stay and chat with you. Me, I'm usually content to sit in the back, nurse my Coke, and watch the girls on the stage. I don't need the fake sincerity. ;)

As for prostitution in strip clubs, AIAK it's illegal in all of them, but some of the clubs will get away with it, depending on location. I refuse to say more to avoid incriminating myself, :D but I'll note that San Francisco is just jammed with clubs...

Incubus
07-29-2003, 03:36 PM
Rjung, you mentioned San Francisco, so I have to ask, have you ever been to the Crazy Horse? I've been there a few times, I have a pretty good time but the fact is I just can't afford it- spending $60 in one night is a LOT for me, and now that I'm trying to pay my car off I'm not willing to spare the money for just one night.

There is another club I've heard of in San Francisco called the O'Farrel's theater, who supposedly have LIVE SEX SHOWS (at least that's what the radio ad claims. Is this true? Is it worth checking out in the future?

When I went to the Crazy Horse I was rather surprised at what went on. I had thought there was a very strict 'no touching ' policy regarding strip clubs, but at the Crazy Horse the women there would let you touch them (they'd let you know when it was appropriate) also, each night they would have some spectacle or another; one time they had 2 girls sticking glass dildos in each other, another time they pulled a female audience member on stage, got her to strip naked, and made out with her :eek:

Generally what I did there was hold my tip money for the girls that really looked like they were having a good time. Generally the more money you tipped the more attention you'd get from the girl, so the girls I wasn't generally interested in would leave me alone.

rjung
07-29-2003, 05:11 PM
Never been to the Crazy Horse myself, sorry -- it's one of those "I want to go someday, but haven't managed to yet" tasks.

And I believe "live sex show" is a euphemism for the dancers/actors/whoevers to do things to each other with plastic toys and whatnot. Sounds like you've seen some of that already. ;)

Binarydrone
07-29-2003, 05:44 PM
cuauhtemoc, sorry to go off topic here but this:

I had friends once, people I hung out with, now they're all gone. So if I want to go to a bar, I have to go alone.

and this:

Unless making friends and dating people are not an option, in which case what's the problem?

is kind of ringing in my head. Is everything alright with you?

cuauhtemoc
07-29-2003, 08:53 PM
Not exactly. Okay, I admit it, part of the reason for my starting this thread was a desperate cry for help. I feel like life is passing me by and I'm wasting it being miserable. I had a good time at that club, but I don't want to start going to gogo bars as my only means of social interaction, and the prospect of a bitter, solitary existence with nothing to look forward to but a lap dance once a week terrifies me. I've been on my own for years and from the outside I look like I'm doing just fine, but sometimes I feel like the loneliness is sucking the life force from my body. I'll be thirty in two years, and I have a feeling I'm not going to take it well.

Of course now I've come off more pathetic than I ever could have just talking about strip clubs. :o Thanks for your concern, Binarydrone, it actually wasn't off-topic at all.

Shakes
07-29-2003, 10:37 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by emilyforce
[B]As a former exotic dancer, I can tell you that if I were a guy, the reason I wouldn't patronize strip clubs is that the dancers talk an incredible amount of shit about you as soon as you leave. We are there to exploit you, and 95% of our flattery or flattering attention is out-and-out lies. In our minds we are likely to be sizing up how much more bullshit, or listening to your bullshit, it'll take before your wallet makes an appearance.[QUOTE]

Having had quite a few stripper girlfriends through out my 20's I can't tell you how true this is.


As to the OP I see nothing wrong with toppless bars themselves; but if you're going there to alieviate some sort of depression you're having than that might be a concern.

Well maybe not this time because you said you only did it once but if it became a habbit then thats a different story.

Johnny Bravo
07-30-2003, 09:41 AM
When I was in High School, working in a pizza place, a very wise coworker once said "Johnny Bravo," said he, "going to a strip club is like going to church. A lot of guys sitting around quietly looking like they want to be somewhere else."

Well, maybe he wasn't as wise as he pretended to be. He did work at a pizza place, after all.

But I did have my chance to go a few years later, when a friend and I came into a little bit of easy money and decided to squander it as easily as we'd made it. So we went, sat down at the bar, and spent some time watching the girls dance.

It was fun at the time, and especially gratifying being approached by every beautiful girl in the place. If I can say so without being too immodest, the two of us were probably the youngest and best-looking patrons there.

In any case, we chatted with the waitresses, we chatted with the dancers. The girls were all very nice and I enjoyed talking to them. We both got a lap dance, and we both left with significantly lighter wallets than we came in with.

In retrospect, it wasn't an experience I found particularly enlightening or fulfilling (especially on a college student's budget). I'm glad I did it just for the "life experience" or what have you, but I won't be going again any time soon. The whole place had a very cheap, fake feel about it.

I've often wondered if I've run into any of those girls on campus. I certainly wouldn't recognize them. For one, I'm terrible with face recognition. For another, I wasn't really looking at their faces.

Hello Again
07-30-2003, 10:37 AM
cuauhtemoc I don't mean to get all Ann Landers on your ass, but I just wanted to suggest that you need to make a change in your life in order to meet new people. "You can't meet new friends doing the same old shit" as I like to say.

Join a local rec league if you like sports... take a class through a community college or high school with a community outreach program... you can even volunteer.

(I have a friend who volunteered with a marine mammal rescue group... that was GOLD when it came to meeting the ladies.)

Remember that friends don't just fall in your lap once you're past kindergarten. I find it hard sometimes to make the first step, but going out for drinks/dinner after a shared activity is how I have met the majority of my post-college friends.

If you truly feel immobilized by your misery, you should consider speaking to a professional about it.

emmaliminal
07-30-2003, 10:52 AM
Hey, cuauhtemoc, ditto these nice folks about taking care of yourself 'n' stuff. I do know it's damned tough to go joining things and making efforts if you feel like crap, though. I went through the whole thing about joining groups, choirs, church, volunteering, etc. thing at one point and found it exhausting and unproductive... because at the time I was too depressed to really enjoy anything and didn't realize that was the core problem. I don't mean to get all Ann Landers on your ass either (thanks, Hello Again!) but seeing a shrink or a therapist is a great idea if you've been bummin' for a while. They really can help, and it need not be difficult.

Am I right in guessing you hate your job? I have found that to be a keystone thing that when improved can make a huge freakin' difference. Anything you can do there?

Evil Captor
07-30-2003, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by pestie
What I'd like to know (and this seems as good a thread as any to ask) is where I can see some of these studies that are often cited that proport to show a connection between strip clubs and other sexually-oriented businesses and an increase in crime. These are usually mentioned at local government meetings where decisions are being made about "adult by-laws" and the like. I really want to know who does these studies, how biased they may be, and whether any of them actually show a cause/effect relationship or just a correlation.

I used to work for a local govnerment org. The studies you speak of are bogus. When strip clubs first started up in my state, the city fathers were desperate for a way to prevent them. Well, not always the fathers, but the local religious people (hint: voters). They couldn't find any studies that supported the contention that strip clubs were hotbeds of crime, but in a couple of years such studies appeared, courtesy of all the funding that suddenly became available for such studies.

Basically all they had to do was study areas until they found one that fit their preconceptions, and bingo! they had their proof. The fact that the early studies didn't find any correlation between strip clubs and crime didn't matter. It's all a matter of politics. If strip club habitues had the nerve to speak up publicly in their local communities about how great strip clubs are, and voted their convictions, things would be different. But most guys are pretty cowardly in this area.

Shodan
07-30-2003, 11:10 AM
Thanks to all who responded to me, but I think it is rather clear that cuauhtemoc needs more feedback than I need information about strippers.

This is the part that struck me (when I realized it was not ironic):
I was on vacation last week, and I thought I'd better try forcing myself to have some fun... This doesn't sound right to me.

Granted I (obviously) don't know much about strip clubs, but I would hope that those who go to them at least enjoy the experience. If you have to force yourself, what is the point?

You mentioned that you were twenty-eight. That is a difficult age - too old for college-age stuff, and everyone else is married.

I hope I don't come across as a scold, but I doubt you are going to meet lots of people who are good candidates for a long-term relationship in a strip club. Male or female.

I think it might help if you could find something to do that is genuinely fun for you - not forced. Do that, and you will almost automatically connect with people who have at least one common interest.

If you can't find anything like that, this is often called depression, and it can be treated.

My $.02 worth.

Regards,
Shodan

TigoleBitties
07-30-2003, 11:59 AM
Strip Clubs are good for one thing....embarrassing the shit out of your potential groom. I only go to Clubs when I am in a bachelor party with friends. Going alone is just too creepy and I can find better ways to pick up girls (if Mrs. Bitties did not reign me in that it)

But as I said, there is nothing like going with a large select grooup of pals and lambasting the groom with enough potential "look at what yer giving up" to warrent the lighter wallet. Plus the girls seem to love the torturing (or at least have act like they are having a good time)

Giraffe
07-30-2003, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by cuauhtemoc
Not exactly. Okay, I admit it, part of the reason for my starting this thread was a desperate cry for help. I feel like life is passing me by and I'm wasting it being miserable.Having just turned 30, I think I have a sense of what you're going through. For me, 28 was a point where I realized that my youth wasn't going to last forever and that I urgently needed to have more fun, accomplish more, etc. The same thing also happened at ages 23 and 19. :)

I think it's important to recognize that the "life is passing me by" feeling is not based on reality. The problem is that right now you're unhappy. When your life sucks, it's easy to imagine how being unhappy at this critical age is representative of how the rest of your life is going to be. Your mind forms graphic pictures of yourself, sitting alone in a strip club on your birthday when you're 65, wheedling girls to let you touch their boobs for $10 before going home to a cramped, dirty apartment to eat stew out of a can in front of the tv. That's not going to happen, though -- it's just your mind fucking with you. Ignore that shit.

As others have said, now is the time to grab your brain by the scruff of the neck (not literally) and make some changes. If you can manage it, I'd strongly recommend therapy. Even if you're not clinically depressed, having a supportive neutral person to sort things out with can be incredibly useful. Also, force yourself to start putting yourself in situations where you can meet people. (If your immediate response to this is "no one would want to talk to me", then you definitely need to see a therapist.) Avoid scenes where people gather in groups, like bars. The first several times, you may not click with anyone or have any fun at all, and you'll wonder why you're making yourself miserable. Keep at it -- just the act of taking charge of your social life can be very powerful, and can open up opportunities in other areas. Be patient and things will start to turn around.

cuauhtemoc
07-30-2003, 01:21 PM
Thank you all for your responses.

1. I have been under the care of various "professionals" for years and years. I may have to fire my therapist soon though. She used to help me a lot, but lately I feel like we're running over the same ground again and again without getting anywhere. I also see a psychiatrist, who just recommended I increase the dosage of my medication (Luvox, an SSRI).

2. I take classes, and I go to the gym frequently. I also love to travel, although of necessity I only do so alone. I don't do these things just to meet people, I do them because I enjoy them. However, I'm open to meeting people through these activities. It just hasn't ever happened.

3. Giraffe:(If your immediate response to this is "no one would want to talk to me", then you definitely need to see a therapist.) That indeed was exactly my immediate response, to the micron. Yes, I realize intellectually that it's not correct. No, I don't know why I feel this way, but part of me is absolutely certain that it's the truth, and I don't know how to change it. No, I don't broadcast my low self-esteem to the rest of the world (except here, evidently), I've learned to hide it pretty well.

4. Shodan:I hope I don't come across as a scold, but I doubt you are going to meet lots of people who are good candidates for a long-term relationship in a strip club. Male or female.I don't think I was implying that I was looking for a long-term relationship in a strip club. I was contemplating substituting the artificial strip-club encounters for the more genuine human contact I don't get in my normal life.

Giraffe
07-30-2003, 01:50 PM
Originally posted by cuauhtemoc
3. Giraffe:That indeed was exactly my immediate response, to the micron. Yes, I realize intellectually that it's not correct. No, I don't know why I feel this way, but part of me is absolutely certain that it's the truth, and I don't know how to change it. No, I don't broadcast my low self-esteem to the rest of the world (except here, evidently), I've learned to hide it pretty well.It seems to me that you actually have a pretty good handle on your situation. You seem really self-aware, and you are actively trying to face what is making you unhappy. You should really be proud of this -- it's a rare person who can fight through a difficult time and do so well.

However, that doesn't change the fact that even though you're doing a great job, you're still not getting anywhere in terms of connecting with people. That's very discouraging, and it must be very tempting to conclude that it means you are utterly unlikeable and destined to be alone. Don't.

Rather, you need to change tactics. Get a new therapist, one who will help you with the practical difficulties of changing your life for the better. Shop around until you find someone you connect with.

Keep doing the things you mentioned -- travel, gym and taking classes. Those are the activities of a healthy, interesting person. However, add some new activities into the mix which will allow you to directly meet and interact with people socially. Suggestions:

1. Take ballroom dance classes. I did this (and I was a miserable dancer when I started -- prior skill really doesn't matter), and it is a great way to talk to lots of different people and have a lot of fun. Few classes require a partner -- you usually switch partners every few minutes. Go to any dances or social events -- you'll have lots of people from your class to dance with and talk to.

2. Join a club or social group. Unlike classes, the purpose of these organizations is to interact with other people. Depending on your interests, there can be a ton of options. Book discussion groups, volunteer organizations, etc.

You sound like you're in a good place to meet people, you just need to put yourself into a situation to find people who you connect with. The goal is not to force a friendship with people you don't have anything in common with. The goal is to find the people with whom friendship will come easily and naturally (and there are many of these people out there, I promise you). Good luck -- it's hard, but you can do this.

Lemur866
07-30-2003, 04:12 PM
Is it just me, or is it weird to go to strip clubs with your buddies? The times when I went the last thing I would have wanted was my buddies around making fun of me for staring at some woman's assets.

beagledave
07-30-2003, 04:15 PM
If you must visit a titty bar...stay away from the lactating (http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/stripcharge1.html) strippers!! :eek: