Got into a little controversy (as usual) on the timeline the other day:

But before we get into the meat…

It should be noted I understand entirely the intent of this tweet and where Evie is coming from. I get why some women would take issue with the idea of a man going to a strip club before his marriage. You’re spending time with “low women” who are selling their sexuality… in preparation for a lifelong commitment? It’s only one step away from hitting the brothel before the wedding bed.

That is, at least, one way of looking at it. But the reason I took issue with the tweet wasn’t this argument, but the extreme and absurd language that was used to make.

“It has nothing to do with insecurity and everything to do with character and integrity”

Ok, let’s define integrity:

“Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code, Moral soundness; honesty; freedom from corrupting influence or motive”

Per the above, integrity is about intent and transparency. So if your desire to go to a strip club was to fool around with a stripper (and keep it secret)… then this accusation would indeed be applicable.

But what if there were another reason a group of guys would go to such a place? Is such a thing possible?

Yeah, of course it’s “possible.” Actually, it’s common. Guys go strip clubs — particularly at bachelor parties — not because they “need to touch some other girls tits one last time” but because it’s an opportunity to embarrass the groom and create in-group stories and jokes — camaraderie — among the guys.

Full disclosure: I don’t personally enjoy strip clubs much because I find the vibe to be too fake and transactional. Most of the women are usually “plastic” and the constant requests for money or to get lap dances, etc. annoying. Not my kind of energy.

But, in the context of a group of guys getting rowdy it can be funny to throw some dollars or get a certain guy who is particularly timid around women a lap dance.

Or, sometimes it can be fun to go simply out of irony.

An example:

A few years back I was out with a three other guys — all of whom at been at my bachelor party in Budapest years prior (ten guys in a palatial apartment for a 5 day weekend, hell of a time).

We were in Philly, and it was just one of those nights — highly intuitive evening hitting bar after bar, lots of spontaneity and good vibes… finally got ourselves into a seedy neighborhood to grab some smokes.

Then it occurred to us: it was nearly 2AM and the regular bars were about to close. However, there was a notorious hole-in-the wall “private” strip club not so far away that was known to have “substandard” women… that was open until 4AM. I had never been, but had heard hilarious stories ever since college.

So we decided to check it out, and enjoyed ourselves tipping some fat trashy strippers while we laughed and drank cheap whisky and beer.

I’m sure some of the women here are rolling their eyes. That’s fine — you don’t have to understand this mindset, and you certainly don’t have to like it. But these kind of nights out have nothing to do with “character.” The intent for your man to enjoy another woman’s company instead of yours isn’t there.

And if you imagine this intent to be there, then guess what: you are insecure about it. The proof is in the fact that most other women don’t care about this, only you do. Indeed, many women would be happy to go themselves. Because most of the sentiment around strip clubs and bachelor(ette) parties are really matters of personality disposition; the largest of which is “how much do you like to party.”

Motive matters. Context matters. If your guy is going to a strip club often — particularly by himself — then I would 100% agree there is a problem; he is going there out of lust. He’s fixated on the sexuality of the strippers, and if he hasn’t cheated yet, he’s thinking about it.

But if your guy goes to a strip club once or twice a year as part of a larger experience with his guys or work colleagues, he is not an “addict” and his character isn’t impaired. So you should probably chill out.

And if you don’t want to chill out? That’s fine too.

But understand your “red lines” are preferences rather than actual assessments of an individual’s character.

The reality is there are TONS of genuine red flags a guy can have. This is a stupid one to focus on. Trads in particular get so fixated on certain superficial “moral” behaviors that they tend to lose the forest through the trees. They’ll end up with someone who is a “good christian” on paper who pays lip service to the right things… while in practice is emotionally abusive and controlling. Or cheats when no one is looking.

Which is why — while I’m not saying Evie is anything like this — I’m curious to see what other requirements she has of her man. If this is a one-off, and she’s sweet and supportive and he’s got tons of freedom otherwise, then it’s a totally reasonable request to say “hey babe have fun with the guys, it’s just really important to me that you don’t go to a strip club, I don’t like you around women like that.”

But if the demands on his behavior start stacking up, it might be time to look in the mirror. More relationships have collapsed from controlling women than strip clubs.

All this said…

I am not disputing the reality that seedy and degenerate things go down at these venues. Some guys in particular lose themselves — they get in a “trance.” These guys need to know themselves, and avoid said venues, just as certain guys need to avoid alcohol.

Niels frankly summed it up best:

But what I’ll add is if you’re really concerned about bachelor (and bachelorette) parties, you should be less concerned about strippers and more concerned about bar hopping — particularly if said individuals friends are a bad influence.

As Judy said above… there are far more occurrences of men and women cheating on said outings with strangers than strippers.

And if you happen to be one of these guys? A man with a secret life who’s ashamed of some of the things he’s done?

It’s OK.

Because unlike most of the people on Twitter, I understand the complexity of what it means to be a human. And I know that we all have our crosses to bear.

Maybe you lost control of yourself and had an affair. Maybe you visit strip clubs and “massage parlors” regularly. Probably you wish you didn’t do these things.

Guess what?

I don’t condone them. But I won’t condemn you for them either.

And I have my own ways of making you stop… for good. Without the internal abuse most guys are addicted to.

If you want my help healing, apply here:

– Pat