March 11, 2004

Mothers, Mothers-In-Law and other Sensitive Readers SHOULD NOT Read This If They Wish to Preserve Their Idea of Me as The Perfect Son/Son-In-Law/Groom

I recently introduced some of you to the message boards at IndieBride.com, a relatively calm oasis of reason and support in the landscape of online wedding sites. If you go there and click on the board devoted to Bachelor/Bachelorette parties, you'll notice a common thread among the posts. "His upcoming bachelor party is tearing us apart!" declares one post, which, as of today had 97 replies. Forty seven people replied to one titled "Call of [sic] wedding because of bachelor party?" For a board devoted to both bachelor and bachelorette parties, hardly anyone is talking about bachelorettes.

Most of the posts share a similar concern: women's varying degrees of comfort with strip clubs - ranging from ambivalence to downright disgust - and the men who, frankly, don't give a damn.

glittergulchgirl.jpg

A few months ago, when talking about plans for my bachelor party to an acquaintaince, I was practically ordered to go to a strip club. "Dude," this acquaintance said, "you have to go." Really? Is strip club attendance mandatory for all grooms-to-be? Do Las Vegas airport officials not let you on the plane home unless you can prove you saw a naked breast during your trip? My acquaintance explained the reasoning behind his insistance: "Dude, you have to say goodbye to all that." Say goodbye to all what? Breast implants, bleach-bottle dye jobs and sequined G-strings? When have I ever said hello to any of that? If I really needed to say goodbye to something, I'd go to a bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and get rejected by short, curly haired girls carrying Kate Spade bags. That's something to which I am happy to say buh-bye.

I'm probably better off not taking the advice of a guy who a) isn't married and b) starts every sentence with "dude," but, still, the question is out there. Will we go to a strip club in Vegas? To be honest, my group of friends has given more thought to where we are going for dinner on Saturday night - Nobu - and what time we're going to the Star Trek Experience than to whether or not we'll go to a strip club. Still, when in Vegas, one should do as the Las Vegans do, or something like that, so a visit to a strip club is definitely in the cards. (Sorry, mothers, but I warned you not to read this post.)

The tendency for men to visit strip clubs is understandably confusing for women. A female friend of mine who has no problems with strip clubs still wonders, "What's so great about seeing other people's boobs? People in couples have constant access, so why is it necessary to pay to see more?" I'm afraid there's no definite explanation. To paraphrase Sir Edmund Hillary, men go to strip clubs because they're there.

Is a culture that allows women to take their clothes off for twenty dollar bills degrading to those who work in strip clubs? It would be hard to answer no, but I'll save the sociological debate for another website. The fact of the matter, based on even just a few posts on IndieBride, is that for some couples bachelor party related activities can be the biggest wedge issue of the entire wedding. Yes, even bigger than picking flowers.

Couples in trusting relationships should have what I would call a "Do Ask, Do Tell" policy. A woman should feel comfortable asking her husband about everything without wondering if he is going to hold back or, in some cases, lie. And both people should expect the other to do the right thing no matter the circumstances. I would suspect that people who feel they have to police their partners' behavior have bigger problems than just a few lap dances.

L hasn't issued any decrees prior to my departure today. She knows I won't be having any women back to my room to "party" with me and my friends and that I won't run off to the Little White Chapel to marry a dancer named Bambi. I will, however, come home to L and tell her all about my trip - all of it. We have our own "Do Ask, Do Tell" policy, but we also have one called "Look but don't touch." Luckily for the women worried about their fiances, the strip clubs have the same rule.

Posted by The Groom at March 11, 2004 12:04 AM
Comments

So I read it - please explain to me why I shouldn't have.

Posted by: MOG at March 11, 2004 09:05 AM

Well, for some reason I can't read the first comment, but a friend told me it was from MOG saying why shouldn't she have read todays post, and my comment is ditto!!! I assume that all 30 year olds of the male gender have at least been to one strip joint before they get married. Perhaps you will realize how "seedy" they really are. But, have a great time in "Los Wages" and I'm proud of your's and L's open communication, it's the only way to go!!!
MOG

Posted by: MOB at March 11, 2004 09:42 AM

You both failed the test miserably. Amazing. What if the post had been about something I really didn't want you to read?

Insert "Then don't keep a public blog" comment here.

Posted by: The Groom at March 11, 2004 09:51 AM

Why is it that grooms that have problems understanding why brides follow tradition when deciding what day the invitations go out and what color dress to wear, go to a strip club because their "dude" friend said they had to go because it's tradition? Most guys I've asked tell me they actually go for their "dude" friend. Cop out?

My fiance may wonder why I'm so adament that the invitations cannot go out more than two and a half months before the wedding, but at least I have a better explanation for him (if you send them out too early, people will forget to send the RSVP back) than he has for me (some guys bond over strippers. Not me, but some guys.)

Posted by: P at March 11, 2004 02:05 PM

Actually I think most women are more worried about private strippers than strip clubs (that have strict rules and bouncers).

But you bring up a good question. Why do men pressure other men to have strippers at the bachelor party when the groom doesn't want them?

-Lara Amber

Posted by: Lara Amber at March 11, 2004 02:11 PM

Strip clubs aren't necessarily de rigueur. My bachelor party was extremely debauchery-free (the story is here: http://www.yarnivore.com/francis/archives/000112.html). And at my friend James's bachelor party in Atlantic City, the raciest thing we participated in was a go-kart race.

Posted by: Francis at March 11, 2004 02:53 PM

I think the thing is that most people have the idea that strip clubs aren't something 'nice' guys go to. So it has that forbidden allure, and a lot of men view a friend's wedding as the one time they have a valid excuse to go. (Validity being in the eye of the beholder, or something.)
For my party, we went to a bar, drank, smoked cigars, played pool and darts, and generally had a better time than any time I've ever been to a strip club.

Posted by: Mike at March 12, 2004 05:00 PM

As an engaged woman, I'm opposed to strip clubs not because I'm afraid that my fiance is going to run off with some boob-baring coochie-rubbing stripper, but rather I'm opposed to the objectification of women in general. I understand that some argue (a) it's a way of life, (b) men can control themselves, (c) it's a way of having fun, but I vehemently oppose the very support of such organizations.

My fiance and his best friend's only response was that they've seen enough boobs in their lifetime together (oh geez) that they don't need to pay for any more. For fiance's bachelor party, they're chartering a boat and doing fishing. For best friend's bachelor party, they're going to the shore house, having a BBQ, and renting kayaks to paddle around in the ocean.

If you think all strip clubs have a "look but dont touch" rule, there are numerous regional Yahoo groups that detail exactly whch strip clubs (and there are many) you can go to to get blowjobs, sex, and more. I wouldn't say they are the norm of strip joints, but they certainly exist.

Posted by: Clare at March 16, 2004 09:40 AM

Ok plain and simple the bachelor party is as much for the bachelor as his friends. Ive been on several Vegas bachelor expedititions and its about having fun with friends not looking at tits. Of course lookin at tits is part of the fun =)

Posted by: King James at March 16, 2004 01:56 PM

Hey,

I just thought I'd pop in and say "hi" from IB. Personally I'm only against strip clubs because I've been twice and was bored both times. Once you've one over tanned and over muscled guy in a g-string with a lightening bolt on it gyrating badly to music you've seen them all.

I wouldn't have been against my husband going to a strip club for his bach party but he decided he'd rather go to an swanky steakhouse and then go play poker while getting phenomenally drunk instead.

I made fun of hotel porn with my friends during a slumber party.

Posted by: Marken at March 16, 2004 09:06 PM

I'd have to say that all strip clubs don't follow that look but don't touch rule. I think clubs here in Memphis must be a bit racier because a few guys I know were tied to the pole, had their clothes (except undies) taken off, and spanked till they were bruised at their bachelor parties at a strip joint. The girls signed all of their names on one of the guys in permanent marker. Not something I'd like to see on my honeymoon.

Posted by: renee at May 20, 2004 02:28 AM