March 31st, 2007

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03:08 am - on strippers and singing...

Carmen Electra
because I can't take my own
pics in strip clubs.
I had been meaning to write this earlier in the week, but life got in the way. And I totally wish that I was allowed to take pictures in strip clubs, because I totally would have a 365mav picture with me singing Bareoke to go with this post, but since I didn't please enjoy this here picture of Carmen Electra, the future former Mrs. Maverick, pole dancing. I know I do.

So anyway, I've had the opportunity to talk about the concept of strip clubs with a few people lately. I find the varying attitudes towards them amusing. Particularly from women, but even from men. I've heard arguments that going to a strip club is essentially cheating and i've heard arguments that its harmless fun. One female friend of mine recently said to me "what's the big deal? I mean, its no different than looking at porn, right? All men look at porn." (let me just point out that this particular girl is beyond awesome) While another friend told me just tonight that her husband wasn't allowed to go because "he has me, what more could he want. I'm willing to strip for him if he wants, and I even have the shoes." (said girl is also totally awesome). Still another perfectly awesome girl has given me the argument that she is against them because she considers them "explotive to women because the men are in control and treating them like objects." Of the three women I just mentioned only one has ever actually been to a strip club (the second one) and only once. So in my opinion, its all just conjecture and speculation, but still they are all valid points worth examining, I think.

I'm obviously in the first camp. But then I'm a hypersexual, superliberal, anarchist afro-chinaman who worships Jay-Z as a god, so, you know, my opinions on these things can be a little skewed sometimes. But in general, I'm of the opinion that how a woman (or a man for that matter) chooses to earn a living is their own damn business. If you can make a buck by shaking your thang, then more power to you. I don't consider it cheating or even insulting to your SO because, no, its not enough. Life is about variety sometimes. For instance, I think beststephi is incredibly gorgeous. Honestly, I'm shallow, that's probably one of the reasons I fell for her in the first place. But that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy looking at someone else as well (as I enjoy looking at Ms. Carmen over there). I think its quite similar to the fact that I really enjoy talking to Steph because I think she's incredibly bright. (I'm shallow, that's probably one of the reasons I fell for her in the first place). But that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy talking to any of the rest of you as well.

And I don't consider it exploitive because, well, I've been to strip clubs, and its pretty much been my experience that the girls are the ones in control. And I'm pretty sure that the girls choose to be there. I mean, yes, they are being paid to provide amusement with their bodies. But I'm a prowrestler. I get paid for the same thing. Really, I think some of the software design jobs I've taken are far far far more exploitive than any of that. I think Walmart is more exploitive than a strip club. But I shop there too.

But as always, I'm quite curious to entertain other people's arguments. How do you feel about strip clubs? Do you frequent them? Are you against them? Do consider then art or are all we sinners going to Hell? Have you ever even been to one? How do you feel about your SO going to one? What do you think about the women who work at them? What about a male strip club? Do you feel the same way?

I've been itching to go back to the Tennyson Lodge for Bareoke since I was there for a bachelor party weeks ago, and max1975 and I were talking about taking a trip out there when I get back from Boston. So either on Wednesday the 11th or Friday the 13th of April. Would anyone like to come with us? It'd be great. Call it field research or just good fun. AOL and SPIN magazine both consider it the best Karaoke in Pittsburgh and its really fun. Wed. seems like a fun day because the bar is emptier and you get more chances to get on stage, but of course, most people have to work on Thursdays, but it's totally worth it. Friday of course doesn't have that problem, but the club has a lot more people in it, so you don't get to sing as much and it might be more intimidating to people who've never gone before.

Oh yes, and of course both women and men are welcome. As one of the dancers explains it, its a quite "couples friendly" club.

So who's in?

(49 comments | Leave a comment)

on strippers and singing... - graffiti.maverick

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[User Picture]From: lonelocust Date: March 31st, 2007 - 08:18 am (Link)
All I can really say is I hate hate hate the idea that strip clubs, porn, or other sex-industry activities are "exploitative to women". (Or exploitative in general.) Someone telling someone else that they shouldn't do what they want to do for money (say stripping) because they're being "expoited" is totally disrespectful and contemptable. It's disrespectful to a person to tell them they can't make that decision. It is not disrespectful to a person to pay them to dance naked for you, or to have sex on camera for you (or to have sex with you, for that matter, if it's consensual and not being controlled by a third party, though that's not legal most places 'round here) if they want to accept money for that. I wish all people who say that would fuck off and die.

I've never been to a strip club. A friend was going to take me on my 21st birthday and buy me a lapdance, but financial woes ended up making it not happen. However, if I weren't a fatty I'd be happy to be a stripper. (Or, you know, try it out and see if I liked it.)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 31st, 2007 - 03:13 pm (Link)
exactly, I find the concept of disdaining a strip club to be horribly sexist and unfeminist. If someone wants to make a living by showing their body, it should be their right to do so.

And there are plenty of clubs that employ a variety of different sized and shaped women. Obviously, certain bodytypes are going to be more profitable than others, but there are a variety out there.
[User Picture]From: lonelocust Date: March 31st, 2007 - 08:44 am (Link)
And oh yeah, I'm so with you about office jobs or working for Wal-Mart being more exploitative. Corporate America is exploitative. Corporate America works its employees to the bone or the mental breaking point while telling them how they have to look, what they can do with their bodies, what sort of an "image" they have to put forth with what they let be known about their private lives... yeah.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 31st, 2007 - 03:19 pm (Link)
exactly. I never understood the theory that it was ok for an employer to exploit my mind but not my body. It just makes no sense to me. In fact, I'd by far prefer someone exploit my body than exploit my mind. As a personal choice I mean. Who am I to tell anyone else how they should allow themselves to be exploited?
[User Picture]From: lonelocust Date: March 31st, 2007 - 05:29 pm (Link)
I think the key to what makes something "exploitation" when you're getting paid is doing something that you don't want to do because you feel it's the only way to make money, and your employer or someone else taking advantage of your weaknesses by doing that.

I think the anti-porn feminists just don't get it. Or they are just so arrogant that they don't see taking away a choice from someone as degrading to the person whose choice they are in favor of removing.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 31st, 2007 - 05:43 pm (Link)
sure... but by that logic, I've been exploited at at least some point or another in like 90% of the jobs I've ever had. Its called working.

See, that's my basic probelm with the whole Feminist Movement™. I'm not a feminist. If anything, I'm a humanist. I believe in an individuals right to civil liberty regardless of their gender (or race, or creed). The classic Feminist™ on the other hand has restrictions on what's appropriate or not that in my opinion are just as damaging as Male Chauvinist™ opinions to the contrary.

And before anyone who self-identifies as a feminist yells at me, I'm specifically using loaded language here. Hence the bold and TM symbol.
[User Picture]From: lonelocust Date: March 31st, 2007 - 07:33 pm (Link)
I think that it's quite likely that 90% of jobs are exploitative to some degree.

Technically, you and I are "egalitarian feminists". However, I am distasteful of the word "feminist" because it invokes gender. I just call myself an "egalitarian". The colloquial use of the term "feminist" has essentially lost its technical definitions which include pure egalitarianism. And in a lot of ways, I'm fine with that. If I'm an egalitarian, there is no need for me to invoke gender with the words that I use. I think I wouldn't use the term "feminist" for this reason even if common useage still generally understood egalitarianism to be included.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 2nd, 2007 - 05:47 am (Link)
I'm not much into labels or identifying with organized political agendas at all. Pretty much, I am simply "Mav." That's usually enough.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 3rd, 2007 - 03:39 am (Link)
Not liking labels is retarded and trendy!

Words for certain things exist for the purpose of communication. So that you don't have to use a score of smaller words to explain a certain standpoint, there's a word for that. That's a label. Deal with it!
[User Picture]From: lonelocust Date: April 3rd, 2007 - 03:42 am (Link)
That was me. Didn't realize I wasn't logged in.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 4th, 2007 - 04:16 am (Link)
the problem is whenever I try to identify with any particular movement, I find that I usually find one key aspect that I'm rather opposed to. That's why I'm not in a political movement for instance. I find it much easier to simply label myself "Mav"
[User Picture]From: jameel Date: March 31st, 2007 - 02:08 pm (Link)
I don't personally like strip clubs, but I don't like porn, either. I'm by no means against them, though, and I don't think going to one is cheating.

I have been to one. Still have the ticket, in fact. I don't think any less of strippers than I do of anyone else, really.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 31st, 2007 - 03:19 pm (Link)
see, that all sounds fair.
[User Picture]From: mickeysacks Date: March 31st, 2007 - 03:52 pm (Link)
I have no problem with strip clubs, but I've never managed to go to one (don't dislike them but I'm not so intrigued or interested as to go out of my way to see one, girls or guys)

But I have to say I do have an issue with something in your post... Why on earth would you shop at Walmart? Find a Costco or Target or Kmart or any other stores that treat their workers with some small amount of fairness.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 31st, 2007 - 04:11 pm (Link)
ah ha... someone found the hidden troll bait. :-)

Actually, I don't shop at Walmart all that much. In generalt, its inconvenient to me and I like the atmosphere at Target (which is closer) much better. That said, sometimes I want to get something that's not available at Target and I don't want to pay a lot for it. Walmart is perfect for that. Kmart sucks out here.

As for the fairness, i feel the same way as I feel about strip clubs. The Walmart employees aren't slaves. I would never want to work there personally, but if you're a single woman with three children in a small town, you might make different choices than I would. I know someone who's mother did that his entire life. And much like anything else... who am I to judge? You know?
[User Picture]From: jameel Date: March 31st, 2007 - 05:09 pm (Link)
Why shop at Wal-Mart? Store-exclusive Transformers.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 31st, 2007 - 05:17 pm (Link)
oh of course... what was I thinking...

also, $8.88 DVDs.
[User Picture]From: jameel Date: March 31st, 2007 - 05:22 pm (Link)
I got a Hot Shots and Hot Shots Part Deux double DVD set for $10 at Wal-Mart.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 31st, 2007 - 05:43 pm (Link)
see, that's what I'm talkin 'bout.
From: ludimagist Date: April 2nd, 2007 - 01:42 pm (Link)

I have no problem with strip clubs, but I've never managed to go to one (don't dislike them but I'm not so intrigued or interested as to go out of my way to see one, girls or guys)

We will have to take you to one, if for no other reason than anthropological exploration.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 2nd, 2007 - 06:44 pm (Link)
yep... sounds like a plan to me. Plus the karaoke is awesome.
[User Picture]From: mokatz Date: March 31st, 2007 - 04:45 pm (Link)

My Take

I do find strip clubs very exploitive... of men. Show a guy some boobies and he will do anything you want. I suppose it's a good thing that they only ask you to hand over your wallet. :P

And yes, I've been to strip clubs before, back in my college days. When I went when I didn't have a girlfriend, it made me want to have a girlfriend, and when I went when I had a GF, it made me want to be back home with the GF, not staring impotently at nekkid womens.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 31st, 2007 - 05:21 pm (Link)

Re: My Take

true. I consider them much more exploitive of men. But there's still a personal choice thing going on there. And yeah, I understand what you mean, I'd much rather be having sex than watching a stripper but that doesn't mean it can't be fun. I'd much rather be having sex than watching TV too. That doesn't mean I don't like TV.
[User Picture]From: lonelocust Date: March 31st, 2007 - 07:36 pm (Link)

Re: My Take

I fail to see how they're exploitative of anyone. No one is forcing anyone to go to them. Presumably a customer wouldn't go to one if they didn't want to pay to watch people dance naked. Charging someone for an advertised service which is a luxury (ie utterly non-essential) entertainment service doesn't fit any reasonable definition of "exploitation" that I can think of. Someone is willingly providing a service for money. Someone is willingly paying money for that service. Exploitation?
[User Picture]From: mokatz Date: April 1st, 2007 - 02:18 am (Link)

Re: My Take

It's more of once you're there, you can get very easily suckered in to "buying" much more than you intended to.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 2nd, 2007 - 05:52 am (Link)

Re: My Take

yeah, that.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 2nd, 2007 - 05:52 am (Link)

Re: My Take

maybe exploitive is too strong a term. Certainly no one is being held at gun point. The point is, the myth is that the strippers are victims with no other choices at the mercy of the men who frequent the club. That isn't true. They tend to be very much in control of the situation.
[User Picture]From: lonelocust Date: April 3rd, 2007 - 03:42 am (Link)

Re: My Take

So because they're not BEING exploited then they must be exploiting others? That sounds like a big load of crap to me. "I'm good at my job which involves selling something and making money from people who came into the establishment where I work knowing what was being sold and that they wanted at least some of it" is nothing like "I'm an exploiter!"
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 4th, 2007 - 04:28 am (Link)

Re: My Take

no, that's not what we're saying at all. It's more like the women are exploiting a weakness in the audience. Let me clear something up here, unlike people who claim that strip clubs are exploitive of the dancers, I'm not attempting to make a value judgement in any way. (Hence me saying exploitive was too strong, or rarhter loaded a term). I'm simply using a technical term. In point of fact, I agree with you. A successful strip club isn't "explotive" its just good marketing.

But then again, as I said, I shop at Walmart.
[User Picture]From: lonelocust Date: April 4th, 2007 - 05:57 am (Link)

Re: My Take

I know that's not what you were trying to say, but it's how it came across in light of what you said. Dude said that strip clubs are exploitative of the patrons. Then you said

maybe exploitive is too strong a term. Certainly no one is being held at gun point. The point is, the myth is that the strippers are victims with no other choices at the mercy of the men who frequent the club. That isn't true. They tend to be very much in control of the situation.

Basically, you stating that because the strippers are not victims and are in control of their profession sort of in support of the other person's claim that the clubs are exploiting the patrons is what sounded sort of like that to me.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 4th, 2007 - 06:11 am (Link)

Re: My Take

I think we agree but there's a semantic disconnect. Basically, I am saying that. But I'm not passing judgement on it, (as people are when they say strip clubs are exploitive of the girls). Rather I think that its just the nature of business. Much the same way I think McDonalds is exploitive of fat people.
[User Picture]From: mokatz Date: March 31st, 2007 - 08:17 pm (Link)

Re: My Take

Not even sex; just having a girlfriend or being with her. I guess I'm just a sensitive wussy. :P
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 2nd, 2007 - 05:55 am (Link)

Re: My Take

oh, the sex wasn't my point. My point was more that the SuperDuperUberEnjoyment of one thing doesn't preclude the KindaFunEnjoyment of something else.
[User Picture]From: akiramich Date: April 1st, 2007 - 06:17 am (Link)
Suprisingly enought I spent the evening at Beemers, and met a nice young grrl named Tiffany. And I wouldn't call that cheating I'd call it grand fooking larceny. Wowza!
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 2nd, 2007 - 05:56 am (Link)
you wrote this while still drunk, didn't you. :-)
[User Picture]From: akiramich Date: April 2nd, 2007 - 12:49 pm (Link)
I wrote it when I was home from the club and having a few.... And I broke the "French" rule...
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 3rd, 2007 - 01:19 am (Link)
what's the French rule?
[User Picture]From: akiramich Date: April 3rd, 2007 - 01:24 am (Link)
The French rule is a guide for how young a woman an older man would consider being with. The idea on determining whether or not a woman is too young for you---take your age, divide it in half, and add seven.

With that idea, Im 41, so the youngest woman I should consider involving myself with would be 28. And this gal was 18--way below the "rule'

Then again strip clubs seem a conduit to breaking all sorts of "rules" N'at...
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 4th, 2007 - 04:21 am (Link)
ah... I never heard of that referred to as the French rule before, but I've certainly heard of it before, and in fact I have referenced it in this very blog.
[User Picture]From: heartgod80 Date: April 1st, 2007 - 05:59 pm (Link)
I've only been to a strip club once, and it was for my bachelor party. It was a lot more... scientific... than I was expecting. The women are in complete control, and I imagine if any of the customers overstepped their boundaries in the slightest, they'd have a 350-pound man named Tiny forcibly removing them from the premises.
If you go with the right mindset and expectations, you can have a really good time. Hell, my wife says she'd like to come along if we ever go again. Honestly I'd be more worried about her getting us into trouble than any of them men we would go with.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 2nd, 2007 - 06:00 am (Link)
absolutely true. on all of your assessments about the woman being in complete control.

My main point is exactly what you're getting at though. I'm not saying that anyone should HAVE to enjoy strip clubs. More that I think its unfair to judge them without experiencing them. And if you're going to do something for the experience you might as well do it with an open mind. That's all I'm saying.
From: nckd Date: April 2nd, 2007 - 10:41 pm (Link)
There do exist strip clubs where they treat the employees respectfully, pay them decently, and yes, generally, there's a big guy to throw the assholes out.

On the other hand, I've never known anyone who took a job stripping for any reason other than that their lives were fucked and they couldn't get any other job. There are plenty of strip clubs out there which shade pretty quickly into hardcore drugs and prostitution.

So the "looking at titties is bad" aspect of seeing strip clubs as exploitative I can take or leave. As a practical matter, though, I've never had a software job where I felt I had to have sex with the customers to pay my bills.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 2nd, 2007 - 11:15 pm (Link)
I'll certainly grant that. But I'll also note (and this is just a guess) that your experience with strippers is probably limited. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have taken jobs stripping just because they consider it fun (i know some).

But I consider that an aside. The real issue is whether or not that's an argument against them existing. Let's say that all strippers are drugged out, incestuous rape victims who are one lapdance above full time prostitution to pay this weeks crack bill. Is that a fault of the strip club? Drugged out, incestuous rape victims with crack habits deserve gainful employment as well. And even if one could prove that the stripping industry attracts that type of person, that's not really an indictment of the clubs, its an argument against the kind of damage to a woman's psyche that is caused by being raped and on drugs. To put it another way, becoming a software engineer didn't make you smart. You became a software engineer because you are smart. (this is a straw man, by the way. I've certainly met smart strippers and programmers with crack problems)

Anyway, the problem here is that the very concept of exploitive is by its nature very subjective. You consider the clubs exploitive because you don't like dancing around naked in front of people. You consider prostitution exploitive because you don't like having sex with random strangers in dark alleys. On the other hand, I've had PLENTY of software jobs where I felt like I was being exploited and I'd much rather the client simply paid me to fuck them.

Sure, there's always gonna be clubs where there are girls working there who don't really want to be there. But there are tons of lawyers who are only lawyers because their parents forced them to be as well. Conversely, there are rock and roll musicians who are only doing it because they want to rebel against the way they were brought up, and ministers who are attempting to atone for the sins of their past as well. I don't consider any of this an argument against strip clubs though. Its more just an argument that there are certain causes and effects of life and upbringing.
[User Picture]From: lonelocust Date: April 3rd, 2007 - 03:48 am (Link)
Just as someone with contradictory anectdotal evidence, I know a lot of strippers who took the job because they wanted it or thought the money for hours worked was great or other things besides "didn't have anything else to do".

Though all of my friends who are strippers do report that there's a pretty high percentage of substance-addicted, not that bright, and/or just plain crazy flaky strippers. I would suspect that's a function of it being a job that's easier to hold for some people who aren't so hot at doing the normal 9-5 thing. And there's lots of reasons for being not so hot at doing the normal 9-5 thing. I suck at it, because it eats my soul. But being on drugs, stupid, and flaky could certainly yield the same result of being bad at the 9-5. (My hypothesis is pure conjecture based on a limited and non-random sampling of aquaintences. I would need more data to be more certain of my tendency to believe the reason for this high percentage of flaky druggies.)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 4th, 2007 - 04:24 am (Link)
that's my point. Even assuming that all strippers were DD breasted, blonde bimbos with single digit IQs(and they aren't) don't those people deserve to make a living too? I find the statement "strip clubs are exploitive" to be a bit sexist and rather offensive actually. It implies that women don't have the right to present themselve as sex objects even if they choose to.
[User Picture]From: lonelocust Date: April 4th, 2007 - 06:03 am (Link)
I agree with you on both of those. If hypothetically all strippers were strippers because they couldn't do anything else, it's not like not having the option of stripping would make their lot better; they just couldn't do ANYTHING then.

And yeah, someone can choose to be a tech support object or a software engineering object or a truck-driving object or a naked dancing object. Work for most people isn't about being cherished and appreciated as a fully-dimensioned and fully-known individual. If you're appreciated just for your technical expertise or just for your ability to smile and not grit your teeth at assholes who decide they hate a company's product or just your sweet sweet ass, what's the difference in a larger sense? If someone is horrified by being appreciated only for their ass, then yeah, it would suck for them to do it. If someone is horrified by being appreciated only for whatever other job function, it sucks if they do that, too.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 4th, 2007 - 06:13 am (Link)
exactly, and who's to say there is anything wrong with wanting to be appricated and cherished for your sweet sweet ass. I know I do.
From: moody56 Date: April 11th, 2007 - 03:03 pm (Link)

another female take

I think the stripping industry is the same as anything else, you typically only hear about the extreme and negative aspects. Is it for me? no. Do I care if people go? no, it's their choice.

My husband is a salesman at an industrial roofing company and he worked with some of the nastiest sonsabitches at his former employer. Sometimes when they were out to lunch and he would call to chat for a bit, they would start yelling in the background saying that they were at a strip club. After a while he finally told them one time, "Guys she wouldn't care anyway". He said they were dumbfounded.

I think it is the same idea as porn you're there to get something from looking at someone else naked. There is no physical or emotional relationship, hell no real relationship for that matter!

I don't know thats just my view on it.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 11th, 2007 - 03:28 pm (Link)

Re: another female take

yep, that's pretty close to my feeling on the matter. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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