Every time the subject of stripping comes up, stereotypes come forth like puss from a pimple: dirty chavinist pigs (men) taking advantage of desensitized women, who turn to stripping as a last resort. This then leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy:
– men see themselves and act like the negative sex-crazed males objectifying women
– women begin to see themselves as objects and are forced to perceive themselves negatively, leading to them despising the men.
Which came first, the crude man or the despising woman is a chicken-and-the-egg problem.
But is this paradigm correct?
First, to dispell my perception – what do I see when I see a beautiful naked woman I am attracted to? I see someone to respect and revere – the archetype of a woman manifested in a beautiful naked body and graceful movements. Do I think about having sex with her? Of course. I yearn for her touch, for her attention, to be spoken to, caressed, noticed. But do I see her as an object? No. I see her as an idea.
Do I feel like I am in any way disrespectful? Absolutely not.
What’s most exciting to me is the establishment of rapport – verbal and physical. What about men who are not verbal? Words shed light upon the fantasy that the man wants to see, and since reality rarely matches perception, many men may prefer remaining in that dream. As for me? I get equal pleasure from intellectual reverence as well as physical.
And so, when I go to strip clubs, I go to admire, to fantasize, to enjoy the attention of professional, strong, and beautiful women. Does it bother me that I pay them? Why should it bother me to pay a woman for the privelege of her company? Especially when there are other men around whose 20 dollar bills are just as crisp as mine? I feel honored by her pesence. And the moment that the girl shows any indication that she does not want to be there, as soon as I feel anything hostile, I lose all affection. And, perhaps I live in an illusion where the reality is exactly that, which I claim to despise and simply am blinded by my affection, but this then turns into a question for the girls: How many girls enjoy what they do and who many enjoy “granting audience” in exchange for money?
The good side: healing men.
What good has exotic dancing done for me? To an extent, I owe a beautiful woman an ability to feel. My first relationship was a psychologically devastating ordeal with libido being one of the unfortunate victims. Women did not exactly peak my interest – I felt lethargic at best. After that relationship, I ended up in New Orleans, and there I decided to have my first exposure to strip clubs, and exposure I had. Didn’t get a single lap dance, but I did come across a woman who, I felt, revived me. An absolutely gorgeous, tall woman with flowing hair, burning eyes, a phenomenal body. She danced in such a way that I could not take my eyes off her – and when she noticed me I felt this incredible warm feeling that still lingers. To this day I regret not introducing myself. After seeing her, I felt awakened. I felt inspired. And still am.
A similar experience happened to me fairly recently in NYC. Athough there was no healing, a beautiful woman, originally from Thailand, has been in my mind with the image of her beauty still perpetually ephemeral when I close my eyes and think of her.
The good side: healing the girls.
A friend of mine had a very unfortunate past with men, which affected her relationships. She decided to do some stripping to make some extra cash and, from what she told me, a safe and respectful environment had a psychologically healing effect: she felt in control and free to express herself. I believe her.
The flip side: Exotic dancing is tainted by disrespect and abuse, which does damage to all and probably leads to many broken lives.
My present position:
After several years of deliberation, of the opinion that it can be a very good thing. The question remaining is: is the net effect positive or negative? I.e. should I support it when it’s good, as it may potentially have a net negative influence?
— what follows is from the first draft: this is still a work in progress —
So am I an exception? I doubt it/hope not. Besides my, almost teen-like adoration of the female body, there are other types of men, some of whom may be less than respectful. Actually, I am curious as to what all the mental types are, for that may be the answer to the question of whether our soceity is ready for exotic dancers.
But I from where I stand, men go to strip clubs to fall in love. And it would be better for the entire society if that were the general perception from both sides (or is it?).
Then this begs the question of, well, what can be done to change exotic dancing from something perceived as seedy (with the negative consequences for girls, whose self-respect probably ends up turned inside out) to positive? I have no idea… unless it is my sextricks web-app idea, which would make men beg then for information, thereby reinforcing the superior/inferior relationship where the man is at the mercy of a woman.
Ah! So, a superior/inferior relationship needs to be somehow strengthened where the woman gets more explicit respect. How can this be done? Perhaps adjusting the way girls approach men? It’s incredibly hard for me to see what damages the girls.
So then this begs several questions from professionals:
1. What damages the girls’ psyche? What desensitizes them? Is it merely the quantity?
2. What types of men are there and what’s the breakdown? (In New Orleans, India [2nd place National pole dancer if I remember correctly – awesome] mentioned that there are the young and curious (me at the time), the lonely businessmen, and the dirty sneak-a-peak type. But I don’t remember the percentages.)
3. Is it theoretically possible to love exotic dancing? Or is it one of those jobs that can be tolerated at best?