The Old Lap-Dancing Club Issue(54 Posts)
I know this is a bit of an old chestnut, but I'd really like some advice on how to approach it. I've just seen an itinerary for a stag weekend that DP is going to in July. The groom is his best pal from uni, and the weekend is being organised by the groom's brother, who is a bit younger - not sure if that's relevant. The itinerary includes entry to a lap-dancing club, which I'm really not ok with. It's one of those package weekend things, so I guess that the organiser hasn't discussed the actual details/activities etc with the group, so I'm not leaping to accuse DP of actively suggesting lap-dancing or anything.
I know lots of people are fine with LD/strip clubs, but I'm really not one of them. Apart from the fact that I think they're tacky, on a personal level it makes me feel really unhappy to think of DP that close to a naked lady, I honestly can't see the difference between that and kissing some random in a club. He knows that I really don't like these places, but this issue hasn't come up before because he's not the sort of person who would choose to go to them, and nor are any of his friends - until now, apparently. But we're watching the Sopranos boxset at the mo, which features a strip club quite often, so it's come up in conversation and he knows I wouldn't like it if he went. Is that really controlling? It looks controlling written down, but I can't help how I feel - the thought of him having a lap dance makes me want to cry, I'm literally welling up just thinking about it.
Can anyone help me plan how I can approach this conversation without a) bursting into tears or b) coming across as a nagging harpy? Is it fair to ask him to not to go to that bit? Some perspective would be very useful please
Just tell him that you're uncomfortable with lap-dancing clubs, you'd rather he didn't participate and how does he intend to achieve it?
Maybe leave out the "how does he intend to achieve it" bit to start off with tho'. It kind of implies that he has no choice, which he should, but he should also be aware of any possible consequences. To both you, and your relationship.
My dh has been on a few stag weekends where some of the party went to a strip club and quite a few of the guys who weren't into that sort of thing went to to a nearby bar. DH thinks they're really seedy and wouldn't go even if he were single.
I do hope some of the male mumsnetters show up on this thread - I've seen quite a few of them say that there have been occasions when they've actually said "No, sorry, fair enough you want to go, but I won't be joining in this bit, see you for the hang-over fry up and 5-a-side tomorrow morning", and they've then found several other blokes make their excuses too. Honestly, as far as I can tell, not all men are happy to go to lap dancing clubs (some for reasons of principle, others 'cos they just find it a bit sad and tacky). I think the first step is, as Cogito says, to talk to him about it.
Hello! Male MNer here!
Yeah, they're tacky, they tend to go against my feminist sympathies, they're expensive, it's normally very easy to excuse yourself to get out of going. Shouldn't be an issue really.
Hey there, honestly, I think your best course of action is just to be as cool as possible with it. I used to be a dancer, and believe me, those girls haven't got any designs on your man. They are just trying to earn a living.
You're right - Strip clubs ARE pretty tacky: they are all smoke, mirrors and a bit of glitter. The girls are no more attractive than anyone you'd find in nightclub and it's probably much worse in your imagination than it is in real life. He'll be pretty happy to come home to you once he's 150 quid worse off, and he'll be lucky to have got within three foot of a nipple. He'll probably be terrified, and frankly, the less you stress about it, the less of a big deal it will be for him too. Plus, you could use it as a chance to try something a home, where you get to dress up, practise your moves in front of the mirror and give him a lap dance of your own, where he's a million times more likely to get lucky at the end of it -he'll soon see this as the winning senario, believe me.
;) good luck x
It's only controlling if you insist on both staying with him and not allowing him to go.
I hate the sex industry for the effect it has on relationships between men and women, not particularly the cheating aspects but the objectification, commodification and the erosion of consent. You are entitled to feelings whatever they are but I think you need to think about what it is exactly that you do feel.
The trip has been planned. DH is going, he knows how you feel and he knows there will be a trip to a LD club. There are a number of problems with that;
A. You need to know whether he will go and what he intends to do so you can make a choice about how big a deal it is to you and what you want to do about it.
B. He knows how you feel and he hasn't raised the issue with you himself which is possibly a sign of cowardice/dishonesty which may influence how much you can trust him with A above.
For me going on a stag trip which involved a LD club would not be something I'd tolerate in a partner. If my partner intended to do this I would not consider them right for me and I'd cut them loose to find someone who shared their values in favour of finding someone who shared mine or being happy alone.
Some people will be along no doubt to say that all 'men' do this and disliking it makes them lie to you, also to wish you good luck finding a man who doesn't do it or lie about it and to call you having feelings controlling in itself. These people are not to be listened, they are offended by women having equal status to men in relationships and generally in life. You are entitled to your feelings and if someone chooses to lie to you it is their weakness not your strength which is the problem,
"the thought of him having a lap dance makes me want to cry, I'm literally welling up just thinking about it."
I'm a little worried at how extreme your reaction is simply to the idea of your DP being anywhere near a naked woman. We're all agreed that these places are a bit grubby and demeaning for all concerned and that most decent people would avoid them.... but crying? Welling up? Really? Are you very insecure or have a poor self-image? Is your DH untrustworthy or has form for being lecherous?
I can see why you'd feel like that cog if your problem was that you felt it was a form of cheating.
I'm not particularly bothered about nakedness but bf is funny about it, thinks it's a form of intimacy. I can see his point really though I don't feel the same. I think the intimacy comes from sexual behaviour but LD clubs are borderline for that, some feel they are completely non-sexual, others feel they are titilating.
Not an over-reaction at all.
If my dh was in contact with a naked woman due to some random non-sex-related set of circumstances (a freak gust of wind blew all her clothes off for instance) it wouldn't bother me in the least. But if despite the fact that we are married he chose to pay money to have some kind of sexualised physical contact with a woman, even if he was fully clothed (and there is touching in lapdancing clubs despite what some people say) I think I'd be entitled to feel pretty bloody upset.
Hello all, thank you for your replies.
I guess I'm hoping that DP will go with the 'ducking out early' thing that some of you have suggested, no big deal, just calling it a night at that point.
Reprobatemum - I take your point, and I'm not worried about DP actually cheating whilst there. I would just be really surprised if he wanted to go, given our normally corresponding views on things, and if he went because of peer pressure then that would be disappointing too!
Offred - wow, your post really resonated with me. Your thoughts on the sex industry are bang-on. Regarding not raising the issue - the email came through on Tuesday (we share an iPad) and I suspect he's avoiding the conversation for an easy life. I think it's your point about shared values that's most relevant here - I consider having a lap dance virtually cheating, or as close as makes no difference, and I would hope that he would understand and respect that.
Cogito - yeah, you're totally right. He has never given me any reason not to trust him, and he's definitely not lecherous! I, however, wear my heart on my sleeve a bit and if things bother me, that tends to manifest via tears. It's quite annoying - I'm one of those people who will cry even if I'm furious, not sad at all. But you're right and I do need to get a grip a bit.
Thanks again for your view, it's really helping me work out what I need to say. Preferably sans waterworks.
Cross-post with Tunip & Offred - I definitely see that level of nudity as intimacy and I would be really weirded out if DP wanted to have that with someone who wasn't me. But even so, Cog has sort of picked up on the fact that I am a bit over-emotional, and I'll need to have my emotions under control if I'm going to engage in a grown-up conversation about it.
At this stage perhaps the waterworks would be related to your fears about what kind of man he might be; the kind who does want to go to LD clubs whether the reason is titilation or peer pressure and that he is protective of this over allowing you to make an honest choice about your relationship with him.
Just now he hasn't necessarily done anything for you to be upset about. If they are his private emails he is reasonably allowed a bit of time to mull it over before raising it with you before he can be written off as cowardly/dishonest I would say.
Waterworks wouldn't be conducive to getting an honest reaction from him about his views/intentions. But I don't think you should squash your feelings either.
Now you have seen it I do think you need to raise it with him rather than keep your feelings to yourself. Although I am quite disparaging about people who cave to peer pressure on things because I think it shows a lack of strength of character I do see that it is common for men in this crap society to see the perception of their masculinity amongst their peers as fundamentally important to their self-esteem which could make this an issue no matter what he intends to do.
Does he generally enjoy your trust? If so give him a chance to talk honestly to you about his feelings about it and see where to go from there maybe?
As a wider suggestion, would you consider talking to someone about your tendency to get over-emotional? It can be a real drawback in life if you can't express yourself without bursting into tears and it could be indicative of anxiety or even a medical imbalance.
I was invited on a night out by a bunch of women I'd recently met, and this involved a 'Bare Ass Butler party' (WTF??). I just said I'd join them for the meal but the other stuff after wasn't my thing, and I went home. Simple - and it hasn't affected my relationship with them.
Offred - yep, I guess that fear is in the back of my mind - would he really choose the outing over me, is what it comes down to. Everything I know about him suggests he would not, but if he doesn't understand why it's important to me then we are not as well-matched as I thought, and that's an uncomfortable thought. We trust each other, very much, and have no secrets as far as I'm aware - apart from this, if it counts! I think an honest talk is called for, ideally without waterworks. It upsets him when I cry and I don't want to deal with the issue via emotional blackmail.
Cogito - you sound like DP! Definitely worth thinking about. DP sometimes says 'I'm genuinely worried about how you would deal with something awful happening' and he's right - his mum died when he was a teenager and he therefore has a different threshold of what is 'crying-worthy' than I do. He associates crying with really devastating things happening, not temporarily losing your bankcard (yep, that happened ) - I think there's a happy medium to be found between the two.
Kaizen - that sounds hideous! I'd have done the same, and I hope that DP will too - I know for a fact that his friendship with the groom wouldn't be altered by doing so, but there's that terrible cliche about booze, going along with the crowd, blah blah....
There certainly is a happy medium and it's worth trying to find it if having an extreme reaction to mildly stressful matters causes you problems in other areas. Do you hold down a job, for example?
I don't think you're being unreasonable - I hate the thought of them too, and have always been very clear about that with DH. I don't think he really gets what the big deal is - he thinks they're sleazy and wouldn't go to one out of choice, but I don't think he finds them morally objectionable - but he respects my views and hasn't been to one since we first talked about it (some years ago now). He's been on a couple of stags since where most (or in one case all) of the other blokes headed off to a lap dancing club - he just ducked out quietly and nobody gave him any hassle about it. To be honest, I think it's only ever a minority of the blokes who are particularly enthusiastic about going, so your DP should be able to avoid it pretty easily.
applepearorangebear - he thinks they're sleazy and wouldn't go to one out of choice, but I don't think he finds them morally objectionable - I think this is DP's view, too. He went to one years ago, while still at uni I think, and said it was awful, uncomfortable, and he spent the whole time staring at the girl's stomach because he didn't know where to look. But he doesn't feel as strongly anti as I do, I don't think. The problem I anticipate is that he's very witty and a bit 'life and soul of the party' at such occasions, which I'll admit are few and far between - he goes out with friends once every 2 months or so. So the others might be reluctant to let him 'duck out quietly'. But he's a grown up, and I think he should be able to deal with that.
Cogito - yes, I'm very good at my job, and really never get upset when things go wrong here. But then, part of the job is being very organised, so it's rare that things do go wrong, because I've made sure in advance that they won't. I think my coping mechanism generally is to be very organised, which usually means that everything goes to plan - but obviously life isn't always like that, and I do need to work on staying calm when it all goes tits up. Especially if the tits-up-ness is pretty minor. I do worry about how I will cope when certain inevitable sad events happen, e.g. parents dying, because I've never had anything terrible happen to me. Lucky me, I know!
If you derive calm from being fully in control of every aspect of a situation, I think you must be worried about quite a lot of aspects this stag weekend and not simply the lap-dancing element. It's important your DP knows you trust him.
Once upon a time I would have been exactly like you. Even the welling up bit, although I was 19 at the time and didn't appreciate a lot of it.
However...........I've got a rule that DH follows (immediate testes removal if said rules are broken).
No private dances. Completely unnecessary in my opinion and ridiculously expensive (£20 each)! Poor me a gin at home and I'll go all the way!
The complete nudity only happens on a private dance (from what I gather). I think it would be a little unfair to force him to be Billy No Mates nursing a pint across the road whilst waiting for his friends. Unless of course he really objects to it and he decides to not go in.
I'll probably get a berating for this but, I wouldn't say no to going to see handsome chaps wiggling their bottoms whilst I sip a g&t! No willies though
Cogito - that's very astute of you. Yes, I do worry about it a bit more generally. I don't think this a drip-feed because it wasn't relevant to the original question, but DP suffers from horrendous migraines which are sometimes (but not always, there doesn't seem to be a pattern) brought on by drink. I am the only one who has really seen him with one of these, and I fret about him having to deal with one on a weekend away with a bunch of blokes. He knows I worry about this, though, and is generally careful.
Atbeckandcall - I can see that having some 'rules' would work for some people. It's something to think about and might be a good compromise, although I'm still hoping he'll understand how strongly I feel about it and decide not to go.
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