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Friends who have been to stripclubs.

(133 Posts)
academic Wed 26-Jun-13 18:27:44

Have any of you got friends who have visited stripclubs/hired 'dancers' or waitresses for stag nights etc?

If you found out that your friends had indulged in such behaviour would you see them in a different light? Would you perhaps even choose to end the friendship? Or would your opinion of them be unaffected?

There reason I ask is that a friend of mine is unhappy that her partner is attending a stag do abroad which will inevitably involve strippers and much debauchery in general. She was wondering whether she would be able to tell him that he couldn't go. I'm afraid I wasn't much help when she asked my opinion - these guys happen to have been very good friends for such a long time, and her partner is not the best man; he has no say over the itinerary. However I do understand her misgivings.

namechangeguy Fri 28-Jun-13 00:30:46

So, is this just about sexual exploitation, as opposed to other forms of female exploitation, e.g. economic? In which case, I don't think there is much argument - men have far more opportunity to practice it.

I don't go to strip clubs myself, and I don't pay for prostitutes, so we are even. As for overall numbers, I know women who have been to see the Chippendales and similar acts. They used to be incredibly popular, so maybe the numbers of women who have paid for such acts are not that small. That is conjecture though, and I wouldn't equate it with the darker side of the sex industry. It is still titillation, though.

My reason for mentioning it was that this need to demonise men for exploitation, whilst ignoring other forms that many if not all of the posters on here will be currently taking part in, whiffs of hypocrisy. Someone said that she dressed her kids in cheap clothes because they were more affordable. Let's hope the factory supplying her doesn't collapse or catch fire.

garlicnutty Fri 28-Jun-13 01:47:52

May I respectfully suggest you read the OP? The poster seems clear on which form of exploitation she wanted to discuss.

wannabeawallaby Fri 28-Jun-13 08:37:00

Namechangeguy - no you are not the only one that sees the inconsistenty here. But it is typical of this board that you get told YOUR point is not valid for whatever reason but MINE is etc etc. Have yet to see a decent argument as to why your point isn't valid.

I read a great piece on why paying sex can be on a par as paying for any kind of work people do with their bodies. It argued the points well.

As for this 'stick to the point in the OP', please, give us a break! Ncg is taking about the OP. Sorry it's annoying you but tough shit.

BasilBabyEater Fri 28-Jun-13 12:03:54

Paying for sex isn't the same as paying for any other service. Having sex with someone isn't the same as giving them any other service. I think you either agree philosophically with that or you don't - there isn't really a midway point where you can agree that you can both compromise. I don't really see the point of flogging a dead horse on that, people just have to accept that there's a fundamental point of difference that can never be reconciled, but that they can agree with people on other, difference stuff where they don't have philosophical differences.

But do by all means feel free to come on and whinge about "it's just typical of this board that"... It makes debate and exchange of ideas so much fun and such a pleasure. hmm

(As an aside, I just wonder why so many people who are so uncomfortable on this board and think it's such an appalling place, are so desperate to come here and engage with it and tell everyone what a dreadful place it is. Why do people do that? It seems such a petty, time-wasting thing to do. I am currently in the process of trying to unsubscribe from a really annoying blog that keeps on coming up in my e-mail feed - I've realised that it is just a farkin' PITA, the standard of debate is woesome and the amount of positive experience I could get from it by hanging around there, is too much outweighed by the irritation factor. So I'm trying to unsubscribe, but I can't, it's really annoying. I wouldn't dream of actively going on to engage in their idiotic debates, life's too short, I just want them off my feed. I can never understand the motivation of these people who come into the same place over and over again and find it's as annoying as they found it all the other 32,000 times. What is that about?)

namechangeguy Fri 28-Jun-13 12:18:53

Basil, that is an interesting point. Why is sex fundamentally different to anything else, at least in the context of this debate, i.e. exploitation? It is a re-occurring theme, but never one I have seen fully explained.

garlicnutty Fri 28-Jun-13 12:33:45

I'm going to re-post a contribution I made on a recent relationships thread.

I find it hard to explain to the [namechangeguys and wallabys] of this world why it's a problem. This isn't because there is no problem, it's that the argument is wide-ranging and complex. I'll have another go at compacting it.

Men who frequent strip clubs find it hard to grasp the concept of 'objectification'. You imagine what you think it would be like to show off your body for mass sexual admiration, and you imagine it would be okay. I have, now and again, taken part in reverse objectification exercises and, once, worked in a predominantly female place where a young man was sexually harassed. On all those occasions the men were hurt, indignant and upset.

The matters of objectification and harassment affect all women. It's unpleasant. For strippers it is a thousand times worse. I've sat next to groups of men treating their dancers like cuts of meat. If you can imagine standing naked in front of a pack of clothed drunks, on whom you depend for your wages, as they slag off the shape of your arse and the arrangement of your face, do so. Imagine having to apologise to them for the testicles god gave you, which they might deem too dangly, having to smile and to laugh ingratiatingly when they grab at your skin. Dancers go through it all the time.

Even if you are not such a boor, your very presence there - the mere fact you've paid for people to present their naked selves as consumables - endorses this trade. By paying money to a strip bar, you have objectified the women working in it ... and, by extension, all women. Because it's not possible to objectify women in location A, at X o'clock, and then not objectify them at location B, two hours later.

When a woman has 'esteem issues' related to a partner who uses strippers, she isn't suffering simple body envy. She is suffering the knowledge that her man, whom she loves, objectifies and judges women on the details of their bodies. She can't help but sense he judges her the same way. Thus, she misguidedly tries to be 'good enough' physically for him. The problem, of course, is that he doesn't see it as either/or: he does not consciously set his wife in competition with his dancers. But he has done so, all the same, because he's re-cast women as consumable objects, and she is a woman.

garlicnutty Fri 28-Jun-13 12:45:18

We are looking, I suspect, at different aspects of 'exploitation'. You're reading it as economic exploitation; I'm thinking about the reduction of human beings to consumer objects - and the gross interpersonal exploitation inherent in that.

The market creates the jobs. If those groups of men went to restaurants instead of strip clubs, the dancers would be wait staff instead. Same if they went to ordinary bars. Men have created a market for young women to render themselves vulnerable; to objectify themselves. The women would not do it if there were enough other jobs with decent pay. So, each time any man or woman spends money in a strip club instead of at some other venue, they boost a trade that abuses women.

wannabeawallaby Fri 28-Jun-13 12:47:12

Ncg - in my view, the difficulty is that there isn't really a solid factual reason why sexual exploitation is worse than other exploitation. It's based on our emotional response (which can't be explained in a reasoned way) and personal preferences. And that's ok - it just makes it hard to break the argument down for those who want fact and logic to go with the philosophical debate.

wannabeawallaby Fri 28-Jun-13 12:53:30

Garlic - while I have agree with you, people working in sweat shops etc - that exploitation is bad. Really bad. And some of them are exploited far worse -treated as objects or 'machines'- than a willing woman who chooses to work in a lap dancing club rather than somewhere else.

But it would be no bad thing if the market for sex work of all forms dried up.

wannabeawallaby Fri 28-Jun-13 12:57:18

*half agree not have agree!

Side note: it would be nice if all forms of debate were encouraged here. I've posted several times here under different names and have often been made to feel bad or patronised because my view isn't a perfectly rounded one. Please - I'm here to learn too. Wisest man knows he knows nothing at all and all that. smile

garlicnutty Fri 28-Jun-13 13:06:29

I disagree that it's only to do with sex. (I don't even think it is about sex! It's more complicated than that.)

You know people in other countries can get paid for giving blood? (Coming soon to an NHS trust near you, btw.) As I'm sure you're aware, folks who are desperate for the money sell blood faster than they can regenerate it. The paramedics who take that 3rd or 4th pint have a similar problem: seeing fellow humans as less-than; as mere 'resources'. They would say the donor was willing, came of their own accord, signed the forms, I checked they were fit enough to walk out after taking their blood. But what they did was abusive.

Think about those dystopian future films, where baying crowds pay (or select groups gamble) to see 'players' torture each other, preferably to death. All that has really happened in our recorded past, but we grew out of it. Vestigially, we still pay & bay to see women expose themselves sexually and men to damage one another's brains through boxing.

garlicnutty Fri 28-Jun-13 13:09:26

I don't think anyone's tried to say sweat shops are "not that bad", Wallaby! But we never get anywhere by saying we needn't address one problem until another is dealt with, do we?

garlicnutty Fri 28-Jun-13 13:10:31

it would be nice if all forms of debate were encouraged here.

Erm, start a thread about sweat shops & ethical consumerism? There have been several smile

TheDoctrineOfAllan Fri 28-Jun-13 13:21:31

To shop ethically requires additional resources: time to source ethically produced goods and money to spend on such goods.

To not go to strip clubs is both cheaper and less time consuming than going to strip clubs.

And - what garlic said.

KaseyM Fri 28-Jun-13 13:41:21

I would say the difference is that it's much harder to go about your daily life without unwittingly contributing to the exploitation of workers but it's easy to go through your life without going to a strip club.

I would hate it if DH went to a strip club. It would make me feel insecure in the same way DH would feel insecure if I started paying to see other men naked.

I don't think men can truly understand that because for them it's hypothetical and they're subjected to the same body insecurity that women are.

KaseyM Fri 28-Jun-13 13:42:18

Sorry! Not subjected to ....

BasilBabyEater Fri 28-Jun-13 14:53:05

Yup, what Garlic said and also that bodily integrity thing: there is something incredibly demeaning about the commodification of the human body - I am totally opposed to people being allowed to sell their kidneys on the same basis.

It's not just an emotional response I don't think, it is also a rational one. In the world we live in, if we accept that there's nothing different about selling sex or a kidney, a) we ignore the socio-economic and emotional context in which that sex or body-part is sold and b) by ignoring it, the implication is that we accept it - there's nothing to fight against, because there's nothing wrong.

It's difficult to imagine a world which was really, genuinely just, where the resources of the planet were shared out fairly equitably. In such a world, would there be a large pool of people willing to sell body parts or sexual services? Maybe there would, we'll never know until we have that just world.

I wonder if the people who think there's nothing wrong with selling sex, also can't see anything philosophically wrong with selling a kidney?

And there is that other thing - we all need to wear clothes, use computers etc. and while we may try to buy ethically, we can sometimes find that lack of money and other choices lead to going to shops we might not want to because underwear shoes, etc. are actually urgently needed. But no-one urgently needs to go and look at someone else objectifying themselves.

Thisisaeuphemism Fri 28-Jun-13 17:04:33

I don't understand why it's double standards to care deeply about one issue and less deeply about others.

Perhaps we should criticise nspcc for not caring about old people or animals too?

Is only the Dalai lama allowed to object to anything?

Darkesteyes Fri 28-Jun-13 17:51:43

name change guy i see what you are saying but does that mean that you think a working class woman working in a supermarket and having her wage topped up by tax credits should put up with a partner going to see strippers lap dancers etc just because she cant afford to shop for a blouse at Karen Millan rather than New Look/Primark etc.
You said yourself it costs more.

garlicnutty Fri 28-Jun-13 17:58:47

She should only put up with it if all the costumes, furnishings and trappings at the strip club are made in Europe from sustainable resources wink

Darkesteyes Fri 28-Jun-13 18:06:43

Nice answer to name change guys emotionally blackmailing silencing tactic.

FreyaSnow Fri 28-Jun-13 18:30:00

I'm pretty amazed that NCG is comparing somebody making sure a child has clothes with a man paying for sex. If I beat somebody up, would it be okay for me to say nobody should criticise me for it because I had beaten up an adult whereas they had made a seven year old sew shoes for them in Bangladesh? What about if I pay a child for sex? is that equivalent to somebody buying their child shoes from Primark?

People don't need to beat people up or pay to sexually exploit people. It isn't equivalent to needing to dress a child.

I think it would be impossible to buy my children school uniform that was entirely organic. As a consequence, somebody somewhere is being made ill through working with crops sprayed with pesticides so that my children can attend secondary school. I don't feel good about that. The way around that is to work on improving international farming standards for workers, not to think you can avoid buying clothes for kids.

If I was actually getting somebody around my house, making them process cotton sprayed with dangerous chemicals in the garden for 12 hours a day because I found it emotionally enjoyable to see them go through that, and kept pointing it out to other people, then I'd be in a similar moral position to a person who buys sex.

SolidGoldBrass Fri 28-Jun-13 19:31:34

Oh FFS people objectify each other all the time. Women are objectified as housewifes and particularly as mothers - all the endless guff about controlling what PG women eat and drink and do. Men, to an extent, are objectified as well: the physical appearance of some famous men is gone over in as much detail as that of famous women - got fat? Got thin? Bad haircut? Wrong clothes? They are not assessed on their intelligence or honesty or kindness etc.

Strippers, specifically, are displaying themselves to earn their pay: sex workers who charge for sexual interaction are not the subject of this thread. People display themselves for pay - is it always wrong to be looked at, to want to be looked at, to earn money by displaying yourself? Or is it only when genitals are shown that it becomes problematic.

garlicnutty Fri 28-Jun-13 19:58:12

You are joking, SGB? You make it sound like the dancers are posing on a plinth, like some 1920s fantasy. Of course it's sexual interaction, with the women placed in a subservient role both by their duties and their nakedness.

Knowing what I do of you, it seems unlikely that your entire knowledge of strip clubs is based on family-friendly Hollywood films, but your post certainly makes it look that way.

namechangeguy Fri 28-Jun-13 22:42:56

Dark, no, I don't think she should have to put up with that. I would not expect a considerate partner to do something that upset their other half. That includes, but is not exclusive to, going to strip clubs.

It isn't emotional blackmail either, despite what you think. I saw parallels and brought them up because I thought it was interesting. I don't want to silence anyone. I was hoping for the opposite effect actually.

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