Here’s me going to talk about strippers, in a not very erudite way.

I’m Gen’s Maid of Honour (I know, shut up about the maid and the honour. The only thing in that phrase that could be considered inviolate, in the traditional sense, is the ‘of’). Anyhow, this means that at some point, for her stag night, someone is going to suggest strippers. Now, they will be completely shouted down, but I woke this morning, thinking: Male Strippers for female stag parties. Why?

Okay, viewed one way, it’s supposed to be the big blowout. The Last Chance at Freedom for the woman in question. She sees the naked man, he dances in front of her, she chews some candy from around his neck, and she goes home satisfied, knowing that Her Man is the Only Man For Her.

But let’s just think about this whole ritual. First off, what woman gets off chewing candy from a stranger’s neck? No one. Sexually, gnawing candy simply does not hold a candle to, oh, say, some careful stimulation and perhaps a well-timed compliment or two. Second, who really wants a stranger’s schlong jiggling about in her face? No women I know, and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess, not many women I don’t know, either. How does this celebrate either her last days of freedom or her incipient nuptials? It doesn’t. So we get to: Why does this even happen?

Answer: Men did it first. That’s right, hiring a male stripper for a stagette is purely imitative. Guys hire peelers, because they have to celebrate the man’s Last Days of Freedom before he’s shackled forever. Clearly, women should too. In the interest of equality of course. Never mind that women don’t get off on the purple snakes waggled in their faces. Men do it, so we can too, dammit!

In contrast to men ogling naked women, let’s think a moment on the ‘female’ mind, and its reported reaction to sex. How many studies have been done that say a woman is primarily aroused by emotion, while a man is primarily aroused by visual stimuli? (I’m not quoting them because I am too lazy to go and find them. But you know you’ve heard about this stuff.) So, we ask, what’s so emotionally stimulating about having a guy come over, dance around, and get his kit off? Nothing.

So the farce continues. Ladies’ Nights at clubs also highlight the travesty. Having been on the backstage end of one amateur male stripper revue, and in the audience for a couple of professional ones, I can definitely say, women react differently to male strippers than men do to women. Men generally do one of three things. They a) huddle over pints and bottles in Gynaecology Row, lost in their own private contemplation. b) they come with a group and hoot and yell until their attentions forsake the stage for the big screen TV. c) they have their own conversations with their friends and look up occasionally. The stripper is entertainment, but she’s not usually the most imporant part of the evening. Pity, really. After all, she is the one taking off her clothes. Men get riled up only if there’s a shower, or the DJ’s good at whipping them into a frenzy.

Women are different at a strip show. Women shriek as men disrobe. Their voices reach a higher and higher pitch as more clothes leave the strippers’ bodies. But are the women really aroused? Not exactly. Most are checking their neighbours’ reactions from the corners of their eyes: Oh my God, do you believe this? Consensus says scream, they scream.

They are screaming, but they’re not creaming.

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