Do men and women go to strip clubs for different reasons? Tanya Gold, a Guardian scribe who went to London’s Spearmint Rhino strip club and a Chippendales show, thinks so. She said the difference in the audiences was stark. At the Chippendales show, groups of women screamed delightedly at the strippers, clapping like they were at a friggin’ Jonas Brothers concert, but the mood at the Spearmint Rhino was not in the least bit joyous and, in fact, was full of sad men sitting alone.At the Chippendales show, the group atmosphere was really contagious: Women shrieked in excitement and jumped in the air trying to catch Chippendales T-shirts. But Gold noticed that the high-octane sexytime proved to eventually wane. At the end of the show, some women looked “happy, almost relieved” to leave the intensity behind.
But at the Spearmint Rhino, Gold witnessed “no joy or even appreciation” from the guys. In fact, it sounded pretty grim. One stripper even told her a man in the audience (who looked like Count Dracula) had already visited the Rhino three times that week! The strippers she spoke with knew paying for a stripper is a “power trip” for the male clients and Gold seemed surprised the men didn’t appear to be more outwardly happy with that arrangement.
I think our Mind Of Man blogger said it best when he explained in a piece called “Why Men Love Strip Clubs”:
“[A strip club is] the only place where short, fat, balding guys can turn down statuesque, exotic beauties. That kind of sexual power is a profound kick, one denied men at normal watering holes, and it’s a novelty worth the money.”
Maybe there are some guys who get all golden-retriever-puppy-excited in a strip club. But if, as DeVore writes, a strip club is “the only place” where dudes feel like they have sexual power, it probably is inherently depressing. A Chippendales show for women is just a silly night out with the girls; a man going alone to a strip club could be all the “sex” he has all week.
I’ve never been to a strip club for guys or for women, though. What have your experiences been? Do men and women watch the opposite sex strip for different reasons?