I’m a rather opinionated person.
However I do try to keep what could be considered as my more rigid opinions out of my blog. Although I am the first to admit I know my own mind, I do not feel it necessary to try to sway others, and therefore I usually avoid writing about subjects that are generally divisive.
Since my earliest exploration of my own sexuality I have possessed a curiosity about certain provocative customs that to the majority of society may seem to be a perversion.
I’ve always been intrigued about strip clubs and since I can remember I’d wanted to visit one. A few years ago I finally got my wish when on what started out as an innocent afternoon drink and stroll OP and I unintentionally stumbled into a strip club.
How do you “accidentally” stumble into a strip club? I hear you ask.
Well, my cousin and I were looking for a place to continue our afternoon bar crawl when in the distance I saw a large sign which said ‘Browns‘ a chain of British brasserie style restaurants that also boasts a comprehensive menu featuring crafted cocktails.
Unbeknown to me the establishment was actually Browns – Strip Club and Table Dancing Bar in Shoreditch, London. At the time I was very new to the City and had absolutely no knowledge of what I later discovered was quite a renowned landmark.
As you can imagine as soon as we crossed the threshold my jaw nearly hit the floor when instead of the quintessential English style bistro I was expecting I was faced with several voluptuous women clad only in skimpy underwear.
We gasped at each other in complete astonishment and my first reaction, was to flee. Upon reflection and following a fortifying cocktail, we decided to return to Browns the Strip Club (as I said I’ve always wanted to visit a strip club).
It ended up being an interesting afternoon, and can I just say anyone who can successfully gyrate on a pole and still manage to look desirable, in my opinion deserves admiration.
Fast forward circa 4 years and as part of my 30 before 30 list my auntie being inspired by my attempts to tick some things off of my ultimate bucket list booked tickets for us to attend ‘The Dreamboys‘ for my 29th birthday.
While the show was overall quite an enjoyable experience (there is something incredibly seductive about a man that has rhythm and a six pack) after observing a couple of acts it struck me how gender inequality taints more situations than some of us care to admit.
Years ago on that fateful trip to Browns one of the countless establishments that caters to presumed gender normative masculine tastes, there was absolutely no issue with the dancers displaying full nudity and it’s commonplace for private dances to take place.
However on my visit to ‘The Dreamboys’, while the dancers were undoubtedly talented, not one of them stripped to below their boxers. I couldn’t help but mentally question the reason for this.
Could it be that even after all these years since discovering that female desire and the “female” orgasm is in fact “a thing” they feel that we are too sensitive to be subjected to the male form in all it’s entirety? Or could it be that we are too fragile and weak minded to gaze upon an unclothed man and not lose our sensibilities or become offended at such a depraved sight?
Perhaps and potentially more plausibly they themselves refused to strip down to the nude. To me that then begs the question are female strippers equally offered the right to refuse to bare all?
It is possible that I am absolutely wrong and maybe the industry of exotic dancing is more equal than other industries (yeah right!).
While there are multiple examples of inequality within the industry, including (but not limited to) there being so many more of these establishments to cater to male tastes as well as the fact that often male strip shows take place on periodic nights throughout the year. Whereas men can find and go to strip clubs any and every night of the week should they choose.
While I can acknowledge that female and male appetites for stripping in general is quite dissimilar (it’s not something I myself would go to all the time even if I had the option to). I’m also not so sure that the owners of these clubs have put enough thought or innovation into creating a viable solution for attracting women either.
Aside from that, my initial issue still remains unsettled. Are there clubs that cater to stereo-typically assumed heterosexual male tastes where the female dancers do not have to strip to complete nudity?
I do hope that I’m not in any way coming across as hypocritical or perhaps contradicting myself having visited both male and female strip nights, however after watching ‘The Dreamboys’ I couldn’t help but ponder the very dissimilar experiences I had in both.
Whatever your views on strip clubs as a whole is, I am perhaps going to be somewhat subversive here and go on the record and state that, while I do not wholly agree with the industry and it’s past and current treatment of women, I don’t accept that they should be done away with either.
While there is a demand for something there will always be a supply and we’d be naive to think that demonising it would stamp it out completely. Usually in these sorts of instances it just causes the behaviour to go underground and without having to adhere to rules and regulations it can cause those who are in that world to be treated much much worse.
I also am of the opinion that there should be more spaces available for people to explore their perhaps more illicit sexual appetites without judgement (as long as there is consent and nobody is being harmed). What those spaces look like for women, well I’m not 100% sure but it would be interesting if rather than exactly replicating what has worked for men and putting it in front of women to take or leave, there was some consideration for the female sexual psychology.
Alas that is probably too much to ask for, so until the day comes when female and male sexuality is viewed with the same importance I guess ‘The Dreamboys’ will have to do…
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Until next time.