Dear Naysayer

This is my open letter to all those folks who think that the money, time and energy that my friends and I spend at strip clubs are poor choices.

Dear naysayer,

I’ve never quite understood people like you. Why do you have an issue with people going to strip clubs? For starters, you should spend more time minding your own life than try to managing mine.

It seems anti-feminist or prudish when I hear you say that consenting adults don’t have the right to do as they please with their bodies. To me it’s a form of self-expression and art, plus no one gets hurt in the process. I can definitely think of a ridiculous number of other ways to spend my time that are much more detrimental to others and myself. But if you insist on knowing why I choose to frequent strip clubs, these are the reasons.

It’s self-expression. These women are dancing as a form of art and entertainment. It’s a beautiful statement that they are confident enough to stand in front of a room full of strangers and show themselves off in their natural state. In today’s age of cynicism and degrading women for the size of clothing that they wear, we should be celebrating these women who are proud to bare it all to the world.

Her body, her choice. It’s her choice to dance and strip. I’m not influencing anyone to do it. It’s not like I’m out recruiting people to come dance at the club or hang out at the club that don’t want to be there. I attend as a patron. The women on stage have nothing to do with me or my friends, which leads me to my next point.

It’s a job. This is a working woman. She has bills to pay just like the rest of us. Why would I judge her choice of profession? She doesn’t come down to my office and bother me for what I choose to do to earn a paycheck. We should appreciate that she’s being a productive part of society by earning a living.

No one’s getting hurt. Although you may not enjoy this environment, at the end of the night people are not getting hurt. Folks may get a little drunk and rowdy, but then everyone goes home. No harm, no foul. It’s just an evening of harmless entertainment.

I look but don’t touch. I’m not some sleazy guy. I don’t try to work my way onstage to grope women. I sit back and enjoy the show. I’m not doing anything that would get me thrown out by a bouncer.

It’s a rite of passage. During the transition from being a teenage boy to becoming a grown man, there are certain rites of passage. Attending a strip club is one of these rites. When I walk into a strip club with my male counterparts, we’re exercising our brotherhood. We’re uniting in a ritual, a pastime, a nod to our arrival as men.

It’s my social obligation. When my boss suggests that we take our clients to the strip club as a social outing, it would be irresponsible and dumb of me to dismiss the suggestion. He’s my boss. They’re my clients. Not only do I enjoy going, but I have an obligation as an employee to build client relationships and support my boss. It’s not my fault if those conversations and business dealings happen amongst the company of females who provide us with lap dances.

It’s my outlet and her service. The strippers want to be here. She sees herself as providing a service to me – a stressed out male in need of a release. She dances; I enjoy it. She needs money; I provide it. It’s a mutual and consensual exchange between two human beings. If she wasn’t dancing for me, she’d be dancing for someone else. Why do I not get the chance to have an outlet?

It’s legal. Why come down so hard on something that is completely legal? I’m not breaking the law or doing anything that is not well within my rights as an adult.

It’s my money. I work hard all week long. I earn every dollar and cent that I have, so I absolutely have every right to choose how I spend this money. Plus, I feel like I’m passing on a little good in the world when I tip strippers. It’s my way of showing them my appreciation and respect.

We’re all adults. I don’t think I need to explain this one any further. I’m an adult. You’re an adult. The strippers are adults. We can all choose to do as we please without any outside supervision.

Did I mention that it’s fun? Let’s be honest, going to the strip club is a blast. My friends and I let loose, forget about our 9-5 troubles and have a great night. I have a right to have fun as I see fit.

I’m not here to save the world. I don’t know what your agenda is in disagreeing with my choice to visit strip clubs, but my agenda is not to save the world. People on and off stage of the strip clubs have hard lives. I’m not naive to that. But it’s also not my responsibility or life’s work to save them from whatever issues they’re facing. Again, we’re all adults and have a choice in how we live our lives.

So before you pass future judgement on my choice to swing the doors of a strip club wide open and walk in with a clean conscience, remember this letter. Your view is not the only one that exists.

Yours truly,

The dude making it rain every Saturday night

Note: This post is a project response for the altMBA to, “get in the head of someone you disagree with, someone who you at first think is inane and illogical. The prompt should feel a little unfair or morally unjust to even write. Because if you really disagree with someone, it would feel strange to argue for why their position makes sense.”

For the sake of clarification, I do not support or agree with the POV above, but instead I am making an argument for logic that is irrational to my own thinking and beliefs.


P.S.

After writing this letter from the opposing view, I learned something – there are more sides to an argument than for or against. Some people are apathetic or uninformed and have not yet made a decision about your topic. While we could argue that indecision is still a form of decision, hopefully you get my point. Sometimes we’re forming an argument with people when they have not yet been persuaded one way or another.

So instead of immediately building a case to validate your stance, just tell your story. If you make a compelling enough statement, they may just follow your lead regardless of where they stood before you started the conversation. Lesson learned – tell a compelling story without baking in an assumed negative bias. You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, right?