Male strippers and I don’t want you touching w/o permission

Last weekend at my friend’s bachelorette party, I went to a male revue, where the guys were wearing next to nothing and giving lap dances to anything that walked. I saw a lot of interesting things that night, but it’s what one of the male strippers said to me that really caught my attention.

And no, it wasn’t anything dirty. In fact, one of them was chatting me up at the bar when a woman walked by and grabbed his butt. Mid-sentence he said, “I hate when people do that. I hate when people grab my ass, or snap my g-string, or touch my dick.”

I was shocked for two reasons. First, because I instinctively thought, this guy is a stripper and he is offended when someone smacks his ass? Second, I thought, hey, wait a minute, I can totally relate. I hate when people look at me, make a judgment call, and then think they are allowed to grab my ass.

I immediately felt bad about initially thinking this guy was bizarre for getting mad about being violated, because in fact one of the rules was that you aren’t supposed to touch the strippers. I thought it was weird considering the strippers can touch you, but I can see why this guy was annoyed, especially when he was just standing there doing nothing, when people went from viewing him as a person to an object.

I actually told him that I have had that happen too. But for me it’s always triggered by either (1) my gender, or if that’s not enough, it’s (2) whatever I’m wearing, or maybe (3) wherever I am, e.g. guys think that they have special permission at bars to ass-grab.

And for the same reason, it’s annoying. Just as working at a male revue doesn’t mean this guy wants his junk fondled constantly, simply being a woman or wearing a skirt doesn’t mean I want to be randomly touched. In both cases, the people doing the touching don’t see you as a person, but as a “thing” — you’re a stripper or you’re a skank (because you’re wearing a short skirt), and therefore you are dehumanized and it’s OK to touch you without permission.

Despite all of the questionable things I saw at the male revue (never will I look at a dollar bill the same way), it was quite refreshing to hear this guy have the same complaint that I and many of my friends have had in the past. Though, I’m sure the women there didn’t think twice about doing some ass-grabbing, as the $10 cover charge was for a show, and it’s tough to know where that line is drawn between them as performers and them as regular people.

Of course, that begins the argument of whether the two should be different — most people involved in anything sex-related (simulated or not) — strippers, porn stars, prostitutes — are immediately downgraded by a lot of people because of their jobs. Many people think anything bad that happens to strippers, prostitutes, etc. is deserved because of the line of work, no matter how violent.

So are these women violating this guy’s personal space because they see him as less of a human, or because they think it’s part of the show? I’d say the latter, but it’s a slippery slope. I’m sure the guys who ass-grab down Court Street on Halloween at Ohio University will say it’s harmless too, but no matter how slutty you think that girl’s Halloween costume is, your perception isn’t a green light to do whatever you want to her.

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One Response to “Male strippers and I don’t want you touching w/o permission”

  1. My opinion Says:

    Thing is you should always ask. I’m working as a male stripper during college, and appreciate if the women ask. If they do, I don’t mind to be touched. First, when you approach him, ask to touch his body, but ask specifically if you want to touch his genitals, but keep in mind he may not be allowed to get hard in front of you in a public show, at least that’s the case in my club, however, you may ask nicely during a private show.

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