Photo by Macky Mendenilla on Unsplash
I?ve been awarded the opportunity, through my numerous stints as a makeup artist, cocktail waitress, and bottle girl, to work in at least five Atlanta-area strip clubs over the past 10 years or so.
When I think about my current state of dating, a few things stick out (no pun intended) from those experiences: the music and the men. I believe they each play a role in how I view dating, relationships, and love today.
The women in the clubs have undoubtedly impacted me as well, but I will discuss them in an upcoming piece, Pu$$y for Profit v. Free Love ? Are strippers and ?bad bitches? ruining sex and dating for the rest of us?
Take one scan through the hip hop or rap radio dials, and you?ll most likely hear mention of wet vaginas, semen, or related.
Well, the strip club is often where this kind of music is born. It?s where you hear songs that haven?t yet made it to the public airwaves and many that never will. It?s where I first heard many favorites, including Lil Ru?s Nasty Song and Chris Brown?s No Guidance.
But in its totality, it?s basically the holy grail of feminine degradation? over a kick-ass bassline and a catchy tune.
No, I don?t think anyone?s in the titty bar searching for love. And trap rap is the only music (besides Afrobeat) that can successfully get me through my morning commute. There?s something deeply motivating about its rags-to-riches stories and something gratifying in its dirty, raunchy sex scenes.
But this is the soundtrack of sexual arousal for a sizeable portion of Atlanta?s heterosexual dating pool. And that certainly has implications.
At one club, I first learned that married men who aren?t ?allowed? to frequent strip clubs, do so on their lunch breaks. While there, many of them engage in all manner of sexual activity from fingering dancers while they twerk? to full-on sex, before going home to wifey.
And no, he doesn?t have to spend a load of cash or even move to the infamous boom boom room. He (maybe) slips on a condom in the car or bathroom, the stripper tells him which bar stool evades cameras, and she places herself strategically enough to pass for giving any other robust lap dance.
Honestly, I still remember my naive shock upon learning from a dancer friend that lap dances come with a happy ending by default. I mean now, after recently working in a club that perpetually reeks of fresh cum, it?s like duh.
Still, I can?t say that I?d have a problem with ?my? man going to the club. Admittedly, though, I?m sexually adventurous and don?t typically expect or need to be responsible for my partner?s every forthcoming orgasm.
But generally, the guy who?s in the strip club every weekend is not the kind I?m holistically attracted to.
The thing is, sex culture has gone mainstream. Through its music and evolution from secret subculture hangout to commonly acceptable party spot, influences previously confided to the strip club are now completely embedded into dating and relationships.
Overall, I?ve learned:
- Music, like all art, mirrors life ? men want sex that is fun, wild, and free with a confident woman who wants and enjoys it. When dating, we should all be clear and forthcoming about what we want, need, enjoy, and are open to. Also, we should stay aware of the messages in the music we listen to? most new black music is for f*cking, NOT lovemaking.
- All of us have a price ? It might not be payable in money, but we all have something we really want and something we?d be willing to do to get it. When dating, we should all be honest about what we want. We should all seriously consider in private the price and method we?re willing to pay and honor our boundaries.
- Some men only value what they?ve paid for ? This includes sex. His ego is attached to how he paid top dollar for the coochie that all his boys have drooled over and jacked off to. I will discuss this more in an upcoming piece, Pu$$y for Profit v. Free Love ? Are strippers and ?bad bitches? ruining sex and dating for the rest of us?