I’ve never been a fan of the strip club.
I’m actually convinced I’m not the only one too. I have a bold theory that no one actually likes strip clubs. The music is too loud to carry decent conversation, , you can’t even sit silently alone without the fear of being tapped on your shoulder and harassed . And yet it seems like every bachelor party weekend, I scroll past the embarrassing (see: drunken) photos from college, click open the itinerary and my heart sinks when I see the words: Pussy Cat Lounge and Skin Cabaret.
So why do we do it? I’m convinced that we do it because it’s “just what happens at bachelor parties”, but everyone is too terrified to break tradition.
Last Friday night, I flew into Scottsdale, AZ to join my old college buddies for another booze-fueled weekend. As soon as I stepped into the hotel, I was greeted with raucous cheers and passed around like a My Buddy doll, my feet never touching the floor as I was handed off for the next bear hug. We laughed, tossed a bottle of Jameson and told stories from the days when the most stressful part of your week was remembering to bring a scantron to the midterm.
Just as the party was getting started, we were told that we needed to head to the first strip club. You could almost hear the record scratch. I felt like we were going on some death march. We piled into cabs and our first stop was smack dab in a mini mall. $10 cover charge, of course.
I was about to take my seat and sulk for the rest of the evening when I spotted one of those 50 cent breathalizer machines in the lobby. What a perfect distraction! I grabbed my wad of ones, tapped some of my friends on the shoulder and we were off. While g-strings were being shed, my buddies and I were trying to see if we could top each other to see who could get the highest BOA level. The breathalizer movement was gaining momentum. One by one my friends left their seats around the stage and traded their bills for quarters.
Not only that, but the strippers began lining up as well. They too wanted to see if they could become king of the breathalizer.
When it was time to go to the next bar, we stopped by a gas station ATM and instead of cash, I picked up a packet of Big League Chew. Unfortunately, this new club didn’t have a toy to distract us. I spent the next ten minutes uncomfortably looking my shoulder begging that a stripper wouldn’t lock me in her cross hairs for the next lap dance-guilt trip. I would freeze up if I could feel them shift past me. I always thought it would be like the t-rex in Jurassic Park and if you didn’t move they couldn’t see you.
But then my friends Nick and Dave wanted to leave too. They admitted that the strip club wasn’t their ideal location to spend the rest of the evening. The fellowship was broken. We found a dive bar down the road, ordered giant steins and parked at a table outside. We talked about dating, our careers and we made each other laugh so hard that beer sloshed in our laps. This is what the bachelor party was all about.
I guess a part of me always thought that my discomfort with strip clubs would just be a phase. Something that I’d eventually grow to like just like any normal guy.
Turns out, I just never grew up.