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Barenaked laddies

According to you, most women aren't interested in seeing pictures of naked men. To quote you, most would "run past a naked man to get to shoes." So, how do you explain all the women who go to clubs to see male strippers? Looks like somebody has to admit she's wrong! — Gotcha!

Men and women go to strip clubs for different reasons. But, don't just take it from me. Let the Wiggle Willy Head Bopper do the talking. It's a headband with two glitter-flecked plastic penis antennae sprouting out of pink marabou feathers that women wear to strip club bachelorette parties. Just wondering ... when's the last time you saw a man enter a strip club with a big plastic vagina strapped to his head?

A man's goal in going to a strip club is getting turned on and maybe having strippers grind in his lap — not having all his friends laughing in his face. If women were wired like men and could get physically aroused just by looking at the opposite sex, you'd see something you never do, the lone woman at a male strip joint on her lunch hour, nursing a whiskey and clutching a wad of ones.

According to researcher Beth Montemurro, who watches women watch men strip, women show up in giggling herds because they mainly go to bond with girlfriends. The bonding comes through shared embarrassment, and if they start breathing heavy, it's probably because they're hyperventilating from laughing so hard. For women, Montemurro found the stripper is less a sex object than a source of humor. Yes, it's just like in those pornos for guys where they replace the moaning and screaming with the laugh track from Two and a Half Men.

While a guy will spend the week's grocery money trying to get a stripper to ride him like a pony, Montemurro observed women gingerly touching a male stripper's butt, then pulling their hands back as if burned. Some women find the strippers hot, but most describe them and the experience with words like "disgusting," "mortifying" and "humiliating," writes Montemurro in Something Old, Something Bold: Bridal Showers and Bachelorette Parties. One woman she interviewed had root canal-like enthusiasm for seeing a stripper, deeming it "something you should probably do once and then you don't have to do it again." Don't tell me — that's exactly the sort of dread men feel at the prospect of watching naked girls gyrating around a greased pole.

Beyond the research, just look to the marketplace. There are eleventy bajillion strip clubs for men and the occasional one for women. Women often feel compelled to go to these places on their girls' night out — as a rite of passage, a hazing for a bride-to-be, or a way to get even with a fiancé for having a bachelor party. But, the neon signs across North America most effective at separating women and their dollar bills are the ones that say "Nails, Nails, Nails!" not "Live Nude Males." Sure, some women love to finish their girls' night out with a lap dance, but probably loads more would rather finish with a coat of clear polish.

All's ferret in love and war

In three years with my boyfriend, he's been less than faithful. Two years ago, he told me he met "a cool girl" while out of town. He claimed nothing happened but good conversation. They're Facebook friends, and I have an overwhelming urge to message her and ask for the truth to give me the resolution I need. — Agonizing

Facebook is just the place to find answers to all of life's big questions: Which Pokemon character are you? What color gummy bear? How long would you survive a zombie apocalypse? Are you one of the skanks my boyfriend cheated on me with? You could ask this woman that last question — ideally, in somewhat more polite language — but even if she writes you back (and maybe even truthfully), what could she tell you that you don't already know?

Your boyfriend is a cheater. Cheaters cheat. Unless he's given you reason to believe he's mended his ways, the person to ask questions of is yourself: Is my relationship making me happy? If not, why am I still here? Tempting as it is to focus on confirming suspicions, wouldn't real resolution be getting into a relationship where you don't have them? Then you could go back to using Facebook like so many people do, an hourly window into how wildly dull their friends are, and yet how intent they are to communicate it: "I'm cheating on Cheerios with oatmeal!!" Well, that does beat yesterday's "I'm having my breakfast ... mmmm."

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or adviceamy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com). Alkon is the author of I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle to Beat Some Manners into Impolite Society.


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