I have been to a male strip club twice. On the first occasion, I allowed my hands to be tied behind my back while I kneeled with my friends in front of a marginally attractive man seated in a row with his equally mediocre looking colleagues. Without the use of my hands, I grasped a shot glass from between his legs, tipped my head back, and swallowed the drink, which was appropriately dubbed a blowjob. All in a night's play for a group of twenty-something women, one of whom was about to be married. The last time I took in a show -- again for a bachelorette party -- a man dressed in denim shorts and Ropers invited my friend to stand close to the stage so that her chest was level with it. Flirtatiously, he knelt down, turned around, and placed his boots on her shoulders. Then he stretched out for a set of push-ups. We might have been impressed afterwards if we weren't so busy checking our friend for bruises.
Since then stripping -- the female variety -- has come a long way. Strippers have become accepted, a new millennium film cliché, and their traditional moves -- once reserved for a pole -- are now a staple of every music video and dance club floor. Even suburban housewives learn moves from seasoned professionals during weekends in Vegas. I understand why the creators of Magic Mike expect to capitalize on stripping's mainstream status, but the art and commerce of this particular hustle does not translate across the sexes. Men dancing in the semi-nude is not erotic.
When women strip, they simulate sex. That's not what the guys do. If a man really moved like a male stripper in bed we'd need chiropractic care. That's if he wanted to continued amid the laughter. Channing Tatum, who was an actual male stripper until his acting career took off, understands the difference between the male and female striptease. "It's not really sexy," He told Glamourhttp://www.glamour.com/entertainment/blogs/obsessed/2012/06/yep-channing-tatum-was-a-strip.html, "It's kind of cheesy. Women are so sultry and sexy, and that's why guys go to strippers. But I think girls go to be embarrassed with their friends."
Picture your basic backyard barbecuing dad getting his DILF on, Magic Mike style.
In the film's trailer we hear Matthew McConaughey's sticky southern drawl in what is presumably a pre-show pep talk: "You are the husband they never had. You are that dreamboat guy that never came along."
No, you're not. And I don't want your junk in my lap.
Perhaps I'm missing something. Maybe, as Tatum told Glamour, women want men to entertain them by making fools of themselves. Still, I was baffled by a recent Facebook post from a single woman my age. In it she professed to be eagerly anticipating her Friday night fantasy, big screen style with Magic Mike, popcorn, and I can only guess -- a corndog. The post seemed off, over-compensatory even, and struck me as false in the manner of "Look how heterosexual I am! I want to watch men strip." I immediately thought of closeted gay men I have known who boast weekend plans of "bangin' some chicks."
Maybe my Facebook friend honestly swoons for McConaughey and the rest of this ensemble, with their pelvic propulsion, outlandish musculature and over-dependence on spray tans. However, I suspect she is just as misguided as the men who brought you Magic Mike as to what heterosexual women really find seductive. Either way, the cops and cowboys don't excite me. As a married mother of two, I really just want my husband to do what he knows I like, and then shut up so I can fantasize that he is somebody else.
I promise it's not Magic Mike.