Just. Say. No.
You can tell a lot about a man by how he acts in a strip club. Does he treat it like a consequence-free environment, or does he act like the same person he is outside? So many of my coworkers at the club make no personal use of all their professional experiences observing and interacting with different types of men.
In fact, I know they're ignoring this inside knowledge, because I hear at least one screaming fight on a cell phone a night in the dressing room. Some of us are thinking, "Girl, when he made you pay for two dates in a row, you should've known," or "That man is a serial stripper dater — what were you thinking?" Bad boyfriends reveal themselves pretty readily whether they're dating or in the club, and I'm here to connect the dots, so you don't have to waste your time.
Obviously, not all men frequent strip clubs, but all types of men do. After the jump, five archetypal bad boyfriends and their warning signs, in the club and out.
1. The Control Freak.
One of my married-with-kids coworkers was talking about her latest Skype conversation with her enlisted husband. She was getting ready for work, putting on her makeup and video-chatting, when he asked, "Why isn't your hair straight? Why is it curly?" "Well, I'm tired of straightening it every time I go in," she told him. "I just thought I'd wear it curly for once." He angrily informed her that "'Macy' (her stage name) has straight hair. MY WIFE has curly hair."
Needless to say, by the time she got to work, her hair was straight. As customers, these guys say things like, "If you were my woman, I'd never let you do this." I don't want to know what else he doesn't think he would "let his woman" do. It's a short step to crazy jealousy when he insists he's just really loving you when he doesn't want you to go out for girls' nights or keep exes as Facebook friends. It's all part of an eventual plan to control and isolate "his woman" from the world.
2. The Creep.
I worked with the sweetest girl — whose husband would show people a camera phone photo of her in mid-facial. Yikes. It's nice to date someone who's cool with you taking your clothes off for a living, but someone who gets off on it can present a problem. He's the customer who says, "I bet you get so turned on at work. Your man is so lucky, I bet you come home and want to do it all night."
Actually, I just want to get into my Snuggie and turn on the DVR, hot stuff. When dating, initial excitement with the variety and novelty of his requests turns into the fear that an unworkable sex life is around the corner. Be cautious, lest the contents of his hard drive someday be in violation of the law or end up on the internet.
3. The Deadbeat.
The number one stripper boyfriend stereotype is the guy who's living off of his girlfriend's lapdance money. Still, supporting a deadbeat boyfriend is not strictly the domain of sex workers. An informal dressing room survey did show 100 percent of us have been in this situation, though.
I've seen it happen to civilian friends, too. In the club, this is the guy who thinks it's cool to hang out and watch for free and doesn't tip the bartender or waitress. He's probably only there because a friend paid his cover and bought his drinks.
As it's well documented that we dancers judge men based on their tipping behavior, I'm surprised that these guys still get laid. Charm is still worth something, I guess, but there are plenty of charming men who will pick up the check or find something within his budget if he's, you know, legitimately broke because he works for the ACLU or is a student. Expecting you to pay for everything is a good predictor of other selfish behaviors.
4. Sexually Dysfunctional Guy.
Oh, man, never again, I say. I'd rather deal with all the other four types on this list combined before I deal with anyone's repeated inability to get it up, premature ejaculation, or nonexistent/incompatible sex drive. Hear me when I tell you that unresolved bedroom issues never stay there. I'm not sure I can even write the behaviors I've seen from these guys in the club. Suffice to say, they get really excited really easily.
Cruelly, this dysfunction often comes in a really nice package, pun intended, so you'll want to keep trying, even though the encounters are always frustrating and disappointing. He might make a show about being above something as base as sexual desire, to which I say take that monastic act to a monastery. You can't change or fix his issues. Find one of those millions of men who want to please, and tell the other guy to call you after he's done with therapy.
5. The Misogynist.
Why is he so angry with us? Not breastfed? Abusive mom? Taken in a divorce? I don't know, but there's a type of man who frequents strip clubs purely to be a jerk to women. Not in a pickup artist's "negging" way, but in a truly hostile manner. He can do this in the club because we'll act like his BS is charming in order to get his money, because that means we win, and because we don't care what he thinks about us.
At first, his anger may manifest as sarcastic wit, and you might think, "Wow, what a funny guy!" Sarcasm isn't known as misdirected anger for nothing. He's really, really mad about something, and while you're not in personal danger with the misogynist, you'll realize pretty soon that no one can live on hate-sex alone.