Hey gals, are you “cool” and “open-minded?” Then why aren’t you at the strip club? That’s where the February issue of women's magazine Cosmopolitan says you should be.
Cosmo’s Jessica Knoll spoke with club managers across the country about the growing trend: “Women – straight women – are infiltrating the gentlemen’s club, in some cases outnumbering the male clientele.”
Cosmopolitan, a self-proclaimed “lifestylist for millions of fun, fearless females who want to be the best they can be in every area of their lives,” didn’t say which area of a fun, fearless female’s life is bettered by hanging around with strippers. But presumably the magazine’s readership of over three million will figure it out.
Knoll said visits to the strip clubs by stars such as Rihanna and Katy Perry – the “celebrity endorsements” – along with the “sexual prowess” exhibited by exotic dancers confirm, “It’s not just okay if you get your kicks from stuffing a few ones into a pretty girl’s G-string, it’s cool.” She provided research to support her claim: 60 percent of women acknowledge an attraction to other women, according to the University of California at Santa Cruz.
If a woman wants to take the trend one step further, she should bring her significant other to the strip club party with her. Katherine Frank, PhD, author of “G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire” suggested to Knoll that attending as a couple will “make it clear that you’re open-minded.”
Gender studies Professor Hugo Schwyzer at Pasadena City College attributed the female club crowds to “authenticity,” saying, “You simply can’t identify your lust with the ridiculous flamboyance of male strippers.” One young woman at a club told Knoll, “A woman’s body is so much sexier than a man’s,” while another, middle-aged, woman said “it’s a turn-on” to go with her boyfriend.
A stripper, Sara, admitted that the women clientele touch her more often than the males. The women “giggle and it’s so cute,” she explained. Knoll expanded on this issue, claiming that an “inquisitive graze” between a female stripper and a female client is like a “high five at a sporting event between teammates.”
For Cosmo, strip clubs are harmless fun and games. But Bust Magazine (no social conservative publication) and Beauty from Ashes, a Florida organization established to aid victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking, assert that strip clubs spell horror for women. They cite a study that finds that 100 percent of exotic dancers were physically assaulted in their clubs of employment. Beauty from Ashes offers another statistic: 51.2 percent of female exotic dancers faced threats with a weapon.
Knoll concluded that women’s attraction to strippers is not only the fascination with a woman twirling about on a pole, but also, to a greater extent, a stripper’s confidence, which “shows us a possibility that perhaps we can replicate in our own lives.”
Replication may sound appealing when Cosmopolitan frames a culture trend as popular and “cool,” but, as poet Robert Frost says, sometimes choosing the road less traveled by makes all the difference.