Private dancers. Dancers for money.
A: I've got a question about strippers! My boyfriend of three years is going to be the co-best man at his best friend's wedding, so of course he's responsible for planning the bachelor party. While my boyfriend isn't a big stripper guy (not that he doesn't like them), his friend LOVES strippers.
The groom-to-be now wants to get a party bus to take them to Foxwoods (from Boston) and hire a stripper to go with them! I have seen a stripper make a 'house-call' up-close-and-personal, and I came away from that thinking that there is no difference between a stripper and a prostitute.
I personally don't agree with the idea that a bachelor party is a man's last chance for fun -- if he's that worried about being with her for the rest of his life, maybe he should be rethinking the whole thing. I also don't think that women should feel like they have to be OK with their boyfriends or husbands being in the same room/bus with a naked woman who is literally willing to do anything for them for a price. I'm not OK with it, just like I wouldn't be OK with my boyfriend hanging out with a naked woman he wasn't paying for.
I want to ask my boyfriend not to go if this is what the party is going to be like, or to just plan something stripper-less. His co-best man's wife is expecting their first child, and I know she's not going to be happy with her husband on a bus with a stripper either. I also know that the bride-to-be isn't delighted with these plans. But there's a feeling that we have to just live with it because they're men and this is what they do.
It seems like all of this - strippers, bachelor parties, the overwhelming number of naked women in ads, movies, TV -- is socially accepted because it's always been a "man's world." I'm just wondering if it still is. Am I overreacting, or do all women feel this way? And am I the only one who wants to put a blanket over the woman doing the stripping and tell her she doesn't have to do this anymore?
-- Not a stripper, Derry, NH
A: NAS, first thing's first: I do not think a stripper is the same thing as a prostitute (there’s one big difference). But I do understand why the stripper experience rubs you the wrong way. The whole “last night of freedom” thing has always made me roll my eyes. It’s great for movies, but offensive and childish in reality. Makes me think it's not only a man's world, but a very stupid man's world.
Want to know what else I think is stupid in reality? Spending more than $500 on a dress you wear once. Or not seeing the person you’re going to marry before you marry them because you think it will be bad luck. Or having a wedding shower where you play weird lady games and drink tea.
I hate weird lady games.
American weddings involve many traditions. Some are more objectionable than others. We do things we’d never do in real life to please parents or friends we haven’t seen in years. In this case, your boyfriend is granting the wish of his close friend, even though it is a stupid, stupid, wish. You don’t have to love it, but you do have to accept that your boyfriend signed up for this duty. That’s what people in a wedding party do. They do things they wouldn’t necessarily do for themselves for someone else.
All you can do is tell your boyfriend to behave and explain that the whole thing makes you uncomfortable. If the time ever comes for him to have a bachelor party before marrying you, hopefully he’ll have a good memory. And hopefully he won’t be thinking of it as a “last night of freedom.”
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.