Couple strip club

Relationships

The Key to a Perfect Valentine's Date May Be Your Local Strip Club

Even for seasoned practitioners of polyamory or open relationships, taking a partner to a strip club is an advanced dating move. Much like coordinating a threesome, a strip club date requires thoughtful conversation and serious planning, and even then, there’s no guarantee the end of the night won’t also mean the end of your relationship. Watching a partner get turned on by someone who isn’t you can churn up a lot of complicated feelings, and if you don’t know what to do with those feelings and aren’t familiar with strip club etiquette, it could be a rough night—especially for the dancers. 

Unfortunately, strip club couples don’t have a great reputation for a variety of reasons. “To be frank, couples in the strip club are the worst,” says Kasey Kuppenbender, a dancer in L.A. who got her start working at a club that’s extremely popular with couples. “Only about five percent of them are ever cool, equally into the experience, and down for the fantasy.”

According to Rebecca Love, adult film star, former dancer and host of the podcast Talking Dirty With Rebecca Love, couples present an unexpected challenge. “Exotic dancers who most commonly deal with men only have to worry about what men like,” she says. “Men aren’t hard to please and are less complicated at these establishments. They just want a good time.” Strip club regulars generally know the rules, but running into a nervous couple on a high-stakes date is “a whole new beast,” Love adds. “Dancers have their job down to a science, then you add in a couple, and it’s like throwing a monkey wrench in the wheel.”

For couples, walking into a room full of gorgeous women in various states of undress can be just as intimidating, especially if it’s their first time in a strip club together, or their first time in any strip club at all. “They talk it out and make it sound like it will be mutually arousing, but when they enter the club, I think the reality sets in that the woman feels insecure next to these attractive, confident, half-naked or fully-naked strippers,” Kuppenbender says. “What almost always happens when couples come in is that they tip little to nothing, the woman will physically turn her boyfriend's head away from the stage to focus on her or keep trying to distract him by sitting on top of him and making out, grinding on him, twerking in front of him or other such nonsense.”

They talk it out and make it sound like it will be mutually arousing, but when they enter the club, I think the reality sets in that the woman feels insecure next to these attractive, confident, half-naked or fully-naked strippers.

On the other hand, some couples tend to get a little too into the experience, which Kuppenbender says is equally unpleasant. She recalled a recent “nightmare” experience with a group of middle-aged swingers at her club who “tipped almost no one, but ended up making out with each other—the women with the women, and each other's husbands. They were basically having their own mini-clothed orgy in the middle of the strip club without tipping any girls or buying dances,” she says. “They ended up getting kicked out.”

For some couples, “it is overwhelming to be in a new environment where warm bodies are the adventure,” Love says. It’s okay to feel excited and turned on, but keep it classy and always follow the rules of the club. Leave the dancing to the professionals, and respect that the dancers probably don’t want to join you for a threesome. Sit back, enjoy the show, and as Kuppenbender adds, touching the dancers is a serious breach of etiquette.

Watching a partner (male or female) get a lap dance from a gorgeous woman can make even the most secure, confident couple feel a slight jealous twinge, and if she weren’t a dancer herself, Kuppenbender says she might feel the same. “I constantly want to assure the women that I have zero interest in their partner and have my own that I'm perfectly happy with,” Kuppenbender says. “I want them to know that the whole idea of a strip club is a fantasy, much like an interactive theater performance. We have fake names, we laugh at their unfunny jokes, we play to men's fantasies for cash.” 

Leave the dancing to the professionals, and respect that the dancers probably don’t want to join you for a threesome.

A little jealousy is normal, but not necessary. “Know that the dancer is absolutely not interested in either of you,” Kuppenbender adds, and there’s no excuse for bringing “the negative and even hateful energy that comes from some couples in the strip club.” Bringing relationship issues into the club is certainly bad, and there’s no reason to make a dancer’s night awful just because you’re having a bad time. Feeling insecure is normal, but don’t be a jerk—any disrespect, discomfort with strippers, or antagonism toward sex workers doesn’t belong in the club.

Love recommends that couples have an honest conversation about boundaries and address any feelings of jealousy or insecurity before they enter the club, and establish a solid game plan for respectfully addressing any unexpected feelings that come up during the night. Be open to your partner’s perspective, acknowledge their concerns, and be open to the possibility that date night at the strip club might not be something you’re both ready to explore. Decide what you both want to get out of the experience, set manageable boundaries, and make a commitment to be respectful and follow the rules. “Couples who communicate well and can express themselves to their partner will have an amazing exploration,” Love adds.

Most importantly, show up at the club ready to tip—and fully prepared to have a great time. “Tip every stripper at least a few bucks onstage, buy a lap dance for the both of you, and put aside any insecurities you have,” Kuppenbender says. “We are there for pure entertainment value. Just have fun with it.”

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