31

One of my friends I know from college is getting married next year. As tradition dictates, a bachelor party is being organised and I have been invited as well. Two people are in charge of planning the activities for the evening and among other things, us going to a strip club is being discussed. Although strip clubs are socially accepted for the most part, I can imagine you don't like the idea of your partner spending an evening with scantily clad people of the opposite sex. Even if your relationship is healthy and unfaithfulness was never an issue.

I can imagine informing her just to make sure no concerns are raised. I can also imagine we should trust in each other on pure principle. You might say "yes of course, trust is one of the most important parts of a relationship" and I agree. But my objective here is to not hurt any feelings.

My question is this. Is it common to tell my girlfriend in advance that we might go to a strip club? If so, why (or why not)? How do I inform her then?

Some points on my situation:

  • I have absolutely no intention of being unfaithful to my girlfriend
  • I have never been to such an establishment so I have no idea of how it works and what to expect
  • The goal is to have a good time with friends and not to ogle at strippers (JustCarty and user2851843 mentioned this and I agree so I included this point)
  • There seems to be a bit of confusion about my intentions. I'm not trying to actively hide this from my girlfriend. I'm wondering if such matters should be specifically discussed with one's partner because, in a good relationship, you can trust each other not to engage in cheating and/or unfaithful behaviour

closed as primarily opinion-based by curiousdannii, anongoodnurse, Tycho's Nose, Anne Daunted, Catija Nov 17 '17 at 3:42

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 9
    Do all participants agree on a "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" agreement? – Fildor Nov 16 '17 at 11:03
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    Hi Iarwain! Please take a look at this to see how to write a 'good subjective question'. Right now, I think 'Should I' isn't in that category. I think you can ask 'Is it common practice to inform a gf and why? How do I inform her'? I have edited your question, hope you like it. – Tinkeringbell Nov 16 '17 at 11:18
  • Don't get my comment wrong. I don't say "just don't tell her", really. What I was going for is if you cannot be sure she will not get to know it anyway you should tell her beforehand. That doesn't touch your decision in the case you can be sure. – Fildor Nov 16 '17 at 12:30
  • 1
    Import consideration: do you live in a place and have a group of friends where that's a fairly normal/expected activity for a bachelor party (e.g. young secular professionals in Midwest US)? Because if so there's probably not much need to stress it, and if not (you're both devoutly religious, she and/or you are a hard-core feminist, etc.) you'd definitely want to make her aware of it. However, the mere fact that you're asking means you should be telling her. – Jared Smith Nov 16 '17 at 18:30
  • 2
    I think you need to decide whether to tell your girlfriend or not. And how to tell her depends on your relationship and her personality and we don't know enough about her and how she feels about things like that. – Tycho's Nose Nov 16 '17 at 18:44

14 Answers 14

21

We cannot make a decision for you. So, considering that truth might come out at some point and the fact that you clearly don't want to be untruthful with your girlfriend I'd say you'd like us to provide the best approach to talk to your girlfriend. Please, do correct me if I'm wrong here.

Be truthful and natural

Basically, there's a big chance that your girlfriend won't like it anyway, and that's quite understandable. I suggest speaking clearly about your expectation and what do you feel about:

There's one important thing I'd like to say. We're going to bachelor's party and there'll be a strip club, probably. Never been there, but I suspect that you won't appreciate me being surrounded by naked ladies, you know, that's why I'm saying this. What do you think about it?

Then see the response, especially the general mood. If your girl remains calm about it, you may throw in some facts about it (here's from my personal experience):

  • The nakedness level is somewhere 7/10; btw 6/10 is an average Game of Thrones episode and 8/10 is Witcher 3 cutscenes; 10/10 is porn, though.
  • The most intimate thing there is so-called "private" or lap dance. You're not going to use this service.
  • You can actually get many laughs with your friends there - by asking strippers silly questions, for example, or (SIC!) meeting your ex-classmate... as a stripper!

So the thing is, you are going there not because you want to stare at women's chests. You want to have a quality time with your friends, that's what matters. And you'll probably miss it if you don't go there. Please make this point clear to your girlfriend.

Just for your information, women are allowed into most of the strip clubs if accompanied by a man. She can actually try it out, huh.

P.S. My friend prepared my wedding party and there was strip club as a part of the show. I didn't know it until it was too late. The strip with the private dance. Now I hate this guy and I'm going to schedule an erotic massage for him when it's his wedding time! The bittersweet revenge.

I'm this geeky kind of person actually, so a strip club is clearly not my place to spend time in, but it was still a useful experience, I think. I told my girl about this as soon as I returned and explained in detail what happened there. She didn't particularly like it, but there were no hard feelings at all.

  • 4
    +1 for the 'we cannot make a decision for you'. Wanted to add that if you have mixed feelings on whether you should bring something up ahead of time, I think it's worth discussing with your partner. You've said you already have a strong foundation of trust built between you, so continue it by addressing things you feel could cause rifts before they actually do. – Jess K. Nov 16 '17 at 14:19
  • 11
    No "hard feelings" at all, eh? ;) – Kialandei Nov 16 '17 at 15:59
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    +1 for pointing out that the girlfriend will probably not like the idea. I have to disagree on the "So the thing is, you are going there not because you want to stare at women's chests. You want to have a quality time with your friends, that's what matters." part tough. There are hundreds of places you can go to have fun with friends that do not have as their main selling point: (half) naked woman. – Hans Janssen Nov 16 '17 at 16:30
  • 5
    "women are allowed into most of the strip clubs if accompanied by a man" The hell? I'm not baffled that such a thing would be allowed/legal. Not that women are let in, but that they could ever be excluded. – Shufflepants Nov 16 '17 at 18:59
  • 2
    @corsiKa Lol I know several people who did exactly that. They just treated the bachelor/ette party as "time to hang with just me and my best same-gender friends!", rather than "last chance to do things my partner doesn't like!". – Em C Nov 16 '17 at 22:16
17

Is it common to tell my girlfriend we might go to a strip club in advance?

In most relationships, it's common to share what you're going to be doing. Not because either side doesn't trust the other, but because each side is interested in what the other does.

I mean; you'd probably tell her that you were going to X's bachelor party, right? And if you went bowling, you would freely share that as well, right? Because your partner would like to hear that you have fun things planned.

The only things you don't share openly in a relationship are things you don't want the other to know. And in such a case, you have to ask yourself: will they be happy when they find out you didn't tell them something? (If it's a surprise party, they will, and not telling them is fine.)

But in this case, you don't want her to know what you're doing because you are afraid it is going to hurt her feelings. That's the wrong reason for not sharing things. The fact that you think it'll bother her is a extra reason to bring it up in advance.

Also, keep in mind that if the goal is minimal feelings hurt, her finding out afterwards that you went (which she likely will, unless you and your friends all take a vow of secrecy, which will be highly suspicious anyway) will hurt her feelings far more than talking about it in advance.

It signals that you don't trust her enough to bring these things up and that you care more about going to the club than you do about her.

How do I inform her then?

Same way you inform her of other things. (I don't know how that is). But just bring it up as part of the normal way you talk about your day and your plans for later. And then ask how she feels about that, and take it from there.

"Remember the bachelor party? The guys mentioned going to play some paintball and then visiting a strip club. I've never been to one. What do you think about something like that?"

I can also imagine we should trust in each other on pure principle.

Trust goes both ways. She needs to trust that you won't misbehave in the club. You need to trust that she trusts you enough to let you go, or that she'll let you know if she has a problem with this. You both need to trust that your relationship can handle this talk and the resulting conclusion.

  • 1
    Any "vow of secrecy" will blow away soon or later (usually linked to alcohol ingestion level) during the weeding party when people will talk about the bachelor parties anyway :) – Tensibai Nov 16 '17 at 13:35
  • 1
    @Tensibai wedding party , I guess. However this could also be true for a weeding party ;) – Fildor Nov 16 '17 at 13:40
  • 1
    @Fildor indeed :D Let's mix both and forget the typo :p – Tensibai Nov 16 '17 at 13:45
  • 2
    @Iarwain would you have mentioned the plans had it not involved strip clubs? – Erik Nov 16 '17 at 13:54
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    "It still feels kinda wrong to go, even with this level of trust. As for your comment on me wanting to go more to the club than that I care about my GF. I DO care a great deal about this girl and that is why I have trouble with the plans that are made for this party." _ since that is the way you feel @Iarwain, may I suggest you just don't go there? The option taken by cowards, nice guys and dedicated husbands. If your girlfriend means a lot to you then simply take no chances! Don't discuss it with her,and don't go. You might possibly join your friends for the other planned activities. – English Student Nov 17 '17 at 4:57
8

Most people would prefer you are up front and tell them about it, rather than trying to hide it and discovering it later. There is a tendency to want to avoid conflict by hiding it and hoping she never finds out, but that runs the risk of it being much worse when she does.

This is just one of those times when she will have to trust you. If she doesn't, there isn't much you can do about it.

6

I speak from my own experience; naturally, I cannot tell you what you should do but what I think would be the best approach.

Is it common to tell my girlfriend we might go to a strip club in advance? If so, why (or why not)?

In short: yes.

I'm not sure how long you two have been together or how strong the relationship is. Having read your question it appears that you two are in a strong relationship and I see no problem with you telling her in advance.

She will, understandably, be unhappy that your night might result in going to such establishment but it is clear that you have no intentions of doing anything untoward; something I am sure she would realise when you tell her.

How do I inform her then?

Simply tell her that you are going to this Bachelor Party and that the night might take you to a strip club.
They are not ladies of the night, and there is still a bar you can prop yourself against and treat it as the social event that it is.

Ergo, I'd propose you say something along the lines of:

I am going on a Bachelor Party for _____'s wedding. We are going to go to a few of the pubs and clubs around _____, but some of the lads might take us to a strip club. It's not something I'm particularly up for so I'll just stay at the bar until we move on.


I have never been to such an establishment so I have no idea of how it works and what to expect

Imagine a bar with lots of scantily clad women telling you that you are the most handsome person they have ever seen.
Every 5 minutes another woman will come over asking if you'd like to go to a room for a lap dance.

Now, above is only from my experience. I have been twice.
The first is a slightly funny story[1].
The second was in a similar situation to yourself. I had absolutely no intent on going for such dances as I was in a relationship and did not want this to jeopardise that.

I have absolutely no intention of being unfaithful to my girlfriend

On the next morning, I did tell my girlfriend. I assured her I had done nothing aside from stand at the bar ignoring everyone and drinking alcohol - as is custom ;).
For me, it felt wrong to partake in any of these dances as it felt as though I was cheating. I understand that there are no mutual feelings, but it still felt wrong to me.

The relationship between myself and my girlfriend is very strong. I have known her for 3 years and been together 2.

When I went on a Stag Do (the same principle as a Bachelor Party) I did not tell my girlfriend before. The reason being that I was unsure if we would end up in such an establishment.

The outcome of me telling her is probably quite obvious. She was not very impressed. I imagine she had doubts about my truths. Eventually, she stopped being mad at me, but I am simply telling you this as I am unfamiliar with your relationship and how forgiving your girlfriend may be.


[1] A surreal experience.
The first time I went to a strip club was with a few friends. I had not long known my, as is now, girlfriend. Then we were simply friends.

At the time I was single; I had one lap dance. During which the girl giving me the dance noticed my poker face. She asked if I was enjoying it and I felt awkward and she could see that.
She asked if I had a girlfriend and various other (very) personal questions about my (sex) life.

She then started an advice session with me telling me that I needed to pluck up the courage to ask out the girl that I liked. It was all very surreal, but the stripper will now be glad to know I am with the said girl.

  • 3
    Wow, almost the same situation as mine! Especially with this lap thing. Uhh, glad to know I'm not the only one to feel awkward there. +1 – user2851843 Nov 16 '17 at 11:54
  • My only trip to a strip club was me being a Designated Driver and one of my best friends "butt dialing" his mom - and leaving a voicemail - during one of his lap dances. Good Times. – WernerCD Nov 16 '17 at 14:35
  • -1 for "the night might take you to a strip club". The intention is to go to a strip club, saying that "there is a chance" is misleading. – Carl Nov 16 '17 at 22:50
  • @Carl “[...]there’ll be a strip club, probably” which implies there was a chance they might not go. – JustCarty Nov 16 '17 at 22:54
  • @JustCarty aha, I see that now – Carl Nov 16 '17 at 22:59
6

I hate to say it, but it looks like an awful lot of people are working from the assumption that the girlfriend will be upset or insecure about the whole thing... This isn't necessarily the case.

My experience with strip clubs has very often shown me the opposite. The times I've been to strip clubs with women, they tended to enjoy the experience more than I did. They tipped more, laughed more, and seemed to be generally more positive about the prospect of going again.

The only times I've seen women have a strong negative reaction to the idea of strip clubs were from women who've never been. It's probably worth mentioning that I've been to these clubs with hardline feminists and I've dated a woman who used to dance and dated another woman who tended bar at a strip club for a while.

While strip clubs may seem taboo, they're really rather tame places. Etiquette is pretty much always strictly enforced by rather large, bad tempered guys who aren't shy about throwing someone out, and/or throwing them a beating if they step out of line. You couldn't cheat on your girlfriend at a strip club, even if you wanted to, and trying will prove bad for your health.

What I'm trying to say here is, like many "taboos", the attached stigma and fears are largely, if not entirely, in the imagination of the ignorant. ("Ignorant" here meaning those who don't actually know.)

So, talk to your girlfriend. Be upfront, be honest, and be direct. There really isn't any need to be overly concerned about a strong negative reaction.

If you encounter a strong negative reaction, talk to them about the underlying fears that caused that reaction. Are these fears realistic? What can the two of you do to mitigate these fears? And so on. I think you'll find that after some honest open communication that most, if not all, of these fears will prove a little silly after they're out in the open.

  • 1
    "You couldn't cheat on your girlfriend at a strip club" This really depends on the country and the establishment. – Oleg Nov 17 '17 at 16:38
6

Make no mistake: not telling your girlfriend because "I can also imagine we should trust in each other on pure principal." is bullshit as an excuse not to entrust her with the details of your evening. The only exception would be if you had an explicit "I don't want to hear about stuff that will likely bother me more than it would be worth" arrangement. But if you did, you would not post this question here.

What's also bullshit is "The goal is to have a good time with friends and not to ogle at strippers". Choosing a backdrop with strippers most certainly is not arbitrary: they are part of the good time with friends for this occasion. Making them feel unappreciated or even unrespected would be grossly impolite. Which does not mean that "ogling" is a great idea: everybody wants to be treated like a human rather than a piece of meat.

At any rate: I would not make use of any of their services in excess of them being part of the location.

Don't try rationalizing or downplaying this with your girlfriend: this would not have been your own choice of location, but it isn't business as usual.

You being able to deal with it gracefully: that's where her trust in you is required since you cannot refer to experience. You not telling her: that's not trust.

  • 1
    Boy, I have a hard time understanding the "everybody wants to be treated like a human rather than a piece of meat" but choose to be a dancer at a strip club, anyway. – Tycho's Nose Nov 16 '17 at 18:34
  • @Tycho'sNose I guess, it means that not everyone likes working in such places. But have to do it anyway, for reasons... – NVZ Nov 16 '17 at 18:41
  • @NVZ Still don't get it, man. – Tycho's Nose Nov 16 '17 at 18:48
  • @Tycho'sNose there is a big difference between being treated like an attractive exotic dancer, and being treated like a piece of meat. – Erik Nov 16 '17 at 19:48
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    @Tycho'sNose maybe you should visit one some day, and talk to the patrons (and the dancers). It sounds like a lack of empathy on your part. Never hurts to get some new understanding. – Erik Nov 16 '17 at 20:08
5

Well, an exercise that I like to do is to walk in the others shoes. If she would go to such place, how would you like to be her approach?

Would you prefer something like "hey boyfriend I went to a strip club with some friends but I didn't do anything ok?" or before she actually goes she come to you and say "hey boyfriend my friend is getting married and she's throwing a party and we might go to a strip club but by no means should you expect me to do anything wrong".

So about your question:

Is it common to tell my girlfriend we might go to a strip club in advance? If so, why (or why not)? I think that in a healthy relationship it is common to tell everything to each other, even if it won't please your partner.

How do I inform her then? Well, in a way or another do not expect her to accept this so easily, so when you inform her, if you are going to, make sure to explain every little detail, when it is going to be, where, who are you going with, how long will it last, tell her EVERYTHING. It will help put her at some ease, I can tell you from experience. And after you tell her, avoid bringing up the matter before it gets really close to the day, it keeps unnecessarily hard feelings away.

3

First, visit a strip club with GF and learn about it. Then discuss openly.

Neither you nor your girlfriend has been to a strip club, right? And strip clubs are not inherently dangerous things to try, as opposed to heroin. So I suggest you tell GF about the bachelor party, tell her you've never been to a strip club but might go to one during the bachelor party. Then, ask if she is interested in going to explore one. There is a good chance that both of you are curious what this venue is like, and that it might be a fun evening for the two of you.

Maybe you both will be disgusted by it? Maybe you will enjoy and she won't? Maybe she'll like it and you won't? There is no way to know if you don't try it.

But why, you ask, would it be preferable to go the first time with GF instead of with your friends? The answer is simple; strip clubs are inherently sexual experiences, and sexual experiences of any type shared with a partner can be very rewarding and help relationships & mutual trust grow. Exploring your own and your gf's sexuality is an important part of a relationship.

Then, when the bachelor party is coming, you will both know what a strip club is like, and you can discuss how it will impact your relationship. With this knowledge, and increased trust between you & GF, you will know whether to:

  1. Enter the club with consent of your GF
  2. Keep the club visit a secret from your GF (she might prefer this!)
  3. Tell your friends "I'll be at the pizza place next door, give me a text when you're done"
  • I took my wife to a strip club last year. It was a surreal experience, some of the strippers were a bit warry others were totally fine with it. Of course the problem is it costs "you" twice as much. We didn't stay long, but my wife knows exactly what goes on and is fine with me going occasionally. I suspect a lot of women wouldn't like it, but it's hard to say how many. What would you say if your GF went to a male strip show? If she wanted to go it might put you in a better bargaining position. I recommend telling her, but it’s your call.... – Slarty Nov 16 '17 at 18:22
  • 1
    I can't imagine anyone preferring secrets being kept from them, unless in the form of an explicit "you can do this, as long as you don't tell me" arrangement. (In which case it's not really a secret; just a taboo) – Erik Nov 16 '17 at 19:50
  • @Erik That's what I'm talking about. – axsvl77 Nov 17 '17 at 0:48
3

This depends so much on your gf that it is hard to say anything. I know quite a few women who actually enjoy or in the past enjoyed strip clubs themselves.

We would need to know more about your gf to give sage advise. Some women are perfectly fine with it, some would completely freak out.

In general, being truthful and forthcoming is important in good long-term relationships. Even if you don't intend to hide anything, not speaking about something that you know is a tricky subject will be perceived as a form of hiding. When you ask yourself if you should tell or not, in general the correct answer is that you should.

2

Open and honest communication is absolutely vital to any positive relationship. Common practice shouldn't be your concern, because many common practices are unhealthy. Try to foster a pattern of communication regardless of your perception of what other people do. After all, you want the best relationship you can have, not just the kind of relationship other people have.

Also, try to avoid the "Don't you trust me?" habit. A good relationship is one where you do your best to make it easy for your partner to trust you, rather than just testing their trust and expecting and demanding it.

1

I also root for honesty. Usually someone will eventually tell their girlfriend - and you know, girls talk too. (Also it is the the kind of honesty I would expect from my partner, so I should also give it to them)

It really should not be such a big deal though. There is a big difference in how you say it:

Oh and perhaps we´ll be going to a strip-club. I have never been to one, have you? I don´t really care for it, but may be interesting to see that part of life as well. I´ll tell you all about it afterwards.

or saying:

Oh baby, I am so sorry, pleas don´t be mad but we probably have to go to the strip club. I don´t want to, but I my friends are making me got. I won´t look though, I promise!

Make a big deal out of it, and you are guaranteed it will be one. If it isn´t for you, maybe it won´t be for your partner too. (Or they may surprise you with some stories of their own experiences)

Now you still risk the chance there may be jealousy, and you can´t help it. The only thing that helps against this is honesty and time.

BTW: The girlfriend of a friend of mine was a little bit mad, when she found out after his bachelors party. He just took her to the same club to see for herself - she saw it was not a big deal, actually and they got married and still are. Sometimes the mind makes things bigger then they are!

1

Short and simple, you should absolutely tell your girlfriend. Especially if any part of the plans are discussed. Leaving out that part of the plan is lying by omission and breaches the trust you two have. Telling her helps reinforce your trust. When you do tell her, I think that user2851843's approach is best.

Just be prepared that cancel that part of the plan if she's uncomfortable with you going. If she has a problem, it's not necessarily that she doesn't trust you, it could very well because she doesn't support those actions as values. Any argument here would likely lead to issues in your relationship. What I would do in this case is agree that you won't attend and plan an exit strategy so my girlfriend wouldn't lose face with my friends (not placing the blame on her).

Again, if the two of you value trust, absolutely tell your girlfriend.

1

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas

A sacred code of bachelor party behavior is that you do not get your friends in trouble. While your girl friend might be okay with you going to a strip club, some of the other girl friends/wives may not be okay with it. You do not want a friend's girl friend to find out at the wedding that that the friend lied to them. At no point should you ever mention anything done during, or even discussed during the planning stages, of the bachelor party to anyone that wasn't there.

You can, and probably should, discuss with your girl friend the boundaries on your relationship and behavior at the bachelor party prior to the party. You most definitely should respect those boundaries. Everything should be talked about in general terms and never imply that anyone is thinking of doing anything other than having a fun night out with friends.

The conversation could be something like

I have been invited to John's bachelor party with Bill and Dave. I have told you stories about those guys and you know they can sometimes get out of hand. I don't want to do anything that would upset you, do you have any concerns?

She might then ask if there are going to be strippers (or hookers, gambling, drugs, etc), to which you respond, I am not sure, but if there are do you have concerns. Even if you know strippers (or whatever) are in the plan, it is not really a lie since if she says they are a no go, then you will deal with it.

  • Maybe I'm just having trouble with reading comprehension, but are you saying to talk to her about going to the strip club or not? You say to discuss boundaries and behavior, but then to be very general and not talk about the party with anyone else? – Em C Nov 16 '17 at 22:23
  • @EmC see edit. I am saying tell her you are going to a bachelor party and find out her concerns. That can be done without discussing the details of what is being planned. – StrongBad Nov 16 '17 at 22:36
  • Thanks, that clears it up! – Em C Nov 16 '17 at 22:38
-2

If you are not going to take advantage of the girls on the strip club, they won't bother you. Otherwise normaly, all interegation from a stripper cost you money, like when you buy stuff from their bar..

You shouldn worry, and neither should your girlfriend. I have a girlfriend, and when me and my friend is out doing dumb shit like, once a year, we go to a stripclub just for fun. Just relax and enjoy your time with your friends. Only tell your girlfriend, if you know she would feel weird about you going to a stripclub. If you are unsure about how she would feel about it, talk to her about it and tell her what you wrote here. What is the worst that could happen really?

Cheers! And let us know if you had a great "first" time at the stripclub ;D

  • I don't get your point? He asked about what he should expect, and about our opinion about if he should tell his girlfriend. I would never bother calling my girlfriend and ask if it was okay for me to go to a stripclub if a spontanious occasion occurred. Things just happen when you are in a drunk company with old friends. But I know my girlfriend wouldn bother because she trust me enough to not do something too stupid. – Anders Pedersen Nov 16 '17 at 18:42
  • to sum it up, his question was actually: "Is it common to tell my girlfriend we might go to a strip club in advance? If so, why (or why not)? How do I inform her then?". I don't get that negative tone.. – Anders Pedersen Nov 16 '17 at 18:42

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