Why Aren’t Male Strippers Sexy?

Channing Tatum in “Magic Mike”

Women go to strip clubs for “fun” and female bonding, not to be aroused. Or they might want to prove that they can objectify men as much as men objectify them. Sure, some women find it sexy, but as Tracy Clark-Flory over at Salon acknowledges:

The typical atmosphere in such an establishment isn’t one of arousal and longing, the kind that reliably fills the air in a female strip club. As far as I can tell, female patrons are typically cracking up, shielding their eyes in mock horror or cartoonishly objectifying male dancers as a performance for their friends.

Her observations come by way of the new movie, Magic Mike, which gets a lot right, she says, but shows male stripping as it mostly is: “goofball, absurd and sometimes repulsive,” which is how she describes her own first – and last — male strip show outing:

Onstage was an overly tanned dark-and-handsome type dressed like a race car driver. He slowly unzipped his onesie while popping his knee to the throbbing techno music, which was accented by sounds of a car engine revving. Once naked, he took his flaccid penis in his hand, stretched it out as far as he could and let go; it snapped back to his body and flopped around as he wiggled his eyebrows at the crowd.

And so she asks why these strip shows are libido-killers and offers her thoughts. On some points we overlap, on others we don’t (for instance, I think evolutionary psych is full of crap). Here are my own musings:

Some of what I’ve written before applies here. For instance, male bodies aren’t sexualized in our culture. Since I’ve discussed this in pieces like, “Men: Erotic Objects of Women’s Gaze,” or “Women Seeing Women as Sexier than Men.” I won’t dwell on the point. But whether out of homophobia or because women have only recently become involved in creating media, literature, art, or anything else that could eroticize the male form, we see few sexualized images of men. So lusting after men isn’t something that women learn to do.

Some say women are just more erotic, yet breasts are only sensualized in places where they are either hidden or selectively hidden and revealed. The U.S. is so obsessed by the secreted breast that even women can develop a fetish. There’s no biological reason for that.

Repressed sexuality may also make it more difficult for women to respond to the visual. I don’t have data on this other than personal experience and talking with other women about it, but a few of us were better able to respond to visual stimulation when we were very young and less repressed.

Forces of repression? I’ve discussed this before (so see refs), but it arises as women are told that sex is bad – for them – and slut-shamed, from being the ones who get screwed and f’d, from being told not to touch themselves (males are more likely to figure out pleasure sources due to differences in anatomy), and from sexual abuse.

Making matters worse, when men do show skin they can look “gay.” This seems to occur because women are so used to nudity being meant for the male gaze that they come to see nude males through male eyes, too. That’s jarring, not a turn-on.

Men doing women-things (stripping) might be jarring, too.

Another problem is that straight women get more aroused by being desired than by desiring men. (Being desired by men they’re interested in, not by any ol’ guy.) Probably due to culture. While women don’t learn to see men as sex objects, they do come to see themselves that way. So in a convoluted form they can become aroused by experiencing how men are experiencing them. Yet another factor preventing women from desiring men in a fetished way.

And then floppiness could add to the problem, erasing any fantasy of being desired by the stripper. Flaccidity – at least on a twenty-something — communicates that he’s just not that into you. (Maybe a male strip clubber’s fantasy is helped when no obvious bodily sign tells him that the female stripper’s not into him.) But standing at attention might not work with a whole houseful of ladies anyway, since he’s still not necessarily into you.

Also, even if the stripper were erect, women may still have the same reaction that they have to strange men who flash or sext them: repulsion, trauma or laughter.

Yes, women have a very different reaction to the male member on a stranger than the men they love.

There are plenty of reasons why women think men look sexier fully clothed.

But why do gay men find male strippers sexy when straight women don’t? I’ll visit that question next week.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on July 9, 2012, in feminism, gender, men, objectification, pornography, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 51 Comments.

  1. Britney Fratus-White

    I never thought think of it this way. Looking back on my upbringing and exposure to things like this I realize that I wasn’t taught to objectify men. I also never thought to think of male strippers as “gay” because I was viewing them through the masculine lens. It makes sense; however, that woman would have this viewpoint since, as the author pointed out, women are constantly slut-shamed or have their sexuality repressed through adolescence and into adulthood.

  2. No, I don’t know how often and perhaps his friend was exaggerating and lying, which I felt. But my co worker was very very adamant that it was true. And what I’m talking about is. handjob, blow job from one of the women/ Sometimes sex or the very least one of their numbers to the stripper. It might not be common, but it might not be as uncommon either. Except for the only scenario like my co worker said, that it happens is a house call sitation, and now women going to a strip club with male strippers. I read stuff from men who weren’t porn stars of made up one’s and had a career or period of male stripping and there explanation of the some if the wilder times did result in a hand job/blow job like sitation. In that case, women might not be as uneffected by male bodies as thought, but alcohol, egging on and other things taking them out of the inhibition and being turned on. A lot of it could be from repression.

    • Well, it’s amazingly common for men to exaggerate when it comes to sex. But he’s also kind of a rockstar as a stripper. Women can feel like they are having intercourse with the gods when they have sex with stars. So it could be a self-esteem thing. “I must be really great because I got to have sex with him.” Another possibility is that the women were actually turned on enough to do that. Or some combination of the three.

      Addendum to “actually turned on enough”:

      By that, I don’t mean that she finds his body arousing in the way that men find women’s bodies arousing. I’ve talked before about why women’s bodies are more eroticized. But basically, our culture does not eroticize the male body by:

      . selectively hiding and revealing body parts, creating tension
      . hiding a body part because it’s “so sexy” and then telling people, “Don’t look at it!” creating tension
      . culturally obsessing over the body part. (Cameras rarely focus on men’s butts or linger on their chests. Or anything else.)

      That’s not to say that she’s not turned on at all him. He’s beautiful, some nice eye candy, which is very attractive and sexy and a turn on in that way, even if his body is not fetishized in the strong way that women’s bodies are.

      By the way, did you notice that I referenced and quoted you in my latest blog post?

  3. I wonder how much this is from repression and inhibitions women have because of society and what women internalize. Well first I’ll say this. Women did like magic mike, I know a bunch of girls who watched magic mike and it was for the eye candy and I’m sure some arousal and lust had to come from that, especially when hearing girls talk about channing tatum,, etc. Sure he’s a celebrity and him being a celebrity crush helps as he’s not some unknown guy, but it still has to do with his body. I mean seth rogen is a funny guy and I’m sure some women find him funny, but you wouldn’t see women or not nearly as many women clamoring to see him stripping as a male stripper compared to guys who are handsome and physically fit and having lust worthy bodies. So there definitely is a physical role, visual role to this.

    Alcohol seems to be an interesting thing. And that’s why I wonder if it’s because women are less visual to men’s bodies, but culturally reperessed and inhibited. They call alcohol a truth syrum sometimes, because how it can make people behave in ways they’d usually hide or cover up. Or people act uninhibited. The reason I say this, is because I have no idea how I had a conversation about it, but something came up at work with a co worker. He could be bullshittng me, which I told him, but he was insistent about what happens. He was talking about how his friend was a male stripper for a couple years and he made good money and also other benefits. His buddy, went to house calls for bachlorette parties and not only did the woman get wild and grabby, but times where his friend would get blowjobs or have sex with one of the women.

    So it gets wild at strip clubs, but this is different. I told him how many times, women don’t go to male strip clubs,so I wasn’t sure about that. But he said yeah, women don’t usually go to strips clubs, if they do something like that, they rather be with their gfs at their place and at their place for a male stripper. I don’t know if he’s telling the truth, it would put a spin on women not being aroused by strippers, but more in certain sitations and context with alchol and egging on. I know there’s porn and it’s fake, where it’s set up with male strippers, but it’s obviously staged and the women are porn stars so I’m not fooled by that. But I have read things to see if they match up to what my co wokjer was talking about of real male strippers as in the one’s who went to house calls. and there was extra curricular activty that would happen. I don’t know how often, but it seems enough to see that there is a decent amount of lustful women in such situation. So it makes me wonder. You said women don’t get turned on by male strippers, but is it the context and sitatuon? Becausde if that was the case, you wouldn’t have a decent number of women having sex or bjs to make strippers if they weren’t turned on? I mean obv they had some arousal to want sex or sexual activity to leave a number for a stripper to call them, etc.

    • I’m sure that plenty of women enjoyed Magic Mike for the eye candy. But it’s unlikely to be arousing in the same way that female strippers are to men simply because we don’t eroticize the male body: selectively hide and reveal, creating tension; hide a body part because it’s “so sexy” and then tell people to not look at it, creating tension; and culturally obsess over the body part.

      • So what’s your explanation about the other thing, which I was talking about what my co worker told me about his friends personal experience as a male stripper? Makes me wonder if women usually aren’t aroused, except for certain sitatuations or context. Being drunk and egged on, unleashing a wild side or uninhibited side, sparks arousal and such stuff toward male strippers at house calls..

      • By your “friend’s personal experience as a male stripper” do you mean the women going wild? Shouting, something to the effect of “Take it off, Hot daddy!”

        I don’t know about you, but I’ve never shouted stuff like that when I been aroused. That’s more about feeling powerful — feeling power over someone else who you are objectifying.

  4. “I don’t have data on this other than personal experience and talking with other women about it, but a few of us were better able to respond to visual stimulation when we were very young and less repressed.” Oh my goodness! Same here! I remember when I was younger I would get a little bit aroused looking at women in lingerie, etc.

  5. Katie Johnston

    I completely agree that male strippers are not viewed as arousing for women. Women go to strip clubs for social events to embarrass their friends and celebrate bachelorette parties. Men go to strip clubs to sit alone and lust over the women shaking it up on stage. Male strippers have a completely different connotation than their female counter parts. Male nudity just isn’t arousing to women like female nudity is to men. Take sexting for example, when men send “dick pics,” female recipients are shocked and embarrassed. But when women sext men, men find it incredibly sexy.

    I disagree, however, that this is a result of our culture not portraying men as sexual objects. For thousands of years, men have been sexualized in art. Ancient Romans were very open with homosexuality and the male form was often sexualized in sculpture. In modern culture, muscle bound men are often depicted in ads, movies, and tv. Just look at perfume ads, People’s sexiest man alive issue, or the Abercrombie stores with the models standing out front greeting customers. I think the difference is not how men are portrayed, but how women view sex in general. Women’s sexual fantasies involve more than just looks: they include back stories and emotional connections, so seeing a man’s body is not enough to be arousing.

    • There have been times when men’s bodies were appreciated – but not for thousands of years as you put it. And, during the time that they were appreciated, homosexual relationships were considered the highest form of sexual relationship. I can’t comment on the extent to which the bodies were sexualized and men were object five, though. It’s kind of hard to think of The ancient Greek statues, or something like Michelangelo’s David, as sexualization. Sure, you can see the men’s underwear ad or Abercrombie and Finch here and there. But next time take a look at your environment and see how many sexy men easy compared with sexy women. The numbers are nowhere near equal.

      And it could well be that the reason women care less about looks and more about closeness, connection, personality … Is because men’s bodies on sexualized.

      Especially considering that straight women often say that women’s bodies are sexier than men. They live in a society that sexualizes women’s bodies much more, so it’s not so terribly surprising that they would say that.

  6. Male strippers can be sexy to only to the women and gay people. But In any society the population of gay people are very less. And most of the time people hide their identity of being a gay. So naturally we like people who are straight in sexual behaviour. We cannot find a male stripper sexy. Do We?

    • Well, even women don’t find them sexy in the same way that straight men find naked women sexy. Or in the way that gay men find naked men sexy. But just because few people are a certain way is no reason do not like them. Meanwhile, at least in America people are changing rapidly and increasingly Liking gay people — once gays come out of the closet, helping others to realize that they are their moms and dads and brothers and sisters and friends…

  7. Thanks! Ill check them out!

  8. I mean you can read the article, but it’s not so much for the article, though it reiterates somet stuff but I’ll copy and past some of the men’s comments to use as an example

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/22/men-naked-bodies-towie-male-nudity?commentpage=2

    It’s about male nudity and how male bodies are used or seen as comical, and how sexy clothes or men wearing such are ridiculed by society. But look at the comments, and why I think men’s thoughts on their bodies goes under the radar compared to women. True women’s self worth is more based on beauty though women are also know to be sexy as well, so double edged sword there. Men don’t have the pressure as much but also never really get the feeling of being desired or lusted visually, unless perhaps by their girlfriend or wives but not by women in general. I know guys can and do joke abotu their flaws more than women, but I also think it’s social conditioning or a way guys hide their insecurity by self mocking and joking about themselves, which is sad. I saw the humor, but It’s kind of sad, seeing how I think there is more behind the jokes guys make about their bodies. Here’s some comments.

    RichardScanlon
    22 June 2014 5:25pm

    Recommend
    1
    I looked at myself naked in front of the mirror last night when getting ready for bed and it terrified me.

    eagleitalia
    22 June 2014 4:03pm

    Recommend
    1
    I wouldn’t want to inflict mine on anyone. Nobody deserves that.

    “When I look at myself, I think silver back gorilla…how sad!”
    each quoatation is another man’s post. Got tired of copying the names too

    “1) Got me kit off, sucked in all possible (and some impossible) flabby bits, and looked in the mirror
    2) Made comparison to featured stock-photo…
    3) Oh, shit…
    Probably not why I read the Guardian, to be fair”

    “You know….
    There was once a time (long, long ago) when the wife would perk up and take notice.
    Now…
    I just get a baleful, scathing glance!”

    “When it some well-toned and groomed male then it isn’t disgusting.
    But believe me if you saw my naked body then you would say it is the stuff of nightmares. A little paunchy and far too hairy.
    Believe me when I say that nobody wants to see me naked”

  9. Some said, many of the men are gay, which I don’t know how true that is. Though I guess many or some, I don’t know, male strippers wear thongs which I’m suprised a straight man would wear. Perhaps it’s seen as effeminate too. Then again I don’t know if men doing something unclothed, non cheesy and not dancing and like sport like movement if that would provoke arousal, though I doubt it. If these half of these male strippers are actually straight, I’m surprised they do it. I don’t know how much they get paid, and perhaps its all about the money or just fun entertaining. I guess these guys can’t think about this stuff too much and just take things with a grain of salt and just work for the money basically. I know they are having fun or trying to, but I would think they must be trying to look and be sexy too. Just that they just don’t think too much into it with women’s motivation for being there.

    I don’t know, it just seems dejecting, like moving to be sexy and stripping but it’s simply for women’s laughter and entertainment and comedy for women. While women stripping are arousal for men to watch. I could never do something like that even if I wanted to as I’d feel like a joke and my body. Sure, the reason I think guy’s don’t pose in calendars or try to dress sexy or whatever is a lot to do with it would be seen as “unmanly” or “gay”. But I also think it’s because doing so or showing skin doesn’t turn women on. So there isn’t incentive of a man putting himself out there, when it’s definietely going to be humiliating or could be as a result. That might be why such stuff is seen as gay because gay men may or are turned on by such stuff but women not or few women. I think guy’s would strip or dress sexy even if it’s “unmanly” if it turned women on or they knew it. You’d be suprised how much guy’s can throw this manly act out once “hot girls” liking them becomes the incentive from doing something that would otherwise be unmasculine.

    So basically you’d see men strip or dress sexy, if it was something that turned women on and increased men’s chances of getting laid by women, particularly attractive women.But since women don’t, there is no incentive for a man to risk humiliating himself in trying to be sexy when it would be more likely not arousing or arousing by the wrong target “gay men”. It just shows how inferior a man’s body is…

  10. Not trying to bombard you, but I came across this too. Here’s the link http://www.policymic.com/articles/69537/the-invisible-body-image-issue-that-millennial-men-need-to-know

    You see the title “invisible body image issue for men?”. Here’s a paragraph in the article that I’m going to copy and paste here that basically reiterates what I said about men and how the lesser body image of men is deceiving because of how men treat things compared to women. here’s an excerpt from article in quotes. I’ll have brackets emphasizing the real main points from the excerpt I post below here.

    “An estimated 50 million men (or, according to a University of West England study, four in five men) have body image issues, {but much fewer than that admit it.} {It could be that we as men are conditioned not to admit to deficiencies, perceived or otherwise.} Or it could be that{ body image insecurity has traditionally been viewed as a “feminine problem” and therefore “unacceptable” in men (because: sexism).} Whatever the case, we can’t ignore the increasing evidence identifying the prevalence of body image issues among men, nor the psychological and behavioral repercussions.”

    wow 4 in 5 men, definitely more than I expected but the reason is like I highlighted. Because “much fewer admit to it or show it”.

  11. You might find this interesting. I didn’t really look for this, but just came upon this article by chance, just browsing google. Remember how I told you women feel their worth is more upon their bodies and physical appearance, but it seems men just simply assume their bodies are less attractive than women in general. Wherease, women have the body body image from them in comparision to other women. Men it’s simply being born a male and just simply realizing it’s made lesser than the female, but not stressing over, because men have too many other pressues such as leading, being providers, approaching women and just being happy to get sex and dates, so they can’t fuss or get too caught up on their bodies. But this articles is interesting with magazines know for sexual images of women like maxim and yet how it suprisingly effects men’s self esteem who regularly look at them with men feeling bad about their bodies based in the hot women and the messages in the magazines. here’s the link here. http://www.livescience.com/3029-steamy-magazines-men-feel-bad-women.html

  12. This has always been around though just more pressure now. It didn’t seem like before, because like I said, guy’s suppress their feelings, so people don’t realize how much a man might feel bad about his body or don’t know what he really thinks of his body. Because guy’s don’t talk about it or show it like women usually do. Guy’s arent’ vocal about their bodies, so it’s a mystery more so about men’s body insecurites compared to women. Kind of like how when women are sad or upset, they talk to their girlfriends and talk to everybody and get their feelings out so others can help them and others know about women;s insecurities because of how women socialize and are allowed to do so. Whereas, many men when sad or upset unfortunately bottle up their feelings, so people assume guys are fine or things aren’t affecting them because guys don’t let on or talk about stuff nearly as much. The body image and flaw thing I think can be related to this with how women are more vocal and expressive about it, whereas, men bottle or suppress their thoughts.

    • Yes. Good point. Also, the link you gave shows a man who is criticized because his body wasn’t manly enough–came too close to how women’s bodies appear. I suspect women who look “boyish” experience this much differently, as with Audrey Hepburn. On the other hand, way more images — and way more narrow images– bombard women. So I might do a couple posts. One focusing on men and one comparing and contrasting the male/female experience.

  13. That and the fact that men have always had insecurities about their bodies, just men don’t talk about it so it’s not something people are aware of. As a man complaining or worrying about his body and it’s flaws is not a “manly” thing, but girly, so it doesn’t fit in “guy code”. So just like other things, guy’s suppress hurt and shame of their bodies and in turn put it towards humor and comedy. It’s like the guy way of dealing with their body flaws is laughing at themselves and other men, even if it’s because of their realization of their body flaws and how unattractive their bodies are, thus the comedy. Look how much media has something where a man does something to promote humor from his body. How many times do you see a fat guy wearing a speedo or even a regular guy wearing something skimpy for comedy purposes. Think of Borat and Sach baren cohen. I mean I do appreciate some of the stuff and laugh at some of the stuff, just because some guys are so funny and their humor. But It’s a way guys deal with flaws is finding comedy in their own body, or mocking themselves, because it’s hard for a man to see himself as “sexy”, or it’s easy for a man to feel stupid in trying to be sexy in regard to his body. So many men, will mock themselves and get laughter out of it.

  14. Thanks. There seems to be increasing pressure on men. I’ve written about it a little but I should write some more sometime. Thanks for the resource.

  15. here’s an article about men and body image from a male point of view about their bodies.
    http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/How-Men-Really-Feel-About-Their-Bodies/1

  16. One thing none of you people haven´t considered: Minimal Underwear.

    In our culture, we have been taught that minimal underwear is for women’s usage only, so a man wearing it would be considered gayish!

    In most women’s mind, a man in thong/gstring would be the same than a man in high-heels: a total turn off!

  17. Well … in class there was some discussion about women tending to look at another woman’s body more because they live in a society based on how males view society. But couldn’t a woman also look at another woman body to size them up and compared themselves? We want to look good to catch the attention of those they want a relationship with. And because women are focusing their energy on finding the one they would tend to look for men that they know that they can have a relationship with. Simply, strippers equal no relationship. Plus, being fully clothed leaves more to the imagination. Doesn’t it?

    • Yes and Yes. But “couldn’t a woman also look at another woman body to size them up and compared themselves?” Isn’t that seeing the world through men’s eyes, too?

  18. That’s an interesting thought. Another thing about women’s desire for men, too, is that women like to think of men as romantic pursuers.
    “…straight women get more aroused by being desired than by desiring men. ”
    By acknowledging the fact that they are the subject of interest, women tend to begin a series of imaginations in their minds, painting pictures of what the future of the interaction will be. With male strippers, we can’t fantasize about the guy the same way we fantasize about a hot guy I exchanged flirtatious gazes with. You know nothing’s never going to happen with the stripper, whereas the hot guy may linger in your mind for a couple of hours or even a couple days, just to imagine the possibilities. Women place a lot of importance on relationships and emotional romantic thought/connection. However, since naked men does not automatically categorize itself in our heads as possible future relationship the same way men think of naked women, there is the difference in reactions and perceptions.

    • You make a great point:

      By acknowledging the fact that they are the subject of interest, women tend to begin a series of imaginations in their minds, painting pictures of what the future of the interaction will be. With male strippers, we can’t fantasize about the guy the same way we fantasize about a hot guy I exchanged flirtatious gazes with. You know nothing’s never going to happen with the stripper, whereas the hot guy may linger in your mind for a couple of hours or even a couple days, just to imagine the possibilities.

  19. I’ve spent some time up in Portland, and I’ve come to befriend some dancers at an all-male strip club up there. Most of the guys who dance there are straight, but the manager makes them “act gay” because most of the customers are gay men. This seems ridiculous to me… is it because, like you said, stripping is a feminine thing so it’s okay for a gay guy (or a more typically feminine guy, so sayeth the stereotype) to do it? Maybe they just make more money pretending to be gay, I don’t know.

    Also, I agree that women’s bodies are way more fetishized in our society, but I have definitely looked at men’s bodies in a sexual way, probably since I started high school. John said something about porn and strip clubs being phony, and I agree– women can sense that falseness and it’s a turn-off. Whereas I definitely appreciate men, and blah blah blah, but besides that there have been numerous times where I have been distracted by strong arms and hands and backs and hip bones and collar bones yeah.

    It’s not really socially acceptable for girls to talk about this kinda stuff though, cus they’re the ones who are supposed to be ogled. And probably would get called sluts or something for admitting that kind of thing, even if it’s normal to talk about girls’ bodies in that way.

  20. You’re welcome. No that’s not very surprising since they are positioned as the objects of desire, they are acutely aware of being stared at. Men, on the other hand, are probably too wrapped up in staring to notice if anyone is staring at them. I remember seeing some softcore porn clip on the internet back when i was a teenager. A woman in a bikini (she wasn’t even nude) was admiring her reflection in the mirror, and she got so turned on by it that she said (the voice-over) she felt she could ‘make love to herself.’ In men’s mags (not sure if you’ve browsed them for research purposes lol) in the ‘confessions’ section, I noticed a lot of the stories involved women talking about how hot other women were, and objectifying them. Basically thinly veiled lesbian titilation for me. I never buy them, just now and then browse through them for fun.

    I remember once I went to a nude beach (I’m not a habitual nudist but I believe in trying most things once). Pretty much all males, but I noticed an older gentleman staring at me. I tried to ignore him, but, not surprisingly, he later approached me and basically made an indecent proposition to me lol. I politely declined but haven’t been back there since. But I guess it made me realise how many women must feel. Maybe a bit off topic, since things are different with same sex attraction. But I admit it can be a little arousing being totally bare at the nude beach: while I don’t welcome it, maybe there’s an element of exhibitionism in it. I don’t consider myself ‘sexy’ per se or the ideal male body, but just gazing upon my own naked body and feeling my nakedness is often enough to turn me on. I’m assuming this is quite normal, or do not a lot of guys/girls think like this? I don’t know if this even fits in with what you’re talking about, but it relates to one’s own conception of whether or not they’re ‘sexy.’ While I still have a typical male brain some respects maybe i can relate more to the experiential experience of sex, that’s why I am attracted to dominance (not all the time) in women too.

    • You always have interesting comments.

      I haven’t seen research on your question but from personal experience I know that at least one of my boyfriends got aroused by the sexuality of his own nudity. And I know that a lot of men want women to experience their bodies with lust, the way they experience women. Just take a look at several of the comments I’ve received on various posts related to this question.

  21. I think you hit the nail on the head. The atmosphere of cartoonish mockery kind of kills any sort of truly sensual experience. For instance, in male strip clubs, the men are dancing stupidly, being jackasses out of themselves…now in a female strip club, the women dance sinuously, suggestively, drawing attention to the breasts, what’s between their legs. Now imagine if women acted all goofy and danced, and there was an atmosphere of laughter. Go to any ‘normal’ strip club and there isn’t always a lot of smiling and laughter and having fun. A lot of the men look sad, some don’t even seem that aroused. I’ve only been twice, and while I did get a little aroused by the physical side of things, the phoniness, the fact that i felt the dancers looked at me with derision, was a bit turn off for me. In fact, by the end of the half an hour i was there i was ready to leave the place. I just felt it was a money making machine. When the dancers gave me lap dancers I just felt like a loser…

    Which is another point I want to get to. Males don’t THINK of themselves as sexy, and women know that. Even the buff ‘hotties’, don’t think of themselves as feeling sexy. I’ll let you into a bit of psychology related to nudity, which i think many people might not share. I find nudity itself kind of arousing because of how it FEELS, and how i associate it with the feeling of sex. So although I’m not a woman, when I see a naked woman I imagine what it’s like to be her, to be a sexual being, the sensual experience. The same sometimes goes for naked men. My question is, do women ever do this with men? Do they ever imagine what it’s like to be the naked men, being lusted over, and does that turn them on? Are men like me common too? Be interesting to do a survey. I just feel that male strip clubs are just a terrible way to gauge how aroused women are by male bodies. Nor is porn. Both are so artificial…I imagine if a woman saw her man for instance in the shower, just in a day to day situation, she’d be much more aroused. Would you agree?

    • I agree that men in real situations seem sexier.

      That said, the male body doesn’t seem as sexy as the female body because of the way they’re socially constructed (the meaning society assigns to them both).

      I’m planning to write a post on this at some point, but when women experience themselves as sexy they experience themselves through men’s — or their man’s — eyes. They’re sort of vicariously making love to themselves (probably without consciously realizing it, until it’s pointed out. Then they say, “Oh yeah…”)

      So they need the guy experiencing their sexiness to experience this.

      I would like society to get more into the sensuality of the male body.

      I think women (like me, anyway) get more turned on by the guy’s strength and their emotional connection to him.

      Btw, thanks for your thoughts and suggestions. I’ll have to explore this more.

  22. I was very aroused watching this movie, but that is because of the main star =). I have had a celeb crush on him for the last six years. In general, I do agree with you that male strippers aren’t sexy. I have only ever seen one in person, and he WAS gay.

  23. It’s because women find men in positions of power and status sexy. A male stripper doesn’t have power and status. He job is catering to women which puts him below them on the power and status level.

  24. You obviously havent seen what a realy sexy man looks like! Look up Sagi Kalev, Tom Welling, etc… Have you not seen “dancing bear”…women go crazy for them male strippers! What era are you living in? Stop spreading stupidity. If anything guys are becoming less aroused from female strppers…drive by a club one day…you’ll see how dead it is!

    • I don’t doubt that the women are going crazy. But I do doubt that they’re aroused.

      Women don’t experience the male body in the eroticized way that men experience the female body, for the reasons I describe. The male body is not widely eroticized in this culture as the female body is.

      How do you explain the fact that there is so much porn out there for men, while Playgirl goes bankrupt (despite a large audience of gay male readers)? Why are only one out of 50 site subscribers women?

      I don’t think women benefit from this sort of inequality at all.

      I’m also not surprised that female strip clubs are now less crowded. Internet porn is leaving many men overdosed and unable to get aroused by breasts and butts after seeing thousands of them — it all becomes no big deal (and reveals the social construction of the breast fetish — of which there is, unfortunately, no male equivalent in the first place). See:

      Porn Can Cause E.D.?
      https://broadblogs.com/2012/05/14/porn-can-cause-e-d/

      Men Aren’t Hard Wired To Find Breasts Attractive
      https://broadblogs.com/2010/11/04/men-aren%e2%80%99t-hard-wired-to-find-breasts-attractive/

      And all this gets back to my original point. Many men are losing their fetished response to women’s bodies (among those overexposed to porn) and coming to see them more the way men’s bodies appear to women. Beautiful, but not highly arousing.

  25. Georgia–I like this and agree to a point, but I must be of the minority that finds men just…beautiful, gorgeous, sexy, etc. Not so much into dancing, where I believe the eroticism is blasted away by turning it into something more of sideshow slapstick than anything truly erotic–but photography is nice. Perhaps it is not so much an issue of repression of our sexuality as women (I am reaching here–so please bear with me) as it is a difference in what we, as women, find erotic and stimulating sexually.

    • Just saying that women don’t seem to get sexually aroused at male strip clubs, and discussing why that might be. Your comment sounds like you don’t get aroused at them, either.

      Women, generally, tend to be uncomfortable with male nudity (other than the real, live men they’re being intimate with). See: Men, Women React to Male/Female Nudity
      https://broadblogs.com/2011/10/12/gendered-reactions-to-male-and-female-nudity/

      I agree that men are sexy, and I’ll write more on how they are later. But men aren’t fetished in the way that women are. Thus, the explanations. That’s also why I wrote “There are plenty of reasons why women think men look sexier fully clothed.”

      I also agree that women get aroused in different ways. See: Men Watch Porn, Women Read Romance. Why?
      https://broadblogs.com/2011/05/16/men-watch-porn-women-read-romance-why/

      But that difference likely represents repression, too. In societies that are pro-sex for women, women behave remarkably similar to men, sexually.

  1. Pingback: On my mind 07.11.14 | Americanika

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