Why Aren’t Male Strippers Sexy?
Women go to strip clubs for “fun” and female bonding, not to get aroused.
Or maybe they want to prove that they can objectify men just as much as men objectify them.
Sure, some women find male strippers 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 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. I agree with her on some points, but on others we see things differently. For instance, I think evolutionary psych is largely full of crap. Here are my own musings:
Men’s bodies aren’t sexualized
Despite feminism and more women in charge of cultural images we still see fewer sexualized images of men. Maybe because the women in charge of media have be socialized to see women as the sexier half of the species. And no male body part is fetishized like women’s breasts are.
So lusting after men isn’t something that women learn to do in the same was that men unconsciously learn to lust after women.
Some say women are just more erotic, yet breasts are only sexualized 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.
Women’s sexuality is more punished — and repressed
Women’s sexuality is more punished, leading to repression (nearly 1/2 of U.S. women have low interest in sex — not natural).
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 these before (see links in this paragraph), but repression arises as women are slut-shamed and told that sex is bad – for them, anyway. Sex lessens from mom and dad are more negative for girls. We’re the ones who get screwed and f’d — not nice imagery. And women and girls are also more often the victims of sexual abuse, which colors sexuality with negativity.
Sexy men can look “gay”
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 can come to see nude males through male eyes, too. That’s jarring, not a turn-on.
Men doing “women-things” like stripping can be jarring, too. (I’ve got data on that from my students. More later.)
Women get aroused by being desired
Straight women also tend to get more aroused by being desired by their lovers than by desiring men. This is probably due to a culture that objectifies women much more than men. 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.
Just some of my thoughts on the topic.
An edited rerun — I’m on taking a few days off.
Posted on August 7, 2017, in men, objectification, sex and sexuality and tagged Magic Mike, male strippers, men, objectification, pornography, sex and sexuality, women's psychology. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.