Lap dancing clubs have broken down men’s fear of sex…According to strip club owner Peter Stringfellow in a BBC article on the Rise and Fall of Lap dancing.
Wait a minute, let’s take a look at this more closely.
What Stringfellow actually says, and I quote, is “These clubs broke down the fear a lot of people have about sex”.
Being an avid analyst of patriarchal news propaganda I’m so used to seeing the word “people” being used liberally to refer to (exclusively) “men” that I immediately defaulted into believing he was talking about men here too.
But is it possible that men could have been frightened of sex??? What is frightening to men about sex? It doesn’t hurt them. They only do it when, and how, they want to. Their sexuality isn’t exploited. They don’t get pregnant. They don’t fear female violence before, during or after sex. All in all, I’d say sex was pretty benign. For men.
So is it possible–I asked myself– that maybe he’s talking about women, when he uses the word “people”–as in, those “people” who were frightened of sex (before lap dancing clubs came along and stopped them being frightened of it.) Why on earth would women be frightened of sex, I pondered…? At any rate, he appears to be placing words in women’s mouths. Women themselves rarely say that they’re frightened of sex, but Stringfellow seems to have an inkling that they probably would have been, that is, until lap dancing clubs saved the day.
Perhaps what he means is that since the arrival of lap dancing clubs on the British high street, along with the general pornification of society, women have become so desensitized to their own sexuality that they now accept any version of male sexuality imposed upon them, no matter how horrifying it seemed to previous generations of women? Is he talking about the fact that violence and sex are now more closely linked than ever before, if porn is anything to go by, and that women are gradually being forced to accept that the two are inextricable, whereas until recently women carried with them a strange notion that sex had something to do with love, or affection, or kindness? Perhaps when he says that women in the past were frightened by sex, he means frightened by men’s perversions? Whereas now women have all been taught to accept and expect “strange” sex, and it’s likely that this is the only kind of sex they know, precisely because this is the only type of sex men enjoy? All I can do is scratch my head and guess, for he doesn’t elaborate.
Or perhaps he is talking about men after all. Perhaps, before the pornification of society, before lapdancing clubs had sprouted up like mushrooms on the High Streets of every single city in the UK, women were a little more mysterious to men. As feminist author Mary Daly points out, women are mysterious, and this is the point behind the multi-billion dollar porn industry. Its aim is to destroy any mystery surrounding women by debasing them and reducing them to nothing, by degrading them and subordinating them. Perhaps what Stringfellow means is that before, when more women kept their clothes on, when there were less images of women plastered all over society, men could not compare women’s bodies to other women they had seen. Maybe women had a little more confidence about their bodies, maybe wives had little more leverage when it came to telling their husbands they certainly were not going to allow him to do XYZ to them.
Perhaps being forced to relate to women as human beings if you wanted to get laid did used to frighten men, which is why it had to be got rid of. In that sense, Peter Stringfellow might after all be correct when he says “These clubs broke down the fear a lot of people [men] have about sex”
Anyway, it doesn’t matter what Stringfellow thinks anymore because it looks like right wing men’s brand of rape culture currently has the upper hand in parliament, and what this means is that in the coming years it will likely supercede left wing men’s brand of rape culture. Meaning that the institution of marriage will take precedence over strip clubs and. In which case Peter Stringfellow is already on his way out.