I was never a fan of strip clubs. I love women — especially naked women, but I couldn’t give in to the fantasy. Even though they appear to be having a great time dancing and twirling around, their eyes tell a different story. One where they are just trying to get through the night and can’t remember if they paid their phone bill. I also never understood the heel clapping. It’s annoying and counterproductive. Trust me, you have our attention.

Broken Arm:

One exception was when I got a lap dance from a woman with a broken arm. It impressed me she was still dancing on stage, but I was afraid she wasn’t making enough money and thought, at the very least, I would get to hear a good story. I was not disappointed. She sat on my lap, ran her fingers through my hair and told me about an epic stripper fight. Even though it only lasted for one song, it was probably one of the best first dates of my life.

“Danger Will Robinson”:

Ten years ago I was out with my girlfriend and her friends. It was late enough in the evening that they thought it would be fun to go to a strip club. I immediately objected, warning, “nothing good will come of this.” Some might think this is a great way to spice things up in the relationship or could lead to kinky sex. And they may be right. However, those outcomes are sitting at the end of a relationship minefield. Everyone has been on the receiving end of the “It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it”. I could hear it now, “It’s not that you looked at a stripper, it’s HOW you looked at the stripper.” There were too many unknown variables to survive the night without a fight. Reluctantly I agreed, trading the inevitable fight about how “I never want to do anything”, for the unknown.

Flashdance and a 401k:

At first things were going well until a woman got on stage and started killing it. I mean, she was in it to win it. She was an incredible dancer, confident, enthusiastic, and mesmerizing. I noticed after dancing she was practically shoveling money off the dance floor into her handbag. In my mind, she was easily making five times as much as her colleagues. So I say to my girlfriend, “Hey honey, I’m going to go talk to that stripper.”

I introduced myself while politely asking how much money she made? She said she worked three nights a week and would net between $1,000 and $2,000 — a good chunk of change. Before I knew it, I was asking if she’s investing for her retirement or had a Roth IRA? Then I touched on the benefits of compound interest. “You know because you can’t be a stripper forever,” I said as I handed her a financial advisor friend’s business card.

Dragon Ball Z:

At this point, my girlfriend sent a liaison to inform me she was not happy. So I said goodbye, naïve, and drunk enough to think I made a positive impact on her life and wandered back over to my girlfriend who was visibly steaming. She looked so mad I thought there might be a spike in radiation levels. She asks, “Why were you talking to that stripper?!” I responded casually, “because we’re at a strip club”. WACK! She smacked me right across the jaw. It made me think of the scene from Pretty Woman, when Vivian (Julia Roberts) gets hit by Jason Alexander’s character? Vivan says to Edward (Richard Gere), “How do men know right where to hit a woman? Right across the face, POW”. It made me think, hey, women know too. It was also the first time a woman hit me and it made me so mad I thought I might go Dragon Ball Z Super Saiyan holding in my anger and not reacting.

“You’re Just Like Your Father”:

Next, came the verbal assault, “What, you don’t think I can do what she does!? You think she’s prettier than me!?” We fought the entire walk home, which means she berated me the whole time. I’m not sure if anyone has experienced this, but it’s the point in the argument when my girlfriend thinks I’d be happier with a woman that is an amalgam of all her insecurities. For example, she would say, “I think you’d be happier with a woman that was taller, blonde, had a unique sense of humor and wasn’t as social.”

Coincidentally, I met this woman later in life and turns out she was right. But in this case my response was, “Just so I understand, you are mad at me for hypothetically preferring a woman you made up in your mind?” It was that or, “Absolutely, she sounds great!” It still didn’t help matters much. Instead, it prompted her to dust off the top shelf insults like, “you’re just like your father,” or “you’ll never be successful,” etc. The ones Bill Burr refers to as “relationship ending insults”.

Defcon 2:

This is what I consider the DEFCON 2 of relationship fights. The point where your girlfriend’s anger has reached critical mass, becoming a chain reaction of self-sustaining insults and jabs aimed directly at your self-esteem. All leading up to DEFCON 1, which is her thoughts on your penis. At this stage, it doesn’t matter if you’re hung like a donkey or the gentleman in the trick meme saying President Trump has the Corona Virus*, as far as she’s concerned — you have a micropenis.

*For context, the Trump Corona Virus text was a prank text going around with a news headline saying Trump has the coronavirus. But when you click on it, it pulls up a picture of a large African American gentleman with the biggest weiner you’ve ever seen. 

The Predator:

Even though a slightly above average part of me wished she’d die, I still walked her home because I’m a gentleman. I’ve also watched a lot of television and knew if I left her and something bad happened, like she got murdered, I would be a prime suspect. Have you ever been arguing with your girlfriend for so long you imagine things happening to her? For example, the three dots from the predator’s shoulder canon showing up on her forehead and expecting her head to explode? That is your subconscious telling you it’s time to end it, and I agreed, but she didn’t want me to leave and thought we could work it out.

This is the nuclear fallout phase of the relationship because even if parts of it remain intact, they are still uninhabitable while you suffer from the radioactive aftermath and slowly die inside. In hindsight, she gave me the perfect out, and I didn’t take it. Instead, we kept dating, and I made the mistake of staying in the relationship not because I loved her but because I didn’t like her being upset with me. Which turned into a prolonged cycle of codependency and conviction biases until thankfully she broke up with me.

Every White Guys Worst Nightmare:

Sometime later I went on a date with a woman who was the same ex-girlfriend’s college roommate. She told me it surprised her my ex and I dated because I wasn’t really her type. I didn’t understand her meaning until she went, “Here is a picture of the guy she dated after you,” holding up a picture on her phone of a gentleman that strongly resembled the man from the Trump Corona Virus meme.