Because in today’s issue we’re going to be talking about STRIPPERS
Hey, it’s Michael Fiore with a brand-spanking-new, hot off the presses newsletter for you guaranteed to get your pulse pounding and (possibly) your blood BOILING . . .
Because in today’s issue we’re going to be talking about STRIPPERS, the secret REAL reason some men get ADDICTED to strippers (it has very little to do with sex) and what to do if the man (or woman) in your life has flat out LIED to you about their deep and abiding love for “exotic dancers.”
The Secret Real Reason Men Love Strippers (And How To Make Him Love YOU Instead)
Edith asks . . .
“Hi Mike. My husband and I have been married for a year and a half. I am 8 years older, but look younger than him. I have 2 kids, he has 1.
When we met I asked him if he liked strip clubs because I hated them. He said no. Later on I found out the truth. My husband not only loves strip clubs, but also watches porn 3 or 4 times per week. He also spends $200/$300 every time he goes out to a strip club. In fact, I caught him talking to one stripper on a consistent basis when we were dating and that he took one to his room in Vegas, before we met. He has tried to hide the fact that he goes to those places, then comes clean, apologizes, and goes back again. I have gotten to the point of being a spy to catch him, it's insane that when he travels or I travel for business, I don't trust he will stay away. I feel that we both have broken these rules, by him not being honest and telling me the truth about his fantasies and me spying on him because I don't trust him. Unfortunately, I always find something.
I am a very sexual person and sometimes he can't even keep up with me. I was under the impression we had a great sex life and a healthy relationship, but today I don't feel this way. I'm sad, unhappy and heart broken.
I love him and still get butterflies when I see him, but unfortunately, I'm losing my mind and I feel divorce could be an option.”
Mike answers . . .
Thanks for your question (and for your awesome name. It’s pretty rare to find a woman under 70 with the name Edith, but I kind of love it. My grandmother’s name was Violet and if I ever have a daughter I think Violet Fiore is a pretty awesome name. Anyway . . .)
First off I want to say I totally understand your pain, frustration, sadness and even anger about all this. Nobody likes to be lied to and nobody (man or woman) likes to feel like they aren’t “enough” for their partner . . . especially when you’ve got a voracious sexual appetite and it seems like he’d rather jerk off to porn or pay some 22-year-old to do her “Bored Gyrations” on his lap for $40 a song (it’s getting pricey, huh?)
Is this the end of your marriage? SHOULD it be the end of your marriage? Let me answer some big questions about lies, men, sex and strippers and then see if I can help you make a decision.
Why Did Your Husband Lie?
OK, if you want a deeper explanation for why men flat-out LIE to women they love, you should go check out this snazzy video I did: http://whyhelies.com . . .
But for now let’s just talk about why YOUR husband lied to you specifically about both strip clubs and porn . . .
Plain and simple, your husband lied to your face for two simple reasons:
1. His intense SHAME around his addiction to strip clubs and strippers (and if he’s going to a strip club 3 or 4 times a week and dropping $300 every single visit, make no mistake he is full-on ADDICTED to what he’s getting at the strip club.)
2. His intense FEAR around you being disappointed in him as a man and your FREAKING OUT if he told you the truth. (I’ve said this many times, but if you want a man to tell you the truth about EVERYTHING you have to prove that you’re capable of handling the truth about EVERYTHING without taking it personally or attacking him. By the way: If your boyfriend or husband tells you he NEVER watches porn it’s not because he never watches porn, it’s because A. He doesn’t see anything inherently wrong with watching porn sometimes and B. He knows if he tells you he watches porn sometimes you’ll probably blow a gasket about it. Sucks, huh?)
Let’s Talk About SHAME
My favorite definition of SHAME is this:
“Guilt is about what you did; shame is about who you ARE.”
Let’s use my adorable (at least to myself and my girlfriend - he’s kind of a mess of a mutt, really) dog Dobby (named for the house elf in Harry Potter.)
A couple weeks ago I was down in the basement in the morning sifting through some laundry when my girlfriend and Dobby came down. My (amazing) GF hadn’t had a chance to take Dobby out yet and when I walked out of the laundry room I locked eyes with the little bugger and watched in horror as he lifted a leg and peed right on a pair of pants I’d left on the basement floor the night before. (The dog peed my pants and I wasn’t even wearing them.)
I let out some kind of strangled sound and The Dobster lowered his head and looked up at me with watery eyes that said “I’m sorry! I’m sorry, Dad! I just really had to pee!” and then got scooped up in my girlfriend’s arms and rushed out to the yard.
When he lowered his head and gave me that hangdog look, was Dobby feeling GUILT or was he feeling SHAME?
Well, if he was feeling SHAME his internal narrative would be something like “Good dogs don’t pee on Mike’s pants. I peed on Mike’s pants therefore I’m a BAD DOG. I’m a BAD DOG and there’s something WRONG with me and maybe they should have left me at the pound!”
While if he was feeling GUILT it would be something like “Oh, man, I feel terrible. I know I’m not supposed to pee in the house but I really had to go and I just couldn’t help myself. The big bald guy is upset. I know I’m still a good dog but I feel AWFUL!”
Do you see the difference? Guilt means you did something “bad” and regret it, but SHAME means YOU ARE BAD.
When it comes to porn and strippers, Edith, your husband doesn’t feel GUILT (“I’m a good guy but sometimes I like to go to the strip club and what’s the harm?”) he feels SHAME (“What is WRONG with me? I know if Edith knew the truth she’d be DISGUSTED in me but I just can’t help myself.”)
All of which leads into the second reason he lied:
You made it very clear that you find porn and strip clubs disgusting before you even asked him if he ever went to see strippers so your husband knew without a shadow of a doubt that if he told you the truth you would see him as LESS of a “good man” than you did before.
Again, if you want to get deeper into why men LIE to women they love, go here
Because now it’s time to talk about . . .
The Real Reason Men Love Strippers (And It’s Not Really About Sex)
First off, I should say that while I’ve been to a few strip clubs over the course of my life, they aren’t really my “thing.” Heck, on the few occasions I have gone to a strip club my friends have been downright astounded at my ability to leave with as much money in my pocket as when I got there and to deflect most strippers from even asking if I “want a dance” with nothing but my body language.
(Oh! Quick story: About 16 years ago my buddy Robby and I drove from LA to Vegas to meet up with my older brother and a bunch of his frat brothers for a bachelor party. At one point we ended up at a strip club and the frat boys dispersed to be feasted upon by cash-hungry strippers. I was dead broke at the time and so was Robby. About 18 seconds into our strip club experience an ALPHA STRIPPER and her two stripper assistants eyed us and walked with carnivorous confidence our way.
“So, what do you boys want?,” the Alpha Stripper breathed sexily as she reached her hands towards our crotches. Robby’s eyes rolled into the back of his head and his mouth went slack and I knew he was a goner if I didn’t do something.
“Uhh, hey, so how’s work?” I asked like she was a barista at a Starbucks. The Alpha Stripper eyed me with disgust and tried to sink her tentacles deeper into Robby, but more babbling idiocy from me saved us both and earned me a tremendous amount of scorn from scantily-clad women.)
Anyway . . .
A lot of women seem to think that guys go to strip clubs because of SEX . . .
But that’s not REALLY it . . . or not ALL of it anyway.
I mean, sure, us heterosexual guys like seeing a new set of breasts and everybody’s impressed by a woman who can do crazy tricks on a stripper pole . . .
But we live an age when any guy who wants to can see all the breasts he wants on his cell phone and when the best stripper-pole routines in the world are available on Youtube. (And they are truly amazing.)
Nope, the REAL reason most men like strip clubs (and some men LOVE them and spend all their rent money on them) is because strippers are very, very good at making a man feel POWERFUL and DESIRED and help guys trick themselves into thinking they are the ALPHA MALE.
Most guys are completely used to having to be the aggressors when it comes to the “mating game” . . . men are expected to approach women, to seduce and romance them, to pursue doggedly, to crawl over broken glass and to do all sorts of other hilarious things to win a woman’s attention . . .
And most guys also NEVER feel truly DESIRED, lusted after or appreciated in their real lives.
But at the strip club, the whole “rules” of human flirtation and seduction are flipped. Instead of being a guy and using all your wit and charm and bulging biceps to get into a woman’s pants . . .
You’ve got athletic, sexy young women (women who generally wouldn’t give your husband or most of the guys at the strip club the time of day in the real world) literally BENDING OVER BACKWARDS, speaking in a sweet babydoll voice, lightly caressing his bicep, telling him what a big, strong man he is and playing his desperate masculine ego like a violin to get into HIS pants (where he keeps his wallet.)
And I’ll tell you right now, being treated like that by a woman (even when you KNOW full well that she’s just doing her job and trying to milk you like a cow who produces $20 bills instead of milk) is absolutely INTOXICATING.
So, Edith, What Do You Do?
In your question you said:
“I was under the impression we had a great sex life and a healthy relationship, but today I don't feel this way. I'm sad, unhappy and heart broken.”
And you know what? I’d say you STILL have a great sex life and a healthy relationship. In fact, your husband’s addiction (and with how much money he’s spending and how often he’s going this is a full-blown addiction at this point . . . I’m willing to bet he feels absolutely powerless to stop himself) really has NOTHING to do with you and NOTHING to do with how sexually satisfied he is in your marriage. (Really. No, seriously. It’s true.)
Honestly, if he were just going to strip clubs once every month or couple of months with some friends I’d tell you to just forget you found out and keep living your life.
But obviously this is a bigger problem than that.
What you need to do (if you want to save your marriage) is stop seeing your husband as a man who’s betraying you and betraying your trust by going to strip clubs and instead EMPATHIZE with the fact that he’s in the grip of something he doesn’t seem to be able to control or stop (Have you ever tried giving up cigarettes? Or sugar? It’s HARD, especially if you think it’s something you should be able to just “do.” Willpower is never enough to break this kind of cycle.)
Does that mean you just accept the fact that he’s wasting all this time and all this money on strippers?
Nope, not at all. It means you look at your husband the way you want him to look at you: as a human being with human failings and human problems. Just because he’s got a compulsion around strippers doesn’t mean he’s a “bad guy” or that he’s not the man you married: it just means, like all of us, he is imperfect and weak and probably very, very ashamed. (Honestly, he probably doesn’t even really ENJOY going to strip clubs anymore. He just can’t help himself.)
So, what I recommend is . . .
1. Go to counseling together to talk about this. Try as hard as you can not to feel like or act like a “victim” in counseling (“how could he DO this to me????”) and whatever you do don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if he “Loved you” or if you were “sexy enough” he wouldn’t do this. Again, it has effectively nothing to do with you.)
2. With the help of your counselor, ask him if he wants to get help for this problem (so he can save the money at the very least) and seek out a therapist with experience dealing with this kind of problem.
3. Help him setup systems where he’s not just relying on his willpower to keep him from going to strip clubs. That could mean helping him put limits on his ability to spend money or any number of alternatives though it’s important not to emasculate him or treat him like a child.
All that said, if he’s actually been sleeping with strippers or prostitutes that’s a much bigger issue not least of which because of the potential impact on your sexual health.
And if you go through all this with him and he pretends it’s “Not a problem” or that he can “stop at any time” or anything like that then you most likely will need to consider divorce and move on. Sucks, huh?
A Quick Bonus Question:
Reem asks :
“If I see a man, I feel curious to know because his name is same as name I created 4 years ago for the man of my dreams in my imagination. But I don't want to pursue because I prefer him to start if he is interested, as all the ones I started with first they step away. Then what do you think about this?”
Hi Reem, thanks for your question.
Well, I think a few things so let’s just get into them.
1. The fact that he’s got the same name as the name of the man of your dreams is just a coincidence and could actually lead you to make some really bad choices (you may assume he’s got positive traits he simply doesn’t.) If it’s a guy you find interesting and attractive that’s great, but don’t give the name too much weight.
2. If he’s someone you want to pursue you but he isn’t taking initiative then you need to “goose” things in the right direction. That doesn’t mean you have to be the one to “hit on” him, but you need to give him a signal that his attention is welcome. The best way I know of for a woman to do that is . . .
Just ask him for a favor.
It can be anything really, but just ask him to help you reach something or open a jar or any other stereotypically male thing as a way to start a conversation and give him an opening.
That’s it for now.