LIFESTYLE

'Strip Clubs Save Marriages' Says Female Anthropologist, We Let Out Long Groan

06/08/2013 13:59 BST | Updated 06/08/2013 14:02 BST

"But they made me!" has long been the battle cry for a man who has just been rumbled by his other half for having visited a strip club.

But according to a female anthropologist who spent six years working as a stripper, strip clubs can actually save marriages. It prompts the question - how bad a state does your marriage have to be in, where you come to a point that one of you needs to go to a strip club as a release?

US-based author Katherine Frank, who lives in Washington DC, interviewed 30 of her regular customers at the several strip clubs in which she worked to write G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire.

strip club

The book is about the relationship between strippers and their customers, which was adapted from her PhD dissertation.

Frank describes herself previously as an 'anti-pornography' feminist, and talking to Virginia Vizthum at Salon.com, said that working in the strip club opened her eyes as to why men visit them. "For the men who said that they were in love with their wives and wanted to stay married, what happened in the clubs was transgressive and real enough to be exciting, but was still a fantasy."

In other words, men who visited strip clubs had some of their needs met and didn't need to seek out an affair.

HuffPost UK Lifetyle asked sex and relationship expert Mike Lousada, who said: "I think that visiting strippers can either enhance of retract from a marriage. A lot of men have been made to feel that their desires are not acceptable. Unfortunately woman have bought into the myth that women have lower sex drive (not true in my judgment, it is simply more suppressed in most cases).

"By disowning that part of themselves and making it somehow wrong or unpalatable they project it onto others, usually men. It is easier to vilify that which we observe in others than own it for ourselves. So, erotic drive becomes "wrong" and judged. Men suffer from this splitting and often act out unconsciously the negative projections."

Here's what a couple of @HuffPoLifestyle followers had to say:

However, there is no getting round the fact that the reason why women feel inadequate or uncomfortable with strip clubs is because their partner is looking at a much more aesthetically honed version of themselves, and paying money to do so.

Frank disagrees however, saying that strip clubs are actually more inclusive of women with different bodies. She said: "I learned that men have a much more varied perception of what sort of bodies are beautiful or sexy than a lot of women think they do. The upper-tier clubs had less variety than the lower-tier clubs. But even in the upscale clubs, you’ll see more variety of shapes and sizes than you’d see in a Cosmo or a Maxim. I had stereotyped men as wanting something narrow, when in fact they have a wide variety of tastes."

strip club

Mike adds: "Once women reclaim their inherent sexuality and use it to empower themselves men, will be able to come into a more balanced place with their own sexuality."

Are we responsible for how men feel about their sexuality though? It's an uncomfortable thought and one that we seem unwilling to shoulder - sort of like a "Oh honey, I'm sorry I made you go to the strip club so you could feel like more of a man."

Frank's final statement reveals that the debate it far from over though, as she reveals she wouldn't like her husband to visit a strip club. "Honestly, I wouldn’t like it! For me, a lot of it is about the money — I don’t have the disposable income to spend on that kind of entertainment, and if he did have that kind of extra money, I’d want it to be fair. Maybe if I could spend dollar for dollar somewhere else, but unfortunately, there aren’t yet places where women can go pay hot young men to stroke their egos. That may come in the future."