Women don’t understand how difficult it is for men to be monogamous. We try to remain faithful, but society’s expectation of utter fidelity is unrealistic. No matter how much we love our wives, we crave variety. I don’t give a damn if you’re married to Halle Berry; it’s hard. You go home and your wife is rubbing on you, and she’s probably rubbed on you that same way since you met her. I know a lot of women, including my wife, would feel disrespected and hurt if they knew their husbands went to a strip club. What they don’t know is that going there might be keeping us from doing something a whole lot worse. 

I got married at 22. Back then strip clubs weren’t on my radar. I didn’t even think of going to one until a friend suggested it about seven years into my marriage. After that first visit, I had two thoughts: I like it, and I hope my wife doesn’t find out. Ten years later I still feel the same way. It’s just not worth burdening her with information that’ll upset her when I know it’s meaningless and has nothing to do with how I feel about her. Most of the time I just tell her I was at Red Lobster with the boys. 

There are two things that keep me going to the clubs. Obviously, part of it is to watch the dancers. Those girls are like objects of high art. They’re gorgeous, with toned legs and tight behinds, and they really know how to move. Many of them will get onstage and bend over so that everything is six inches from your face, which is very erotic. They do all that in the hopes of getting you interested in buying a lap dance, which invariably you do. It amazes me that a woman can sit in your lap with her back to you, wiggle about, somehow feel around without using her hands, know exactly where your penis is, and get you aroused as quickly as she does. The whole time the stripper is giving you a lap dance she might be whispering all kinds of provocative things in your ear. My wife, as fine as she is, doesn’t have those skills.

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The other reason I like going to the clubs is because it’s nice to have a beautiful woman sit and talk with you and look as if she’s fascinated by what you have to say. Of course, the conversation is pretty superficial; I remember one time talking to a woman about a car show I’d been to. But still, my wife has heard all my stories. She’s definitely not going to sit two feet away from me, nodding and smiling, hanging on my every word, with her breasts exposed. Naturally, in the back of your mind you know the only reason the girls in the club are paying attention to you is because they’re looking for the $25 you’ll give them for a lap dance. But the feeling of talking to a pretty woman is not an experience guys like me get to have too often. It reminds me of when I wasn’t married. A time when I was 15 pounds lighter and actually interesting to someone like that. Yes, it’s an illusion. But it’s very empowering.

The strip clubs take the edge off the desire to stray. It’s like cheating, but without any of the ramifications: You can’t catch diseases, no one’s going to get pregnant, and you’re not going to get emotionally entangled. You’re basically just going to look, fantasize and get turned on. As much as I know my wife would hate to hear it, there are times when going to a strip club has really added some pep to our marriage. After the club, I’ll be so aroused I’ll go home and have sex with her on a night when I might not have otherwise. After you’ve been married 18 years, sometimes you need a little extra spice. I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.

There may come a day when I stop going. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Why should I stop? As far as I’m concerned, it’s just harmless fun. Right?