I was particularly struck however by a comment by one of the panelists that women do not like looking at naked men. Really? What women do you know? Perhaps it is a generational thing but I know that I and my friends have no qualms about admirining the male body. We may not be as vocal about it as men are, but we do just as much looking let me tell you. I remember being twelve years old and sneaking copies of Playgirl underneath my Seventeen magazine at the newsagent (I had no idea at the time that more gay men read Playgirl than heterosexual women!). Despite my being underage, I never had a problem buying it and my friends and I would pore over the pictures of the men in the magazine. Perhaps it was the fact that it was kind of forbidden that made it so exciting. Maybe that's why women aren't as vocal about our appreciation of the male form. There is still something forbidden about a woman admiring the male form unless it is the contexxt of an art class or in a painting or sculpture. My friends and I discussed yesterday the parts of the male nude body that we liked, particularly that arrow of hair that points directly to....Given the amount of money that Chippendales made and now Hunkmania, I can safely say that Dr. Nersessian has no idea what he is talking about!
And women do go to strip clubs. Perhaps not as often as men do. We certainly don't say to each other "Hey, instead of going to that movie/bar/lecture, let's go to a strip club" the men do, but we go. However it is more of an event, like a bachelorette party or a girl's night out, not an ordinary or average event. Again, it's that whole forbidden connotation. For a women to go to a male strip club, we are seeking a way to blow off steam, to be a little naughty away from our husbands or boyfriends. Which is probably why women are insane when they go to these places, screaming and ramming five dollar bills in their g-strings.
I was struck by what one of the panelists, Katherine Frank said, about how men in strip clubs use the women as sort of a confessional, telling them about how their wives/girlfriends/male friends don't understand them etc. It's like the modern equivalent of going to a priest, particularly if you are not religious or Catholic. Whereas the male strippers that I encountered the one time that I went to strip club, spent most of the time talking about themselves. They were totally not interested in us, which I thought was strange since the point was to entice us to buy a lap dance. Maybe it is because women are used to be listeners, and men aren't.
The thing I remember the most was when a group of us turned our chairs around to watch a lap dance, just out of curiousity, because we couldn't fathom how that worked with a guy performing one. When it got to the questions from the audience, Adam Ludwig brought up a point that I was thinking of, which was the opposite of voyeurism, exhibitionism. People who like to be watched, who get off having sex in public places because they know there is a possiblity that they might be seen or caught.
The same woman who brought up where to find men in New York at an earlier roundtable (a constant refrain of my friends and I), now wanted to know if men who went to stripclubs were inherently narcissistic, which was kind of strange because why would a narcissist go to a strip club? He might think that every stripper in the club would of course fall over themselves to give him a lap dance, but I don't think he sees himself reflected in these women.
So question, are there other women out there who enjoy looking at naked men or was Dr. Nersessian right?