I like reading advice columns, but one I do not enjoy is Troy Patterson's "Gentleman Scholar" on Slate. I actually like the writer, or at least I used to — he started off doing entertainment reviews that were genuinely witty and funny. Unfortunately, this persona he's adopted as the Gentleman Scholar doesn't suit him at all. He tries for the Miss Manners aura of unassailable wisdom, but mostly succeeds in channeling Fonzworth Bentley. Being geared towards questions of manly taste and fashion also means there's less of the total insanity trainwreck situation letters, which are why I read advice columns in the first place. Anyway, the headline writers at Slate are damn good at sucking you in, though the authors of the original articles often end up catching hell over the words chosen on their behalf.
The theme for this week was gentlemen's clubs; the kind where the ladies take their clothes off, and the kind where no women are permitted whatsoever. One woman wrote in a question on her boyfriend's behalf (seems weird but whatever) about the ethics of him joining an invitation only, all male fuddy duddy style "elite" social club. Patterson made a bunch of qualifications, but in the end said it's pretty much okay, if a little lame, which sounds about right to me.
The second letter is about strip clubs, and I was immediately reminded of this post from one of last week's open threads. Both OPs are Not Comfortable with the prospect of bachelor party strippers, whether it's the guy being dragged along with the group or the unhappy wife back at home. One extra piece of horror for the poor woman was the fact that the stripper would be coming to the party rather than the group traveling to the dancer's place of business. That's why I couldn't help but laugh at Slate's headline "Real Gentlemen don't go to strip clubs. They invite the strippers to their place." All hail the new gentleman! Amusement aside, Patterson does advise the squeamish dude that a good way to get over the ick factor with strippers in da club is to order one up for delivery instead.
The consensus last week seemed to lean strongly in the opposite direction, and mostly took the perspective of the poor woman walking into a strange house full of drunk-ass horn dogs. That just sounds scary and unpleasant, no matter which way you slice it. Seems weird from the guys' perspective too, like what is up with that? Well, on one occasion I did hang out with a group of guys whose semi-regular party feature was the home stripper experience. There's quite a bit of anticipatory tension, because there's no way to predict who's showing up, regardless of what the agency tells you. Perhaps it'll be a particularly beauteous stripper, but perhaps not. Such are the subjects of conversation. The idea of getting all your buddies united in arousal towards the same naked lady seems pretty off to me, so the lack of an erotic vibe was actually a relief. It mostly just seemed like an excuse to goof off — one of the guys wore a cheap suit and danced around with her to the Mariah Carey Christmas album. I got wasted and laughed my ass off, as one does when one is a gentleman.