I’d like to describe my social life as something that falls between “YAAAS GIRL” and certified couch potato. I don’t mind a few late nights enjoying drinks, but I also don’t have any problem with heading to bed early and wasting hours scrolling through my Facebook feed.
That is why when one of my best friends told me she wanted to spend her bachelorette in a male strip club, I didn’t know how to react. On one hand, I was thinking, “Oh wow, this is going to be SO much fun,” but on the other, “WOW…Isn’t that a bit much?”
None of us have ever been to one, and we were all clueless about the specifics. How much is the entrance fee? Is it necessary for you to tip and table a guy? Will we have unwanted (or maybe wanted, IDK) body parts bouncing in front of our faces the whole night? It didn’t help that there isn’t much information out there about these kinds of clubs so we couldn’t really figure out the ~*best*~ places to check out. I remember one of my friends wondering, “What if there is a raid?” In the end, though, none of us had the guts to tell the bride-to-be that we were all experiencing cold feet. After all, what the bride wants, the bride gets, right?
So off we went to celebrate the big B, none of us having an idea of what the night had in store for our entourage. Thankfully, a close friend recommended Club ONE 690, a hidden but clean-looking place in one of the calmer places in Quezon City. The glowing, neon pink sign looked welcoming and luxe, but I admittedly already had my own preconceived notions about the place even before we entered.
We were welcomed by one of the supervisors who gave us front seats—apparently, you get perks if you have a bride-to-be in your group—and made sure we eased into the environment as comfortably as possible. By the time a slow ballad started playing and the first dancer came out, we were already armed with Martinis and Cosmopolitans.
The dance was slow, languid, and the performer—a tattooed man in his mid-twenties—performed his piece while looking into the distance. None of us were sure if this was the norm, but it did help some of my friends who were already choking on their drinks because it made the experience slightly less personal than we expected it to be.
If you’re a woman who doesn’t have a boyfriend regularly treating you to a sensual dance, then the first few performances will definitely faze you. We were all expecting raunchy shows and aggressive tearing of clothes a la Channing Tatum, but the dances were graceful and slow instead—almost like an art form.
Admittedly, there are stereotypes about people in this line of work, but as weird as it may sound, all the men were as polite and dignified as they could be.
They dressed up after their numbers and sat on the fringes of the venue, eating or browsing through their phones, minding their own business.
Of course, the bride-to-be was treated to a personal lap dance on stage, though she refused at first. She was initially scared, but the male performer assured her before his dance that there is no reason to worry because he wouldn’t do anything that would disrespect her.
As far as bachelorettes go, the night was the complete package, pun unintended. In addition to the performances, there were also runway walks from equally good-looking men (they didn’t strip), as well as drag queen shows. We found ourselves relaxing more after Beyonce and Marilyn Monroe lookalikes took the stage. By midnight, my friends and I were already discussing and giggling over the dance moves, and clapping unabashedly. There was a sense of liberation in being able to appreciate such performances without any shame, armed with the knowledge that enjoying those performances didn’t make us bad people.
I did notice a couple of things throughout the night, though.
For privacy concerns, we were not allowed to take photos of the male performers.
We also had to be mindful of people around us when we took group photos and understandably so; not everyone’s going to have an IDGAF approach to photobombing a selfie when the geotag is of a strip club’s.
Some people may find it too bold, dirty, or taboo, but I definitely don’t regret my decision to take the plunge and give it a try. It’s easy for women to feel ashamed and stigmatized when they’re confident in appreciating the male body. But there’s nothing wrong in enjoying these things if every person involved feels respected—no matter how out of the norm it is.
So did I enjoy it? Yes, of course. Will I go back? Maybe. Do I recommend it? Why not? Do it for the experience. Maybe you’ll walk out of there a changed woman like me.
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