Do You Consider Lap Dances Cheating?
Where do you draw the line with your guy’s “extra-curricular” behavior … and how much do you even want to know?
-Emily Southwood, imarriedapornographer.com
The other day I wound up in an interesting chat with a girlfriend. She’d recently caught up with a good friend (also a long since boyfriend), whom we’ll call “Tom” for the purposes of this story. Tom had just been on a business trip to Vegas where he’d been to a Gentlemen’s club with some associates. They’d watched and left. Then later that night, faced with insomnia, Tom decided to go back to the strip club and get a VIP room dance from a pretty blond he’d chatted with earlier.
“What’s your girlfriend going to think of that?” My friend said to Tom.
“I’m not going to tell her,” he said.
“If I were your girlfriend, I’d be pissed.”
“That’s why I’m not going to tell her,” said Tom.
When my girlfriend relayed this story to me, I immediately concurred that I, too, would be less-than-psyched. We both agreed that there was something pretty calculated about it—going back to get a private dance from the blond and all. Was it the premeditated nature of the situation that made it sound worse? If he’d had that lap dance with the other guys still there, would we have chalked it up to “guys being guys” in Vegas?
I guess it depends on where you draw your lines. Is touching over the line? How does intention factor into it?
We thought about whether we’d consider it cheating and figured it was debatable. Then we tried to figure out the female equivalent to this situation—perhaps some knee-to-knee flirtation over a few too many martinis at bar? We laughed hysterically at the idea of one of us going back to get a VIP dance from a dude, which obviously wasn’t credible since male strippers aren’t hot. (Or maybe I just haven’t seen enough greased up Chippendales lately to know.)
As we sat there analyzing the situation like our PhDs depended on it, we imagined Tom was our man (who, obviously, would never, ever have done such a thing) and genuinely questioned, would we want to know? We agreed that as Tom’s lady, we’d be worried about the deeper meanings behind his behavior, and in that sense, we’d want to know. But we also discussed the strong possibility that there were no deeper meanings. Neither of us really considered a lap dance cheating, and in that case, would it be worth knowing the deets?
I will say that as I’ve grown older and perhaps .0001% wiser, I’ve become much more comfortable with the idea that there are certain things in life I don’t want to know. I used to be a stickler for wanting to know every detail. My girlfriend agreed that she, too, has often found herself drilling for specifics. That tendency has burned both of us in the past.
I learned some hard lessons that way when my fiancé filmed a reality TV show about porn stars. And trust me, often simply the answer to: “Hi, honey, how was your day?” was way TMI. Where I’m at now when it comes to full disclosure, is that I trust my husband to show me his true colors. And, I guess, occasionally spare me the details. Like in all relationships, you have to know your limits, hand over your heart, and hope for the best.
Oh, and P.S. to my darling husband: This is not a hall pass.
Emily Southwood is working on a memoir called Prude and blogs at imarriedapornographer.com. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Emily is the author of the “I Married a Pornographer” series on BettyConfidential: I Married a Pornographer, Porn in the Dominican and I Married a Pornographer Part 3