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?

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,

stripper lap dance

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 SouthwoodEmily Southwood is working on a memoir called Prude and blogs at 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

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7 thoughts on “Do You Consider Lap Dances Cheating?

  1. i’m fine with lapdances, boobie bars, naked gentleman’s clubs…but I want to know so I have the option of going!! In various jobs my husband has worked, the topic has come up frequently with his workmates…visiting a topless bar, ect…my husband LOVES to tell them I’d be pissed if he went…without me.

    I miss having money to go to our local strip club. The ladies loved us because we treated them with respect, tipped well and they thought it was awesome when I’d pick lapdances for my husband. We got a shared lapdance once and the dancer said, right in the middle, “I think I’m loving this even more than you two are!”

    I have a MUCH harder time keeping my hands to myself during a lapdance…luckily the ladies are understanding. We always leave with tons of free swag and urges to come back (alot bc we don’t go if we’re not gonna blow money) real soon.

    So yeah, I’d want to know! But then, I’m bi, poly, been with the husband almost 20 years and have another spouse of almost 10 years and a lover of three. Jealousy is really not an issue with me. It’s not a concept I groove on in regards to relationships. Trust, to me, is really much more important than monogamy or the illusion therein.

  2. I’m bisexual as well and think it’s super OK… For me, cheating is kissing or more. Obviously there are other ways of being inappropriate like leading someone on or hanging out with someone that you have a crush on but I wouldn’t consider it cheating at ALL.

  3. I consider sit on someone else lap with the intention of being sexually stimulated totally cheating….. but then to each their own. some people don’t care what their spouse touches but I do

  4. Agree that going to a male strip club would no way be an “equivalent” turn on for a woman. . .why is that always the comparison or analogy when women’s turn-on system not as visual as the guy’s?

    Why is male sexuality in general the “standard” for all of us??

    An equivalent activity for the wife/GF would be one that gets her as aroused as guys get by undressed attractive women dancing, strutting and sometimes grinding on them. . .meaning (for a woman) touching, being touched, caressed, holding, kissing – basically making out and petting with another guy.

    Which any guy with self-worth would never tolerate. . .yet women are supposed to tolerate (or just are better off not knowing the details of his strip club activities?)?

    Basically what you’re saying when you turn a blind eye–or ear–is that you accept a double standard in your relationship, don’t value yourself enough to expect mutuality. So why should your partner respect you–when you don’t respect yourself??

    No wonder all the public examples of men treating their “loved ones” with contempt, disrespect. . .our culture (and the women who go along to get along) tells them they’re “entitled” to go outside their relationship to seek sexual arousal and satisfaction. That they can have the best of both worlds: a nice little wifey at home who would never in a million years do with other men what these guys pay other women to do to them.

    Or better yet! A wifey who sits right besides him and watches and participates. His “good girl” and “bad girl” all devoted to HIS pleasure and happiness. Madonna/Whore bliss.

    With all due respect: Ladies who enable/perpetuate this Double Standard that brings so much human misery and relationship and Family destruction: wake the F up.

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  6. My GF at that time lap danced for a guy–but she claims she doesn't remember much about it–even if she had sex with the guy? what should I think? YES lap dancing is chaeting

  7. I would like to point out what I see as a (big) difference between the example in question and many of the hypotheticals being discussed. When a guy is getting a lap dance at a strip club, he is at a professional venue and it is extremely unlikely to escalate further. I think it is unlikely to escalate for 3 reasons. 1) She has a shift to work it's not like she can or will leave in the middle of her shift. 2) Strip clubs get in big trouble if their strippers start prostituting themselves, and so they often crack down hard on strippers that they suspect are doing so. This means that the gal knows her job is in jeopardy if she starts taking business on the side or after her shift especially if the guy isn't a regular that she trusts. 3) She will probably make more money by convincing clients to go for the extra dances than she would by turning trick. There are exceptions to every rule and strippers do break those rules, but the point is that his chances of being able to have sex with a stripper after a lap dance are slim to none however her chances of being able to have sex with a guy that she had wandering hands with at the bar are probably pretty good. If the line is sex or hell if the line is kissing then a stripper is a hell of a lot lower risk than some random horny person at the bar.

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