Okay, so I have been letting all of this roll around in my head for the past week (or “marinate” as one of my friends would say!). And I am still not sure where it all sits.
I attended a women’s conference all day last weekend. Full of feminist fun, as I have been saying. I learned more about sexual violence prevention programming, how masculinity is constructed in the US and its negative effects, feminist porn, and sex ed. I enjoyed it, and it left me excited.
And then, that same night, I had sexy friends over and we all went to my favorite strip club, and I got a stage dance- that is, two strippers danced on me on the stage, spanked me, took off my shirt and bra, and told me I could get naked with them any time I wanted to (and believe me, I totally want to!). Being with women, getting (at least partially) naked, and doing it in front of people (who PAID to get in!) are all things that completely turn me on and put me in a state of bliss. Needless to say, I was in heaven. I absolutely loved it. Gah!
But I also feel like I am having a mental tug-of-war. If the body is political, if what we do with our bodies is political, than did I undermine women’s rights or further support a patriarchal social structure by getting up there and participating (or, obviously, just by going and financially supporting a strip club?)? That seems so harsh and inflexible to me. And I know plenty of women who enjoy going to strip clubs, and I have talked to strippers and formers strippers who genuinely enjoy and enjoyed their work… But am I letting myself off too easy if I claim that I can’t control what turns me on, and thus I should just enjoy it (given responsible, respectful, and consensual relationships)? Or is it really just that simple?