Okay, so I love it when David Gregory hosts the Today show. I love his regular White House coverage, of course, and I think he's a decent broadcast journalist. But when he goes on the Today show, he seems to have just about as much contempt for it as I do (and yet, I watch every morning...) and just refuses to take himself seriously, goofing around, throwing in occasionally risque ad-libs and, at one memorable concert on the plaza, getting down with his bad self.
I just wanted to mention that, regardless of the fact that he didn't even host the segment that I'm about to talk about. Campbell Brown did (and, for the record, I think she's fairly cool as well, and a pleasant relief from Katie Couric). The question was whether or not women felt comfortable with their boyfriends/husbands/significant others going to strip clubs. I choose to rephrase the question this way: would I rather my theoretical boyfriend go to the Pink Pony, surrounded by his guy friends, watching naked, unavailable girls dance around as ginormous bouncers make sure nobody touches them; or go to Compound, surrounded by near-naked, available and usually rather easy girls who are all about touching all over him?
For me, it comes down to trust. If you can't trust your boyfriend to keep his hands to himself when he goes out with his buddies, you don't have a strip club issue; you have a boyfriend issue. I do recognize that the issue of objectification does come up when strip clubs are involved, but if you're really honest with yourself, you'll recognize that it's something we all do to some extent. Every time we lust after a celebrity we've never met, it's objectification. I know I'm not attracted to Colin Farrell for his manners, fidelity, and hygiene (note: this is pre-Britney Colin Farrell. You couldn't pay me to touch Britney's leavings).
If your boyfriend is going out with the guys, and they're going to a strip club, and you have a problem with it, that's the opportunity to sit down with him and talk about why you feel the way you do. If he's really a worthwhile guy, he'll take your feelings into consideration (although this doesn't necessarily mean he won't go; he's a grownup and can make his own evening plans). You might even ask if you can go along some night, get a look at what really goes on there. I can remember one night after a football game at UGA where the whole crowd ended up at Topper's, and Kristin and I sat to the side, drinking our beers and saying, "My, she's flexible. That's very, very impressive. And look at that - all the way up the pole without using her hands! Do you think she's a dance major? She has to be a dance major."
Incidentally, this raises the question in my mind about whether it goes the same way for guys. Do guys worry when their girlfriends/wives go to strip clubs? See, with me, it's a non-issue, because I really don't enjoy male strippers. There's just a lack of subtlety there, and a lack of context that might actually make it sexy. I've said it before: my ideal beefcake calendar would have a guy on the cover in a t-shirt and low-slung jeans... washing my car. A friend of mine took me to Swinging Richards a couple of months ago, and my first thought, as the muscley young blond onstage started to unbutton his pants, was, "Oh, God, he's going to ask me to iron those."
Anyway, this Friday Not-Even-Random Ten is for all of those dedicated male and female strippers out there, taking it off and shaking it for money. Ten tracks to strip to or, if you prefer, three sets with a bonus track at the end:
1. Lenny Kravitz, "American Woman"
2. The Smiths, "How Soon Is Now?"
3. Lo-Fidelity Allstars, "Battle Flag"
4. Marilyn Manson, "Tainted Love"
5. Portishead, "Glory Box"
6. Cibo Matto, "Spoon"
7. Pussycat Dolls, "Don't Cha"
8. INXS, "Elegantly Wasted"
9. Jamiroquai, "Deeper Underground"
10. Shaggy, "Oh Carolina" (hey, why not?)
Which raises another question, one that always seems to come up at three in the morning over souvlaki at the Landmark Diner: if you were a stripper, what three songs, out of all the songs in the entire world, would be in your set? Mine are the first three tracks up there. Yours go in comments, or your Random Ten, or your favorite barbecue recipe, or nothing at all, if you want. I'm not the boss of you.