For this week only, married men get a discount at a Hooters in Manhattan. Those who have been married the longest get the best discount. Presumably, this is meant to reward men currently serving in the tough trenches of marriage. Oh boo-hoo for them, right?
For many wives, a visit to Hooters ranks up there with strip clubs or even visiting a prostitute. They simply don't want their spouse doing such a thing. After all, there are men out there who don't even consider blow jobs or hand jobs with a condom with a woman they pay to be cheating. Yes, seriously. And then there is the other extreme, the women who think that even checking out another woman is akin to having a full-blown affair.
So where is the line?
I've always happily visited strip clubs with my husband. We've gotten lap dances together and each alone and I've never cared if he goes with friends. I trust him and I also know what goes on in the clubs, which is a whole lot of nothing. My husband and I have a great marriage, so I'm not exactly afraid that he will leave me for a stripper.
As far as I'm concerned, anything I know about and approve isn't cheating. The "cheating" comes not with the act itself, but with the deception. I tend to be a little liberal in what I allow and I have come a long way past jealousy in the decade I have been with my husband. It used to drive me crazy if he looked at another woman, but now I kind of get that it's natural and normal and doesn't diminish how he feels about me.
There is, of course, the whole other issue that comes with the objectification of women, but I don't see strip clubs as any more exploitative of women than they are of men. On the other hand, I wouldn't love it if my husband went to them regularly or if he lied to me about them and didn't include me in it. Certainly, I understand why women would be bothered.
The issue, as always, is honesty. If your man really needs to get hand jobs from foreign born massage therapists and that does something for him, then he needs to be man enough to say it. And we have to be women enough to hear it. Any marriage where certain things are forbidden and someone feels the need to lie is probably not a very good one.
There is an easy solution: anything your man does sexually that includes you and you're open about is fine. Anything that isn't or doesn't is not OK.
Sexuality is fluid and changing and the vows we took the day we got married aren't always the exact same feelings we have 20 years later. If that is the case, then we need to be able to talk about it together. Sorry, boys, I'm not advocating a free pass for BJs from hookers. That wouldn't work for every marriage. But there is a rather large line between visiting Hooters and visiting a hooker. I would hope most women would be able to tell the difference.
Do you care if your man visits strip clubs?
Image via Anosmia/Flickr