Signs of Desperate Times: Essence’s Strip Club Hook-Up (Guest Post)

Essence suggested a lot of places to meet menfolk in their latest issue, but the strip club is one doozy that threw Lola for a loop.

By Lola Gets

There was a piece in the June edition of Essence Magazine titled, “10 Places to Find Black Men. Of course,” the usual tired suggestions came out: children’s sporting activities, volunteering, hanging out at a bookstore, etc. But there was one very intriguing suggestion that Id like to get you readers’ opinion of: strip clubs.

Yes, Essence Magazine suggested that single women everywhere head to their local strip club to try to meet men.

More after the jump.

Hm. Interesting, no?

Now, I’ve been to several strip clubs in my day, mostly in the DC metro area, and I gotta tell ya, I’ve never really wanted to meet any of the other attendees. And, to be honest, I never thought they wanted to meet me either. To me, a man – or men – at a strip club are there for their own special reasons: to get fodder for their fantasies so they can get themselves off later; to get themselves revved up for sexual activities with their female partner waiting at home; hanging out with the fellas in celebration of any number of things (bachelor party, graduations, birthdays, passing finals, etc).

In other words, they’re not even thinking of meeting my ass.

But maybe that’s just at the clubs I’ve attended before. Maybe there are nicer, more upscale joints where there is more mingling amongst the attendees. Just maybe.

So what do you readers think? Are strip clubs good places for meeting that “special someone?” Women: would you approach a man at a strip club? Men: how would you feel if a woman approached you at a strip club?

Okay? Discuss.


Lola Gets is the author of the blog, Whatever Lola Wants, and is based out of Washington, D.C. You can read her follow up to this post, “Lola At the Penthouse,” on her blog.

46 thoughts on “Signs of Desperate Times: Essence’s Strip Club Hook-Up (Guest Post)

  1. Umm Essence is the devil. Reading this makes me thank God I am not single. Cause if I had to meet a man at the strip club…. it would never happen.

  2. @ AdesholaI just can’t see any man being interested in being hit on in a strip club unless it’s by the woman taking her clothes off, and even then, not everyone wants to throw down with the stripper. It just seems INSANE. And I think it would make you look desperate and creepy. I know people say times are hard but times will NEVER be that hard for me.Never.Ever, never, ever. I will die alone.

  3. I haven’t picked up an Essence in years. Same goes for the other lame mag, Ebony. And don’t get me started on Jet. It’s not so much that Essence suggests strip clubs, but all these mags are written for a "basic" reading level.

  4. I guess none of you women have spent any time in Atlanta. Women hanging out in the strip clubs is a very common thing down there. Magic City and Strokers (on Lean) are two of the more popular ones.

  5. Oh, no we don’t get to blame that on Atlanta. I’ve lived here for years and I have never darkened the door of a strip club. There is just a certain level of respect that has to exist in a potential relationship that cannot be formed when you meet at the strip joint. And I’m really not sure the type of man I’m looking for is going to be consistently at the strip club. It would have to be a lightning strike situation!

  6. @katenyc I totally agree about the general dumbing down of the black press. I still follow Essence on Twitter, but that’s about it.

  7. eg: It’s not the "hanging out at the nudie bar" idea that is weird; it’s the idea of going out to the nudie bar TO HIT ON DUDES. Like Lola says, I wouldn’t think the guys were there in the hopes to pick up (non-stripper) girls, especially not in the way Essence, the "Guuurl You Betta Find You A Man Ta Marry Up" mag, would expect its readers to want to be picked up (as potential girlfriends, not one night stands).

  8. oh I just read the headline: "10 Places to Find Black Men"-Why not just 10 places to find a man, PERIOD?! But I guess Essence has to save that for their next annual Should you get your vanilla swerve on? article. And no man of any color wants to meet a woman in a strip club, unless he’s into some mess as mentioned in previous posts. I wonder if this gem was listed right after the Meet a Brotha in Church! suggestion. That’s where some of the freakiest ones hang out, btw.

  9. This is not the worst suggestion in the world. For some people the strip club is not really different from going to a regular disco. You go there, have a few drinks, and vibe.

  10. if this is where I’d have to go to find a man, then it’s never gonna happen for me. Essence’s Editors should be slapped for even suggesting it.

  11. Where is Susan Taylor when you need her? Essence is becoming like everything else in this country because popular culture sells. Let us remember that Essence is also owned by Time Warner and if you’ve been a subscriber for over 20 years, you’ll see that their content has really changed into a celebrity and gossip based magazine and web site. Desperation is a big seller. Too bad I’m not buying!

  12. Can’t even remember the last time I picked up an Essence. I never cared for it anyways. A strip club?!

  13. Essence telling women to go to strip clubs to meet men is like me telling women to go to sex clubs to meet men. "Think about it: theyre there, theyre inhibitions are down, and you know theyre definitely looking for some action…its a great place to meet a new guy!"Dont get me wrong, I know of many happily married couples who have met at sex clubs, but Id never suggest to anyone that they go trolling for men in ‘the Lifestyle." L

  14. Essence sucks at life. They have really hit the bottom to suggest that Black women have to go to strip clubs to find a man.I havent read Essence in years, because I got tired of every month reading the same tips to repair my credit, buy a house, and get a man. There is SO much more that Black women are interested in, but the editors at Essence dont seem to know that.

  15. The same way it’s not a good idea to meet your future husband at a regular club (rate of success very low), I cannot imagine that rolling up on a dude as he’s sticking ones into the g-string of a gyrating stripper is the way to go. Has anyone (including Essence) heard of a successful meet and marry story from the strip club?Who is green-lighting articles at Essence? Who is the editor that read that and said, "Oh yeah – that’s brilliant. Print it up!" Lord help us. Co-signing with all the above, not gonna happen. Then again, I wasn’t up in Barnes & Noble with the pencil skirt and stilettos either 😉

  16. Sometimes a perfectly normal and sexy woman wants to take her boyfriend to a strip joint. I’m not saying I know any of these women, mind you. But they like to tip and watch the girls too. Again, I don’t know any of these types of women, right now personally.

  17. Has anyone ever heard of Diamonds in Miami? It is a strip club about the size of a Costco where you can not only see strippers ‘twirkin’ that thang’ but you can also get your hair cut and play basketball. I hear there’s a stripper who will take your money on the court butt naked with six inch heels on.All I’m saying is times a changin; these ain’t ya daddy’s strip clubs.

  18. The idea a woman can find a man in a strip club (black or otherwise) is as misinformed as the idea that women should watch porn with their men. There are some things men do that have nothing to do with women. Going to strip clubs is one of them. One of the good things about strip clubs is, outside those on the clock, there are very few women. Men can look at scantily clad women with no fear of derision (as long as the singles keep flowing), or watch the game without interruption, or hang with his boys. If the argument is finding men at their most charged up sexually (I haven’t read the article as I am not in search of a black man), women would be better served to find out what diner said men are going to after the club closes.

  19. I stumbled across this article as I was getting my pedi this morning, and I was just as taken back. I was a subscriber of Essence in high school (15 years ago…wow has it been that long?!) and was somewhat inspired by the magazine to major in magazine journalism. Essence at one time was a trailblazer–delving into women of color issues that mainstream magazines didn’t, featuring black women in all sizes, shades and walks of life, offering Taylor’s encouraging "In The Spirit" commentary that tapped into our culture’s tendency to draw closer to God or religious institutions during our political, social or economic struggles. But articles and tips such as these remind me why I’ve departed from the trail long ago. Essence doesn’t seem to push the envelope. Remember a couple of years ago when the magazine decided to devote a couple of issues to the rump-shakin, video vixens and take a closer inspection of hip hop? The problem was, the writers and editors seemed so scared to offend or abandon readers who loved hip hop that they didn’t dig deep enough and the articles wound up having very little poignancy. Issue after issue the topic felt like the pendulum kept swinging and we (or at least I) were all left suspended in terms of what the next step should be. They managed to interview Lil’ Kim, but not someone with a very opposing view. I can’t remember what exactly emerged from the exploration of video vixens, and I don’t think I’m alone.I understand that as a business, they need to thrive. But there should always be a delicate balance of what will sell and how to inform, and that balance shouldn’t compromise reporting. But Essence seems to have thrown fine journalism out of the window for a while now. I rarely buy the magazine, and at times I feel guilty about it. But I don’t feel like it sets itself apart from other celebrity and sex driven magazines. Oh yeah, and I did peep that the article was titled, "10 ways to find a black man." I suppose that was because they wanted to cater to black women’s die-hard devotion to black men. Did they think that not including the word "black" would result in stacks of hate mail? Geez… guess they’ll keep preaching to the masses and never dare them to question or think critically. At least we have blogs like these 🙂

  20. To each her own. If a woman can see herself with a boyfriend/fiance/husband who goes to strip clubs on occasion, then there should be no problem meeting a man at a strip club. Just like 10,000 other places, normal, well-adjusted, professional, nice, charming, smart men can be found at such establishments from time to time. If you would never dare set foot in a strip club, then obviously that is not an option for you. You should never go somewhere where you would feel uncomfortable. I met my husband at a night club (not a strip club, just a regular night club) and people were hemming and hawing about that. People made comments about how you can never have a serious relationship with a man you meet a club because it’s such a " sexually charged" environment and he’s only looking for one thing. Puh-lease! In reality, my husband was a nice guy at a club hanging out with friends, just like I was a nice lady at a club hanging out with friends. If you think you are the only decent person at any location, that is place you should never go to again.

  21. As a single black woman, I was intrigued by the article. I laugh at the "stripper club" suggestions because I really don’t want to meet my soul mate who rather look at a naked woman than a full clothed one who has more to offer. Most of the suggestion were of desperation. I go to to the Menards and Home Depo…not a brother in site. Granted they are there but not in my neck of the woods. I would rather them so a section of the hottest stop close to you to find someone to coneect with: at a gallery opening, a book signing, or a social event. Essence needs feedback on what the readers are interested in. It is not a bad publication, it just need a little guidance on what the modern day black woman wants beside "Where to find a Black man". Hell, I might be interested in getting a Vanilla swirl.

  22. Sad…no wonder more black sister’s are single than any other group of women. First they need to stop reading Essence it’s a joke and next they need to stop hoping that their prince in shining armor will be a brother. So many brothers have decided black women are a dime a dozen. IMO if you need to meet up with a man SOOOOOOOOOOO BADDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!! that you actually consider going to a titty bar you better not think any man will take you serious, ever.

  23. I stopped reading Essence long ago, it’s the same mag each month. They refuse to ad a varied selection of cover models. They darn near wore the Obamas out and I LOVE THE OBAMAS.. Essence has become too much like Cosmopolitan and that’s not a good thing but I ve never been to a strip club and certainly would not go to meet men.

  24. I agree with all the comments made here. I’ve never been to a strip club and have no plans to visit. I do however have male friends who go. It’s not just about naked women… They shoot pool, hang-out with friends, etc. I’ve never been to Hooters but I have girlfriends who go because they have great chicken wings and the drinks are cheap. A man going to a strip club does not imply he’s a dead beat or has a sexual addiction. Men enjoy looking at naked women, that’s just a fact of life.

  25. A woman who hits on a man in a strip club is desperate! All men know this and the “relationship, ha ha” will be based on sex only. Women, please do not go to strip clubs looking for men. You will find men, but you will not find a man. The Black Phoenix

  26. I swear seems like some of these magazines are feeding into the frenzy of desperation. So much bad info out there on a daily basis in a few years feamales will need to post a nude picture of themselves and then sign a prenuptual they will never gain weight after 5 years. The worst part is that these mag’z set a standard for some…ie …ATL Housewives who weren’t really quit Housewives…lol….. In Wash, DC years ago(may still be there) near Dupont circle there was a strip club that was upscale and was something like a dinner theater although the show featured strippers. I could quite grasp how they kept the pubic hairs from floating into one’s food, but I can’t imagine that if you go to meet a man he may be totaly distracted…..Who are you really meeting is my question……….

  27. *staring at the computer screen like a deer caught in headlights*I hope black women stop reading their magazine after this tidbit. that’s really all i have to say.

  28. You ladies want to meet a good man at church a poetry contest or maybe Oprah’s new orphanage? That’s a lot of BS. If you can get a man’s attention in a room full of naked world-class strippers, then you deserve him. But, what’s the difference between a man you meet in church and the lap dance man? Have you been to a mega church? They might as well be a strip club. All it needs is a pole in the middle.

  29. @ WenzelAre black women supposed to be flattered that they were able to get the attention of a man who is surrounded by naked women? Why would a women who is looking for love want to put themselves in a lustful, carnal environment and feel some sort of acomplishment because her looks or charm were able to distract the man from his original intention, which is to debase women and treat them as objects or commodities? As if such a man who enjoys looking at women devalue themselves were so viable, and we are "deserving" of them.We are all sinners, so you may find men in church who do not live perfect lives. Most likely, if they are Christian, they will profess that they are not perfect. The difference is that in a church, there are men who really do love the Lord, and therefore would treat a woman like he loves the church and his mother who he respects. Yes, there may be sour apples, but if a Christian woman dates one of them, and lets her expectations and morals be known, then he will eventually hit the road. You can’t ask for the same moral expectations from the lap dance man because he does not feel accountable to God.

  30. What would prevent the man in the strip club from thinking that the women looking at him is actually "gay" and there to pick up one of the women? that would be interesting.

  31. Know another a spot filled with all kinds of men doing things that have nothing to do with you?The men’s bathroomJust make sure he washes his hands before you exchange numbers. -good advice in either case.

  32. ugghhhh, so this is why i can’t find any single men…they’re all in the strup clubs…

  33. This suggestion is ridiculous and ironic given that it appears in the same issue that deals with domestic violence. I must admit that I have never been in a strip club, but for a magazine for and about black women to suggest meeting desirable men in this sort of atmosphere is a shame. I used to read Essence religiously back in the late 70’s and 80’s. It seems to have lost its way! This suggestion confirms it.

  34. @ KimYou make my point brilliantly. A man who likes to pick up pretty women will go to where the women are located. Be it the Strip Club on Saturday or church on Sunday. The only difference is the pole in the middle. Not all strippers are harlots and not all church ladies are angels. Now to discuss the inner political aspects of women as objects is another point all together. Strip clubs are rowdy places and not slave quarters for strippers. They are free to come and go as they please. If you were to deconstruct a typical stripper, then you’d find self-control issues at play, not politics. These same issues are there for many non-stripper women, but play out differently. Even church going ladies, where they go for the pastor’s charisma and the holy word.

  35. Strip club patrons are THE reason I’ve never been to a strip club, and I certainly wouldn’t go looking for a boyfriend there. Ew!

  36. As a black male in Atlanta, I find this article to be degrading to me. I don’t go to strip clubs and even if i did attend one for a party or what have you, I don’t want a woman hitting on me there cause i would think she was a "working" girl even if she wasn’t. Strip clubs are like casinos, just there to drain your money and give you a very cheap thrill. As for the black magazines, they (Ebony, Jet, Essence, etc.) have been "dumbing" down our society for the longest time. I stopped reading them. Sad though because a few years ago, I went to Doubleday publishing in my hometown of NYC and suggested a pretty good idea for a magazine similiar to Time/US news and World report but with a little extra focus on Afro community (Afro-Latin, American, European, etc.). It was shot down quickly as something that wouldn’t sell. This "so called" big companies owning the magazines have tried to keep this community dumb for years while helping to promote latinos as a thriving community as view them close to being equal. I wonder why? Maybe it has to do with more acceptable skin color? Anyway, sorry for getting on the soap box. Again, this article is insulting to intelligent, self reliant black men everywhere also.

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  38. I know this post is old but I just had to say it… What the heck is wrong with Essence? I agree with other posters about the dumbing down of Black media and the fact that it should generally be avoided like the plague. Not only does this foolish suggestion play upon the whole "Marriage Crisis" and play to the fears of so many upwardly mobile sisters that they will die alone and childless only to be eaten by their cats, but it encourages all manner of silly desperate behavior that makes us look like imbeciles. I don’t know which is worse, the people who suggest that I’m single because I won’t consider the burgeoning prison population as potential mates or the ones who think I need to stop being so stuck-up and start trawling the naked booty club for a man.

  39. OMG. First, I must mention that I am a dancer. There has been, recently, an upward surge in the amount of women coming into strip clubs, and I am telling you to STOP IT. Strip clubs are for men. Point blank. It’s a mens club where men are allowed, for a moment, to fantasize and objectify (if they so choose) whatever flavor of woman they like without being judged by–you guessed it—other women. They are allowed, somewhat, to be pigs. To indulge in animalistic desires. Women, especially those who don’t understand the "art" of stripping, come into these clubs and disrupt everything. The only women I wanna see in the club is a bisexual/bicurious/lesbian woman. Otherwise, stay out. This is not the place to meet men. Most of the men that come into strip club aren’t worth meeting, or it would be better if you met them somewhere else. Do you know how many married men come into the club on business trips trying to score some ass? A LOT. Women that come into the club that don’t fit into the criteria I listed above, tend to be very judgmental of the dancers. This is our workplace. We aren’t trying to hook up, we’re trying to make money. If you’re there trying to pick up men, you are getting in our way of making a profit and reducing the amount of customers we can hustle. This isn’t a regular bar, and it isn’t about you. The dancers are, or should be, the main event, besides getting fucked up/wasted. You pick up guys in REGULAR BARS. Not strip clubs. Not that I recommended bars either, but no stripper wants to suffer under some bitches icy glare as she sits on a guys lap trying to manipulate her way into his pockets. So go the health club, or Starbucks, or a basketball game to pick up guys. You’ll probably find more quality guys there anyway.P.S. Somebody should start a new black female mag because, if you haven’t noticed, Essence pretty much sucks.

  40. I am 100 percent certain that pole dancers could produce a much better (not to mention more thought provoking) magazine than essence.

  41. I hear that you can earn a lot of money by working as a stripper. My friend was a professional Manhasset dentist and she lost her job because her made a serious mistake on a patients dental surgery. With nothing to lose, she became a stripper for a bar in New York and she tells me she makes 3/4 of what she used to make as a dentist. (She was paid over 6 figures when working as a dentist) So besides the fact that being a stripper is not moral, when you're in desperate situation, being a stripper can be a great option.

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