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New parents find new friends for their kids. Boomer strip club daddy is one to avoid.

So there you are, on a play date with kids and wives and dads. I was one of the dads.

It’s all going so well. No one is throwing toys, no one is bleeding or crying.

At least not yet. That happened later and it wasn’t a kid.

Like all progressive Portland parents should do, a home birth delivered my kids. It’s always a conversation starter with others. Until it gets old.

Once you feel like you’re repeating the same story to the same people, it’s time to show up at family play dates with a six pack.

It worked out until one mom started talking about strippers, stripper bars, and strippers. Portland is famous for its strippers and strip clubs.

Another dad was listening in and joined the conversation. After enough chit chat another mom asked him if he’d ever been to a strip club, if he’d ever seen a stripper show.

He said no, at which point things took a decided swerve.

“Would you like to go and see what it’s like?” a mom asked.

“Sure, but I’m not going to. I’m not going alone.”

That’s when I got volunteered for the job.

“He’s been in the Army, he’s not afraid,” was the general consensus. Which is wrong.



Stripper bars need to be frightening. You need to be in a state of semi-shock before going in. Naked women and pole dancing aren’t everyday sights at Toys R Us.

Would I take another guy to a stripper bar? Well, if I have to, okay. But remember, it’s not my idea.

The play date/party had a few more hours of life when the other man and I headed out.

Inside the car the guy started talking about his wife, my wife, and another woman. I didn’t ask to go with him and didn’t ask any questions.

It was weird from the get go.

Keep in mind there are people who don’t belong in strip clubs, yet there they are: the moody looking loner, the wedding ring guy by himself, women more enthusiastic than their dates.

And the man in my car heading for a boomer strip club.

Once we arrived we did the right thing, which is sit up close to the rail instead of hanging in the shadows like a creeper. My theory is if you’re going in, go all the way. Don’t stand in the door like you can’t decide.

This time too close was a mistake.



The man started demeaning the ladies with questions about authenticity, about tattoos, about personal hygiene. Bad boomer strip club etiquette.

Is it wrong to talk to strippers? No, but the topics ought to be confined to compliments. Imagine if you were naked on stage. What would you want to hear?

An example of the right thing to say: a group of ten well dressed guys walk into Mary’s Club on SW Broadway. They sit in the back while one of them brings a dollar to the stage.

A man up close asks the stripper why there isn’t ten dollars on the stage? The dancer says crowds think they are just one.

The man takes the dollar bill, lays down a five, and walks back to the group.

“Here’s your dollar, fellas. I left a five to bring this back. For the next song why don’t you show some class if you’re coming in here and drop a twenty just to show you care. I’m already covering for you rookies.”



And that’s what they did.

The lady picked it up and thanked the crowd after her deal was done and she got an ovation.

With the man from kids play date beside me talking trash, new dancers came on the floor, talked to the girls leaving, and no one came near our seats.

On the drive home I asked the guy what he thought he was doing.

“What’s the big deal, they’re just strippers,” he said.

“Here’s the big deal,” I said. “They are women and deserve the same manners you talk to your momma with, your daughter, or your wife. What did they ever do to you to deserve such crap? They’re entrepreneurs doing a job.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch house the ladies were waiting for the news. The other dad talked to his wife and they decided to leave.

I walked them out. Before pulling away the woman rolled down her window and hissed, “The next time you think you need to go to a strip bar you should stay home and watch your wife instead.”

Looking for a quick goodbye, I didn’t say, “Now I know why your old man doesn’t follow your advice.”

By all accounts this was a nice couple. He was a ‘good man’ until they got divorced and the woman spilled the truth. Not so good.

Before you judge a man good or bad man based on where you see them, hold off. I was with a bad man, but that didn’t make me better.

I just hoped I was better than him at a boomer strip club.



About David Gillaspie
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