Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Was Terrified of Women

My visits to strip clubs started out as aversion therapy. I was terrified of women and in my early thirties I was not only single, but had never even had a relationship. I think perhaps that this should be explained in more depth because it will make things clearer for you.  I think I first asked out a girl when I was about 20 and only after an immense amount of soul searching and terror. She turned me down and I have to say, so did the rest of the girls that I asked out subsequently. So after ten years of rejection I decided to try counseling, which didn't work, largely because I didn't want to admit to myself what the real root cause of the problem was. Dating agencies got me on dates, but I tended to freeze up and run out of things to talk about, so people tended not to want to see me again. I had a problem without a solution. 

As I said, I suffered a crippling fear of women and this was due to a schoolteacher I was unfortunate to have when I was about 6 years old. Always shy and a little afraid of things and with an abiding fear of being 'told off', the teacher had an unfortunate tendency to interpret lack of understanding on the part of her pupils as a disciplinary issue. I distinctly remember her trying to teach me to tell the time, but I could not grasp the hour-minute duality of the clock face. In the end she gave up and made me stand outside the classroom for the rest of the day. In my year with this person she physically assaulted me, screamed at me everyday and I was thrown around and out of classroom on a weekly basis. I can still see her face clearly today. 

All of this left me with an abiding fear of women and also asking questions, largely because I had learned to be afraid of the consequences. I developed self esteem issues as well and became socially isolated. Most of this I conquered, but getting a girlfriend was always the final thing to be overcome. But first I had to overcome my fear of women. I then had a brilliant idea. I reasoned that if I was too scared to even speak to a girl in a normal bar, if I could muster the courage to speak to a stripper in a club it would be like aversion therapy. Strippers were very frightening to me, but it was a controlled environment so nothing could go wrong. Also as attractive girls were there all of the time, I could try as many times as I liked....

It took me a year of visiting clubs on a weekly basis before I actually managed to strike up a conversation with a stripper. Slowly my fear started to recede. My first ever date was with a stripper, although it wasn't exactly a date, she said she was hungry and I blurted out that maybe we could get something to eat. She agreed and after carefully leaving the venue separately, I had my first time out in a restaurant with a women. 

If you are thinking that this is a happy ending story, it is and it isn't. You see, the issue was that I started to get a reputation as being a 'nice' person to talk to for the dancers, so soon I was never short of people to talk to and sometimes I even asked them out and by and large I was successful. I ended up living with a dancer for 18 months and despite breaking up, we are still friends. Later I tried to transfer my new found confidence and skill to the outside world and sadly I failed again and failed repeatedly. You see, I overcame my fear of women, but only if they are strippers. 

In recent years, now I am well into my 40s I have decided to be content as I am. I still visit clubs, but for different reasons now. They are a good place to be alone or have company when I want it. I could't really care less about private dances and most times don't even look at the stage. I know most of the male customers and it works for me. Its like 'Cheers' with tits. Its a community that I like to be part of. When things in the rest of my life are bad, I know that I can escape from the problems for a couple of hours in a club and its the best therapy ever (cheaper than a therapist as well).

So going to clubs turned me into a better person. I soon stopped harbouring thoughts of revenge on that awful school teacher. I remember her and at times I wonder who else she may have damaged, but that's the extent of it. The one thing I do know is that the respect I showed the dancers was mostly returned to me 10 times over and without the clubs, I dread to think what would have become of me. So my initial purpose  for going to clubs no longer exists and to some extent the whole thing is running on inertia.  One day I know I will stop and not return, but for the time being, that's always next year.

I found peace with myself and that is priceless.