National Post

Wednesday, January 27, 1999

Bachelorette parties: 'You've come a short way, baby!'
Politically correct strippers

Jenny Lyn Bader
The New York Times News Service

Everyone knows the stuff of bachelor parties: naked women bursting from cakes, stag films, drunken toasts. Bachelorette parties, on the other hand, have a reputation for cosmopolitans and frilly lingerie. But in a spirit of equality of the sexes, bachelorette parties seem to be getting more debauched. Bridesmaids are shopping for sex toys and going to parties where women play "truth or dare" in a bar. My friend Lucy wanted just that sort of thing. Her maid of honour reported: "Lucy wants to kiss some boys in a bar, and she also wants a stripper, so we're all chipping in to get him." But where to hold this bawdy bachelorette party? Nobody in our group of twentysomething women wanted a strange naked man in her apartment. And the yuppie bars that we asked to play host to our event turned us down. Offended bar managers hung up on the maid of honour. Finally, a dive in the neighbourhood said there was room at the inn. There we watched Lucy open tasteless gifts, while awaiting HIS arrival. The stripper turned out to be a bronzed, pectorally gifted specimen of Australian descent, complete with business cards that said "The Thunder From Down Under." Heads turned. Men blushed. Women befriended us. The Thunder unbuttoned things. He performed suggestive push-ups, then held Lucy aloft, whispering in her ear. He gyrated over and asked me to dance. But who wants to lose a good chair in a crowded bar? I hesitated. He did acrobatics with the other guests, then looked at me pointedly. What kind of party pooper was I? A grown man flouncing in leopard underpants was managing to make me feel ridiculous. So I let the boy toy twirl me around. He inched close and whispered, "Now I've got you going." That was his sultry spiel? It couldn't have been half as good as what he kept murmuring to the bride. Later, I asked Lucy about the titillating nothings I'd seen Thunder whispering in her ear. She laughed. "He kept asking me if I felt comfortable," she said. "He kept saying, 'If any of this makes you uncomfortable I can stop.' " Wow. I didn't realize strippers were now politically correct. Was it possible to harass someone who is paying you to remove your clothes? I tried to picture a female stripper saying those things. We've come a short way, baby.

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