Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Morning Wood

Note to readers: Due to the very nature of opinion-based columns, many readers may disagree with either what I write, how I write it, or both. My intentions are to write about sex from a male perspective, specifically my own. The style in which I write may be considered offensive or politically incorrect to some, though it is not my intention to offend or be insensitive. The topics which I write about sometimes limit my point of view to either what I perceive, or to what I have read in my research of certain topics. As my research consists mainly of what is available online, rather than what can be found in scholarly journals, I do not intend to present my opinion as fact. Instead, I hope to explore topics of human sexuality as I see and experience it, and I hope to provide information about sex for exploration and consideration by my audience. I apologize if any of the material found within my column appears politically incorrect or offensive, as it is not my intention to be so.

As I sit here waiting to depart from beautiful Las Vegas, I can’t help but smile. Along with having a wonderful time partaking in the activities fairly common to a trip to the city that most people of my age group experience, I learned something about myself, and had an epiphany about the nature of how some of the ingrained social standards of men differ from those of women.

As to my fulfillment of desires in Las Vegas, it’s not that I had wild and crazy sex every day of my visit, or even made out with a cute girl in the middle of a strip club. I smile because either of these things could have happened, and maybe one of them did. However, by sticking to the motto “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” I can happily reminisce about the times I had while I was away, while reflecting on what I was able to observe about myself.

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Las Vegas is referred to as “Sin City,” and I suppose that the name is fitting of the location, depending on one’s moral and religious perspective. As the most prominent gambling hub in the United States, most forms of entertainment in Las Vegas seem to revolve around the spending or pursuit of money.

This past weekend was the first time since my 21st birthday that I have been in the “City of Lights,” and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself. However, I believe that my experience in Las Vegas was, by comparison to stories that I have heard, mild in nature.

The most notable difference, to me, between Las Vegas and most other cities that I have either visited or lived in is the advertisement and promotion of sex. Though sex plays an integral part in advertising throughout the United States, as well as some other countries, I have never seen so much promotion of various types of sex for money. It seems that sex as a job is very common in Nevada, in a large part due to their laws allowing legalized prostitution — it is the only state that permits it.

My first night in Sin City included a visit to a topless cabaret. As it happened, we met up with a couple of girls who happened to be on their way to the same location, since the club also featured male dancers in the upstairs area. The dynamics of the evening were very interesting — I was made aware of a double-standard that I hold, and assume most straight men hold as well.

The concept of hanging out upstairs in the company of male dancers while the women we were with received lap dances seemed more taboo than the fact that the women we met had been downstairs with us while we received lap dances from the female dancers, which did not seem to bother them at all.

Maybe it was simply a case of the comfort level of these particular women with being around other women. However, in my past experiences, I have encountered more women who would be willing to accompany men to a club featuring female dancers than I have encountered men who would accompany women to watch men dance on stage in the same fashion.

As much as I would like to claim that I am open to everything, it took a lot of self-reflection to realize that I still felt uncomfortable being in the presence of male strippers.

Moral ethics aside, dancing either nude or partially nude seemed to be more of a common practice in Vegas than I have seen anywhere else. After speaking with one of the female dancers, it was evident that the reasons for being a dancer were very similar to working almost any other job out there.

The benefits seemed to be a combination of doing something that one enjoys, along with the need to make money. I personally hold no objections to any individual’s choice of profession, or part-time job. The reasons for males who dance seemed to parallel those of the female dancers in their pursuit of money, and the enjoyment of expressing their sexuality.

Along with the atmosphere of the strip club, another aspect of Nevada that I was unaccustomed to was the fact that prostitution is legal in parts of the state. Though Las Vegas is part of Clark County, the only place in Nevada where prostitution is strictly prohibited, there were ample numbers of brochures outlining in detail the sexual services that could be acquired outside of the county line.

There are about 30 legal brothels in Nevada which are strictly regulated by the government in order to maintain the safety of people who use the services. Some of the more strict laws regulating prostitution in Nevada are the mandatory use of condoms, and the requirement that all prostitutes are checked weekly for several sexually transmitted diseases. As a result of these strict regulations, no prostitute has tested positive for HIV to date.

Though controversial from a moral perspective, the legalization of prostitution is yet another means to earn money through sex, though another interesting law in Nevada is that one is not allowed to make a living solely off the earnings from prostitution.

Overall, I am very satisfied by my experiences this past weekend, in that I learned something about myself, while being able to observe sex in a different context — as a means to make money. Though I do not intend to persuade anyone to go against their moral beliefs, I do believe it is important, as I have always been taught, to keep an open mind about all things sexual.

That is not to say that every aspect of sex is appropriate or healthy, but keeping an open mind allows one to learn about his or her beliefs and grow as a person, regardless of his or her final moral position when it comes to sex.

As always, if you are having sex without the intention of making babies, don’t gamble with your life — wear a condom.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Send them to [email protected].

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