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I'm a 21-year-old hetero two weeks from finishing my tour in Afghanistan, and I have a question about strip clubs. I live in Saint Louis and enjoy the pleasures of East Saint Louis as often as I can. One of the first things I'm going to do when I get home is get drunk and blow a bunch of money at one of the fine strip clubs there. I have no problem with a hot stripper sucking money from my wallet, but what do I do about strippers who aren't my type? If a less-than-attractive-to-me stripper gets on my lap, what's the best way to get rid of her without her making all the other girls think I'm an asshole? --Soldier Coming Home

I spoke with a very helpful woman whose professional name, I'm sorry to report, is Bambi. A stripper and a writer (aren't they all?), Bambi divides her time between New York and New Orleans. "Every stripper knows she can't be every guy's personal fantasy," Bambi says, "so professionals can handle rejection. We only hate customers who are rude or waste our time when they reject us." Bambi had four nice ways to let a stripper know she's not your fantasy:

(1) "I'm sorry, but I'm waiting for another girl." ("This doesn't have to be true," says Bambi, "but it's a nice way to say no and gives you the air of being someone else's customer.") (2) "I'm sorry, but I prefer blonds/brunettes/redheads." ("Again, it doesn't have to be true, but it's a nice white lie.") (3) "I just got back from a dance. I'll find you when I'm ready for another." (4) "I'd be happy to buy you a drink, but I'm not interested in dances right now." ("Most strippers will politely decline the drink," Bambi says.)

Bambi also wanted to share five examples of how not to get rid of a stripper:

(1) Don't insult a girl, for example, by asking, "When do the pretty strippers get here?" ("Girls will avoid you if you are mean.") (2) Don't tell a girl to come back in five minutes when you don't mean it. (3) Don't tell a girl that you'd rather take her out to dinner than buy a dance. ("Dinner is not going to pay our rent or feed our kids. Remember, we're at work.") (4) Don't shake your head no before she even gets "Do you wanna . . ." out of her mouth. ("Let her finish her sentence. It's two milliseconds out of your life, and it makes the rejection seem less harsh.") (5) And finally, whatever you do, don't say "I'm gay." ("This response is so stupid I won't even bother to explain why. If you can't figure it out, please do everyone a favor and stay out of strip clubs.")

Finally, Bambi wanted to let you know that most strippers enjoy dancing for military guys. "They're usually more disciplined than civilians," she says, "and they're better at keeping their hands to themselves when ordered to do so. Have fun!"

I did a stupid thing. I'm a 27-year-old woman in a committed relationship, yet I found myself alone for a long period of time. So I went online, gave a strange man my address, and had him come over and fuck me. I'm not worried about health issues, as everything was safe. What bothers me is how I left my physical safety so open. Who's to say he won't come back? Can a woman have a man over for anonymous sex without fear of waking up to frat boys at her door? --Lusty, Eager Woman Dismayed

That depends, LEWD. If the man you had over for anonymous sex was one of the good guys--the kind of guy who wouldn't lie to someone he's never going to see again about his STD status, the kind of guy who wouldn't remove or "lose" a condom during sex, the kind of nonmisogynistic guy who will remember a woman fondly for indulging him in NSA (no strings attached) sex and not resent her for it, the kind of guy who will refrain from sharing your address with frat boys or, worse yet, showing up again himself, perhaps drunk, sometime when he hasn't been invited--then, sure, a woman can have a man over for anonymous sex without fear. Provided, again, that he's one of the good guys.

Unfortunately for you, LEWD, only time will tell if the guy you fucked was one of the good guys. Anonymous sex can be hot, and the Internet has made it easier than ever for people to hook up for NSA encounters, but there's always a catch, and in this case it's this: you often can't tell if the guy you're fucking is a nutcase until after he's fucked you. So all anonymous sexual encounters involve some risk, LEWD; consequently fear will always be a part of the package.

I do, however, know two women who have managed to explore anonymous sex while greatly reducing their odds of fucking nutcases. A pair of twentysomething girls--let's call them Barbara and Jenna--cornered me at a party and told me they were jealous that I, as a gay man, could safely have anonymous sex. I explained to them that I, as a gay man, felt that anonymous sex was vastly overrated. Then I explained how they, as straight girls, could explore anonymous sex relatively safely. Take out a personal ad, I told 'em, and meet any potential anonymous sex partners in public. Interview them at length, carefully screen out the nuts, and then make a date. How could the sex be anonymous after all that? Because Barbara vetted Jenna's anonymous sex partners and vice versa, LEWD. Neither girl met the guy she fucked anonymously until the proverbial--and hotly anticipated--knock at the door.

Would you stop calling MTF transsexuals men? We are women. You'd think people who are oppressed wouldn't oppress others. I respect your right to print whatever you want, but why not be a human being? --EM

PS: I hope the image of getting your precious dick sliced open stays in your mind for a long time.

In the column you object to, EM, I wrote, "I regret writing back in April that men who get sex-change operations have their dicks cut off. This is not the case . . ." (I'm going to spare myself, my precious dick, and my equally precious male readers the gruesome details of MTF gender-reassignment surgery if that's OK with you, EM.) So that was men who get their dicks cut off, not men who have gotten them cut off--clearly a reference to pretransition MTFs, which is to say Ms, or males, aka men. The next time I made a gender reference I wrote, "the new woman is even orgasmic!" So my gender references transitioned from male to female just like MTFs transition in real life. Isn't that nifty? And if you think I shouldn't refer to a man who is about to undergo sex-reassignment surgery as a man (she was always a woman inside, right?), then where do you get off using the acronym MTF? Doesn't that stand for male-to-female? Aren't you calling MTFs men too? Sheesh!

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