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Why Troops Marry Strippers – A Brief View of Young Decisions

July 31, 2023
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It has long been a running joke that young servicemembers tend to hitch themselves emotionally to certain types of women, strippers and the girl next door. The two largest groups of women that servicemembers gravitate towards appear at first glance to be completely different, but they share a lot of common factors. As with most stereotypical references, there is a heavy seed of truth within this trope… But why does this occur?

Strippers, erotic dancers, adult entertainers are generally confident and talented actors. Bringing not just their bodies but their presence and people reading skills to bear on both audiences and single individuals, strippers build the illusion of desire for their clients. This is the trap, either intentionally or unintentionally, which is kind of the entire point. Convince the client that you desire them, maybe even give them the hope that THEY might be the one to take her away from all of his and have a life together… And the money comes in.

Don’t mistake my meaning, I am in no way disparaging the trade. As some of P.T. Barnum’s critics were fond of saying, there’s a sucker born every minute, and if I could make a living taking lingerie off in front of drunken morons I’m not sure I wouldn’t jump on the opportunity. The act does, however, have a more profound impact on our junior warriors by showing them a fantasy version of the sexually confident and yet ‘attainable’ doll they believed was real from the media they consume. 

The typical girl next door type also has some predictable guidelines. Born and raised in small towns or rural communities, they often have little direct exposure to the outside world in terms of travel or tourists. The servicemember has known them practically their whole life, and knows every little piece of information about them that her own family knows. She is a trusted source of wholesome affection. It is important to remember that this, too can be an illusion; the view she gives the world may not be the reality in the long term.

Therein lies the link between the two. Simply put, both categories present a hyper exaggerated fantasy version of the woman of their respective archetypes. For the young, inexperienced warrior often freshly introduced to an ever-expanding world as if the tutorial of life was complete and they were moving to Level 1, these archetypes are all encompassing, representative of the idea in its entirety instead of reflections of a false ideal.

If our young warrior is given the opportunity to flex his new found confidence, appearance, and often paycheck, and that opportunity leads him into the path of a stripper (who shows him a carnal desire) or the girl next door (who may show him the same in an “aww shucks” sort of way), he often doesn’t have the emotional maturity to look below the surface. A great rack or a familiar face are not personalities, no matter how exceptional they are. And so, devoid of the knowledge of what onions are (or people who don’t already know each other’s extended family) the young warrior puts on his fancy if empty dress uniform and try to lock it down as fast as they can. She is “special” and “different than the others.” Sorry, boot, it’s just statistically untrue. She may even like or love you… But you saw something shiny and left your common sense in your wall locker.

Can you marry a stripper? Sure. They ARE confident women, and they’re often smart and socially observant. Can you marry the girl next door? Sure. They more often than not DO know you very well and you know them, as well as having a solid base from which to grow a relationship. The key? Eyes wide open, warriors. They aren’t the fantasy versions, those aren’t real. Communication and recon are essential before you sign yourself up for your second contract.

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