There’s an old saying about the distinction between art and pornography: maybe you can’t define pornography, but you’ll “know it when you see it.” Typically, the ethics of the bachelor party works the same way: if it feels wrong, it’s probably wrong.
Then again, it’s never really that simple, is it? To help guide your moral compass, we’ve created a continuum of bachelor wrongness, with “0” as spotless as a lamb, and “10” a cheating, lying, Joe-Francis-esque douchebag.
What’s your score?
basic male bonding activities
cheating score: 0.000
Harmless stuff like playing poker, puffing cigars, and knocking back some bottles of well-aged Scotch. If your fiancée is threatened by this activity, consider calling off the wedding. Seriously. At bare minimum, every guy deserves some quality time with his best friends.
flirting with random girls at club
cheating score: 1.5
When your buddies drag you out to a bar, they’re bound to tell the waitresses and random girls that it’s your last night of freedom, your swansong, your final gasp of fresh air. To clarify: this is bullshit. Your last gasp of freedom was months or even years ago—you’re in a monogamous relationship; you’re already committed. That said, on your bachelor party, harmless flirting (so long as it’s harmless) is beyond reproach.
going to a strip cLub... just to watch
cheating score: 3.5
Yes, theoretically, it’s possible to simply go to the strip club and just watch. This makes about as much sense as going to Home Depot to stare at the pipes and lumber. Besides, it’s insulting to the girls if you refuse their goods and services. They work really hard for your benefit—only a real jerk would ignore them. You’re classier than that.
tipping a stripper while she's onstage
cheating score: 4.2
You know the move. It’s when the stripper grinds out her pole dance—in public, onstage—then you put some money in front of you, and then she’ll shower you with a little extra attention. It’s not a lapdance, per se, but it’s more personalized attention. They won’t be thrilled, but most fiancées will be okay with this.
cheating score 4.5 through 6.5
The great debate. Is getting a lapdance cheating? Let’s look at it from your fiancée’s perspective. A hot, slim, naked, woman is grinding her crotch against you, making you pant with lust, and rubbing her breasts all over your body. And you wonder why she’s jealous? If this was some random girl at a bar, she’d have every right to dump you right then and there. The counter-argument: this is not some random girl in a bar. It’s a controlled act in a controlled environment—and the stripper doesn’t want to screw you, she just wants to screw you out of another $100.
Two variables come into play:
- Your fiancée’s thoughts on the matter.
- Your intentions and attitudes toward lapdances.
Let’s say that your fiancée explicitly forbade you from getting lapdances, but your friends have no such constraints. This sucks. You may get mocked by your buddies. And frankly, you and your fiancée may need to make sure you're on the same page about a whole host of behavioral issues. All that said… the rules are the rules. At the risk of getting all cheesy, you love your fiancée more than you love a 3-minute dance that costs over 20 bucks.
The second variable: your intentions. If you view the lapdance as something fun and harmless that’s just part of bachelor party behavior—like gambling in Vegas or snorkeling in Hawaii—then she really does have nothing to worry about. If, however, you long for those non-fiancée breasts, insist on more and more lapdances, fondle her, and pay her something like $200…then yeah, your fiancée has a valid gripe.
kissing the stripper
cheating score: 7
Everyone is different, but this is where I, personally, draw the line. Call me old-fashioned, call me a prude, call me in the tank for the bride—but a kiss is a kiss. And kissing is cheating. Because the stripper was only doing it for money, however, the sin isn’t as bad as…
kissing a random girl at the bar
cheating score: 7.5
We’ll give it to you straight. The guy who makes out with a random girl—a month before his wedding—is the guy who will later have an affair, the guy who makes that “50%” statistic a reality. Just sayin’.
handjob from a stripper
cheating score: 8.1
Dude. You got a handjob. From someone besides your future wife. “But it was at a bachelor party!!!!!” doesn’t excuse it, doesn’t condone it. You’ve cheated. Now what do you do? Click here.
blowjob from a stripper
cheating score: 8.5
If a blowjob can effectively end a presidency, yes, it’s powerful enough to end your marriage.
sex with a stripper
cheating score: 9.3
Congratulations. You have just bought yourself a lifetime of shame. You will bury this, regret this, and be ashamed of this for the next 70 years. Or until your divorce. Wonder which will come first? At least you didn’t have…
sex with a random girl
cheating score: 10.0
Why is this worse than sex with a stripper? From your fiancée’s perspective, at least a stripper is a professional, doesn’t represent a real threat, and can probably be dismissed as a one-time deal. (Note: this doesn’t mean she wouldn’t be pissed. She’d be outraged. Ballistic. And she might call off the wedding. We’re just comparing relative degrees of badness, like Charles Manson vs. Hitler.) And again, if you do hook up with Random Girl, click here.