The Strip Club Paradox

Crazy ScottyWhen I see strip clubs, I think of math.

Bear with me. Once upon a time, there was this mathematician named Enrico Fermi. And he was was really good at estimates. He could estimate things with astonishing accuracy. He once estimated the number of piano tuners in New York City, based on his own estimates of how many pianos were in NYC, how many would get tuned, and how many tuners would be needed to service those pianos regularly.

Now, near my hometown, there is a highway surrounded by no fewer than three different, (ahem), gentleman’s establishments. The only one I can remember the name of is called Babylon, which I was tempted to call Babylon 5 before remembering that that’s the name of a sci-fi show from the 90s.


Yeah, definitely not a strip club.

So, when I see those three strip clubs, I think, “What would Enrico Fermi estimate from this? How is it possible that such a small area could have three establishments offering, to my knowledge, the same basic service?” Think about it. If three restaurants are offering Chinese food within 100 yards of each other, they ought to drive each other out of business eventually.

A strip club connoisseur might tell me that there’s a lot I don’t know about strip clubs. I’m okay with that. But from an outsider’s perspective, this paradox seems to say, if it says nothing else, that the sex business is different from any other “business” out there. Sex is more than a business. It points to a longing that’s deeper than itself, and certainly deeper than what kind of food we happen to be craving for lunch.

I’m not the first to point this out. If you want more, look at what C.S. Lewis has to say about the difference between sexual and food appetites in Mere Christianity. Or read your Bible. Or watch Babylon 5. I don’t know, man, I never watched it.

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About Cellophane Glasses

His name is Scotty Meiser. His life is hard to categorize, so here are some bullet-points: He is a pastor’s son. He has been a Christian camp counselor for five years. He was born long and thin, and has more or less stayed that way. He sings songs. He acts. He has edited Wikipedia. He and his friend wrote a mariachi song about Canada. As a child, he ate so many carrots his skin turned orange. He hates Seventeen Magazine. He’s a junior at Cairn University in Langhorne, PA. He has no idea where his life is headed It is from this view, Scotty shares his world.

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