Sometimes I can’t help myself.
Sometimes—married people, back me up here—I just have to lay elaborate traps for Husband.
I am,for those who are just now joining us, married to a man who makes terrible jokes and says stupid things on purpose in order to watch my reaction. I’m sure this qualifies as some sort of disorder but since we’ve been married this long it falls under the heading of pre-existing conditions and there’s not a lot I can do about either the behavior or the deep wrinkle that has subsequently formed between my eyebrows.
My only recourse, I believe, is to give as good as I get. Which, if I’m being honest, isn’t an opportunity I get all that often.
That is not the trap.
ME: (watching him play Detroit) Okay, you’ve been to a strip club before—
HIM: Yeah… but it’s been a few years.
ME: But you’ve been. And presumably you’d go again.
HIM: … I don’t know that I would. I mean, certainly not alone.
ME: No, you wouldn’t go alone. Alone is weird. I mean, it shouldn’t be—just like going to a movie or a restaurant alone, if it’s okay to go at all it should be okay to go alone, right? (considers) Maybe it’s because if you go to a strip club alone you don’t have anyone to talk to except the naked ladies? And, I mean, that’d get awkward, because of the… well… what would you even say?
HIM: … Right.
ME: Anyway, if (male friends) said to you, “Hey, we’re going to a strip club, wanna come?” and (their wives) and I said, “yeah, sure, go ahead! We’ll just be here having a stitch ‘n bitch” and were totally fine with it, you’d go.
HIM: I mean, then you have the question of what is what we’re doing called?
ME: … Lurk ‘n jerk?
HIM: (giggles, high-fives me)
ME: But seriously.
HIM: Seriously? I don’t know. I mean… I’m married, I’m kind of old for that sort of thing… I’d feel creepy—
ME: What if I went—
HIM: Oh, if you wanted to go sure! I’d go to a strip club with you.
ME: Fine. So strip clubs aren’t evil.
HIM: Not evil, no.
ME: And if there were similarly appropriate circumstances—I was okay with it, etc.—you’d maybe visit a brothel?
HIM: I… If I lived in a culture where that was acceptable, or legal—
ME: Oh, for sure. We’re talking a legal brothel, where everyone’s of age and wants to be there and getting paid—dental insurance and whatnot.
HIM: So we’re in like… Amsterdam?
HIM: And they’re all adults.
ME: Yup. Not just local age of consent but real adults.
HIM: At least 21. No… half my age plus 7 so…
ME: Seasoned whores, fine.
HIM: Not “seasoned,” just… not our kid’s age.
ME: Oh. Yeah. Ew.
ME: Fine. So we’re wherever, and I’m up in the hotel room and I say, “Hey honey, I’m pretty done in but could you go pick up something for dinner? Oh, and get a blowjob on your way back.”
HIM: (flinches) Maybe? But you see the hoops you have to jump through to get me to this point.
ME: (nods) You’ve got some real hangups about sex work, for sure.
HIM: I what?
ME: It’s okay, we’ll work on it.
HIM: We will?
ME: (nods) I’d like you to be more sex-positive, but you’re a work in progress and I understand that. But let’s move on. Strip clubs aren’t evil and brothels aren’t inherently evil.
ME: And if they were staffed by androids—sexbots—would you go to one of those places? Assuming I was cool with it and they were really thoroughly cleaned between customers.
HIM: … (sighs) I mean…
ME: No age of consent issues with sexbots.
HIM: No… I mean, their age doesn’t matter, but…
ME: But what?
HIM: I guess… Yeah, maybe.
HIM: (nods, turns back to game)
ME: So would you go back to one after you heard that sexbots have killed a couple of customers while fucking them?
HIM: (snaps around, stunned) OH HELL NO!
HIM: I wouldn’t go after the first one!
ME: Especially since there are, apparently, so many other clubs!
HIM: Yeah, as soon as I heard that even one went rogue and killed a customer I’d never go anywhere near there. I don’t care if it was just one, there’s something wrong with that club!
ME: But here that place is packed and they’ve got cops swarming all over from the most recent sexbot-turned-murderbot!
HIM: Yeah. No. Fuck no.
ME: (nods) Good. Just checking.
HIM: (shakes head) No. Nope.
ME: And yes, all of that was just a lead up to get the reaction on your face at that moment.
ME: Totally worth it.
 My inner completionist, obsessive little cow that she is, is now insisting that I go back and do All The Things. I’m allowing her brief, scheduled sessions because if I let her off-leash I will never sleep again.
 I talk to my food, but only when we’re alone. Not because I think my salmon burger is going to talk back or anything… I just don’t like explaining myself to the weirdos who ask me about it.
 Yes, I paused to imagine a batch of robot vaginas soaking in a sink in a Detroit sex club. And now you have also imagined it and our lives are different now.