Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Stripping it back: What's the story with buck's and hen's days?

My 30th year of living on this good earth has felt as though it's produced as many weddings as my 21st year produced birthday parties. There has been plenty! Which is great, everyone loves a wedding.

And why wouldn't you? They are joyous occasions, filled with new love, old love (for the old hands remembering their wedding day), and supreme happiness that stem from a couple taking the ultimate oath of commitment and self giving.

There is nothing more fulfilling than the act of committing yourself to the love of your life (watching your children come into the world and grow up may equal it) and swearing that through thick and thin you will be with that person until the day you or he/she dies. It's strangely liberating.

I have attended numerous buck's parties this year. Once upon a time, the standard buck's or hen's party involved a night, or maybe a day and night, out with your best mates. You'd go fishing, or go karting, or just sit in an old favourite local and share a few too many beers with your mates.

As I have always understood it, the whole purpose of buck's and hen's days are a symbol that you are leaving behind a way of life (that is, your youth and single life) before embarking on the next phase in your journey. I always thought it was a sign that your priority in life had changed from your self and your mates, to your spouse and your future family. I also considered buck's and hen's days as a thank you to your mates for all the good times you'd shared together.

It seems though, that these days, a single day and night is not enough. People decide to have weekend, sometimes week long, buck'
s and hen's parties. The day's events have to be spectacular and as embarrassing to the buck/hen as possible. The lead up is a week long fear campaign by the buck's/hen's mates telling them how messed up they are going to make them and that they will be attending their wedding day with one eyebrow.

Having the party in your home town doesn't seem to cut the mustard any longer, with more and more people deciding to have their "last night of freedom" interstate or overseas.

While I personally find all of this pretty excessive, the thing that baffles me is the complete social acceptance of strippers - both male and female - attending buck's and hen's days. This acceptance stems from a culture, or an ideology, that marriage is restrictive. "Enjoy your last night of freedom", or "this is your last night before you're on a permanent leash" are comments often heard at buck's and hen's days. I've even heard of men and women who feel the need to have sex with another person before permanently locking themself up with their spouse.

If people believe marriage is so restrictive, why do they bother getting married? If people believe a buck's day is their last chance at freedom, and therefore playing around with a random stripper is something they need to tick off their list before they commit themselves to their spouse, why do they bother getting married?

I find it so contradictory that soon to be brides and grooms think it is acceptable to take part in a lap dance, or get a rub down in a shower by multiple strippers, or worse, when often the very next week they are pledging their commitment and fidelity to their spouse in front of their loved ones and friends.

Fast forward say a year after the wedding day. Do you think either husband or wife would be happy if their spouse frequented a strip club? We've all heard the too-often-told saying: "what happens on a boy's trip, stays on a boy's trip".

Why is that? Why aren't people confident enough to tell their husbands and wives they went to the strippers? If you asked 100 married people whether their spouse would approve of them associating physically with a stripper, I'd be willing to bet the high majority would say no. An even higher majority would be hiding the fact from their spouse.

So why is it socially ok a week before your wedding? A week before you promise your spouse you will be faithful and true to him or her forever? A week before you promise your spouse you will be honest and respect him or her forever? Why is it socially acceptable, and humorous to many, to post photos on social media, often with their Mum or Dad, with a stripper at their buck's or hen's day?

When so many people enter marriages with an attitude of "get it done before you get married" or "enjoy your freedom while it lasts", no wonder more and more marriages are failing. A spouse who truly loves his partner, and who truly respects his partner, wouldn't even want to engage with a random stripper a week before their wedding.

It's a shame these days that the high majority of bucks and hens find that strippers are a prerequisite to a fun day. My buck's day was spent with my best mates on a boat fishing, and later in a couple of favourite pubs. There was no debauchery, no strippers and no disrespect to my wife. It was also one of the best days and nights I've had with my mates.

If only more were like this, and the attitude to marriage was not one of restriction but of joy, happiness, fulfilment and self giving.

All the best,
Dom Meese

No comments:

Post a Comment