REVIEW / Where money makes the girls go round

IN ITS continuing investigation of the mysteries of the male organism, Men Only (C4) ventured into the world of strip clubs and table dancing. Our guide was Reggie Nadelson, 'the Margaret Mead of the titty bars', a woman who had persuaded herself that by staring at men staring at women she might tease apart some of the mysteries of male lust.

Her desire wasn't really consummated but then maybe that was in keeping with the subject matter, a new breed of clubs which offer nudity without complications, an ocular version of safe sex. Pay enough money and one of the girls will dance on your table, or at least wave her parts in your face in a vaguely rhythmical manner. The men sit back like dazed proctology students, occasionally stirring themselves to stiffen a dollar bill enough to insert it into the garter belt - the only permissable contact in a place where money is the perfect disinfectant.

Reggie Nadelson spent some time wondering what the men got out of this curiously anodyne sexual display (it's sweet how some women are so reluctant to come to the conclusion that men can just be dumb peckerheads sometimes). I, meanwhile, was wondering why they weren't all under the table with embarrassment. I did know where to look, naturally, but that was only because I was separated from the object of inspection by a television set and the Atlantic Ocean.

The theory is that the men here were really no closer, even when the girls were risking stubble-burn with their wilder gyrations. The men are protected by the rules from the risk of rejection; they're not allowed to try anything so they don't have to worry about a slap in the face. And provided they have the money they can create a momentary illusion of intimacy. 'The feeling of being able to attract a woman that beautiful . . . makes you feel real good,' said one man. In truth this is like a cow thinking it's got a sexy butt because of the way the flies crowd about it - but, what the hell, he was happy and she was earning enough to be convinced that she was in charge.

Oddly enough several of the programmes in this series have had a bit of difficulty keeping it up for more than 20 minutes. This was no exception, sagging a little in the second half, where we just got more pneumatic bodies, more question marks and more sap-happy johns. And despite her pose of knowing toughness (she drawled her sardonic script like a private dick), she seemed to buy the line occasionally, accepting the protestations of some customers that it wasn't really a sexual thing, that it had as much to do with friendliness and talking as with soaped-up women writhing against plate glass. Wasn't it Margaret Mead who got taken for a ride by the natives she studied?

'Pointing Percy' (Men's Rooms, C4), a little film about men's lavatories, packed more surprises into its 15 minutes than Men Only's 50. It contained at least three things I've never seen on television before - a man hoicking his penis out of his pants before having a pee, another man cleaning a filthy, sorry, filthy toilet with a mop and a brief demonstration of the etiquette of cottaging (including the engaging information that one of the participants stands in a shopping bag, so that peeping policemen will only see one pair of feet beneath the cubicle door).

I'm not sure that I want to see them again very quickly, and I'm not sure that Kristiene Clarke's loose collection of facts startled us to any particular effect, but it was mildly intriguing to have one's dull expectations rattled in this way. I'll certainly know what's happening if a silent man with an empty Harrod's bag sidles alongside me as I stand before the porcelain, which means it was a lot more useful than most programmes I see.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam