I was confused when I came across a sentence in “The Body Politic” in New York Times (June 28). The emphasized one.
The legal dos and don’ts suggest that the law of the father has been partly overthrown, even if the naughtiness remains hidden, away from the glare of the outside world. The club is something of a playground, a place where women and men teasingly, raucously switch traditional roles. Yet there’s a serious undertow to their interactions because the women pay men for a sexual pantomime that the men live off of. (The plot also involves Dallas’s plans to open a bigger club in which he’s promised Mike equity, a pledge that keeps Mike dancing and distracted from his own dreams.) From the way that Mr. Soderbergh shoots the opener, the lights shining into the camera and your eyes (you may flash on “All That Jazz”), it’s clear everyone is playing a role, including you.
In this sentence, “the men” are strippers who live off of sexual pantomime. And “the women” are clients who pay for their sexual pantomime, right?
Why not say “the women pay the men for a sexual pantomime that the men live off of”?
Actually, I don't know why this can be an undertow to their interactions. Since they have already switched traditional roles in that club, it is only natural to see female clients pay male strippers for sexual pantomime. Can that be an undertow?