A lot. We mean, A.
But those strippers usually have one thing in common: But what about the guys? And, honestly, we have no idea how accurate either of those are.
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Which is why we decided to find out and clear up some common misconceptions about what male strippers actually do. To shed some bright neon stage light on the subject, we talked to a private-show stripper, some guys from the Floppy Rooster club in Miami, and one of the Chippendales -- who, as a male revue, are actually not strippers and more like what Channing Tatum does on screen.
This is what they told us Male strippers are like female strippers -- they take it all off. A male revue like the Chippendales , on the other hand, is what you see in Magic Mike: The stereotype of the frustrated old aunt trying to reach in the G-string is pretty outdated. As are more gay men. He was a male-revuer. And a very good one judging by his moves. He could absolutely go back to doing that if he wanted to. In terms of the male-revue lifestyle, anyway.
Unlike the adult film industry, where the male-to-female pay disparity is jaw-dropping, male strippers make just as much as their female counterparts. Most try to get out of the game by their early thirties, many of them setting up strip clubs or entertainment businesses of their own. But it's hard to move on from a business where you're adored. The day someone tells me I look old is the day I hang up my g-string.
It is sad. But despite the undeniable talent of some performers, it's hard to shake the feeling that there's something just a little funny about male stripping, a juxtaposition of the erotic and absurd that's missing from places like Stringfellows — and perhaps the thing that makes it seem that little bit more acceptable, especially to the performers themselves.
I'm in a strip show every Saturday night, then most Fridays I do stripagrams. I've just changed my act actually, to tie in with the British Jubilee. I come out in a British gent costume and play the national anthem.
I'm looking at issues of prudishness in Britain. Although I'm sure most of the girls are not reading in to it deeply at all! I studied politics at university in London. People are often surprised because they don't expect me to be intelligent. I used to be a teacher, but some pupils found my online profile and started asking me if it was true I had done porn. Eventually all my classes were cancelled. I was actually already planning on leaving — I had decided in counselling that perhaps teaching wasn't for me after all, but the hardest thing for me was not being able to say goodbye to my students.
I was always a bit tall and lanky before — and I still feel like a lanky man, even though I know I'm not. I still don't see myself as a big, muscley guy. I'm perhaps too body-obsessed. I'm in the gym about four or five days a week. Stripping can actually be more nerve-wracking than porn, because you're always going out in front of someone new, and there can be thousands of people there.
A girl the other day was mean about my bum; but you have to be professional. I put myself out there knowing I'm being seen as an object. Plus, I always think if I can get over the nervousness of doing it, then I can achieve anything. In the past I've done naked butlering, too, but I don't think that sort of thing leads to stripping, and stripping to porn.
Obviously, all three take some body confidence, but I certainly don't think the three worlds are closely connected. Not many strippers would define themselves as gay, although I suspect stripping provides an outlet for a kind of homoeroticism that straight men might enjoy, too — all those muscles and nudity. I've had some experiences with men. I'd never rule anything out. I'm known as 'The Coach' because guys coming in to the industry come to me for advice. Basically, I know everyone in the business.
I've been stripping since I was about 21, after I applied to the police force and it didn't work out. I went to a Butlins and saw a strip show. The girls went absolutely mental and I saw the power that these guys had and I knew that it was what I wanted. I'm a natural performer.
Being on stage, getting all that attention from girls and getting paid for it?
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I just said to my friend, "You know, I'm better than those guys up there, I want to get into this". If you can make money doing what you love then you should, shouldn't you? I gave up my office job almost instantly and joined a show. Bizarrely, I met my now wife at that very same Butlins weekend that I decided to become a stripper, so she's been there since the beginning. She did used to get a bit jealous but she's used to it now. She knows I'd never cheat on her. Even though I strip because I enjoy the attention, it's not about the women for me.
The only thing that really annoys her is how focused I am on my body. I work out at least two hours a day, five days a week and really watch what I eat. I do worry about what my children will think of it all, though. I have three. Daddy's always just been a dancer to them before, but my eldest, she's 12, has figured it out now because I'm sometimes on TV. Plus, it's a bit difficult to hide what you do when g-strings are hanging on the washing line, you know?
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My girl, she loves her daddy, but I do worry about her being embarrassed about it at school and stuff. It's hard.
Years ago I'd be doing between three and eight shows a week — about five group ones and then a few solo ones, too. These days it's all much quieter. I'm sure eventually I'll stop.
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I've already moved more into the coaching and management side, so probably sometime soon I'll just do that. I've been working as a butler since August last year. I just needed a bit of money after I got back from a holiday where I spent more than I meant to. A friend told me about Butlers in the Buff. At first I thought it was a bit shocking — wearing just a bow tie and a little pinny to serve Champagne. But you can't see much, just my bum. Plus, I'm a rugby player — we sort of get naked all the time anyway. I just thought I might as well get paid for it.
I've done more than 20 events, although I still haven't paid off my debts.
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I've spent most of my income on going out! Most of my jobs are hen parties. I make a few drinks and some conversation. And then at the end I tidy up, take out the bins. It's just a bit of fun. You do hear of people trying to sleep with the girls at these things or vice versa, but I really see work as work. It's the same as if an attractive patient came in to see me. I would always separate work from that stuff. I wouldn't tell girls I meet in bars that I do this.
I just don't feel the need to show off. I was once offered another job where they wanted me to take my top off in a club but my ex-girlfriend didn't like it so I said no. A girl would come first if she didn't want me to do this. It was their daughter's 18th birthday. I see it as totally different from stripping.
That Time I Was A Gay Stripper
I don't get completely naked for one thing. Plus, with stripping I don't think you really have a conversation with people, do you? I'm not going to lie; strippers do it for their egos, for the thrill of ripping their clothes off in front of hundreds of screaming women. To be honest, there are a lot of arrogant people in this business, as well as the nice ones. Of course, strippers sleep with women at the shows.
You know what us men are like. I'm in a relationship now and I'd never do anything like that any more, but in the past, well, nothing would have shocked me. Please don't think that I'm really arrogant, it's just, women used to approach me all the time.