From what I had seen in movies about female strip clubs, they looked gross.
There was usually a stage that jutted into the center of the dark room on which stood a single, shiny pole. Old men were seated around the stage with wades of dollar bills in hand, eagerly awaiting a skinny, large-breasted woman wearing some type of lingerie to come strutting out to seductive, jazzy music.
Having never seen the movie Magic Mike, I expected the atmosphere at a male strip club to be more or less the same — cheap, a bit depressing, and a tad vulgar. When I agreed to pay one at a visit, I imagined horny, middle-aged women shrieking and desperately waving singles at oily, shirtless, and buff men in banana hammocks shaking their junk.
My imagination failed to impress me. I entered the strip club with low expectations, but left with a surprising appreciation for what goes down behind the walls of a male strip club and a piece of advice: male strip clubs can prove to be just what women need.
My first shock of the evening came early on. Somewhere in between simulating sex and spinning around a pole so that their business was in a bachelorette's face, I noticed that the male dancers were touching the audience members. My eyes would shoot up to the women's faces, expecting to see a reaction of repulsion or offense as their legs were thrown open and flung around the waist of a dancer, but, to my surprise, the women just tossed their heads back in wild laughter, or covered their mouths to hide gaping smiles and blushing cheeks, as their friends clapped and 'woo-ed'.
I was puzzled. What I was witnessing went against everything my mother had ingrained in me as a little girl. Growing up, she would warned me about strange men, telling me that men in general just wanted one thing and that I shouldn't let them have it (at least not during the first encounter). I learned to be wary of any strange man, no matter how hot they might be.
Nowadays, my guard goes up when a man I don't know even looks at me on the bus. Yet here I was, at the male strip club, laughing and shrieking in joy at the touch and attention of hot strangers dancing around in thongs, from whom I'd normally ignore, dismiss, or report on a daily basis in the real world.
The atmosphere at the male strip club resembled that of a night club. There were dark walls, purple and blue strobe lights, and loud house music that you couldn't help but bop to when you weren't getting a lap dance. But despite the similarities to a night club, where the objective is usually to dance with your friends and avoid creepy guys, the objective at the strip club was to be danced on by sexy guys. This environment reversed everything women, myself included, have learned as little girls about strangers and made us feel comfortable enough to throw down a few shots and enjoy a lap dance from a shirtless dancer.
These men had the ability to make the women feel safe, relaxed, and entertained.
When you think about the concept of a male strip club — fit men grinding on women with the hope of getting a wad of cash shoved into their boxers — the experience sounds shallow. The idea of paying for attention didn't sound appealing to me either, until I found myself upside down being shaken and stirred like a cocktail by a stripper named Magic Mike (naturally) and loving every second of it.
There was something thrilling about having a hot man approach me and rub his body on me like it was his job — oh wait, it was — which was why I was able to enjoy it. At the male strip club, there is comfort in knowing that there will be nothing to follow the lap dance, no pressure to let someone buy you a drink or give your phone number out.
There is also no fear of rejection. Sure, the strippers want money, but they also know that you aren't going to just hand out dollar bills if you don't want to. The strippers make you want to give them your money, which, believe it or not is something I found to be a skill they all possessed. You have to respect their hustle. Women are a lot harder to please than men. We won't get shell out cash for any guy with a ripped bod.
It takes more than tight abs and undies to be a stripper. They have to fluid, energetic, and enjoy socializing with crowds. They cannot just circle the club, blindly hopping from one lap to the next; they must also engage with each woman, both old and young. Of course they are paid to dance and take their clothes off, but their job entails more than just getting women hot and bothered by grinding on them. Their job is to entertain women, give them attention, flip them, dip them, lift them, and schmooze with them.
One of my cousins proved this to be especially true after lassoing a stripper named the Italian Stallion. He leapt over to our group and proceeded to give my cousin the most sensual lap dance I have ever seen. We all assumed that once he was done dancing and getting money stuffed into his undies, the Italian Stallion would trot over to another group. But after he was done making my cousin flustered, he sat down with her and started chatting. He even introduced himself to her by his supposed real name, which was actually NOT Italian Stallion — who knew? When he finally galloped over to another group of girls, my cousins and I all chuckled at what had just happened, which made me realize that strip clubs are actually quite funny.
Maybe it was the cocktails that somehow never needed replenishing or the strippers on stage pelvic-thrusting to hilarious tunes like "It's Raining Men" the performance including umbrellas and leather rain coats) and the James Bond theme song (the performance including lots of gun fingers and sunglasses), but I laughed more at the strip club than I had in a long time. Laughter seemed to be continuous and contagious, and maybe that is what made us all feel safe and relaxed about being dry humped by hot strangers.
Many types of women go to male strip clubs — old women, young women, those celebrating birthdays, and those about to get married — but they all have one thing in common: they are there to have a good time, and it is the strippers' job to make this happen. They know that what they do, despite it being damn hot, is fun for women. They are well aware that when they plant a woman's hands on their buttock or slide down their boxers to reveal some cheek, the women are not going to pop lady boner; they are going to giggle like little girls who know a funny secret. The men don't dance on audience members only to get 'ooh's' and 'ah's' and money. They also do it to make the guests laugh, because when they are laughing, they are having a good time.
The strippers don't take themselves too seriously which makes you think 'why should I?' especially when being sandwiched between two dancers. I mean, what else can you really do in that moment but laugh?
Now, let's be honest. We all have those reoccurring stereotypical bedroom fantasies we wish were a reality. For some, it's the hot fireman smashing through a window to rescue you from a fire, for others it's the hot policeman coming to cuff you up. Even if you have a partner willing to dress up and role play with you, some women aren't able to get out of their own heads for long enough to enjoy the experience, and unfortunately it isn't exactly acceptable to go up to an attractive policeman and ask to feel his abs. Enter male strip clubs, where women's fantasies are no secret to strippers donning the many outfits of many occupations, giving women an opportunity to half-live out their sexual fantasies in a safe environment.
After spending time in a male strip club and seeing the women of all ages having a blast, I found that women don't just come to male strip clubs to get something they don't get in the bedroom. They come for hilarious entertainment from a semi-naked stranger who they will probably never see again in a safe environment surrounded by their friends. They also come for a taste of sexual and intimate fulfillment.
I never thought I would understand that T-Pain song "I'm In Love with a Stripper," but there is something shamelessly enjoyable and hilarious about getting a lap dance from a stripper and hearing all of your friends scream and clap in excitement. Always outnumbered by the amount of women, the dancers have to make their way around the club giving attention to each woman, which makes finally getting a lap dance oddly pleasing. The dancers make you feel special and sexy, each lap dance feeling a bit romantic, but mostly satisfying. Witnessing the happenings of a male strip club is like witnessing a performance, where your comfort and amusement are the priority and you and the dancers are the main attraction.
When you go to a male strip club, you aren't walking into a strip tease. You are entering a safe haven for women to relax, enjoy sexual expression, and laugh in the company of friends and hot men.
When I left at the end of the night, my stomach hurt from laughing so much, I felt sexually confident, and I had a whole new appreciation for male strippers and their ability to make their place of work such an experience for women of all ages. Being a male stripper is not just about having a nice body and butt-hugging shorts. It is about being able to work the room, make women feel comfortable yet excited in an approachable way for a night of laughter, entertainment, and enjoyment.