How is a male strip show different?

by | Mar 3, 2008 | Uncategorized | 9 comments

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“You’re going to be surrounded by bachelorette parties,” my friend A told me, as if that would somehow dissuade me. “That’s OK,” I said. “Why do we have to wait until someone gets married to objectify men? We’re bachelorettes. We can have our own party.” A’s friend M gave me a high-five kind of look. She too wanted to go see Australia’s hottest export, The Thunder From Down Under (Las Vegas’ “top-rated male revue”).

As soon as I arrived in Las Vegas to visit A., and I saw the ad for The Thunder from Down Under in the tram at the airport, I knew that I wanted–needed–to see the show. It would make the weekend. Las Vegas is so saturated with images of objectified nubile women. It was hard to concentrate on conversation at dinner at times with images of writing women in the distance on television screens. From a quirkyalone perspective, I wanted to know what a male revue show would be like, with the genders reversed.

Here’s what you might want to know, off the bat. The men did not get naked. I kind of thought they were going to–the Aussie emcee told us there would be nudity!–but we did see them in thongs with weirdo pouches holding them in the front. They did flash us their buttocks at times, and I must admit, I slapped a long-haired Fabio-like fellow’s bum when he came to gyrate in front of our table. Were they sexy? In a cheesy kind of way. At first, their dancing style seemed a bit amateurish. Their moves almost reminded me of a step aerobics class. I was like, Gee, we paid $60 for this! I do leglifts like that every Saturday morning. But it got better. They did a Firefighter fantasy, the classic YMCA dance, and all kinds of silly dancing to “It’s getting hot in here. . . ”

The question is, how is a male strip show different? Men go to strip clubs to see topless–or entirely naked–women all the time. Women apparently go only on special occasions, for girl bonding, when a friend is saying the long goodbye to touching other men. You might even say that as non-marrying patrons, we were marginalized. They only dragged the girls with tiaras up on stage to bump and grind with them.

Overall, I think the main difference between a male and female revue has to be the camp factor. Mostly, I found myself laughing, grinning ear to ear. How could it be anything but funny to watch a guy pulsate his buttocks muscles to the tune of a pop song? The women screamed, dancing. The performers seemed to be enjoying themselves. They slapped each other five after one of them did a solo. There was a light-heartedness and camaraderie that I can’t imagine seeing reproduced in a female show. . . women are constantly on display, constantly performing, there’s nothing unexpected or funny about it. To watch men perform for women felt unique. It was a lot of money to spend, but it underscored for me that women do have economic power now to do whatever they want–to be the quirkyslut if they want to! It’s also refreshing to watch men play out sexual fantasies. It fuels the imagination. We women are used to seeing only women play the come-hither role.

Thoughts?

9 Comments

  1. Sonya

    Five years ago I went to a disco in small town Russia and a male gymnast, dressed up like a rainbow colored yeti with a statue of liberty crown stripped, did acrobatics on the “pole” –think arms on the pole, body elevated perpendicular to the pole in the air– and then invited me up on stage to remove the statue of liberty crown (weird) and his yeti suit down tot he g-string.

    It DID have a comic element to it. The women who stripped–at the same club during other breaks in the music–were supposed to be pretty and sexy. He, on the other hand, was expected to be strong and funny. Are these not qualities men are drawn to in women? Can women be all three–sexy, strong and funny? And, I suppose that begs the question of, was this strong funny man sexy? I think I was more impressed by his act than turned on.

    Reply
  2. Sasha

    That’s a good way of posing the question–does the mainstream allow for a woman to be sexy and funny? And when she is, is it only in a self-deprecating, falling down on herself, or neurotic kind of way? I’m trying to think of examples of Hollywood stars who are known for being both. Cameron Diaz is the only one who comes to mind at the moment.

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  3. ali

    i’m not sure that’s fair sasha, lots of romantic comedy stars are sexy and funny. But you know who really comes to mind that fits this is Jenny McCarthy. Also Pamela Anderson. In some ways I think these overtly sexy women have a kind of campy way about them that’s not that different than the male strippers. and btw if anyone ever comes and visits me in vegas who wants to see male strippers…sorry, you’re on your own this time. i’ve filled my quota.

    Reply
  4. Neil

    I’d like to point out that in the top picture, the womenfolk are being sexy and funny, particularly the broad in the middle. And I am proudly objectifying them while they objectify (and molest)the men on the poster. It’s a wonderful cycle of objectification.

    My expereience at female strip shows is that those performers taking themselves seriously are rather dull, albeit pleasantly naked. Those who incorporate some sense of theatrics, character, irony, humor, or indulgent acrobatics tend to be the most interesting, draw the biggest crowds, make the most money, and as a bonus are naked! So, while not disagreeing with your sentiments entirely, I will say that I have seen some campy female strippers.

    My exeperience with male strippers is sadly limited. I imagine that a dead-in-the-eyes, “serious” male stripper would be awkwardly offputting.

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  5. Jessica

    SO TRUE! My experience – college, sorority, ‘nuf said – was lots of laughter and dancing along because it WAS campy! I mean, the dude was dressed up as a police officer – TOTALLY remniscent of YMCA! The girl shows I’ve seen seem so serious and – to me – almost sad. Although I do agree with Neil that the more acrobatics, the better!
    I suppose a lot of it has to do with the venue and the crowd.
    Thanks for sharing your fun gal experience!

    Reply
  6. JD

    Women can be sexy and funny for sure. I go to this pub near the main football ground in my town and they have strippers and topless barmaids at this place. I have been there about 8 times usually for a beer or two before a game and I have seen a few of the strippers there and they are much more entertaining that those at the local Spearmint Rhino type places.

    One girl was obviously an ex-gymnist and amazed me which her displays of strength while she was performing. With the stage being under a normal ceiling, there was enough room that when she did a handstand her feet touched the ceiling so she actually pressed up against the ceiling like she was walking on it.

    Another laid on her shoulders with her back to the audience and her head and front away from us. She used 2 handpuppets (well known) who took turns to ‘entertain’ her ‘down there’ to a song popular some time ago and it was really funny. It probably doesn’t come over well on this but all the guys were very impressed with her act and found it very funny.

    Reply
  7. Nikki

    I guess men can be more comedic when performing sexy moves because women come to these events to be entertained. Whereas, men come for something else more often than not. Or at least they try to, if it doesn’t come to that for them, lol.

    Reply
  8. Nikki

    Btw, come to think of it men objectify women because they can just have casual sex and most women cannot do something like that on a regular basis and for a long period of time.

    Reply
  9. max

    I just wasted a minute of my life reading this. I wiil however go ahead and read your essays, but If this article is indicative of your essays, I will probably croak in the crease.

    You write a trivial statement , “There was a light-heartedness and camaraderie that I can’t imagine seeing reproduced in a female show. . . women are constantly on display, constantly performing, there’s nothing unexpected or funny about it.”

    That was wasteful.

    Reply

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Hi! I’m Sasha

Executive and Life Coach on a mission to help women connect with their bodies to pursue their truest desires in the bedroom and the world.

Author of Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics (HarperCollins) + To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us (Simon & Schuster).

At work on a memoir called Wet, about adventures in healing through sensuality.

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