Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Debunking Stereotypes: The Gay Myth

Stereotypes persist through every facet of life. People make assumptions based on appearances, ethnicity, nationality, income, and demeanor; it's reality and male strippers are no exception. As the saying goes: "Stereotypes exist because they are grounded in truth." Well, I will clarify that when it comes to male stripping, stereotypes are a load of bullshit, and I will debunk the most common one: The stereotype that claims most male strippers are gay.

I have heard this stereotype since the time I had started almost ten years ago until now. Many women at my shows have asked me if I was gay. When I asked them what gave them such an idea, they would respond by saying, "Oh, we just heard that male strippers tend to be gay." I would follow up and ask them where they heard that rumor from, and they would either fail to elaborate or provide me with a vague answer like, "I just heard from people." This concept has about as much merit as the stereotype that all muscular guys work out to compensate for a small penis rather than the obvious and most likely objectives of losing fat or getting in shape. I can't blame these women for their lack of knowledge though. Male dancers exist few and far between, so a shroud of mystery surrounds the profession leaving room for a lot of speculation and assumptions. 

Nonetheless, categorizing most male strippers as gay is unrealistic, because one of the main motives for a man to become a male stripper is the thrill of interacting with a lot of women. Of course the easy money offers some temptation, but idea of getting physical with women for money provides a major incentive for straight men everywhere. For example, if I brought a gay man and a straight man into a room full of attractive women and asked them to strip and mingle, then one can conclude that the straight man would do so with much more enthusiasm and desire. If a male stripper were gay, he would have more reason to flock towards gay male audiences since men usually pay more. 

Now there are exceptions. Some gay male strippers like to strip for female audiences, but they are so uncommon that they fail to warrant the stereotype that all male strippers are gay. There are also straight guys who strip for a gay audience to increase their pay and amount of work, but their sexual orientation still leans towards women unless they are paid enough to change their minds for a night. Such work is called "gay-for-pay" work. These guys start strip for male audiences, doing private one-on-one shows, muscle worship sessions, and even doing gay porn. Yet, these guys have moved beyond the bachelorette or sorority parties full of women only where the pay is less.  

However, when it comes to stripping for female audiences, the majority of applicants will be straight guys, ready to live out their dreams of being the sole object of attention from a throng of eager women. This is evident by the overwhelming amount of straight guys who e-mail me wanting to become male strippers. These guys make up the bulk of what male stripping is about.

As for me, when I first I got into this profession, I did it half for the easy money and half to indulge in my desire to play out my exhibitionist fantasy for women. I wanted to take off my clothes for women and have them grope me, caress me, and admire me. I wanted to excite women to the point where they wanted to seduce me. I found the idea of women treating me like a sex object stimulating, and this job offered me the perfect opportunity to fill in that role. Now if all the women at my parties knew this, they would probably think of me as a pervert instead of asking if I were gay.


  1. Society tends to slut shame women for looking at men as sex objects and things that male sex objects are incompetent and gay.

  2. I don't think that sexuality is as black and white as you think. You might consider yourself 100% straight, but most of the male strippers I have met do not seem to mind to dance for males or females, regardless if they are gay, straight, bi, ect. (This also goes for female strippers). I think it all depends on the stripper's comfort zone. I think that you would have to be comfortable enough with your body and orientation to dance for a certain sex you may not be attracted to. You said that you do not like to strip for men, which is perfectly fine since you would rather be around women, (and you are straight) but do you think the culture in Southern Alabama/Northern Florida might be a reason you (or other strippers in your area) might feel this way? I have family and have been to Alabama and I know its pretty homophobic. Is it such a bad thing that people might suspect you are gay? I know that men typically want sex and women want to be entertained, but if given the right circumstances, would you dance for men?

    (I would just like to say that I love your blog and your insights on this line of work. Society seems to be afraid of male sexuality, and I think what you are doing is very liberating and credible. I am not trying to bash! lol)

    1. Good points! I'll try to answer all of them the best I can:

      For some people, money talks. I wouldn't say most straight male dancers strip for the gay crowd, but there are quite a few. That doesn't mean they're gay. As you say, it all depends on the stripper's comfort zone and the amount of money offered.

      The area I live in doesn't affect my comfort zone. Southern Alabama and Northern Florida gets a bad reputation for being racist and homophobic, but one can argue that's a stereotype since it's lumping a region of people into a category. Does the locals' perceptions of me influence my decisions? Not at all!

      Even if people cast such suspicion on me for being gay or whatever, would I care? No, because I don't make my decisions on what other people think of me. Had I done so, then I would had studied to become a doctor or engineer and married a traditional Asian woman like the Asian side of my family pressured me to do. Instead, I lifted weights, became a male stripper, and worked day jobs that had nothing to do with being a doctor or engineer. I chose my own path in life.

      Would I dance for men given the right circumstances? Sure. Did you read about the club (Jetset) where I used to work? It catered to the gay crowd once a week. It was a great club when I first started working there.

      My main point is that every male dancer I had ever met and who strips only for girls was not gay, yet girls ask them all the time if they are. I'm sure there are a few out there, but not the majority as the stereotype claims.

      You make a good observation with your last statement. Male sexuality seems to be a new thing, especially with male strippers. It is quite a unique experience to be treated like a sex object as a male. Like you said, it's very liberating. There's a thesis for a sociologist major.

  3. It's interesting that as a straight guy, you had to become a stripper in order to be sexually objectified. Did you notice at Jetset something about all the gay dudes there: they sexually objectify each other. As a gay male, you don't need to be a stripper to be a sex object. It happens naturally, whether you want it too or not.

    I find that an interesting difference in the straight world/gay world. Men objectify women as sex objects, and men objectify other men as sex objects. I bet if you showed up to Jetset on gay night as a regular patron, everyone would look at you exactly the same. They just wouldn't be giving you money.

    1. Yes, I did notice that about Jetset. You're exactly right about that. And I did have to become a stripper to become sexually objectified by women, and even then, that doesn't happen as much as with the gay crowd.

  4. It's interesting that as a straight guy, you had to become male stripper in order to be treated like a sexual object. Did you notice at Jetset on gay night, all the gay guys were sexually objectifying each other.

    I think it's an interesting difference about the straight world/gay world. Men will objectify women; and in the gay world, men will objectify other men. I bet if you went to Jetset on gay night as a patron, everyone would still give you the same hungry looks, but without the money in your underwear.