Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Does It Suck To Be A Male Stripper?

My experience being a male stripper is generally a positive one. This profession has garnered me a lot of money and enjoyment over the years. I often have a great relationship with my customers and an upbeat outlook on the profession. Not all guys in the industry share my enthusiasm, though. One former NYC male stripper, who appeared in this article on The Gothamist, has a more depressing take.

He described the male stripping industry as a "gateway of sorts," which results in rampant drug and alcohol abuse, especially if you already indulge in drugs and alcohol. Now I have witnessed this phenomenon with my own eyes, watching guys take their night's earnings and blow it all vice-related activities, so I'm aware that it goes on in some circles. He further elaborates on the "types of sluts who bangs strippers," describing them as "cum dumpsters" or girls with daddy issues." He said this in reference to weekend work: "I realized that all those weekends I lost I could have been on LEGIT dates with girls that I could have cultivated deep relationships with."

The article in The Gothamist summed up his quotes very well here:

He said his various gigs as "very Groundhogs day like." He notes that a lot of women are uncomfortable having fully-naked men in their homes, even when they're strippers. He claims that stripping destroyed his dating life. He believes working as a stripper "will further accentuate that lower self esteem in the long run...Fact is you are not developing self respect or are exploiting a are exploiting something that isn't true."

Just listening to this guy makes you find the job to be sad and not-so-glamorous. It's quite the opposite take on my experience, which has a more sunny outlook. Now this difference may result from our different personalities and lifestyle, but location can also play a role. This guy stripped around NYC. I stripped in the Dirty South. Our clientele were different. Perhaps mine treated me better over the years. Who knows?

What I do know is that I have spoken to the guy via e-mail and talked about the profession a bit. He seems to be a pretty nice guy, but with a bad experience from the job. He asked me, "Don't you get tired of it all, brother? I mean, doesn't being on call every weekend like a doctor get old?"

Not really. Perhaps it's just my outlook on life, but I don't think being a male stripper sucks.

Instead of viewing the gig as a perpetual Groundhog Day of the same ole shit, I take a rock band performance approach. I view my female customers in a manner similar to a crowd of fans purchasing tickets to see their favorite band perform, such as Metallica. I travel to the location and perform for an hour with a whole list of activities, once again, similar to Metallica performing for two or three hours with a whole list of songs. I elicit crowd participation in attempt to create a memorable show that these girls will talk about and remember. I want to see them cheer, laugh, smile, and have an overall good time. Doing all of this gives a sense of purpose to the job.

In turn, a sense of purpose in the job is what promotes happiness and satisfaction in what you do. Drugs, alcohol, and random acts of sex don't give people a deep sense of purpose in life. Doing those things on a daily basic will result in the Groundhog Day effect where you're just going through the motions of life, but never really accomplishing anything.

I used to treat stripping as a means to an end, whether it be money, girls, or self-esteem boost. As a result, my performances left me with an empty feeling at the end. The sex flings on the job didn't enhance my life once I got home to my empty apartment.

That all changed once I tried to produce a good show. Hearing a party of girls say, "Dion, we had the most awesome time with you," gives me a lot more satisfaction than a mere twenty dollar tip (although the tip is nice!). Eventually, I'll spend that twenty dollars and it'll be forgotten, but I won't forget the smiles of gratitude from the party.

The bottom line is to take pride in doing a job well-done, rather than seeing your job as a means to an end. Find reasons to enjoy your work. Once I committed myself to making my customers happy, my own happiness increased so now a night at work almost guarantees to put me in a good mood.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Critiquing Applicants - Part 1

To give a better comprehension of what is an acceptable male stripper candidate, I decided to ask one of my agents to provide me with some recent applicants to show who gets hired and who doesn't. The quality of applicants range all across the spectrum. Apparently, each person has a different perception of what is considered "sexy," so let's use this post as a quick reference guide on what agencies review.

Keep in mind that the average cost of a male stripper in the industry is approximately $200 an hour, not including tips. An applicant must have exceptional qualities to justify a group of women forking out such an amount of cash for his time.

Without further ado, let's start on the applicants.

Male Stripper Applicant #01

Stage name: Tank

Information: None provided. This applicant did not follow any directions on the company's employment page and failed to give any of the requested information about himself, including whether he had transportation, costumes, or previous experience. This makes the applicant look unprofessional, because if he can't follow simple directions about an application process, imagine how poorly he'd fare with more complicated directions from specific bachelorette parties.

At least Tank provided some pics, which included a good view of his face. Most agents complain when applicants crop out their faces, which is about as absurd as a teacher hiding his teaching certifications while applying for a teaching position. You can see that Tank works out a little bit, but notice that he deliberately cropped the photo where his midsection starts. That shows he's trying to hide his abs, perhaps due to high body fat. He also fails to show his legs. Agents need to see whether an applicant has decent legs or chicken legs. 

Now onto his looks. First of all, Tank looks over 40 years old. Most bachelorette parties consist of girls in their 20s. This guy looks old enough to be their dad. Second, the long hair doesn't look good. Third, his physique is lacking in terms of muscular definition and symmetry. It's obvious he works out, but he fails to meet the competitive standards of the industry. 

Tank also included another picture that depicts him crawling on the floor with a lecherous grin. He looks like a serial rapist crawling after his victim. "Come 'ere, little girl. I'm gonna getcha!"

How on earth is this considered a good pic? 

"Want some candy, little girl?"
I think a bachelorette party would call the cops if this guy showed up to their door with this expression on his face asking for $200 an hour. 

Final Verdict: REJECTED

Male Stripper Applicant #02
Black Shaggy

Stage name: Black Shaggy

Real name, date of birth, location: *provided*

Experience: "No experience, but danced all my life."

Transportation: "No transportation but will relocate to area close

Phone number: *provided*

Costumes: No costumes

Height: 6'1"

Oh boy... Where to begin?

Let's start with the best thing about this applicant -- he followed directions and listed everything honestly.

I also see where he's going with his stage name, Black Shaggy. He does resemble Shaggy from Scooby Doo, except he's black. All he needs is a green shirt. That's pretty cool and all, but women don't exactly see Shaggy as a sex symbol. I guess it's a good nickname among his peers when he's getting high, which I'm assuming he does based on the droopy-eyed expression in the pic.

"I'm available for $200 an hour."
Beyond that, this guy has everything wrong. On a physical level, he doesn't even lift weights. His appearance is unkempt... And he needs to clean that mirror because it looks like it he has spent a lifetime popping explosive acne in front of it.

Black Shaggy has no experience and no costumes. No problem. I didn't either when I first applied.

But what the hell is he going to do without transportation? He claims that he can "relocate to an area close." How is that even possible? Perhaps he's going to live like a transient and move his tent for out-of-town bookings. Maybe he plans on riding a bicycle to and from each party. Imagine the female customer's surprise when Black Shaggy pulls up to the condo on a bicycle and asks for money.

I'm just curious what went through this guy's head when he viewed the roster of muscular male models and figured that he was on par with the rest of them, despite lacking experience, transportation, costumes, and all. "Yeah, women would totally pay $200 an hour for the Black Shaggy Show."

Final Verdict: REJECTED

Male Stripper Applicant #03

Stage name: Adonis

Real name, date of birth, location: *provided*

Experience: "I've worked with an exotic stripping agency before."

Transportation: "I have a car."

Phone number: *provided*

Costumes: jungle loin cloth and police officer

Height: 5'10"

This is the ideal applicant! First off, he followed all directions and sent multiple pictures, most of which depict his face, body, and even legs! They were high quality pictures taken in good lighting, not grainy selfies taken in the dark. As you can see in the above pic, Adonis is in top physique condition with great muscularity, symmetry, and low body fat---notice the visible abs, developed legs, and rippling torso. 

The agent said that Adonis seemed very polite and professional on the phone. Adonis verified his work history and had a good understanding of what the job was all about.

For you future stripper applicants out there, take notes. This is what your competition looks like. Any agency would have an easy time marketing him to a group of ladies for $200 an hour. 

Final Verdict: HIRED

That's the end of part one. Stay tuned for a future batch of "Critiquing Applicants."

DISCLAIMER: All pictures posted have been submitted via permission/waiver of the original owner. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Male Stripper Stories (UPDATE)

Here's an update:

If you were trying to read some of my "Origins" stories about when I first started my stripping career at French Addiction, you'll notice that they're no longer on the blog. I took them down because they will be in my memoir. These stories will be revised, edited and have some names changed. Once the book is out, I'll slowly start releasing these stories chapter by chapter on the blog again.

The memoir, itself, has really been coming along. The tentative release date is the 1st quarter of 2015. I plan to put out a high-quality and entertaining book on stripping, so that's why it's been taking some time.

Also, on the "Male Stripper Stories" tab at the top of the page, I added some extra stories to the list, so you don't have to navigate through my entire blog's history. I'll soon add some entertaining reader's e-mails to the list.

If you have any questions or comments in the meantime, please contact me at malestripperdion(AT)

And below are some pics from a photo shoot back in 2005:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Chapter 7: Physical Requirements

*Note: The following chapter is an excerpt from my book, "Behind the G-String: Dion's Guide to Becoming a Male Stripper" that is available here.  

Previous chapter: click here

Me in the summer of 2014

Looks are subjective. The idea of beauty changes from person to person. Most companies in this industry don’t expect a “perfect 10,” but standards certainly exist. When a group of girls hire a male stripper, they usually want a man that is above average in both body and face. You must have the muscularity and the facial aesthetics to satisfy the majority of your customers.
When I say “satisfy the majority of your customers,” that ranges from the sorority house to a group of wealthy housewives to young professionals. Your girlfriend’s opinion is not an accurate reflection of what the industry is looking for. I get a lot of e-mails from guys who have a six-pack, but are rail-thin and weigh 140 lbs. They claim that they want to become male strippers because their girlfriends said they have the body for it, or their friends think they “have what it takes.”
To understand what the industry wants, do a quick search on the internet for companies offering male strippers in your area. Browse through those photos. See all of those muscular and good looking guys? Yeah, that's your competition. If they look better than you, chances are, they are going to get more work than you.
If you're going to be a male stripper, you're entering a contest. It's a competition where there is only one winner, and your prize is performing at the bachelorette party. Your pictures on a booking company's website are the first things the customer will judge you by. They don’t know your personality or entertainment value; just your picture.
Here’s a list of physical characteristics that you should have:

Muscularity – You don’t have to be a bodybuilder, but don’t be a stick either. Be sure to work out your legs too, because chicken legs holding up your massive torso looks stupid. You’ll want to sculpt your body to have a symmetrical display of muscle mass. So: how muscular or how lean should you be, you ask? The answer really depends on your height and body type.
Below is a chart on an ideal (but not absolute) height to weight ratio:

5'8" to 5'9" tall - 165 to 175 lbs
5'10" to 5'11" tall - 170 to 190 lbs
6'0" to 6'1" tall - 185 to 205 lbs
6'2" to 6'3" tall - 195 to 215 lbs
6'4" to 6'5" tall - 210 to 225 lbs

This chart is not absolute. However, it should tell you one thing: If you’re 6’1”, weighing 160 lbs. probably means you’re too fucking skinny for the job. Spend some time in the gym and build some muscle mass before applying.

Abdominal Muscles – Very important. If the human body is an “X,” the abdominal muscles represent the center of the “X.” They become the center of attention when your shirt comes off, so be sure to have some blocky abs instead of flab. The more muscular types can fudge this a little bit, but make sure you don’t have a gut overhanging your pants, or the “fatty abs,” which mean that your abs are visible, yet obscured and soft looking due to the layer of body fat surrounding them.

Handsome Facial Features – You don’t have to be the hottest guy in your town, but you need to have some degree of good looks. Having a universally attractive face helps a lot.
For guys who inherited the unfortunate results of the genetic lottery, you cannot help how your face is shaped. Some people are born with great facial features, while others struggle with their flaws. The good news is that you don’t need the perfect face to climb your way into this industry as long as your other features compensate for your facial shortcomings.
Your personality and how you carry yourself can increase your attractiveness with women. Facial expressions make a huge difference. Wearing a confident smile will have a better effect on customers than scowling all the time. Practice in the mirror and determine which expressions make you look best. Take a lot of pictures of yourself holding different smiles and looks, and solicit honest feedback from peers as to which make you the best looking.

Good teeth – You must have good teeth. Nice, straight, white teeth. If you have a chipped front tooth, stained teeth, or missing teeth, look elsewhere for employment. Male stripping requires good dental care, and good dental care leads to great smiles, which lead to a more attractive appearance.

Height – The ideal height starts at 5’10 (177 cm) and goes upward from there, at least in North America. The Chippendales’ minimum height requirement is 5’10. Many companies prefer six feet or taller. Height is one of the most common complaints about male strippers—customers want their men to be tall. For you short guys out there, you better outshine your competition in other areas to make up for the lack of height. Even then, a company will rarely take an applicant who is 5’7 or shorter. Even 5’9 and 5’10 is cutting it close.

Penis sizeIt’s not important. Period.
Companies look at your whole package of looks, personality, and work experience when reviewing you as a candidate, not the package below your belly button. At most shows, including male revues, you’re not going to show your cock off unless a ravenous female rips your thong off. There is nudity in this business at certain times and certain places, but you’re not being paid any extra for the size of your dick.
The only thing penis size can offer the customer in this business is novelty. A male stripper with a big dick is like a female stripper with big tits. The large breasts may catch extra attention or offer another asset to the customer, but if the woman is hideous, her tits won’t matter. The same goes for men. Women don’t want to pay to see a fat slob with a big cock. They’d rather have a good-looking hunk with an average cock. A cock is a novelty that can only enhance the entire package, but not sustain its entirety alone.
Forget about penis size. Don’t send agents pictures of your dick. Don’t even talk about it unless asked.

Overall, you don’t have to be perfect, but you have to have a marketable look. I have seen guys with average faces pull off work because they have great bodies, and vice-versa.
Keep in mind that you can change a lot about your physical appearance through exercise, diet, good posture, haircut, and hygiene. Just because you don’t have the minimum physical requirements now doesn’t mean that you can’t change a few things about yourself and come back later. Even for those of you who are already well-built and good-looking, there is always room for improvement.

As a male stripper, you’re a product that is going on a store shelf. Customers will browse you along with many others before they make a purchase. Try to make sure you’re the best quality item on the shelf. Otherwise, they will pass you over and pay for somebody else. That’s why meeting the physical requirements is a major priority. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Chapter 6: Personality Requirements

*Note: The following chapter is an excerpt from my book, "Behind the G-String: Dion's Guide to Becoming a Male Stripper" that is available here.  

Previous chapter: click here

Once upon a time in college, I had a conversation with a bodybuilder who was taller, bigger, and more muscular than I was. He had discovered that I was a stripper, so he said, “No offense, but I’m better built than you, so I should be able to go to your company and make a lot of money.”
He was right about one thing: he definitely had a better body. But he was forgetting something very important: Personality. He did not get the job.
Having a good personality is the key to success in this industry. Having a body like a boulder is a nice asset, but it can’t help you if your personality is as dull as one. We are not like female strippers. Our audience requires more than eye candy.
There are three personality traits that help make a successful stripper. Let’s examine each trait and its importance for the job.

Charisma In simple terms, charisma is the ability to make people give a shit about you.
I went to a Wrestlemania event with my brother when I was in middle school. I didn’t care about wrestling and only went because my brother wanted to go. Well, Hulk Hogan made a surprise appearance and the crowd’s cheers surged to a deafening level. He walked by me, scanning the crowd, waving, and smiling. He had an aura radiating around him that warmed the entire arena, its heat reaching even those sitting in the back rows. Even I, a person who dislikes Wrestlemania, found myself cheering when he cupped his ear towards my section of the crowd, expecting everyone to cheer him on. His personality was infectious. From that moment on, I understood why he was popular.
Male stripping is a lot like Hulk Hogan’s performance. You have to catch the audience’s attention, get them participating, and make them excited. That is charisma. Some people have an innate pool of it inside them, and they can whip a crowd up into a frenzy. Others who are more naturally shy, like me, had to train and develop it.
Charisma is not limited to performing. Being personable plays a huge part in being charismatic. Listen to what customers have to say about themselves and take genuine interests in their stories. People love a good listener, especially if that listener took his time from the spotlight to listen to an audience member’s story.
Whatever you do, work to minimize any of the following traits, which are counterproductive to charisma: rudeness, negativity, cynicism, apathy, and dullness.

ClassinessAs strange as it sounds, male strippers should be classy because they deal with customers from all walks of life. Some traits that make a male stripper classy are good manners and consideration for others.
Having good manners is important, because it shows other people that we care about them. Unfortunately, more and more people toss manners aside in favor of selfishness. Don’t be one of those people. Introduce yourself formally to the customer when you arrive. When you accept something from a customer, whether it’s payment or a bottle of water, always say “thank you.” Don’t accept anything without a word of gratitude. Thank the party again before you leave.
Use the titles of “Ma’am” or “Sir” when addressing people unless told otherwise. I see too many people saying “hey” or “hey, you” when they address others. Don’t be that insolent prick. It gives a bad first impression.
Taking a little extra time to utilize good manners does not hurt anybody. It shows that you are respectful, and when you give people respect, you are more likely to receive that respect in return. Good manners can only benefit you in this line of work, and best of all, they’re free.
Classiness also relates to the desire to do a good job and make the customers happy. The show is about the customers, not the stripper. Interact with the entire party if possible. Don’t ignore someone because she is shy or unattractive. Understand your customers’ vibe and adjust the wildness of your routine accordingly.
One male stripper I knew made sex his biggest priority. He’d show up to a party and seek out the girl that seemed the most willing to have sex with him. This often pissed the other guests off, but he wouldn’t care. He’d say that they were a bunch of “prudes” and move on to the next party with wild hopes of attaining the next easy girl.
Don’t be this guy. Have some class. Show exceptional character by giving your customers a memorable experience that they’ll talk about for weeks to come.

Reliability – Booking companies want their strippers to show up to the parties so they can get payment from the customer. If a stripper shows up late or fails to show, customers will call the company and complain, and booking agents hate nothing more than giving a refund because one of their strippers flaked. Also, agents frown on male strippers who are always unavailable or constantly turn down work. A reliable person takes on as many shows possible and shows up on time.  
Integrity is important in this industry. Many booking companies operate online, so the stripper sometimes collects the entire payment in person and sends the company its cut later. The company needs to trust its strippers.

To summarize, if you lack charisma, classiness, and reliability, then you most likely don’t have the personality required to be a successful male stripper. Your actions demonstrate these traits; your words don’t mean shit. That’s why you prove yourself by showing up to your parties on time, every time, being polite and considerate, and entertaining the crowd where they can’t thank you enough for a job well done. When the girls tell your agent how awesome you were, or they throw you some extra cash, you know that you’re on the right path. 

Next chapter: click here

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Chapter 5: Types of Male Stripping

*Note: The following chapter is an excerpt from my book, "Behind the G-String: Dion's Guide to Becoming a Male Stripper" that is available here.  

Previous chapter: click here

There are several different branches of male stripping. While they all involve dancing and taking off your clothes, there are fundamental differences. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each type and see which one best suits you.

Private party
The male stripper travels to the clients’ party location and performs. This can be a hotel room, a residence, condo, club, or bar. Most of these parties fall into the category of bachelorette parties and birthday parties.
These performances rely more on interaction with the customers than a choreographed dance routine. The majority of male strippers perform at private parties. The stripper performs alone for a group of females.
Pros: Good money. More personal time for the crowd. Easier to manage the performance due to a smaller crowd. The performance usually only lasts around an hour. Sometimes the customers offer you food and drink, or they invite you to go out with them afterwards. Guaranteed good money for the stripper just for showing up. Performing alone means no competition for tips. No waiting for your turn to perform. Easier to work incognito. Fairly easy to break into compared to the other types of stripping.
Cons: Travel required. Sometimes you lose the profits at the gas pump. Solo act means you’re all alone when things go bad; it also means that you have to work the crowd on your own. Work schedule is very sporadic. Seldom repeat customers.

Strip Club
The male stripper performs at a designated strip club on stage. He has a set work schedule. In most scenarios, his act involves a choreographed routine followed by crowd interaction both on and off the stage. Because of the dance routine, most strip clubs require an audition. The movie Magic Mike depicts a realistic example of male strip club work.
A male stripper who works at the strip club also needs several costumes, since the whole dance act can cover several different themes.
Pros: Set work schedule. Repeat customers. Coworkers and employer can assist you when things go bad. Sometimes an emcee helps you work the crowd. The only travel required is the club. Other strippers can provide help and insights about the job. The staff can kick out the obnoxious customers.
Cons: You compete with your coworkers for tips. Repeat customers might include crazy people who stalk you. Longer work hours. Slow nights result in less money. Gossip regarding you and your coworkers spreads worse than STDs. Auditions make the selection process more difficult.

Regular Dance Club
A male stripper at a regular dance club is there to augment the atmosphere and provide customers with extra eye candy. People can tip him, but he’s not the center of attention. Gay clubs tend to hire male strippers for this purpose. Skinny guys are eligible for this job.
Pros: Set work schedule. Men are rumored to tip more. Get paid to go clubbin’ all night, free drinks usually included! Repeat customers. The gay clubs are the perfect place if you like getting groped by other men. Easiest job to get for a male stripping gig as the requirement level is the lowest. Skinny guys can apply here and do very well.
Cons: Limited money. Dancing the entire night at the same club gets old fast. A bad place to be if you hate getting groped by other men. No room to improve because you’re really just there to be part of the scenery. Someone in your town may recognize you. You get unwanted solicitations for sex a lot.

Male Revue
A specialized event where male strippers travel to perform. The location can be a bar, club, large venue, auditorium, concert hall, or wherever you can cram a bunch of excited women. The stripping act is similar to the male strip club, except male revues always involve travel. An organizer rounds up male strippers and sends them out to these locations.
Pros: Some establishments pay very well for male revues, and a large crowd can bring in a flood of money. Sometimes there are some very horny women. You have other male strippers working with you to assist with the crowd. You can keep a low profile from your job, family, and friends if you’re away from home.
Cons: Crowd size and participation are hit or miss depending on the location. If the crowd is small, kiss your earnings goodbye. Some women at male revues are overly aggressive. The staff at these establishments aren’t usually very helpful. Male strippers often incur the travel expenses themselves.  

Chippendale (or similar touring troupe)
The top tier of male stripping. Unlike the other types of stripping, these guys get a salary along with paid travel and accommodations. They work for it by rehearsing, touring, and staying in top shape. Entry into the Chippendales is highly competitive since there are usually only 24 Chippendales in the world at a given time.
Pros: Steady salary. Set work schedule. Travel. Paid hotel and food expenses if you’re on tour. Huge fan base. Easy access to sexy women. Work with the other guys as a team. Chippendale name is famous worldwide.
Cons: Large workload. Constant rehearsals and touring. Fierce competition means that you’ll have a better chance at winning the lottery than getting this gig. Life on the road can be strenuous. Aggressive women. Less flexibility regarding your other plans in life. Once again, you need to be the best of the best to land this job.

The Black Male Stripper Circuit
A serious business opportunity for black male strippers performing for a black female audience. The ladies usually come to see these performances out of feminine desire and eroticism rather than the celebration of a special occasion. These ladies may be dedicated fans or groupies, traveling from afar to see their favorite male strippers.
Pros:  A serious cash cow opportunity. A legion of fans. Celebrity treatment.
Cons: Fierce competition. Requires an excessive amount of performing talent. You must be black.

Just because there are several different types of male stripping out there doesn’t mean you have to stick with only one. You can work at a male strip club, do private parties, and travel around for male revues at the same time if you’re ambitious.
Personally, I enjoy private parties the most. They offer quick and easy money for an hour-long performance, along with a flexible work schedule. Plus, I prefer smaller crowds. I own a home and have a full-time job, so the prospect of touring doesn’t appeal to me. 
Choose whichever type of stripping suits your abilities and lifestyle. If you like to travel, join a touring male revue group or the Chippendales (if you can). If you like to stay near your home, work at private parties. If you just like to get laid and earn money, pick and choose any of the above.

For future reference, most of this book will focus on private party stripping unless noted otherwise, because private party male strippers make up the bulk of the industry. 

Next chapter: click here