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.

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