Friday, April 24, 2015

Asian Male Strippers

Over the past few years, I have received many e-mails from Asian guys wanting to know if it's possible for them to become male strippers, especially in Western countries like the U.S.A., Canada, or the U.K. For example, here's an excerpt from one e-mail:

"My biggest concern is that there is no market for Asian male strippers. The media portrays Asian American males poorly and constructs insidious stereotypes that often times make Asian men not as desirable as my white counterparts. It is just a part of the world that we live in and is important for me to acknowledge it if I ever do pursue stripping."

Regardless of whether or not the media portrays Asian males in a negative light, I take issue with this message. It reeks of self-defeat. It automatically assumes a negative outcome from the start. Furthermore, it places a negative perception on what others think of you.

I'm a half-Asian living in the rural South. Some of the locals in my town assume I'm full Asian. That being said, I have experienced derogatory comments and stereotypes before. Do I feel belittled because of it? No. That's because I don't box myself into such a stereotype. Doing so is the easy way out.

In college, I worked out with a black guy who shared a self-defeatist attitude regarding his ethnicity. He complained about how white people always gave him "funny looks" and stereotyped him because he was black. I wondered why he came to such an outrageous conclusion. It didn't take long to find out.

One day, he forgot to bring his student I.D. card to the gym, which was required to gain access to the facility. The employee behind the desk refused to grant him access. My workout partner immediately called the employee a "racist" and launched into a tirade of curses and threats. The gym employee called the police on him. I tried to intervene, but my workout partner would not listen to me. "These muthafuckas are racist!" he yelled. The police escorted him out of the gym and told him never to come back.

Without realizing it, this guy molded himself into the very stereotype that he accused people of labeling him as. People didn't hate him beforehand, but he assumed they did because of his skin color, and his negative attitude inadvertently infected everyone around him as a result.

So for you Asian guys who want to be male strippers, the same applies. You become the stereotype you want to avoid when you assume that the industry and the customers will reject you based on the fact that you're an Asian. Some of you guys talk yourself out of even trying by assuming the outcome will be bad. That's a horrible outlook on life. If I walked into my shows with that mentality, the cynicism would seep into the audience and prove detrimental to my performance.

If an employer or customer does reject you, it's more likely due to a lack of attraction rather than ethnicity.

While it's true that there's an ethnic void of male Asians in the industry, in actuality, few Asian men apply for the job. There's no racist gatekeeper in the industry barring Asian men from entering. The media isn't telling these booking companies not to hire Asian males. In fact, all of my agents expressed eagerness when they learned I was half Asian, because more diversity broadens their roster of talent. They love having a larger selection of products to offer customers.

Now there are customers who make requests based on ethnicity. Black girls tend to ask for black guys. White girls tend to asks for white guys. Many companies narrow down customer requests by white or black guys. That doesn't mean other races are left out. If you're Asian, you'll most likely get sent to white parties. Hispanics get sent to both white and black parties respectively. Everyone's tastes differs. I've stripped for black girls who only like white guys, and white girls who like Asians.

Some customers do get specific about their ethnicity. Yet, you cannot help this fact, so don't even dwell on it. Your primary goal should focus on increasing your attractiveness, talent, and charisma. The more you increase these areas, the more attractive you become to a broader audience.

Many Asian guys who message me also include pics, and they tend to have the right appearance for the job, but the wrong attitude. Stop jinxing yourself. Your race should never be a burden on your decisions in life.

Moreover, blaming your ethnicity when things don't go your way is the most ignorant and pathetic way to cope with failure. People do this to shift the blame away from them and pin it on something else (i.e. racist people, media, society, etc.). Stop blaming others, accept responsibility and do something about it.

In the end, you shape your destiny. Not your ethnicity, not the media, and not society.


  1. As one of those "Asian guys" that sent you an e-mail, this was really inspiring! I really appreciate the article. I agree, much of what we consider racial issues seem to originate from (and therefor should be treated from) within, rather than the other way around.

  2. That is literally my email, which was sent in 2012. I am very surprised that you kept it. I am glad something I wrote contributed to your website in some small manner.

    With the passage of time, I have changed my mind and now agree that having a defeatist attitude does no good. You can shape your destiny. The one caveat that I would add is perhaps you may have to work a little harder to get where you want to go. But putting a little more elbow grease shouldn't prevent most people from doing what they want to do.

    I wish you the best of luck with both of your careers.

    Btw, I ended up going to med school and didn't strip. I may be a hospital executive or a CEO one day, and didn't want pictures of me floating around.

    1. That's the spirit! You sound like you're bound for great things already. Let me know if you become a hospital executive or CEO one day.

      By the way, your e-mail was the most eloquently written one. Thanks for writing me, and no worries about not stripping. It's a job that can backfire, although these days, people are getting away with more and more.

      Drop me an e-mail if you haven't picked up the memoir, and I'll send you a copy.