Sunday, September 25, 2016

Male Stripping - Then vs. Now

Thanks to technology, the male stripping industry has undergone many changes in the past 20 years.

Since starting my career in 2003, I have witnessed many of these changes firsthand from then until now. Some bad, but most good.

Here are some of the major changes:

Navigation - Back Then

In 2003, I could access Mapquest (the go-to site before Google Maps), put the address, and print the directions to my private parties. However, most male strippers at the time weren't so internet-savvy and relied on actual road atlases and written directions from the customer, combined with further verbal instructions via phone if they got lost. 

Even with directions from Mapquest, we still had to pay attention to all the details of the road. We constantly missed our turns and had to turn around and backtrack, losing precious time. Imagine getting lost in the middle of the woods at night with no reception on your cell phone and you're running late for your party. 

This all sucked, mind you. But I can still probably find my way around those roads I used back in 2003 and 2004 to this very day, even though I have long since moved away.

Navigation - Now

You no longer need to pull over and turn on the light.
It's easy. Just use a GPS, or load up the Google Maps app on the smart phone and punch in the address. Over 95% of the time, you'll have no problem!

No more calculating your own arrival time. No more wasting time charting your course and going over maps. No more shitty written directions from customers or wasting printer ink with Mapquest.

Younger guys take this shit for granted, but the navigational options today are a godsend in this industry.

Music - Back Then

Hauling these things around sucked ass.
Titus, the male stripper who trained me, used a big boombox with a dual cassette tape deck, powered by more than half-a-dozen D-sized batteries. The boombox was the size of a child's car seat, took up just as much room, and weighed as much as a fat child. Titus had to lug this monstrosity to the party and ask the girls to hit "play" on the correct cassette deck. Sometimes, he would have the luxury to plug in the boombox with the AC cord, which often entangled itself around surrounding objects.

Unlike Titus, I utilized the technology available at the time and burned MP3s onto a CD, and used a smaller boombox. It was still annoying to carry around, but mine was powered by C-sized batteries, therefore weighing less. I thought I was smarter than him, but CDs skip and cassette tapes don't, which I found out whenever somebody bumped my boombox.

I hated these damn things, since I was always forgetting them at parties. These things weren't cheap, often averaging $70 to $100 for the lower end models. Throughout my career, I lost a total of three. Titus ended up stealing one of mine when he left his behind at a party... then he lost mine, too!

There was only one perk to carrying one of these around: it made for a great weapon in case of danger. You could seriously smash someone's skull with one of these things. 

Music - Now

Much easier on the back to carry.
It's very easy! Buy a Bluetooth speaker and sync it with your smartphone. 

With the rechargeable batteries, I no longer need to buy those large batteries anymore. The Bluetooth speaker can clip onto the belt loop of my pants, which ensures that I will never forget the damn thing, because I never leave the party without my pants. The smartphone can play anything from Spotify, Youtube, or your personal MP3 collection, and now I can use the internet to play any song upon request! No more worrying about whether the crowd will dislike your music or not.

So not only did technology lighten my load and made everything easy to carry, it gave me more music options.

Yeah, fuck that boombox. I don't miss those damn monstrosities at all!

Booking Companies - Back Then

You can see the roster next to the mannequin.
With the exception of male revues and big brand names like Chippendales, most customers had to go to lingerie stores or other similar small companies to book male strippers for their bachelorette parties. When I was in Gainesville, Florida, there was a lingerie store called French Addiction that had a roster of male strippers on the wall for all customers to see. The customers usually lived around the Gainesville area, and so did most of the strippers.

In 2003, internet bookings were around, but not as common. Many customers distrusted booking a guy from the internet. And who could blame them? There was widespread hesitation about using a credit card on some male stripper site, or ordering a stranger from online. People felt safer getting the dancer from a local business. Customers felt that there was more accountability with a walk-in business -- if things didn't go their way, they figured they could return for a refund or complain.

Booking Companies - Now

They sprouted up all over the internet. This is mostly a good thing since there are more companies, there are more opportunities for male strippers and customers alike. A brief Google search yields one's needs in seconds. 

However, most of these national booking companies place more emphasis on sales numbers and less on quality. Unlike the local companies of the past, the chances of women getting the stripper of their choice is almost zero. These companies often lie to make a sale, and there is often no accountability for their actions or dancers. Moreover, some of these companies have never even met their dancers. They just hire them over the internet. 

Unfortunately, these national companies are the norm these days. There are a few good ones, but most of them engage in shady business practices.

Cameras - Back Then

Digital cameras were not big when I started. Women took pictures, but they had to use actual cameras. During my time in college, most used disposable cameras. Every now and then, someone had a fancy Nikon or Canon with a nice lens. Then, they had to go and develop the pictures later. Hence, I never had the chance to see their pictures.

It was rather easy to enforce a "no picture" policy, though. If someone tried to snipe a photo, chances are that you would see the flash.

Although cameras floated around at every party, not every girl had one like a phone, so they took fewer pictures as a result. In fact, I have very few pictures of my early parties due to this very reason. I'd have to bring my own camera and ask one of the girls to take pictures for me. Then I'd have to scan the pics if I wanted to show them to someone on the Internet.

Video cameras were even more scarce. Throughout my early years, I recall seeing less than half a dozen at all of my parties combined.

The upside to this was that social media blunders weren't so much of a problem.

Cameras - Now

Smartphones have shaken up the industry. It's almost impossible to enforce a "no picture" policy. Girls are filming and taking pics as soon as the stripper walks through the door. These videos and pics instantly go live on Snapchat and Instagram immediately. Some even pop up on Facebook.

For those looking to strip with a low profile, this is appalling. Tell the girls to not take pictures, and a few will pull out their phone and snap a few anyway. You cannot monitor a dozen or more phones at once.

The upside is that it's easier than ever to get pics and videos of the party! As a matter of fact, my collection of pics this month (September, 2016) far exceeds the combined pics from my first four years of stripping.

I think this is great, because I like looking at the pictures. They help me remember each individual party. 

Phones - Back Then

I can only imagine the inconvenience male strippers faced in the 80's and 90's by using landlines as their only source of communication.

Most people had cell phones when I started, but there were a few middle-aged and older customers who refused to use them. This made communication a pain in the ass. I remember trying to get a hold of one customer who would not answer the damn phone because she wasn't even around the phone. If she had a cell phone, I would have reached her to get directions. But no, I couldn't. So she called the owner up and complained on me because I was late.

Phones - Now

Everyone uses cell phones now. Most use text messaging. Almost everyone, especially millenials, keep their phones within arms reach at all times. This makes communication easier than ever!

I rarely struggle with getting a hold of the customer now like I did in 2003. Even if the customer doesn't answer the phone, I can just leave her a text message.

Communication, or lack of, is rarely an issue anymore.

Final Verdict

I'm thankful for this new technology. It makes stripping so much easier. I wish I had all this shit available back when I started in 2003! I would have saved me a whole lot of time and effort.

It's really better to be a male stripper these days. Everything is just so damn convenient. The only thing that hasn't changed is transportation. If someone could just invent teleportation, then my job would be almost perfect.


  1. "Titus ended up stealing"

    I think this would be a wonderful opportunity to pause for a moment and give thanks for the great contributions of the Black community to our society. Their peaceful and generous nature makes them ideal neighbors, lending testimony to their exceptional family values and parenting skills which are unrivaled by any other culture. Their commitment to academic excellence enriches our schools and serves as an example to all who hope to achieve prominence as a people. Real estate values are fueled by the mix of African Americans into an area due to their caring and respectful nurturing of these communities, an example of all they have achieved through their enthusiasm for self improvement by hard work and a self-reliant can-do nature. Without their industrious and creative drive, we would be poorer as a nation.

    1. Considering that there are various kinds of Black communities, including wealthy ones, which Blacks are you cherry picking, buddy?

    2. Considering that there are various kinds of Black communities, including wealthy ones, which Blacks are you cherry picking, buddy?

    3. NIGGA PLEEEEZ.....................

      Clinton/Kaine 2016!