Opinion: Sorry, But Male Strippers Just Aren’t Sexy

I’ve always had a very odd perception of strippers and Strip-o-Grams. When I was young, I can remember my mother and her best friend going out for girl’s nights out to watch the Chippendales.

“No thanks, Mum. It’s not for me,” I said when she offered to take me for my 18th birthday. I wasn’t sure if it was the men, the loud music, or maybe even both, but I knew one thing, naked males weren’t something a painfully shy just-turned-adult wanted to see.

Part of the disinterest for me is the objectification that is in the stripping industry. It’s not only against male performers, but women as well. To me, it just isn’t attractive.

An old friend of mine, V, used to strip. I can remember the conversation we had in which she told me about a typical evening,

“There are rules, and they can’t touch you, but some of them try. I love and I hate the old men. They pay more, but they do try their luck” she said, she sounded resigned.

She shuddered, “I hate Thursday nights. It’s always mostly old men, and we aren’t always protected.”

I do know that less than a year after that conversation, V had left the stripping scene, having been assaulted following a discrepancy over a private performance.

When I got married, one of my hens was really keen on a stripper. Being served champagne by a Butler in the Buff would be great, she insisted.

I had a very different opinion.

Strippers may be fun, but they’re not really necessarily sexy. For someone to be sexy, women often need quite a lot more than visual stimulation. It can involve eye contact, a good aftershave, and a one-on-one conversation, not all of which a stripper can provide.

About a year after moving into my current home, my neighbour’s washing machine broke down. Being the decent neighbour that I can be, I told him that if he put his dirty clothes in a hamper, he could use our washing machine until his was repaired.

“Did you see my stuff?” he asked me, smiling.

I can’t forget finding that little purple loin cloth on a belt. I wanted to say I hadn’t seen it, but I’d more than seen it. I’d had to remove the metal buckled belt to save my washing machine from being written off, too.

“I do Butler in the Buff” he said, confidently.

“It wouldn’t appeal to me, personally” I replied dryly.

“Huh? Why not?”

“Muscle isn’t everything. I like a man with wit and intelligence. Men in suits are more my kind of thing.” I said, smiling.

“What about if he took the suit off?”. So confident.

“Maybe, but only privately, and only if we were dating, or married” I said, now struggling to hide my amusement.

In life, I believe you have many types of men, as you have many types of women. Some men like a cute girl, the shy girl or the petite girl, or the bubblier, louder, curvier girl, and that’s great and fine. Some women like a muscular, confident man, and other women prefer a quieter, smarter guy, and that’s cool, too.

For me, muscles aren’t the be all and end all.

One of the biggest differences between Wolfie and my neighbour is in the sense of self. Wolfie is humble, he is smart and he is witty, and that’s incredibly attractive. My neighbour is so focused on the way he is and the way he looks that he can’t let live a little. Sorry, but if that’s classic stripper psychology, then it’s a major turn-off to me.

Having very recently recalled this conversation, I was compelled to research my thoughts: Am I the only woman who doesn’t find male strippers sexy?

It seems not.

To be fair, anyone who starts something, anything with me with a line like “sit down and open your legs, it’s for research” will have inevitably started something. Given my now-not-very-well-hidden medical fetish, that’s a surefire way to set the wheels in motion.

Yet this is the reality of the situation, women need mental, not just visual stimulation.

This is why blindfolds work so well for women in BDSM play.

It’s why erotica exists, women need a storyline that they can sort of.. work with.

To be fair, some might say Jamie Dornan ruined the fantasy. Jamie Dornan could have been replaced any woman’s (real or imagined) love interest, and Anastasia Steele could have been them. The Fifty Shades of Grey movie may have bought the fantasy to light, but women were imagining it in their heads, long, long before the movie ever hit the big screens.

Ask any woman, many of us can conjure up some incredibly detailed and elaborate fantasy. Most of us have a niché that our fantasy man needs to have, or needs to be.

Maybe he needs to be muscular, or strong.

But maybe he needs to be smart,

Maybe he needs to be funny,

Or maybe he needs to be corruptable and shy.

Maybe he needs to be the business man with a sex dungeon or the police officer with incredbly bad intentions.

Women may enjoy looking at men, and they may admire the male form, but it’s not enough to give them the same thrill that men get from the visual stimulation of poledancing clubs. Women need more than just the visual element for a man to be regarded as ‘sexy’.

From an entertainment perspective, I think the strip industry can make a killing. Sometimes women want nothing more than to get their hands on their very own Magic Mike, and will pay handsome sums of money for the experience. That the strip industry is also recognising the way women think about sex is also revolutionary, but without crossing the threshold between performer and client and, quite possibly, between entertainment and cheating, I’m not quite sure yet how far the male stripping industry can go for female clients, without overstepping any limits.

What are your thoughts?

Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful,

Helen xx

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