ET went behind the scenes for Vivica A. Fox’s answer to Magic Mike — Black Magic — where Nischelle Turner literally flipped head over heels.

“Can we show this on Entertainment Tonight?” Turner asked as a male dancer put her hands between her knees and, in one fell swoop, flipped her up on top of his shoulders. “And that’s a wrap!” Turner said, fanning herself.

WATCH: Channing Tatum Talks ‘Magic Mike Live’ in Las Vegas

That’s just one of the moves the exotic male dancers of Black Magic have perfected, and there’s a lot more where that came from, according to executive producer Vivica A. Fox.

The docuseries, set to air on Lifetime, follows the lives of predominantly African-American male exotic dancers.

Fox is no stranger to the subject matter, as she starred in the 2015 film Chocolate City, which went behind the scenes of a fictional male strip club. She told ET the idea for the docuseries came to her after seeing Magic Mike in 2012.

NEWS: Actor Robert Ri’chard on ‘Chocolate City’ and How Moms Learned to Appreciate His Butt

“I remember back in the day going to see Magic Mike when it first came out,” she said. “There was just no diversity that was represented. I’ve got everything from white chocolate to dark chocolate to caramel to butterscotch, because we know the brothers got some moves.”

Fox has witnessed those moves firsthand, as she is involved in rehearsals, choreography and wardrobe, but she refuses to call the men “strippers.”

“I call my guys male exotic dancers, just for respect,” she explained. “With these guys, it’s an art. The moves that they got are just unbelievable.”

PHOTOS: Hollywood’s Sexiest Shirtless Men

Black Magic will debut later this year, but if all goes according to Fox’s plan, this is just the beginning.

“The main goal of the show is for us to get a residency in Las Vegas,” Fox said. “I want to see these boys’ faces on a big billboard in Las Vegas.”

EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes of Vivica A. Fox’s Docuseries About Male Exotic Dancers

Raphael Chestang , KARE 6:07 PM. CDT May 10, 2016

After seeing the movie MAGIC Mike, many women would love to visit a male strip club but are apparently a little shy. Well, male stripping has changed a lot in the last few years. There are male stripping clubs all over Canada and most cater to both male and female patrons. If you are shy, go with a group of girls- it will be a night you wont forget quickly. For those want more discreet private fun, you can order male strippers for a private showing in your home.

Male strip shows, like female strip shows, have handsome young well built-men who usually perform a strip show which is seductive, erotic and sexy. While some male stripper shows involve full nudity, others may retains a g-string, thongs or a tiny bikini brief. In some cases, the male stripper will remove all his clothes under dim light for a few seconds- just to titillate you.

In most Canadian cities, male strip shows include a group of sex men performing choreographed dance routines in different costumes, but the body motions are lusty and charged with sexual excitement. Today the majority of male strip clubs in Canada also offers private bookings or sometimes hold a ladies night to celebrate a special occasion. What you will be surprised to know is that just like in the movie, Magic Mike, the male strippers are warm, funny and entertaining.

In a male strip club, you can have an entertainer perform a table dance especially for you in a private area, where there are no prying eyes or cameras. You can get as close and personal as you want with a male stripper and tip with a bill anywhere on his body. In all male strip clubs in Canada, there is absolutely no sexual contact between the male stripper and customer. Further, all male strip clubs do not permit the use of recording devices in the club and this also include cells phones.

If you want a private show in the comforts of your home, most male strip clubs in Canada can arrange that for you. You have many options for your home show that can include a topless waiter or two, g-string show or the Full Monty. Whatever your desire, it can be arranged. In most cases, the stripper will do his performance, serve the beverages and ensure that everyone is having fun. If you are sweet and nice, a few extra minutes in the arms of a male stripper (sans clothes) can also be arranged.

Do you want thrilling and exiting entertaining male strippers in your parties? Then the Canadian Playboyz is the place for you. At our gallery you will get a group of professional male strippers/ exotic for you to select from to make your party dynamic. We have brilliant dancers that offer Magic Mike stripping styles. We have quality guys to choose from at a very reasonable price. All you have to do is book in advance. Our competitors cannot match our unique dancers who ensure that your wildest desire and satisfaction is guaranteed.
We are the best in Canada

We are available in the whole of Canada and even own a calendar to show the areas we are visiting. It is a company that is fully registered and complies fully with Canadian laws and regulations. We also have a license to show that we can operate anywhere in Canada. For over 15 years, we have had professional dancers who work in private parties and classy night clubs where you get world class services for your money. All the dancers in our galley perform for the industry and we do not use photographs of former dancers.

Our galley has numerous photos to ensure the visitors of our web or our club catches a glimpse of our handsome, muscular male strippers` the exotic dancers. Since our services are national, do not restrict yourself with the dancers in your residence area. All you have to do is call our service lines and we will make any necessary arrangements to get your selected dancers group that fits your desires. We can even go an extra mile and bring them to you when it is very urgent.
Convention and road show

We also have an annual stripping convention that features our best strippers come to entertain. This is followed by some epic road shows making the event exceptionally entertaining. The dancers on top of an open bus greeting and signing autographs to our numerous fans. Our boys bounce to the coast for a beach party where they take photos with hundreds of fans and meet our numerous associates. Our boys are jovial and have dreams of becoming artists, actors and singers. A lot of things occur in the parties as our handsome boys dance provocatively without their shirts exposing their well built bodies. This makes the audience especially the ladies to go wild. The thrilled and exited audience make the dollars rain on our provocative and hunk guys. This wild and bold way of dancing is never shot in movies so that our audience can appreciate the flexibility and athleticism of our guys. All the places they visit are fully packed because our fans are anxious to see and interact with them.

“They used to call us ‘go-go boys.’ ‘Male stripper’ came later,” says François Tessier. Now 54, Tessier, dapperly dressed in a crisp white shirt and black slacks, spent a good part of the 1980s undressed.

Tessier got his start at Club 281 – now called Le 281 – Montreal’s only fully-nude male strip club for women. Patrons knew him by his stage name: Mr. Personality.

“All the girls liked him. He had an inexplicable charm,” recalls Joanne Morin, who worked the bar at Club 281 in the same era.

On Feb. 19, Tessier and Morin returned to their old haunts, along with nearly 60 former employees of the club, most of whom were strippers, for a reunion marking the club’s 35th year in business.

Patrons, advised of the event on the club’s Facebook page, celebrated too. On weekend nights, it is not unusual to see women lining up to get into the club, a popular downtown destination for girls’ nights out and bachelorette parties. But on that Friday, there was even more anticipation than usual – and some of the women in line were grandmothers.

Solange Aubin Salvail, 64, first went to Club 281 in 1982. Her husband brought her. “He wanted to show me what it was,” she said. Now retired and widowed with five grandchildren, Aubin Salvail remembers when a private dance could be had for $5. “I came to see if the guys changed. It’s certain they’ve aged,” she said.

Annie Delisle, 45, took over the club in 2003, following the death of her father, France, who founded it in 1980. France Delisle, who owned a female strip club at the time, came up with the idea when he saw male strippers in Miami. “He said, ‘If women can dance naked, why can’t men?’ ” his daughter recalled.

The club, which moved in 2003 from 281 Ste-Catherine St. to its present location on Ste-Catherine, just east of St-Laurent Blvd., can accommodate 420 patrons. It was a full house for the reunion.

Delisle took to the stage to invite the old-timers up for a group photo and thank them for being part of the club’s history. Two dancers from the ’90s prepared a special number for the event, and there was a tribute dance to 80s-style stripping, performed by a current employee wearing cowboy boots – and not much else.

Delisle, who grew up around the business, has observed that men and women react differently to striptease performances. Men, she said, tend to be quiet when they are at a strip club: “Guys drink their beer. Women laugh and scream.”

Delisle also finds that male strippers get more respect than their female counterparts.

“My dancers are often seen as superstars,” she said. “They’re recognized at bars and at the grocery store.”

Steeve Dubé, 48, worked as a dancer at the club from 1986 until 1996. Dubé’s teenage sons like to tease him about his former occupation. “Sometimes, they call me ‘Steeve the stripper,’ ” he said.

The striptease business was good to Dubé, who grew up poor in St-Henri. As a teen, Dubé enjoyed breakdancing. One night, he was practising his moves at Chez Parée, a female strip bar, when someone suggested he audition at Club 281. At the time, Dubé was working at Farine Five Roses, but he gave that up when he realized how much more he could earn as a male stripper. “The first night, I made over a $1,000,” Dubé said.

By the age of 21, Dubé owned a home in Laval and was investing in real estate. He met his wife, Janie, at the club. At the time, she was working as a librarian.

“I gave her my number and I said, ‘I’m going to have kids with you,’ ” Dubé recalled. Today, the couple and their boys live in a lakefront house on the West Island.

If his sons wanted to take up stripping, Dubé says he would encourage them to do it. “I’d say, ‘Go for it. But don’t take drugs or alcohol, and come out with the cash,’ ” he said.

And does Dubé still dance for Janie? “I want to, but she doesn’t want me to!”

Like Dubé, Mario Dumas, who worked at the club from 1982 to 1984, met the mother of his children while he was on the job. “My stage name was Burt – because I looked like Burt Reynolds,” said Dumas, 57. But not long after he and his girlfriend got together, she gave him an ultimatum: “She said, ‘It’s me or your job.’ ”

Dumas, who was a mechanic before he got into stripping, used his savings to buy a garage in Repentigny. He eventually sold the garage, and now owns a paving company.

Dumas said it was not only his girlfriend’s ultimatum that made him give up stripping. Despite the club’s no-contact rule barring patrons from touching the dancers, Dumas said there were customers who did not play by the rules.

“Some of the ladies who drank groped me. I felt like enough was enough.”

These days, Dumas walks with a cane – the result of a motorcycle accident last summer. Despite his bum leg and a receding hairline, Dumas said he does not mind growing older. Nor does he feel jealous when he sees the new crop of strippers at Le 281, most of whom are in their 20s. “They all have the same style. We had our own style,” he said.

After six years working at Club 281, François Tessier – the former Mr. Personality – went on to perform at strip clubs in Windsor, Quebec City and Gatineau. Tessier gave up stripping in 1992, when he found work as a receptionist for a government agency in Ottawa. He did not include his stint as a male stripper on his CV.

“But some of the girls in the office recognized me from a strip bar in Gatineau.”

My stage name was Burt
Tessier says he paid a price for his years as a stripper. “There was an aftermath. I missed the easy money, the easy living, the attention of women,” he said, and later became hooked on gambling at video lottery terminals. He was finally able to quit gambling in 2011, with support from Gamblers Anonymous, as well as counselling.

These days, Tessier works as a salesman in his brother’s Ville-Émard pawn shop. There, his personality continues to serve him well. “My ease for getting along with people always followed me,” Tessier said.

Delisle felt it was a bad idea for Tessier to perform onstage at the reunion, since he was out of practice — but Tessier would have liked to.

“My legs still want to dance.”

Monique Polak, Postmedia News | March 3, 2016 1:17 PM ET
More from Postmedia News

You heard it here first . Male Stripping is getting more popular by the day . Breaking news: Magic Mike 3 rumours and maybe with George Clooney in the cast !! Keep an eye out for all your male stripping news . The Playboyz bring your the best news first !!

Click on this link for the full video interview


Magic Mike 3 is still nothing but a dream you’ve been having for the past six months, but should that beautiful dream ever become a reality, Channing Tatum knows exactly who he wants as a co-star: George Clooney. During an interview with E! News, Channing told his Hail, Caesar! compatriot that he’d give him his entire salary if he’d agree to be in Magic Mike XXXL if it comes to pass.

The pair then tried to come up with an appropriate stripper name for George, who should obviously call himself Cloons but instead thought he should be “Big George.” Since Joe Manganiello is already Big Dick Richie, that is not a possibility, so George will have to keep thinking. Luckily, Maria Menounos suggested the time-tested formula of childhood pet plus first street you lived on, which led George to come up with “Big Boy Fourth Street.” That’s it right there. Exercise over.

By Eliza Thompson
Feb 2, 2016

If there’s going to be a third installment for “Magic Mike,” Channing Tatum wants George Clooney in it as a stripper.

There has been no announcement about “Magic Mike 3” but Tatum is certain that he will stop at nothing, even offering his share, until Clooney accepts to striptease in his film.

“If he would do Magic Mike 3, I will give him all of my part of the money,” Tatum said in an E News interview. “It’s all yours.”

“I can use the money,” Clooney responded in accord.

With that in mind, Tatum proceeded to bestow upon Clooney a male stripper name that fits him the best. “I think he’d go with his actual name. You can’t really beat that.”

“I think he’d go with his actual name. You can’t really beat that,” Tatum said.

Tatum made mention that he wanted to release more installments of the male stripper franchise while promoting “Magic Mike XXL” last July 2015. The first “Magic Mike” film was inspired by Tatum’s personal experiences as a Tampa stripper during his younger days.

“I want to do it when we’re like 80, like real old,” he joked. “Like grumpy strippers…We’ll all have mechanical hips.”

Clooney and Tatum are seen together in an interview to promote their upcoming film, “Hail, Caesar!” They are joined with Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson and Ralph Fiennes in the mystery-comedy about a Hollywood fixer. The movie features Brolin as someone who keeps celebrity secrets off the press. Clooney and Tatum take part in Brolin’s plays. It will be out in theatres this February 5.

In a previous interview with The Sun , the “Magic Mike” actor did express that he has a man crush on the Academy Awards actor.

“I’ve spent time with George Clooney and he’s the most interesting man on the planet,” Tatum shared. “He can do it all. Yep, I guess what I’m saying is I’d have sex with him.”

Kim Cabatuan
Australia Network News

If Michael Phelps calls it quits again after the Rio Olympics, and wants to pursue another career where he can perform without much clothing, well, he already has an offer on the table.

After Phelps’ viral cameo last week at Arizona State, where he wowed us with the “Curtain of Distraction,” the star swimmer has been invited to perform with the Chippendales dancers in Las Vegas.

We always knew Phelps had a freak physique, but his moves when the curtain dropped at ASU apparently opened all-new doors for him.

At the very least, let’s hope this leads Phelps to recreate this all-time favorite Chippendales dance routine … maybe with Seth Rogen?

We miss you, Chris Farley.

The buzzer
by Andre Vergara

This is the fourth in The Tyee’s Love on the Edge series.]

On any given night at Brandi’s Exotic Nightclub in Vancouver, the women equal, and sometimes outnumber, the men. Sure, it’s touted as a bridge between a nightclub and a venue for adult entertainment, a comfortable place for couples and women, but you can’t escape the fact that women on stage are incrementally peeling off their clothes. The advent of what some people are calling “raunch feminism” is what is driving a whole bunch of trends like this lately – from pole and lap dancing lessons under the clever marketing guise of fitness, to Girls Gone Wild, and its Canuck counterpart Wild Canadian Girls, where young women at Mardi Gras and Spring Break flash, spread and simulate lesbianism – not for money, but simply for cameras.

Sexual power, a well-practiced special talent of women, could be one reason why so many of us are frequenting strip clubs these days. Another might be women’s well-conditioned habit of competing with each other for the attention of men. It cold be that we simply want to keep a watchful eye on our boyfriends / husbands. Or maybe that we want to learn a thing or two to keep him happy. One woman I spoke with confessed that ever since her boyfriend cheated on her with a stripper, she goes to the clubs to prove to herself that “they’re all skanks.” But I get the feeling it has more to do with taking away a few tips to ensure that it never happens again.

Occupational hazard

I’ve spent some time over the years at the clubs. It was plain old curiosity that started me. I once had a boyfriend who visited a certain popular strip club in Toronto every Wednesday night. He was a journalist, so to put a sugar coat on it, he confessed his “sin” very carefully over dinner one night, telling me it was “research.” He needn’t have bothered; just about every guy I know goes to watch women take their clothes off. But I was struck by the regularity of his visits and it made me want to go find out what the allure might have been.

I got my chance one night while out bar-hopping with my friend Jay. We ended up at his army alumni Christmas party at one of Toronto’s less seemly gentleman’s clubs. Not counting the strippers and half clad waitresses, I was the only woman in the room. Among all the testosterone, I felt like I was finally getting a glimpse into the secret world of men. It didn’t take long to figure out that although sex was the commodity, the trade was in money and, mostly, power. As I sat front and centre watching the women, and flirting with Jay and his buddies, I realized that although fully clothed, I had my own particularly enjoyable hold in the room.

I admit, I liked that feeling and started going to the clubs whenever I got a chance, always with men. It was, after all, at such odds with my strict Catholic upbringing to enjoy looking at naked women while talking so openly with men about their desires and how I might learn to fulfill them.

Popular disappointment

That’s why I was disappointed at Brandi’s recently, when I first noticed the marked increase in the number of women milling about the club. I told people I was upset on behalf of men at the invasion of one of their last bastions of male-hood. But that was only part of it. No longer could I portray myself as an evolved, accepting, un-jealous woman, all the while secretly loving the attention I got in a room mostly full of appreciative men. In the past, my only competition for the male gaze were the untouchable fantasies bumping and grinding on stage.

Here, all kinds of women were annoyingly causing distraction from the main event. Some were sitting in “gyno row,” offering their breasts for the strippers to grab, while others were kissing and groping right in the eye-line between men and the stage. I asked former stripper Annie Temple about this. She said, “Those are the women I used to drag on stage since, obviously, they wanted to be there. But is it better to act glaringly rude for attention and not get paid? Or, to dance in a legitimate occupation of
the same attention and be paid well?”

Of course, I never put myself in this scenario since I wouldn’t considered being up on stage. I only wanted to bear witness to the goings-on.

I wonder though, is there anywhere men can go anymore just to be men? Don’t they go to strip clubs for the fantasy of it all, for a little tease by the unattainable, to get a good look at a hot woman but not have to be responsible for how she feels? Mix real, live, available woman with fantasy prototypes in a sex club and watch what happens. I suspect we’ve reached a point where the line of demarcation between the two is barely visible.

It wasn’t that long ago when strippers occupied the low end of the social and professional stratosphere, but with women so keen to emulate them, it seems their stars are on the rise. Are strippers the new superwomen? I am woman, watch me strip! It used to be, you weren’t a real woman unless you had a kid. Now it seems imperative to learn to dangle upside-down on a pole. If pole dancing is fitness, (and I’m not saying strippers aren’t talented acrobats) then why are students entering competitions in stripper gear and featured at consumer events like the recent Naughty But Nice Sex Show? When I asked Aradia Fitness co-owner Tracy Gray how “fitness” includes the vinyl thigh-high spike heeled boots she said, without a shred of irony, “They help grip the pole.”

Stripped-down celebrities

Stripper culture’s bleed into the mainstream has been enthusiastically led by some of the most popular celebrities like Carmen Electra, Britney Spears, Teri Hatcher and even Oprah, who took a whirl on the pole during one of her trend shows. Women are now staging stagettes at male strip clubs instead of going to see men take it all off. In an age of deconstruction of norms and traditions, young women truly seem to believe that this anything-goes-and-shows attitude is just an inherited right, fought for by feminist foremothers. New York journalist and feminist Ariel Levy calls this new breed Female Chauvinist Pigs: “She is post-feminist. She is funny. She gets it. She doesn’t mind cartoonish stereotypes of female sexuality, and she doesn’t mind a cartoonishly macho response to them. The FCP asks: Why worry about disgusting or degrading when you could be giving – or getting – a lap dance yourself? Why try to beat them when you can join them?”

If this is truly the trend, I’m a little concerned that we might be selling ourselves short. Each of us, after all, has our own instinctual sexuality that’s what makes chemistry so interesting. So, I don’t really get why we have to borrow someone else’s idea (or a whole culture’s one-dimensional idea) about how to be sexy.

What I was discovering, though, is that my own observations in the clubs were enhancing, and maybe even altering, my sense of my own sexuality.

On another trip to Brandi’s, I met Crystal, a lovely, tall brunette whom, you could say, initiated me into the “female” experience of male strip clubs. I joined her all-girl table to find out why they were there and she was only too happy to tell. “I love to look at naked women,” she said, adding that she appreciates the athleticism of the strippers. She had recently become engaged, but that didn’t stop her, though her fiancé didn’t ever care to join her. Leading me up to “gyno row” she asked me if I was married. No, I said. She leaned intoxicatingly close to advise, “Before you get married you should be with a woman, at least once.”

It wasn’t long after we sat down that the man next to me offered me five bucks to give to the stripper. Earlier, a couple of men told me they were annoyed at the presence of so many women, that it changed the experience for them. Not this guy. He was paying to see me interact with the dancer. Now, after reading about female chauvinist pigs, I’m wondering if my own behaviour makes me one. I’m certainly not consciously aware of recasting my feminism as “empowerment” to behave badly, but there was something exciting in this new and seemingly forbidden world. Here was a woman thrusting her private parts very close to my face. The pull to look was strong and I pushed the default Catholic shame aside. She looked the same as me, only intriguingly different.

Private dancer

Sitting with the twenty-something Crystal, it occurred to me that consuming pornography of any kind is fairly normal for her generation (hence the female chauvanist pig trend) while for me, in my mid-forties, it’s still in many ways taboo.

This experience, and Crystal’s advice, stayed in my consciousness so much that a few months later at Brandi’s, a little more inebriated than usual, I allowed myself to be escorted to the back, curtained area for my own private “non-contact” lap dance. My dancer, another brunette, was the perfect mix of athletic and feminine – petite with smallish breasts, a well toned, tanned and unmarked body. I found it utterly uncomfortable to be in a sexual situation without being able to touch and yet exciting to want to. She told me she thought I was pretty and I hoped she really did. Was this normal procedure? While there’s no shortage of men willing to escort me to the peeler bar to do my “research,” they sure are reluctant to admit to paying for lap dances, let alone to reveal the appeal. So I have no idea if this woman really liked me or if she was just earning her keep. But I do understand how a man, lonely or not, with a satisfying personal life, or without one might be flattered and attracted to such attention. No strings attached. Just a little harmless exchange of discretionary cash. What happens at the club stays at the club.

In an essay from What I Meant to Say: The Private Lives of Men, writer Ian Brown breaks his experience down like this, “I went to the club to bring lust into a more honourable place in my life, to normalize my desire, to make it less of a big deal. For a man, looking is part of his education. It’s one way he learns the difference between what he wants and what he can have; or between what he thinks he wants, is supposed to want and what he actually needs.”

Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing in the strip clubs; coming to terms with my own sexuality which I’ve always worried I placed in too high prominence; trying to understand what men want, why they want it and how I can give it; and dealing with my curiosity about women without having to consummate it. For now, I think I’ve had enough and I’m only too happy to leave these dens to the men who, at least according to some I spoke to, are hankering to reclaim their territory.

Carla Lucchetta is a freelance writer and TV producer. Her commentary on “the way we live today” can be found at [Tyee]

We are acquiring power. But is it feminist or chauvinist?
By Carla Lucchetta, 16 Feb 2006,

So late last night, I went with a bunch of gal pals to the 10 p.m. screening of Magic Mike at Chinook Centre.

At least, that was the plan. However, we seriously underestimated the appetite of Calgary women for an abtastic serving of Hollywood man meat. When I went to buy a ticket at about 5:45 p.m., I was told the late-night sneak peek was sold out. Many indignant Facebook postings followed.

All week, we’ve been having fits of giggles in the newsroom as we chatted about the movie (and watched the NSFW trailer, purely for research purposes). For the uninitiated, Magic Mike is the latest Steven Soderbergh film. Loosely based on the experiences of its star, Channing Tatum, the movie tracks Mike, a guy who has it great working as stripper in Tampa, Florida. But he realizes that life can’t be all lap dances and gold thongs. It’s been getting solid reviews, with many a writer pointing out that exploring subcultures is Soderbergh’s wheelhouse, body glitter be damned. And it doesn’t hurt that the ad campaign includes the chiselled physiques of co-stars Matthew McConaughey, Andrew Pettyfer and Joe Manganiello of True Blood.

There’s one thing some reviewers have been missing, however. While there is bare bums aplenty, full-frontal is not Magic Mike’s bag. As FFWD Weekly’s Danny Austin wrote, “I know next to nothing about male stripping, but aren’t penises kind of the point?”

Umm, no. Most definitely not. In another lifetime, in a land, far, far away, I was known to frequent a ladies’ night (or three) with a gaggle of girlfriends. And back in the day, the male rippers in Vancouver went the distance, as in the full monty. However, the big reveal, as it was, always came up short (ahem). Ladies night is all about fun, not having some pencil pushed in your face. Not for nothing is there an emcee to goad the crowd on, to direct the groundswell of energy created by women letting loose in a safe environment and get everyone going. There are (were, I should say, not having been to a ladies’ night in more than 15 years) games, prizes and dance breaks so the girls could shake their groove thangs, too. Then, when the dancers were done, the bar doors would open to the men, who would try their luck in a room full of amped-up women.

In a article, Charlotte Cowles visits Hunk-A-Mania, the Manhattan location of a male-strip-club franchise. (When did this happen? As co-worker Gwendolyn Richards points out, “We really get the shaft in Canada. Actually, we don’t.”) Cowles talks to the dancers about their wardrobe, but other topics take over the undies debate. (FYI: briefs win.) “Really, the women look more at each other than anything else. They’re far more interested in snapping photos of themselves — sometimes with the strippers but more often just on their own — and their friends. The men understand this completely. ‘When a man goes to a female strip club, a lot of times he just wants the proximity to an attractive woman, and it’s a sexual thing,’ said D (a dancer). ‘But a lot of women who come here aren’t in a sexual mood. They’re in a silly mood and they want to share something that’s novel with their friends.’ Ironically, the experience winds up being much more about female friendship than it is about sex.”

That was totally true of my time at ladies’ nights. I couldn’t tell you a thing about the routines, the six-packs or the costumes. What I do remember is the good times I had with my friends, the shrieks, the laughs, the capital-F Fun. And I’ve also seen women strip. I used to work at a nightclub and would pick up the occasional shift in the establishment’s neighbouring pub that featured exotic dancers. Some men came with their friends and treated it like a social outing, albeit one with a smorgasbord of silicon on view. But the guys in gynie row (front and centre) weren’t whooping it up or laughing. Rather, all their attention went to the woman (or women) on stage. It’s like if they concentrated hard enough, the dancer would stop mid-routine, look directly at them and decide then and there that this was the guy for them. I always found it more sad than sexy. Double standard on my part? Maybe.

At ladies’ night, though, the dancers got that it was a lark, a bit of fun and something, that when you think about it objectively, is kind of ridiculous. I mean, dancing around in front of a crowd of strangers, removing your clothes in a routine choreographed to Euro-trash disco? How can you not laugh at that? One of my best friend’s boyfriends was a stripper, and one of the guys I worked with at the nightclub went that route, too. (Other male co-workers, it should be noted, were just happy to take their clothes off in public after a few hours of drinking. Must be genetic.) With the guys I knew, just like the other male dancers, the end of the routine was anti-climactic. The big “ta-dah!” reveal was generally followed by a quick cover-up and a little bow. (Note: that is bow, as in bend, not bow, as in gift wrapping, although that might be a fun way to end a routine.) Any protracted displays of the dancers’ equipment was inevitably met with averted eyes and flat-out “I really don’t need to see that, thanks”. We get it: you have a penis. Good for you! Now, let’s move on, shall we?

So while the girls and I are sad we missed Magic Mike Thursday night, we’re not upset that we didn’t get to see Channing Tatum in all his glory. Rather, the good-spirited camaraderie, the sharing of laughs and time spend with friends is what we missed out on. We’ll just have to plan it for a night when the other women in Calgary aren’t as eager for a ladies’ night of their own.

More from Ruth Myles
Published on: June 28, 2012 | Last Updated: June 28, 2012 2:54 PM MSt
Calgary Herald