Let me preface this super long story for those of you that don’t really like to read. I was a male stripper for a night.
On a weekend spent at some friends’ beach house near Myrtle Beach, there came about a turn of events that changed lives forever. If I may, I’d like to set the table. Myrtle Beach, sometimes know as the Redneck Riviera, plays host to piles upon piles of American tourist traps and crap. I’m talking about EVERY crap chain eatery ever thought up, including one that slaps me in the brain every time I see it – Fatz. That’s the kind of place that Americans are loving more and more. I mean, if you can’t manage to eat sensible, healthy(ish) food on a daily basis, the truly American thing to do these days is say “Fuck it,” Leaving-Las-Vegas-style, right? So anyways, from putt-putt courses worth more than most developing countries, to Dolly Parton’s fucked-up version of the history of this deplorable country set to a dinner with which you are given no utensils, there are endless ways for poor, working-class families to go broker.
With all that in mind, you know there are more than a couple of places for middle-aged, undersexed greaseballs of all genders to go tuck a few Washingtons in to the “pants” of an exotic object of desire. This aroused my interest and touched my heart right in the empty wallet area. We all hear of the fruits of labor harvested by those that choose to fuel (force themselves into) the imaginations of hungry, horny people who just opted to receive their paychecks in one dollar bills. In what started as a prank call, and evolved into the professional night of my life, I decided to probe this ever-lucrative industry for opportunity.
It started with a call to a club. I quickly morphed my personality into that of a destitute biker. My handle for the evening would be “Thunder.” I mean, I stand a formidable five feet ten (in my shoes), and pack about 145 pounds of ripped, seething, sexy muscle. So what could be more ironic than calling myself Thunder? Really, I look like a slightly pumped up version of Screech from Saved by the Bell, but on the phone it’s another story. So I told the gal on the phone, “Hey sweetie. Y’all need any male talent around there? I’m up here from Alabama, out of money, and my bike’s out of gas.”
Graciously, and empathetically, she informed me of the evening’s schedule. It’s The Ladies Night Out Hunk-A-Rama. Score. And then I was placed on hold to speak with the manager, Jeff. Double Score. It seemed that this was shaping up to be a very successful prank call so far. When Jeff hopped on the line, I fed him my sad, lonely story, and for good measure, briefly described my physical stature: “Man, I’m skinny, but ripped, I got a lot of tattoos, and man, I got MOVES.” Jeff told me that they were finding themselves a little short on entertainers for the evening, and right there, over the phone, offered me an “audition.” Whoa. This call went from being just kind of funny to overhear, to hinging on worthless. I mean what was I to do? Just say, “Fuck yeah! I totally had that dude! He thinks I’m coming in at 9:30 for an audition!!! Hah ha ha!!!”
I don’t think so. That, friends, would not be the Snakehawk way. I had to take this to the limit. In a bit of a frenzy, being as that my big debut was in approximately 2 hours, I had some things to do in order to prepare. The first, and not necessarily a checklist item, was to grab the closest drink and get it down the hatch. I was already nervous. Allison, my ever-supportive girlfriend, and number one fan for life, could not (but could) believe this was happening. Our hosts for the weekend, were not quite sure what was going on, but kept saying things like, “Wow. This could be epic. EPIC.” As for myself, I was mentally taking inventory of the clothes I’d brought with me, and it really came down to the clothes I had NOT brought with me: No tear-away pants, no fireman’s hat, no banana hammock. Damn. Time to get creative.
Thinking to myself, “I’m sexy. I’m hot to death. I can bank tonight if I just make sure I’ve got MOVES.” I thought it best to practice a couple of things. I practiced the worm. Well, the modified worm-to-floor-hump move. That was sure to bring dollar bills raining from the spotlights, I figured. I danced around, nervously, asking myself if I was really gonna do this. My answer to myself was “Of course I am.” What about an outfit? Well, that’s when I realized and appreciated how much Allison had packed along for this 3-day weekend. Jeans? Check. They were quite a bit more “sexy-fit” than my 501’s. What comes next, friends, please realize, was a matter of absolute necessity, and a simultaneous stroke of genius. G-string? Check. A tarty little turquoise number at that, from Victoria’s secret. Now bear in mind that ladies generally do not have the same equipment to conceal, so my business would have to be covered otherwise. I mean, I could not prance around one bit in these hot little panties, or I’d find myself prairie dogging out of the side, no doubt. So, I grabbed my freshest pair of Fruit of the Loom boxer briefs, a black pair that had not been worn for 3 days in a row, and figured I could really tantalize by just pulling them down a little bit, TEASING with the turquoise women’s panties. No need to give them all of it, right? To round out the outfit, Kristen (whose folks own the beach house) loaned me a black Motley Crue wifebeater, and got fast to work on the Swayze Modification of one of my white t’s. This was starting to look really good, in the worst way possible.
We considered the drive, and armed with a bottled mixed-drink, piled in the car, ready for business time. While making our way to the club, it seemed the best way to pad my confidence would be to call friends, and inform them of tonight’s goings-on. A good friend of mine Charlie was requisite on the short list of folks to call. Upon telling Charlie of the night’s planned adventure, I was pleasantly surprised with an overflowing amount of support, in addition to advice. See, it just so happened that he had tried his hand in this industry as well. His best advice to me: “Just remember, the pelvis is your money-maker.” Got it. I’m ready.
We parked far from eyeshot of the door, so that my cover wouldn’t be blown. I’m a hard-on-his-luck biker, remember? No such person would roll up on a potential job with 3 otherwise respectable looking and cute people in a brand-new Volkswagen GTI. Off I trotted, or probably strutted to the scene of the crime. I went in the main door where I was greeted by a fairly surly woman of no particular degree of hotness who immediately asked me, “Sir, do you have a different shirt to wear?” No problem, sugar. I understand how amazingly sexy I look.
“I’m here to see Jeff about some work,” I quickly informed her. She directed me back out the main door, to an inconspicuous door at the end of this behemoth strip-plex where I was about to forge the genesis of my new career. In I walked, where Jeff, who no doubt recognizes raw talent when he sees it, waved me on up to the bar. As I strode confidently towards him, I calmly surveyed the scene. To my left, an elevated Saturday-Night-Fever style floor lit stage. Starkly in the middle of the stage, I took in the French doors from which, I gathered, the talent was to emerge. There sat in various little clumps far from the stage in every direction, a handful of ladies. As I approached Jeff, I tried desperately to keep my shit together. I was quaking in Allison’s g-string, and really still had NO idea of exactly what I was getting myself into. Jeff made it easy. Nice to meet you and all that stuff, and then “So you’ve entertained before, right?”
“Yeah, man. I have.” Whoa.
“So, did you bring any music? What kind of gimmicks do you have?” Jeff was getting down to business in a way that suggested to me that this was not an audition. He then went on, “Well you’re in luck tonight, partner. It’s kind of post-season around here, so lots of our men have scattered. We’ve got 3 other guys tonight, and we could definitely use you.”
“Well, alright.” My thinly veiled terror was wearing a mosquito net of enthusiasm. I was advised to just have a drink or two, relax, and wait for some of the other dudes to arrive so they could show me the ropes. I told him I was “Saicked” (“psyched,” in southern), but that I was going to go out to make a couple of calls, and I’d be right back. I trotted back out to the car to share the good news. Utter disbelief shrouded us all, as we realized that this shit was going down. Tonight. No audition, in fact. We all mentally peed our pants, and formulated our strategy for them to witness this spectacle-to-be. The plan was for me to shoot a text message to them, who would be next door at the main club, when things were getting hot.
Back inside I went. I found myself a place at the near-vacant bar and ordered a Bud. I really wanted a double Beam on the rocks with a Jack chaser at that point, but being the consummate professional that I am, realized that A) I already had a pretty solid buzz on, and B) It would not be good for my tips to perform the face-down snow angel maneuver.
I sat through one beer, then ordered another when another guy finally showed up. He bro’d down with Jeff, got the skinny on the night’s line up, and then we were introduced. I don’t remember his name, but the dude was a real pro, despite his mumbling southern accent. He took me to the backstage area where, yet again, I was floored. In taking it all in, the first thing I saw was a weight bench and a multi-purpose workout station. Then the doors. The French doors of which I earlier spoke took on an entirely different presence from this side of them. They loomed, taunting me. They told me I was a wimp. They told me I wouldn’t do this. Then finally they talked trash on my momma. Nobody talks trash on Thunder’s momma. Upon further inspection of this cavernous staging room, I noticed there were no outfits. No tear-away pants, no props, not really much of anything. I noticed what appeared to be about a size 18 pair of Timberlands lying neglected by one of the many chairs upon which I was scared to sit. I noticed an enormous set of gold lame` boxers. I noticed an American flag bandanna lying on the dressing counter. In a feast of ingenuity, and in an effort to really spice up my routine, I thought, “Damn! It will be sexy as HELL when I tantalizingly pull that slowly out of my pants!!!” I then figured, “Shit! I can do the same thing with those boxers!!!” And oh snap – an abandoned fedora. It was then that I stood firmly in my commitment to stripper excellence and decided to go ahead and grab a seat in one of the previously condemned chairs. After all, my knees were knocking together like coconuts.
As the first guy took the stage, to a now packed front row of screaming bachelorettes, I went to peep his act. I mean, I really needed to see what I was getting into. I really felt like I needed some more moves. This guy was playing the Naughty Cop bit. He started lining up chairs (money) on the stage, and filling them with girls from the bachelorette squad. He then proceeded to perform unspeakable acts of brutish simulated sex on them, one by one, on down the line, harvesting dollar bills like he was Trick-or-Treating. I stood, amazed at his prowess, and simultaneously, a wave of self-disgust and nausea crashed over me. That was disgusting. I would NOT be doing any of that nonsense. It was then that I decided I am a “No-Touch” act.
By the way, I had summoned my support team, and they were all perched faithfully to the side of the stage, in an equal amount of shock and nervous anticipation. I snuck back out the side door for a quick interlude with them, and to look my girlfriend in the eyes. She: solid as a rock, confident in my ability to entertain, and most importantly, confident that I am not a totally disgusting professional like “Naughty Cop.” Me: coconut knees, stingray guts, and sweaty as a cold beer in hell. Thankfully, Allison had a little dixie cup of whiskey waiting for me. She’s a total life saver. Down the hatch it went. Maybe the upside-down snow angel would be part of my act after all. I didn’t know how it could go down any other way. A quick knowing glance, then back to my spot back stage. I didn’t want to loiter too long, for fear of it blowing my cover.
I was staying in solid touch with the crew, and the love of my life, via texts. Mostly from my end went things like “I am gross. I am one sexy IDIOT.” From Allison, things like, “How much longer!?!? I love you no matter what!!!” And from Wes, Kristen’s man, and a great friend (obviously) “Dude, you don’t have to do this. We can bail at any time!” They went back and forth, and it may have been the only real thing keeping me from making poopy times in my g-string.
Next up after the cop, was a guy named Syd, but to me he will forever be known as Black Zorro. He had on some musketeer boots and was trying to hide his empirical evidence of manhood in what I can only describe as a tasseled satin tube sock. You know what; I don’t want to talk about Black Zorro anymore.
This was really dragging on, and I was long past being nervous. I was in a self-defensive phase of shock. Black Zorro was done, and some other michelin man with a back like a tortoise shell started doing his thing. I didn’t really know what to do, but seeing as how my ego had shrunken to about a fifth of its normal size, I felt I should make use of the weight bench. Time to pump up. “It’s almost my time to shine,” I thought. “I can feel it.” I swaggered up to the bench and surveyed the set up. Flat bench, about 150 pounds, including the bar. I did a couple of Michael Phelps shoulder shake-outs, and got ready to pump some iron. I laid down, lifted the bar, and thought, “Shit.” Remember, this was NOT my night to wuss out. So I let down the weights, which at this point I can only equate to changing the oil in a Volkswagen, only to have the jack stand fail. The bar was pressed oh so gingerly against my massive pecs, and I did what I could to get it back up on to the perch. Alright. Pumped. Weights, lifted. Show time was drawing near like a thunder storm. That’s because for that night, and that night only, I was Thunder.
Feeling still as if I was just not quite enough, I asked Black Zorro if I could borrow his search light. He had a huge, larger-than-a-jambox sized search light, that he had not utilized in his own pony show. Okay, he had a lot of huge things, but I was really focused on this light, and he was glad to loan it out to me. I felt a real part of the brotherhood of dudes that take off their clothes for money at this point, and knew that I would do just fine.
I heard the muffled voice of the night’s Emcee come rumbling through the French doors. It had that greasy, sleazy, movie-preview-guy sound to it, and it scared me. What scared me even more was that as he announced my upcoming act, he’d mentioned to the raving crowd that “Now, ladies, get ready for some HOT amateur action….” My cover was blown for sure. Not surprised, I stood up and checked my kit just in time to hear, “blah, blah, blah…… THUNDERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!”
Armed with my search light, and a hidden couple of items in my “sexy fit” jeans, I busted open the French doors. Wielding the light like some sort of bazooka, I shone it around in an effort to tantalize. What actually happened was I think I all but blinded the bachelorette party members, at which point they promptly got up and left. That did not necessarily make me feel successful, though it did relieve some stress, as it knocked about 8 potential hecklers out of the mix. Remaining stage-side were Allison (I thought I saw hearts in her eyes, but it was probably vomit), Kristen (I know it was vomit in her eyes), Wes (again, vomit), and off to one side of the stage, a group of middle-aged crooning African-American ladies. Strewn throughout the rest of the joint were various groups of ladies who I could not begin to describe, due to my being blind from stage lights, and nausea. But I had to throw my feelings aside. It was time to make some money. Off came the Swayze shirt, Hulk Hogan style. A couple of pelvic rotations some turn-around booty shaking, and I could see from the crown reaction that I was really killing it. Literally. Out came the bandanna, slowly, sexily, like a short snake in the jungle. And a toss. And the Guns ‘n’ Roses was thumping. Out came the boxer-short-parachute in all its sparkling, shimmering glory. And a toss. “Welcome to the Jungle…” Off came the tank. “We got fun and games…” I was totally dancing. With my pasty torso glowing like silly putty in the blue and red lights, I gave it my all. Thunder Style. I had not yet formulated a way to smoothly get out of those “sexy fit” jeans to show off my Target-bought boxer-briefs, but hey – real talent knows how to improvise. I took ’em off. “We got everything you want, honey we know the names…” Down I laid, clumsily peeling the jeans off like someone trying to peel a huge banana. I had envisioned it going more smoothly, more like taking off a pillow case. “We are the people that can find whatever you may need….” I recovered, with a slicing sexy grin on my face and knew that I needed a money maker. It was time to bust out the worm. What I actually busted out were my wrists. As I type this, evidence of my amateur worm maneuver exist. Pushed that move into the modified floor hump for what I think may have been a scream coming from the back of the club. Yes, indeed. It was a scream of terror. “If you got the money, honey we got your diseeeeease….” Floor hump led to some portly woman coming up to the stage to give me what I can only call at this point, a donation. I then resorted to the lowest of moves – a belly crawl mission over to the women of color to flat out ask them for money. I’m serious. I needed to at least recoup the cost of one alcoholic beverage. “In the Jungle, welcome to the jungle. Watch it bring you to your knees….” And that it did. A couple smacks of my leather belt on the stage, and a quick tour of my audience revealed that I am not really a hot commodity in that market. “I wanna watch you bleeeed……” Cash that is. Not tears.
Lying on my back, I communicated to the Emcee that it was time to wrap it up. He faded it out as I humbly gathered up my belongings and sauntered backstage to get dressed, and get the fuck out of there. Game over. I quickly did so, gathering up the troops on the way out, thinking, “Allison is the best person ever. How does she deal?” I guess it’s because I’m not really a male entertainer. At least not anymore.by