Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Taking the Stage: To Strip Or Not To Strip

This weekend I'm going to be taking the stage for a poetry performance, so if any of you are on the Wasatch Front and want to come and meet me in person, send me an email at and I'll send you the performance information. Sorry the performance is PG -- PG13 at the best, but you all know how Utah community standards can limit things, so I won't be taking off any of my clothes. Of course the picture above isn't me, since I'm blogging in quasi-pseudonym anonymity.

This isn't to say that I haven't ever performed and stripped in a more R-rated or NC-17 stage performance -- I have. As I reflect on getting up on stage again, of course it takes me back to 1999 when my ex-wife and I made a trek to San Francisco.

A slight word of explanation is probably in order here, since one of the purposes of this blog is to explore sexual topics in light of my cultural and religious upbringing in the Mormon church. When the magical switch flips and you discover that the Church may not be as capital "T", True, as fast and testimony meeting made it out to be, not only Joseph Smith, the Three Nephites and the Prophet become questioned, but the inhibitors that restricted behavior are also up for grabs and exploration. With the possible exception of the Word of Wisdom, nothing is as restricted and constricted in the Church as sexuality. This narrowness of behavior covers the polygamy undercurrent running deep underneath with its paradox of religiously connected hedonism as a potential promised reward for a puritanical present.

So basically, you get all pent up and when you can let loose you go sow some wild oats (not to be confused with the Health Food Store). Freed of the bonds of religious prohibition, I had frequented several stripping establishments. Now, if I had been normal, these would have probably all been out of my system by the time I was 22 or so, but I'd been such a Boy Scout, I'd never seen a live stripper until I was nearly 30. I'll have to save some of those ruminations for another post, because I wanted to get to my one experience as a stripper, in part because it dovetails into something that I think the Feminist Sisters of the APA completely failed to recognize.

Now, going to see female strippers is one thing, but finding decent male strippers in Utah at the turn of the century was another. Being equal opportunity hedonists, my wife at the time and I had gone together to the strip clubs and even went to a Deer Hunter widow's strip show one October, but none of the men got really naked. (Back in the 1990s, South Salt Lake still allowed its female strippers to get buck naked in non-drinking establishments.) So on a trip to San Francisco, we decided that Sodom of the West should be a good place to find completely naked men.

We were right of course. We got in one of the weekly entertainment newspapers and started looking for something that would suggest a totally nude male review. Right there in big letters was an ad that said amazingly: STRIP: A Totally Nude Male Review. Being a young, fresh off the Stake Farm Mormon couple, this seemed a ready made solution to balance out the sexual inequalities of our past strip club excursions -- she would get to see lots and lots of completely naked men.

The show was performed cabaret style, with each table of four having their own waiter and a glorious and over the top drag queen acted as the MC for the evening. My companion for the evening, being only one of two women in attendance was given a front seat for the festivities. I, on the other hand, had the unsettling feeling that I was being ogled -- by a room full of men.

Our waiter was monikered "Precious", possibly for "precious little dick" because he had the smallest penis I have ever seen -- less than an inch in length and less than a half inch in circumference. Nice naked guy, but what a small dick.

The evening proceeded with various strip acts as one guy after another got naked for the crowd of mesmerized men. An ongoing gag was some guy dressed as a blue collar worker (an obvious plant) who consistently was asking the MC if he had seen his girlfriend, who was supposed to meet him for the show. As the show wound down, the MC announced that there would be an amateur strip show for those who wanted to participate -- sort of a friendly competition. The waiters were sent out into the audience to drum up volunteers.

Precious immediately asked if I wanted to go up. Somewhat reluctantly I agreed, partially at my partner's prodding and partly because I was amazed at the attention I was receiving. Of course, the plant was also chosen as a volunteer, so four or five of us ended up on stage for a strip off. The first three contestants muddled through amateurish, self-conscious strip teases for the crowd.

Now you need to understand something about me -- I can't dance. I suck at dancing. A lithe strip tease is most assuredly not in my repertoire. Despite this I gyrated, I bumped, I grinded and unbuckled my belt, undid the top button. I've done a little performing in my life and there are moments when you know that you have captured the crowd. I've never felt a crowd in the palm of my hands (or the crotch of my pants) like this one. I had them. I had them, not because I was good, not because I was overly well endowed (although that didn't hurt), but because I was a straight male willing to get naked for a room full of homosexual men. I was touting sexual power and man, it felt great. Not arousing at all, just powerful and controlling. I had no fear, no anxiety, my sexuality controlled their gaze, until I felt worshipped. I think Precious was worried I would chicken out, so he urged my spouse out of her seat and on to the stage where she yanked down my unbuckled and unbuttoned pants and I stood there bare assed and flapping cock in front of the whole crowd. ( I had no underwear, having rebelled against all underwear after having to wear too much underwear for so long ). I sucked in the cheers, took a bare ass bow, pulled my pants up and resumed my spot in line.

Objectively speaking, the professional dancer/pretend straight guy plant kicked my ass as far as performing a strip tease. I remember thinking he was really good. I also realized that I had somehow altered the show off its intended course when the MC in all her regalia had the crowd cheer for each contestant and I won with raucous and riotous yelling from the crowd. At that point I gave them one last flash of my cock in triumph.

Apparently a real straight guy stripping was better than a pretend straight guy, no matter how well the pretend guy danced. I was the belle of the ball. It seemed like I talked to everyone in the room that night after the show. This was the rush of being a celebrity, fifteen minutes of fame. I even got a free T-shirt.

The attempt to balance out stripping experiences with my partner didn't turn out like I had expected. Instead of giving her a chance to sit in the objectifying male role, I got to feel what it was like to be the female. Damn, you girls have it good. The power I possessed was incredible, the power of the Peter priesthood (circumcised of course). Being objectified by a room full of men, while I remained in full capacity of my cognitive functions, didn't diminish me, didn't make me feel less of a man, but rather opened up a vision of the power that women can lord over men everyday if they are simply savvy and intelligent.

I look at pictures like the one below and yes, I'm arrested by the naked flesh. I've heard many people say they see God in a sunset, well I see the Goddess in a naked breast, a curve of the hip, or the dimple in the small of the back. Women in all of their forms of beauty are easy for me to worship and as I pray to these Goddesses, I remember that night in San Francisco, where for a moment, I got to feel what it is like to be a God in other men's eyes.


Unknown said...

Wow. Who is the chick? Ok, I am going to blogroll you so that I can come back and read your blogs daily.

I am mormon too but not the "good" kind. You know what I mean.. I like your site and totally understand your issues that you discuss. Dont worry I am totally open minded. Remember I am a bad mormon. ha ha

T Wanker said...


But bad Mormons are good -- if you know what I mean.

Welcome and hope to hear from you often.

So, you like chicks? We need a few lesbian or bi-sexual commentors -- although straight is fine too.

C. L. Hanson said...

Wow, that is such an excellent story!!! OMG!!! I would have loved to have been in such a tale, playing the lady that all the gay guys get to thank for making sure it really happens!!! :D

I've never actually stripped at a dance club, but I used to love getting up on stage to dance in a sexually provocative way. It wasn't a power thing though -- it's erotic.

I'm going to admit to that openly even though the ladies of the APA will dehumanize me for it by telling me I was "self-objectifying." It doesn't matter that by day I was hard at work doing Math research as a graduate student and just did this occasionally as a fun way to spend an evening. To them I'm an object.

Anonymous said...

That's an act I'd have paid to see! I've always had this thing for straight married guys, it seems. Sigh.

Sideon said...

I had a shit-eating grin the entire time I read this post :)

Standing ovation, Wanker. I am in complete awe.

Once upon a drunken time, there was a mixed party at a private club in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Add one cute bartender flirting with you, mix with a single still-in-his-20's me, and garnish with plentiful (and free) drinks for the evening, and you get a dancing-on-tables event. Is it a bad thing to wake up with almost $100 (10's, 5's and 1's) in your underwear?

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Loved this post. Your writing is incredible. I guess seeing it through your writing vs. in real life is OK too...

Anonymous said...

Ask and ye shall recieve...

that woman doing laundry looks eerily familiar. Maybe you could send me some more shots of her(to my private email of course), to be, uh, sure it's who I think it is.

Nice picture, but I would pay gooooood money to get a shot of that...experience you had. I am very visual, so thanks for that.

Chili Pepper said...

“Apparently a real straight guy stripping was better than a pretend straight guy.”

This statement kind of reminds me of the phenomenon of when straight women kiss each other, ...the fact that they're really not lesbians can make it all the more fun, entertaining, and maybe even arousing as a spectator.

Great story, btw.

T Wanker said...

c.l., Thank you, but I've got to tell you something -- if you were dancing erotically in front of men, you may have felt erotic, but your effect on men would have been powerful. Straight men respond to women acting sexual or erotic. The women exert a power and influence over men. 98% of the time if you go to a strip club you will see numerous men acting reverently and worshipping. The dancer may be feeling erotic, but she has power. It is this sexual power that many feminists (not all) are so quick to dismiss as male objectification.

So Steve, is it just me or are straight guys kind of the gay equivalent to the hetro male fascination with lipstick lesbians?

Sideon, thanks for grinning and all I can say about all that cash is What would Boyd K. Packer say?

Well hell SML, it has been seven years or so since my last strip adventure -- get all us outer bloggers up to Montana for a strip off. I've been on JOOM's bikini diet, so I should be nice and svelte by May sometime.

Julieann, What can I say -- I love raw tuna. Oh and that is a stripper in her dressing room, not someone doing laundry.

And last but not least, chili pepper, welcome to the blog. Sorry, I'd written my comments to Steve before I got to your post -- but I think you are on to something here. Not to belabor the point, but it seems that blurring of gender preference lines in certain directions creates arousal, sort of like the positive and negative poles of a magnet. My experience has shown me that straight women occasionally find gay male porn arousing -- any woman care to confirm? Great to have you here chili pepper.

Anonymous said...

Shit, T - straight men also find gay male porn exciting some times, but find one who will admit it! Give me a break! Some gay guys groove on married guys (straight or not.) It seems to be my fate to fall for this type. Even when I don't know that's their status. Sigh - it's a bitch being a gay guy who's not fem. Though, I must admit I've gotten action from quite a few of those supposedly straight guys....

Sideon said...

I'll second Steve's comment. Less feminine gay guys, pronto, please.

Wanker - your comment about men worshipping women reminded me of a scene from Neil Gaiman's graphic novel series of Morpheus/Dream, in which an ancient love goddess has taken up shop at a strip joint. She makes a comment about how kings were sometimes sacrificed to her, or maybe it was that the kings would go blind if they saw her true face. Later, she basically goes supernova while dancing... the male customers die of ecstasy, watching this goddess dance her last dance before she enters the realm of dream and myth.

I've half a mind to read the story-line again.

Oh - and don't get me started on Packer. :) I'd never stop.

T Wanker said...

Yes, Steve I need to do a post on the Kinsey scale. I do think there is something though on the particular kinks that get stereotyped because of their frequency.

I haven't read a ton of graphic novels, Sideon, but it sounds interesting. The last graphic novel I read was Rent Girl about a hooker/lesbian/feminist -- kind of a modern love goddess, replete with tribal tatoos.

And don't you think the name "Packer" itself suggests dirty pedophilia?

Anonymous said...

Ok, T. Some of the people here know you. I only know you via the net. So, I have ask, is this photo you stripping in San Fran? Or just something you found on the net?

Either way, it's pretty hot. You know your gay erotica, baby. Heheh.

Anonymous said...

Oh...(snicker) didn't pay too much attention to the background.

:0) So when can we have a blogger session?

Anonymous said...

Ok, since you haven't denied it, I'm going to assume that photo is you. You're pretty hot, man. And you have great taste in sexy underwear.

T Wanker said...

Steve, Steve, Steve -- the last sentence in the first paragraph of the post I tell you it isn't me. I'm practically 44 years old and much more hairy and grey.

Anonymous said...

Oh shoot. I was hoping it was a younger version. heheh.

Hairy is good, by the way.

That guy in the photo is pretty hot, anyway. Bet he's straight. :-)

Randy said...

Your post reminds me of several stories, but I'll settle on two that happened right here in New Orleans. Shortly after my wife moved here from Utah, and before we really started dating, she found herself jealous because I had a couple of male buddies in town for Mardi Gras. Future DW's TBM cousin decided to cheer her up by taking her to see some male strippers (this is N.O., after all, so even TBM gals can be a little corrupt and maintain their Mormon status). TBM cousin phoned an escort service for a recommendation about male strippers, and she, future DW, and a couple of other TBM gals ended up at a gay bar in the French Quarter. However, according to DW, the gay strippers were scorching hot, so I guess the escort service steered them in the right direction.

Back in the late 1980s, I brought a law school buddy from St. Louis down to N.O. for Mardi Gras. We were walking down a side street in the quarter, me a few steps ahead of him. I had a homophobic roommate back in St. L. named Bob. As I passed the doorway of a transvestite bar called the Club My-O-My, I cracked that it would be funny if Bob ever found out we went in there. I kept walking, but when I turned around, my friend was walking inside the door. The waiter was a guy in drag, something that was obvious to me. After several minutes, Maurice said, "if I didn't know any better, I'd think our waitress is a guy." "Ummm, he is." The waiter came by again and introduced himself as Seth. Seth wanted me to put a dollar bill in his garter. I tried to just hand it to him, but after lying about my name, I put the bill in his garter. I still lived in fear of my own probable bisexuality at the time, and Seth was utterly unfuckable anyway.

As for gay men fantasizing about straight guys, hell, that's the bread and butter of exMo pornographer Not that I've ever looked at that site.


The blog is devoted to exploring sexual issues arising out of American and Mormon culture. While the prurient may occasionally surface and while the tone may be sarcastic or sacreligious, the discussion is serious. I want to get deep.