There I was: standing in front of 50 strange men wearing only my tighty-whities as a gregarious 51st man fondled my genitalia.
Just a typical Friday night for someone who had decided to only take jobs he found on Craigslist.
Let me explain…
I was a stand-up comic living in New York looking for low-stress, lower-commitment jobs (what passion!) to pay the bills between weekends on the road. When I saw “Male Go-Go Dancers Needed”, I decided to give it a shot.
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women. And by “more attention”, I mean “any attention.” But, I regret to say, at that time, I wasn’t completely comfortable with the homosexual orientation. I’m embarrassed by that now but at the time I saw this dancing job as an opportunity to a) overcome personal fears and dispel prejudices in a very noble and meaningful way, and b) make some moolah.
I called the number and went in for an interview. And the owner of the new club seemed nice enough in the empty bar that day. But so many questions! How much is the pay? What should I wear? He told me the money would be great, lots of tips, and I was to wear tighty-whities (Calvin Klein, clean). Socks? No. But tennis shoes, please. Would there be any touching allowed from the customers? Of course not. (Spoiler Alert: Read first sentence).
Sounds good to me. I was slotted for Friday night.
That night I steeled myself for an interesting experience. Maybe it wouldn’t be that shocking. Heck, it’d probably even be fun. Chances are, it’ll actually pretty tame in there.
I opened the door to the club with those comforting thoughts in my head and the first thing I saw inside was a dancer on stage sucking his own dick.
So… not quite as tame as it could have been. But I wasn’t shaken. OK. I was a little shaken. Not because of the sex act I was witnessing, but because I had to FOLLOW that sex act.
This was the first weekend the club was open and they had a few men come in and have this be their audition night. We all went upstairs and got into our underwear and then each of us went down in turn to do our set.
An hour later I walked downstairs into the club and went over to the owner on the side of the stage. He introduced me to the MC for the evening: a 6’6” man crammed into a full body metallic-blue bunny suit. So, off to a good start.
The owner looked me up and down and informed me that I’d be a lot more popular on stage if my underwear was a little more… confining. I stared at him blankly. “A little more aroused down there” he went on.
I promptly informed him that I was a straight man in my (Calvin Klein, clean) underwear, surrounded by hollering men, in a room that was probably 15 degrees cooler than I’d prefer. There was no way my underwear would be confining ANY thing. At this point, he was lucky I was still an “outie.”
So he asked if I wanted to go to the bathroom with a fluffer. “So which guy do you want to go suck your dick in the bathroom for a little bit?” Oldest question in the book.
I passed on the offer. I’m a gentleman, after all. And he agreed to drop it. That’s when Bunny Man went up and introduced me. It was Go Time. I hopped onstage and was soon dancing for complete strangers in my (Calvin Klein, maybe a little less clean) undies.
I did three songs that first set. And it turns out, there was a lot LESS money and a lot MORE touching than the initial job description led me to believe.
But it was over sooner than expected. And although I didn’t make that much money, I learned something. I learned the major difference between male and female strippers. Women strip for men just for the money. Men strip for men just for the attention, free drugs and the sex.
I didn’t want any of that stuff. Well, maybe some attention but… So when I was booked for the next weekend I reluctantly accepted. But fortune favored me later that week when I was bumped from the schedule for a touring set of French twin brothers. I took that as a sign that this wasn’t for me and never went back.
But I’ll always have the memories… of a weird old guy grabbing my dick and saying, “You’re pretty.”
Dreams do come true.