I used to wonder why some male strippers become very successful while others may last only for a week or even a few days.
Most people think that all it takes to be a successful male stripper is a handsome face and a hot body. After research and observation I've learned there is more to it. I've made a list of 10 steps that I've developed over 16 years in the business to help guide male strippers to success. Let's see what they are.
#1 - Evaluate Your Look
The fans come to SEE dancers because they perceive them to be 'hot and sexy'. This does not mean that all dancers must have the perfect body with a strikingly handsome face. If you do, then you will have more opportunities for dancing jobs.
My "ideal" male stripper would be handsome, wiry muscular, or lean without being too skinny, and fill out their briefs nicely. However, someone else may visualize a complete different image for the "ideal" male stripper.
There are opportunities for those who may not fit the mold of the adonis male. For example, there are "bear" clubs that like big, harry men and have dancers that reflect their desires. Different women are turned on by different types of men. They enjoy personal attention.
There are clubs where the patrons like "twinks" or the young, slim guys. And there are bars where muscled or leather guys are dancers. There are also clubs where 'daddies' or older men are the preferred body type for a dancer.
Be honest with yourself. Do you have the appearance and body to be a male stripper? If not, is it possible to work out and build a more marketable look for yourself? Also, ask yourself if you are comfortable enough with your body to stand in front of a crowd of people wearing little or no clothing.
A consistency that flows through all desired body types for male strippers is this - being in good shape with some muscle tone is a positive asset for all.
#2 - Evaluate Your Personality
Do you have the ability to communicate with all types of people regardless of size, shape, ethnicity or sexual orientation? If not, you may still be able to be an exotic male dancer, however, your opportunities will be fewer.
Be honest with yourself. Determine the types of people that you can make a connection with and dance in front of while being almost naked, or completely nude.
Keep in mind two major points: First, you will be physically touched by many people while they tip you, or because they want to see how far they can go. How will you react?
Of course, there are boundaries and you are allowed to set your boundaries as to what type of touching you will allow. If a guest oversteps your boundaries, inform them of the club's policy, state laws, or kindly let them know that what they are attempting to do is not allowed.
Second, remember you are a salesman. You are selling a fantasy experience, providing "eye-candy" for the bar or club patrons. It helps to be a bit of a charmer, and you must be an exhibitionist at heart.
#3 - Learn To Dress And Undress
As mentioned before, you are a salesman providing a fantasy experience. If you are able to dress the part and wear the underwear, shorts, costumes, etc., that fit the theme of the club night or event, then you will have more opportunities to work.
Develop the art of seduction as you remove articles of clothing, the fans will remember you. You will make more in tips. And you will be asked to work again by the bar, club or event managers.
Think about what you are doing as you remove pieces of clothing. You are performing a "strip tease". You are teasing the customers. Take your time and make it a game. This will be fun for you and the potential tippers as well.
Remember what you wear when you receive more in tips. What you wear may provide the incentive for that audience member to walk your way and tip you. You'll want to wear the same thing again at a future performance.
You have also been hired to add to the atmosphere of the bar or club. Face it, you are "eye candy". You may also be the featured event of the night.
Each state has their own laws concerning public nudity. Ask the event, bar or club manager before you dance. The venue may have their own policies as well. Many states require certain body parts to be covered.
If the state allows nudity, there may be a proximity statute as well. For example, in Nashville, TN when the dancers at a club were nude while on stage, they had to remain three feet away from the audience.
In Arkansas, the genitals must be covered and there must be at least 2" of coverage down the butt crack. Oklahoma has a similar law but there must be 4" of coverage. I have seen dancers in Oklahoma wear a jock but tuck in a small towel into the waistband. The towel hangs down in back covering what is necessary.
#4 - Be A Salesman
Being a male stripper is a job! And this job has a few specific requirements if you are wanting to be successful. You are selling the fantasy experience to the bar, club or event participants.
It is your responsibility to do what you can to make their experience fun and exciting, and to encourage them to return for a future event. This includes creating a desire to return to watch you dance.
The result will be more tips for you and more financial success for the bar or club. Become an asset for the bar, club or event by providing the best customer service.
Of course, make sure the customer service you provide is legal and ethical. Eye contact is important. Look them in the eye and give them that look...you know what look we mean. And don't forget to smile. Whenever anyone tips you, always say thank you.
For related information check out my blog entitled "How Can A Male Stripper Increase Their Fan Base".
#5 - Consider Your Personal Relationships
As a male stripper you become the object of desire for many fans. This means you may be receiving a lot of attention. How will this affect your personal relationships?
Do you have a significant other that will be able to emotionally handle other people giving you a lot of attention? We recommend that you discuss the job, the fans, the situation, etc., with them so that they are aware of what all is involved.
It is your responsibility to reassure them of your commitment to them. Of course, do not go overboard with this, because they might get the idea that you have something to hide.
In some social situations the job of being an exotic male dancer has a negative stigma attached to it. Some of your friends or family may not approve and will let you know it. Do you have the confidence in yourself to rise above criticism and perform to the best of your ability?
There are also fans who will make the incorrect assumption that with a little encouragement, usually of a financial nature, you will be willing to perform the role of a prostitute. A situation could arise that will require you to make it clear that you are an exotic male dancer and entertainer only.
There are some male strippers who are also escorts and porn stars. If your career includes other activities of a sexual nature, you will need to determine where, when and with who those activities will occur and make sure that it is clear with the bar, club or event audience members.
#6 - Watch The Established Male Strippers
We learn from watching others. That is especially true when we watch someone that has been in the business for a while. There is a big turn over in the exotic male dancer industry. Some male dancers will last only one night, some will go several months and then quit. When you find one that has been doing it for several years. Stop and take notes.
There is a reason, or there could be several reasons why they are still around and receiving tips when they strip. Ask yourself the following questions.
Are they still around because they have a great body?
If so, then that means they have been going to the gym and staying in shape for several years. Discipline yourself to commit to a workout routine.
Are they still around because they are popular with the crowd?
Watch how they interact with the crowd. Learn from what they are doing. Ask them how they develop such a good relationship with some of the customers.
How do they treat other entertainers and staff members?
A reputation for being a nice guy goes a long way. Those who work in the industry are often asked by others who they would recommend as a male stripper. Be the person they would want to recommend.
What is their performance like?
Listen to the songs they use. Watch their dance moves. Notice the style and brand of underwear they are wearing and how well it fits. If they wear costumes, watch to see which costumes are the most popular with the customers. And very important - learn how they respond to customers when they are given a tip.
Become The Best You
If you become popular with the audience, you will spend a portion of your time dancing and the rest of it receiving tips and talking with customers.
I know of dancers who are popular because they know how to dance and are amazing to watch. They have taken the time to learn new dance moves and continue to improve.
I have watched male dancers who swing on poles and bars and do acrobatic feats. They are athletic and artistic which means they have put in hours of practice to achieve their present level of ability.
I have also watched dancers who shuffle their feet a little, move around the stage a little, but really do not dance. But no one cares because they look so damn good that no one cares whether they can dance or not. Have an idea where you fit.
It shows wisdom to ask someone who has already been there to give you some tips and suggestions. It is a good life policy to always keep learning and trying to improve.
When you travel and have a night when you are not dancing, go to a club that features male strippers and see what you can learn from them. A simple piece of information could make a huge difference in your success as a male stripper.
For a listing of bars and clubs across North America that feature male strippers, go-go boys or male reviews, check out the listings on the Males In Motion website.
#7 - Be Professional
Like any job, to be a success you need to perform to the best of your ability. Below is a check list that will help you stay on the right track.
1. Show up when scheduled.
2. Arrive on time (a little early is even better).
3. Maintain a professional attitude.
4. Be positive and friendly toward customers.
5. If you have an emergency that will make you late or absent, contact the management and let them know as soon as possible.
6. Always say 'thank you' for tips and compliments.
7. Support the bartenders and other staff members.
8. Be a team player.
9. Never trash talk the clubs, staff members, other entertainers, customers, etc. If you have a problem, work it out or move on.
10. Have fun.
#8 - Seek Opportunities
The best place to begin working as a male stripper is at the local level. Bars, clubs and agencies are always looking for talented dancers.
Many bars and clubs hold weekly amateur nights, audition nights or contests. These are excellent opportunities for dancing in front of a different audience, and are usually scheduled on a slower night of the week with a smaller crowd. Some of them also offer prize money.
Contact local agencies that provide male dancers for events, private parties, clubs, etc. Request an audition and interview. You might consider inviting them to a bar or club when you are dancing so they can "check you out".
Wherever you decide to work, ask them what type of pay you will receive. There is a wide variety of payment arrangements for exotic male dancers.
In some markets they will pay a flat fee for you to perform a specific number of songs. Then you will make tips on top of that.
In some locations, you dance for tips alone. It depends on the venue, the city and the event.
Some clubs and bars charge you to dance on their stage. The idea being that you are paying for the opportunity to make a lot of money in tips by working at their club. In popular clubs in resort areas or large cities this is often true. It is also the case at some all-nude male strip clubs.
Always be professional concerning pay. You know the payment arrangements up front, and agree to work for the establishment. You therefore have no reason to complain. If you are ever unhappy with the pay arrangements, discuss it with those who make the decisions. If you cannot resolve the issue, either decide to be happy or move on.
Once you have established yourself in the local market, seek opportunities in nearby cities. Make contacts at clubs and agencies and find out if they hire visiting dancers. There are male strippers who like to travel and will work at venues in the cities where they travel. This will often pay for the expenses of the trip.
Do not wait for show directors or agencies to contact you. Contact them so they know you are interested. Contacting them is another part of promoting yourself. Keep your name on their mind.
There will come a time when your age will decrease your opportunities. While a dancer, enjoy it but plan for the day when you may not be able to make a living as a male stripper.
#9 - Promote Yourself
When you first start out, concentrate on becoming a good dancer, performer, and entertainer. Once you have gained some experience working at a bar, club or through an agency, begin to promote yourself.
Create an online presence through facebook, twitter, and instagram. Start with one and develop it before creating an account on a different social media.
I strongly recommend that you create accounts dedicated to your male stripper career. If you want personal accounts for family and friends, keep them separate.
If you do not know how to create accounts or use them effectively, do a search on YouTube. Type in exactly what you are wanting to learn. For example, "how do you set up an Instagram account?", or "What is the best way to grow followers on Instagram?" You'll be surprised at how many helpful videos will be available.
According to statista.com "As of the first quarter of 2019, Facebook had 2.38 billion monthly active users." Even though many of the younger crowd have left Facebook, the older members of your audience will most likely have Facebook accounts. And to be honest, they are usually the ones with the money. This translates into - they are the ones who usually tip more. Stay active on Facebook.
The number of Instagram users is "projected to surpass 111 million in 2019" according to statista.com. Instagram is based on photos. Take creative and sexy photos to upload.
Use your social media accounts and word of mouth, to let everyone know where and when you'll be performing. Create a following that will attend your performances at different locations.
Your social media account will also serve as a way for you to be contacted for potential job opportunities.
If you have the funds, have a professional photographer create a portfolio for you. Post these to your social media accounts for potential fans and so show directors have access to photos to use in their show promotions.
Take selfies of yourself. I recommend that you take and post only pics that are related to your career as a male stripper. Subjects of these photos could include your workout, your healthy diet, trying on new underwear or costumes, traveling to a venue, etc. Post at least once per week but more often is better.
Have a friend take pics and video of you at performances. Post these after any performance.
Post a monthly or weekly calendar of the dates and where you will be performing. Keep the fans informed.
#10 - Have Fun!
You are performing for the purpose of adding to the fun and excitement that others are having. The people who watch you dance may be there to possibly escape the problems and pressures of their every day lives. You are there to help them live in a fantasy world for a few hours.
At the same time, it is important that you are having a good time as well. If you are not, you should be doing something else. If you experience burn out from dancing too often, take a break and get away from it for a while.
If dancing as a male stripper stops being fun for you, stop dancing and find a vocation that you can be passionate about.
Keep in mind that you are providing experiences that the bar patrons will talk about for years and possibly the rest of their lives. Get involved with their special night. HAVE FUN!!!