This is the unofficial guide to the Male Strippers of Ireland.
With swarms of hen parties parading around Temple Bar one does wonder about what does this smorgasbord of shot fuelled, high heeled and pink sashed visages include. One thing has been popping up with the speed of a Japanese bullet train: Male Strippers !
Male Strippers : necessary ?
A hen night is about letting loose…. and not only your hair. Judging from the range of activities offered from the many Hen Organising companies offer on their immaculate websites , one cannot fail to see an emerging pattern. Paint a nude, make a caramel penis, make a chocolate penis. Take the penis with you at home and hide it on the top shelf. Make sure the kids don’t find it. This last night of freedom is marketed as a once off opportunity to make room in your memory bank for images of laughter and trails of gossip. Yes , it is the age of turbo boosted naughtiness. Ladies in command. Necessary? No! But a hen party is not about things that are necessary…or make sense. It is about rituals and fun. And rituals of fertility in the age of millennials, have a good dose of sensual liberation thrown in.
Personality vs Body
If you want just well formed muscles than go to a bodybuilding show…. and there aren’t that many in Ireland. This type of show is all about being social. The male strippers are in general more approachable than their female counterparts. It’s not uncommon to see a well presented young man still in his policeman uniform chatting casually to a hen party huddle in one of the busy craic agus ceol watering holes of Dublin. It is important for the guys to keep in touch with their audience. Ireland is not Australia or Vegas. The Irish ladies love a bit of banter and the Irish Male Strippers don’t have the male god attitude of their colleagues across the Atlantic. The Irish Male Strippers are the kind of guys that will stop on the street to have a quick chat with you. As the Irish economy is flexing its muscles, so are the male strippers in Ireland. Body image does comes first. But it is the cheeky smiles of these young fitpreneurs that win the hearts of the ladies. It is the laissez faire style that keeps the clientele growing.
The candy shop: Male strippers for hire
Most Male Strippers depend on weekend work for the bulk of their income. Prices in Dublin range from 150 to 100 per 15 min gig, tips in Ireland are welcome, but rare. It all depends on if the performer is a seasoned male stripper or a wannabe attention seeker. You can get an well drilled male stripper that knows how to build the pressure. Skillful dancers can display a plethora of acrobatics. They treat the crowd with the kindness and charm you find in a royal butler. Or in the genuine hospitality of the Irish countryside. Then you get the guy from the gym next door that will give you a taste of muscles, covered in baby oil. Like a well marinated Christmas turkey. You know you are dealing with an amateur when he spends most of the performance in Full Monty, jumping up and down like a Masai warrior during his initiation.
Hens need to get their research right, check the Google Reviews, Facebook pages and talk to other ladies that have availed of their services. The market features a good few established companies that deal in live performances. But you will also find independent dancers advertising their services anywhere, from Gumtree, Adverts and even Tinder . With self explanatory names such as Stripireland, Elite Kissagrams, Hot Stuff Entertainment, Hen Party Fever and Strip.ie they will have plenty of work on their claws. Shopping around is part of the routine…but tread with caution. The cheapest is definitely not the best. Especially when the hen in charge is choosing the man that will get naked for her best friend.
The men behind the muscles
Handsome men have many skills. Beauty is neither good nor bad claimed the Stoics in ancient Rome. It’s what you do with it that turns it into a virtue or vice. Most male strippers could be found under the #fitfreak #fitfam hashtags on Instagram. They are gym instructors, dance teachers , models, actors. Healthy eaters, avid students, nature lovers. The female audience provides a means of funding their lifestyle, and a healthy network of followers. It is all about building that following that can make things happen for another career. Most of the dancers will abandon the stage of the hen world for a different path within a couple of years. The ones that stay master the craft of wooing the ladies in various stages of undress and teach the newbies.
It is not for every hen
A professional male stripper knows how to change his style according to the audience. On the spot. Their bookers will ask the hens where does the bride to be stand on the shy-meter. The male stripper will change his approach based on the reactions he gets. It’s customer care on the dance floor. If your first reaction to the idea of man taking off his fireman outfit to the sounds of “My Pony” is : cringe! , then don’t do it. If a cheeky smile blooms on your lips then go for it on all four. There are loads of other options on the male performance menu that cover all types of hues and nuances. A topless waiter is the sexy guy that will organise party games but he will only leave his biceps on display. Then one can still dish out the more traditional kissogram. Just an attractive man in a tuxedo that delivers flowers and a peck on the cheek. A split moment of wow ….ooooh , how sweet! One way or another the hens will want to include some form of male spice in this female only chop-suey.
Male Strippers get along fine…unless
The female stripping world has a few tales of catfights. Most male strippers, especially in Ireland work well together. When two performers bump into each other in a bar, there are no snippy remarks or uncomfortable silences. Ireland is small, so there is no place for bravado or silly competition. Plus the ladies don’t like male friction. The guys are mostly friends and they would share common spaces; gyms, health food stores. There is always that one guy that loves stepping on other people’s toes. Such dancers cannot be humble and kind as a song says. It takes one bad apple to spoil the party for all. It is usually the guy that screams that he is simply the best, better than all the rest. While that might make most pros smile in disbelief, he will get his fair share of attention. The hens shouldn’t mind as long as the show is acceptable. As long as the performer’s ego doesn’t go Full Monty for too long.
All the single ladies
It is easy for young male strippers to behave like kids that hit a Tramore amusement park for the first time in their life. The female attention, usually earned after trial and tribulations for the common males, here pours down from the heavens. What can a stripper do? At the end of the day the ladies should leave happy. The dancers that I spoke to have a very clear rule about post show shenanigans. Kind and polite, chatty and good humored. That is the winning attitude that keeps the hen parties coming back. If kind is confused for flirtatious, the guys take a step back. The exceptions to the rule are highly x-rated though.
It’s all about the bride
The whole hen party setup is about giving the bride to be a night to remember. If there is a feeling that the Full Monty show is not up her alley then forget it. On the other hand, male strippers know how to put women on a pedestal. And a pedestal for the night is a good feeling to go home with. Hens that compete with the bride for the attention of the dancers should think twice. The male strippers will immediately show them the cold shoulder. It is her big party and everyone else… is just invited.
Ireland is becoming a hot tourist destination with a serious amount of human warmth to make up for the weather. Hen Parties from across the Irish Sea have become a common sight in the street of Dublin, and more will follow. The question is: ” Will Ireland turn into another Vegas Strip with Guinness and raincoats?”