Went to see male strip troupe Forbidden Nights at a theatre in North East England this week – I’m a sucker for a bit of culture, me.
And who could resist an evening billed as a ‘spectacle of desires, passion and excitement’ filled with ‘acrobats, fire acts, aerial artists and world-renowned circus performers’?
Especially when they ‘have not only mastered the art of strip tease, but do it in a way that has never been done before’.
A new way to flash your tackle? No wonder the auditorium, which seats 1000, was packed out.
Though me and my fit (non-bum) chum were the only men.
The women behind us, who like most of the audience were well lubricated long before the Baby Oil was cracked open, were loudly discussing my chum.
‘SUCH a waste!’
‘I KNOW!! In’t it ALWAYS the way!’
The show alas didn’t deliver the goods. Despite the ladies of Darlo roaring like Armageddon: ‘GET YER COCKS OUT!!’
The ‘acrobatics’ consisted of a few backflips, the ‘fire act’ was a damp squib. The ‘aerial artist’ was more impressive, but sadly not very fuckable.
Forbidden Nights fell between two stools – a ‘circus strip act’ that is neither really a circus act nor a strip act. The promised striptease ‘in a way that has never been done before’ turned out to be one that is all tease and no strip.
It was also painfully straight. And I’m not talking about the shockingly bad choreography (they desperately needed the talents of this guy). Or the hen night vibe and the man-bunned straight male compere making jokes about ‘lady facials’ and ‘swallowing cum’. I’m talking about the way the guys on stage don’t interact at all. I can’t remember them touching one another once – or even acknowledging one another. Even non-filth acrobats do that.
Of course, I’m biased, but this seemed to me to be a terrible waste of talent. I suspect that if the guys interacted more, even just in that tried-and-tested slightly flirtatious boyband fashion, the women would love it.
Then again, why am I giving away this kind of advice for free instead of just putting together my own strip troupe and cleaning up? Or at least just holding LOTS of auditions….
There was almost a riot after the bathetically anti-climactic ‘shower scene’ finale – no dick and barely a glimpse of bum cheek. Just lots of shimmying in silhouette behind a paper blind.
Tickets were £25 a pop.
One woman was shouting in the foyer: ‘I’VE SEEN MORE COCK IN ASDA ON A WET SUNDAY!’
Oh, and the swole guy in the middle of the poster (above) with the inked stars – the one who looks like a gay porn star and was the real reason me and my chum were there – wasn’t in the show.
Nor, frankly, were the bodies in the poster attached to the faces that were.
Obviously, someone tipped him off as to just how demanding 998 North Eastern women determined to have a good time can be.
In a new Mother’s Day-themed KFC ad he leads a selection of prime succulents: stripped, battered and deep-fried, covered in MILFy sauciness -- just begging to be eaten.
‘I LOVE you mom!’
So many baskets and buns -- so little time.
OK, it’s fingerlickingly awful. Mind you, you have to give it credit for taking on not one but two taboos in one ad: cannibalism and incest.
It’s possible of course, in an age of viral annoying advertising, that its awfulness was intentional. That I was meant to groan at this ad, its terrible taste, and share it, snarkily. In which case, it worked a treat.
But even if it was intentionally awful, it’s difficult today to imagine the roles reversed and a KFC ad featuring a troupe of female strippers moaning “I LOVE you, dad!” served up deep-fried in a bucket.
But then, as the ASA ruled a while back, men can’t be objectified. And in fact, because men can’t be objectified this ad doesn’t exist. And these ads don’t exist either. So obviously this KFC ad is just a bad dream brought on by indigestion -- probably caused by eating too much fast food.
I like the fact he hasn’t got a fashion beard. I like his open, boringly beautiful boyish face. I like his GI Joe body. I like the kind of slightly goofy characters he plays. I like that he worked in a strip joint before he started stripping off for Hollywood. I like the way he works the vibe that he’s a no-nonsense blue-collar Southern boy who could have ended up on a gay-for-pay website – and wouldn’t be embarrassed if he had.
I like the way his name is as American and daft and reversible (versatile?) as, say, Todd Hunter. I like the fact that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s like a prettier Marky Mark, sans the hang-ups and machismo and avec a sense of humour instead.
But most of all I like Tatum Channing because he knowingly embodies both the joke and the seriously good news about men’s objectification. The butt of the gag and… the butt. Tatum gives male tartiness a good name.
And I can’t wait for the male stripper comedy Magic Mike. Which is shimmying up to be the must-see metrosexy movie of the summer.
Mark Simpson reviews the memoir of Chippendale ‘member’
(Independent on Sunday, 23 Sept 2007)
The Chippendales have a lot to answer for.
Big hair atop even bigger pecs. Acres of shaved, orange manflesh bordered by white cuffs and red bow-ties. Rictus grins doing high kicks in black bulging Spandex. Medically-dangerous galvanic pelvic thrusting. Female GERREMORFFFFFFFF!!! hysteria.
Not to mention those dangerous oily patches on the floor of the Queen Vic after amateur male stripper night.
Forget Reagan, Yuppies or Madonna, the greatest and hottest product of the 1980s, that decade of unbridled appetites, was hot pectoral muscles basted in baby oil.
If ever you needed proof that women have no taste in men you just have to look at the tremendous, ear-splitting, panty-moistening, glittery global success of the Chippendales: a dance troupe presenting a vision of the male body as a cross between a dancing bouncer in a thong and an especially orange department store perfume demonstrator. Mind you, they also prove how men have no taste in men either – the Chippendales were after all the pneumatic offspring of a man. A man who seems to have had a lot to answer for on his own account.
‘”Do you know anyone who would want to kill Nick DeNoia?”‘ asks the cop investigating the murder of the choreographer who ‘basically invented the Chippendales’ in the prologue to ‘Unzipped: A True Story of Sex, Drugs, Rollerskates and Murder’ (Canongate), David Henry Sterry’s account of his time as the male strip troupe’s roller-skating MC. ‘”Do you want the short or the long answer?”‘, Sterry replies. Of course, we get the long answer, which is Sterry’s personal memoir, which, disappointingly, is more about Sterry than DeNoia.
The short answer, well-known because the sensational case was widely-reported and spawned at least one TV doc, is that Nick DeNoia was sent to the big dance studio in the sky by a hit man hired by his Indian business partner Somen Banerjee over an argument about who owned the lip-smackingly lucrative touring rights to this troupe of fritzed faux-flashers (faux because they never actually let you see the goods). Banerjee was caught trying to put a contract out on some other associates and committed suicide in prison before his likely conviction so that ownership of the company would pass to his family. (See, I told you that male stripping was a very serious business.)
The long answer, Unzipped, with its stories of ‘$‘ (as Sterry denotes money) drugs (the strippers were apparently selling them to the punters) and backstage blow-jobs (some lucky, lucky ladies did get to handle the goods) and bust-ups (the ‘Men of Chippendale‘ were very, very bitchy), is enjoyable, funny, and almost as meticulously choreographed as a Chippendale show. Sterry writes about his 80s life with the Chippendales in the kind of pulpy fashion that is required these days, along with a large admixture of self-loathing and self-mockery.
He keeps referring to himself as the ‘ugliest man at Chippendales’, and laments his ‘invisibility’, and seems to have only garnered one blow job, which was only offered because the girl wanted an introduction to one of the strippers (it ended abruptly when the girl was nearly ill). We also get some flashbacks to an unhappy childhood. This is Sterry’s second memoir: his first, ‘Chicken: Love For Sale on the Streets of Hollywood’, was an account of his time as a teenage gigolo in LA – a job he was introduced to by his boss at the fast-food join he fried chicken at. For someone who isn’t a looker, that’s to say not very appetising, Sterry seems to have made something of a career out of the sale of manflesh.
The real star, however, of Unzipped, as Sterry’s prologue more or less admits, isn’t Sterry, or the male strippers, or even the sozzled screaming ladies clawing and biting at the ripe manflesh jigging around in front of them, but Chippendale choreographer Nick DeNoia, ‘silver fox in cashmere clothing, combination queen mother and charismatic dictator’. A man that Sterry himself seems to love as much as he hates. DeNoia’s theatrically sadistic swishy Drill Sergeant way of publicly humiliating people is, as he puts it himself: ‘Faaaaaaaaaaaab.U.Lous’.
DeNoia’s sharp queer eye is literally what made the Chippendales. While the Chippendales’ ‘bottom line’ was all about pleasing the ladies and prying open their purses – the top line was about pleasing DeNoia by showing him your buttocks, which he seems to have pried open with his eyes. Little wonder that at Chippendales ‘the notions of hetero-, homo-, and bisexuality seem hopelessly outdated. Gay? Straight? Seems like under the right circumstances everybody’s capable of doing anyone.’
Wannabe Chippendales had to submit themselves oiled up in a thong to the pointed gaze of DeNoia, a critic who makes Simon Cowell look like someone you’d like to share a pint and your problems with. In fact, if DeNoia were still around today Cowell would be his Louis Walsh.
One NY Latino guy dares to turn up a little overweight to a ‘viewdition’. DeNoia, standing ominously behind him, grabs his love-handles and squeezes, painfully. ‘”That. Is. Un. Acceptable…”‘ he decrees. ‘”The Men of Chippendales are not fat. It’s disgusting, it’s laziness, it offends me. Do you think a Lady wants to come to Chippendales to see a pudgy, fat little fuck? Helloooooooooooo?”‘
The Latino doesn‘t seem to mind. He just smiles and replies: ‘”Hhhey, tha’s jus’ more of me to lub!.”‘
DeNoia is impressed by the man’s pluck – ‘”I like spunk”‘ – and commands him: ‘”Go. Leave. Make yourself beautiful. Call me.”‘ Which is, from DeNoia, a tender dismissal indeed.
Twenty years on, in a world conquered by metrosexuality and covered in baby oil, we can see that men did indeed make themselves beautiful. Terrifyingly beautiful. Being ‘lubbed’ in a thong is what men seem to aspire to today.
DeNoia’s heavenly – or hellish – cellphone must be ringing off the hook.