Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-11-13
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Male exotic dancers talk about their lives
by Blair Mishleau

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The recently released movie Magic Mike has shed new light onto stripping, mostly showing off Channing Tatum's (and friend's) main assets and what life outside of the industry looks like.

Missing from the movie, though, is the gay-dancing scene: a massive market where gay and straight (and in-between) work side by side, often blurring identity lines and assumptions in the process. Add the fact that gay dancers can date, and there's a new level of complexity Magic Mike couldn't have dreamt of.

"Among 'tip dancers,' I'd say the majority are straight, or mostly straight," said Jared, a gay dancer who resides in Chicago. [Note: He requested his last name not be used.] "Among the dancers at large parties and circuit events, I'd say the majority are gay."

While you'll find different answers from different dancers throughout Chicago's nightlife and circuit parties across the country, one trend seems consistent: the lines between gay and straight become a bit murky in the dancing industry.

"I've known gay guys who said they were straight, and straight guys who said they were gay while working too," Jared said. "For the straight dancers, many of them are at least very comfortable with the idea of being gay even though they aren't, themselves. I'd say that many of them have experienced homosexual sex for themselves and decided they didn't prefer it [although they probably won't readily admit to it]."

Based on several interviews, the non-scientific proportion given for dancers hovers anywhere between 50 to 70 percent straight. At the end of the day you'll have to trust the dancer's word: Claiming to be straight or gay can get you further depending on the club you're working.

"Certain clubs, like the Lucky Horseshoe and a few others, are more acceptable for gay guys to work at," said JD, a former dancer of 12 years who is straight (and also requested his last name not be used). "But clubs like Cocktail are more of a straight-guy place [for dancing]."

Many straight dancers migrate to or start in the gay arena for a few reasons, including consistent work and higher pay.

"During the week I'd work mostly at gay clubs because they're easier to book. … Straight guys get more in tips. " JD said. "Weekends, I did bachelorette parties."

Where the dancing takes place makes a difference, though. According to Seth Fornea, who only works gay bars, gay dancers can make out better.

"Straight dancers do not do nearly as well as their gay counterparts," said Fornea, who's gay and resides in North Carolina. "Straight dancers are less willing to do risqué acts with the gay clientele and tend to become distracted by straight women entering the bar."

This can have the opposite effect at a bar that has straight female clientele who tag along with their gay friends:

"The only animosity I ever saw was that [gay dancers] didn't feel as comfortable dancing on girls," JD said.

"Straight women are great for a high-five hand slap, a couple of $1's and maybe some lip-synching together to a Britney song," Fornea said. "Beyond that, straight women are not good tippers to go-go boys."

Among other complexities the gay dancing industry has that the straight dancing sector doesn't involves dating co-workers.

For Jared and Fornea, who are in a relationship, what could be a huge difficulty has been a non-issue.

"For us, dancing is not awkward at all. It's something we do both together and apart and are fully supportive of each other," Fornea said.

Jared added, "I don't think it's difficult as long as the other person isn't the jealous type."

When it comes to entering the industry, advice varies but centers on balance.

"It's not about the money; it's about engaging clientele," Jared said. "Most people entering the bar want to talk with you. If you are fun, interesting and listen to them, you'll do a lot better and have more fun yourself. Stay away from really drunk or shady people and never do anything you don't want to do."

"You're either you're in it or you're not," JD said. "It's hard to work a full-time job then work nights like that. You've got to be a full-time dancer or you'll buy into the propositions and end up being an escort boy."

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

ALMA marking 30 years on Nov. 15 2019-11-13 - The Association of Latinx Motivating Action ( ALMA ) will mark its 30th anniversary with an event Friday, Nov. 15, at the Puerto ...

Gay News

Halloween weirdness at Sidetrack 2019-11-12 - Photos by Jerry Nunn ...

Gay News

Andersonville holiday programming includes 100 businesses 2019-11-12 - CHICAGO ( November 11, 2019 ): More than 100 Andersonville businesses are featured in the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce's ( ACC ) holiday ...

Gay News

Drag star's "All I Want for Christmas is Attention" tour Dec. 10 2019-11-06 - Seattle sisters and drag superstars BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon have joined forces once again to present a new holiday extravaganza, All I Want ...

Gay News

Chicago House holds Day of the Dead event 2019-11-05 - On Oct. 31, Chicago House, in concert with other community service organizations, held the Second Annual Fiesta! Day of the Dead at the ...

Gay News

Billy Porter drops in at Sidetrack 2019-10-30 - Musical Monday at Sidetrack blasted through the stratosphere when entertainer extraordinaire Billy Porter dropped in on October 28. ...

Gay News

Circuit Mom presents Haunted Hollywood at House of Blues 2019-10-30 - Hooray for Haunted Hollywood 2, presented by Chicago legend Circuit Mom. Joseph Stevens Photography ...

Gay News

DRAG PERFORMER OF THE WEEK Kalli Mauri 2019-10-30 - BEHIND THE NAME "I chose Kalli Mauri because I wanted to make sure I stayed true to my comedy roots it's a pun. ...

Gay News

Leather Archives & Museum opens A Wild Pack of Dogs 2019-10-23 - Chicago, IL, 23 Oct. 2019 — The Leather Archives & Museum is pleased to announce its newest exhibit in the Guest Artist Gallery, ...

Gay News

Howard Brown Health raises money, conjures Halloween spirit 2019-10-20 - Characters of all kinds gathered at Park West on Oct. 19 for Howard Brown Health's annual fundraiser Big Orange Ball. The Halloween ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.