Ah, Facebook you once again provide me fodder for which to proffer my unsolicited opinion in the form of a narcissistic blog! For days, I have read post after post from some of my female friends losing their minds over Matthew McConaughey’s portrayal of a male stripper–a 42-year-old stripper, for that matter, which is just sad. It doesn’t matter the age of his character, he still looks like a 42-year-old stripper.
I don’t understand the appeal of male strippers (or female strippers for that matter), but as a straight woman who certainly has zero hangups when it comes to another individual’s sexuality or orientation, I wondered why exactly I feel that watching men gyrate on stage dressed as a leather clad cowboy or a half dressed fireman is equivalent to watching paint dry, although actual firemen are incredibly sexy. Absolutely nothing happens in my brain…or anywhere else. There is a difference between being “sexual” and being “sexy.” What these men (or women) do is certainly sexual, no question about that, but dancing on stage in a silly costume to loud music and begging to have money shoved into the waistband of a thong is, well, desperate. So while the dancing and gyrating and thrusting one’s pelvis into the face of a stranger is sexual, it is probably the least sexy thing a man or woman could do. Desperation is never sexy.
When I was in college and on through my late 20’s, I knew not one woman who did not, in my opinion, feign excitement at the idea of seeing an all male stripper revue. I use the word feign because I truly believe they pretended to be excited because they thought to be otherwise made them weird. I have always been weird, so I was quite comfortable saying I had no interest in attending. But there were times, because I was so young, I thought perhaps there was something wrong with me because I had no interest in seeing a naked man–a naked stranger–on a stage. I thought perhaps I was gay, but I quickly dismissed the thought as I had no interest in seeing a naked woman onstage either. Then I thought I lacked libido. Dismissed that thought even more quickly. I realized it wasn’t that I was turned off by men; quite the opposite–I love them. What strippers lack and what those who truly love watching them lack is this: the ability to be intimate. The activity lacks intimacy and if one does not require intimacy in order to be sexual, then of course being a stripper or watching them is a perfect outlet. I don’t judge at all if that’s your thing. I can almost understand that watching them can be turn on–to each her own, but knowing the one you are watching is performing out of sheer desperation is beyond bizarre to me.
I also do not find the male body, in and of itself, altogether sexy. By that I mean–whether he’s got a the body of Adonis or has never exercised a day in his life; whether he’s well endowed or not; whether he dresses like a GQ model or not (although this one is open for discussion; a man who looks like his momma dressed him would have to work awfully hard to convince me he’s sexy!) all have no bearing on whether I find a man sexy.
Don’t misunderstand–I like a guy to be attractive! I have never had a crush on or dated a guy that wasn’t, but I remember the ones who made me laugh, the ones who made me think, the ones who challenged me, the ones who had confidence rather than arrogance, the ones who were a little quirky or different, and ones who treated me like a lady–they were the ones who exuded a magical sexiness they probably never knew they possessed. And it’s not even a matter of wanting to have sex with them. I like being in the company of men; always have. I prefer it to being in the company of women. But not to have sex with them and not just any men. To me, even a lot of my gay male friends are sexy–they are still men, after all! But even the straight ones I have chosen to have sex with must first know that true intimacy is essential and that my mind has to be stimulated before anything else can be.
Finally, I believe that men (and women) who crave being watched–who look to see if others are not only watching them, but also validating them for their physical appearance are usually the least sexy. The sexiest men I know are the ones who don’t know they are being looked at all. When I see a man hold the door open for his wife, carry the suitcases (or do any physical labor), hold his son’s hand the first day of school, push his daughter on a swing, or hold his newborn child–I see some of the sexiest men on earth; those acts of intimacy are probably the sexiest of all to witness. I used to joke with my ex-husband that my idea of foreplay was his taking out the trash! As for the man I’m dating now, he is the sexiest when he drives 14 hours straight just to arrive in the middle of the night in order to wake up with me. Sweet devotion is always sexy.
In conclusion, I do not buy that men and women strip/dance to pay their way through med school, so save it, please. Don’t get me wrong–I don’t judge if that’s your vocation choice, but the profession draws desperate individuals who lack the ability to be intimate and who possess a stunted, immature view of sexuality and what it really takes to be sexy. Those who are drawn to watch are much the same.