Behind the thong: The flesh, fantasies and fiction of All Male Revue
January 30, 2006
The flesh fest that is the Men of Las Vegas All Male Revue returned to the Tahoe Biltmore on Jan. 27 for yet another evening of one-dollar debauchery, and this time one lucky girl – yes, it was me – had behind the scenes access to all she could shake a buck at. Now last time around, let me remind you, I went alone, camera in hand, to the revue show, only to be completely and utterly flabbergasted by the antics of my fellow female viewers. I hadn’t before realized that grown women had the capacity to foam at the mouth like rabid dogs while slipping money–and fingers–deep into the nether regions of a Bedazzled G-string. And now I know. To prove that I was more of a woman than that, and that I would never stoop so low as to letting a massively sweaty stripper rub his pectoral stubble on my face, I decided to go it again, this time with the backing of five other seemingly mild adult women. And once again I had my naivety handed to me on the dimple of a shiny stripper bottom, which I was screaming profanities at between classes of cheap Champaign. But before we get to that, I have to let you in on all the dirt I learned while back stage with these big boys.To better acquaint myself with my male subjects, I thought it best to spend some quality alone time with each of the seven “entertainers.” (Well, except for Bobby Austin. I couldn’t talk to Bobby Austin because I have been secretly having dreams about him since the last show, and was worried that if he opened his mouth all of my wildest fantasies would be ruined. So I just gazed adoringly in silence in hopes that his late-night visions will continue.) In the three hours before show time, I managed to debunk some stripper myths (none of the seven are gay), hang out with two in a hotel room (we watched home videos and the Travel Channel), dip into the truths of life on the road, and reach the conclusion that MTV could profit big time from a male burlesque reality show. First of all, the whole thing is a lot less glamorous than you might otherwise guess. They don’t get to drive around in one of those tricked-out busses, most of the time they have to share rooms (which by the way, is in no way a hindrance to their busy “social schedules”), there is no drug use allowed (save the occasional ‘roid binge), and for the most part, their moms are all OK with their professional decisions, and even attend shows. “My mom says, ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’,” said 32-year-old Sean Michaels. He’s got a pretty severe Napoleon Complex, and says he’s “hung like a field mouse,” but his eyelashes will knock you flat. Tonight he’s wearing a $30 custom made G-string and working as co-M.C.Backstage it’s all business, except that these “executives” are slathered in body oil and are wearing assless chaps. “You either have guys with stripper mentalities, or those who see themselves as entertainers and can separate business and pleasure,” said 38-year-old Gabriel who has been “entertaining” for nearly two decades. “We have both.”And by separating business and pleasure, I think what he really meant is that not all of them sleep with random women every night; some of them just sleep with random women once or twice a week. The stories they told me would blow your mind, but because this is a family publication, we cant print them. If you want the low down, you can call me at the office and I’ll fill you in. But for now, let’s just say that most of these guys have minimal standards, and if you want to get lucky with a bronzed and glistening hunk, all you really have to do is bring a wad of ones and hang out after the show. But that’s also not to say that being a burlesque dancer is all about getting laid. These guys have a lot to deal with on the road; sleepless nights, drunk women, and driving cross country in a cramped van can really wear on a man. So they argue and bicker like the Bad News Bears over who has to room with whom, who got the last piece of chicken at the buffet, who had their blanket stolen in the middle of the night, and who was slamming doors at 2 a.m. Their interpersonal relationships are perhaps more entertaining than the show itself. Between all this, they manage to quickly shave their entire bodies with electric razors, clip their fingernails, and throw on a thong. It’s revue time! Back in my seat, I’m glad for the refreshed vantage point. It all looks better from here. The men, the costumes; it’s much more pleasurable when you’re surrounded by your screaming girlfriends and Long Island iced teas. From the stage a dancer named Moon with a giant chain around his neck shouts “I could stir your drink from right here!” to a woman in the front. Her response is too high pitched for me to catch. Then there is Gabriel’s shtick of a Latin lover who woos his women with the catch phrase, “lay down on the bed and pretend your feet hate each other.”We’re all entranced. You really can’t help your eyes from devouring everything. And you also can’t help your heart from sliding into your throat when a 200-pound Adonis is gyrating in your lap, banana hammock bouncing like a retriever in snow. You don’t care that he’s dripping sweat on your favorite jeans. You don’t care what your mother would think. For all you know, she’s doing this every weekend. “It’s sensory over load,” said my friend Renee “…the greasy bodies, the spiny legs, the smell of coco butter…” Mmm, and I love it all. Bring it on Men of Las Vegas, and then please, God, please…TAKE IT OFF!