StripGuyThis past week, the second Magic Mike film featuring male strippers debuted in movie theaters. I wouldn’t doubt that there will be plenty of women buying tickets to see the very fit, six-pack bodies of Channing Tatum, Michael Strahan (of football fame and co-host of the Kelly and Michael morning show on ABC-TV) and others. There’s no real meaningful story behind the film; it’s strictly for fun and viewing pleasure. It reminds me of the 1980s: male strippers began to be all the rage when  Chippendales was established in 1979 as the first all-male stripping troupe in a Los Angeles nightclub.  The very attractive men would strip down to a G-string and allow women to watch. Not long after, women would tip the strippers by walking up to the stage and tucking currency in the guy’s skimpy underwear. This type of entertainment is commonplace now but it was slightly scandalous years ago. Chippendales and similar shows  are now worldwide besides in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

I attended a similar show at that time, and I don’t remember if it was part of the original Chippendale’s or a copy of the show. I had a purpose, although a fun one. I was the editor of the local Acorn newspaper in the Conejo Valley that was distributed in Agoura, Westlake Village, Oak Park and Thousand Oaks. Since I wasn’t taking this assignment I had given myself “seriously,” I decided to write it from the point of view of an innocent “country bumpkin” and be shocked and astounded by all the near-naked bodies. I enjoyed coming up with a few Southern sayings from my dim memory of them.

Even though we female attendees of this event were living in Los Angeles, the home of the entertainment industry, there were many young women there who weren’t familiar with this slightly shocking revelation of the fit and toned male body. I think I’ve lost the original copy of the silly old story, but I do have a photo to share. I took this photo of one of the enthusiastic strippers, who probably had a mix of Native American and Latin heritage, and he loved posing for me.

StripGuy copy

StripGuy copy

StripGuy 1

It was somewhat unique at the time to bring such a show to the “boondocks” of the Conejo Valley. We were the next valley over from the more famous San Fernando Valley, which in more recent years has been home to porno films. Remember Mark Walberg’s fairly salacious “Boogie Nights” with Burt Reynolds and Julianne Moore?  It was filmed in the San Fernando Valley.

Whizin’s Center, where my Acorn office was located, was a unique Western style shopping center. In one of the buildings there was a spacious room that was once an old restaurant and was large enough to accommodate a stage and tables for the ladies to imbibe food and drinks while they watched the naughty entertainment. That included me–after all I had to document the experience. Many have seen the original “Magic Mike” or even the older British film, “The Full Monty” and can imagine what went on. Our entertainers that night, however, failed to completely disrobe. They wore a G-string to hide their equipment, so we didn’t get to see the “full monty,” just everything but.

This photo, one of the many I took during my journalism career, has always been a favorite. He shows just the right attitude for what he’s doing. Fortunately, he had on enough clothes for his photo to be displayed in a family newspaper.





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