Tuesday, February 14, 2012


An Interview With Tom Savage, American Leatherman 2011 & Danny Tamez, Mr. New Jersey Leather 2012

(Photos 1& 2 courtesy of Tom Savage/Danny Tamez
Photo 3 courtesy of DJ Kaiser
Photo 4 courtesy of Peter Lau)
Call it a true Leather Love Story. Chances are you’ve already met this dynamic and dedicated duo-- or at least seen the two of them-- at any given Leather event, be it big or small. (Trust me, these guys are difficult to overlook. Woof!) But perhaps it’s time for a formal introduction: Meet Tom Savage, American Leatherman 2011. At 6’1”, Tom makes a very imperious presence, especially when in full gear. He is originally from Colorado, but has clearly found his true home with the New Jersey Leather family. Savage is a member of the Argonauts, an Asbury Park Leather club, for which he has served as President. He is also Mr. New Jersey Leather 2006. Tom’s successful philanthropic endeavors have included the hugely popular NJ Leather Family Chili Cook-off every February, as well as “Foreplay”: the Leather, Bear, and Kink block party held every June in Asbury Park which kicks off New Jersey Pride.
Now meet Danny Tamez. In October 2011, this boyishly handsome charmer won the envied title of Mr. New Jersey Leather 2012, taking on the role of The Garden State‘s Ambassador to the Leather Nation. Like Tom, he takes the job of activist very seriously, making many public appearances and donating loads of time and energy at events both in his home state and beyond. (Incidentally, he also fills out a pair of Levis very well!…) Tom and Danny had their first date in January 1998 (For some perspective, the hit songs on the radio at that time were Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply“, Janet Jackson‘s “Together Again“, and Celine Dion‘s “My Heart Will Go On“.). They’ve been seemingly inseparable ever since. The two Leathermen had a commitment ceremony in the summer of 2002 in Denver, before moving east; and then had a Civil Union Ceremony in New Jersey in January 2009. Today, they share their home with their two cats, brothers Mickey and Max. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Tom and Danny spoke with me about their unyielding commitment to each other and to the Leather community at large:

JR: Hello, gentlemen! So, let’s start at the beginning. How did the two of you meet? Would I be too bold to assume it was at a Leather event?

TS: Well, it wasn’t at a leather event, bathhouse, or backroom. It was late 1997 and I was recently divorced from my ex-wife after having come out. There used to be a phone line called Interactive Male. I called and left an ad message on the line. After a few days I got several responses, and I liked Danny’s the most. Somewhere we may still have the piece of paper that I wrote everything down on. He’d left a number so I called. He was reluctant to meet with me, I think because I was more interested in meeting for coffee and talking. He was only interested in meeting for a fling. We talked several more times, and finally set up a date to meet at the 17th Ave. Grill in Denver, on or about on Jan. 10th of 1998. He was wearing a green flannel shirt and jeans, I don’t remember what I was wearing. We had dinner and drinks then went to The Grand, a bar just down the street (now closed, but would become my favorite hangout for the next several years before discovering The Wrangler Bar). We went to his place afterward, I stayed the night, and for probably the next six months we stayed with each other every night at either his or my place. We moved into an apartment together the summer of 1998 and have lived together ever since.

DT: Yes, we met over a phone hook-up line. This was before the age of computers. We met face-to-face for dinner and never separated from then on. Leather came into our lives later, and in many ways gave our relationship a new bond. We had our NJ Civil Union in Leather.

JR: Very cool! So, the two of you have been a couple for a long time: 14 years. Wow! Do you have any secrets for a successful relationship? Inquiring minds want to know! But then again, I guess if you told us, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, huh?

TS: Fourteen years this last January. Hmmm… Secrets for a successful relationship? Good question. Not every day is like a honeymoon! We bicker and fight like any other couple. Trust is important, we love each other, and we have a lot of time invested between the two of us: something that I think which solidifies a commitment between two people. We’ve had our ups and downs like anyone else. We’re not infallible. Love, patience, give and take, and a feeling of knowing you’re with the one you want to grow old with.

DT: Sometimes I think it is either dumb luck or that we are too lazy to split up. Really though: For me, even through the tough times, I know Tom is a good man and that is why I married him. I am very fortunate and know it, although I should say it to him more often.

JR: Well, you’re saying it now! So, Tom, you are originally from Colorado. What was your adjustment to life in New Jersey like when you first moved here?

TS: I moved out to the East Coast in 2002 to be closer to my daughter, who is now 16. At the time she lived with her mother in the NYC area. She now lives in Virginia, so I travel there often to see her. The adjustment for me was more along the lines of being around people who sounded much different than in Colorado. The various NY and NJ accents were something to get used to… and not being able to pump my own gas in NJ. (I dislike that!) It’s kinda funny, but some friends say I’ve picked up some of the local accent in some words I say.

JR: (Laughs) Now, the legalization of gay marriage is gonna be a very hot issue in New Jersey this season. How do you two feel about it?

TS: We both think it’s important that people in the GLBT community get the right to marry with all of the same legal benefits afforded to straight people. Our arguments against opponents of marriage equality echo those of others in the GLBT community. We plan on marrying if marriage equality becomes a reality in New Jersey.

DT: It should be a hot issue. Civil rights are to be fought for. I think sometimes we forget that in all the fun of Pride Celebrations. We are still fighting for our civil rights. We as Leather people need to be heard and seen in this fight. A right is a right regardless, and not to be subject to popular vote!

JR: I agree. A lot of the GLBT community at large may view the Leather community as “vintage”, “outdated”, “caught in the past”, or even “scary” and “menacing“. Some of them think that we are stuck in a time capsule from the ’70’s or ’80’s. What would you say to these fools?

TS: I think there’s something vintage about the Leather community but I don’t think that makes it outdated. Rather, I think there’s something timeless about it. To me Leather represents family, integrity, and strong bonds between us. If “vintage“, it’s because some of that look and feel which began a long time ago is something that I find raw in the masculine sexuality that drew me into Leather. Think James Dean and Marlon Brando back in in the 50’s, the biker clubs since then, denim, leather, boots, rough sex… all of it! For the people that think of it negatively as being scary, menacing, or stuck in the 70’s and 80’s, I try to tell them it’s not like that. When they persist, I say, “Fine, you don’t know what you’re missing“, and leave it at that.

DT: I honestly don’t spend a lot of time caring what others think about my Leather or how I express it. I don’t have the time. If you don’t like Leather, then don’t take it as a lifestyle. But in the same breather, if you are interested I’ll be more than glad to talk to you or to direct you to resources that are more versed in the history and culture than me. I am a proud, open Leatherman with family, at work, and with everyday life. I hope people see who we are and the work we do in the community-- and not hold on to negative predispositions.

JR: Well said, gents! While we are on the subject of the community: There’s a lot of talk about The Old Guard and The New Guard when people discuss Leather. A lot of our older brothers believe that the only way to be a bona fide Leatherman is to be initiated, and others feel that if you choose to identify as a Leatherman, then you are one. And then you’ll have someone like Mark “Spanky” Bialous-- Goddess bless him-- who definitely marched to the beat of his own drum. How do you two feel about the Old Guard versus the New Guard theory?

TS: I feel there’s a lot of chivalry and respect in Old Guard ways-- things that were part of what captured my interest in Leather in the first place. I think Old Guard teaches us history, and it serves as a foundation for all of us, and it’s bound in tradition. That said, while respecting Old Guard ways, there’s New Guard-- or in my mind, an evolution of sorts in that the Leather community isn’t as secret and rigid as it once was (having to be initiated, as an example). I respect Old Guard protocol and tradition, but I view New Guard (loosely defined, I guess) on building upon those Old Guard ways with a new flexibility in rules and groups associated with what we collectively call “Leather”.

DT: I like the fact that this is being discussed. A culture takes time to develop and with that comes the vernacular, the rituals, and the identifications. This is natural growth of Leather as we truly take the mantel of a Culture. As far as Old Guard vs. New Guard, I really don’t take a point of view. I respect and treasure all I have learned from both camps. I feel there is room for all.

JR: One of the responsibilities of a Titleholder is to raise money and awareness for our community. Danny: As Mr. New Jersey Leather 2012, what are your philanthropic goals this year? What charities do you have a particular affinity for?

DT: They are varied, from The Center in Asbury Park, to The Carter-Johnson Library, to Imani House-- each serving a significant need in NJ. But I have to say both Tom and I find The Center in Asbury Park to be dear to our hearts, as it serves persons living with HIV/AIDS.

JR: Speaking of fundraising, Tom, you created the Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser which is now in its seventh year. How did the idea for that originate?

TS: It originated shortly after I was chosen to be Mr. NJ Leather 2006, and I was excited to put on a fundraiser. I was watching “Iron Chef” one afternoon at Cruisin’ (a men’s bar in Asbury Park, now closed unfortunately), and thought chili and competition. It’s been fun ever since, and continues to pack the house every February.

JR: While we are on the subject of food, I have to ask: I am always very fascinated by how couples divide the household responsibilities. Which one of you is the cook? Which one of you does the home repairs and that kinda stuff?

DT: I cook and do most of the cleaning and the bills. Tom does laundry. We both are bad at home repairs, so if there is a handyboy out there, applications will be accepted.

JR: (Laughs)…and make sure to include a photo with that application!…

DT: …and you can often find Tom under the hood of our two VW‘s.

JR: Besides the Chili Cook-Off and Foreplay, what events throughout the year are we always guaranteed to see you the two of you at throughout the year? Put another way, what events would you never miss?

TS: We’ve been to MAL every year since 2006 and we attend and assist at most, if not all, of our NJ brothers and sisters events. We go to almost every New York Eagle Contest, most events and contests in Maryland, and we try to get to the campgrounds and Bear Week in P-Town during the summer. Of course for me, ABW every year will be something I try to get to from now on. And we’d never miss the Mr./Ms. NJ Leather contest every October!

DT: CLAP, CLAW, NYLPN, IMsL, IML, MAL, SECC, to name a few. I am also looking forward to branching out through my year to visit other Titleholders and their events.

JR: That’s quite a schedule! You should be proud. Actually, you should be tired! Now, Leathermen are often seen as the epitome of masculinity and sexiness. As a role model/Ambassador to the Leather community, what makes a man sexy? Danny, you first…

DT: It’s all in how he carries himself. Does he feel comfortable in his skin and his Leather? After that, it is very individual. Personally, I am a butt man. Just look at my husband.

JR: If you insist! And, Tom?

TS: I think a man is sexy in this context especially if he shows that he feels sexy and comfortable in his own skin. To me, it’s not about being a perfect 10, an Adonis, or porn star poster icon. Sexy is so much more that-- like being approachable, welcoming, and eager to share in discussion with all types in our tribe.

JR: In your opinions, what is the most important single issue our community faces?

TS: I think our tendency to meet online, versus at bars and other meeting places, is a big issue. There is what’s becoming an age-old issue of the loss of Leather bars and places to meet and to interact socially, beyond hooking up online. Leather Contests are another controversial issue. While some may die a natural death because they no longer serve their purpose, contests in general I think, are important as long as they serve to grow our community beyond what we are today. We choose Titleholders as ambassadors of our community to spread the word, to help grow and sustain our community. Contests and other events are important in bringing all of us together, sharing and learning tradition, and hopefully getting some new blood in our community. Our inability or lack of interest in carrying on our traditions to new generations is one of the biggest issues facing our community. We need to mentor those to take our place in the future.

DT: I feel we are losing our places to gather. Bars are being closed or altered to appeal a “broader” demographic. The internet has replaced face-to-face meeting. This lack of meeting places for Leathermen and women, and being reduced to a “profile” online, does not allow for the interpersonal communication needed to really maintain our community.

JR: How true! Now, Lastly, what are your plans for Valentine’s Day?!

TS: A nice date and some hot sex.

DT: A smooch and sleep! Well maybe a bit more. ;-)

JR: Thanks, guys! See you soon!

Learn more about the New Jersey Leather family at:

You can visit Danny Tamez’ Facebook page!/pages/Mr-NJ-Leather-2012-Danny-Tamez/237235279664154

Learn more about the American Brotherhood Weekend

Visit Tom Savage’s Facebook page

See also:
DOUBLE PENETRATION Part 1: Mr. Connecticut Leather 2011 and Mr. New Jersey Leather 2011 Speak!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Before David Beckham strutted his stuff for Armani and for those H&M commercials, there was Boomer Esiason in his tighty whities for Hanes. (Remember that commercial? I sure do!) Before him, there was baseball’s Jim Palmer modeling in “Playgirl”-style poses for Jockey. Not to be outdone, New Zealand rugger Dan Carter also delighted hoards of admirers (most of whom have probably never even seen a rugby game) when he too modeled for Jockey. The latest athlete to sign on as spokesman for the ever-enduring underwear company is 6’3” Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow has indeed crossed the yard line from sportsman to pop culture novelty, known not just for his gridiron skills but for his blandly attractive looks, his life story, and his--shall we say, colorful behavior as well. The 24-year old, self-proclaimed “devout Christian” and reported virgin has brought the term “tebowing” (defined as: spontaneously getting on your on his knees to, ahem, pray… regardless of your surroundings.) and the “Tebow Rule” (the prohibition of football guys wearing messages on their eye black, even though that’s not exactly a new law) into our lexicon. His persona has alternately produced admiration for his faith alongside the occasional mocking by comics on late night TV. But back to the undies. Unlike sexy celebs Antonio Sabato Jr. and Mark Wahlberg, Tebow will be the first model with the distinction of NOT showing his underwear in an underwear ad. Some artfully shot photos of a shirtless, gym shorts-clad Tebow with the Jockey waistband showing did make the rounds on the net, and the first widely-seen ads showed the jockstrapper shirtless but this time tossing a football in a field, wearing jeans and with the Jockey waistband again showing. Interestingly, on the Jockey website, our Tim is now fully clothed, choosing to model the tees only. It’s like watching a reverse striptease. There’s no “official” reason for Tebow’s choice of how much (or how little) to show, but Mo Moorman, Public Relations Director for Jockey International, has stated, “Some things are better when left to the imagination.”

Yes, it’s true: Sometimes the essence of sexiness is in what is NOT seen. But I doubt that creativity was the reason for Tebow’s cover-up. It’s more like likely due to his “old-fashioned” values. This is, after all, the guy who is ostensibly waiting for a “good girl” to come along. (Sorry, Kim Kardashian…) In a very twisted way, I tried to see it as a sign of some kind of decades-belated equality between the sexes. Women have had to exploit their sexuality for years in the name of being famous, so if a GUY says “No!“, isn’t that a sign of equal opportunity empowerment? Well, maybe…but when was the last time you saw a commercial or print ad for bras and panties where there were no bras and panties shown? We are talking about UNDERWEAR, after all. Would an ad for socks show a guy wearing shoes over those socks? Judging by his legions of female and gay male admirers, Tebow is indeed a sex symbol… even if he’s a “Oh, gosh“, kind of reluctant one. The larger questions are: Why agree to become a spokesman for a company if your are not gonna show the product you’re selling? And, is there something wrong with being sexy? Perhaps some variations on “Christian values” may be incompatible with sexiness (in the name of “lust”), but is having pride in one‘s body or demonstrating superior physical health antithetical to those values as well? Some have opined that perhaps Jockey is choosing the Tebow ads to better market their undies to those who tend to be in tandem with the celeb’s widely known beliefs (in other words, to those customers would approve the fact that he did NOT drop his pants.) Who knows?

But I’ll put my hormones aside for a minute. Here‘s my opinion, and I am unanimous in that: Childhood and teenage obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Since professional athletes are among our strongest role models for youngsters, the benefits of popular ball players showing their healthy physiques can only be a positive and inspirational thing. But more importantly, Mr. Tebow, here’s the bottom line: Don‘t deprive me of my viewing pleasure! (Uh oh… The hormones are back!)

Sunday, February 5, 2012


How do you get millions of gay men to start watching the Super Bowl? First, recruit the reigning Queen Mother of the Gays (Sorry, Ms. Gaga, but Madge WAS there first, after all…) to perform at the halftime show. Second, amidst all the hetero hijinks, offer a plea for tolerance by having an anti-bullying PSA by GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) featuring Jared Dudley and Grant Hill of The Phoenix Suns. Third, get one of the world’s most wanted men to parade around in his underwear for one of those much-anticipated Super Bowl commercials.

David Beckham, who apparently knows the RIGHT way to strut down the border between sports star and sex symbol, modeled Armani briefs back in 2009. But the soccer icon wasn’t content to just walk the runway with someone else’s name branded on his presumably tight butt… uh, make that “someone else’s BRAND name” on his presumably tight butt. Mr. Beckham has just launched his own underwear line, created for H&M. During the publicity interviews, the inked and ripped Brit titillated his legions of admirers by telling the UK’s “Daily Mirror” that he has never had to use his soccer socks for anything other than as socks. For those of you who didn’t get that coded reference, I’ll be blunt: He doesn’t need to stuff his undies for photos. Beckham said, "I've never had to for any of the photo shoots I've done because hopefully, I don't need to. Well, let's just say I've been told I don't need any help in that department. I think I'm pretty OK!" To further add to all the dirty thoughts running through your head, Beckham also admitted that he used to regularly walk around his house buck nekked… but that he has started covering his twin soccer balls since the birth of his daughter Harper six months ago. He states, "My naked days are over. I definitely walk around the house in my underwear. But not naked. With the boys it's not a problem because they're naked all the time but with a little girl now, it is different." (Sigh!)

The Beckham undies, just released to H&M this week, go for $12.95 a brief, or $14.95 a boxer brief (with buttons), boxer short, or “trunk” (square cut). “Vests” (tank tops) and tees are also in the store, also at $14.95 each; and long johns, sleep pants, and Henley shirts are also available at $29.95... The styles are basic, right down to the colors (black, white, and occasionally grey.) And, the prices are indeed reasonable…although across the aisle in the Men’s section, you can find a similar H&M tank for about $6.95. Nevertheless, a lot of Beckham groupies would pay the price for that fabulous Beckham shopping bag alone. So, how does the Beckham body wear… ahem, “measure up“? The cotton and spandex blend is comfortable enough. But be warned, the sizes run pretty small-- perhaps because of the European influence. The briefs, boxer briefs, and square cuts run a bit tight in the booty… so guys with too much “junk in the trunk” may have to invest in the next size up. Luckily, there is a moderate amount of extra room in the front, so the more gifted among us will not have to, shall we say, “bend it like Beckham” to fit into their bottoms.

Oh, but back to the Super Bowl.  Balls?  Balls? Did somebody say “balls”?!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

THE MALE STRIPPER CHRONICLES, Part 2: SO YOU WANNA BE AN EXOTIC DANCER? Review: “The Quintessential Guide to Becoming a Male Exotic Entertainer”

Hey, guys! Do you got the moves like Jagger and a huge dagger? Did you ever dream about embarking on a new, exciting career as an exotic dancer? Well, having the right moves and killer abs to match is a great start, but there’s much more that goes along with this sexy career than just gyrating your goods onstage. Meet Ly Sander (AKA “Blaze“), who has made a successful living from doing just that. He is now the author of a new book, “The Quintessential Guide to Becoming a Male Exotic Entertainer”. The guide should be mandatory reading for go-go boys and male strippers worldwide. In the introduction to his book, the buff writer explains part of the reason he decided to create this man-ual. "When I started out ‘back in the day‘, if there was a course, a book, or a DVD that explained what to do, I think I would have been farther ahead of the game and maybe even made more money. All I had was an ad in the paper that said ‘no experience necessary, training provided‘. I still chuckle to myself every time I think of that ad. They did not lie about it though. Really, where are you going to get experience in that business. There aren’t any courses offered in high school, university, college or even on the back of a match book."

That’s too bad! Maybe someday we will see “Male Stripping 101” offered in the college curriculum. Until then, Sander does an impressive job of covering almost everything you wanted to know about the art of taking it off, “from soup to nuts” (No pun intended!), concluding with “The Ten Commandments of Male Stripping”. Some may opine that a lot of his advice is "common sense"-- eating right, hitting the gym, etc. Nevertheless, since the dancer’s body is his tool, as Sander points out, dedication to health and fitness can’t be over-emphasized. Other readers may disapprove of his advocacy of the tanning bed. He offers his observation-- with his own research to prove it-- that the crowd reacts better to a tanned stripper than a pale one. (But for the record, he consents that spray tans are also OK.) The author also takes a very strong stance on... or should I say, stance AGAINST -- body hair: "Body hair is a definite ‘no no‘. This means ALL body hair EVERYWHERE. An absolute must if you are going to be completely naked He adds, "Facial hair should be kept to a minimum, I’ve never met a bearded dancer or have seen one anywhere.” (Clearly, the author has never seen the go-go boys at a “bear bar”!) That said, he offers some very nice photographic evidence on why trimming pubic hair is essential... because it makes your penis look bigger! While we are on that subject, there’s also an entire chapter in the book dedicated to enlarging the penis-- including lengthening techniques and the centuries-old proven “jelq” exercises.

So much for the body. Ly also gives the reader a lot of insight into everything from developing a stage persona, creating costumes and themes, and making and managing your money, all the way to avoiding the pitfalls of the business: shady people, steroids and other drugs abuse, and other pratfalls. For example, he warns us, “When you are at your last song of the set and are naked, you DO NOT walk or trot around with a fully exposed Mr. Wiggley."  (Now, what‘s wrong with that?!).

The author spoke to me about his career as an exotic dancer and his new book:

JR: Hello Ly. Congratulations on the publication of your book. How has the response been so far?

LS: Hi Jed. Thank you. Response has been quite overwhelming for me. I am surprised how many people have shown interest in such a short period of time my book has been online…its been a very cool experience.

JR: That’s great to hear. Now, as a bona fide expert in the field: What, in your opinion, is the most difficult thing about being a male exotic dancer?

LS: There are a number of difficult things an exotic dancer may experience. Temptation from drugs and alcohol and falling into a party lifestyle….and not being able to get up. Some may just not know how to dance and entertain a crowd, assuming that all there is to it is getting naked and having big muscles. For me it was starting out. I didn’t have any idea about costumes and themes. I did a lot of trial and error. For a few months very early in my “career” all I had was a black suit. I learned how versatile that black suit could be. I could dance out of just the suit, or I could add props like a top hat, white gloves and cane. Change the music, and now I have a completely different show.

JR: What was your most memorable experience through the years as a dancer? Have you ever met any celebrities, local or otherwise?

LS: My most memorable experiences as a dancer was being on the road with the other guys going from gig to gig. While we are “working”, it became a sort of guys night out and getting paid for it. The experience that stands out in my head was one of these out-of- town occasions. Some people think that we are treated like movie stars with our own dressing rooms, and a production company with us. On one of my first road trips, five of us traveled to a venue-- I forget the town we were in, but I do remember it was a charity event for a local ladies club. When we arrived it was packed. This was at 8PM. One of the first questions you ask is, “Where do I/we get ready?”. On this occasion we were shown to a room where we could change. To my surprise the room was about the size of a small washroom…without a toilet or sink. We had to put our gear in this room and change out of it. We had to go on back-to-back beginning at 10PM. That room was just too small for all of us, so we improvised. We found the men’s washroom and claimed it as our own. We took turns using the assigned room and the washroom. One guy was always guard standing outside the washroom. Because I was still learning the business and pretty young, it was strange for me to have to “tie off” in the presence of other men. Because of the time crunch and having to go on back-to-back, we just got it done. We got through the night and I learned that night just how “glamorous’ the business really is.

As far as meeting celebrities, I have had my share of numerous celebrities….but I don’t kiss and tell…(wink, wink!)

JR: Aww, come on! Well, anyway… In your book, you make it a big point about the dancer's body being his most important tool. Do you have any workout or diet secrets for us that you want to share?! Inquiring minds want to know...

LS: Life on the road can be tough as far as diet and training goes. The name of the game is making money, so spending it on gym visits, supplements, food, and gas can become expensive. I learned to be able to get a workout anywhere: be it in a hotel room, a venue, or even in a park…FREE. Water is a necessity: keeps you hydrated, flushes out toxins, keeps you feeling full, lean and …FREE. I grew up poor, so I am always fine with plain tap water. Eating out on the road becomes more of a luxury and expense while trying to keep yourself fed. Tuna, in-store rotisserie chicken, and ready-made rice kept my tummy full…its cheaper to eat clean than most people think…it’s just bland while on a budget. For extra protein, a bucket of protein powder used sparingly-- and in extreme cases I have had to resort to soda and tuna or tuna and juice…yes, blended together. Grin and bare it.

JR: Hmmm… I don’t know if tuna and juice shakes will ever catch on, but you never know! Well, anyway, on to a more serious subject. It's sort of an open secret that a lot of exotic dancers, shall we say, "turn tricks" for the right price. How do you feel about the guys who may do this?

LS: We live in tough times… more so for some than others. I really don’t think it is my place to judge, so I would guess you have to do what you have to do to get ahead in life. I have personally never had to resort to sex for money whether it be from male or female patrons. The offers have been there. I have, however, met a lot of people over the years and have crashed in homes, hung out, and gotten to know people. Its amazing you are asking me this because for me, in retrospect: For the guys who “turned tricks”, their money is long gone for the hour or longer they were with a person. While I asked for nothing, the friendships I made by NOT tricking the people I met have lasted a lifetime. Prob the best example of asking for nothing, but getting the world. I feel very fortunate.

JR: I hear ya! Now, what age would a guy just be "too young" to enter this field? What would you say to a guy who strikes you as being too young to be a stripper? Conversely, at what age would you tell a male dancer to retire his G-string, once and for all?

LS: I really don’t think a guy could be too old or too young. As long as you are the legal adult age and you can excite a room, you aren’t too young or old. The oldest dancer I have worked with was 60, but had a body better than any 20- year old I ever met, he had natural charisma, and he could dance like he was straight out a music video… Being hung like an elephant didn’t hurt either…(Laughs) On the other side of the spec, the youngest I worked with was 18…He looked and was built like he was 15 and was hung like a hamster…poor little fella. He was encouraged to train hard and heavy, eat everything in sight to put on weight…Needless to say his career was cut short.

JR: No pun intended! (Laughs)

LS: Never saw him again. The crowd can be tough. The hardest blow to the ego is when you are onstage and every one leaves while you are on.

JR: No doubt! So, unlike in Canada, in almost every city in the United States, a male dancer is not allowed to get fully naked. How do you feel about that?

LS: I actually like it. It leaves a lot to the imagination for the patron… and for the dancer, it makes it easier for anyone who wants to make money to do it. A lot, if not all men, have “size” issues and insecurities. I’ve run into so many men who are built like a comic book hero and have no problem meeting people, but when it comes down to showing a full frontal are not able to go through with it. IMHO, you have to be comfortable with your body and sexuality to be able to be able to be completely naked.

JR: A new movie about male strippers, starring Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum called "Magic Mike", is coming out soon. Do you plan on seeing it?

LS: I look forward to seeing it. I hope it sheds some insight on what happens behind the curtain and brings in a new generation of guys to the business.

JR: You tell your readers that you are only releasing this book in PDF format-- not on paper-- largely because of your feelings about the environment. This is still a pretty revolutionary idea! Do you think that people may respond differently to the book since it is not available in printed format?

LS: I wrote the book envisioning it to be a back pocket manual , and was originally going to have it printed. With all the devices we have today-- Smartphones, tablets, netbooks, I-Pods…it could be at anyone’s fingertips. If I could save a sheet of paper, I have saved a tree, and have saved a bird’s home, and I am thus helping our ecosystem. We only have one planet, and I just want to do my part.

JR: Wow, all this and environmentally conscious too! Too bad, I was actually planning on giving this book as a gift to aspiring male strippers, wrapped in a thong instead of a ribbon! (Laughs) But while we are on the subject, where can people get their hands on your book?

LS: I have it on a couple of different sites. These are the links:
For anyone with a Kindle:

Google books:

I also invite people to join my Facebook page:

...and to follow me on Twitter: …I don’t always tweet dancing things, I use Twitter as a way to talk to the universe.

Thank you for this opportunity to tell you about myself , and my book.
All the best, my new friend!

JR: Thanks so much for speaking with me! 

One of Ly Sander’s best quotes in “The Quintessential Guide to Becoming a Male Exotic Entertainer” is, “Being an exotic dancer is by far the most fun job you will ever have.“ It’s fitting, then, that the book is great fun to read-- even if you have no desire to ever do the "helicopter" on stage to an audience of hot-to-trot fans for a living. I especially love when our author pleads for fledgling strippers to avoid those white briefs: “No Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, etc… ABSOLUTLY UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES are cotton briefs to be worn. Sorry but ‘tightly whiteys’ are strictly forbidden, no exceptions at any time. If you forgot to pack any sort of undergarment and you were just wearing a brief under your street clothes, go naked. Trust me, briefs and boxer shorts just look silly!”

After reading this, I cleaned out my underwear drawer!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Get ready to see a lot more of man candy Channing Tatum… as well as a cast of other waxed, oiled-up guys in G-strings. Steven Soderbergh‘s “Magic Mike”, a movie about male strippers, is set to be released by Warner Brothers on June 29, 2012. The movie stars Hollywood “It boy” Tatum as well as Alex Pettyfer (“In Time“), Matt Bomer (the TV shows “Guiding Light“ and “White Collar“), Joe Manganiello (“True Blood”), and Matthew McConaughey. McConaughey, People Magazine‘s “Sexiest Man Alive“ in 2005, plays a “retired” stripper who owns the fictional Club X-quisite where the movie takes place.

Yeah! It’s about time that Hollywood explored the lives of male exotic dancers-- the guys who so willingly expose, exhibit, and/or exploit themselves on stage for the viewing pleasure of eager audiences… oh, and for tips too. Let’s just hope they get it right. In other words, don’t make it “ShowBOYS” or a male version of Demi Moore’s “Striptease” . Although there have been countless numbers of flicks about FEMALE strippers (Many of which were patently designed for late night cable TV in the ‘90’s…), the movie screen has been strangely neglectful when it comes to the boys who gyrate their pelvises for a living. One of the earliest was actually a 1981 TV movie named “For Ladies Only”. That one starred a then 31-year old, hunky Gregory Harrison as an aspiring actor who starts peeling to pay the bills. This was back in the ’80’s, when male strippers were still considered a “novelty” and were a staple on talk shows. Despite the fact that “For Ladies Only” was watered down for the small screen, I still think that it was one of the sexiest movies I have ever seen. (It may have had something to do with seeing it as a horny 11-year old…) There were a few other movies, mostly forgettable (Remember “Ladykillers“, in 1988, with Marilu Henner?), and there was also “The Full Monty” in 1997, which didn’t even have the benefit of showing us what the title promised … although it did inspire a Broadway musical and infinite numbers of amateur strip shows for charity (“Wow! Now ‘average’ guys can be male strippers too!“). In “Magic Mike”, hopefully the film will take advantage of all that the big screen and a bold director has to offer… which will hopefully include more nudity! But more about that later… The creators of “Magic Mike” have an advantage in casting Channing in the title role. Mr. Tatum, the 31-year old, 6’2” star of such big-budget flicks as "The Vow” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation", worked as a fashion model before breaking into acting. Since then, he has been seen in commercials, music videos (Ricky Martin's "She Bangs”), and on the big screen in both independent and major studio films. But somewhere along the way, the 6'2" hottie also got some… ahem, exposure in other areas of showbiz as well: At age 18, he performed in a Chippendales-style revue called Male Encounter at a now-closed Florida nightclub under the stage name "Chan Crawford" for about a year. Apparently, Tatum is a consultant on the movie, and the movie is loosely based upon his own experiences.

But here’s the question that everyone is asking: Just how much skin are we going to see? Director Steven Soderbergh is no stranger to controversial themes (“Sex, Lies, and Videotape”) or even controversial casting, for that matter: You may remember how he chose adult film star Sasha Grey for 2009's “The Girlfriend Experience”. And clearly, a lot of the cast has already demonstrated their right to bare more than just arms. Channing is obviously no prude. Joe Manganiello’s naked butt in “True Blood” has certainly delighted fans of that series. And, of course, there’s Matthew “I’m too sexy for my shirt” McConaughey (I’ll resist the urge to mention bongo drums…) However, don’t get your hopes up too high to see full frontal nudity in the new movie. It may not so much be shyness on the part of “Magic Mike”’s creators so much as “accuracy“: Unlike in Canada, there are almost no places in the States where male exotic dancers can show their “magic mikes”… Washington, D.C. being a notable exception. What’s especially sad is that Mr. Manganiello‘s character is named “Big Dick Richie“. Sadly, he won‘t be able to prove it. (Sigh!)

See also: Channing, Is That You?: