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January 2009 Email this to a friend
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North America strips
Your guide to the hottest places with the most to see
By Staff reports

Dancers, from youthful first-timers to gym-buffed pros of all sizes, races and orientations, jump onto bars, stages or pool tables all over North America for tips stuffed into g-strings, socks or more intimate places. Even those who "fluff" to Playboy before coming onstage can still be genuinely flirtatious, saying they prefer male audiences as "more appreciative" (and better tippers). Most perform within a day's drive from home, so you really can see regional differences.

Many guys start as they reach legal age of 18, on arrival to the big city. They can make decent money, have a good time without straight-job hassles and get attention and other perks too. Many dance for just a few months, then move on, so there are always new faces. For others it's an entree into porn movies, but most gradually move back into more conventional lives. Strippers can be enterprising individuals, or members of groups who travel a circuit of different bars. Sometimes guys won't allow photographs for reasons of job sensitivity (some are military men, for instance) or in hopes of fashion modeling or acting careers. Others do it briefly as a lark or to pay for school. Those who try porn will often return to the circuit to perform as celebrities.

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For addresses and links to where you can see the shows, click the names highlighted below in blue.

Totally nude Canada

Canada, since a recent Supreme Court decision, has been blessed with the most relaxed laws in North America permitting far more contact between dancers and patrons than elsewhere, especially for secluded private and lap dances.

Francophone Quebec produces dancers who are unusually engaging, pleasant, sexy, uninhibited and imaginative in their routines. The scene, centered in Montreal, presently has three such bars -- with dozens of guys at each bar during any given week. The clubs become second homes for many dancers, and they sometimes stayed for years, socializing and sometimes living together and establishing long-term relationships with clients. After dancing days are done, many move to other jobs such as bartending at the club. Dancers liked to create vignettes, beginning their strip in costume and in groups, and teams of twins occasionally become local celebrities with uninhibited demonstrations of fraternal affection on stage.

There's been a drift away from the younger, more slender dancers of 18 and up in recent years. Campus, the largest club, has long favored the big, buff, muscular guys.
Le Stock. has for some time featured older dancers of many types, and lately Taboo switched from boyish to beefcake for a time, but now has guys from 18 up.
One longtime favorite strip bar, L'Adonis closed when sold in July 2009, to become JP Cabaret in August with older dancers. Within months it had returned to the younger line-up, similar to it's predecessor.

Ontario can feel like the most British place this side of the Atlantic, but nowhere in London does it swing like Toronto. At Remingtons there are seven nights of totally nude male dancer shows -- Fridays and Saturdays on two floors.

Goodhandy's is a pansexual club that covers much of the queer spectrum, with regular nights for gay men, trans and t-girls, fetish types and queer women, too. Their website gives an idea of goings-on, so pick your night and be amazed at the sexual openness.

Totally nude USA

Swinging Richards is Alanta's all-male, all-nude strip club, with three stainless-steel stages and nightly non-stop shows of nude dancers and a private VIP section, where the lads are available for private debriefings in the rear.

In all the USA it'd be hard to beat the good times in Portland, Oregon, at Silverado. The energy here is stoked by a constant parade of young hunks on stage six nights a week, sometimes two at a time, and enthusiastic audience response. Dancers decide how far they'll go, so tips can be encouraging. Just across the river, Joqs is a sports bar with special holiday private parties featuring rowdy and raunchy naked young performers who start atop pool tables and end up wherever they like.

Dick's Cabaret in Phoenix is an 18-plus every bar that's open every night with "hotter than an Arizona summer day" all-nude male strip shows. Also in Phoenix, the Pumphouse II has Wednesday night amateur strip-offs.

At the heart of the American Midwest, the region's only totally nude male shows can be seen just across the Mississippi from St. Louis in Centerville, Illinois. Boxers 'n Briefs is full of young spunky guys doing impressive gymnastics on stage poles, atop bars and in the showers.

Pittsburgh has a couple of clubs to see nude dancers: nude dancers: at P- Town they have dancers every night but Monday, and at the Real Luck Cafe (aka "Lucky's") they have live nude dancers for special event nights.
Sunday nights at the Link Club in nearby Herminie, Pennsylvania feature regularly scheduled shows with naked guys,

Just one of the cluster of nude male strip bars survived the demolition of the gay clubs in SE Washington DC. It took over two years, but Ziegfeld's/Secrets reopened this year at a new location on Half Street SW, still with their trademark mix of drag shows and fully naked guys.

Exile continues a Columbus, Ohio, Sunday night tradition of many strippers at many bars over many years. Sundays and Fridays now too, some of the best-looking guys ever assembled in the Buckeye's capital city show their all.

In New England, Springfield is western Massachusetts is home to Club Xstatic providing seven nights of naked male strip shows, lap dances and private one-on-ones in their Champagne Room.

Providence, Rhode Island's Touch has an all-male revue with dancers dancers recalling both Adonis and Apollo, and naked as any classic statue. Their regular crew, joined sometimes by top-rank porn stars, performs man-to-man on stage, under the shower and for private dances.

Chicago's Bijiou is both a video porn retail store and theater and America's oldest sex club, with erotic dancers and sometimes porn-star appearances. Nob Hill in San Francisco does 24-hour videos and daily live nude male revues, on stage and in the showers, plus special amateur "meat off the street" contests and live erotic porn-star performances.

In Miami At the Boulevard, with shows daily, is the place to find South Florida's only full nudity extravaganzas, with Ricardito and his muchachos.

There are, of course, lots of naked guys at bathhouses 24/7. As private clubs, not constrained by regulations imposed on bars, some have regularly scheduled performances, too.

Chicago's Man's Country is among the best, with erotic performances by the most famous porn stars and an energetic in-house team. Sweaty, hard and up close, shows here are around midnight, Fridays and Saturdays.

Miami's Club Body Center does a legendary safe-sex live show, now on Saturdays and Sundays from 3 pm, plus periodic "Mr. Nude" contests for cash prizes.

For other bathhouse groups, such as the Club Bath chain, Flex Complex clubs, Steamworks and the Midtowne Spa see our website at Guidemag.com and our travel features online for links to many more gay bathhouses around the world.

Going (almost) all the way

In places that don't permit total nudity the guys in the following clubs get bare as they dare, and the tease in these performances can sometimes be as good as the strip. Consider this a highlight from among those with dancers most nights plus others with popular special nights.

In the Boston area, Paradise in Cambridge, has seven nights of some of New England's hottest men, on stage and mingling among customers after their shows, plus visiting dancers from other regions, including Montreal.

Once a center for nude male shows, New York has seen several attempts to resurrect the old Times Square spirit in Queens. Of these only Club 20 remains, a Sunday night Chippendale-style show with steep prices.

In Chicago, Lucky Horseshoe Lounge has long practiced the art of male erotic dancing and features the city's hunkiest guys on their bars and stages, plus occasional special parties and visiting porn stars. Chi Chi LaRue and guys can be spotted relaxing here when they're in town.

Unicorn Club, a membership bar in Indianapolis, has 15 to 25 dancers nightly, in constant rotation, and Tuesday amateur contests for cash prizes.

In Los Angeles, MJ's dance club is notable for an especially wild and intense Tuesday night called Rim Job, one of LA's best for hot strippers and guest porn stars. Chico in East LA has fiery strippers battling to Latin beats with "Cockfight" every Wednesday night. In San Francisco Deco has a down-to-earth old Tenderloin feel for a change of pace from other more upscale bars in the city, with Sunday night strip-to-wet-jocks amateur contests (sometimes).

Also in LA, FU Bar dance club, known for it's "Big Fat Dick" amateur contests, has sexy go-go dancers, and Jewel's Catch One has Saturday night exotic male (and female) dancers at their upper level.

Free Zone, Flex, Gipsy, and Krave, dance clubs in Las Vegas all have male go-go dancers. Other nightclubs in Vegas offer nude male strippers, but generally these target female audiences.

BoyzTown is Denver's best bar for the barest boys, with the sexiest and most numerous strippers in the Rocky Mountain area.

Houston's EJ's has three nights of amateur strip contests, a Saturday night wet jockey shorts contest, and an easy-going, friendly crowd with a cross-section of types and ages. Also in Houston, the Montrose Mining Company is a very male space, where people love the crush of the crowd and the go-go dancers get close.

In Dallas the Brick Bar is an 18-plus black club, known for hot music and Friday night dancers who strip down to basics. Club Elm & Pearl has much the same crowd and hip-hop ambience with Thursday-night exotic dancers -- their "Hot Boiz on Boxes." Zippers is another Dallas nightclub with stripper/hot dancer entertainment, with a wide range of body types from slim to brawny.

New Orleans is famous for their Mardi Gras carnival when guys get very uninhibited in pursuit of beads, especially in the gayer part of Bourbon Street. From the balcony of Cafe Lafitte in Exile you'll get a good view. The nearby dance and show club Oz has weekend strippers and midnight Thursday male strip-off contests.

Also in the Big Easy, Corner Pocket offers a taste of Montreal in the French Quarter. Here guys shake their money-makers all week long. During Mardi Gras their (in)famous wet jockey shorts contests go extra late hours.

If you crave the charms of Southern lads in tiny g-strings you'll love the seductive performers at Chasers in Charlotte, North Carolina -- also a membership bar.

BJ Roosters in Atlanta has young male strippers every night until 3am.

Florida is hot for men, so in Jacksonville Metro has "Metro Dick Dancers" in the Boiler Room on weekends. In Orlando, Pulse showcases the talents of slender, nearly nude guys who perform on stage and atop the bar with more-than-usual enthusiasm and imaginative flair.

In Fort Lauderdale strippers are a draw with over 30 dancers at Johnny's in towels on Thursdays, for amateur Sundays and "Twinks" on Tuesdays. Boardwalk has seven nights of strip and shower shows with Wednesday "New Meat" amateur contests, visiting porn stars, weekends with over 40 international dancers, and Sunday "Dick and Drag" shows with Auntie Mame. See their dancers naked online through Badpuppy.

Also in Fort Lauderdale, Dudes has strippers on the bar, shower shows and lap dances, and dance club Torpedo has late hours, and go-go dancers too.

In Miami Beach, Twist has very erotic "Gaiety" male dancers nightly in their Bungalow Bar, plus Sunday amateur strip.

Men in wet tighty-whities conceal little, and several bars that feature such shows merit special mention.

Flicks in San Diego has fun-filled amateur strip "Wet Booty" contests each Saturday; Seattle's Chicago's Roscoe's has a very playful "Wet Boxer" contest each last Thursday; and St. Louis' Clementines has contagiously high spirits for their Memorial Day, July fourth and Labor Day holidays, with wet-boxer events that are just a small part of celebrations in the Soulard.

A few gone, but not forgotten

It seemed odd that Washington, DC, America's political epicenter, was for so long the nude male stripper capital of America. Four such bars in city's southeast, in the shadow of the US Capitol, survived many changes in ruling parties and times. For years the youth from surrounding states' farmlands or big city streets got naked to entertain some of the men who ran the world. Wet, Follies, La Cage and Ziegfelds/Secrets fell before the developers' bulldozers for a new stadium. Rascal's, at DuPont Circle, and Chesapeake House were other local stripper venues, the latter owned by the same people as Baltimore's Atlantis -- all now closed. Baltimore had a brief reprieve with Spectrum in Highlandtown, but that too closed recently.

New York City's famous Gaiety Theatre, in Times Square, had classic male burlesque where a dozen or more fully naked men strutted and posed in daily shows for more than a generation, often with stiff dick in hand. They closed in 2005 even though they'd tamed things considerably after Mayor Giuliani's "clean up" of the district. Famous patrons openly frequented the club and it's memorialized in Madonna's 1992 book Sex. Show Palace was another famous Times Square-area theater.

Cupid's in Fort Lauderdale was known until this past summer for live sex shows with amateurs and porn stars. They had to stop the fun as community pressure became overwhelming.

Vancouver, British Columbia, still has Wreck Beach for sighting nudes of every shape and size, but "The Duf" or Dufferin Hotel, with its basement strip bar that epitomized an older, less gussied up Vancouver, has sadly passed on. Likewise the Bar de la Couronne, a long-time oasis in Quebec City, and Gai Serpentine, just outside that town, are both now history. Club Happy Tap in Windsor, Ontario, used to pull big crowds from the Detroit area just across the border.

In Montreal, Apollon, Bistro Bunnies, and later the West Side were pioneers before things moved eastward to the nascent Gay Village, when RR and David's became the hot spots. Predating stringent enforcement of age regulations, they didn't adapt fast enough as times and mores changed, so each gave way to the fewer number of strip clubs in the Village that are still open today. As border crossings between the US and Canada became increasingly unpleasant this decade, fewer gay Americans have ventured north, so tourist dollars no longer support the scene as they did in years past. L'Adonis, the most recent loss, closed in summer 2009.

Pride of the community

Montreal's strippers are among the city's treasures

With their "spectacles," the danseurs nus of Montreal exhibit a special flair and exuberance. Shameless sexual energies beyond simple lust are sometimes conjured in a sort of pagan magic. The magicians, slender dancing shamans stripped both of clothing and social artifice, can sometimes dissolve walls between performers and audience to recreate ancient and universal bonds of fraternity, and male identity. The performances of Cirque du Soleil, also from here, can rouse kindred, if less overtly homosexual enchantments. Briefly one might participate in something for which there is hardly the words.

Impulses that draw strangers together in parks or on lonely beaches play out here, too. To watch and play with embodiments of our desire is to roam queer and limitless worlds of possibility. It's more than just a scent that hangs heavy in locker rooms or other male haunts. Sometimes desire returns the gaze, and a glance can be even more profound than physical pleasure. With fewer public places to play this game, gay male strip joints, bathhouses, peeps and backrooms now provide opportune meeting places. Using body language and eye contacts similar to that of street flirtations, dancers can engage, stimulate and yes, satisfy an audience.

The media teases and captivates using nudity in service of commerce, and gay magazines and clubs do it too. Quiet weekday nights perk up with displays of as much skin as local law permits. Some make "hot male dancers" a nightly specialty, and a few have dancers who doff all. Unlike the bait-and-switch of most advertising, the strip clubs usually deliver.

In some stripping scenes, freshness and energy is required. In others, the feel is more show-business. In Montreal a family-like atmosphere prevails that weaves the strippers into the larger community and makes room for longer careers.

In stripping, as in sex, male-on-male differs from female-on-male. For guys among guys there remain traces of locker room clowning and the curiousity and "just foolin' around" playfulness of youth which can leaven the mood and bridge the gaps. A man naked among peers is powerful. Unlike a woman who can appear vulnerable, he can be less guarded and more emotionally engaged. In same-sex male spaces, behind macho campiness, desire can be masked by mischievous coquetry. It adds up to ready intimacy, even among strangers, and in spite of commercial underpinnings.

Strippers compete, of course, with internet porn. Sometimes the twain meet, as on websites showcasing guys living together and running around naked and sex-charged like a bunch of frat boys, no girls in sight. Why such butt-naked, grab-ass inclinations lurk so close to the surface in young men, and so universally, is a topic for anthropologists to ponder.

With images of nudity at the ready, why the need for live strippers? Those who flock to Montreal to experience the shows find the question absurd. Stripping is about more than just seeing. At their best, these performers share so much more than just fantasy. There's eye-meets-eye, there's touch, and beyond that, delicious mystery.

See the Craig Seymour article, All I Could Bare, from our January 2009 issue.

Also see Craig's blog Gay Strip Junkie for his paean to the scene.

NOTE, this article is updated from time to time, most recently in March 2010. Please use the comments link below to make further updates.

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