A one-time hen-do stripper on the peculiarities of his profession... and a current stag-do stripper on the odd requests in hers
'They thought I was a real fireman': Tony's story
As a male stripper, all your work is in the summer season. I still work for (the agency) Strip and the City, but I no longer perform. About 90 per cent of the jobs I did were hen dos. Nearly always, the bride-to-be doesn't expect a stripper. They always think that their hen do will be different. Quite often they're embarrassed; they think they're too posh for it or something. But the other girls in the party are almost always up for it.
I've had a few occasions when the hens have run away and hidden in the toilets. Once, the hen refused the strip, even after her friends spent 15 minutes trying to convince her to have it. It was in a bar and there was also a birthday going on there. In the end, the birthday girl, which was a separate group to the hen party, said that I could strip for her instead, so I did.
Most often I'm asked to dress as a fireman and I'll arrive and say there's a fire. Being a hen do, obviously everyone knows immediately that I'm a stripper. But once there was a hen party at a hotel. About half an hour before the show, there had been a fire alarm and the hotel was evacuated. I didn't know this had happened and turned up and everyone thought I was an actual fireman. That took a bit of explaining.
I've had hens cry before. I think sometimes it's at their hen do that it hits them that they're actually getting married. It's a happy occasion though.
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'Once they wanted me to be a farmer': Gypsy's story
I'd say about half of my business is made up of stag nights; the rest is birthday parties and leaving dos. The most popular thing I'm asked to dress up as for stags is a policewoman; the men love it. The next most requested is probably a schoolgirl or a nurse, but I have over 60 costumes so I can do pretty much anything.
Probably the strangest thing I've ever been asked to dress up as was a pregnant jilted bride. I was five or six months pregnant with my daughter at the time. They bought me a special costume to wear – a sort of sexy bridal dress. I didn't mind doing it; they paid me extra.
There are lots of strange requests. Sometimes they like to surprise the stag, so you'll pretend to be one of the bar staff. Once they wanted me to be a farmer.
I was a glamour model in my teens, and did Page Three and top-shelf magazines and lads' mags. I got into stripping by accident; a friend of mine did it and I went along with her one day.
I've got a cut-off time; I only do stags until 11pm because sometimes you'll get people totally out of control. They're crowding you, grabbing you, even smacking you. They drink a lot. I've had people be sick near me, one guy tried to scratch my car in the past.
It's a job, it's good money, but it's also a dangerous job, I would say.
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