Confession: it's been two weeks since I saw Magic Mike XXL , and I still can't get that finale out of my head. There's just so much to think about: Channing Tatum's dance moves, that weird Fifty Shades of Grey-like contraption, and, of course, the very fact that it all took place at a stripper convention. We've already established that these events are, in fact, real things — but ever since I saw the movie, I've been wondering how accurate the movie was in portraying them. What happens at a stripper convention? It can't be all audience participation and Donald Glover singing, right?
Well, I've done some research into the matter and found out the truth, for all you worrying about the movie's accuracy (just admit it, you really just want to know if you can really be lifted into Joe Manganiello's crotch). As it turns out, stripper conventions aren't exactly like how they're portrayed in Magic Mike XXL, which can't be much of a surprise to anyone. They do, however seem just as fun, despite their lack of naked Channing Tatum and Matt Bomer. If you're curious about what these events are actually like, here's how I've surmised a typical convention goes down:
It Can Get Thousands Of Attendees
According to Channing Tatum, whose own stripping history (including time attending a convention) was the inspiration for Magic Mike and parts of its sequel, conventions can garner a few thousand eager audience members from "miles and miles around." The star said that with that many people, "mob mentality" takes over.
A Hundred Strippers Might Perform
Tatum also revealed that around a hundred dancers went to the convention he attended, and they all took turns dancing on one big stage.
It's Not Just Men
At Crosby Enterprises' 1st Annual Stripper Convention Party Bus Atlanta, the event promises performances by both male and female strippers. So the solely female audience that Magic Mike XXL showed? Probably not too accurate.
It Can Cost You
Crosby Enterprises' event, at least, costs $350. It includes a lot — tickets to both days of the convention, transportation to/from New Orleans and Atlanta, hotel, and a swag bag — but still. Being surrounded by strippers for a weekend is not cheap!
It's More Than Just Stripping
In addition to the performances, the weekend could also contain workshops on pole dancing, sex toy demonstrations, vendors, and events geared towards celebrating fans.
It's Not In Myrtle Beach
Although Magic Mike XXL sets its convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, city officials said that the area has never hosted a convention, at least to their knowledge. There are, however, ones in New Orleans (where Crosby Enterprises is) and, presumably, in Florida, where Tatum spent his stripping years.
It Can Get Very Physical
The most accurate part of the movie's depiction might be the element of interaction from the audience. Tatum told The Hollywood Reporter that when he performed for fans, "they attacked me every night." He recalled one lap dance in particular, when an overly-excited woman's grab at his butt "hit me like a hand grenade." Well, then.
So there you have it: Magic Mike XXL's version of stripper conventions vs. the reality. Not so different after all, huh? Sure, the movie version might have a bit more excitement, but the real ones don't exactly look boring. Now, off to book a ticket to New Orleans in the name of "research..."
Images: Warner Brothers; Giphy (7)