Do Male Strippers REALLY Enjoy Stripping?

If anyone tries to tell you that Magic Mike XXL and its portrayal of happy male strippers who enjoy turning women on and making them happy isn't real, tell them that science says otherwise. According to the best study ever conducted, male strippers aren't in it for the money. Instead, they actually enjoy the work — something which, to be honest, shouldn't be that hard to understand or believe.

Maren Scull, a sociology instructor in the CU Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, managed to give herself the best job any woman could ask for: Observe and interview male strippers for two years. Scull was looking to uncover how men who strip for women feel about their work, and why they choose to continue the work. "Because stripping is a stigmatizing occupation, it has the capacity to negatively affect exotic dancers' self-definitions," Scull said in a press release.

So what were her findings? Basically, that instead of not actually liking stripping and just doing it for the money, men who strip for women actually wind up getting a lot more out of it than just cash."Initially women who dance for men may experience a boost in self-esteem, but after time they suffer from a diminished self-concept," said Scull. "My research finds that men who dance for women generally experience positive feelings of self-worth. So much so, that men will continue to strip even when it is no longer financially lucrative."


Scull hypothesizes that the major difference lies in the different ways that men and women experience objectification. Being openly objectified by women is relatively rare for men, so being objectified at work was actually pretty enjoyable and made them feel desirable. However, because we live in a society that objectifies women constantly, female strippers are more likely to feel that being objectified is a negative experience.

And to that, I'd add that for men, being sexual doesn't carry with it the same stigma and judgement that women have to contend with — meaning stripping carries less social risk as well, which in turn makes it easier to feel good about it as profession or side job.

But basically, the moral of the story is that if Magic Mike has inspired you to go seek out a male strip club for ladies' night, you need not feel guilty — chances are the guys there aren't sad or downtrodden or oppressed. In fact, they're really might be just as into the whole thing as you are. So you can enjoy your lap dances guilt free.

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Image: Warner Brothers; Giphy (3)