Women, it’s okay to lust like men

Half-naked, oiled-up, gy­rat­ing male strip­pers. We want this but think we can’t be seen to do so

Mail & Guardian - - Comment & Analysis - Kagure Mugo

When a friend in­vited me over break­fast to watch male strip­pers with her, a num­ber of thoughts went through my head. The most im­por­tant was: Do I re­ally want to see men gy­rat­ing at me for more than 15 min­utes?

A few glasses of pino­tage, one banned Instagram post and a lost voice later, turns out I did.

This would be my first ex­pe­ri­ence of male strip­pers out­side of chic-flick type movies. The Magic Mike South Africa show, which was started in 2015 by Kim David­off, boasted about be­ing “SA’s best and ex­clu­sive re­vue show” on its so­cial me­dia pages.

As al­ways, I was scep­ti­cal. What did these fel­las know about Chan­ning Ta­tum?

I thought it would be a half-baked show with the prom­ise of a glimpse of pe­nis but I was wrong. It was chore­ographed; there was pole danc­ing; there were women who were picked up and spun around with their legs in the air; there were men called Tarzan, Dark Cho­co­late and Magic D but it was hard to keep the names straight; there were cow­boy hats, un­du­lat­ing and body wav­ing and, yes, there was baby oil.

The Magic Mike boys kept it right and kept it tight, look­ing as though they spent their days do­ing pullups in some se­cret gov­ern­ment lab some­where tasked with build­ing su­per­be­ings.

The DJ took it old school and women got lap dances to Gin­uwine’s Pony. Clas­sic.

There was pure sex in the air and the women breathed it right in.

That is what struck me the most. How much the women loved the show and its pure sexual en­ergy. They loved the sex. In this space they could be un­abashed about it for just a short while.

It was also quite a mix of women: from univer­sity stu­dents to char­tered ac­coun­tants and HR man­agers, and even a doc­tor. Wives, sisters, friends, moth­ers. Ap­par­ently one of the dancers’ mother’s or­gan­ises peo­ple to see her boy dance.

There was also a good dose of racial di­ver­sity. I had ex­pected it to be mainly white women try­ing to live their best lives. I was very wrong. Clearly the need to see sexy men knows no racial bound­aries.

I made many a friend that night be­cause ap­par­ently naked men who can pole dance and gy­rate bring women to­gether.

It was in­ter­est­ing, though, how the women had to dress it up. I mean lit­er­ally dress it up. They wore Min­nie Mouse ears, uni­corn horns, bridal veils, sashes, you name it.

Most of the women seemed to have planned for the evening as though it was the next lu­nar land­ing. This sug­gests that, for women to par­tic­i­pate in this level of overt de­sire, it must be an oc­ca­sion — a bach­e­lorette party, a wild (but well-or­gan­ised) night out, a team-bond­ing ses­sion or a re-en­act­ment of a girls’-night-out movie.

The women couldn’t sim­ply show up for a good time and en­joy these Adonises, who moon­light as per­sonal train­ers. They seem to have to have an ex­cuse for lov­ing sex.

That an evening like this must be a prized mo­ment is deeply ex­pres­sive of the re­la­tion­ship we think women should have with sex. Sex for women is a big event, ev­ery­thing from the way we mas­tur­bate (the wine, can­dles and bub­ble bath nar­ra­tive) to the way we have sex (slow, sen­sual yet full of love and long­ing).

The idea that we could just want to rub one out, have a quickie or see a sculpted ass on a Satur­day night is a far cry from the lust­ful lee­way that is of­ten af­forded to men.

There is this idea that for women sex is some­how sa­cred that should be kept in a box and brought out only for spe­cial events.

Yes, the mu­sic was sen­sual and, yes, there was some­times an el­e­ment of ro­mance but none of the women there was look­ing for a hus­band or a boyfriend, none of them was look­ing for Mr Right. They sim­ply wanted to see nice things.

This is the idea we need to have about women and their sex — not only do they own it but they love it as well. It is in un­der­stand­ing this that we can see women as ac­tive sexual be­ings rather than re­cip­i­ents sim­ply wait­ing for coitus to come their way.

Women love sex, and good sex: none of this medi­ocre “I brought the D” stuff ei­ther.

So I shall re­turn to the Magic Mike show, and I shall not be wear­ing bunny ears or a sash to see my sex.

Take it off: Women en­joy a raunchy evening with male strip­pers (above) but many of those at the Magic Mike SA show dressed up in a way that sug­gests they need an ex­cuse to have a girls’ night out. Photo: Magic Mike SA

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