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Strip History Max India
By Max India

Being a light-hearted review of the unusual situation of men taking their clothes off for the delectation of other men and celebrating ladies.

The Americans started it as an entertainment. ‘Vaudville’. Naked dancing goes back to Ancient Greece and Egypt. People flung aside their garments in gay abandon to celebrate every sort of occasion and it wasn’t till Early Victorian Times when the Serpent raised it’s head in this hedonistic paradise and its new name was Prudery. Even table legs had knickers. When the heavy tome of the Bible landed on the frilly-legged tables, its first heroine was Eve, who bit into the serpent-proffered apple and realised she was naked! It didn’t take her long to off-load the guilt onto Adam and they were driven from Eden by an angel with a fiery sword. If ever there was a phallic symbol! Sex became a dirty word and the common parlance for genitalia became swear words. The developing disillusion with life caused by two world-wide wars caused people to question the restrictions of Victoriana and after the Second World War women coyly slipped a shoulder strap off their shoulders and men began posing for little post cards wearing but a miniscule fig-leaf. The homoerotic study of body-building grew into an industry and that great secret liberator Photography grew into a profitable industry. In Victorian times actresses wore over-all garments known as fleshings but these vanished in the touring nude shows of the Forties with frozen-still artistic girls with urns on their shoulders. See the Judi Dench movie. In California short movies of naked men in Classical Poses circulated. The Bible Belt began to thunder and Hollywood invented The Hayes Office with the pathetic sight of separate beds for married couples, swimming trunks that had to hide navels and Tarzan with a shaven chin and chest and a leather apron. Hair, that erotic progenitor, disappeared from under arms and bodies.

The Second World War allowed hairy chested soldiers to fight in the Pacific and Movie Stars lost their smooth chests. Liverpool, Manchester and the East End of London began Strip shows. The first male strippers were traditionally body-builders who wriggled out of their posing pouches, facing away from their punters. By the fifties certain pubs had regular ‘gay’ nights and the first male strippers began their professional routines. The beginnings in London, Manchester and Birmingham soon spread to the sea-side towns and thence across the country. In the Seventies and Eighties Hen Nights were an Industry and there were upwards of Eighty pubs in London who featured a regular Strip show. Now, in the early years of the Twenty First Century there are barely four pubs that regularly feature strippers. Hen Nights are thin on the ground and Drag Queens bemoan the lack of professional boys for their shows. Across England there are probably less than a dozen clubs that celebrate the sexy male. The post-war renaissance of strip is fading in competition with films and that old monster, Television. The intermet erodes Public entertainment and people crouch over the blue beam of their PCs. The older strippers are retiring to other jobs and I append a list of some recent Kings of Strip and where they have gone. The stripper who is credited with beginning the strip mania after the War is rumoured to run an hotel in Amsterdam and the famous Gerrard Simi who was the choreographer of Raymond’s Revue Bar put out a host of dynamic strippers including the famous Troy Passion and a tiny blonde dancer who did his whole act naked from the start and therefore hardly qualified as a stripper. I met a body-builder in a Paddington Gym and asked him what he wanted to dress as in his act. “A Cowboy” he declared and thence he became the well-known Willy The Kid. Other exotic names included a pantheon of Greek Gods – Apollo, Zeus and Achilles. Film titles are quoted – Predator, Blue Streak, Mad Max and Top Gun. Following the success of the American group, The Chippendales, British equivalents have included Men of Britain, The famous Adonis Cabaret.

Good luck to all of them and all their fans.
Davinas Strip History
Stripper Sex Gods

Rebel Red

‘Rob’, as he was known to his friends, was the first Super-star of the Strip world. It was known that you had to be at least an hour early at the pub, drink in hand and stationed within two feet of the stage to get a glimpse of this demi-God. The crowd was buzzing and on heat long before  he arrived at the Venue and quite a lot of bad-tempered jostling  occupied the time before he arrived on stage. By the time he did the pub was packed to suffocation and there was much craning of necks.

He entered in a long black satin cloak. His physique was on the chunky side and, as was de rigueur in those days he wore a black G-string and heavy soled boots. The movement consisted of a sort of skipping run through the crowd and hip thrusts with both feet planted firmly on the floor,  He took to shaking out  his shoulder-length, tightly- curled hair which was always greeted with an orgasmic  moan from the crowd. His teeth were electrically white and his eyes slit in delight as he put himself among the adoring fans. He famously appeared in a ‘London Knights’ video which demonstrated his energy and animal magnetism. It was not a long act but set the pattern that most body-building strippers from the North have followed. He toured Europe with the Knights and was photographed for ‘For Women’ magazine. His closing music was Tina Turner singing “Simply the Best” which just about summed it up.


Raw Sexx

Raw Sexx

Mark came to London to become a male model and   performed at the short Cafe de Piaf on Waterloo Station. He was persuaded to take a few tentative steps at stripping and made his debut in Newcastle where he was nearly booed off stage. This made him totally re-think his act and that made him one of the highest earning strippers in  the UK. He always began his act on two stools because, he explained, venue floors were invariably flat and more people saw him that way. His music included ‘I Need You Tonight’ in an electric version by InXS and the throbbing ‘Black Velvet’ by Alana Mikes, This eclectic choice of music cleverly married Pop and Dance Music and meant he was never in a state catching up on the Top of The Pops.

He wore a leather jacket, at one time painted with a large Tiger’s head, the ubiquitous leather chaps and a G-string with Velcroed sides which made more of a performance removing it.  He subsequently began an acting career at the Webber Douglas Drama School, appeared in a Michael Winner film, a Channel 4 TV Soap and with The Royal Shakespeare Company. He suddenly gave up theatrics to become a Yoga Teacher. He teaches in North London now and spends a lot of time travelling the World taking his Yoga teaching with him.


The Stag

The Stag

Mark used to bunk off from Margate to audition for West End Musicals at the tender age of fourteen. He found himself Go-Go dancing in the West End and eventually   joined Raw Sexx in the Waterloo-based Cafe de Piaf. Beside his film-star looks, blonde floppy hair and toned body, his act was more choreographed than most strippers. A bouncing and very witty performer, his lightning variety of adaptive movement and cool laid-back style made him extremely popular. He appeared in a Thomas Arklie film as an angel and numerous Pop Videos for the Australian Russell Mulcahy, which featured the likes of Ultravox, Kajagoogoo and the French Sheila. He appeared regularly at the late lamented ‘The Bridge’ by Putney Bridge and ran his own touring Company ‘The Men of Britain’ all across the UK. He has settled down in South Wales and runs a vegetable oil factory which is experimenting in bio-fuel. He caused a sensation with an act he did with The Gigolo called ‘Live Sex’ and was arrested for the act by the Liverpool Police. The trial was thrown out by the Magistrate who decided the Act was choreographed and there had been no complaints from the Public other than the Police themselves. Thus vindicated, he seems to have lost heart and has done little stripping since then. A great loss!



The Fireball

Mark was born in a Military camp in Germany and had a very disrupted childhood, adopted several times and having homes all over England. He fought his way to the surface and ended up Go-go dancing in various Night-Clubs, finally at Heaven. He was remarkable for the fierce energy and savage dancing of his act. He has, literally, bounced off the walls, hung from the rafters and roller-skated across the Brompton’s stage in a fur coat. A favourite of the Drags who employ him, he appears in a feathered costume of glittering spikes and a sequinned G-string. He is much out in the audience and chats with the customers as if with old friends. He is totally theatrical and has a wicked sense  of humour. Although very muscular, his short stature gives him a great appearance of youth. He is very aware of the act and employs a wide choice of dance movements. He leaps on and off stage, is the very opposite of coy and is step for step the equal of his energetic opening music, the rumbustious James Brown‘s ‘I Feel Good’. He was often featured as a solo performer in Heaven’s specials. He has gone on to run his own gym and is now courting a career in Boxing. He lives Oop Nawth and has framed his famous costume.


Jon Stephano

Jon Stephano

The glamorous Jon has an unpronounceable Greek-Cypriot name and was born and was bred in the deepest depths of the London East End. He was discovered by an Agent  when he was cutting the Agent’s hair and has an Act that can only be described as a  sensual ritual. Like most strippers of his generation, he wears the regulation black leather and his movements are innovative and original. Less a dancer, his stripping is somehow aimed at each and every customer. He had a reputation as being a touch unreliable but his effervescent social life and his popularity is sometimes difficult to juxtapose. His music is eclectic and he is often asked to suggest music for other strippers, He is careless of convention and will do things on the spur of the moment that may sometimes shock and surprise. Being well established, the act looks improvised and easy but there is a lot of thought behind the graceful facade.  He has semi retired to people transportation and now has a large business nesting in the East End.  He was part of that section of strippers that flooded into Southern Europe in the wave of the Mediterranean holiday boom.  He holds a firm position in the top ranks of good-looking, sexy gentlemen of the profession.


Rick Ramrod

Rick Ramrod

Simon never does things by half. When he decided to become a stripper he was so successful that he won a Businessman of the Year award. The business was Stripping. His act took in the most popular sexual image of his time and Officer Gentleman Ramrod appeared in the white naval uniform made famous by Richard Gere in the Movie. Many strippers have followed his example and that white outfit has now become as much of a cliché as the black leathers which preceded it. It wasn’t long before the businessman in Simon raised his head and his dance Exposure started touring the Country. He is still based on the South Coast and now works in an executive position for British Gas. Without him at the helm, Exposure has faded away and most of his boys have disappeared into non-stripping jobs. One is having a successful career as a Song Writer and recording artist, another is ploughing along as a painter and decorator. Simon is the epitome of a suited Business Man and under the collar and tie throbs the body of a feted Sex God.