Big Brother & Male Strippers unzipped

Big Brother

For the best part of a year, I had been aware that one of my former Dreamboys colleagues, Lotan Carter, was probably going to be entering this year’s Big Brother show on Channel 5.  As a former BBUK contestant myself, from the 13th series, I am frequently asked about the experience and whether I would recommend applying.  Had Lotan asked me my honest opinion about whether it was a good idea, my response would have been: absolutely not.

Male strippers are simply people.  Normal people who do, perhaps, a rather unusual job with a controversial perception and position in society.  But they are normal people nonetheless.  They have their plus sides, they have their down sides, their good days and their bad.  However, as someone who has both been a male stripper and spent a large chunk of his time in public debates and forums defending the adult entertainment industry in all its facets, I feel a certain responsibility to address some of the issues that have arisen from recent events in the Big Brother house with an honesty that few are prepared to admit.

It is not my intention to comment on the specifics of the events of last weekend nor target any one individual.  While the events that unravelled involving Lotan have prompted me to address certain issues, the observations  and experiences I share here could, and do, apply to many within the industries of which I discuss, namely male stripping and reality TV.  Plus, I don’t really watch Big Brother anyway, so am ill-equipped to focus on what either did, or did not, go down in the house.

Male strippers are normal people, but they exist in a world of hypers:  hyper-sexuality, hyper-gender and hyper-egos.  We all are affected by these subject matters in all our lives, but strippers (male and female) face them in an overly ‘in-your-face’ manner.  Some of us in the industry are able to tackle them head on, employ restraint and keep things in a certain perspective.  Others, however, are not and become victims of their own perceived ‘success’.

I am sure there are people for whom entering a reality TV show like Big Brother is a harmless social experiment and fun experience.  But such people are rarely the sort of people that producers want on their program.  They are hungry for ratings and news – placid, passive, peace-loving housemates are rarely the sort of people that hit the headlines and make for explosive and entertaining television.

This blog is meant to offer a critique and an insight into the worlds of both reality TV (through the experience of a Big Brother contestant) and male stripping and how, when the two collide, rarely result in a harmonious union.  Moreover, it is an examination into the psyches, motives and behaviours of those who become male strippers and why, unless these are all put into some level of perspective, can lead to a self-destructive path that is only amplified, often exacerbated, by the ratings-hungry reality TV producer.  I also hope to be able to offer some advice which, while focusing on my male stripper colleagues, is also applicable to men, and, to a lesser extent, women generally who are considering a dose of reality TV ‘fame’.

 

UNZIPPING MALE STRIPPERS

I love to meet people who surprise me.  Who break the mould.  Challenge stereotypes.  Butch men who are nurses, petite women who are truck drivers, white guys who can jump, black guys who can swim.  Its always refreshing to know generalisations are just that: general.  There are always those who are the exceptions and who dare to stand up to the pre-described roles that society often imposes.

No-one enters the world of male stripping thinking they will be mixing with the intelligentsia and intellectuals, but to believe that strippers are all brain-dead muscle-heads is unfair and inaccurate.  Of course, there are many who are predictably shallow, egotistical, narcissists who are stereotypically employed as personal trainers, labourers or firemen outside of their stripping hours.  But I have also worked with people who are intelligent, articulate, considerate and respectful, who have degrees, are qualified pediatricians, work in social services managing children’s homes, run cleaning businesses, are civil servants, professional actors, trained dancers and ballerinas, or, like me, have been teachers.

The role of a male stripper is a pretty simple one.  It is to entertain, to titillate, to provide laughs, smiles and a little shock value along the way.

In my opinion, the best male strippers often, though not always, come from a performance background, such as professional dancers, acrobats, actors, etc.   They are able to create a show that follows a narrative, contains ups and downs, humour, sensuality, passion and is reflective of their individual personality.  Ultimately, it should be more about the audience, making them happy, getting them involved, than catering to the ego of the performer.

Most importantly, the very best male strippers can stay grounded, keep things in perspective and maintain a level of humility at all times.

Unfortunately, many guys get swept up and caught in the trappings and temptations of the job and elements that accompany it.

To understand male strippers, you need to understand where they’ve come from, what’s motivated them to enter the industry and what makes them stay.

 

Sexuality

Human sexuality is complex.  We all have our individual journeys on the road to discovery.  Sometimes it can be confusing.

Male strippers are immersed in a world of sexual extremes, where one minute women are, sometimes literally, throwing themselves at them and begging to sleep with them, while, on the other, comparing and admiring each other’s toned, naked physiques while wanking off or pumping-up their dicks in full view in the dressing rooms.

If there are ever doubts in his mind, stripping re-enforces the notion that a male stripper already attempts to concoct in his own head, that he is appealing to the opposite sex, that women do want him, adore him and lust after him.  It demonstrates to the outside world (for public re-enforcement of a private matter is important for their public image and perception) that he must be ‘straight’ by sheer virtue of the fact that he loves working for, and around, thousands of women who pine after every ripped muscle in his oiled-up body.  This obviously ignores the fact that many male strippers also often work in gay clubs, at gay events and usually have a large male fan base too.

Some strippers are openly ‘gay’, if not with the fans, at least amongst their colleagues, but a significant number are openly dishonest (perhaps due to their own confusion or lack of security in their own sexuality), but privately curious about their sexuality.

I know of male strippers who describe themselves as ‘straight’, who have advertised on Grindr (the gay dating app), provided escort services to male clients, been sucked off by a drag queen and I have witnessed one stripper performing oral on another.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you will know my view on sexuality.  I ascribe to none, but ‘human’, as pretentious as some may deem this to be.  I do not attempt to operate under the pretence of one pigeon-holed sexual preference, while harbouring feelings that are often allotted in the other.  But strippers are not alone in society at strictly sticking to pre-described sexual identities and they are, perhaps more than most, afraid of the repercussions of admitting anything other than the heterosexual norm that the world still, by and large, expects, particularly from these ‘uber-men’ who sign up to the rigid male stripper stereotype.

 

Ego

Is it any wonder that strippers are often accused of having inflated egos?  On an almost daily occurrence, if not in person, via social media, you receive flattering comments and come-ons (some eloquent, many damn-right blunt and rude) from women, men (‘gay’, ‘straight’, ‘bi’ and ‘curious’), men pretending to be women, husbands and partners wanting you to do all manner of things with their wives and girlfriends and, on the odd occasions, even some who describe themselves as ‘lesbians’ have been known to make a move.

Most of us, in the real world, realise, it is horses for courses.  Different people like different things.  Many people find male strippers repulsive.  If not only physically, they consider it immoral and those who would do it, mentally repugnant.  For those who attend strip-shows, different people like different things.  What we as individuals find attractive is entirely subjective.  But strippers do not entirely operate in the ‘real’ world.  They exist in a world of continual flattery, where, if they are unable to put this into a perspective, can fool themselves into believing that this is how everyone thinks or, at least, should think and, if they don’t, then there must be something wrong with them.

 

Alpha male

The world of male stripping is an environment of hyper masculinity.  Where the idea of a proper ‘man’ stems more from Marvel super heroes than the real male role models around us.

It is a highly competitive and physically obsessed environment.  Brains count for little, pure brawn is king.  It is a constant battle to be the best looking, the most popular, have the biggest biceps, the tightest abs and the largest dick.

This is no place for the weak or self-conscious.  Or so you would think.  Yet, the irony is that these men are often the most self-conscious of all, hiding behind the bravado, the ego, the arrogance of a fluffed-up peacock.  The slabs of muscle create a shield, sometimes a buffer to deflect the inner conflicts between the real them and the outside world.  These ‘men’ are often little more than pumped-up boys seeking reassurance, lacking self-confidence, escaping pasts of bullying, homophobia (sometimes abuse), often lacking male role models in their own childhoods.  It is these factors that sometimes drive these men to desire for physical change, to take the first steps of entering a gym and beginning the transformation of their bodies in an attempt to mould and create what they believe is their image of a perfect man, more often influenced by childhood idols, celebrities and, of course, photo-shopped imagery from across the media.

In some ways, male strippers are men who never really grew out of the boyish perception of a what a man should be.  While most men adapt to daily life and their shifting priorities of work, family, relationships, learning to accept the limits of life in the real world, and recognising that real manhood is not defined by, and certainly not limited to, the size of any body part or appendage, or the quantity of sexual conquests.

 

Perception of women

One of the ugly sides of stripping is the attitude towards women that is frequently expressed by many.  It is often fraught with disrespectful and derogatory language about women, frequently the customers, sometimes directly abusive or harassing in nature.  Its also true that sometimes the women attending stripping shows can be pretty vile:  drunk, aggressive, occasionally even violent – the trend of scratching strippers’ backs I will never understand nor tolerate.

Indeed, some strippers lack respect for the women because they attend strip shows, seeing this as a reflection of their loose morals, as much as it is on their own for being strippers.  This is certainly not grounded in any degree of truth, as a huge range of women attend strip shows or hire strippers for a variety of reasons, and, of course, the hypocrisy is so glaringly obvious as to be offensive to anyone with with even the most limited of brain activity.  But the one rule for him and another for her is a running theme amongst male strippers (as it is amongst men generally), who extend their striving for adonis-like perfection from simply the physical to the delusion of achieving God-like status amongst their fans and ‘worshippers’.

Many strippers, just as many of their civilian male counterparts, are on a continual voyage of conquest of the opposite sex.  But being a stripper has the ability of turning what can usually be an on-going, tortuous battle to woo and commandeer the object of your infatuation, to an effortless capitulation.  The number of times I have been stuck on a minibus, on a tour coach or in a dressing room, listening to groups of male strippers going on about “pussy this” and “pussy that”, their perpetual ‘hunt for pussy’ and their gloating over the details of each victim and the pounding they endured.  A boundless lust for females, or their genitals at least, that could easily be subdued with a bit of hand relief, but usually results in sneaking girls into toilets or alleys for a quick suck or fuck.

 

Dating

Which brings me onto another relevant area of consideration… the concept of dating a male stripper.

Again, I must stress, there are male strippers who have maintained long-term and committed relationships.  Strippers are no more immune to the complications of human intimacy and relationships than anyone else, but the unique nature of their chosen area of work makes certain pit-falls more likely to occur.

As a general rule, my answer to anyone, be it a male stripper, or someone considering being with one is:  honesty is key.

If only male strippers could be completely honest about the work they do and the way they behave and that any potential ‘date’ be completely honest with themselves about what they really want from a relationship.

We all crave physical attention and close bonding with others at times.  But be honest about what, at this stage in your life, you are after and what you are able to, realistically – particularly considering the work and lifestyle you maintain, and the temptations that accompany them – provide and maintain.  In most cases, I would advise steering clear of anything resembling a traditional relationship.

If you want to sleep around and casually date, then do so.  Nothing wrong with that at all, in my opinion at least.  But be honest about it.  Don’t lie to yourself or someone else and dupe yourself into believing that you can hold down a long-term, committed, traditional relationship, while knowing full well that the distractions and attractions of the vices of the stripping world are too strong to ignore.

If it is an open relationship you seek, then perfect.  Then find someone who feels the same.  Be up-front about your desires and intentions, then they too can make up their mind.  Some women are happy to explore open relationships, to pursue a more liberal and experimental sexual and romantic lifestyle.  That’s great.  If this is the type of relationship you crave, then be pro-active in seeking out people of a similar mindset, at sex clubs, swinger’s sites and hedonistic organisations, for example.  Don’t deceive a naive hen night partygoer into the delusion of a traditional relationship, which you know, full well, you will not be able to commit to.

If its a one-night-stand you want.  Perfect.  If its a casual relationship you want.  Perfect.  If its a fuck buddy.  Perfect.  Its not the lifestyle that is the problem, its the lies that attempt to hide these intentions behind the cover of ‘romance’ and commitment that continue to perpetuate the stereotype of male strippers being womanising, disrespectful, egotistical pigs.

 

Roids and Rage

Almost all strippers have been, or are on, steroids.

I make no moral judgements about drugs.  I personally believe all drugs should be decriminalised.  While there is the argument about wasting police resources, time and prison space, I fundamentally believe that what we, as informed individuals, decide to put in our bodies, should be our own choice.

A society that accepts alcohol and tobacco (not to mention caffeine, sugar and salt) as legal, normal and taxable narcotics that are freely available to the general public, possesses no moral high ground on the question of drugs.

All drugs carry positive and negative effects.  Of course, steroids ‘improve’ (at least in the minds of those using them) your physical appearance, they can also give you more energy, increase your libido and generally make you feel more confident.  Conversely, they carry health risks, can affect your fertility, and, in certain individuals, create what is often referred to as ‘roid’ rage.  For individuals prone to conflict, anger management issues and violence, this can lead to a toxic and potentially dangerous combination.

Then there’s the fights.  One juiced-up bonehead with a criminal record going head-to-head over the most banal of things with another equally as juiced-up bag of muscle that may, or may not, have a criminal record, but certainly sports an equal array of tattoo art up the length of both arms as the jailbird.

I’ve witnessed blood, punches, threats of violence, screaming and scrapping like typical idiot Brits abroad in the middle of a Dutch city or on a crowded minibus.  I’ve seen it all, and always, without exception, I am the one attempting to resolve and calm the situation.  Without doubt, it is true to say I have witnessed worse behaviour from adult male strippers (many parents themselves!) than I ever encountered from teenage boys while I was a teacher.

 

Stripper Sensitivity

During my time with The Dreamboys, I developed the reputation of something of an ‘Agony Uncle’.  If not quite a shoulder to cry on, I was certainly someone some of the guys would turn to for support, advice and to share their problems and concerns.  After all, male strippers are just normal folk.

For the same reason I used to get great satisfaction from breaking through the tough exterior of many ‘bad boys’ when I was a high school teacher, beneath the rock-hard pecs, there usually is a heart, but sometimes its broken or breaking, and men, even the most sensitive, often have difficulties admitting it, let alone showing it.

We shouldn’t excuse the shortfalls of male strippers, but we shouldn’t throw them on the scrapheap either.

While being a stripper can sometimes help you to confront these issues, too often it can enhance and worsen them.

I am certainly a more comfortable and confident version of me.  But is stripping solely responsible for this?  I doubt it, but it certainly forced me to face some of my ‘demons’ head on.  Had I perhaps been younger when I started (I was 29), more easily led or maybe even less of a conscientious and considerate individual brought up by two wonderful, decent individuals, then maybe things might have turned out differently and gone in another direction.

 

BIG BROTHER

It can be a stressful and testing time living with anyone: parents, siblings, friends and even our lovers.  Dumping a complete load of strangers in a confined space with no access to the outside world, music, TV, books, for an undefined period and with TV cameras watching you 24/7, is bound to be challenging to almost anyone.

There are therefore very few people to whom I would genuinely say “sure, go on Big Brother, you’d be great!”.  For most people, the experience is unlikely to be the most sensible of life choices and may indeed carry detrimental outcomes, if not in the long-term, at least the short.

The idea, regularly touted, that you can ‘play the game’ or pretend to be anything other than yourself is a myth.  Eventually, the truth will out or you’ll slip up and the normal ‘you’ will always make an appearance.

For the first two weeks of my time in the Big Brother house, I was accused, by many viewers, of being bland and boring and of not taking up much air time.  If not causing arguments, creating conflict or being an airhead equates to being bland and boring, I take full ownership.

I had my own reasons for going on Big Brother.  Both Lotan and I had been approached by producers via Facebook.  This is not unusual.   I was not the first male stripper to enter the house and I doubt Lotan will be the last.   Personally, I thought being on the show would be a good platform, or platform at least, for raising debate and challenging perceptions, particularly about the sex industry, those involved in it and attitudes to sex generally.  I saw it as an extension of the work I had already been doing prior to entering the house.  Now, as much as the producers may have been enamoured by my ability to speak eloquently about the politics of sex, sexual identity or argue for the legalisation of prostitution, I’m pretty sure that the main reason they invited a male stripper/adult entertainer onto the show was for the possibility of lewd activity, if not full-blown live sex, and some potential conflict with other, perhaps more prudish, housemates.  Ratings, remember.  People want action, not talk!  Also, bearing in mind that Richard Desmond, owner of Channel 5, also had pornography channel, Television X, on his portfolio at the time, a bit of cross-promotion might not be such a bad marketing strategy.

Let’s face facts:  TV producers don’t really give one iota of a shit about you, your issues, your past or your future.  All they ultimately care about is their jobs – which is making TV shows that pull in the greatest possible numbers in order to generate the pounds from the advertisers, sponsors and telephone line revenues that pay their wages.

Endemol UK claims to be concerned about the calibre and welfare of its contestants by using the facade of psychologists, ticking the relevant boxes so as to cover their own legal arses, as part of the assessment process.  But really they pay lip service to the whole notion of maintaining the care and well-being, pre and post the show, of their numerous housemates.

In 2012, Lotan Carter entered the Big Brother house.   Yes, you read it right: in 2012.  No, not on live television, but as part of a trial house before the real series was due to air that summer.  On that trial, he was ejected from the house by security after starting a fight.  Despite this, he was asked to return as a housemate in the televised series in 2017.  Of course, people can change, mature, reform – I am certainly a slightly different person than I was 5 years ago.  But how accountable and responsible should the producers be when re-admitting someone on to a show they refused to allow in five years ago, only to see said contestant go and create the similar kind of security threat he posed the first time round?  I don’t really blame Lotan, he was simply being himself.  As I said, the real you always comes out of the woodwork at some point.

Big Brother housemates are real people.  But for several weeks and months a year, the viewer sees them as two-dimensional, almost cartoon-like, characters on their TV screens.  As viewers, we feel we have free licence to criticise, to take these people apart, to judge.   Through the lens of a camera, we bring them into our homes and lives and believe, based on 45 minutes of edited broadcast, that we know everything, and all we need to know, about them.  The contestants made the free choice to be on the show, knowing full-well its consequences, we therefore have every right, as viewers, to treat them as they deserve.  But for those who do make that decision, this is part of their real life.  Their lives will continue, whether they wish them to or not, after they have been ejected from their temporary Borehamwood residence and, in most cases, rejected, often brutally, by large numbers of the viewing public to rapturous boos, disappointment and, sometimes, hate.

This is exactly what the producers at Endemol want.  For them, its cheap and easy TV.  Where the only real cost is ultimately the lives of those who volunteer to become their victims, as no-one receives any fee for temporarily surrendering their daily existence to the whims and wills of a team of manipulative editors and producers.

 

CONCLUSION

This is not meant to be a scathing attack on anyone:  neither stripper nor even the producers of reality TV.  We are all adults.  We are all aware of our actions and those of others.  If we are not, its about bloody time we should be.

Both strippers and reality TV producers do jobs shrouded in controversy, founded on questionable moral bases.

This article is simply meant to provide an honest first-hand account of the world of stripping and reality TV for those who often have no understanding and are quick to judge, from someone who has been directly involved in both.

As a former stripper and adult entertainer, I am always the first to defend the industry and the rights of those who work within it.  This does not mean that I defend their every action and word.

Defending, articulating motives and possible explanations does not excuse misogyny, sexism, homophobia, aggression, abuse and violence.  The idea that ‘men will be men’ is predicated on the myth that all penis-owners are the same.  We are not.

Male strippers should perhaps after all, for want of a better word, be ‘admired’ for doing something that few have the balls to do.  Whether its stupidity or braveness, that is for you to decide, but, ultimately, they provide something that someone somewhere wants to see and pay for the privilege of doing do.

(On a personal note, I have never fully understood the appeal of seeing men in the ‘full monty’, watching an entirely naked man strutting around the stage is not usually the most flattering of visions.  I certainly believe that the male body can indeed be a work of art, but I tend to be of the school of thought that it is, at least, more classy and ‘sexy’ to leave something to the imagination.  Despite this, as a performer, I did, and do, go naked.  Not because I find my manhood a particularly wonderful sight to behold, but simply because I am not ashamed of it and don’t really care who sees it.  It is, after all, just a penis.)

You are probably reading this and wondering why I am so critical of strippers and reality TV contestants when I myself have been both.  Do I also ascribe some of these characteristics, motives and perceived flaws I outline to myself?  To which I respond, in all honesty, with:  of course I do.

I was bullied as a child, well into my teens, for multiple reasons, some of it with strongly homophobic-based abuse.  I have never been, and still am not, particularly confident when it comes to meeting women.  As a child I was terribly skinny and I think it is pretty obvious to admit that I probably do still suffer anxieties over my body image.  Despite what it may seem, I do frequently get nervous in social situations and meeting new people and, yes, I always get jitters before going on stage.

Nowadays, I am often perceived as being overly-confident, some say arrogant, but perception frequently conceals the reality that lurks below.  Despite (or perhaps because) of these reasons, I have been a performer for many years, acting, singing and (I use the term loosely) ‘dancing’, thereby hiding behind characters and personas, but too shy, until recent years, to simply be me.

Have I also succumbed to some of trappings and temptations of the male stripping world?  Indeed, I have.

I’ve done a range of drugs (legal and illegal), very occasionally to excess.  I’ve had casual sex with women (sometimes in multiples) from the audience, sometimes even at the club, simply because I could.  I am not perfect.  I have my vices.  I have my flaws.  I have my free-will and choices as an informed, independent adult.  It is not the fact of indulging in these behaviours that is the problem.  Male strippers can still ‘enjoy’ the indirect ‘benefits’ of the job, without allowing themselves to become deluded into believing this is how the world outside operates and thinks.  Anyone, not simply strippers, can explore the colourful sides of humanity, while still maintaining decorum, respect and humility.

There are therefore many things that I am not, or, at least, have not allowed myself to become, that I could so easily have been transformed into had I been less restrained.

I am not an aggressive person.  I have never been in a fight in my life.  In arguments, I can get a little passionate and occasionally become a somewhat more enflamed (ask my girlfriend), but generally I am calm and a pretty good listener.  I tend to be a peace-maker when conflict is threatening to arise.

I have no desire to talk endlessly about pussy and girls.  I enjoy sex.  I don’t need to go on and on about it.

I do not have a negative view of women.  On the contrary, most of my closest friends have usually been women.  I have a wonderful mother, some fantastic female cousins, an adorable niece and, to top it off, a truly amazing girlfriend.  Each of them, individually, can frustrate, irritate and annoy me at times, but not because they are women.

If you have read some of my previous posts, as stated, you will know I am pretty clear and open about my view of sexuality, including that of my own.  I have no problem in recognising the beauty and lust in and of either genders.

We are all responsible for our own behaviour.  Stripper or not.  While we might wish that TV companies produced more responsible programming or took greater care and diligence in their selection criteria and process, the fact is that they don’t and they won’t.

TV producers are amoral.

While they should be accountable for what they choose to broadcast and how they edit, they cannot fabricate something that didn’t happen.  Ultimately, the only person responsible for things that come out of your mouth or the actions and behaviours you express, is you.  If you think any TV producer is in the business of making you look good, hiding your faults and concealing your flaws, unless you’re paying them, think again.

While most of us are more than aware of our downsides and negatives, I would advise against exposing them for public consumption and in the name of entertainment in order to have them viewed, criticised and used against you, even if you have one of the most thickest of skins.

Having said that, my personal experience of appearing on Big Brother was largely positive.  Any negatives were negligible, predictable and manageable.  I found my time to be mostly enjoyable, relaxing and stress-free.  I did confront a couple of people about things that concerned or bothered me about them, their behaviour or attitude and, while voices may have become slightly raised, I think these discussions were predominantly restrained, controlled and civil, certainly not descending into the kinds of quarrels and conflicts we have frequently witnessed from other housemates in various series of Big Brother.

By and large, I believe I was far better prepared and able to adapt to life as a Big Brother contestant than most.  I had been a teacher and foster carer, dealing with conflict resolution, unsavoury attitudes and difficult personalities on an almost daily basis.  I had also already faced public condemnation from previous media appearances, appearing on TV and radio and being plastered all over the gutter press.  Perhaps, most importantly, I have never been in a fight in my entire life (excluding that one time I was asked to eject a drunkard from a party which, to my surprise, I did successfully).  I also went into Big Brother as a known stripper, porn ‘star’ and sexually open individual.  There was therefore very little the red tops could drag up against me.

None of us are perfect, we all have moments of exposing the more unsavoury sides of our personalities.  Usually, that is limited to the people around us and confined spaces and audiences.

It upsets me that anyone, particularly people I know and care for, especially younger people, would put themselves in a situation where the worst side of them gets the best of them.  Exploited by the TV channels, producers and press, desperate for ratings, readers and, in turn, advertising and sponsorship, to fund their comfortable salaries while you, the ‘non-celebrity’ contestant, are ill-equipped and inexperienced to deal with the onslaught from media and social media alike.  On top of this, Big Brother housemates receive no financial compensation, except payment of their expenses.  Not to make mention of the fact that housemates today are unlikely, these days, to benefit in any other way from their appearance.  On the contrary, some people lose their jobs, their relationships, their friends, many turn to depression, some to self-harm and even, occasionally, to suicide.

 

So, as a useful summary and in an attempt to answer the question “Should I apply for / go on Big Brother?”, whether male stripper or not, my first bit of advice would be to really think about your motives for doing so.  Is your presence there going to simply perpetuate a stereotype (yet another blond, bimbo from Essex, pumped-up arrogant male stripper or hot-headed rude boy from ‘da streets’) or will your presence attempt to change minds or create discussion?  From a personal perspective, if Big Brother is to serve any real purpose beyond being simply a vacuous, voyeuristic, soft porn, social experiment and viewer magnet for Channel 5, it should, at the very least, be a tool to offer some degree of social change, commentary and, maybe even, progress.  But maybe that is just the optimist in me speaking.

Perhaps, more importantly, if you still see yourself as next year’s Big Brother winner, please consider, very carefully, the following:

  • Are you under 30?
  • Do you have a job you don’t want to risk losing?
  • Do you have aspirations for a professional career?
  • Do you have a short temper?
  • Do you suffer anger management issues?
  • Do you have a shady past or aspects of your life you wouldn’t want exposed?
  • Do you suffer claustrophobia?
  • Do you get upset when someone is rude about, or criticises, you or any member of your family, including on social media?
  • Do you want to be famous?
  • Do you believe it will be a launchpad to a career in entertainment or the media?
  • Do you have body issues?
  • Do you harbour racist, sexist, misogynist, or homophobic views or tendencies?
  • Do you value your privacy?
  • Are you prone to depression, self harm or suicide attempts?
  • Do you worry about how your actions may affect your family or the perception of your family?

If you answered ‘YES’ to any of the above, take a long hard think about what is most important in your life and, then, perhaps, think again.