A&E El Blog

How to Tease to Please

Photo: Dita VonTeese for Wonderbra

If you’re anything like me— and I sincerely hope for your sake that you are— you never know when you will be called upon to perform an emergency striptease. Maybe you’re asked to take it off in public to help fight for gay rights. Maybe you’re just the life of the party. Either way, everyone is counting on you, so you better shake it something special. Whether you’re bumpin’ and gindin’ to save the world or just to give someone a private show, here are a few tips on crafting your routine.

Have a Persona

The most important thing is to think about what kind of image you want to present in this particular routine. There is no one way to put on a show and this is your chance to be who you have always fantasized about being. Do you play coy and innocent? Brassy and take charge? Dark and mysterious? Maybe you just want to be a goofball. Whatever persona you choose will determine the rest of your routine.

Have a Play-list

The right song can make you strut your stuff with more confidence, thus adding an extra oomph to your performance. If you haven’t already thought of the perfect song to strip to, get started. Everyone should have at least one go-to theme song because, like I said, you never know when you might be called upon to perform. Make yourself a play-list. You don’t need to debate over the merits of genres when it comes to stripping. Really, anything from slow and sensual R&B to trashy ‘80’s hair metal can work. Just close your eyes and think of what song always makes you want to have sex. As long as it’s not “The Bad Touch” by The Bloodhound Gang, you have my permission to work it.

If you want to strip like a retro burlesque God or Goddesss, I suggest picking up a copy of “Tease: The Beat of Burlesque”. It includes that old classic standard “The Stripper.” Other good songs to consider: “You Can Leave Your Hat On” by Joe Cocker and “Take It Off” by the Donnas. Just in case you were wondering, my strip song of choice is PJ Harvey’s “This is Love.” Because I’m a bad ass.

Have a Costume

Yeah, I know you’ll be taking it of anyway, but what you wear still matters. I’m not going to get excited watching you take off a pair of ratty cargo shorts. You don’t have to be Dita Von Teese-ish in the lengths you go to for glamour, but make a little effort. No one can resist a man or woman in uniform, so that’s always an idea. You can always go with an over the top, gimmicky outfit like anything Lady Gaga might wear. If you’re opposed to either end of that spectrum, a simple suit and tie can suffice (a la Demi Moore, in “Striptease”). This is an equally unisex option and especially sexy for those of us with fetishes for ties (bonus: they make good leashes).

As for what to wear under, this is the perfect time to remind you to wear clean underwear and to throw out your period panties. A sexy bra and panty set is pretty basic for stripteases. Pasties are also excellent for novelty’s sake. They might be better on women than on men, depending on your audience. For men, boxers or briefs are hotter than tighty whiteys. They show off your butt better and leave more to the imagination. Make us wait for that package, boys! Panties might also work on men in the big reveal, again, depending on the audience. Another favorite is fashioning your own underthings out of bondage tape. Just make sure it’s the kind that won’t stick to air or skin for apain free experience.

Have Fun

I understand self esteem issues might come into play in stripping and could inhibit what could otherwise be a bringing-down-the-house performance. Realizing a few things ahead of time can help melt your fears away. While “the jerks” (old-timey term for the audience) may be hooting and hollering to see more of your luscious body, you don’t have to show them. You’re totally in control of how much you reveal. And no, you don’t have to show everything to put on a good show. Gypsy Rose Lee could artfully strip, removing key articles of clothing and leave the stage mostly concealed. Lily St. Cyr actually got dressed onstage instead of undressed (but if you want to show everything, by all means please do)! There’s plenty of room for creativity. Controlling the pace of undress is another way of building anticipation. This is where the “tease” in “striptease” happens. Slower is better, but it depends on the tempo of the music. You don’t have to be a first rate dancer either. Simply strutting to the music as you undress is more than enough. Just have a few key moves you plan to use so you feel a little more prepared. For more ideas, see “Hot Moves for Cool Chicks: A Burlesque Workout.” Essentially, have a good time and revel in the attention! More than anything else, this is the key to an amazing striptease. If you’re enthusiastic about what you have to reveal, the audience will want to see more. And it’s up to you whether they’re lucky enough to see it.

Bonus tip for a private dance:
Handcuff them to a chair. It makes teasing them so much more fun.

Bonus tip for a public dance:
End it with something unusual. Maybe you publicly flog an audience member. Maybe you play the guitar naked. You gotta have a gimmick.

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