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Male Strippers Are in It for the Self-Esteem Boost, Study Says

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According to the latest Magic Mike movie, stripping is all about having fun and feeling good. And the movie may be right—at least in the case of male strippers, a new study finds. 

University of Colorado Denver sociologist Maren Scull spent two years interviewing and observing male strippers who dance for women. She found that male strippers reported higher self-confidence and self-esteem thanks to their forays into exotic dancing. 

The men interviewed earned less than their female colleagues, and few took in more than $100 a night, so most had little rationale to stay in the business for the money. By contrast, cash is the main motive cited by women who strip—a 2010 study of UK strippers found they earned an average salary of $74,000 per year. 

Instead, men who make their living dancing for women find positive affirmation in being found desirable, Scull discovered. "Because stripping is a stigmatizing occupation, it has the capacity to negatively affect exotic dancers' self-definitions," she said in a press release. "I looked into what motivates men to continue dancing and found that stripping led to feelings of mattering, mastery and enhanced self-esteem."

She postulates that the difference has to do with broader gender dynamics. Women tend to be objectified on a regular basis, so they may not enjoy having to deal with it at work every day. Men may find objectification more pleasant because they’re more rarely on the receiving end of it.

Since the research took place in one strip club, it’s not necessarily representative of the experiences of all strippers—some may make a lot of money, and some may in fact dislike being objectified on a daily basis. 

Elsewhere in stripping research: The same sociologist has found that male strip shows reinforce stereotypical gender roles. Every woman may be a queen in Magic Mike’s world, but stripping’s still a king’s game. 

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New York City Will Now Allow You to Dance Without a License
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In New York City, there’s a tricky law on the books that requires any business serving food or drinks to acquire what’s known as a Cabaret License in order to allow customers to dance. The mandate stems from a 1926 policy introduced by then-mayor Jimmy Walker to help curb what some residents believed to be “altogether too much running wild” in the Jazz Age clubs of the era. (It's also possible that the law was meant to prevent interracial coupling.) City officials have regularly enforced the law during the proceeding century, with some clubs even cutting off music—or switching to country—when inspectors arrived unannounced.

Now, it appears the outdated restriction has come to an end. According to The New York Times, Brooklyn councilman Rafael Espinal has introduced a bill expected to pass Tuesday that will forever end any and all comparisons to the 1984 Kevin Bacon film Footloose. The repeal comes on the heels of concerns that the prohibition pushes people into attending "underground" dance clubs that exceed (or ignore) fire department capacity limits.

While Espinal is convinced he has the necessary votes to move forward, several proprietors have attempted to challenge the law over the years. In 2014, bar owner and attorney Andrew Muchmore filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court claiming that the restriction was outdated and obtaining the license was a laborious process. To approve an application, the city’s Department of Consumer affairs has to verify a venue has security cameras and owners have to attend regular board conferences. The cost of the license can range from $300 to $1000, depending on the area’s capacity and, for some unfathomable reason, whether it’s an even or odd year.

Espinal's efforts and anticipated success getting rid of the Cabaret Law will cap 91 years of illicit dancing within the city limits. Just don't get too cozy with your partner: thanks to another antiquated regulation, you can still be fined $25 for flirting.

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Move Over, Goat Yoga: Alpaca Dance Classes Have Arrived
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A surprising number of people want to exercise alongside farm animals. Multiple farms across the U.S. offer yoga with goats, a livestock twist on the trend of doing yoga with cats. And in Canada, you can now learn to dance with alpacas, according to Travel + Leisure.

Anola, Manitoba's 313 Farms launched its all-ages AlpacaZone Dance and Fitness classes this summer, offering hip-hop, barre, pilates, and cardio classes for six weekends.

Sadly, the alpacas aren’t teaching the dances. But the classes do take place outdoors among the merry camelids, who are free to wander into your choreography at any time. Taking a water break during class is so passé; better to take an alpaca-petting break. After class, you get a meet-and-greet with the animals, giving you even more time to pal around. (Take note: One of the alpacas reportedly loves kisses.)

Two adults and several children dance in the midst of an alpaca pasture.
Courtesy 313 Farms

313 Farms owner Ann Patman told Travel + Leisure that she was inspired to start the alpaca dance program when a nearby farm started offering a popular goat yoga series. Patman, a Detroit native who named her farm after her hometown’s area code, had previously worked at a dance studio.

The registration for classes like the hip-hop focused “Poppin’ Pacas” and “Barn Barre” costs a low $10 pre-sale, or $15 the day of. The AlpacaZone classes end on August 19, but the owners may offer more because of high demand. Sounds like it's time for a little alpaca-exercise-induced road trip to rural Canada.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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