When I was 17 I was 6 foot tall and weighed less than 12 stone. I had a shaved head, a lip piercing and thought I was pretty rock n roll. During my 18th year on this planet, I lived for several months in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia with a boy called Allan. It was intense. We were on other side of the world, both only 17 years old, and exploring these two huge cities on our own.
At the time (2002) it was incredibly difficult to see penetrative gay porn in the UK, so I found the openness nature of the gay and porn scene in Sydney fascinating. Most evenings we would hit The Brighton Bar which was located on the corner of Oxford Street and Darlinghurst, have a few schooners of Toheys New with a shot of lime and talk to the locals while playing on the gambling machines.
One evening we popped into a sex shop called Probe and had a nose around. We noticed a sign claiming there were male strippers upstairs and that they were seeking a new boy to strip for them. Allan asked about the position while I flicked through the explicit DVDs with my mouth permanently open. I had never seen anything like it! Unlike what 17 year olds have seen today. I am aware of how old I sound, but it is shocking, the vast difference of what teens particularly can easily get their hands on.
On leaving the shop I quizzed Allan if he was seriously interested in stripping, when he turned to me and said ‘I wasn’t asking for me! I was asking for you! You’d be great at it! We’re coming back to meet the manager tomorrow. Think of the money James!’
I was taken aback and stuck somewhere between flattered and insulted. Either way, we met the manager the next day. Allan acted as my pimp and handled the business side. By the time we left, I had played the punter and stood in a cubicle behind a dirty glass window and watched another guy dance naked, jerk off and shove a large dildo up his arse. I, at the time, had never had anything up my arse. While I watched I tried to relax and be turned on, but my dick failed to co-operate. It went cold and shrank, to what I believe to be the smallest it could possibly be, for the duration of the strip.
I was set to do a similar performance the next night at 11.30pm, and then every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from then.
I could choose my own music, so I chose Kylie’s recently released Fever album. By the end of the first track More, More,More I would be completely naked and desperately trying to get my dick hard. With a little help from Allan who sat behind the biggest window making jokes to make me laugh and put me at ease, I eventually got there. As I did it more and more it became easier and I earned more money.
It feels like someone else’s life when I recall it now. I don’t regret it, but I am astounded that I had balls to do it. I can’t imagine doing it now… I really can’t.