Some kids dream of being a ballerina or a firefighter. When they get older, their fantasies turn toward Hollywood or Wall Street. At age 12,

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Take it off

Some kids dream of being a ballerina or a firefighter. When they get older, their fantasies turn toward Hollywood or Wall Street. At age 12, I wanted to be a stripper.

I knew it the first time I saw a segment about Chippendale's on the local news, and watched crowds go crazy for slabs of bronzed beefcake strutting around in neon banana hammocks. In the privacy of the bathroom, I'd whip a T-shirt over my head while practicing pelvic thrusts. I contemplated sewing Velcro seams into a pair of old jeans to make breakaway pants like the pros used.

The dream had faded by the time I finally lost my adolescent baby fat. After the ninth or 10th viewing of Gregory Harrison's (of Trapper John, MD) portrayal of an exotic dancer in the made-for-TV flick For Ladies Only, I'd accepted that my interest in naked men wasn't entrepreneurial.

Lots of people fantasize about stripping. In the '50s and '60s, the instructional-records craze gave birth to gems like How to Strip for Your Husband by Ann Corio ("America's most famous strip teaser"). The music is standard strip-lounge fare, with lots of percussion and honking brass, ࠬa the Las Vegas Grind compilations (available via Germany's Strip label). Corio's own liner notes brim with helpful hints: "Whatever you do, wear high heels!" and "Remember, the time it takes to roll down a silk stocking can spell the difference between mink and a mink-dyed muskrat."

Sadly, the new Strip Jointz Rocks and Strip Jointz 2 collections of "songs for sexy dancers" offer no such tips. That oversight, plus the inclusion of pin-up posters of Playboy and Baywatch babes, hints that these records are aimed at patrons of strip joints, not their hard-working employees or aspiring amateurs.

Admittedly, I don't know much about contemporary strip-palace practice: The last time I actually took in the experience live was on my 21st birthday, when a young buck gyrated on my table to a Howard Jones song, then started plucking out pubic hairs while shouting "He loves me . . . he loves me not . . . " But the R&B and hip-hop hits on Strip Jointz 2 seem awfully frenzied. "Baby Got Back" is a pumpin' jam, but wouldn't it give a dancer whiplash? And where's the Prince? Even those bozos behind Showgirls included him!

Strip Jointz Rocks fares better, kicking off with "Girls, Girls, Girls." I know M�y Cre rates with industry insiders because the only genuine Live Nude Coed I've ever known loved shaking her moneymaker to Theater of Pain.

And you can't argue with Billy Squier ("The Stroke"), Romeo Void ("Never Say Never"), or Divinyls ("I Touch Myself") to get the juices flowing. Even though the emphasis here is on '80s faves, the featured artist named Jones who pumps me up this time is Tom, not Howard. The days when dry humping the air to "Things Can Only Get Better" got me stuffing greenbacks in a G-string—or dreaming about jumping up on stage—have long since passed.

 
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