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Monday, May 27, 2024

Column: Strip tease me

Do you hear it? The sound of a slow, jazzy horn section blowing a seductive rhythm? It can only mean one thing: This week, we’re talking about stripping. Specifically, we’re talking about how to strip for your lover if you’re someone who has never tried anything so brazenly exhibitionist. Because it is a type of performance, stripping is a good way to learn how to embrace and express your own sexuality as well as give your partner a thrill.

Remember, while the resulting nudity will be much appreciated, we live in an era in which anyone can see a naked body. Thank you, Internet. So, what makes stripping arousing is the build-up, the tease. Creating that atmosphere of anticipation is what we are going to focus on. To acquire most of this advice, I was lucky enough to talk with a lovely young woman who I will refer to as “Trixie,” who has first-hand experience stripping. Granted, she has worked larger crowds than the single-person audience most of you will be performing for, but the basic rules for a successful routine apply to both scenarios.

The first two steps in creating your striptease can be taken care of well in advance of the event. First, you need to select your music. You can pick any song you want, although one that makes you feel sexy will obviously make it easier for you to get into the right mood for stripping. The most important thing is to choose a song that allows you to move slowly. We’re going for maximum time to tantalize your audience, so the slower the better.

Now, once you’ve got your song, it’s time to get suited up. Trixie offers three qualities to consider when picking an outfit to strip in/out of: it looks good, is relatively easy to move in and comes off without difficulty. All of these traits will help your routine go smoothly and look sexy. If you find these rules too broad and are still stuck on what to wear, try picking a character. It may be someone from one of your role-plays, or it may be a totally new persona. Choose an image that you think your partner finds attractive, be it naughty student, librarian or Sherlock Holmes. Once you have that idea to guide you, follow Trixie’s guidelines and you should be set.

Now, as with any skill, stripping requires practice. The more you do it, the better you’ll become and the more confident you’ll be. So, if you’re feeling at all nervous (which is natural, even when you’re doing this for your lover), practice is your best friend. Set up your space the way it will be when you perform and cue up your music. Determine what level of undress you want to reach by the end of the number, be it completely nude or just down to your underwear. Then, get to work figuring out your choreography.

When I asked Trixie to suggest some uncomplicated yet sexy moves her response was floorwork, because it looks good but doesn’t require balancing on high heels. Floorwork involves movements like crawling towards your audience, doing the splits, etc. In addition to figuring out what floorwork you like, you should practice taking off your clothes in the slowest way possible. For example, see how long you can make unbuttoning your shirt last. Remember that this is all about making the audience putty in your hands by taking your time. So important is build-up that Trixie cites a co-worker who advised, “If you think you’re moving slow enough, slow down.”

Once you feel comfortable with your routine, it’s time to treat your partner to it. Sit them where you want them and go over any rules. “Hands off” is a useful one, as the sensation of something desirable being close enough to touch and yet can’t gets many people quite excited. Once your audience is in position dim the lights and go for it. Be sure to make eye contact with your partner and to interact with them. Sit in their lap, whisper saucy things in their ear and brush them with your hair. Above all, own it. By the time the music has finished, you will have enjoyed yourself. And so, hopefully, will have your partner.

SAM WALL would pay to see a Sherlock Holmes striptease. For her reasoning and other advice, contact sewall@ucdavis.edu.


  1. So, what is it about Sherlock Holmes that excites you?

    A thirty-something gynophobic drug user with an un-diagnosed mental illness strikes me as a serious turn-off…


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