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Wild thongs: Inside Auckland's only male strip club. Photos: Vicki Leopold. The first are squealing shyly and the second are booty-popping on the table. The stage is at the front, the bar at the back and to the right, and the walls are bordered by plush benches.
Tables are stacked with cocktails. Lap-dance rooms, with the same plush benches, are behind a black curtain off to the side of the stage. Giggling punters steadily disappear into them during and after the show. When I first walked into the club I was disappointed by how small it was. The air con gives out 20 minutes in and the heavy air seems to turn everyone insane. Not that they needed much help with that. They always are.
The earlier shows, at 6pm and 8pm, are tamer, with more in-laws and fewer plastic penises. For the 11pm show, they arrive screaming. The women are squeezed in more tightly than they are into their leather bustiers. By By midnight, a skinny brunette has her arms around me and is kissing my neck.
Oh god, this is so fucking hot. Downstairs at Hush Hush, the female strippers are bored, the punters are listless and everything from the floors to the air feels greasy. A stripper comes up to one who recoils. Macklemore, Sonny Bill and Enrique display the goods. Teen crush Taylor in action. And god, are these guys worth seeing naked. Well, almost naked. The G-string or strategic bowler hat is never taken off. When it comes to flirting, they seem to excel at sitting in a corner and making awkward eye contact.
All six are ripped — Slash expects them to work out pretty much daily. The first night I went just to see the show. They grab your chair, spin you around, grind into your face and up your legs, run their hands through your hair. They start there, dancing and writhing. But after a while — actually one minute and 14 seconds precisely — they start taking things off. Then they move into the crowd. Even women like me, who go in thinking they can remain a bit aloof, buy in deeply.