Sexually Cliterate: The Art of Striptease

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Striptease has its roots way back in history, with origins as far back as 4BC, when the Sumerian Tablets were created, including depictions of the goddess Inanna who removed an item of clothing at each of the seven gates of the Underworld on her descent into hell. This myth was subsequently revisited in the Bible, with Salome performing the dance of the seven veils for King Herod. From that point striptease travelled through Mesopotamia into Asia, then into Europe, courtesy of gypsies. In India, striptease formed part of religion through dancers who ‘married’ a deity or temple and performed erotically charged dances to show their devotion – as well as being made available for higher caste men to have sex with for a price.

More recently, striptease has moved away from being of religious significance – though some burlesque performers still incorporate a spiritual element, using Egyptian music or religious themes – and moved towards the more modern god of money. Initially, burlesque performers helped drive audiences into theatres, but as the burlesque houses closed, more and more women moved to work in the nightclubs, attracting customers by showing their bits, bringing us closer to what we now consider to be striptease.

And in the last ten years, striptease has started to move into the mainstream, courtesy of films such as Striptease and the explosion in burlesque style. Forget women in seedy pubs proffering pint glasses for pound coins to flash their baps. Nowadays, you’re as likely to see a roomful of housewives in a gym learning to belly dance, tassel twirl, poledance or simply perform a striptease – sometimes so that they can perform for their partner but equally often as a way of increasing their self-confidence.

Jo King, founder of the London School of Striptease, has taught all manner of women – over 400 in total – the art of striptease. As someone who started in cabaret clubs in the 1970s, and has subsequently performed in throughout the UK, Europe and the US, she’s well-versed in the art of striptease, and is one of the first to say it’s about the tease as much – if not more – as the strip. She explains, “I love to teach women how to tap into their unique sensuality and eroticism. I have a very holistic approach to teaching striptease. It’s really as much about self-confidence, empowerment and emancipation as it is about removing clothing beautifully.”

And knowing how to remove your clothes in a seductive manner really can make a difference. As Jo says, “I’ve received many letters and calls saying that I’ve changed the student’s life for the better and a lot of my students stay in contact with me. Every couple of months, we have group outings to strip clubs. It’s a fun way to catch up and stay connected.”

Striptease isn’t just something for women to perform either. Although acts such as the Chippendales are more likely to elicit shrieks of embarrassed laughter than moans of arousal, a sensual strip for a lover in the privacy of your own bedroom can be much more effective.

So to help you spice up your sex life with some striptease, Cliterati presents the ultimate guide to getting your kit off in style.

Setting the scene

Before you even think about getting naked, you need to make sure that the mood is right. A floor that’s littered with pizza boxes, unflattering fluorescent or overly bright light and flatmates or family members banging on the door are hardly likely to set your lover aflame after all. Instead, make sure you’ve got the house to yourself, take the phone off the hook and tidy the area you’ll be using to perform your strip (and the bedroom too –if things go to play you’ll be getting a night of passion afterwards). This doesn’t only look good but also has the practical benefit of ensuring you won’t trip over a coffee cup that’s been discarded on the floor. Burn some incense or sprinkle aphrodisiac essential oils such as sandalwood or ylang ylang to give the room an exotic scent. However, don’t leave anything burning while you’re actually performing. You don’t want a sexily thrown thong to cause a house fire.

Use ambient lighting to flatter your skin tone. Fairy lights give a romantic glow, and a red or peach light will make even the most sallow skin glow. You might think candles look pretty but again, they’re a fire risk, so save them for a romantic dinner instead.

Pick music that makes you feel sexy. Choose something with a relatively slow and steady beat that’s easy to dance to – you’re not trying to prove your dancing talents after all. If you’re a rock fan, go for something like Alice Cooper’s ‘Poison’, and if you’re more into jazz, try Nino Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’. You could also choose something with words that are particularly appropriate to you and your partner (it’s probably best to avoid punk classic ‘If you don’t want to fuck me fuck off’ unless you want a row on your hands though.) Once you’ve picked a song that you think is sexy, practice moving to it to make sure that there aren’t any awkward moments where it suddenly speeds up or changes beat. Practice your striptease moves in front of a mirror so that you can check they look as sexy as they feel.

Once you’ve got the mood set and the music picked, prepare your body for the strip. Have a bath or shower, and clean your teeth, so you can get close to your partner without any BO putting them off. Women should exfoliate their skin then moisturise all over to make their skin silky smooth. And men should get rid of errant back or bum hair, unless you know your partner finds it sexy. Finally, tidy up your pubes. Men can either trim or shave entirely – the latter will make your cock look bigger – while women can trim their bush, shape it into a heart or other shape of their choice, or wax everything off. If you’re into the natural look, it’s still worth brushing your pubes to get rid of any errant stragglers that could get in the way during oral sex. After all, it’s likely your striptease will be a part of foreplay.

Finally, pick your outfit. Make sure it’s comfortable and practice taking it off to ensure there are no zips that snag or awkward fastenings. And then there’s the matter of props. Jo King says, “I love changing my persona. A feather duster can be used to play a sexy cleaner, evening gloves help you turn into a glamour queen and a hat and toy gun make you a spy. There are so many…”

Once you’ve done the groundwork, all you need to do is wait for your partner to get home, and follow the guidelines below.

General striptease tips

Take things slowly. The objective isn’t to remove your clothes as fast as you possibly can. Instead, take pleasure in gradually revealing each body part, making your partner appreciate how sexy it is. Look at each new bit of skin you reveal, to draw attention to it, then look your partner in the eye to make them feel part of your performance. Only reveal more when you’ve got your partner on the edge of their seat with anticipation.

Eye contact is an essential part of striptease. As Jo King says “Make eye contact with your audience and transfer the feeling that you’re enjoying being female (or male) in whichever way suits you”.

Similarly, think about your facial expression. An act as simple as licking your lips can make your partner horny if it’s done in the right way. Practice in front of the mirror though – you don’t want it to look like you’ve left part of your dinner on your lips. Smiling is also important – you need to show your partner that you’re enjoying yourself. Stripping off with a surly expression is far from sexy. So let your expression show how much you’re enjoying stroking your body as you remove your clothes. If you look like you’re finding your own touch sexy, it will make your partner even more desperate to touch you.

Don’t be scared to incorporate props into your performance. A hat can be used to cover yourself seductively; whipped cream or baby oil can both be used on your partner (or yourself) during your performance, and Monopoly money, to be tucked into your undies as you perform, can add a suitably ‘strip joint’ feel to proceedings.

Finally, remember that as a striptease artist, you have power. Your partner is there to watch you reveal yourself to them – and you already know that they find you sexy. Believe in yourself, forget about any body hang-ups and indicate with your body language that you know how lucky they are to be seeing you strip and the whole performance will be so much sexier for you both.

Striptease tips for women

The way you look is all-important – after all, striptease is all about offering a visual delight. You could go for sexy lingerie under an evening dress. Alternatively, you may want to spice things up with some role-play. Try a sexy maid’s uniform, complete with feather duster to be used as you see fit; a nurse’s outfit with sponge to mop your partner’s fevered brow; or a feisty Domme dress, with a whip to punish your partner if he disobeys the ‘no touching’ rule. If you’re skint, you can still create a character with your normal clothes and just a few cheeky additions. A white shirt, short skirt and school tie can turn your stockings and suspenders combo into a naughty schoolgirl outfit, while high boots add a dominant air with minimum effort. Just make sure you don’t wear anything that’s too tight to easily wriggle out of. A rubber dress may look great but you’ll feel stupid if it gets stuck on your head as you try to pull it off.

Be particularly careful about the shoes that you wear. Slip-ons are by far the easiest to remove, and heels will make your legs look particularly enticing. Avoid anything with complicated buckles or fastenings though. Similarly, avoid any clothes with zips that are hard to reach, small buttons or Velcro. Although it’s easy to strip out of, it’s also liable to snag your stockings – not a good look.

Props such as a feather boa or long gloves will add sexiness to your performance. If you go for the former, rub it seductively over your body, or hold both ends and position it underneath your bum, with your back to your man, then shimmy your butt-cheeks enjoying the feeling if the feathers brushing against you. You can also trail the boa over your man. And with the latter, remember to peel them off slowly. Using your teeth is one way to make it extra sexy. Trailing your glove over your partner’s face – or elsewhere – once you’ve removed it is another good way to tease him.

Always cover your breasts for a while after removing your bra – cup them with your hands, or remove your bra with your back to your man then look over your shoulder at him and wink cheekily. You can keep this tease up for ages – giving him a quick flash then covering yourself with a boa, turning your back or crossing your arms sexily over your chest as you shimmy.

If in doubt, wiggle. If you’ve got your back to your man, he’ll be transfixed by your bum (now is not the time to worry about the size of it. He’ll find it sexy. Promise.) And if you’re facing him, he’ll be gazing raptly at your bouncing breast. Shimmy from the shoulders to make them jiggle. This is the first step towards twirling nipple tassels too, and should get at least one moving, should you wish to experiment with that.

Striptease tips for men

Start by picking your persona. You may want to perform your strip as yourself, but, as with women, it can add an extra frisson if you make that extra bit of effort. If your partner has a submissive side, why not be a dominant master? Or if she’s a romantic, you can’t go far wrong with a Darcy style flowing shirt and britches. Performing the strip gives you a good excuse to ask about your partner’s fantasies, so you can match your look to her dirtiest dreams. If you can’t afford a special outfit, tailor one that’s already in your wardrobe. Men with army uniforms are onto a winner here; or team a suit with a bow tie for a suave seducer, or a black polo neck with black trousers to be the Milk Tray man. No matter what outfit you go for, remember the golden rule. Don’t wear socks. It’s almost impossible to remove them sexily.

Avoid wearing shoes that take an age to untie too. One trick male strippers use is to leave their laces unfastened to make it easy to push their shoes off. Just make sure they’re on tightly enough that they don’t go flying off your feet before you’re ready to lose them – and tuck the laces into the top of your shoes or boots to make sure you don’t trip over them.

Wear trousers that are loose enough to push down then step out of – making sure to take your shoes off first. And wear undies that present your package flatteringly, but avoid novelty thongs. They’re just not sexy.

Forget incorporating comedy elements into your act, such as rubbing a scarf between your legs while simulating sex, or grabbing your lover’s face and forcing it into your groin. It’s (barely) acceptable in a hen night male stripper and certainly won’t work if your intention is to seduce.

A hard cock is far sexier than a soft one. Keep yours up by touching yourself until you’re hard before the strip, then slipping a discreet rubber cock ring onto your cock and behind your balls. It’ll stop the blood flowing back down your penis so you’ll have a fine and upstanding member throughout.

No matter how often you perform striptease, it’s a fun way to make your sex life that much sexier. As Jo King says, “I strip for my partner when I feel the urge to do so. It’s an exciting and intimate experience for both of us and I assure you, work doesn’t enter my head.” So, best to stock up on condoms before you begin then…

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