When Simon Lloyd pulls his pants down, he feels like Robbie Williams playing Wembley Stadium. It's the moment of his day that he most looks forward to. "When you've got a room full of sexy women in a nice house and they're all concentrating on your naked body – it's the most powerfully masculine feeling," he tells me.
It sounds great. You cannot be positively sure of his words watching him as he wobbles on one leg and yanks his black Calvin Kleins over his bent knee. Before I attend the session, he tells me that, sometimes, he finds himself becoming erect. Yesterday, I asked him, "What would you do if you're in a school and you go hard?"
"I'd always say, ‘My leg's getting a little sore, I might need to have a break to stretch a bit'," he told me.
The Life of Strippers
There are surprises possible as unwelcome erections as found during investigations into the lives of men who make a legal living from their penises. Hurtling down the second drop on the Recession Big Dipper, I wanted to know how a man can make money from the very thing that defines him on a physiological level. I wondered if it was a viable way to make ends meet, a supplementary revenue stream. Or is it a means to an end – a manner in which you can bring home the extra bacon while enjoying yourselves? Hopefully, it's a bit of both.
The men of this unusual industry all have jobs with their exclusive physical joys, financial profits and occupational hazards. One can use his cock for lawful commerce and whether you'd want to. And, should you be tempted, what you can learn about using your own end for this most masculine of means.
Modelling and Stripping
Simon is a life model (difficulty rating: low; hourly rate: £10-£200). He started posing nude for colleges more than 20 years ago, and tonight he's been hired by a private group of six 20-something professional females. Simon has taken on a dramatic pose, one hand tucked behind his head, and has a tidily groomed chest and the handsome bone structure of the catalogue model he once was. Even at the age of 40, he does kind of resemble the star, Robbie Williams. He could be a distant cousin as such. Taking in the rest of his body, as I am able to do from my seat at an easel, Simon's scrotum is pink and weighty. His cock leers arrogantly into the neatly appointed room. It's a large penis, about the length of a sardine.
I don't know whether it's me or not, but it does seem to be growing. I silently observe the women. They appear calm. Then, suddenly, he says, "Where's your bathroom?" and jogs out of the room. I decide not to say anything.
Simon does pretty well out of his sardine. A private event such as this can earn him as much as £200; a college will pay between £10 and £15 per hour. It's an easy way to make money and the range of bodies people want to draw means any man of any age and any physical proportions can do it. You simply sign up with the Register of Artists' Models. Their main advice is not to lie about your level of experience. If it's your first time sitting, say so. Otherwise, you may be left to your own devices when it comes to posing.
Arousal leading to Erections
Arousal is possible and can be expected in some cases which lead to erections. "The artists don't think of what they're doing as sexual," said clinical psychologist Ron Bracey. "But any feedback from the audience can create an erotic psychological connection to the situation." If you're worried about creating as obvious a link to your arousal as Simon clearly has, Bracey suggests occupying your thoughts with the mundane or amusing.
When he returns from the toilet, our model opts for the latter. He tells a few jokes and soon everyone is laughing. There's no doubt that this is a job in which he reveals, he's stuck at it long enough, repeatedly turning down offers to branch out into pornographic films. "I've stayed clear of those," he tells me. "I wouldn't like to be remembered for my long hard shaft pounding in and out of a woman. I've got more integrity."
From Hounslow train station, if you take half an hour's walk you can see IN SOR CASTLE which is a pub. It's open for business, but the door is locked. I eventually find a way in around the back and go up a narrow staircase to a cluttered room, where I meet 38-year-old Nick Molloy.
Your average male stripper can bring in up to £20,000 per year. It's not quite Magic Mike money, but it's not bad, as far as part-time jobs go. "His earnings equate to two-thirds that of the average man working full-time in the UK," says David Smith, economics editor of The Sunday Times. "The taxman will not, of course, ignore this. On £20,000 you can expect to lose £3,900 in income tax and National Insurance."
But Nick does receive payments of a kind the government can't demand its cut... "I had a private booking where I walked in and there were only three women. I ended up fucking one of them while the other two watched." At hen parties, it is apparently common for Nick to receive blow-jobs to the amusement of the other women. It is a benefits package worth bearing in mind.
How Stripper deals with Crowd
Nick is disrobing as we speak. His physique is impressive – a competitive indoor rower who trains 10 to 15 hours per week. One should interact with the audience and keep them focused. He pulled around an elastic band tight around the base of his cock and balls in order so as to maintain his much-intended erection. "You get a lot of strippers who are scared of the crowd. But you have to get stuck in."
Now living in Los Angeles, Keiran is the only male performer in the world contracted to a major porn studio. Thinking it was his friends again, winding him up, he instructed them to book a hotel room for the filming. They said yes.
"So I went along," he remembers, "and there's this bloke, there's this bird and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I'm going to have to do it now.' I said to the bloke, ‘What do I do?' He said, ‘Get a hard on and just fuck her.' So I did. Then he says, ‘You're really good,' and I said, ‘Thank you.'"
"You have to be aware of the lights, you have to open the woman up, flick your leg out and make sure the camera can see and that you're getting enough light down there." As a result of these skills, Keiran was quickly earning £250 per scene in the UK and doing five scenes a week, each taking about 25 minutes. "That involves your blow-job, you going down on her, and then a few positions." He did this for three years before he tired of all the driving. "I know it sounds silly because I got to have sex with beautiful women, but I was constantly going to Loughborough. It was boring."
Interaction with Porn Studios
The boredom was to end when Keiran went to a friend's wedding in Los Angeles and whiled away some time visiting porn studios with a DVD of his UK work. Today he's one of the best-known stars of porn behemoth Brazzers, for whom he directs as well as acts, earning a staggering amount of money. His contract is for $1,500 a scene and he works on around 30 of them a month. That comes out to nearly £350,000 per year. But it's not as easy as it looks on your laptop.
A porn actor needs to maintain himself unlike Simon, who doesn't have to be in shape to find work. He also eats a lot of celery because he "heard it helps you produce more semen". (NB: to date, there are no scientific studies that support this claim.)
Some girls enjoy the sex, others can be diva-ish. "The worst one was when we had to do a scene on a rock in the sea," he says. "It was boiling, the girl's doing reverse cowgirl, and I've got a red-hot rock in my back."
Those are the only concerns Keiran voices during our time talking. STDs aren't a problem ("You don't use condoms in porn, so we get tested every two weeks"). With such a small dating pool, it is no surprise that his loving wife, Puma Swede, is a fellow performer who directs and stars. But only ever with him. It is a rule that speaks to a certain emotional danger inherent to the profession of having sex with 30 women a month, 12 months a year.
How to maintain a Stripper by Himself
Whether there is intimacy or not, having sex can generate the reward systems of sex activated in the brain. "But research has consistently shown that men are more socio-sexually unrestricted – as long as you are alert to the fact that your physical and hormonal responses are not an indication of love, you can avoid forming an emotional attachment with a woman who is not your partner."
The viewers like that. They can relate to it, I think that's what it is. Plus the fact I've got a big old cock on me." With your penis, you earn a living, might be modelling for a small group of female painters in return for some extra spending money, or having sex for the entire world's paying enjoyment kicks.
In the profession, there are no downsides to what Nick does, nor Simon, nor Keiran. At least that's what they've told me. Their shifts are short, their lie-ins long and they have a level of personal freedom that promises victorious release from the soul-death of the Monday morning commuter train.
In their own words: dubious parents, burdened love-lives, the occasional danger, possible humiliation. There are easier ways to profit from your genitalia. Sperm banks, for example, offer £35 to cover your ‘expenses'. And therein lies the rub of this male-only industryLife modelling is low risk and high reward but there aren't enough hours in the day to make sitting around worth anything more than a bit of extra income. It seems less fun when transporting your penis around becomes such a full-time job.