Hit movie 'Magic Mike' has made Ireland's male strippers hot again, writes Deirdre Reynolds
As one of Ireland's most in-demand male strippers, Anthony Brady has been pelted with enough women's underwear during his 10 years on stage to open his own lingerie store.
But one pair of smalls left the biggest impression on the buff Dubliner.
"Once when I was doing a charity show, a woman threw a pair of huge granny knickers with, 'I'm pregnant, you bastard!' written on them," laughs Anthony (29) from Tallaght -- better known by his stage name Maverick.
"I eventually had to put a message on Facebook ahead of shows asking women not to throw their underwear at me -- but that only made it worse."
With a strict 'no funny business' policy when it comes to customers, the prank panties didn't cause the former engineer too many sleepless nights.
"The idea is to leave women wanting more -- not give it to them," adds Anthony, who runs MaleStrippers.ie.
"Most of these women have boyfriends and husbands at home -- it's the whole fantasy.
"When you're dressed up as a fireman dancing to Bonny Tyler's 'I Need A Hero', something as simple as touching a customer's ear lobe is usually enough to get her fired up."
Male strippers take centre stage this week as Magic Mike steams up big screens across the country.
Based on star Channing Tatum's own experience of stripping for tips, it tells the story of a young male stripper who's shown the tricks of the trade by a veteran performer.
"It was probably my first performing job ever," reveals Tatum (32) of his time as a member of strip troupe Male Encounter. "I really like to dance, obviously, but then I didn't really love taking the clothes off at the end."
Just like Tatum, real-life Magic Mike Anthony first started taking his clothes off for cash as a student.
"I started stripping while I was studying for a degree in engineering," says Anthony -- who thrills ladies across the land with a Top Gun-inspired show alongside Tallafornia star Jay Abbey.
"I was at a friend's 21st birthday party when this male stripper came out who was about 45, skinny and had a rat tail. I thought, 'If he can do it, I can definitely do it!'
"I've done shows in villages that you wouldn't even think 50 people lived in where 500 women have shown up."
"Male strip shows have become even more popular than female ones thanks to movies like The Full Monty and now Magic Mike."
Tickets to the ultimate ladies night start from around €10, while hiring a male stripper for a private event is €110. Hen parties make up most of Maverick and pals' business.
"Usually the guy goes in and reads out a romantic poem -- before stripping off and bending the bride-to-be over for a good spanking," jokes Anthony.
"One time, I pretended to be a clamper and that I was about to clamp a party bus bringing a hen party to Kilkenny. All the girls were in on it, but the bride-to-be took out a wad of cash and started begging me not to ruin her hen night. Then I started stripping off in the car park!"