Remingtons Men of Steel is the only fully licensed male strip club in downtown Toronto, and within the last decade, it has made some changes to its previous clientele rules that only allowed men: It began allowing female customers "to help pay the bills," according to Bruce, a bartender who has worked there for 21 years.
Since the change in clientele, the venue on Yonge Street has hosted countless bachelorette parties—and with those, its staff has accumulated a number of ridiculous stories. Whether you can blame the unrealistic expectations set by Magic Mike or the unpreparedness of women who attend a male strip club for the first time as part of a bridal party, one thing seems to be certain: Their etiquette tends to be not quite on par with their male counterparts.
Here's what VICE learned.
Bachelorette parties get pretty intense. Women are all different. Usually the younger ones will scream more but throw no money; the older bridal parties will scream but throw money at us—so I focus my attention on those. The young ones—20, 21 years old—I don't really look at.
Male customers are much more relaxed, more straight to the point. They come here for a dance, and they go for a dance. Girls are much more likely to beat around the bush, and if you're lucky, you'll get like $20, $40 tops of out them. Women are not usually used to having to pay for men.
I've had women during [bachelorette or birthday] parties try to take pictures of me (which is against the rules). The puking… One time on me, onstage. It was bad, projectile, I was almost completely naked. I just got the security right away, and they tossed her right out. We don't have a shower [in the venue], it's the worst. I went in the bathroom and just tried to clean as much as possible, and I went home. It was nasty. They didn't even tip me.
I have to deal with people saying unacceptable stuff to me all the time. It ranges from guys saying "big guerilla with steroids" or the word "faggot." I'm really laid back, right? I'm calm, I'm relaxed, and I say, "Just leave." But I'll get security if I need to.
Photo via Flickr user
Job: Head of Security
Bachelorette parties tend to be hit or miss. There's no middle ground: They're either really really well-behaved, or they're the worst people in the club. They tend to think they own everything once they come in, and they think they get free reign—say if they purchased a VIP package and get to come in with no cover and get bottle service.
I've carried brides out on my shoulder before. I was raised very morally, so what I see some of the bachelorettes do here is not something I would want my future bride to do. They like to go on stage, which is a liability because if they fall off and hurt themselves, then we can be sued. You're only allowed onstage if you're directly accompanied by a dancer.
There was one bachelorette problem party that involved the limo driver as well. The girl went onstage, went up with a dancer, so at first it was fine. But once the dancer was done doing the show with her, she had to come off. After a warning, she didn't want to leave. She started dancing around the pole (which they're not allowed to do), so I ran onstage, threw her over my shoulder, ran her out the front door, put her on the sidewalk standing, and said, "Please don't come back in." All of her bachelorette party followed me, maybe 15 girls, and they chased me out. I had my other guard corralling them so that they couldn't hit me.
They were very clawy and violent. That's what happens when you grab the bride; the rest of them tend to get very defensive. The limo driver for this party saw me carry the girl out, and he wasn't happy with it because I was treating a woman "incorrectly." Once you've done something like what she was doing, though, you are no longer a boy or a girl. You are a person, and you broke the rules. He thought I wasn't being gentleman-like, and he punched me in the face. Then the police showed up. It was a big mess.
Normally our biggest issues are with straight guys who come in. This club doesn't exactly pander to a straight male audience. A lot of straight guys come in here thinking they're going to pick up girls, so they'll come in, they'll talk to the girls, but the girls obviously aren't here to be picked up—they're here to see a show. We explain to the [straight] guys at the door that they're welcome to come in, but we direct them to the floor (we have two floors on weekends: one that is mostly women and one that is men only) for men so that if they're uncomfortable, then they leave… The dancers get very territorial because this is their work, and this is how they make their money. I haven't seen anything serious, but they will very quickly make a circle around the [straight] guys, and we'll have to take them out so that nothing happens, for their safety. I've had to pull customers and dancers apart because they were being aggressive with one another.
Like lots of the dudes here, I'm straight, but I'm comfortable enough with my sexuality to the point where I can dance for men or women. Bachelorette parties are the best. Dancing for girls downstairs, they cheer, they scream, clap, they'll tip you. It makes going onstage fun because you feel appreciated. When you dance for men, they're not really into the show, the dancing, they don't really clap when you get off the stage. My opening song is "Boyfriend" by Justin Bieber… If I style my hair and shave, I look like Bieber.
A woman came here with her daughter's bachelorette party. Her daughter was like 40, and her mom was 81. Her mom loved me and came up on stage, tipped me, and I did a little dance for her onstage. That was like within the first two months I started. She loved it. She even slapped my ass in front of everyone, and she was in her 80s.
I've been at Remingtons for 21 years… I work during the times when the main floor is men only, which is on purpose [to avoid female customers]. Down on the lower floor where it's all women, they're loud, they're screaming bloody murder—up here, it's a little more sedated.
Downstairs, they get a lot of bachelorettes. These people, I don't know where they come from, but I would assume they don't get out much and don't know how to act. I also blame the movie Magic Mike because ever since that started, the women have gone crazy, screaming, carrying on. Up here, I never have a problem. Down there, there's fights, they get thrown out, drunker than a skunk.
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