When I started to write Stage Fright I didn’t think I’d need to come up with dance routines or music. Sure the story’s main character is a dancer in an all-male revue, but how much time would he spend dancing on page?
More than I initially thought. A lot of Jesse’s dancing is seen through the eyes of Val, the new, and infatuated, bartender so the reader gets to see it too.
More than one scene features Jesse’s dancing and I found I needed music. It makes a difference to the way I visualized the scene. Was Jesse pumping his hips to something fast or writhing sensually to a slow ballad?
I have thousands of songs in my Itunes and I love dance music. I thought I’d just pick a couple of tunes and imagine Jesse dancing. No problem, right?
Turns out choosing songs for a male stripper is harder than I’d thought, but I persevered.
Here’s some of the songs I came up with, in no particular order. I’d love to hear your suggestions.
Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
A fun song in which Timberlake channels a little bit of James Brown. Love the naughty nod to BDSM. "You see these shackles, baby I'm your slave / I'll let you whip me if I misbehave."
Goldfrapp - Strict Machine
Supposedly a song exploring the links between sex, machines and control. Music reviewer Andy Hermann wrote that the song was "a future S&M club anthem if ever there was one." I just think it’s great to dance to.
Ginuwine - Pony
Anyone who’s played Grand Theft Auto IV or seen the movie Magic Mike (which I still haven’t seen, damn it) knows this song. Hard to believe it came out in 1996.
Freestylers - Push Up
Fast and fun. This song is perfect for some serious dancing and maybe a few one-handed push-ups on the stage.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Give It Away
This one’s good for sexy gyrating and at first listen the lyrics seem tailor made for erotic dancing. Apparently the main phrase is not a plea for sex, but meant to encourage selflessness and altruism. Now I like this song even more.
Air - Sexy Boy
One of my favorite French bands and one of my favorite songs. Slow and sexy. The song was featured in the UK version of Queer as Folk.
Kiss - I Was Made for Loving You
An oldie but a goodie. Sure to get any members of the Kiss Army in the audience worked up.
David Guetta - I Want to Make You Sweat
A great tune, but the lyrics are probably far too provocative for an all-male revue, which when compared to a strip club is actually pretty tame.
Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me
This song makes no sense lyrically, but who cares? It’s a song guaranteed to whip the crowd into a frenzy.
Prince - Kiss
Written and performed by Prince, but Tom does a good version too. My preference is the Prince version but Tom had a few panties thrown at him in his day.
And now here’s the blurb and except for the book to go with this playlist.
Title: Stage Fright
Release date: January 22, 2013
Author: Pender Mackie
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Stage Fright Blurb:
After six months dancing in a Las Vegas all-male revue, Jesse Snowe is used to being groped by enthusiastic females, but he's more interested in Val, the sexy new bartender. Jesse's tired of the closet, but when he thinks of coming out he gets stage fright. The thought of telling his fellow dancers he's gay makes his palms sweat and his heart race and not in a good way. Dating Val under the watchful eyes of the dance captain could reveal Jesse's secret and might be more of a gamble than Jesse's willing to take.
For Val Tremain the glamor of Vegas is wearing thin. He's even less enamored with his new job, but knowing he'll see Jesse's beautiful body makes it easier to go to work. When Jesse hints he's interested, Val can't believe his luck. But Jesse's latest dance routine encourages a little too much audience participation and Val struggles with jealousy.
Jesse knows his job's hard on their relationship and being closeted doesn't help. Strangers slap his butt every night, yet he's afraid to touch his lover in public. If he wants this relationship to work, Jesse may have to reveal more than just his body.
Jesse watched Chaz, their dance captain, work his magic. Chaz was an old hand at stripping and made it look so easy. He had a woman from a bachelorette party up onstage. She reached around and gripped his ass hard, her fingers digging into tanned flesh. Chaz pulled her to her feet. Jesse could see his muscular ass bunch and flex as Chaz mimed grinding against her.
Jesse looked over at the bar and sighed. The new bartender was wiping the counter. He wasn’t even watching the show. Maybe the new guy wasn’t gay after all. The guy behind the bar seemed more interested in dirt than dancers.
Jesse scrambled into his next costume, then nodded to Eric, their MC, from the side of the stage. “And now, ladies. Here’s the newest member of our revue and the baby of the group, Firefighter Jesse.”
Jesse bounced onstage to shouts and catcalls. He did a couple of backflips, then slapped on his helmet. His routine went off without a hitch, but as usual he needed to mentally gear himself up for the finale. He grabbed the crotch of his tear-away turnouts and yanked them off, leaving him in nothing but his T-bar. After six months of working as a dancer, he still felt kind of stupid wearing the minuscule thong, but he was grateful for the no-nudity policy. It helped him maintain the illusion that he still had some dignity. He spied a table that didn’t have too many drinks on it and jumped into the crowd.
The audience loved it. Jesse danced the length of the table, shaking his ass for the screaming women—and saw the bartender watching. He faltered, then recovered, leaping lightly off the table, squeezing through the press of bodies. He smiled and high-fived outstretched palms on his way as other hands reached for his chest, his butt, even trying for his package. His ass was slapped at least three times before he managed to return to the stage.
“Let’s hear it for Jesse. Who wants Jesse to put out their fire?” Eric asked the enthusiastic audience.
Backstage Mike threw Jesse a towel. “Holy shit, they’re wild tonight. I wasn’t sure you were going to make it back in one piece.”
Jesse wiped the sweat from his face and chest. “Me neither.” He shook his head, smiling. “Gives a whole new meaning to audience participation.”
Author website & blog: http://www.pendermackie.com
Until next time, take care!