Bachelorette parties. My friend Breanne and I are both getting married in the spring and have yet to plan ours. I get so many causal comments saying we should hire a stripper or go to a strip club to celebrate my last night of being a single lady, but the idea has always made me cringe. Isn’t it awkward? I mean, I don’t think I’m one of those ladies in the Magic Mike crowds screaming with a 5 dollar bill in my hand, what if one of them makes eye contact with me? And what if (my biggest fear) happens where the buff dancer tries to lift me up into some crazy position on stage and audibly groans at the weight of me?
My girlfriends and I discussed this over some much needed drinks before the show. We were all nervous, not knowing what to expect. We reminisced on times where ex-partners tried to put on some not-so graceful shows for us, or when I was at a birthday party where we had a stripper cop show up for the birthday girl and it ended up being really raunchy. H.I.M wouldn’t be gross like that right? I mean, they’re professionals!
Three cocktails later we headed out into the street for a short walk to the venue. “It’s happening, you guys” “I’m going to need another drink when I get there!” We giggled like school girls.
Just off of King and Portland, tucked in an alley way was Uniun nightclub. We flashed our ID’s (thanks for asking) and walked inside. The venue itself is beautiful! Chandeliers glowed in the dark, there was a sparkling Doberman statue to greet us all and pink and purple icicle-like lights flickered from the ceiling.
I tried to get a better look but was met with “Where do you guys think you’re going? Its picture time!” We glanced over to see one of three buff, shirtless men beckoning us over to a backdrop with the H.I.M logo on it. We sheepishly walked over and smiled for the camera. The guys were super welcoming and friendly and I could see how they could make even the more nervous audience member feel at ease.
“How long have you danced for H.I.M?’I asked a brunette. “Oh, it’s been over a year, I love it”. I bent down to pick up a bag I had placed on the floor to keep out of the photo and a dancer quickly jumped behind me for a goofy hip swiveling whine. I jumped up surprised and a lady behind me perched on a VIP table laughed “That’s my brother!” she smiled. I could tell this was going to be an interesting night.
We were ushered into the basement for coat check and a small area to hang out in by the bar before the show started. To my surprise, there was a hair and makeup station (perfect for birthday girls or brides to be!) and there were some fun ladies from Brass Vixens performing some incredibly impressive pole moves for the waiting crowd.
We asked the instructors a bit more about the classes after Shannon and I were taught a few simple moves. The studios teach pole dancing, twerking, aerial, burlesque and lyra classes and had 5 locations.(3 of them are downtown, see link for more info Brass Vixens) We were all handed a free class pass to try out a class for ourselves, maybe it’ll be a future blog post, who knows? After seeing the instructors outstretched on the pole, holding themselves up in impossible positions using only their thighs, we were interested.
The ladies told us they got in great shape doing the classes a few times a week, and summer bodies are made in the winter, so now would be the perfect time to start!
VIP’s and bottle service tables were called to come take their seats and the rest of us gathered around the bottom of a staircase waiting for our turn. I took a quick look around the room and the audience was a mixed bag. 20 to 40 year old women, gay guys, even couples on dates (whatever does it for you). A lady beside me in her late 20’s was even with her mother! I thought was that pretty funny. I ended up seeing them later in the evening and they really seemed to be having the time of their lives.
When we were allowed upstairs, everyone rushed to find a seat with a good view. A lot of the prime seats were already taken with VIP and bottle service and we ended up having to stand side stage. It was OK, but we could definitely see the benefit in springing for VIP.
The lights dimmed and ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ started playing. The girls and I are laughed and turned a little red when the guys- decked out in army pants and wife beaters came on stage and started ripping off their shirts, throwing it at women wearing birthday crowns and bride to be sashes. The now shirtless men formed a sort of push up square, with all of them on the floor, feet on the others calves pushing up as a group. Hey there.
The room was still screaming when the next acts came on. They ranged from sensual chair dances where the guys stripped out of their work shirts and ties to The Weeknd’s Worth It, themed performances (think Zorro and Rugby players) and even audience participation acts where some lucky (or nervous) young ladies were tied to chairs and grinded up on. It was pretty entertaining to watch them all lose their minds.
There was also a performer for everyone. They came in every colour and creed, every look and build. I heard a few girls talking about their ‘favourites’ and comparing notes with other groups beside them. The blonde pixie haired host (their answer to Matthew McConaughey’s sexy cowboy MC) even referred to one of the longer dark haired gentleman as a ‘sexy Jesus’. I could see it.
As the night went on, acts seemed to get a little more risqué and a little more flesh was shown. Towels were the typical front cover up for many of the late night numbers. (Oh, there was also an apron) This got the ladies even more riled up. They were screaming for these guys like they were the Beatles. I didn’t think I would ever be reacting that way in public, but when a man reached out to grab Bre’s hand, trying to make her feel his rock hard abs, we all screamed a little.
When the show ended and we all fanned ourselves off a little, we were told the guys would be hanging around in the downstairs bar for the after party.They were all very friendly and not intimidating at all. They danced with all shapes and sizes of audience members during the show, and you could just tell they really wanted us all to have a good night.
We walked in a little nervous and maybe even feeling out of place but the performers were very approachable and professional. A good example of this was when I saw very shy women sort of pull away when a dancer tried to either pull her up on stage or have her touch some part of him. If the guy saw she clearly wasn’t into it or nervous they moved on to another more willing participant ASAP. It was all very lax and just in good fun.
Breanne and I scoped a few of the VIP booths before leaving because clearly this would be the venue for our upcoming bachelorette parties. (You’re welcome guests).
Think this night out sounds like your thing? I was told H.I.M shows are usually about once a month, but at the end of the performance on Friday we were informed they would be back as of February 2018. HELLOOOOO, perfect for Valentines day. Want to plan with your girls? Check out Handsome International Men .
Tickets range from $15 - $100 (depending on what seats you want) and include access to the beauty lounge and after party. Insider tip: sometimes general admission seats pop up on Groupon, keep an eye out!
If you check out their event page they boast “ Our mission is to give women what they want. Because at H.I.M, we are all about HER. Have you seen H.I.M?”.. cause if not, what are you waiting for ?!
Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.