The world of burlesque is dark and exotic for most of us, especially since we're in a very conservative environment. Striptease performances? "No, we don't want any of that," we say on the outside, but our curiosity makes us think otherwise. "What's all the fuss with burlesque? How much are we going to see, exactly?!"
DopeLoco's Eyes Wide Shut Burlesque is Manila's first masquerade-themed burlesque show (in case you didn't get the allusion to the movie of the same name). It was first staged at A Space Manila on February 5, Friday, and none of those who came, including myself, knew what to expect. Apart from seeing breasts, of course. And lingerie. And lots and lots of stripping. Personally I expected having a bad night because I thought I'd feel like crap after seeing shapely breasts—and I'm flat as a cardboard and hate it when I'm remotely told of how I can't be sexy because I don't have jiggly boobs.
But I didn't have a bad night. The show was fun and the performers were stunning in their own right. Many people, like me, couldn't help having a good time. I even managed to gain some lessons on being sexy because burlesque as most of us know is all about that:
1. "Sexy" is not just for one type of body.
A lot of us think that the toned figure with biceps and abs are the only sexy bodies in the world, but that's not the case. It's worth noting that DopeLoco's burlesque performers have different body shapes, proving that all shapes are sexy and can be all the more attractive if the person just #WorkedIt.
2. You don't need big boobs or a big butt to be sexy.
Contrary to what many believe, there's a lot more to being sexy than the measurements or curves of your bust or butt. Sure, the pages of men's magazines might say otherwise. But the great part about burlesque is that you see the person in action, and you can see her work with what she has (like flab, for example) and what she doesn't have (like boobs). And that's completely magnetizing. She's not reduced to impressions or a single snap. You see a lot more power and personality live, which brings us to another important point.
3. "Sexy" isn't limited to how a person looks.
Confidence, confidence, confidence. You need loads of it IRL, and much, much more of it when you're in front of other people and slowly taking your clothes or lingerie off. Burlesque is still a performance, so one really has to take the stage and give it her all. Sexiness also has a lot to do with attitude. You have to show you're enjoying your striptease (whether or not you really are) for the one looking at you to be aroused in one way or another. (If you weren't enjoying, someone would be quite sick to watch you be miserable.)
There is one performer who had a poker face the whole time, but that instead cast an air of mystery about her. So yes, you don't have to show your tantalizing smiles when you're trying to be sexy. Looking calm and a total boss can do that too.
4. You don't need to be a great dancer to be sexy.
A dance background will definitely up your sexiness factor, but it's not the most essential thing to boosting your game. Most of DopeLoco's burlesque performers have no dance background, but they're flexible and strong and confident, which did the trick. The great thing about this info? YOU can definitely work on your flexibility, strength, and confidence if you want to do some striptease yourself.
5. Being naked isn't the most important thing in the show.
Admittedly getting naked in front of someone and being seen naked is a pretty big deal especially in a relationship. But in the burlesque show, which can also apply IRL, once the person is naked, there's not much to look forward to anymore. In fact, you know that performer's time on stage is almost up. Sure, finally seeing the body gives that relief to all the tension that was built, but that's about it. Without one hell of a striptease, you wouldn't be floored by someone else's body.
6. Burlesque isn't just for celebrating the female body.
There's such a thing called "boylesque," and it involves a male performer. It's definitely a breath of fresh air seeing another body and sex stripping one's clothes off on stage. We don't see a lot of that.
7. It's not always easy being sexy.
If you think it's not easy to channel your inner sexy self, well, you're absolutely right. But that doesn't mean you can't do it, or that only burlesque performers can. Remember, you're not the only one who struggles to unhook a new bra or to unbutton a polo shirt. Burlesque performers can experience this, and they just have to make it all look like it's part of the choreography. Also, you're also not the only one who gets self-conscious or gets to wonder if what you're doing makes you look like a complete fool.
One of them told me after the show that drinking vodka—lots of it—before getting on stage helped her loosen up. "I don't think anyone can do all that stuff 100 percent sober." So for sure you need to be put in the mood. Alcohol might help you too. For sure music and dim lights will.
8. Some appreciation can keep you going.
Any person will feel uncomfortable and will have a really low morale if she's trying to elicit some cheers and no one claps for her. So when you're trying to be sexy for your partner or yourself, make sure you get some lovin'.
9. At least one person out there will genuinely find you sexy and will have the same kinks as you.
Even if you're sexy and you know it, not everyone will ride your wave. They have their own tastes and preferences, and that's okay; that's normal. But you can definitely count that while not everybody can be appreciative of you or your body, there's someone out there who is. Don't forget to be that person for yourself, too. Remember, #WorkIt and #Slay.
You're guaranteed to pick up some get-sexy pointers when you catch a burlesque show. Interested? The Eyes Wide Shut Burlesque will have its second staging at A Space Manila on March 5, Saturday, from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. You need masquerade-style masks to enter (you can buy at the venue). Tickets are from P820 to P1,332.50.
Follow Stephanie on Twitter.