The West

Brendan Chamberlain, Darien Johns, Ben Main, Leigh Speicher and Michael Tomic. Picture: The West Australian/Megan Powell

You would expect the lure of big-paying mining jobs in the Pilbara would spell a skills crisis for the companies promoting male strippers in Perth.

After all, the local "male entertainment" industry draws on the talent pool that the resource houses are plundering - fit men in their 20s and 30s.

But the companies providing strippers and topless waiters to hens nights and girls-nights-out across WA have found an unexpected symmetry with the mining industry and its fly-in, fly-out rosters.

It turns out the well-appointed fitness centres at remote sites in the State's north have resulted in legions of male workers coming back to Perth buffer than ever.

And the extended time off afforded by FIFO rosters means they are willing and able to perform at various shows in the city.

Top Shelf Entertainment owner Leigh Speicher said the extra talent churned out by the fitness boom and the FIFO lifestyle had allowed more companies to start up, increasing competition.

"A lot of the guys do work away and then come down and work for me," he said.

"Some do a couple of hours every few weeks, some do four or five hours every week. The talent pool has got a bit bigger but the main effect has been more competition - other companies starting up and people thinking they can do the same thing."

The company, which provides waiters, strippers and dancers, has operated in Perth for the past six years and last year expanded into Melbourne.

The east-coast talent will head west in early March when the Magic Mike Allstars tour in Joondalup, Bunbury and Perth.

Mr Speicher, a 32-year-old former personal trainer and choreographer, said the fitness industry was turning out more men who had the build and body confidence needed to make it as a male entertainer.

He employed men aged 20 to 40.

Malestorm Entertainment owner Adam Curtis, a former FIFO worker, said there had been a noticeable rise in the number of men who were fit enough to strip.

Mr Curtis said the surge in people becoming personal trainers had created a bigger talent pool.

"It is a very common trend that a lot of PTs do end up doing this work, especially waitering," the 30-year-old from Doubleview said.

"I have noticed a lot more guys ringing up. But you can have the hottest body and have the confidence but unless you have the ability to build rapport then it is not going to work for us."

The 2012 release of Steven Soderbergh's male stripper film Magic Mike, starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey, sparked renewed interest in the industry, Mr Curtis said.

But the men who performed at hens nights around WA each weekend were having to deal with an increasingly "willing" audience, with many walking away from performances nursing welts and bruises.

"I have been bitten and scratched," Mr Curtis said. "I regularly have G-strings snapped and pulled.

"The unwritten for blokes at a buck's show is you don't touch the strippers but for some reason when girls get together all those rules go right out the window. For some reason it is quite acceptable for the girls to try to break you down.

"You have to put the foot down and say, 'This is not acceptable'. I think it is due to the high level of intoxication. I have definitely noticed the level of intoxication has gone up, especially in the 25-and-under crowd."

The West Australian

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