A friend (whom I won’t embarrass by linking to, unless she says it’s cool) requested a list of bad-ass strip tease songs. Realizing that there are several different types of strip teases, I reeled off the following:
“Start Me Up” – Rolling Stones. Good for high-energy shows. A Sarah-Katherine Lewis favorite!
“Gimme Shelter” – Rolling Stones. For mysterious shows with a lot of scarves and veils and the like.
“Honky-Tonk Women” – Rolling Stones. A reliable stand-by.
“Brown Sugar” – Rolling Stones. Has a very teasing tone to it; good for when you want to lead the person on a bit.
At this point I realized I had, without intending to, picked four Rolling Stones songs in a row. In fact, you could probably compose a good strip-tease playlist entirely of Rolling Stones songs.
Seriously. It just keeps going.
“(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – Also good for teasing someone. The alternation between the whispered verses and the shouted chorus lets you change tempo really easily. And the lyrical content makes it obvious.
“Time Is On My Side” – Last song before closing, when it’s only three customers and one dancer in the bar.
“Paint it, Black” – Not quite whips-and-chains material, but I picture a very salsa-esque dance with a lot of flounces and maybe a bullwhip. Like Salma Hayek in From Dusk ‘Till Dawn.
“Street Fighting Man” – Good for a birthday boy or the bachelor the night before a wedding. Lavish attention on him; make him feel tough.
“Tumbling Dice” – Sassy but upbeat. Do this with a big grin on your face and a lot of pole-work.
“It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)” – As with “Satisfaction,” the alternation between steady verses and screamed chorus makes this ideal.
But it’s not universal. There are quite a few Stones songs that would send mixed signals.
“Ruby Tuesday” – Real tough beat to do anything with.
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – Just throws the look-but-don’t-touch strictures right in the customer’s face. Plus, as High Fidelity so aptly observed, the connection with The Big Chill disqualifies this song almost immediately.
“Heartbreaker (Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo)” – Got a real sexy rhythm, but it’s all about cops shooting civilians and kids dying in the Struggle. Oh, yeah. That brings out the tips.
“She’s So Cold” – Of course, the stripper isn’t actually enthralled at your barely-concealed erection. We know she’s faking it. But why remind everyone?
“Let’s Spend The Night Together” – Someone’s going to take this literally and rush the stage. You know they are.
“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?” – Real dirty, sultry blues make it perfect to start, but then what do you do for the 3-minute jam session at the end? Stand up there and twirl?
And then there are some that you would not want to use at all. You would crash and burn miserably. Things would end in tears and gunshots:
“Mother’s Little Helper”
“Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby?”
So, clearly, you need to choose with care.