You Need Help: You (Want to Be) Too Sexy for Your Shirt

Welcome to You Need Help! Where you’ve got a problem and yo, we solve it. Or we at least try.

Q: My girlfriend keeps hinting she wants a little strip tease action from me. I’m not a super prude nor a Pussycat Doll, but I am having some mental blockage with this one. How do girls do this?

A: So this isn’t you, then? You’re not Snoop Dogg’s “lead pussycat”?

Here’s the thing. Your girlfriend knows you are not a Pussycat Doll, but I bet she thinks you’re pretty gosh darn sexy. So, if you are doing a thing where you are moving around and taking your clothes off, you are probably on the right track. Even if you mess it all up in an epic way, it will still lead to fun sexy times. Maybe you’ve been thinking about this for a long time; maybe this is something you’ve been mulling over trying a sexy striptease as part of the Autostraddle Masters of Sex Cure Month Experience. Either way, read on!

"I'm doing sexy stuff to the pillow."

“I’m doing sexy stuff to the pillow.”

"I'm doing sexy stuff with the plant."

“I’m doing sexy stuff with the plant.”

I’m not just going to tell you to do you. I have some practical tips. I have never stripped professionally, so take this as advice from one self-learnt lady to another. I have been to many strip clubs. (And I was once genuinely mistaken for a dancer at a strip club where I was a patron, which I took as a compliment.) Oh, and I arranged a private Art of Striptease dance class with a bunch of friends once for a bachelorette weekend, so I guess you can consider that professional training. (If you have the sort of friends who are into that kind of thing, it is a riot to try to learn a sexy dance together, FYI.)

Put something on.

The sexiest part of a striptease is the part where you take clothes off, obviously, so you want to start with clothes on. Put your sexy underthings on underneath and then layer looser clothing on top. Some classic options are an oversized button-up shirt. Or a full suit with a loosened tie. You can even wear an oversized hoodie if you’re doing a sporty striptease. Go with things that either unbutton or unzip from the front, unless you are a pro. You don’t want to get stuck pulling your shirt over your head mid-strip. Also, you can gradually remove the zipped up/buttoned up item in a very sexy way.

Strip style inspiration a la Shane (via girls in suits

Strip style inspiration a la Shane (via girls in suits

Pants that are not tear-off (though you can easily find athletic track pants that are tear-off at any sporting good store) are for advanced strippers. If you’re going with pants, practice your pants-off shimmy and make sure the pants are loose enough to fall away from your body. If you have tear-off pants, practice makes perfect or at least not embarassing and stuck in your pants. Skinny jeans and leggings will lead to awkward tugging and jumping around on one foot. Maybe go with a long shirt and go pantsless.

Hats can be fun to play around with, especially top hats and cowgurl hats. You can use a hat to cover up body parts as you take off your clothes. You can use your hat to solicit tips after your performance, thankyouverymuch. You can also feel really silly in a hat, so if a hat makes you feel more silly than sexy, forgo the hat.

coyote ugly hat

Life is full of hard decisions.

NO SOCKS. Unless you or your partner have a foot fetish (which is totally cool if you do), socks are hard to take off and not a particularly sexy reveal. If your gender presentation is such that you would wear long gloves, however, those are easy to remove and are very sexy. Thigh highs are also great because you don’t need to take them off to get down unless you want to. If you are a slightly advanced stripper, taking thigh highs off slowly is really hot. Lastly, make sure your footwear is easy to remove. Barefoot always works. If heels are a thing you would wear, go for it! More advanced things like thigh-high latex boots are best left to pros (unless you are going to leave them on for sex, in which case, YES).

For your underthings, just wear something that makes you feel super hot.

You know you want them.

You know you want them.

Bonus points if this is a new sexy underthing your partner has never seen before that will be revealed for the VERY FIRST TIME. Whoa. Rawr.

Most importantly, be comfortable and feel confident in what you are wearing. Barefoot in a button down shirt with sexy underthings beneath is totally fine… and hot.

Set the mood.

Dim the lights because sultry stripping doesn’t feel quite as naughty in full fluorescent light. However, you need light so your girlfriend can see your hot bod, so turn on some mood lights, put out a lava lamp, light candles, etc.

Pick a song that makes you feel sexy and makes you wanna bust a move, whatever that is. I have witnessed pros work it to everything from heavy metal to sugar pop. If you are feeling lost on the music decision, default to a popular hip hop song (e.g. Missy Elliot’s Get Ur Freak On) or a classic rock song (e.g. Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me). If you are going for a long tease, pick a couple songs or at least put your song on repeat. You don’t want to music to stop before you’re ready. It would be great to just let your strip playlist lead right into your sex jams, actually.

I think it’s really important that your girlfriend sits for your striptease. You should have the sexual power in this situation and it is really sexy if your girlfriend is sitting below you for this. It gives her a great view (wink wink nudge nudge) and keeps her from fidgeting around and getting in your way. This positions her well if you decide to turn the strip dance into a lap dance. You can direct her to sit on the couch or the side of the bed or you can pull a chair into the middle of your sexily-lit room. Lead her to her seat and gently push her down onto it.

OBEY. (via reaction gifs)

OBEY. (via reaction gifs)

I am a big fan of the “no-touch” rule when performing a striptease. Tell your girlfriend she can’t touch you until you say it’s OK. It builds the tension, will drive her wild, and lets you do your thing without interference.

grumpy cat don't touch me

Take it off.

This part should be easy, but it’s the most intimidating part! Let’s revisit that part about how your girlfriend loves your hot bod and just wants to see you being sexy for her. Even if you are a horrible dancer, if you have made it this far, pretty much anything you do will be sexy. This very worst case scenario is that you suck at dancing or fall over or make a fool of yourself. But remember this is in front of a person who cares about you and who you care about. You aren’t on a stage. No one is posting this to YouTube. If you goof up in front of your girlfriend, is it really a huge deal? Probably not. Probably you’ll still get laid.

Practical tips, though. Strut. Swagger. Like, work your walk. You don’t need to be a runway model. Just walk with confidence, like you’re the hottest shit in the whole world and your girlfriend should be honored to be in your delicious presence.

Work it like Nicki.

Work it like Nicki.

It may make you feel more comfortable if you get your girlfriend into position (sitting) and turn the music on “off-stage,” then make your big entrance. This will also give you a few seconds to prepare yourself mentally immediately beforehand. And to really strut/swagger your way into the room like a boss. To do a model-ish strut, put one foot directly in front of the other when you walk, taking your time with each step.

You don’t need to come up with some elaborate dance (unless you want to). Moving your hips to the music is more than enough. Your girlfriend is gonna be more interested in what’s under your clothes and getting you out of your clothes than whether you can do the splits.

Here are some other simple moves that don’t require a whole lot of skill.

Make eye contact. Lots of direct eye contact.

Use your hands to tease — run them through your hair, touch the collar or hem of your shirt, run them down your body.

Walk away, slowly, giving her a nice view of your backside, then turn your head and shoot her a sexy glance.

Shake your butt or boobs right near her or on her. Remember the no touch rule? She can’t touch you, but you can touch her (with prior consent to this whole situation, obvs). Maybe give her a little lapdance. Sit your bottom lightly on her lap and rub your booty up and down against her crotch. Or straddle her face-to-face and press against her slowly and rhythmically. Run your hands slowly down her body from neck to…you decide. If you are wearing thigh high stockings, put one leg up on the chair and ask her to remove them for you (OK, so a little violation of the no-touch rule, but worth it!)

Even if you’re not an expert twerker, most people can shake their booty or do a booty roll. To do a booty roll, put your legs together, bend down and put your hands on your legs, then move your butt in, like, a circular direction. Was that too hard? That’s OK. Forget the booty roll. Just move your hips, make eye contact, tease with your hands. You’ve got this!

I said, "NO TOUCHING, Drake!"

I said NO TOUCHING, Drake!

Slowly, SLOWLY, S-L-O-W-L-Y start removing your clothing. This the tease part, the sexy part. Start by opening one button or slightly unzipping your shirt or loosening your tie. Dance/strut some more. Remove something else. Really take your time. You can strip down to your underwear or down to full monty. Your choice.

When your girlfriend is so turned on that she probably is going to explode, make her wait a little big longer. You tease! When you are sure she is actually going to die if you don’t allow her to touch you and when you feel ready, say, “Now you can touch me.”

christina aw yea

I’ll leave whatever happens next up to you. I think you can handle it, you sexy beast.

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KaeLyn is a 40-year-old hard femme bisexual dino mom. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, over-caffeinating herself, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Upstate NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a scaredy cat, an elderly betta fish, and two rascally rabbits. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 230 articles for us.


  1. I have received multiple strip teases turned lap dances from a partner to the song Down in Mexico by The Coasters. You should check it out ;)

    • I personally think it would be hot if my partner dances & lip syncs to the first half(second half is just pure jamming) of Let’s Call it Love by Sleater Kinney.

      And the last time I remember being at strip club I am pretty sure the Adina Howard song Freak was playing and it worked well for the dance.

  2. From a burlesque performance I was part of back when I was genderqueer and way femmier:

    “Sexy silk” by Jessie J
    “Ruby” by Boss Hog (my song!)

    Also I personally like to shake it to a couple Queens of the Stone Age songs, especially “Make It Wit Chu” but also “Sick, Sick, Sick.” But like, I never meet anyone who listens to QOTSA, so.

    Also, a challenging gaze or a confident smirk is a good strategy for any moves you feel awkward about, like if you do go the pants route and find yourself pulling the legs inside out and almost tripping. I feel like if you just strip your pants off really efficiently instead of lingering, and then fling them away while maintaining eye contact, that’s pretty sexy, and not too challenging.

    I have thought a lot about this because it turns out choreographing your own solo burlesque routine is 1. hard and 2. terrifying! Taking my clothes off on stage: no big. Also performing and trying to be sexy while doing it? “Oh god oh god what the fuck did I get myself into”

    • Also I COMPLETELY SUPPORT running your hands all over yourself. Like, just blatantly grope yourself, it works really well, it’s really easy, and it’s great for your confidence!

  3. I’m going to recycle my answer to an AskMefi question from yonks ago about giving your partner a lapdance, adjusting pronouns:

    Don’t worry about specific moves. What matters more is the connection between you two. Make her feel like she’s the only person in the world, that all the sexual energy ever existed is between you two. Imagine it. Feel it in yourself. If you can create that mood for yourself it’ll be contagious.

    Go slow. Like seriously slow. Take the time to feel yourself, love yourself – yup, imagine you’re masturbating. Give yourself foreplay. Where do you like to be touched? How? Do that to yourself as a buildup, whether on lap or off. Slow it dooooooooooooooooooown – draw out every last move.

    Who do you think is sexy? Imagine you’re them. Feel them in your body – the way they move, the way they walk, the way their hips sway. Embody that person. Embody a few people, if you need to. Sometimes it helps to create an alterego so that our sense of awkward doesn’t kick in.

    Are there any costume pieces you could use to help you get in the mood? A hat, a necklace, a pair of gloves? That can also help delienate between you and LapDance!You, and you can incorporate it in the dance.

    Get real close, but only just. Breath works wonders, as do just hovering fingers above their skin. Tease them, but leave them hanging. You can restrain your partner’s hands to the chair or each other for the extra effect.

    Rock and roll your hips, waist, body. Just roll with it. It’ll feel stupid at first but just imagine you’re fluid, your body is made of honey and you’re just flowing. Feel the music and move to it. Enjoy the music and channel it to your partner.

    Lapdancing is largely stylized dryhumping. Think about which parts of your bodies feel good together, and make use of that. Play with distance, with tempo, with speed. Allow one deep touch – then move away.

    As for songs: what’s your partner’s favourite style of music? There’s bound to be something there that’ll work. Don’t underestimate the sex appeal of rock songs: I’ve always wanted to do a striptease/lapdance to Muse’s version of Feeling Good. Try something from seXmusic.

    Look up burlesque videos for inspiration – a lot of them are really like lapdancing but standing up. Some even *have* lapdancing in them!

    Above all, have fun. Switch off your brain and let your body tell you what to do. Your partner will be flattered any which way. Good luck!

  4. Songs (these may get weird. I am a weird girl who takes off her clothes for weird girls):

    “Tigerlily” – La Roux
    “The Meanest Thing I Ever Did” – Mojo Juju
    “Ooh La La” – Goldfrapp
    “Love is a Stranger” – the Eurythmics
    “Dirty King” – the Cliks

    As a heads up to my plus size/femme accoutrement enjoying Straddlers: the newest Cacique collection is KILLER.

      • There are cage bras! There are knickers with giant foofy bows on the back? I mean, yeah, Panache/Freya/Wacoal are better for support and shaping but this is the closest I can get to an affordable on-trend floor bra.

  5. I’m planning to give my girlfriend a striptease/lap dance for Valentine’s Day, and I’m going to use the song “Touchin’, Lovin'” by Trey Songz and Nicki Minaj. That song never fails to get us ready to do the do. I’ll probably use this article as reference too. I’m excited!

  6. A few more songs just popped in my head:
    TLC – Red Light Special
    Prince works well here too.
    And maybe I’m odd but Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence

  7. I do this all the time, except instead of sexy music there’s NPR playing, I’m wearing a snapback hat and a carhart jacket, and I can’t really get past taking off my button up before we’re already having sex with my boots still on. Hot, I know.

    • Why does it seem like only gay women where those kinds of hats in public anymore? At least I assume there gay because I only see them at the state Pride festivals, usually worn with the flap to the back. Are straight women just afraid people will think there gay? Too bad because it is a sexy look.

    • BTW, I’m from the Minnesota. I don’t if you find fashion trends are different in Brooklyn Frankie, since I’ve never been there. Hope you mind me asking. Peace.

    • I’m trying to wrap my head around sexytime to Diane Rehm…otherwise I think you are doing it right. Thumbs up.

      • Nah,Diane ain’t on unto 10 on weekdays in NYC. My particular brand of strip usually occurs during marketplace. It totally sets the mood hearing about all those dolla dolla billz I don’t have invested.

    • All Things Considered, I understand NPR. It’s a breath of Fresh Air, and it sounds On Point.

      Here all week.

      • Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, you’re a Serial listener in This American Life who might get down with her Prairie Home Companion during this Morning’s Edition.

        Yours was better.

        • Oh, no, yours is excellent. I think we’re good to take this on the road. Like Garrison Keillor, but, eh, very different?

  8. Great article!

    When I was younger, Looks That Kill by Motley Crue was the song I would of used for a striptease and/or lap dance.

    Now? I’d definitely use Loneliness Is A Killer by BUSH. I friggin love the song and it’s music is sexy as hell! A bunch of their other songs would work well too.

  9. One word: Rihanna.

    All of her songs are basically made for you to sway your hips and take off your clothes to. The lyrics are pretty sexy too, and she spends a lot of her time crooning in her robot-with-a-Barbadian-accent voice about how she’s hot shit, so by association you will start to feel like you’re hot shit too. I’m a big fan of Rude Boy (“Tonight I’mma let you be the captain, tonight I’mma let you do your thing yeah, tonight I’mma let you be a rider, giddy up giddy up giddy up babe”), You Da One (“You da one that I dream about all day, you da one that I think about always, you are da one so I make sure I behave”), Pour it Up, and Cockiness (“Place my wants and needs over your resistance, and then you come around”). I like to use songs that I love to dance to and already know all the lyrics to.

    My honest advice is make a playlist full of songs that you think are sexy, smoke a bowl of some dank ass sativa or have a glass or two of wine, put on your headphones, lock your bedroom door, close all the blinds, light some candles, and let go. Just let yourself dance. Don’t do it in front of the mirror, just do what feels right. Have fun! Dancing sexy is fun, and you don’t have to be ashamed of doing something that makes you feel good. Just think of Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers and own it. It’s your goddess-given right to shake what your mama gave ya. Eventually, when you work up to being bold enough to dance in front of a person, it will feel like something fun and like something that you already like to do, but with the added thrill of doing it in front of somebody you want to sleep with! Go forth and grind, my good people.

      • A N Y T H I N G by the Weeknd works. Often is perfect, The Professional is nice because it has a really slow build to it–I like a lot of the longer songs too because you can have more time to build up and you don’t feel so rushed.

    • I was literally just going to write these exact things, Monique. Rihanna and the Weeknd for days. Especially “Skin” by Rihanna and “Wicked Games” by the Weeknd.

  10. Famous striptease inspiration from Striptease, the movie starring Demi Moore (but again a reminder that you don’t need highly choreographed dance routines or to fit into some Western ideal of a perfect bod to put on a totally hot show and also BOO TO THE MALE GAZE):

    Executing the Pantsless Shirt-n-Tie look expertly:

    Following @danser‘s advice about dancing alone in your bedroom feeling sexy (while very carefully covering your nips):

    @creatrixtiara‘s props advice:

    What to do if your partner is not respecting your space:

    Bonus – this scene from Girl/Girl – See, she’s just like dancing around and being cute and feeling awkward and it WORD:

  11. My only qualm with this article is the overall lack of Ciara-related stripping suggestions.
    But I guess that could be its own post entirely….

  12. As an ex dancer who taught exotic and lap dance for four years, I’ll just +1 most of the suggestions above and say that confidence is key. If you feel confident, you could strip out of nasty sweats and a tee shirt and it would be sexy as hell. On the other hand, if you’re feeling self-conscious and shy, you could be wearing the sexiest thing imaginable and it will seem awkward and make you feel really uncomfortable.

    So basically, don’t do it unless you feel good about it.

    That said, some useful tips: know your song. Know every word, every line, every beat, and move to it. If you know your song, you can basically just body roll and touch yourself the entire time to the beat and you’ll look amazing. I’m a big fan of hair tossing, because I adore my hair, so all I need is a few big moments in my song to pepper that in and I feel great. Find the part of your body you like best and play it up. Remember: good stripping/lap dancing isn’t about what you think your partner will like. Don’t pick a song or a move just because you think it’s what they want to see. Pick it because you want it/like it. It’s about what you like. They’re just honored to be around you when you’re enjoying yourself.

    Related: move slowly. Seriously. Move so slowly you think it’s too slow and touch the parts of your body you like (because they’re going to look where you touch, not anyplace you might feel self conscious). It eats up time and it’s super sexy.

    Finally, if you’re up for it, pole and exotic dance classes are HUGE right now and many hold one-time workshops if you feel like you want some extra help/moves. Or go to the club and watch your favorite dancers. Take notes. Practice on your own. (SERIOUSLY practice with the clothes you want to take off before you do it for someone else. You have no idea how many potential wardrobe malfunctions can happen the first couple times. I once shredded my favorite glove because it got caught on my wrist mid-performance and I had to rip it off.)

    If you’re really shy/want to make it a little more double-sided, take your SO to a class with you and learn to booty pop together. It takes away a lot of the tension.

    But again, just to reiterate: don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable or too self conscious. It’s true that if you have someone who wants you to dance for them, they already find you sexy. But you have to find you sexy. Get to that place first, and don’t worry about doing what you think you “should” be doing.

    As for songs, some of my current sexy faves from vastly different genres (though they don’t have to be sexy to dance to!) to dance to are:

    “Wicked Games” by the Weeknd
    “Skin” by Rihanna
    “Take Me to Church” by Hozier
    “Leave the Lights On” by Jewel
    “Eyes on Fire” by Blue Foundation
    “Problem” by Natasha Kills
    “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails
    “Adrenalize” by In This Moment
    “Dance For You” by Beyonce

    • Thanks for the pro tips. :) Confidence is so sexy!

      Hair tossing might not work for those with short hair, but I agree it is a hot move for longer hair!

      Do you have any pro tips for folks who are more masculine of center who want to take it off?

      • Absolutely! I only meant if you can find one thing you really love about yourself, you can play it up. My thing is my really long hair. I’ve seen people work their bums, their chests, their abs, their feet, their eyes, their hands, etc. It’s just about what you like about yourself.

        I think most of the tips apply for everyone across the gender spectrum: Be confident. Play up your favorite features. Dance to a song you really love/know well. Practice first in the clothes you’re going to use for the dance.

        I highly advocate for the use of fantasy as a dancer. If your idea of sexy is being a badass dominatrix, strut it out like one. If your fantasy is running in a field of flowers all innocent and sweet, play up the flirty vibe. Basically call on your fantasies to set a tone that makes you feel confident.

        As for random little tips… hmm. Personally, I love doing things like wearing a tie in the dance and half-way through taking off the tie and using it to tie my partner’s hands down/back so she can’t touch me. If someone likes strapping on, I think it would be hot to work that into the wardrobe/dance moves. Those who are more masculine of center may also find inspiration in male strippers and work push-ups/thrusts/sharper movements into their dances. Suits are great and add a lot of easy-to-remove layers.

        And, at the risk of sounding crass, if someone is feeling really bold, they can basically simulate air-sex they way they prefer to do it. You’ll see dancers playing out bottom fantasies by laying on the ground and arching on their backs while caressing their body with their knees bent/straddling their partner and arching back (basically a lot of arching) or playing with topping fantsies by straddling their partners and being super touchy (pulling on their collars for balance, tying them down, thrusting on their laps from the front).

        So I guess… you do you?

        Hope those made sense! Also, I know there are a lot of super hot drag-king and butch dancers on Autostraddle. I saw a few at A-Camp. I hope they can bring in some more tips. It’s really hard for masculine-of-center people to get into lapdancing and stripping because it’s so insanely feminized.

      • Right? I love a song that doesn’t mess around with metaphors. Nothing hotter than getting a lap dance and having the dancer look you in the eyes and mouth “I want to fuck you like an animal” or whisper it in your ear when they’re straddling you.

      • Maybe it’s because I also remember the music video to the song, but I never fully thought of “Closer” as a sexy song to dance to That is unless you are at a goth club.


      Don’t be afraid to head to a strip club and ask for help! Tip them well, of course. But I got a lapdance lesson from a stripper once (with bonus me being asked to demonstrate on her) and it was quite fun.

  13. Thanks Kaelyn and to all the commenters. This is going to be super helpful for Valentine’s :)

  14. I literally just created a striptease mixtape as part of a Christmas present–sooo I’ll just include some highlights from that:
    my soul to take – xodiac
    bo peep (do u right) – shlohmo ft jeremih
    Persian rugs – partynextdoor (ACTUALLY ANYTHING BY PARTYNEXTDOOR – same record label as the weeknd and drake so it’s just like sex crack the whole time)
    Fuck u all the time (shlohmo remix) – jeremih
    Love you in the dark – sombear

  15. off topic.. but i sent you an ‘i need help’ thingy and was wondering if you let people know that you got them – even if you won’t answer – i mean i hope you will, but i get sort of paranoid that it got lost or that i sent it to the wrong adress and to prevent myself from sending you the same thing over and over again i thought i’d just ask.


    • You can submit questions to youneedhelp [at] autostraddle [dot] com or submit a question via the ASK link on If you did this, we probably got it!

      If you are really unsure about it because of a computer glitch or something, there’s no harm in sending it one more time. However, probably don’t send it a million times. :)

      We get lots of questions and unfortunately can’t guarantee we will get to every one. Thanks for understanding and know that we love you regardless! <3

      • thank you a lot!
        and i totally understand you can’t answer all of them – anyway fingers crossed :)


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