The line began forming outside El Infierno Cantina in Santa Rosa an hour before the show. One by one, women arrived dressed to impress, some in mini dresses and high heels. A half hour before the show, the line was already down the block. They were all waiting for the HUNKS to arrive.
“HUNKS: The Show” is an all-male revue show that travels around the country performing dances and stripteases, made popular by movies like “Magic Mike.”
The show comes to Santa Rosa a few times a year, according to El Infierno Cantina owner Marco Martínez. “It’s always a fun night, the room fills with screaming women,” he said. According to Martinez, because they’ve had the occasional issue with jealous boyfriends, the shows are encouraged for women only.
When the doors opened, the bar transformed into a nightclub, filling with so many women that by the time the show started, it was standing room only.
When the music started, there was no holding back.
“Oh my God!” a woman behind me shouted as the men of the hour came on stage.
“If you don’t have dollar bills, we aren’t going to like you,” the emcee joked, as the five performers dressed as firemen started dancing to J Balvin’s “Mi Gente.”
As the music pumped, women were pulled one by one, onto the stage for stripteases, some looking enthusiastic, others embarrassed as the guys danced on top of them.
The eager five them made their way into the crowd, climbing over chairs as screaming women reached out to touch their well-defined abs and stuff their underwear full of dollar bills.
“It’s fun, I didn’t know what was going to happen when I came!” said a laughing woman, who wished to not be identified.
There was a feeling of liberation in the room as the women lost their inhibitions. Here, they were not mothers or grandmothers, but ladies on a night out with friends, without boyfriends and husbands. A night for women only.
While it was all in good fun, not all reactions to the show were positive, some in the crowd feeling like it crossed boundaries.
“Making women fake orgasm onstage and shoving their heads into the dancers’ crotches are not my idea of fun,” said audience member Sophia Maloney.“It was upsetting seeing what appeared as unconsensual interactions happening between the women of all ages and the handful of male performers,” she said.
I went in with no indication of what the show would be like and left stunned by the experience. It was definitely a night I won’t forget.
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