It was 1995 when "Showgirls" hit theaters and just a year later when Demi Moore starred in "Striptease."
So why did it take more than a decade for the ladies to get "Magic Mike," the just-released film about male dancers in a Florida strip club?
Women aren't as interested in male nudity as men (and perhaps women as well) are in female nudity. I don't have scientific evidence to back this up, but here's some anecdotal evidence: off the top of my head I can come up with about half a dozen "gentlemen's clubs" in Columbus -- and zero that feature male strippers.
Even "Magic Mike" star Channing Tatum, whose experience working as a male stripper when he was 18 was the foundation off of which the movie was launched, said that men and women have different expectations from strip clubs.
"I think women just go to laugh, and embarrass the friend sitting next to them -- laughing at their friend's red-face as she's getting (ground) on. That's been my experience, anyway. They're not there to get turned on," he told McClatchy-Tribune News reporter Roger Moore.
Case in point: Playboy -- as a magazine and corporation -- has been a heck of a lot more successful than Playgirl.
Women are also a lot more tolerant of female nudity than men are of male nudity. Sure, there are some ladies who may pass on a movie if there are certain exposed body parts, but almost any horror film or raunchy comedy contains a scene of a woman flashing her assets. Guys, on the other hand, tend to be a bit more sensitive about exposure to another man's private parts.
Case in point: On any given day, you can go to Hooters, a restaurant featuring scantily-clad waitresses, and you're likely to see female diners. If, say, there were a restaurant named after a certain male body part, featuring shirtless and oiled-down male servers, I'd challenge any woman to get her husband/boyfriend/straight male friends to even step foot on the premises. But it's unlikely such an establishment would even exist.
There has also been some talk that the recent popularity of the "50 Shades of Grey" trilogy has made women embrace their sexuality more. Though I haven't read them, my understanding of the books is that they feature male dominance, which is sort of the opposite of what "Magic Mike" presents -- males serving as objects of desire, thereby arguably giving women the power. So what's the correlation here? Women outwardly expressing their sexual desires? (After talking with a colleague who has read the books, she agreed that was likely the connection.)
Case in point: Our Facebook readers openly -- and giddily -- admitted to looking forward to watching half-naked men on the big screen.
And it's about time.
Katie McCarthy, features writer, email@example.com or 706-571-8515. Visit her blog for more commentary.