After much contemplation, I bring up "Magic Mike" early in our conversation.
"So, are you guys riding off the popularity of 'Magic Mike'?"
I'm on the phone with Jordan Lee Dizon, one of the male burlesque performers who will be at Mix Ultra Lounge in Columbus on Friday. Yes, that's his real name. And no, he's not coasting on the success of the recent male stripper film starring Channing Tatum.
"I think 'Magic Mike' is riding off us," Jordan says. "I really don't care to see the movie."
Make no mistake: He'll gladly entertain any first-time guests who will visit Mix on Friday as a result of the film.
But Jordan wants you to know his brand of entertainment "is not just about S-E-X."
"This is a business," he says. "There are a lot of groups out there that give us a bad name. They just play a song and they start taking their clothes off."
For the record, his show -- The Men of Cuffs and Collars -- is a fully choreographed deal that includes some former Chippendales cast members. "It's very tasteful, classy. We don't go nude," Jordan says. He's a lead dancer, emcee and singer with the group.
He agrees with the idea that women and men react differently to burlesque shows.
"It takes a lot more for a woman to be entertained (by) a guy," Jordan says, adding that guests can expect four or five performers at Friday's local show.
Of course, you'll see an array of entertaining costumes. Cowboy and fireman getups are the most popular, according to Jordan.
Performers have lives beyond the stage, he says. Many of them have another job, boasting careers in fields like real estate and investment brokerage. Their travel schedule -- three weeks on, one and a half weeks off throughout the whole year -- allows for some down time.
While many people might consider Cuffs and Collars a brag-worthy gig, Jordan says he doesn't bring up the job when he's not performing. He maintains he's delivering a fantasy on stage and "it needs to stay that way."
With that, I'm almost out of questions. Plus, our phone conversation is happening in the middle of the newsroom and my co-workers are starting to question the references to burlesque cowboys coming from my side of the room.
I tell Jordan the women of the Chattahoochee Valley are excited about his show. He has a question for me.
"Will you be there?"
Jordan isn't the first male burlesque dancer I've interviewed. I've been to similar shows, ranging from the well-choreographed to the "I'd rather watch Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze on YouTube" variety.
It's easy to view shows like Cuffs and Collars as reflections of female empowerment or some deeper cultural value. But I've learned male hip gyrations are designed to be enjoyed, not over-analyzed.
Just like magic.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.