The first thing that needs to be asked is: How in the fuck has Timothy de Iturriaga never seen Magic Mike? The sexy, lanky boss of NYC's Wednesday and Saturday night strip club The Adonis Lounge (at Evolve on W. 58th and 3rd) practically is Matthew McConaughey's "Dallas," a wise, clever male-strip revue maestro who puts the mileage on his own can to good use directing newbies on how to turn a buck with a bump and a grind and a little illusory TLC.
"I haven't seen the movie, so I can't speak to what it's about," he tells me during our interview, conducted over the construction noise of a small crew renovating the club's back room. I nearly drop the camera.
It's like if a high-powered magazine owner admitted to never having seen The Devil Wears Prada.
But the McConaughey character comparison is not an exact match, because while de Iturriaga's got Dallas's smarts, he's got "Magic Mike's" (Channing Tatum) cheerful disposition and easygoing nature. He also gives good face—he told me he'd dreaded our video interview after smoothly talking into my camera for 20 minutes like he didn't have a care in the world. And all of the undeniably hot-looking (don't look for any sixes or sevens at Adonis, everyone is eight or above), hot-moving men at the club whom I've spoken to have praised Tim as a good guy who looks out for them.
Hey, it comes in handy having a boss as massive as the national debt when a client scores a five-song lap dance off of you and wants to walk without paying. Not that de Iturriaga gets into fistfights, but he is a one-man good cop/bad cop. "I suck dick," he says, figuratively, "and they usually wind up paying. But the executives who won't pay, the guys with black cards, them I get loud with. Either way, I always get the money. And luckily, 99% of our clients are at Adonis to have fun, not rip dancers off."
Celebrating its anniverary this weekend with a Friday night show at Lucky Cheng's in addition to its usual Saturday show, Adonis has been around for four years, offering New York the male equivalent of a girlie show—upwards of 30 men (de Iturriaga prides himself on having the sexiest guys of every type) roam the friendly bar in Speedos and less, offering private lap dances in-between short, not-so-sweet dance sets on stage. He thinks it's a classy joint, but I would argue that the beauty of Adonis is its tacky celebration of whatever turns you on.
Which is not to say it's anything goes once you pay your $10 cover; perhaps the classy part of an Adonis experience is on your shoulders—will you respect your dancer's limits when it comes to where your hands can wander? (One straight guy in a tiny jockstrap straining to support the kind of butt most gay men dream of possessing told me, as he plopped onto my lap recently, "Know your boundaries."
It was a polite, but firm (oh, so firm...) warning, but I would say most of the dancers at Adonis take their cues from their affable boss, who used to be a successful stripper for both men and women himself—you're more likely to be shown pictures of their kids, told about their girlfriend troubles, hit on for real, gossiped with, or just plain catered to than you are to be scolded by these expensive hobbies. As long as you act like a human being which, remember, they are, too.
This weekend at Adonis, de Iturriaga is flying in seven in-demand models and porn stars (including the delicious Sean Zevran) to celebrate the club's fourth. But even though no night at Adonis is identical to another thanks to the revolving lineup, and even though some of the X-rated A-listers he's importing will be making their Adonis debuts, one thing that stays the same at the club is something of which its owner is proud:
"People have fun here," he says with a shrug. "It's about having a kind of sexy fun you can't get anywhere else."
Whoever said money can't buy happiness never gave Adonis a shot.