Fall 2011 / Winter 2012

Flesh for Fantasy

It’s Getting Hot in Here…

Flesh for Fantasy

Photograph by Robert John Kley

Once Jaymes Vaughan finishes tearing tank tops in half and flirting with a television camera, he starts a backstage tour of the $10 million Chippendales Theater in Las Vegas where he’s asked, “What is the one question you get most?” The chiseled Chippendales dancer and lead singer with the spiky blond hair chuckles and says, “Do we get fully nude?”

He laughs again and answers, “We’re not going to show you everything. We keep it classy here. But you definitely do see your share of skin.”

Vaughan is one of only 24 men in the world who can call themselves a Chippendales dancer. “The rest are imitators,” he says before talking about the cast. “All the guys have real jobs. They’re more than a pretty face and six-pack.” In fact, they’re medical students, professors, realtors, web designers, entrepreneurs, mortgage brokers, chefs, construction workers and stock brokers by day, Chippendales dancers by night.

Started in 1979, and now seen by more than two-million people worldwide each year, the Chippendales have just one permanent home: the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, where an intimate 400-seat theater, retail boutique and the Flirt Lounge were built specifically for them. Another traveling troupe of the male revue tours cities in the United States and across the globe with stops in Central and South America, Europe, Canada, Asia and South Africa.

It’s those stopovers in places like Zurich, Switzerland, which can get a little crazy. Like the time a girl climbed up a fire escape to reach Vaughan’s hotel-room window. In another city, he says, he jumped out a second-story window to avoid a crowd of girls in the lobby, just so he could grab a bite to eat.

“You go overseas and say ‘Chippendales’—it’s insane,” Vaughan says. “These girls see us as rock stars. We have paparazzi and people following our tour bus.”

They’re chasing their fantasy. And while Chippendales is known as being a hotspot for bachelorette parties in Las Vegas, Vaughan points out that the crowds are still quite mixed. “It’s something that works for girls who are eighteen and women who are ninety. We had three generations come one time. They drove cross-country from Maine and ended up in Las Vegas. Every single one of them had a good time for a different reason. So it really speaks to the fact that there is something for everybody. Everyone leaves here with their fantasy fulfilled.”

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