The classiest news story of the week comes to us from West Babylon, Long Island, where a man named Franklin Youngblood is suing his mother Bernice’s nursing home, on the grounds that they hired a male stripper to perform for the residents. Youngblood is suing East Neck Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on behalf of both himself and his mother, alleging that the strip show caused “disrespect, dishonor, embarrassment, ridicule and humiliation” in the residents, as well as “loss of dignity.”
Franklin states in his suit, filed by attorney John Ray, that he went to visit his mother in January of 2013. It was then that he discovered the photo you see above, depicting a muscular, tighty-whitey-clad gentleman leaning over Bernice, hands on the back of her wheelchair, “clutching a wad of bills,” as the suit notes. The elderly woman on Bernice’s left, Franklin adds, “appear[ed] to be crying.”
The younger Youngblood was, not surprisingly, disturbed by the photograph, as well as the fact that his mother was holding money in her own hands, when her cash is supposed to be safely locked up in a commissary account. And he argues that his mother was in no state to give consent to participate in this type of sexualized performance, given that she suffers from Alzheimer’s and advanced dementia, among other ailments.
We were eager to find the stripper in question and hear from him how the performance went. A call to East Neck’s attorney has not yet been returned (although he did tell the Post that the stripper was voted for by a 16-person resident panel, saying, “They welcomed it, and it looks like they had a good time.”)
Phone calls to a number of stripper agencies serving Long Island didn’t turn up any leads, only general horror and confusion.
“They did what?” inquired a booker named Lynn, who declined to give her last name, at Angel Exotics New York. They do private shows and strip-o-grams in the city, Long Island and New Jersey, but they certainly don’t do that.
“That doesn’t make sense,” Lynn added. “I hope they fired the person who hired him.”
She was also unimpressed by the outfit of the stripper in question. “They don’t wear tighty whities,” she said, referring to the men in her employ. “That doesn’t even sound like it was –” and here she paused to laugh very hard for several moments.
“It probably wasn’t even a legitimate agency,” she explained, after she collected herself. “It could’ve been somebody she knows. What male stripper do you know who would wear tighty whities? That doesn’t even make sense. Normally these dudes are in either a certain costume and then they’d strip down to whatever, a g-string, but tighty whities? That’s kinda — that in itself sounds weird.”
Steven Dean, a manager at Billy Dean’s Showtime Cafe, was also nonplussed.
“I just heard about this while I was watching Judge Judy,” he said. “That’s weird. Why would an 85-year-old woman need a stripper?”
Dean concurred with Lynn’s assessment of the performer’s outfit. “It looks like it might be an amateur kinda thing, a guy hiring himself out on Craigslist or whatever.”
Michael, a co-owner at Risque Kitty, another outcall agency, said his company doesn’t send performers to medical facilities, for a variety of excellent reasons.
“People will request stuff like that all the time,” he explained, “hospitals and stuff. However, with the, er, germs and everything, if the girls or guys were to do anything by taking any part of their clothes off, they’d be arrested instantly for indecent exposure. People say, ‘We want them to dress as a nurse or a doctor,’ but it doesn’t matter. They’re going to a place where people are sick. They think it’s a joke, ha ha, fun fun, but it doesn’t turn out that way.”
We explained that in this instance, it had resulted in a lawsuit.
“See?” Michael said darkly.
“I can’t see a reputable agency even thinking of doing that,” he added. “That’s asking for danger. Glad it wasn’t us.”
He too said the strippers he knows wouldn’t wear little boy’s underpants to a job, nor would they accept a job at an old folks’ home.
“I’m thinking of all the male dancers that work for us,” he said. “If we offered them something like that, they’d think we’re nuts.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 9, 2014