A night out in Cape Town’s Pink Village has many ambient features, not least of which are the gogo dancers shaking their biscuit on stages, bars or cages from Crew Bar to Beefcakes and HDX parties. Sophia Loren once said, “sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got”. Have you ever wanted to peel back the thinly veiled illusion of a gogo boy’s allure? I’ve certainly wondered what gets them go-go going! What are their interests and motivations, hopes and aspirations, insights and experiences? I recently sat down with the enigmatic performer, model and yachtsman, Devo Sissing, to take us on a journey into the magical world of the gogo boy.
1994 Born in Cape Town
2012 Matriculated from Wynberg Boy’s, Cape Town
2013 Completed multiple yachting certificates at 2 Oceans Maritime Academy
2013/4 Sailed to various locations in South Africa, St Helena Bay and Brazil
2014 Bartender at Crew Bar, Cape Town
1. I assume you must wrestle with the decision to become a gogo dancer. What are the kinds of things you considered before venturing into it?
Before I started working as a gogo dancer I knew what I was getting myself into because a few of my friends started working there before me. I started off as a barman but shortly after I was asked if I would like to be a dancer as well. I have always been comfortable in almost no clothing as I was, for the greater part of my schooling life, a swimmer and a water polo player, so being in only my underwear is almost natural to me. I normally work one night of the weekend (Friday/Saturday) as a dancer and the other as a barman.
2. You just get in front of people at a club or party and dance, right?
Fitness and a healthy lifestyle have always been important to me and you can imagine the value of being in shape for this kind of work. When dancing we have to be on the bar by 10pm, so I normally come a bit earlier to greet all the guys working the different bars and to mentally prepare myself. Liquid courage helps me block out the strange looks and have a bit more fun, rather than just standing there creeped out. Gogo dancing is a lot easier after that.
3. Is there a coming to terms with being the substance of every gay guy’s fantasy?
De gustibus non disputandum – ‘over taste let there be no dispute’. I started working at Crew in the middle of November, and at first it was kind of weird, obviously. It was my first ever bar job and doing it in your underwear in front of a lot of gay men that try their luck, is almost like being thrown into the lion’s den. Considering that it was the beginning of the summer season certainly raised the bar on that!
4. Does it help being a straight dancer in a gay club?
It definitely helps being straight. Things would get way too out of hand if Crew Bar hired gay staff to work behind the bar or as dancers, although there are one or two gay bartenders.
5. I presume that dancers appreciate the attention; after all you are doing it for our entertainment isn’t it?
Even though I am straight it is still a confidence boost when a guy comes up to you and says, “You are the most beautiful human I have ever seen”. But just because it’s a gay bar doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of beautiful ladies that frequent the place; tons of woman have bachelorette parties and ladies nights at Crew.
6. Is being regarded as a person and not just a piece of meat important to you?
At the moment I don’t mind being seen as a piece of meat because it’s what is going to get me to my dreams fastest. While I’m working you can regard me how you wish, but as soon as I step outside the role it’s another story.
7. Boundaries are key to any job. How do you deal with disrespectful patrons?
If someone disrespects me I show him or her absolutely no attention – I don’t have time to deal with it. Or, I get the patron kicked out, if it goes too far.
8. What are the 3 biggest misconceptions about gogo boys that you want to set right?
- We have lives outside of the clubbing environment, so think twice before saying or doing something you might think is inappropriate.
- We may act like we want you to touch us, but we really don’t.
- We are performing for not only your entertainment but for money as well, so after staring at our crotches for half an hour the least you can do is tip.
9. I suspect that most gogo dancers don’t do it solely for the cardio but to make money. How important are good business skills for achieving your goals?
Friendliness goes a long way, further than at any other bar I’ve been to, purely because, in my opinion, many in the gay community are quite lonely, so if you show interest in them it is comforting. Most of our money is made on body shots and tips.
10. You mentioned taking a gap year abroad. Tell us a bit about how that fits into your career plans.
It isn’t merely a gap year, I’m planning on going to Fort Lauderdale in October to work in the super yachting industry. I intend to start at the bottom and work my way up; stay there for a few years, eventually crossing over to work the Mediterranean season in March/April.
Devo is keen to breaking into the yachting industry, and it would be remiss of me not to include some useful tips and resources:
- Register on a database or with a placement agency
- Build your CV and consult guides
- How to get a job on a yacht
- Yachting and the job hunt
- Super Yachting South Africa Placements
- Super Yacht Jobs
- The Crew Report (jobs)
- Jobs on yachts
- Work at the Yacht Week
- Training and recruitment opportunities at Galileo Yachting
- Job descriptions for the Luxury Yacht Group
- The booming industry of luxury yachts
- Working on a Disney Cruise Line
- Yacht mentoring making a difference
If you want to book Devo for a photoshoot or runway gig contact D&A Model Management.
For any career related questions feel free to contact me, Alexis Pillay