Matt de Iturriaga and his brother Tim are the men behind the Adonis Lounge gay strip-club brand.
It’s a family business, and Matt has recently had his 16-year-old son Braden visiting.
I caught up with Matt to talk being a father in the world of gay strippers.
How did the visit from your son go?
Other than him walking into my apartment to the sight of 10 inflatable dicks, Pride promo cards of half-naked dudes everywhere, and my computer screen being open to a page of naked male porn stars, it was great!
He definitely got quite the shock, but he was laughing and taking it all in his stride. He even snapped a few photos of the inflatable dick balloons to show his buddies!
How often do you get to spend time with your son?
Unfortunately, not enough. He lives in North Carolina with his mom, and much of the past nine years since I moved to LA after rehab have been a slow and gradual building process to re-connect and build the trust and bonds required to have a solid parent-child relationship.
Plus, due to my work schedule and the fact that he’s on the East Coast, it’s tough to get adequate time in. But we make the best of the opportunities when we get the chance to see each other a few times per year.
Was there a time that you had to explain to him that you run a gay stripper business, or is that something that he’s always been aware of?
That’s also been a slow and gradual process. It’s only over the past few years that he’s learned I’m in the nightclub and entertainment world, but he hasn’t really known too many of the details.
This past trip was very informative for him on that level — he even came to the bar to help me blow up and hang dick balloons! He’s got a much better idea of what Adonis and the gay shows are about now.
Is he interested in getting involved in the family business?
I’m not sure male strippers and their diva dramas, All-Male Nude Parties, blowing up dick balloons, and the insane work hours are what he has his heart set on yet as a career. But, he’s still only 16 years old, so there’s time, we’ll see. For now, he’s thinking about the military, possibly.
What are some of the challenges in being the father of a 16-year-old guy?
What aren’t the challenges might be a better question! Fatherhood is still a challenging concept to me. There never seem to be easy answers to situations, and a lot of time I find myself almost preaching to him what not to do, not to repeat the same mistakes I’ve made.
Overall though, he’s a really good kid and as parents his mom and I just try to balance imparting wisdom, advice, and guidance while still allowing him to make more choices and decisions for himself as he gets into his late teens. If helping me hang dick balloons provides that direction, I’m all for it.
What are some of the key pieces of advice that you’re giving your son so that he can hopefully learn from your mistakes and successes?
Pretty general, but important things. Just to do well in school, as it will open up more options for him in life. Be kind to people, surround yourself with good influences and positivity. Stay open to life, opportunities, directions. Don’t be lazy and apathetic. Work hard and always put forth best efforts in your endeavours. And play less video games! That about sums it up.
Read more from Gareth Johnson
We want to hear your opinion
Get your gear out for Fetish Week
I caught up with Antoin, Brand Events Producer for Fetish Week London, to make sure I was going to meet the dress code.
What are some of the highlights of Fetish Week London 2018 that we should be looking out for?
There are a lot of changes. Our event now spans from the Pride Walk on Saturday 7 July, to the closing party on the Sunday 15 July. So we’re now technically nine days.
We’ve got a few new venues on the list — Bondage party at Rich Mix, Sports at Bloc South, Full Fetish at GSSW, Screening at Prince Charles Cinema — and we’re very excited about the changes. It’s time to shake things up a bit.
We’ve also got a fantastic list of DJs for this year’s event. A few new faces and new beats should be great also.
How many guys do you expect to take part in the event?
Overall, it’s a bit difficult to tell how many individual guys attend because many of them go to several parties — but the main party on Saturday night will very easily surpass last year’s 1500 attendees mark. Ticket sales are going well, and it’s going to be a very busy event this year.
Will it just be London guys at Fetish Week London, or do guys travel to London to be part of the event?
It’s a truly international event. Guys travelling to Fetish Week London come from as far as New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Tel Aviv, Dubai, Scandinavia, San Francisco and LA, New York, Montreal, Vancouver, and from all over Europe. The international fetish community is well represented here.
What sort of guys are into fetish?
It’s hard to say exactly what kind of guy is into fetish, but we know it’s usually the more sexually adventurous. Fetish is different to many people. For some guys it’s all about the gear, and for others it’s all about the sex and they can do without the gear. But you also have the guys who enjoy sex in gear, and if you add a bit of bondage to it, they’re in kink heaven.
Is Fetish Week London only for experienced, hard-core fetish lovers?
Everyone is welcome. There are lots of first-timers or newbies that come to the event. If they email in, I’m happy to arrange to meet them at events and say hi. Sometimes I even do a walk around the party with them. Fetish guys are usually very friendly and welcoming, so the newcomers will find that it’s very easy to chat to other guys.
If I was interested in starting to explore the world of fetish, what’s a good fetish or kink to start off with?
I’d have to ask what you’re into sexually, or if you have any kind of outfit that you feel sexy in. Many guys find something like the Sports party more inviting and less threatening. Wearing sports gear means that just about everyone has something in the wardrobe they can wear — without having to spend a fortune shopping for gear. Guys come out in gym kit, trackies and trainers, lycra, cycling suits, wrestling singlets, jocks and harnesses — loads of easy options here. The Sports crowd is a really fun crowd. I really think this is my favourite party of the whole week — and I’m a rubber guy!
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