When Channing Tatum appeared in the feature film Magic Mike in 2012, drawers across America were drenched and the idea of a male adult entertainer was redefined. Not only did the film inspire a Broadway show and an all-male Vegas revue, but it also provided one young man from Baton Rouge, Louisiana the opportunity to live out his dreams in a way he could have never imagined.
Jeremy Denzel is a 24-year-old creative who recently celebrated his 1,000th show as a performer at the Las Vegas show, Magic Mike: Live. He's a Cancer, he's a dancer, and most importantly, he has a heart of gold. Since joining the show two years ago, Jeremy has appeared on Ellen, This Is Us and Atlanta; but you probably know him from his hilarious part in the popular Netflix film, Step Sisters.
xoNecole had the opportunity to sit down with this sexual piece of chocolate, who opened up about love, life, and navigating his career as a male entertainer.
What inspired you to start dancing?
My favorite dance movies were You Got Served, Stomp The Yard, and stuff like that. So I would be home alone in front of the TV, sweating with a hat on and dancing, trying to recreate the moves. It's crazy because the movie Step Up came out, and my boy Channing [Tatum] was in there. And he was a kid from the streets, which I can relate to. And he liked to dance, which I can also relate to. And in the movie, he transitions into this refined dancer by taking dance classes. He took dance lessons in the movie and then that turned him into a better dancer, a better person. So after seeing that, me and my friends, we decided to take our first dance class, and we signed up for classes in the seventh grade and that was the first dance class I've ever taken.
So, it's like now I work for him. It's like I took my first dance class, and now I work for the guy. It's crazy to see a full circle like that happen.
I saw in a previous interview you said that you actually met your girlfriend at a show, how did that go down?
I was dancing. She had a friend who was a fan of the show and they all came to the show. So we're like, all right, we know they're there in the house. So I was walking through -- and this is a certain part of the show where we will lapdance women -- and I'm just walking minding my own business.
And this woman out of nowhere grabs my arm and just stares in my eyes and says, "Don't neglect me" in the sexiest voice ever. And I'm like, "Okay."
She posted on her Instagram story, her cooking some gumbo and I was like, I don't know what this southside Chicago girl knows about cooking gumbo. So I sent her a message. And was like, you don't know how to cook gumbo. And it turns out she does know how to cook gumbo and we been going ever since so, I was wrong.
Does your career as a male entertainer affect your relationship?
I think we had a great start because she already knew what my life kind of entailed. And there is a level of comfortability and trust that you have to have with a partner going into something like this. And I thought like a million times, what if it's the other way around? I mean, I met her doing that, why would I have a problem with it now? And she has that approach to it and it's never been a problem.
She comes to the show a lot, she sees me showing other women love, but that's part of my job and she knows it makes everybody feel good. [It's] just [about] being able to separate my job from just us.
How long have you two been together?
Almost a year. Last year, we made it official at her sister's wedding. That was cool.
Wow, that's romantic AF. So are you just a romantic guy at heart or does that come with the job?
I have learned some things from the job now that I think about. Well, there is a skill to it and in the process of doing this show, I would say you adapt to the life. You've listened to women enough to get a good understanding of what they might like. And since our jobs are so tailored towards pleasing women, I guess my life is tailored towards what can I do that she would appreciate.
"You adapt to the life. You've listened to women enough to get a good understanding of what they might like. Our jobs are so tailored towards pleasing women."
What are some ways that you show your partner she’s special to you?
Well, I give her a lot of massages. Like I rub her feet a lot, I'm jealous how many foot rubs she gets. After some shows, I might get her some flowers or bring something home and let her know I thought about her. Just that constant reminder because people like when you at least try, or where you show that you think about them, especially when they're your significant other. Like just that constant reminder or learning their love languages and knowing what makes them feel good.
Speaking of, what’s your love language?
I'm into physical touch and I love laughing. Laughing is my favorite thing to do. Come on. Someone I can have a laugh with about anything. If we can laugh all day and then I like being around you all day, that means you make me feel good. I don't think you can be pissed off and laugh. I think that's hard to do -- laugh with someone you don't like.
So what’s the first thing you notice about a woman when she walks in a room?
Body language, I think that's an important one. If we're talking about attraction, then body language, confidence, and their demeanor. I think it has to deal with body language and attitude for me because I think the sexiest thing you can be is confident, and that goes from whatever kind of body type you have, whatever kind of person you are, if you're confident, I think that goes a long way.
"I think the sexiest thing you can be is confident, and that goes from whatever kind of body type you have, whatever kind of person you are, if you're confident, I think that goes a long way."
What’s does the perfect date look like for you?
I would say out to eat may be a nice one or like going outside, going to see something, walk and talk. But it also depends on what kind of day you're trying to have.
Well, what about you? What day are you trying to have?
I would probably go to an escape room or something. You ever been to an escape room?
No, but I’ve heard of it! Why an escape room?
Okay, well you're locked inside of a room with people and you have to figure out how to get out of this room. I think you can tell a lot about a person once you put them in a room and lock them inside of it and then they have to find the way out. We did that on one of our first dates.
You can see whether this person is not great under pressure or whether they yell a lot at you. You get a good scope of the land. How will they react in other situations like this and how much longer can we do this? And it's fun, you laugh a lot.
How important is sex in a relationship to you?
It's very important, there's no other way to put it. Especially if you're trying to settle down with one person, right? You got to find ways to keep it interesting and I think when the love and comfortability are there, then I think that's the best it gets.
Can you have love without sex?
You can have love without sex, but sex helps.
"You can have love without sex, but sex helps."
What are your deal breakers in a relationship?
Bad hygiene. I think as a human being, everybody should have good hygiene. I mean, I think that's the least you can do for people around you, is just have good hygiene. I think that should be like one thing that shows that you respect people is that you smell good; that you respect yourself.
Do you see marriage or children in your future?
As a southern boy, It's kind of like my Cinderella Story. I one day want to have a family and get married. Just having a nice house on a piece of land, raising a family. Maybe having an animal or two, I don't know which animal yet, but get a few dogs, have a horse; but also be in a space where I'm still creating art or doing whatever I love at the same time.
You can keep up with this hunky entertainer by checking out his Instagram and Facebook pages and make sure to add going to Vegas to see Magic Mike: Live to your bucket list ASAP. You might even leave with a man as fine as Jeremy!
Featured image courtesy of Victor Anthony.
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
When Megan Thee Stallion dropped “Hiss,” a shift happened. From the audacious lyrics to the striking visuals, there was no doubt that the song and video would go viral. The opening of the video shows the H-town hottie rocking a barely there Shibari red dress, showing off her voluptuous frame. It was a sexy moment created by Timeekah Murphy of Alani Taylor. The designer exclusively tells us how the opportunity came about and what it was like seeing her design on Megan for the first time.
xoNecole: How did the opportunity to create such an iconic look for Megan Thee Stallion's "Hiss" video come about?
Timeekah Murphy: The opportunity came from a DM from celebrity stylist Zerina Akers. She asked for a unique Shibari piece for Megan, and I needed to get it done in two days. So, of course, I did everything in my power to make it happen. I've always wanted to design for Megan, so this was an awesome opportunity for me.
xoN: What was that initial feeling of seeing the dress on her for the first time?
TM: I was shocked because, at first, I thought it hadn't been used. I saw Megan's last video and thought, damn, maybe it didn't fit. So, to see it on such an amazing video was breathtaking. I was beyond excited to finally say I designed for her.
xoN: Did you meet her? If so, how was that moment?
TM: I didn't meet Megan during the shoot, but during my time in LA, I got the opportunity to meet her at LA Pride with Tiffany Haddish, Common, and EJ King (stylist). Megan is such an amazing person, so it made it even better to know that my designs were going to be worn by her. I was shocked because, at first, I thought it hadn't been used. I saw Megan's last video and thought, damn, maybe it didn't fit. So, to see it on such an amazing video was breathtaking. I was beyond excited to finally say I designed for her.
"I was shocked because, at first, I thought it hadn't been used. I saw Megan's last video and thought, damn, maybe it didn't fit. So, to see it on such an amazing video was breathtaking. I was beyond excited to finally say I designed for her."
xoN: Walk us through the creation of the dress. How did you come up with the look, and how long did it take to make it?
TM: I was the co-designer for a brand called Deviant in 2018-2020, and we used to make custom Shibari pieces. That's how Zerina knew me. So I'm very familiar with making these types of pieces. We made plenty for Beyoncé, Cardi B, Tiffany Haddish, Tyra Banks, and so many others. So Zerina knew exactly what she wanted.
To get it done, it took me a day and a half. It's very intricate and time-consuming, so I spent about six hours making it then I sent an image of it to Zerina, and she didn't approve the first one, so I had to start from scratch again after getting my guidance and understanding of what was needed. The next day, I went to The Lab and created another version, and she approved it. I had to get it shipped overnight so that she would get it in time and fast forward to seeing it on the big screen.
xoN: What's next for you?
TM: Everything. The sky is not my limit, so the Alani Taylor brand is expanding into so many different avenues. We are getting involved in the community more, offering sewing classes to the youth. I've opened up a store for my brand in Atlanta and now preparing for fall/winter Fashion Week.
Megan Thee Stallion "Hiss" video/ YouTube
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I'm a lover girl and a single girl, and two truths can exist simultaneously. Valentine's Day and seeing declarations of love across social media can be triggering, but the world isn't as coupled up as we think. Single women are everywhere, desiring the same love you desire. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 46% of 228 million Americans over the age of 18 are single. So why does this day make us feel like we're the only one in the world without someone? Because commercialism and consumerism were designed to make you feel that way.
The first Valentine's Day after my last relationship was filled with comfort. One of my best friends, who was also newly single, took me to my favorite restaurant and even bought me a necklace from the jewelry company she worked for. We'd been with our exes for the same amount of time, so she knew how difficult the day would be for me; she heard my heart, saw my tears, and made it a point to show up. Years later, that level of care and gentleness that she showed me affirmed to me how loved I truly am.
That evening was filled with laughter, filet mignon, and lobster tail, and still - I can't deny still feeling waves of sadness over every sip of champagne I took. I drank a lot that night, too much, if I'm honest, because I was in so much pain. I was so sad. I had given years to this relationship, and now this man that I loved was a stranger living his life without a care for my broken heart. In hindsight, as an adult, I wondered why I was so emotional because the relationship wasn't all that great. He was emotionally and mentally abusive, and I was young, naive, and had a father in prison, so he filled a space I had no business allowing him to occupy.
When we're young, we can often romanticize our experiences with people and miss what we thought the relationship was - and not what occurred. But in that moment, none of that mattered; what mattered was that I felt alone and unloved, and I wondered when I'd find the man that God made for me. I won't lie to you and tell you that I've found the man who made those tears and wasted time worth it just yet because I haven't. Despite the prayers, manifestation journals, and making space for what I say I want, I'm still single.
What I can tell you, though, is that I found the best thing to ever happen to me, myself. And that isn't some answer wrapped up in a cliche; it's the truth.
Youth can be tricked into thinking that we don't have what we need already, and that's love. When I reminded myself on the following Valentine's Day that I had been loved my entire life, it changed how I felt about Valentine's Day. I allowed myself to reflect on the years that my parents would take me to dinner, shower me with presents, and how my father would buy me roses even as a teenager so that I could be reminded of what I deserved as a woman and as a little girl.
So why would I allow one bad relationship to make me feel that I wasn't deserving of something I'd been experiencing my entire life?
If You’re Feeling Sad This Valentine’s Day, Here’s How To Cope
Remember, you were loved before your last relationship.
What helped me most was to remember not only who I am, but whose I am. I have been loved by God, my family, and the people who have chosen to love me my entire life. Remind yourself of the people who have loved you and will always love you in those moments when sadness tries to find its way to your home and heart.
I told y'all I'm a lover girly, and as a lover girly, I have no problem celebrating myself on this day. Whatever your favorite thing you like to experience on Valentine's Day - do it. This year, I'm switching things up, and I booked a massage, planned a visit to my favorite florist to pick up a bouquet of roses, and I'll end the evening at dinner with one of my girls.
Know that the love you deserve is on its way.
Never let anyone take away your desire to love and receive love. I know that painful breakups can make you doubt if love will find you again, but it will. Even as a single woman, there is not a moment where I truly believe that because love is finding me every day. Every friendship, every opportunity I receive, and every blessing is a form of love that I deserve that is getting me one step closer to the love of my life.
Don't let this day or holiday season make you question what you deserve because around here, we affirm that Black women deserve the world, and that includes the love we've been waiting our entire lives for.
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Featured image by izusek/Getty Images