A veteran who served in the Royal Australian Navy left his military career behind to pursue a completely different job as a male stripper.
In 2015, Justin Leo had just joined the Navy in hopes it would bring him financial stability and invaluable life skills, while also opening doors to the future.
The 29-year-old told news.com.au that he was “not fully prepared” for what the reality of military life would entail and soon realized that way of life might not be for him.
But Justin was determined to last as long as possible and spent six years in the Navy before returning to his native Sydney in 2021 to start a new chapter.
After dabbling in fitness and nutrition during his time in the Defense Forces, Justin was often praised for his muscular physique — so he decided to dig his toes into modeling.
This led to a few topless waitstaff jobs before he tried male stripping and quickly fell in love with the art.
Justin quickly rose to fame and is now one of the most sought after strippers, touring all over Australia with shows magical menone of the nation’s most popular agencies for male entertainers.
“I originally joined the Navy because I wanted a stable career,” he explained.
“At the time, I actually had a partner who was pregnant. I wanted to be able to provide for the family I would soon have.
“Unfortunately, she actually had a miscarriage. But I was already registered and in basic training, so I just kept going.
“It’s been an incredible career, I have no regrets. Of course there are ups and downs.
“I realized it wasn’t for me. I’ve found that money isn’t everything, it can’t make you happy.
“There are many bosses and many rules. That took some getting used to.
“Of course, what I do now is very different from when I was in the Navy. I never thought that one day I would become a professional male stripper.
“But I absolutely love it. I’m happier than ever.”
Justin said he was initially drawn to the idea of male stripping as he loves being “the center of attention.”
He also loves the happiness he brings to his clients while performing.
“I love the smiles I put on people’s faces, it makes my day,” Justin said.
“If people are enjoying themselves, that’s all I care about. I like to connect with the audience, it’s so much more than just undressing.
“We host shows for everyone, regardless of age, looks or gender. We do a lot of shows for men, especially around carnival time.
“I don’t care, I just want people to have a good night.”
While he wouldn’t change his career for anything, Justin says it takes a special type of woman to fully accept him.
“Dating is one of the most difficult aspects of this job,” he said.
“Some women think they’re okay with that, but when reality sets in, they want me to stop.
“Many simply cannot understand that I take this job really seriously and deal with it very professionally.
“There are no romantic or sexual feelings involved. I’m just thinking about my next dance step.
“I’m an entertainer and all I care about right now is making sure my customers are having a good time.
“A lot of women just don’t agree with that, and I can respect that. Everyone has their own limits and what they are comfortable with.”
Justin is now sharing his story to help break down the misconceptions and stigma that can surround male stripping, while also hoping to inspire others who may want to try it.
“It’s a great job, I absolutely love it,” he smiled.
“If you even think about it, give it a try. It’s so much fun, I meet so many new people all the time and I get to travel everywhere.
“I feel like my confidence has skyrocketed and my mental health is at it’s best.
“Before that, I had so many confidence issues in terms of my body and face. I had a lot of weight issues growing up and struggled with really bad acne.
“I was teased so much that I got into a lot of fights and got expelled from school.
“But now I’ve gotten to the point where I really love who I am. It feels incredible.
“Leaving the Navy to be a stripper is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ll do this for as long as I can.”
Originally posted as Former military man left the Navy to be a male stripper