The naked truth about Billy the Kid
Moments before starting a new job, Dan Horner was asked two questions: if he needed a minute to "clean up" and if he was wearing his cock ring.
The answer to the former was no, he had been shaving his pubes for years. He lost his virginity at the age of 12, after all. To the latter he asked: what's that?
Before he received a response, it was his turn to walk on stage.
Horner, better known by his stripper name Billy the Kid, attended UB class Sexual Communication (COM 492) last Thursday as a guest speaker. Lance Rintamaki, a professor in the department of communication, invited the stripper to lecture to his class for the second year in a row.
The room was filled over capacity. Even students who weren't enrolled in the class wanted to hear what the stripper had to say.
His stripping career started one night in 2003 at Peppermints, a club in Canada. During that first performance, the thrill of what Billy the Kid was about to do got his blood pumping. It started in his head, then moved down to his heart and his penis.
Then 23-year-old Horner discovered he did not need a cock ring - a rubber band that keeps the blood flowing inside the penis so men can stay harder for longer. Although he was an amateur at the time, he stayed hard for a total of three songs on his own, pleasing the hundreds of women standing before him as they shouted for more.
His fellow strippers, standing behind him, preparing to make their entrance, clapped in shock.
Never before had they seen someone stay hard for so long without a cock ring.
Becoming the Kid
Horner was born into a family that lived on a farm right outside of Syracuse. He is one of five children, the only male.
"I was raised old school," Horner said. "Respect your parents, respect your siblings, totally proper. I left home at 16 because I didn't like how I was being raised. To me it wasn't fair ... it was a little rough being the only son. I had a lot of work to do and a lot of responsibility. It wasn't what I wanted so I left home, continued my education and graduated from high school. I had to learn how to live on my own."
He left home with his "high school sweetheart." Horner followed her and her family to Tantasqua, Mass., where he lived with them for two years.
According to 11points.com, about one out of 10 strippers are married and only 13.5 percent have kids. Billy the Kid falls into the minority. He has five children.
The first was conceived with his high school sweetheart.
They got married, had their child and then divorced. So he left Tantasqua and moved in with one of his best friends, who attended Morrisville State College, south of Syracuse. While partying at the college bars, he met a 19-year-old girl from Buffalo. Horner said she "spent more time in my bed than she did in school."
Again, Horner found himself in a different city because of a girl - this time, it was Buffalo.
The two ended up having a daughter, but gave her up for adoption because they realized they were incapable of raising a child together and their relationship was not going to last.
Horner was working at her father's construction company at the time but knew he needed to make some extra cash. His girlfriend suggested he strip and, without hesitation, he agreed. She brought him to Peppermints in Canada, and that's where his stripping career began.
Horner was officially "Billy the Kid."
Five years ago, he was stripping at Marcella's - a gay bar in downtown Buffalo -when he met a woman who needed a ride home at the end of the night.
"She had no gas money, so we traded gas money for sex," Horner said. "A lot of people have a one-night stand that results in pregnancy. It's not the best of situations."
But it's a situation Horner found himself in nine months later when he took a paternity test and discovered that his one-night stand's child was his son. Horner calls this son his "oopsie child."
The current Billy the Kid
Four years ago, Horner met his current wife on Myspace. She is an ex-stripper who shares many similar viewpoints on relationships.
They have two children - a 2-year-old boy and a two-week-old boy.
When his son turns 18 and is legally allowed to go to a strip club, Horner plans on bringing him to a show and will even encourage him to follow in his father's footsteps.
"He's a big daddy's boy and always wants to go with dad," Horner said. "I was going to a party one night and he saw me put my thong on. Mom had one of her thongs sitting on the floor and he tried putting it on over his diaper. So my wife tied it up so it would fit him ... now he has his own baby thong. When I go stripping, he generally gets his thong on and says 'daddy I go, daddy I go,' but obviously he's too young."
Horner and his wife are both bisexual. Their marriage is open.
Oftentimes they go out at night and spot a person they're both attracted to. Right away, they know they want to take that person home for a threesome or, if they find two attractive people, a foursome.
"It's not an everyday thing or a weekly thing but a couple of times a month, I'll go and play with others," Horner said. "We have a few friends that we swing with on a more regular basis, but still that's once a month. I bring my friends over - she brings women home, I bring guy friends home and if it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Our kids know that we're bringing friends over, but they don't know anything further."
Neither of them gets jealous. Horner said he is living the life that most men wish they could live but simply cannot.
"We have sex with each other and we have sex with other people - as couples, as singles," Horner said. "I play more than my wife does. I can have sex with whomever I want. I just have to be the one to tell her and she has to be the one to tell me. She can have sex with whomever she wants as well."
Horner said he has slept with over 800 women. He gets tested and, according to him, "so far so good."
Horner and his wife haven't put much thought into how their children will react to their open marriage when they get older. They do know, however, they have no plans to hide their arrangement.
Some UB students felt uncomfortable with Horner's speech.
"I thought it was good to hear someone that is that into their job, but it made me personally uncomfortable," said Stefanie Benison, a senior health and human services major. "He opened up a little too much. He seems to be too proud of what he does and he went a little too far. He didn't teach much. Even though we're college students, it still made me feel a little bit uncomfortable, but I guess good for him for being so proud of what he does."
Other students didn't mind his stories because they were entertaining and an outlook into a life they'd never heard of firsthand.
"I wouldn't choose to do that in life, but if that's what he wants to do then go for it," said Alexandra DeFeo, a junior intended communication major. "It was funny but weird at the same time."
Bringing in the bucks
Horner gets called for parties, mostly in the spring, summer and fall, and has averaged about a thousand dollars a week this season.
He strips for smaller parties, such as bachelorette parties, college parties, birthday parties, etc. and has also stripped at clubs around Buffalo, Syracuse and Canada. He has driven up to six hours in a night to get to a party and back home. But, according to Horner, the money is worth the trip.
In total, he's made $20,000 since April.
Billy the Kid has worn a variety of costumes; his favorite persona is a cowboy because he feels it allows him to be his "true" self since he grew up on a farm. He loves stripping to Tim McGraw songs.
"When I'm doing private parties it's not a big ordeal, but when I do male reviews, which is just a group of guys going to the bar and stripping, its more like it used to be when I was 23," Horner said. "The excitement is there because it's a group of women who strictly paid to be there to see all of us. They get crazy and shout and scream. I enjoy it and that's why I still do it."
Several years ago, Horner found himself in legal trouble. He needed to make cash quickly. That's when he broadened his horizons and got into porn, specifically gay porn - which he said brings in the most money.
He made $3,000 during his one week as a porn star in Hollywood.
Horner plans on stripping until he gets tired of it or doesn't look good enough anymore.
No one he knows disapproves of his career choice. His parents and sisters support whatever he wants to do and have even cracked jokes during family functions.
According to 11points.com, 91 percent of strippers are still close with their parents.
"I gave my father $25 in ones for his 70 birthday party and my mom [jokingly said], 'I don't want to know where they came from,'" Horner said. "They actually happen to come from a party I did the night before in the area."
Horner encouraged Rintamaki's students to get into stripping - if they are interested - because the money is good and it's fun, he said. Patrick Haddad, a junior finance major, thought his lecture was in fact educational for students who are interested in entering the profession.
"I thought it was good and educational," Haddad said. "We learned what he actually did. He wasn't very smart, though, but it seems [like an] entertaining [career]."