Dita Von Teese, queen of Burlesque: ‘I do have plenty of sex’

Though Dita Von Teese famously performs in a gigantic martini glass, she insists that regular women can feel sexy with lesser props. In this exclusive Metro interview, she explains the history of her last name, why she dresses the way she does and how she puts together her legendary performances. Teese’s new book, Dita: Stripteese, has just been published.

Most people think of sex symbols like you as having sex all the time. Is that true?

I do have plenty of sex, that’s true. But I’ve always been a bit of serial monogamist — so yes, lots of sex, but with the same man. And what you see onstage is the real me in many ways, but having sex with me isn’t like having sex with the person on stage.
You often say you want to put “tease” back into “striptease.”

Which other names did you consider before choosing Dita Von Teese?

None, really. I chose my name in the early 1990s, when I was working in a strip club in California. I had no idea it would turn into my career and my identity.
Your performances and persona hark back to the 1930s and 1940s.

Why do you find that period so fascinating?

I was very shy as a girl. Dressing up like this was a way for me to express myself without words. And I always felt like I didn’t fit into modern standards of beauty. Women in the 1930s and ’40s were very striking to me for some reason.  
As the Queen of Burlesque, you perform with props like feather fans and a giant martini glass.

What do you hope people will do after watching one of your performances?

I hope women will discover an alternative way of being sexy. You don’t have to be as extravagant as my shows, but by trying something adventurous and fun, perhaps you’ll feel sexy. I want to change people’s minds about burlesque and striptease, and I also want to make sure the art of striptease doesn’t get commercialized.

How do you get ideas for your shows?

Having ideas isn’t a problem, but I have to decide whether an idea is worth the money. I do everything in putting together my show, from financing, choreography and music to lighting and staging.

What would a perfect day look like for you?

Sleep for nine hours. I’d have one perfect show without a single hitch. Then I’d go home and have a beautiful dinner with the person I love and have the best sex of my life — twice!


Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…


Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.


Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…


NYPD arrest man after finding body inside plastic…

Police said they found a man stuffed inside a plastic container in a Brooklyn home. Authorities arrested Joshua Simser, 24, in connection to the death


Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…


Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.


Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.


Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.


Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.


Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.


Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…


Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…


Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…


4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.