From Christian Mentor to Hitchhiking Stripper

From Christian Mentor to Hitchhiking Stripper

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Ylva Reinertz, Sara Wassberg, Johannes Leo Sjöblom and Mathias Risberg. Photo: Tindra Englund

Sex with a rock and voluntarily homeless. Last year, viewers of the TV-show Outsiders could meet Mathias Risberg, who lives what many would call an extremely alternative life. On his way to the yearly winter markets in Jokkmokk, he stopped by Lundagård’s office for a chat.

By: Simon Appelqvist       Translation: Carl-William Ersgård

Full of energy and surrounded by an entourage of angels, Mathias Risberg steps into Lundagård’s office. He is used to be the centre of things. Thanks to his kind appearance, bright eyes and humble tone, the atmosphere immediately turns jovial. The angels are his temporary travel companions, who seem to be replaced one by one. They have just been hitchhiking with a taxi driver between Malmö and Lund, and stopped by Buttericks to purchase an entire bag of angel related stuff.

Dress right when you hitchhike
“Dress well and all goes well. Dress for success when you hitchhike, is all I say. Sticking out in a positive way is important to get people to pick you up. Be happy and bring an instrument, even if you cannot play. It is also good to jump to show that you are sober”, Mathias Risberg says with a smile that reaches his ears.

Despite his angel wings, Mathias has both feet on the ground. The last eight years, he has been hitchhiking around Europe and Sweden, living out his dream of an alternative life with smaller ecological and larger social footprints. He has a very positive outlook on humanity, despite sometimes being picked up by heavy criminals.

“I have been hitchhiking with both thieves and murderers. However, the thing with murderers is that they do not murder all the time.”

Periodically, he has been earning his dough at conventional workplaces, such as home services and food stores. But the dream of working as a professional stripper has been there all along.

“I have always dreamed of being a stripper, that is my dream job. I took the bike to Germany when I was fifteen to do some strip shows, just for fun and since I love dancing.

Previous church youth leader
For a long time, Mathias Risberg was active as a church youth leader, but as he refused to abandon his alternative lifestyle, he was forced to leave.

“Many Christians lives a dubble life, with one side for sin and one for virtue. There is a double cognitive view in which I cannot develop as a person. So I left my Christian faith and created my own, humanitarian, faith.

Mathias sees several similarities between student life and his own alternative lifestyle.
“You dumpster dive for free food at ICA, you party, you fall in love and live outside the bounds. You explore yourselves and play theatre, and I believe that we are really very similar to one another. I always focus on the common ground in humans, instead of looking for differences. Because you can always find that in people.

Mathias will also be on the next season of Outsiders, where he will once more star on TV.

If you want to try out hitchhiking but are afraid, he suggests going for shorter trips to the neighbouring village. Or why not jump on somebody’s bike carrier and follow them downtown?

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