The Magic Mike actor worked as an exotic dancer in his younger days but insisted that he was not happy with his former line of work.
"I never enjoyed the taking-the-clothes-off part," Tatum explained in a new interview with Out magazine.
"You are on a stage with people yelling at you and you feel like you're a rock star, but you're nothing. You're just a guy taking off his clothes, looking like a fool in a stupid outfit."
Tatum went on to say that it was intrigue that led him to pursue the job, explaining: "I was definitely looking for something to take me into the dark side.
"You learn something about yourself, you learn about men, women, you see a lot of depressing s**t, people that are lost. But at the same time, the dark side can be exciting. It can feel like you're cheating death every night."
In Magic Mike, Tatum stars as a member of a group of male strippers which includes Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello and Alex Pettyfer.
> Channing Tatum on 'Magic Mike': 'There's pumping involved'
> Channing Tatum: 'Matthew McConaughey will shock people in Magic Mike'
Watch a trailer for Magic Mike below: