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The Attack On Strippers And Strip Clubs

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There are a few articles on strip clubs recently that annoy me. First we have investigators in San Francisco going around visiting strip clubs and checking into whether club owners are taking more than they should from the strippers.

Sacramento Bee (via SoCalLawBlog)

State labor authorities are planning to audit the strip industry's financial practices, and one city supervisor is reviewing the safety of private rooms in the clubs and the steep fees clubs charge strippers.

Over the last decade, about 200 strip club workers have complained to the state labor commission about the large cut the clubs take from tips customers pay for private lap dances. Some strippers have also complained that club managers encourage them to engage in prostitution in the clubs' private booths.

So they get an average of 20 complaints a year from someone who is not forced to work somewhere and they open an investigation? 20 complaints out of the probably tens of thousands of strippers in the state of California. That seems like an average for any type of job if you ask me. There's probably that many complaints made by secretaries trying to claim their company's forced them to get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It continues.
Daisy Anarchy of Sex Workers Organized for Labor, Human and Civil Rights say many dancers must prostitute themselves to make the $120 to $430 in fees they are forced to give to the clubs each shift.
Yes, they are forced to work there and forced to pay for the patrons and facilities that the club owner provides. If they want to keep all the profits themselves they need to go get licensed, open a building and advertise themselves. Then finally a ray of hope appears in the article.
Thanks to private booths, Nancy Banks says she earns as much as $400,000 a year and owns a Bay Area home, three cars and two horses. She compares the $120 fee she must pay her club manager to a barbershop's charge for the freelance use of a chair.

Eliminating the private rooms, Banks said, would destroy strippers' ability to make a good living in San Francisco.

"We would not be able to make money just with lap dancing. That's not what (customers) come for," Banks said. "They come for a one-on-one experience with a beautiful showgirl."

OK, so I think she went a little far with the showgirl bit, but she hits the nail on the head with the comment that you are basically renting a place of business in order to make tip money. The main argument in all of this is that they are not being paid a minimum wage, but when it gets down to it they shouldn't be. In my opinion they are independent contractors that are renting the facilities that provide their customers in order to make their revenue.

A kind of wonky comparison would be a flea market, which provides facilities, utilities, advertising and customers for someone who has to pay a "session fee" in order to use the space. They aren't paid a minimum wage in order to sell to an existing customer base.

The second article has to do with a new law that is going into effect on January 1, 2005 in city of San Antonio requiring dancers to wear a license at all times.

LA Times (via Captain's Quarters)

Strippers in this city will soon have to put on something they can't take off — a business license.

The City Council on Friday approved a measure requiring exotic dancers to apply for permits and wear them while performing.

Law enforcement authorities said the rule, which was unanimously approved by the 11-member council and goes into effect in 10 days, will allow them to quickly identify dancers who are breaking nudity ordinances. (Among other things, full nudity and contact with customers are not allowed in San Antonio strip clubs.)


"I really don't know where we're supposed to place it," complained a dancer who called herself Tempest. "It's definitely going to get in the way of our performing, and it might just look a little bit tacky."

I'm not against this one as much as the first story. I'm sure some innovative person will devise a method of wearing this while nude. The permit is about half the size of a credit card. My first thinking is that it could be concealed in some sort of neck collar or maybe an ankle bracelet sort of thing.

I'm not really sure how this is going to cut down on prostitution. Are they going to grab the girl off stage and that's why she needs to have her permit with her? There's already no contact while nude, so why they require this is beyond me. From a business standpoint it sounds fine to me as any businessperson in a tip earning field should be required to have some sort of permit in my opinion.

What really pissed me off over this story is the comments made by Captain Ed when he reported this on Captain's Quarters.

Thanks to a series of rather stupid Supreme Court rulings, cities are unable to protect themselves from the deleterious effects of strip clubs on their communities after having ruled nude dancing a form of speech. In fact, nude dancing currently enjoys more legal protections than political speech after McCain-Feingold, a development that must have Thomas Jefferson spinning faster than a disco ball in his grave. Instead of outlawing the practice to protect themselves, cities have to use silly laws like ID badges to annoy the dancers while doing little to stop prostitution.
I wonder if Captain Ed has even been in a fucking strip club after reading his asinine statements above. He seems to equate strip clubs to brothels. First of all strip clubs are legal just as bars are legal. You may morally object to them, but calling for communities to outright ban them because you don't agree with them is the biggest annoyance I have with Conservatives and nothing pisses me off more. What makes you holier than thou? What makes you know what's best for me? Sure if we were talking a damaging substance that kills on contact I could see your point, but you have the choice to not go to the strip club. No one is forcing you to go there, just as no one is forcing you to watch a porn movie or to drink alcohol or listen to Howard Stern or go gambling. If you don't like something then don't do it, but don't prejudge everyone else because you have some sort of moral superiority complex.

I've read Captain's Quarters for quite awhile and link to it religiously, but that was simply the most ignorant thing I've read in ages and I almost fell off my chair when I read it.

Conservatives, the political party of less government unless it has to do with something *WE* consider immoral

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Posted by Digger on December 29, 2004 05:11 AM (Permalink)

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Uh, digger,

A lot of strip clubs are de facto brothels. If a community doesn't want that kind of business in their city borders then they should be able to restrict it. Just as some communities restrict all sorts of businesses.

Go to the city of Claremont, CA and you'll notice something missing from this small, almost eastcoast looking town.... fast food joints. No MickeyD, no Jacque, no Wendy's.

And this is bad because...?

Posted by: Darleen on December 29, 2004 06:42 AM

All they have to do is start pulling the licenses of strip joints they find allowing prostitution to occur inside of their establishment and you'll quickly find the owners hiring extra bodyguards to enforce the law. These business owners do not want to be shut down and lose all of their revenue because some trampy girl decides she wants to make an extra buck that night illegally.

All the clubs I've ever been in have a big ogre standing there the whole time and if you even so much as lift your hand towards one of the girls they'll slap you down and throw you out quicker than you can blink.

Just like illegal aliens if you crack down on the business owners you'll see the problem reduced or eliminated. They don't want to lose their revenue or their investment.

Posted by: Digger on December 29, 2004 06:55 AM

You either didn't look hard enough or totally ignored the process, Digger. Those Bouncers are there to see that you get no free "Handfulls" . . Many years ago I was a practicing Musican playing in Strip Joints . . and nothing's changed except there are different people doing it now . . 99% of the "Dancers" are open to propositions, and actually encourage it while pandering for drinks among the crowd when they're not dancing . .

We don't look at this as "Prostution" or "Pimping" because it doesn't happen out on the street! And you never see the Cops setting up "Sting" operations to catch men "Soliciting" inside a Strip Club . . has something to do with the "Bottom Line", someplace, I think.

Posted by: large on December 29, 2004 10:55 AM

Strip clubs are always a controversial topic. Some communities want them and some don't. Some people go to them and some don't. But at least they are monitored for unfair or illegal practices. Check out my story on Private Party Strippers, who is monitoring these when they are in the privacy of someone's home?

Posted by: Julia on December 30, 2004 07:07 AM


Did I misunderstand? I thought you were taking exception to Capt. Ed's statement about cities having the power to regulate, even ban, businesses.

There is a lot of evidence, morally neutral evidence, that "adult" businesses can create real a nuisance for a community. Hence, the real question is if cities should have the power to regulate them ... just as they make other business choices as I indicated above about how other businesses will impact their community.

Posted by: Darleen on December 30, 2004 07:11 AM

Interesting article Julia.

That is a very good point Darleen. I do believe that communities should have the right. However, I also believe that it is more a zoning issue than an outright ban. Banning legal businesses altogether is not the way to go in my opinion and just creates black markets. We see this with the fact there is still prostitution going on in areas where it is illegal. It is unregulated and causes a higher health hazard than if there were legal brothels in zoned areas. Prohibitions never seem to work.

This is all of course my own opinion and my not fit morally or with others opinions on the matter.

Posted by: Digger on December 30, 2004 07:42 AM

Actually-for the "Musician"- You are totally overestimating the factuality of a proposition inside of a strip club. Dancer's will talk, and flirt with you in order to keep the fantasy alive, and dances coming. Just because she talks about sex doesn't mean that she's actually going to meet you in your hotel room.Is talking about sex illegal now, because I didn't get that memo? I mean how simple-minded can you be. My father owns many strip clubs, and I feel your comments come from someone who knows very little about what actually goes on or how things operate.
Many people actually believe dancers are in fact prostitutes, and the club owners are pimps (seriously people, I feel sorry for you), when the oppisite is true. Dancers are providing a fantasy, one that, if they are doing their job right, should never become a reality. Prostitutes are those who perform sex acts. Is dancing a for a man, having sex with him? And club owners simply allow the dancers to do their job in a protected enviroment, and expect a little compensation (such as a beauty salon owner renting her space). Whereas pimps toss the girl on the track, and take all their money. Is there even a questionable difference here; I think not. There is a prevelant need/desire for strip clubs, for their customers and dancers, as there is casinos or dance clubs.
Some people need release from their everyday lives in a fantasy world. Strip-clubs provide fantasy, THAT IS ALL.
I've seen more provacative dancing in some Vegas & Milan nightclubs.
I mean if you are going to assume all dancers are prostitutes, and club owners are pimps, I'm sorry but you live in a dream-world. I mean if you actually think that walking the track (selling your body on the street), and dancing with your top off is the same you have a lot to learn and see.
Strip-clubs offer a way for girls to make money legally, and people to fulfill their fantasies without getting hurt or thrown in jail. Some conservative thinkers feel that the world must still be controled by Purtain beliefs/values. Obviously a woman is a "prostitute"or a "whore" if she is dancing naked, right? Wrong, people need to stop being so frigid, and self-righteous. Whatever happened to the First Amendment, and self-expression. I mean if you don't like strip-clubs--here's an idea--move to a town where there aren't any. Stop bothering us with your suto-Christain morals--and face reality--were not going anywhere. If were not directly harming you in any way, proven by factual evidence, why do you care. IM SO SICK OF PEOPLE BITCHING, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO than worry about the people that make more money than them! Please if you have a brain, use it! The US is in a war--do strip-clubs really matter at this point.

Posted by: on December 31, 2005 04:56 AM

OH my goodness!
This seems to be the silly thing i have heard of it's like the dancers there are really stupid. No club I have worked act has forced me to do extras even though it does exist everywhere,including the Midwest.It all depends on how greedy you are and if you have any self respect!Stripping is not the only proffession that people will do what is unethical in order to bring home the bigger paycheck.Dancer should have the same rights as other workers we should receive a min. pay when clubs require a schedule which from my understanding is illegal to do from a sub contractor.so I think the question should be if a business wants to enforce schedules and wants you to be limited to working soley at their establishment should they then be held responbile for paying you as an employeee if they demand you act as such?

Posted by: mina on May 18, 2006 07:59 PM

Truth is, every guy that enters a strip club dreams of having sex with the girls, that's why they go! Duh. So either the cops have to patronize every place with lapdances (I want that job!) OR, they have to come up with a rational law that faces the facts of the booming sex industry.
The peeps want to have sex, it's gonna happen. Go ahead and tax it.

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