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Now here's some useful information for the frequent traveler!
March 9, 2002 8:28 PM   Subscribe

Now here's some useful information for the frequent traveler! It was only a matter of time. The Ultimate Strip Club List is basically MeFi for the Jiggle Room set. The reviews are all user submitted, and considering the subject matter, somewhat thoughtful and informative. It includes a lengthy MeFi style debate about the merits of my local favorite. I imagine you hometown joinys are here as well.(Not Safe For Work mild nudity)
posted by jonmc (71 comments total)

 
Now I know where Jon is when he's not posting to Metafilter -- unless you're bringing a laptop to your favorite places?
posted by BT at 8:32 PM on March 9, 2002


Bill, In the immortal words of Mojo Nixon "It's laptop or lapdance...ya know you gotta decide...."
posted by jonmc at 8:35 PM on March 9, 2002


I find the experience of watching strippers live to be pretty disempowering. You're not allowed to touch them (at least, not the way you want to), they prance around and frustrate you with their bodies, they watch the painful longing looks of lonely guys sitting there in the dark, dreaming of having such a girl in a non-business setting. And you pay them for this. For me, it's emasculating to the point that I don't do it (did a few times in college, over 10 years ago), because if I do, it's like saying to myself that I can't have the real thing, and that seems likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The movie Exotica, a fairly non-erotic tale involving strippers, illustrates to an extent what I'm talking about.
posted by bingo at 8:55 PM on March 9, 2002


bingo- perhaps you're approaching it the wrong way. I've gone to strip joints with just the guys and with mixed groups(males and females) and if you approach it playfully, you'll have a blast. The girls generally love to shoot the breeze and usually have great stories to tell and a good sense of humor. And far from from being "longing" and "lonely", the guys and gals at my local joint are usually raucously appreciative.
posted by jonmc at 9:02 PM on March 9, 2002


You're still paying to have that experience. If a hot naked girl is going to shoot the breeze and tell stories with me, I want her to do it because for her the experience is its own reward. She's either giving herself to you or she's not. And if she's not, paying her to pretend like she is depresses me.
posted by bingo at 9:12 PM on March 9, 2002


They gotta make a living too, bingo. I've had 'em come up and start shooting the shit with me without soliciting a dance or anything. The truly amazing part is they'll be nearly naked doing and as unself-conscious as you or I in a business suit(although I suppose nudity is their business suit, come to think of it.)
posted by jonmc at 9:18 PM on March 9, 2002


Yeah, that part bothers me too. There's just something "off" about the whole experience. They know that you're thinking about their nudity while they're talking to you, and that you want to touch them and you can't. They get to sit there naked in front of you and act like it's no big deal and you have to go along with that ridiculous idea if you want them to keep doing it. It's just unhealthy, I think, for both people.

I admit I'm also somewhat biased because I was briefly involved with a stripper, and outside the strip club (and maybe inside too, I never saw her act) she was a frigid lunatic.
posted by bingo at 9:27 PM on March 9, 2002




DakotaPaul...yeah, but what a lovely suit it is. I was feeling philosophical when I wrote that, now I'm my old self again.
posted by jonmc at 9:32 PM on March 9, 2002


I was in security (read: bouncer) at a fairly good-sized strip club for a couple years in college, so my perspective may be different.

90% of the girls I worked with were great, cool and playful and no-nonsense, and appeared to have a good self-image. We had a mix, some students, some out-of-school, some never-been-near-a-school, etc., etc. Dated a couple (immediate grounds for termination at this place) and came away with generally positive experiences. Maybe I was just lucky.

But the freaks had the meter pegged off the scale. When I ran across one who was bitter/cynical/whatever, it was so over-the-top that it was Something To Behold. I use to sit in on interviews with the owner, and sometimes you could just tell the ones who were nothing more than a bomb ready to go off.
posted by ebarker at 9:46 PM on March 9, 2002


this is a pretty messed up link. why are the clubs categorized by ethnicity? and I keep reading comments about nosy bouncers, and paying to get hand jobs. isn't that illegal in just about every state?

I've never been inside a strip club before, but according to these horse's (jackass's?) mouths, they are very shady and creepy places to be.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:51 PM on March 9, 2002


I've never been inside a strip club before,

Sure, you haven't.

why are the clubs categorized by ethnicity?

Same reason restaurants are, people have different things they like. Just about every strip club I've ever been in has had the whole gamut of ethnic groups in it, if you're worried about hiring practices in the adult entertainment industry.

according to these horse's (jackass's?) mouths, they are very shady and creepy places to be.

Some are, Some aren't. That's kind of the point of a guide. Most of the places are harmless fun. You can call it sexist fun, I suppose, but there are plenty of Chippendale's type places for women, but experince has taught me that in general women don't get the same thrill out of brazen exposure that men do. And not everyone who goes to these places is a "jackass", thank you very much.

this is a pretty messed up link.

No, it's not. It was meant half as a paralell-universe-mefi type of link and half a lighthearted exploration of a phenomenon I'm sure many mefite's take part in.

Lighten up.
posted by jonmc at 10:12 PM on March 9, 2002


*slowly removes hand from nerve*

sure, I'll lighten up, seeing as how I'm the one up in arms.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:41 PM on March 9, 2002


You know, people really are entitled to their opinion. I don't understand your scepticism "sure you haven't" But, perhaps that's your way of having a joke. Whatever.

Within certain parameters, people can and should be able to approach a topic as they wish. I can understand situations whereby levity might not go over too well, but I can't understand why someone can't approach any topic intelligently and give some honest feedback. Which mcsweetie did.

mcsweetie didn't come across as being unduly perturbed, however. I guess perhaps we are seeing this situation differently.
posted by lucien at 10:47 PM on March 9, 2002


*slowly removes hand from nerve*

The nerve you touched is the one that's especially sensitive to people who post comments that seem primarily designed to display phony indignation and demonstrate what a swell enlightened fella the poster is, which is just about all I ever hear from you, mcsweetie.

If you're so repulsed by the idea of strip clubs, why'd you bother clicking on the link, not to mention posting your snide little comment on how shocked and disgusted you are-unless you just have this urge toshow the world how terrific you are. If it's not your thing, just skip to the next thread man. We've discussed everything from serial killers and Piss Christ and goatse.cx here, but a discussion of jiggle clubs is "shady and creepy?" Pardon me if that sounds a little hypocrtical.
posted by jonmc at 10:51 PM on March 9, 2002


I supported and enjoyed the artwork Piss Christ (I assume it's the artwork you are referring to) However I wasn't that thrilled about the serial killers. I know, people say they are often very charming, charismatic even, but it's the killing bit, and then on top of that the serial thing, that throws me.

What I am trying to say is that people experience things in different ways, have different opinions about things.

But since that’s all I have to say, and I have already said it at least twice, which might be stretching people's patience a bit, I respectfully bow out of this thread.
posted by lucien at 11:08 PM on March 9, 2002


bingo: i couldn't agree w/you more. the bottom line is that the girls in the club, no matter how much you want to believe they like you, are talking to you b/c they're hoping you'll give them an extra $20. i don't go to strip clubs (you're welcome to believe that if you want to or not) but i've had so many friends say after coming back from a club, "oh man. she was digging me so much. she said we should get together some time. i think she likes me." how many other guys did she tell that to that night? if you want to meet interesting girls who are funny and make good conversation there's probably a lot better places than strip clubs.

regardless, i think strip clubs are fine if you're into that. it's consenting adults. the girls make money and you get the pleasure of seeing naked women and whatever else. everyone goes home happy. personally, if i want some real conversation w/a nude woman i'll talk to my wife.

mcsweetie: if you didn't know that at some strip clubs you can pay for sexual favors then ask patrick ewing. he testified in court about something along those lines. ;)
posted by suprfli at 11:13 PM on March 9, 2002


what a swell enlightened fella the poster is

Yep. mcsweetie is all that, and more.
posted by kv at 11:24 PM on March 9, 2002


people who post comments that seem primarily designed to display phony indignation and demonstrate what a swell enlightened fella the poster is

people believe what they want to believe. and thank you for the compliment.

If you're so repulsed by the idea of strip clubs, why'd you bother clicking on the link,

because I wanted to learn.

We've discussed everything from serial killers and Piss Christ and goatse.cx here, but a discussion of jiggle clubs is "shady and creepy?" Pardon me if that sounds a little hypocrtical.

and did I participate in those discussions? no. they don't interest me. (just because I don't express my disapproval in every thread I disapprove of...) but this one did. just as you are interested in paying your money to look at naked women and engage in cheap conversation with them and jerk off, I am interested in speaking out against that sort of thing. yes, I realize these women have chosen to be strippers, but they're only there because there's a market for it. and the fact that men do it too doesn't make it any better.

if thats "your thing," then so be it. but don't expect to beat approval out of me by calling me a phony or a hypocrite.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:37 PM on March 9, 2002


Nuthin' like sex to get the testosterone flowing, eh?

Guys, it's like dating: Some people see it as entertainment, others see it as a meaningful sign or path in the grand journey. Whether it's a positive experience or a negative experience really depends on your outlook.

I go to the movies to see life happen to other people when I could be out experiencing life myself. I don't get to touch Gandalf, and I have to pay $8.50 for the privilege, but it doesn't make me feel like I'm being taunted depressingly by Hollywood.
posted by kfury at 11:44 PM on March 9, 2002


Just curious, jonmc: what do your girlfriends/wives - actual or potential - have to say about this? You know, spending money to see naked women. Here in Portugal it's mostly rich, sad middle-aged businessmen that go to strip clubs. About the only acceptable occasion are bachelor's farewell parties. Is it different in the States? Don't your SOs feel insulted?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:56 PM on March 9, 2002


but don't expect to beat approval

I could honestly care less about whether you approve of me or not. I just find it a little telling that you felt the need to exhibit your disapproval.

just as you are interested in paying your money to look at naked women and engage in cheap conversation with them and jerk off,

It makes for nice atmosphere. I wasn't aware that finding naked female bodies attractive was a character flaw. I thought it meant I was a heterosexual male.FWIW, I don't pay for coversation. I'll give a dancer a tip, but usually I'll just shoot the shit with them like anyone else.

just because I don't express my disapproval in every thread I disapprove of...

You seem to show up an awful lot in threads I'm vocal in to voice your disapproval, usually ever-so-archly and condescendingly, which is what's truly getting on my nerves.

Miguel, my girlfreinds have gone with me to strip clubs and had a great time. I lived with 2 women for about 2 years. One the three of us along with my best freind and his girl all went to a joint together. All of us hooted and hollered, the girls stuffed more bills into the g-strings than the guys did.We even bought a joint lap dance for everyone, which the stripper got a kick out of. It was a big Dionysian revel, which in the right dosage is good for the soul.
posted by jonmc at 12:03 AM on March 10, 2002


Well, kfury, you might have hit on something there. "Like I'm being taunted depressingly by Hollywood" was exactly how I felt while watching that movie.

Seriously, touching Gandalf is not something that (I hope) you think about doing many times each day. You probably don't spend time alone, simulating contact with Gandalf in order to find relief. Most importantly, Gandalf is just plain not a part of your world to begin with. You could never touch him, no matter what you did.

The reason I get depressed watching strippers is not just that I'm paying for an illusion. It's that I'm paying for the illusion of something that I want as a regular part of my life, and ought to be able to get. Not lap dances, but frequent real physical contact with an attractive girl. I guess that for some guys, that idea is just as foreign as touching Gandalf. And some already have that reality regularly, and paying for more of it is just a goof. Fine. I'm in between. When I'm with a girl I'm happy with, I have no desire to see strippers. And when I'm alone, the idea just kind of strikes me as pathetic. The sexual frustration that guys take to strip clubs could be better channelled, even if it's only channelled into something as banal as getting an actual girlfriend with whom you can have actual conversations and with whom you can have actual sex. Because she wants it, not because you're paying.
posted by bingo at 12:14 AM on March 10, 2002


I agree with suprfli. If you want a real conversation with a nude woman just go to his wife.

j/k...
posted by Settle at 12:27 AM on March 10, 2002


Bingo, substitute any of a thousand love stoires for Gandalf and you are paying for the illusion of something that you want as a regular part of your life, and ought to be able to get.

One way to look at it is, if your comfortable shooting teh breeze with a sex worker who'se not wearing clothes, you're probably getting more comfortable with women in general, which will actually help you get your goal of frequent physical contact with an attractive girl.

Now I'm not telling you, Bingo, that you should go to strip clubs so you'll learn how to pick up chicks, but I am putting forward the possibility that your pedagogical dislike or resentment of the strip club as an institution, and those who frequent it, might have a lot to do with your frustration at not being able to attain the physical contact you crave.

Be open to the ideas of others, and other people will probably become more, err, open, to yours.

Heck, it beats touching Gandalf.
posted by kfury at 12:43 AM on March 10, 2002


Of course strip clubs are going to be branded as bad.

Religious people hate everything reminding them of pleasure on earth (most religions want you to suffer and sacrifice yourself in "this life" in order to be allowed to enter their magic mystery place after death).

Socialists hate everything reminding them of profit, especially when men (always pigs and oppressors, mind you) profit -- while not doing "physical" work -- off of the work of a woman (no matter how voluntary this trade of services has come about).

Strip (no pun intended) the world of these two groups of people, and there's not too many left. Thankfully for the clubs, many of the aforamentioned are hypocrites, who will say one thing while doing another.
posted by dagny at 2:24 AM on March 10, 2002


Strippers, pro-football players, what's the difference?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:27 AM on March 10, 2002


The only time I saw a stripper was a very depressing experience.

It was a pub, a fairly run-down place. 2 friends and I were on our way to a football (soccer) match, arrived a little before kick-off and dropped into this place for a pint.

It was empty, but at the far end was a young lady, kind of setting up stuff on the stage. Out of naivety (sp?), I thought she was a DJ, preparing her sound system.

Anyway, gradually, presumably as the appointed time arrives, more people (all men) arrive, mainly buying half-pints and standing looking towards the little stage.

She comes round the pub with an empty pint glass collecting money, fully clothed.

Once she's gone round, she goes back and begins her dance. There was perhaps 20 guys including us in this pub, not a sound, not a mumour from anyone during the act.

I hated the whole thing, she was a gorgeous, early 20's, dark skin, petite and was stripping for 20 guys in a dreary pub in south London.

When she finished she cam round again with her pint glass to collect more cash, if she made £20 I'd be surprised.

I'm not a prude, I like naked women and perhaps I might feel better about an upmarket strip club where the dancers were earning more. This was just depressing.
posted by selton at 3:15 AM on March 10, 2002


Was that the Queen Anne in Vauxhall? An object of curiosity for the women working at a publishers down the road (where I was also employed). Went in there precisely once with a group of them. It was supposed to be "a laugh", and for them I think it was (the presence of gals on the town in full mocking mode seems to have disrupted the priapic mood of some of the customers, anyway). But the sense of palpable contempt and loathing for the male customers was too much - like someone pissing on your soul. I ran away before the act came on. I even left my pint behind.

If anyone's interested, and along similar lines, on this site are a number of reviews of prostitutes, by the punters. I actually find it quite fascinating, and it did change my attitude towards the punters. Thanks to NTK, who linked to a (now removed) spoof review a couple of years ago (featuring characters from a popular soap opera).
posted by Grangousier at 5:09 AM on March 10, 2002


Five dancers I,ve been friends with have become strippers, two of them female and three male. I have seen them rehearsing and seen a couple of the shows they have been in.

I can assure you that they, at least, are neither contemptuous or turned on by the club patrons. Its simply how they earn their living.
posted by Tarrama at 5:36 AM on March 10, 2002


The nerve you touched is the one that's especially sensitive to people who post comments that seem primarily designed to display phony indignation and demonstrate what a swell enlightened fella the poster is, which is just about all I ever hear from you, mcsweetie.

Jon: You ride the hypocrisy thing way too freaking hard. If you want others to indulge this link, when you know a significant number of people are probably offended by strip clubs (not to mention the porn banner ads), you should respect their right to be offended. You're acting like a bouncer in this thread.

My personal take? I've been to two strip clubs, and because I was raised with enough good Catholic guilt to think sex is dirty and wrong, I found them seedy, creepy, sad, and somewhat titillating. But I'm too uptight to barter under ordinary circumstances, so the idea of haggling over a transaction with a strange woman's ass in my face is fairly horrifying.

Now call me a hypocrite.
posted by rcade at 6:15 AM on March 10, 2002


I just find it a little telling that you felt the need to exhibit your disapproval...you seem to show up an awful lot in threads I'm vocal in to voice your disapproval,

yes, jonmc, I am out to get you! you'll have to excuse me if I find this "you don't agree with me, and are therefore a show-off!" bit is a little convenient.

It makes for nice atmosphere.

and sticky handshakes?

I wasn't aware that finding naked female bodies attractive was a character flaw.

it isn't, and I'm not faulting you for it.

FWIW, I don't pay for coversation.

I wonder if they appreciate that, when they could be talking to someone else who would be willing to give them more money for lapdances, hand jobs, etc.
posted by mcsweetie at 6:32 AM on March 10, 2002


Strip joints don't get me going sexually, but something `bout self-loathing and semi-congealed salaryman jizz underfoot really pulls fired mozzarella together.

Go for the titties, stay for the cheese sticks.
posted by dong_resin at 7:12 AM on March 10, 2002


/me chimes in with redundant 'johnmc can be a blowhard' comment/joke which, while carefully written and kinda funny prolly still annoys johnmc's sensibilities.
posted by n9 at 7:13 AM on March 10, 2002


/me acknowledges occasional blowhard tendencies and realizes in retrospect that he should have forseen this thread going awry. I honestly figured the comments would be more like ebarker's and dongs or that people would riff on the mefi-in-dirty-raincoats style of the submitted reviews. But I guess I was wrong and I let my personal irritations get in the way of a thread. Sorry. Live and Learn.
posted by jonmc at 7:26 AM on March 10, 2002


kfury: I think you've either really misunderstood me, or I failed to express myself clearly. My dislike for strip clubs is hardly pedagogical; it's personal. I am quite liberal in my politics, and I would be the last person to advocate making stripping illegal, or to stand on a street corner telling people NOT to go in.

And you seem to portray me as if I'm on the celibate end of the spectrum I described, which is not the case; like I said, I'm somewhere in the middle, and I'm hardly a repressed prude; just look at some of my posts on other threads. Believe me, I have no problem being around naked girls; but paying to do it is bad for my mojo, what can I say? If your mileage varies, good for you.
posted by bingo at 7:57 AM on March 10, 2002


kfury: Forgot to touch on the movie/illusion thing. It's a whole different conversation, really, but hopefully it will suffice to say that I see movies in a different way than you do, in terms of what they are for and how they connect to my life. :)
posted by bingo at 8:03 AM on March 10, 2002


Grangousier:
No it wasn't near Vauxhall, the pub I was in was near Crystal Palace, can't remember the name.

The woman I saw was on her own. Collecting the cash, arranging the music everything. Even though she was on her own, the one thing I never sensed was that she was in any danger of being "bothered" in any way, certainly not inside the pub.

As a coincidence, I work for a publisher too, and I think I know the company near Vauxhall where you were working at the time (never worked there myself though)
posted by selton at 8:15 AM on March 10, 2002


Jiggle Room? Gals? Girls? WTF. They are women and they are forced for economic reasons to take their clothes off for you like you are some kind of medieval prince. I have never been to a strip club same as I have never been to a casino, I wouldn't be able to shake the feeling that I am being scammed blatently in my face. If you have a wife/SO that should be enough for you, and if you don't I would think it would just be frustrating.
posted by chrismc at 8:19 AM on March 10, 2002


Go for the titties, stay for the cheese sticks.

New MeFi motto!
posted by ebarker at 9:55 AM on March 10, 2002


bingo: Well and fairly spoken. Thanks.
posted by kfury at 10:03 AM on March 10, 2002


... Girls?

I use that all the time. Nothing intended by it. I wonder if it's just a Southern thing?

... and they are forced for economic reasons to take their clothes off for you like you are some kind of medieval prince.

*van pulls up, brakes screech*

"Ma'am, we're the Stripper Police. Nice rack. You're coming with us. Be quiet, and get in the van."

But seriously...

Back in my strip-club days (*rocking chair creaking*) the girls made great money. Hell, I was just a college kid working security, and I made a grand a week, tax-free. Back in 1980.

...I wouldn't be able to shake the feeling that I am being scammed blatently in my face.

I enjoy both strip clubs and casinos, and have variously made out well and lost my ass in both. But I went in with my eyes wide open, expecting to pay for my entertainment.

...If you have a wife/SO that should be enough for you, and if you don't I would think it would just be frustrating.

My wife goes with me, and has a blast as well. Or we've gone separately in groups of friends. And it's served as a warmup to some memorable evenings. But I had the great good fortune to hook up with and marry someone as hedonistic as I am.
posted by ebarker at 10:15 AM on March 10, 2002


I see we have people working overtime on here to prove that MeFi's not a "boyzone."
posted by raysmj at 11:07 AM on March 10, 2002


Strippers, pro-football players, what's the difference
I don't want a lap dance from Warren Sapp.
posted by owillis at 11:19 AM on March 10, 2002


I see we have people working overtime on here to prove that MeFi's not a "boyzone."

Is there theme music for Boyzone? An appetizer menu? Pre-moistened towelettes, with logos?

I want my money's worth, dammit.
posted by ebarker at 12:35 PM on March 10, 2002


self-loathing and semi-congealed salaryman jizz underfoot really pulls fired mozzarella together.

Beautiful.

Heres the hard truth for all you guys that get sad when you read about stripclubs. Women and men are diffrent! Women can get guys without much trouble. So your going to need to give her a compelling reason to be with you instead of the next guy. Your own hornyness doesnt cut it because every guy is horney.

Typically you see 3 reasons why a women will be with a guy. 1) Money. Strip Clubs, escorts and the rest of the pr0n industry illustrate this well. It can also take other more socially acceptable forms such as the young bride of the older rich man. 2) Sex (or Love). A women will want to have sex with you because you attract her. Buy some "how 2" manuals and take some courses on how to be sexually attractive to women. Women learn this from a young age how to be attractive, guys have a lot to learn to keep up we were busy playing with computers while she was learning about love. 3) Kids. She wants kids, or wants someone around the house to help raise/support the kids.

Preferably you have all 3 going.. you buy her diamond rings, promise to marry her and be there always as a provider and be the father of her children and shes attracted to you. Many marriages break-up when one of these elements isnt working. However IMO so long as she is strongly attracted to you the other elements of money and kids dont matter, but it takes work it doesnt just happen naturally.
posted by stbalbach at 12:55 PM on March 10, 2002


owillis, I don't even want a lap dance from Warren Sapp!
posted by bjgeiger at 1:04 PM on March 10, 2002


They are women and they are forced for economic reasons to take their clothes off for you like you are some kind of medieval prince.

Since I am male, I am forced, through unjust evolution, to actually work for a living, as opposed to having the option of shaking my ass to pay the rent. Were I female, with a nice body, I could choose to shake my groove thang, or, I could choose to get another job. I've known lots of dancers. Not a single one was coerced into that club at gunpoint.

I do a job that's about as close to prostitution as one can get without wearing fishnets. I often hate it, and I am daily required to participate in activities which I find to be unworthy of my brilliance. Big deal. That means I have a job. Just like every other schmo in the world. Just like strippers. If the job bothers them, they are allowed to get another one.

Strip clubs can be cool, as long as you know what's up. The women want your dough, and they will laugh at your jokes and treat you like Boss freakin' Hogg, until the very moment when your money runs out, or your big brain overpowers your little one and you leave. Then they move on to the next customer. Just like a waitress, or a shopkeeper, or broom salesman, or anyone else in a capitalistic society. They're not being victimized any more than any other person who is forced, through economic circumstance to trade time or work or service for money. That's capitalism, kids. We bought the ticket, so it's too late to get squeamish about the bumpy parts of the ride.

The condescention on display here toward both dancers and patrons of strip clubs is a little annoying. Every single business interaction in a capitalist society features an element of "what's in it for me?". It's just more blatant at a strip club. I've gone to clubs with friends, laughed my ass off with the women, and left, lighter of wallet and of heart. I've also experienced the dynamic that bingo refers to, where a visit to the club just feels lonely and lame and pathetic, and you can feel the girl's contempt from five yards away. (At Jumbo's Clown Room, in Hollywood. Courtney Love used to dance there. 'Nuff said.)
posted by Optamystic at 1:17 PM on March 10, 2002


God, this thread is like a little window into the fifties.
posted by rodii at 1:22 PM on March 10, 2002


How so, rodii?
posted by Optamystic at 1:37 PM on March 10, 2002


Optamystic: Jumbo's? Ewww. My favorites are still Cheetah's in Vegas, and a Cheetah 2 in S. Florida (dunno if they're related.)

And God, I do miss the Gold Club. Used to take clients there all the time in Atlanta.

A couple decent ones here and up the road in Myrtle Beach.
posted by ebarker at 1:37 PM on March 10, 2002


I find men who go to strip clubs to be a pathetic lot. I've never been in one. Never have, never will. You can rationalize it all you want, but you're paying for sexual favors. Prostitution is what it is and I don't think that someone who gets naked for rich businessmen is any better than someone turning tricks down on the street in the bad part of town.

I'm not telling people not to go to strip clubs. I'm not telling women not to take their clothes off for money. That's their personal business.

Personally, I'd rather never have sex ever again than be some loser that pays for it. That's just me.
posted by mark13 at 1:44 PM on March 10, 2002


Every single business interaction in a capitalist society features an element of "what's in it for me?". It's just more blatant at a strip club.

More blatant than local car commercials or sales pitches at 98 percent or more of dealerships? ("Look, I can only offer you this price today. It's the end of the month. I'll give you my phone number, but you gotta call today, or I don't know about this price. Man, it's unbelievable." An actual sales pitch given to me in the fall, around the time car dealers were stripping interest payments down to 0 percent.) I don't think so.

Actually, it's what's being sold at strip clubs, what's being commodified and how, that makes it different, to you and everyone else who sees a difference. I'm not going to venture into the reasons why, but I think you probably know what the deal is.

Casinos, similarly, often strike certain types as depressing because large amounts of dough are being exchanged for what they see as next to nothing. It's exchanged only for flashing lights and an adrenalin rush, maybe a bit of social mixing, and that's it, although most casinos offer great, inexpensive dinners and spas and whatnot too. They're total entertainment environments now, in many if not most cases. But whatever casinos sell isn't usually being sold harder than, say, cars or razor blades.
posted by raysmj at 1:55 PM on March 10, 2002


For what it's worth, I don't see anything wrong with prostitution, either. I've been a proponent of legalizing that for as long as I can remember.

Private behavior, consenting adults.
posted by ebarker at 2:01 PM on March 10, 2002


If anyone wants to know what one stripper thinks of her job, try the Stripper FAQ. (Some nudity, not safe for work).
posted by maudlin at 2:43 PM on March 10, 2002


Most of my exposure to strippers has been social, outside of the club. I work in theatre, and -- for better or for worse -- many actresses 1) are young and good looking and 2) need money, a flexible schedule, and their days free. As a result, many of these women have done stints of various lengths as strippers.

Because i have totally normal (read: not in a strip club) social and sometimes professional relations with these woman, we have often found ourselves discussing and comparing our jobs. I would agree that for the most part, they have not been outwardly contemptuous of the clientel. If they were the sort who would have been, i doubt they would have chosen to do it to begin with. But what they WERE was totally indifferent. In the same way that i am indifferent about the representatives of various companies with whom i deal every day on the phone at my office job. in the same way i always was indifferent to the thousands of people i served food and drinks to when i worked in restaurants. they're generically annoyed they have to go there, glad when they make a lot of money, pissed off when they don't, resentful of their management, competative about who gets the good shifts, etc.

This in itself is enough to make me agree with Bingo's main point. Whether they are contemptuous or indifferent, they are not actually engaged in any real way during their interactions with me. That's the same sort of way i relate with the rest of the world all day -- through disinterested commerce. And it is exactly what makes me thrilled and excited to interact with my friends and lovers -- because we are CHOOSING to be there and there is no commerce involved.

I also think that this sampling of girls is not entirely representative -- they are all educated, ambitious, articulate, and very clear about both why they are there and what their boundaries are. There is definitely another category of strippers -- perhaps a slightly more tragic model -- women who have screwed up concepts of sexuality from their own lives, women who are searching for attention in the only way they know how, women who DESPERATELY need to make money for whatever reason, and even women who are nymphomaniacs and just really like being in that environment all the time. But the only way i can ever really be turned on at all by them is if i imagine them as the first kind -- women i would actually want to talk to.

All of this being said, i have on two occasions, when drunk and not having received the kind of attention i was seeking from one woman or another at the bar, stopped at a strip club on the way home. An impulse to somehow take revenge at the woman in the bar who did not choose to make herself sexually available to me by going to a place where the sex was totally overt and i could look at women as sexual objects with no compunction. Interestingly, both times i was totally confused once i got in there, wasn't interested in talking to them, was appalled by the dryfucking going on under the euphamism 'lapdances', quickly left, and felt totally gross (and guilty)for several days.
posted by milkman at 3:01 PM on March 10, 2002


I find men who go to strip clubs to be a pathetic lot. I've never been in one. Never have, never will. You can rationalize it all you want, but you're paying for sexual favors.

Speaking as one of the pathetic lot, I think you have a pretty serious misunderstanding of what's for sale in the largest majority of the clubs out there. The girls understand very well that the money is in the tension, not the release.

ebarker got it exactly right early in the thread when he said that 90% of the girls working in the clubs are perfectly normal people with a healthy sense of self esteem. I'd add that the same goes for the customers.

The thing is, some clubs seem to specialize in the other 10% of both customers and dancers (1st rule of going to the clubs, they're 'dancers' not 'strippers'). If ebarker's club was anything like most of them that I've been in, the majority of his job was trying to keep the 10% away from each other.

This is one of those issues where all the opinions are strong ones. A lot of people seem to feel that a line has been crossed, but what I always find fun is pinning them down on where the line is. "Let's see, bikinis are perfectly okay but the waitress outfits at Hooter's are disgusting?" or "So, it's okay to dance in a skin tight leotard but not topless?". Even the girls in the clubs get hung up on it. I've talked to several who thought dancing topless was a natural thing, but that dancing nude was the last stop before prostitution.

Since this is Metafilter after all, I'm curious how many of the people saying "I've never been in a club but they're immoral!" would take a fundamentalist to task for saying "I've never seen the movie, but it goes against god!"
posted by ToasterKing at 3:38 PM on March 10, 2002


If it's about Capitalism does that mean in Communist countrys you get it for free?
posted by stbalbach at 3:45 PM on March 10, 2002


"Let's see, bikinis are perfectly okay but the waitress outfits at Hooter's are disgusting?" or "So, it's okay to dance in a skin tight leotard but not topless?"

Aren't bikinis usually just worn at the beach amongst family and friends, or to show off in front of individuals in a non-commercial setting? That is, not worn as a uniform of a one-gender-only wait staff? And one that bills its overall ambiance as "delightfully tacky, yet unrefined," thus leaving one with the impression that the wait staff there must not have much going on in the smarts dept.?
posted by raysmj at 4:39 PM on March 10, 2002


This is all so spectacularly absurd. I mean, god, look at yourselves; arguing about the whether or not clothing is worn in a "non-commercial" setting?

(raysmj: nothing personal, you just had a great line I had to borrow)
posted by aramaic at 5:14 PM on March 10, 2002


If it's about Capitalism does that mean in Communist countrys you get it for free?

If so, then viva la revolucion!
posted by Optamystic at 5:19 PM on March 10, 2002


How many of you have actually been? Not many I bet. I love 'em - they are wonderful. Get off your damn high horses.
posted by jchotz at 5:30 PM on March 10, 2002


raysmj, are you saying:

1) tacky == stupid

2) if you don't get paid for it, it's not immoral

I think you'd have a tough time building a consensus for either position.
posted by ToasterKing at 5:36 PM on March 10, 2002


Oh, you know what I'm talking about, ToasterKing. Don't play dumb, or innocent. I didn't get it totally, though. The restaurant is a place called "Hooters," meaning the wait staff in the silly/sexy outfits are being sold more than the food - or rather, their cleavage and bodies are being sold more than the food - OR the tacky ambiance. It's all tacky, actually, and *advertised as such*. It's advertised as dumb, already. Hooter's Inc. is not going to argue otherwise.

In any case, the whole Hooter's thing is different than someone just wearing a bikini (a statement I was responding to and not making myself, thanks), in a private setting or with friends, say, on a beach. And I'm not saying whether that's good or bad, from a moral standpoint, just pointing out that it's certainly not the same deal. There's an element of cheap, low and tawdry commodification there I'm not comfortable with, but I don't think it should be illegal. It's not improving the general quality of life out there, though, no.
posted by raysmj at 7:25 PM on March 10, 2002


For anyone who's never been in a Hooter's, the whole "we're dumb" and the general icky feeling of the whole thing is discussed in detail here.
posted by raysmj at 7:36 PM on March 10, 2002


Here's the thing raysmj, I'm not playing dumb, I'm sure not playing innocent , and I don't know what you're talking about. That's why I asked and I'm honestly interested in the answer. I should also point out that I don't expect to change your mind, you seem to have pretty strong opinions much different than mine and I'm trying to understand why you hold them.

I won't argue with you at all about Hooters or even strip clubs in general being tacky, I happen to agree that a lot of them are (although at least in the Dallas area, a lot of the strip clubs are much classier than Hooters). Based on the number of girls that are putting themselves through college working at Hooters, I think it's pretty unfair to say that "the wait staff there must not have much going on in the smarts dept." or "we're dumb".

The bikini argument is even more interesting to me, you say that Hooters compared to wearing a bikini is "certainly not the same deal", but I've re-read your posts above several times now and I can't see how you think they're different other than that in one case money changes hands.

I suspect that one thing you see as different are the intentions of the people involved. Maybe even that you think the dancers or waitresses are trying to deceive their customers about what the customers are paying for. If that's the case though, I'm curious what you think of waitresses that flirt with their customers in any other restaurant. It just seems like a matter of degree to me.
posted by ToasterKing at 10:21 PM on March 10, 2002


Ok, here it goes, a report from the field!

Scruples!

After going to see the The Zambonis, we(jonmc and I) went to Scruples, live and in color. So we went into, well I went into 'Player Mode' and decided to test the limitations of the joint. I must say, I had a lovely time. I met this girl whom since I don't remember what her name was, we will call her the Violator(she made it up, not us, and you wonder why we forgot her name?). The club seemed to be normal, no shady dealings, but cool nonetheless.

jonmc, he behaved like a little school boy shopping with his Mother at the candy store, looked but didn't touch. He did have a conversation about credit card theft with one of the dancers, and only paid her a tip of $2. He's such a nice boy.

I on the other hand... well, we won't go there on these boards. It was a great time, though. I came out on top, only spent possibly $200, but I don't much remember. I think it was worth it, it seems these women are able to fake liking me better than the women I date. On a typical all nighter/date I will spend much more than that on the girl I'm with.

You must now think about what the difference between a stripper and a real date is. There really isn't a difference, aside from usually spending way more money on the person you date. Now I'm not degrading women, I think the female form is the most beautiful thing on Earth. I like to look at a body and just examine parts like where the neck meets the shoulder, and the belly button too, so I'm not trying to make it out like I'm a womanizer.

The whole experience is just a simple transaction, cash for pleasure. Capitalism at it's finest.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 10:54 PM on March 10, 2002


It just seems like a matter of degree to me.

Of very wide degrees. Using your body as a sales device in a commercial establishment named for mammary glands, no matter how tame or icky, is not the same as wearing a bikini on a beach. And you know that, already. Sheesh. It's not a matter of morality to me, though, so much as a matter of personal and business ethics.
posted by raysmj at 4:52 AM on March 11, 2002


Maybe even that you think the dancers or waitresses are trying to deceive their customers about what the customers are paying for.

Um, one more: No. And I didn't bring that or the whole flirting-with-customers, etc. matter up, actually. I think it's pretty much obviously a matter of degree, though. Flirting makes life easier, I think. Nothing wrong with it, per se. It's in most cases the opposite, and anyone who thinks otherwise is probably psychotic.
posted by raysmj at 8:01 AM on March 11, 2002


You must now think about what the difference between a stripper and a real date is. There really isn't a difference, aside from usually spending way more money on the person you date.

Wow. In what way is dating possibly fulfilling for you if that is true? Do you really think your personal relations always come down to commerce? That does seem extreme.
posted by milkman at 9:26 AM on March 11, 2002


Ah, I remember when I used to live a few blocks from this place and see how much beer I could drink for the $10 cover charge. The food was free too. As long as you weren't rude and tipped the waitress it was a cheap place to eat and drink. It was like a cheap Hooter's if you didn't fall prey to the lap dances.

The thing that did amaze me was how much some guys spent there. I'm sure a few dropped at least $800 in a night. But they weren't trying to abuse the free beer/food policy.
posted by john at 1:39 PM on March 12, 2002


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