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Kayden Kross at Twistys

May 21, 2001 12:00am
Exotic Dancing or Prostitution Where Do We Draw The Line?
Source: Independent for AINews
by: Rose Garten

As an ex-exotic dancer, I'm concerned about the future of new dancers and existing dancers. They have shared several facts of undesirable experiences, and the harsh reality they face while working in this industry today.

During recent interviews, visits to several dancer forums to gain knowledge of the business today and through e-mail from dancers and customers---I was shocked and saddened by the comments of both from different strip clubs in this country. The posts referring to customers expecting more than a dance for their tip were the most disheartening.

Apparently there are customers that expect sexual favors as one exotic dancer stated in a reply sent to me via e-mail, "Some customers anticipate 'extras', and some customers demand them! 'Extras' are excessive touching, petting, fondling, sex talk, or fetish acts performed by the dancer or the customer."

Samples of what some of the exotic dancers from different states have to say about the customers:
An exotic dancer in the Midwest writes, "There are five clubs in this town. I have danced in two of the clubs. My first club was mostly blue collar working men. They hated breast implants and were VERY partial to skinny blondes, although we all made money. Most were extremely 'handsy' and most often kept their hands grasped tightly on a butt or breast, if you allow it. Some try to move hands all over the dancer's body at a million miles an hour! It's like they'd never seen a sensual woman before and tried to get as much for the tip as possible. Most customers only buy one dance at a time, and from more than one dancer. The average customer buys two dances. The rest sit around and don't tip the dancers on stage. They wait for the dancer to work the floor, and then they try to devour the poor girl. I've done quite a number of heels in the crotch, heel palm to the nose and I've grabbed quite a few throats for violation of my body (grabbing my crotch or breasts, or grabbing my behind when I specifically told them not to). The men at this club have little respect for women.

The other club is on the upper middle class side of town and is frequented by white-collar workers, out-of-town businessmen, and guys just of the legal drinking age. Like the other club, they are partial to blondes, and they don't mind breast implants. The mature customers are not quite as grabby, and they like conversation. Some disrespect dancers, but most are quite appreciative of our company. The tipping on stage is better. Dollar dances are tolerable because 'out-of-towners' are often afraid to touch your arm. The young customers are very grabby, but we avoid them most of the time. And the mature customers vary from absolute gentlemen to drunken bigots. There is a lot more money to be made at this club, but the customers don't throw it at you. You have to work for it! Also, dancers get solicited less at this club than at the other. This club gets half of the corporate farmers. Some are hard to tolerate, and some of them seem to love any woman who gives them the time of day. They also spend cash more freely than the other customer types."

An exotic dancer from Indiana writes, "Sounds like where I am stuck working. Farm boys and city men are two different breeds, aren't they? I am thinking of going to therapy. I've never been treated like trash in my whole dancing career until now. It has seriously started to affect my daily life. Insomnia, loss of sexual appetite, and stress are NOT worth this job."

Another exotic dancer in the Midwest writes, "I know from my experience and having talked with dancers much more seasoned than myself, the trend at least in the Midwest is that the customers are getting cheaper and cheaper. Part of the problem, I suspect is too many younger, fresher faced dancers who either don't know any better or don't care and will do just about anything for a dollar. There seems to be an increase in prostitutes who pose as dancers and will do just about anything for a buck as well.

Not only that, but from what I've been told, back 10-15 years ago, there were less exotic dancers than there are now. Now it appears to be a trendy profession, hence the increase in dancers under the age of 21. Not only that, but club owners are getting more greedy. The more dancers they put into their club, the more money they have in their pocket from house fees. Simply put, the standards of hiring dancers at some clubs have decreased considerably. Before I started dancing, I thought you had to look like a Playboy model to be a dancer. I quickly learned there are ALL types of dancers. Which is a good thing overall, as customers have different preferences. But seriously, not to dog anyone, I have seen PLENTY of dancers who probably would do better off keeping their clothes on or who weren't attractive by ANY standards. All I am saying is there used to be some 'prestige' in being an exotic entertainer. It meant you were the best of the best! There are still top-notch clubs that are like that, but overall, I think those are few and far between.

So many veteran dancers have told me they were getting tipped 10's, 20's and other big bills on stage and all they were doing back then was STAGE dancing. Now it appears, as I like to say quite affectionately, you damn near have to pull a rabbit out of your ass to get anywhere. Tipping like that still happens but it isn't that common (at least for me) and it's usually only at high-end clubs with white-collar patrons. The regular every day Midwest strip bar is very much the "Is that all I get?' attitude for a dollar. I read a statement about feature entertaining coming to a slow decline. Half of the problem is no one seems to care about actual ENTERTAINMENT anymore. The glitz, the glamour, the pageantry is going, going, gone. The customers don't seem to care anymore. The only thing they seem to care about is 'how easy you are' or 'how dirty can we get' in the club. It appears the only requirement for talent is: Can you walk without falling down in heels? And please try to look as disinterested as possible while performing!"

A veteran exotic dancer that has traveled extensively, now residing in Las Vegas added, "Well here is my view of customers over the years. As I've found the 'type of customer' generally is reflected by location, city or country, as well as current economy. People who make tips for a living are the first to feel the slowing economy.

I started out at a peep show strip joint in Chicago, where you danced on a stage behind tinted enclosed glass and customers paid for 20 minutes of peeking in a booth to see you. It was my first experience at dancing I was 23, and I liked that it was anonymous, as I couldn't see them unless I peeked over the top of the glass. And when I did, I saw all types of men come in.

CUSTOMERS: business men/daytime & young drunks/night
ATTITUDES: Perverts, but no touching
PAY: $8 HR PLUS 1/4 of your tips, $450-800 a week check.
DECLINE: After getting raided and spending 24 hours in jail on false charges, I was so scared that I quit and got a normal job. At the hearing, the judge said he'd drop the charges if we swore we'd never dance again. I mouthed the words and the charges were dropped.

Next after working for 3 years for $8 an hour and being broke, I decided to try again. This time a suburban neighborhood bar that I knew was safe. That was in 1992. I made more money there just on weekends than I did at my day job. So, I quit the day job.

CUSTOMERS: Neighborhood blue-collar types, some regulars
ATTITUDES: Men treated me nice, comfortable, no touching. Dances were $10 each.
PAY: I made $200 night - no house fees no schedule.
DECLINE: After 3 wonderful months there, the town found out about the dancing and said the club had no dancing permit and ordered the weekend dancing to stop. I went to work one day and was told I was out of a job due to politics. My co-workers moved to a bigger club, a show club.

My first show club was a beautiful place, my first professional dancing job.

CUSTOMERS: Local blue-collar guys and night owl musicians, and not many businessmen. Nice guys...
ATTITUDES: Customers were cool and laid back, but management was 'anal'. Guys would ask for dances, it was so easy, no touching. Dances were and still are $5---YES, $5
PAY: No house fees when I started, but charged $50 a year later. I made $50-$250 a night.
DECLINE: Slow business and new house fees made me quit.

Next, I moved on to a new show club in Indiana near the interstate. They had features and that is where I learned to hustle! I was inspired after talking to Summer Leigh to do my feature shows.

CUSTOMERS: 75% travelers & businessmen, blue-collar clients were regulars.
ATTITUDES: Men put me on a pedestal there for some reason. Friendly and laid back but CLASSY!
PAY: Good money, $15 dances, not much $$ during winter.
DECLINE: The toll way exit was being rebuilt and we lost lots of business. The owner raised the house fees every time we turned around. Announced she booked Feature Dancers, and then made us pay for it! She told us to contribute or don't come back to work! I sued her, got fired, but got some of my $$ back.

Working in LAS VEGAS: A co-worker told me to work Vegas, so I went! I've worked here 3 years now.

CUSTOMERS: Mostly businessmen/travelers, they spend $$ and don't gripe about it like other guys do. No touching is permitted.
ATTITUDES: Men treat me like a goddess- I'm spoiled.
PAY: Dances are $20 lap or 3 for $100, so I make more money with less work.
DECLINE: None. Las Vegas is great! An exotic dancer from Pennsylvania stated, "Since I am going to point the finger at some people, please don't publish my name.

I work in Philadelphia, close to the football and baseball stadium, and the center that holds basketball and hockey games, as well as concerts. Needless to say that many of the customers are those fans attending the sports. It fluctuates depending on the sport season and nights the games are held. Concertgoers are cheap, but usually respectful. As for hockey fans, I've had good nights and bad nights. Football fans spend more money than hockey and basketball fans. Basketball fans behave better and are less 'touchy-feely' than football and hockey fans.

There are also many white-collar men because of being in the city, and we get blue-collar customers as well. We also get men that come in for conventions, whatever they may be. The more professional careers they have, in my experience, the more entitled they think they are to get 'extras'. Though I must say that the white-collar customers are careful in how they conduct themselves. Blue-collar workers have less money. They tip us less, but are likely to treat us with more respect.

As far as celebrities---we've had quite a few and some were very rude. A famous actor swindled a dancer out of a tip. When she told management, he said that she was a lousy dancer! His statement was false! She wouldn't allow him put his hands all over her, and that is why he refused to tip for the entertainment she provided. Another well-known actor signaled me to come over while I was on stage, but by time I had finished my set, he was on his way out. I heard from other dancers that he was a perfect gentleman.

We get a lot of players from other states that are in town to play the Philadelphia teams. Team members are cheap, rude and think they can get away with touching because of 'who they are.' They think we (dancers) should feel honored that they speak to us!

Please understand that what I say is based on my experience and does not reflect what other dancers may have experienced."

I asked an exotic dancer in Georgia how she felt about the recent news concerning the Gold Club in Atlanta. Her reply, "This is nothing new! It's just their turn to be exposed. This happens everywhere! Any time there is a lot of money and celebrities, whether they are in sports or film, 'special favors or extras' are going to be done. Wealthy celebrities don't care and neither do wealthy club owners---they can buy their way out of criminal charges. The dancers are the ones that are sacrificed. We are used by the club owners to attract and entertain the favorable customers and thrown to the wolves when law enforcement hassles the clubs. As far as organized crime---if this is true, I can see how they could blackmail celebrities caught in a compromising position and why they would do it. If they use a dancer as part of the scheme what will happen to her? She faces risks from all sides! That is my concern. That is what I worry about. This profession is full of dangerous hazards. That's the way it is, it has always been about MONEY and who receives the majority of it! Most of the dancers are college students, single mothers, or both. We are hard workers trying to make our lives better, exotic dancing is a career that allows us to do that. I hope very soon I can move on to a more 'socially acceptable' career choice. I've had to keep my career a secret from most of my family. My mom and sister know what I do. They are the only people that I feel safe to tell."

Some clubs have bouncers or management that are responsible for customers that 'get out of line'. They are hired to take care of disputes or customers that lack control.

An exotic dancer from Texas stated, "Bouncers that get tipped by dancers will protect those that tip the best! I have known customers that tip bouncers so they will be permitted to get away with excessive touching or receiving extras. Exotic dancers today are forced to protect themselves! I'm not saying this is true at ALL clubs---I can only tell you my experience. A customer grabbed my bikini bottom and almost pulled it off of me. No one rushed to my rescue! I work in a topless club. The Supreme Court ruling of 'Erie vs. Pap's' means nothing! Telling dancers that they have to wear pasties and g-strings doesn't stop the negative secondary effects that occur in strip clubs. I wear full bottoms and if a customer wants a hand full of what is underneath they will go for it! A few inches of cloth doesn't stop anything! We as women will never be able to stop a determined customer. I'm not a small or weak woman. I'm 6 feet tall and train with weights every day! The truth is, men are stronger --- especially determined men. If we are sexually assaulted or raped, who will believe us? As an exotic dancer we are seen as second-class citizens. I feel that we are being stereotyped because so many prostitutes have been chased from the streets into the local strip clubs."

During the time I was a part of the profession, there were dancers that took things farther with a customer outside of the club. They were never bold about it, being discreet was necessary. It wasn't a topic that was discussed openly and the reason for that was clear. Prostitution is illegal!

It was getting out of hand when I left the profession with couch and lap dances being the most requested form of entertainment offered in the clubs. I was still there when the shower dances came into play.

Now the hottest entertainment has become the VIP or Champagne Room. Customers pay for privacy with the dancer of their choice. The prices range from fifty to one hundred dollars per hour and higher. The dancer can make more through tips and the club earns more by selling high priced refreshments. It is fair to say that it would not be unusual for entertainment in these rooms to run over three hundred dollars for 1 hour. What happens in these rooms? Lap dances, excessive touching, and maybe occasionally the dancer will run into a 'nice guy' that wants conversation.

An exotic dancer from Tennessee explained her experience with a customer in a VIP Room, "I have a customer that expects me to discuss various sexual acts while he covers his lap with a jacket and masturbates. After he's satisfied he tips me for my time and walks away calling me names. He does this twice a week!"

An exotic dancer from Mississippi shares her experience in the Champagne/VIP Room, "I have learned to accept that this is the only way I will make enough money to take care of my children and work my way through college. I can only work 4 days per week. Any more than that and it whittles away at my psyche---my nerves can't handle it. I'm too emotional and crabby when I push my limit. I've written a thesis comparing modern day strip clubs to bordellos during The Roman Empire. Did you know that during that period the bordellos were large open rooms where patrons and prostitutes engaged in sexual acts? Eventually wealthy customers paid for privacy with folding screens and later rooms were built for 'more privacy' for the elite. Do you see the comparison? It's no wonder that the exotic dancers that work in strip clubs are now seen as prostitutes, some may be proud to say they are! I am not a prostitute. I will perform a lap dance, but I won't do 'extras.' My tips reflect the decision not to exceed my personal boundaries. Lap dancing is considered to be prostitution because some customers can be sexually satisfied with this type of stimulation. I never take it that far."

My opinion is that the walls of the VIP or Champagne Rooms should come down. I don't like them---and I don't like what they represent. Whose idea was it to build these walls and allow the customer more privacy? Why should they feel they are entitled to more privacy, more contact? In a fast paced microwave-world have we become a society that treats exotic entertainment as if it were a TV dinner? Are the dancers that work in these establishments expected to be 'hot and ready' for an endless demand of quick satisfaction? The walls of VIP/Champagne Rooms represent prostitution! I say, "Knock 'em down!"

Basically the customers believe for higher prices they will get 'extras'. Yes, some customers expect sex in these rooms. Some customers are being misled and some may get what they ask for!

A dancer from New Jersey informed me, "I don't care if we talk about private dances, lap dances, table dances, couch dances, wall dances, bed dances or whatever.... Anything more than an air dance is sexual contact! The dancers are now conditioned to give the customer more on the floor than on the stage. This is why dollars at the tip rail have disappeared. Some clubs now have the dancer walk around the room after a stage set and collect, or should I say 'beg' for tips! Now, how classy can that be? That is totally crazy! If a customer wants to tip---they will approach the stage. It's not necessary to put the customer on the spot by sending each dancer around the room to beg like a dog. In some clubs the stage has been purposely made inaccessible to the customer. The customer will not tip a dancer on stage when they can save that tip for more contact during a personal performance."

I feel that the clubs that offer more contact on the floor have cheapened the entertainment and the dignity of the dancer. Exotic dancers are entertainers, not prostitutes. It is tragic that the dancers starting in this business are led to believe that this is the way it has always been. Ladies, it has not!

A customer declared, "Real men will wear a condom before receiving a lap dance. That way you won't embarrass yourself or the dancer!"

Excuse me? I don't believe this customer is looking for erotic entertainment from a dancer. He is entering a strip club with the preconceived notion that he will be sexually stimulated and satisfied for the same dollar that he uses to tip a waitress that brings his drink to the table.

A reminder to ALL: The thrill is in the tease---- not the please! It's a dance of seduction and mystery. That is the illusion and fantasy. That's the thrill! Stripping and exotic dancing are not about instant satisfaction. It is art and entertainment.

I have heard arguments on both sides of the fence concerning this subject. An 'air dance' is a dance with distance, meaning NO CONTACT.

Exotic dancers have asked, "Can I rest my leg or foot on the customer's thigh, throw it over their shoulder, or put my hands on their chest? What if the customer touches my leg with his hand?"

My first thoughts were --- I don't have a problem with that! Ultimately, I've decided I do and this is why: The problem begins when you have 20 to 30 dancers competing for the potential tips in the club. Somebody is always going to have to do a little more to earn that tip. How far will that dancer go?

When a customer gets the extra efforts and attentions of one exotic dancer, how many will see this and expect the same treatment? If not from the exotic dancer doing 'extras', but another that they choose? Do you see the problem?

Customers are now saying, "I want what she done for them! If they'll do it, you should too!"

'Good Business' is pleasing the customer by offering great erotic entertainment, but let's not take it past the personal preferences and comfort levels of the exotic dancer.

Every exotic dancer is an individual. They are not the same! They are not paper dolls cut from the same pattern or substance. Exotic dancers have likes, dislikes, and personal boundaries.

Where do we draw the line? Can we stop the decline of the strip clubs today? Some have become desensitized by physical contact in strip clubs because it is common practice. Is it legal? If not, why does it continue?

A famous ex-feature dancer of 20 years stated, "The customers that come into the clubs these days have missed out on the hottest entertainment ever known!

Sex is after all the driving force in all of us! It moves women just as much as it does men. We all have fantasies. Exotic dance clubs, strip clubs, show bars, whatever you want to call them use to be the hottest, most erotic places to be ANYWHERE! Sexually open-minded men and women would flock to the clubs for this one-of-a-kind fun that they couldn't get anywhere else.

I remember when the money in clubs was so easy to make that nobody had to hustle! The girls were not under pressure to make a buck and that gave them time to sit with the customer and be charming. I remember customers/friends would come by the club to have one drink and end up staying until closing time. Many of the regular customers were part of the family. Needless to say we had parties like you would not believe. The whole experience was erotic, sensual, and totally exciting because we took the time to know our customers so well that we knew exactly what they wanted and in most cases what they needed. I remember when going to work was like going to a party and nothing like work at all.

Since the clubs were so much fun and the fantasies were so exotic the customers would pack the club every night!

We were good! I mean we were really good!

Imagine if you can....

You have worked all day, just got paid and you know you have to go home soon but---you deserve 'something special'! There is a place where you can go and forget about everything. You're in a place where you feel comfortable and relaxed. You'll go to your favorite table and a waitress who already knows what you drink has brought it without having to order. A beautiful young exotic dancer notices you (and knows you by name) she stops by to say how happy she is to see you again. You ask her if she would like a drink, and from that moment she is fulfilling all your wildest fantasies. Yes, you know you will end up spending some of that paycheck before you leave, but you do not care. She will have been worth every bit. She is skilled! She is talented! She knows exactly what you need. She is so good at what she does and you'll actually have her on your mind all the next day. You can't wait to come back and when you do she will ready for more!

Those days are gone. Sorry! Somebody thought it would be a good idea to put in a Champagne Room and messed everything up! The dumbest idea ever thought of---because those walls are put there to RIP YOU GUYS OFF! It makes you think that you'll get more if you go there, but all it does is cause you to get LESS. The atmosphere changed from fun and erotic to sleazy and cheap. The dancers do not make money like they used to so now they must hustle. There are fewer customers in the clubs and now the clubs have to take the money from the girls to survive.

Nobody is really having fun! All the fantasy is gone! Funny thing is the club owner put in the VIP/Champagne Rooms to find a way to get more of your money. In the long run they cut their own throats. Less quality customers, less money on the floor, more sleazy behavior, less fantasy, less liquor sales, etc.!

The young girls who now come into the clubs have no idea how to be erotic. They feel pressure from the moment they walk in the door to pay the house fees before they can even earn a dollar. I would hate to be the first customer that walks in the club. You know the girls are all going to 'hit and run' as fast as they can. They have to! They will not remember your face, or your name. They are too busy trying to hide the sleaziness that's going on for a lousy buck!

The customers are doomed! A quick unsatisfying 'power trip' will be the best you'll get now. All because of those damn VIP/Champagne rooms and contact dances. Lap grinding is not an art! The art of the fantasy and the fun of the show bars are gone. The clubs make less money so they have turned it into a brothel atmosphere. The legal system puts more pressure on the clubs and the pressure is then passed down to the customer.

Someone who knows what I am talking about PLEASE bring back the ways of the old clubs. Tell these young dancers how it should be done and how much money they really can earn. DO IT FOR THE SAKE OF THESE MEN THAT HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THEY'RE MISSING!"

To amplify from a customer's perspective, "An exotic dancer listens attentively to you, she is interested in you, she is very pretty, and she makes you feel good about yourself. She may even be sincere about all that. And just to make it really tough, she gets undressed and does a very nice job of getting you aroused.

That's her job. Her job is encompassed by the time for which you pay her and by the walls that she works within. Her job with you stops when she stops getting tipped. So does the active fantasy of this vision of femininity."

Strip bars are strictly entertainment. If a customer is looking for 'real sex' they need to get it from someone they know and trust. Those that look for sex in a strip club are asking for trouble---if they find it! Do customers and exotic dancers, as educated adults, realize the risks of unprotected sex? Pregnancy, STD's, AIDS, and a list of several other communicable diseases are the consequences of reality, not fantasy.

Another customer added, "Sometimes it isn't that the guy expects to find someone in a club. It's just that it becomes a very personal thing, getting that kind of attention, and it's difficult for the guy to disassociate the business attention from what he's feeling at that very personal level. But disassociate we must.

I also suspect that this becomes most common with the extremes, the very nice guys and the very creepy guys. The very nice guy starts to genuinely care about the dancer who is being so nice to him. The very creepy guy gets his own internal obsessiveness going, pretty much for his own self-directed purposes."

A veteran dancer in Florida stated, "Before the entertainment was never that intimate at the strip clubs. Something happened to the strip clubs when the lap dancing came on the scene. In my humble opinion--Once touching begins a line is crossed and it is no longer a fantasy. There were days when we played topless volleyball and the customers would tip to spray the sand off of the ladies with a garden hose. We also performed oil wrestling. Those were the days of fun and games. The dancers actually performed a stage show and the customers enjoyed seeing something spectacular, something they couldn't get at home. I am so tired of hearing about dancers that are bored on stage and the fact that they no longer get decent tips during their performance. We all know why this is happening, but I doubt if the current situation in the strip clubs will change. Exotic dancing is no longer fun or entertaining."State and local governments are now using prostitution laws to bust clubs and exotic dancers:

CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE SECTION 653.20-653.28 653.20.
For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) "Commit prostitution" means to engage in sexual conduct for money or other consideration, but does not include sexual conduct engaged in as a part of any stage performance, play, or other entertainment open to the public.

San Bernadino, California: California Penal Code - Section 647 (b) says prostitution is 'any lewd act between persons for money or other considerations.' Clarifying that to be 'lewd' an act must be done 'with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify.'

ALASKA Alaska Statutes. Title 11. Criminal Law Chapter 66.
Offenses Against Public Health and Decency Section 100. Prostitution AS 11.66.100. Prostitution.
(a) A person commits the crime of prostitution if the person engages in or agrees or offers to engage in sexual conduct in return for a fee.
(b) Prostitution is a class B misdemeanor.

Georgia 16-6-9. Prostitution.
A person commits the offense of prostitution when he performs or offers or consents to perform an act of sexual intercourse for money. A person convicted of the offense of prostitution shall be punished as for a misdemeanor..
16-6-10. Keeping a place of prostitution.
A person having or exercising control over the use of any place or conveyance which would offer seclusion or shelter for the practice of prostitution commits the offense of keeping a place of prostitution when he knowingly grants or permits the use of such place for the purpose of prostitution. A person convicted of the offense of keeping a place of prostitution shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature..
16-6-11. Pimping.
A person commits the offense of pimping when he performs any of the following acts:
1.Offers or agrees to procure a prostitute for another;
2.Offers or agrees to arrange a meeting of persons for the purpose of prostitution;
3.Directs another to a place knowing such direction is for the purpose of prostitution;
4.Receives money or other thing of value from a prostitute, without lawful consideration, knowing it was earned in whole or in part from prostitution; or
5.Aids or abets, counsels, or commands another in the commission of prostitution or aids or assists in prostitution where the proceeds or profits derived therefrom are to be divided on a pro rata basis. A person convicted of the offense of pimping shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.
16-6-16. Masturbation for hire.
(a) A person, including a masseur or masseuse, commits the offense of masturbation for hire when he erotically stimulates the genital organs of another, whether resulting in orgasm or not, by manual or other bodily contact exclusive of sexual intercourse or by instrumental manipulation for money or the substantial equivalent thereof.
(b) A person convicted of the offense of masturbation for hire shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
16-6-17. Giving massages in place used for lewdness, prostitution, assignation, or masturbation for hire.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any masseur or masseuse to massage any person in any building, structure, or place used for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, prostitution, or masturbation for hire.
(b) As used in this Code section, the term:
1."Masseur" means a male who practices massage or physiotherapy, or both.
2."Masseuse" means a female who practices massage or physiotherapy, or both.
(c) A person who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Nebraska Prostitution; penalty. 28-801.
(1) Any person who performs, offers, or agrees to perform any act of sexual penetration, as defined in subdivision (6) of section 28-318, with any person not his or her spouse in exchange for money or other thing of value commits prostitution.
(2) Prostitution is a Class I misdemeanor.

Kansas Statutes Annotated
Volume No. 2A Article 35.-SEX OFFENSES
Article 36.-CRIMES AFFECTING FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS AND CHILDREN
21-3512. Prostitution.
1.Prostitution is performing for hire, or offering or agreeing to perform for hire where there is an exchange of value, any of the following acts: Sexual intercourse; sodomy; or manual or other bodily contact stimulation of the genitals of any person with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of the offender or another.
2.Prostitution is a class B misdemeanor.

Missouri's definition of Prostitution:
"Prostitution", a person commits prostitution if he engages or offers or agrees to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for something of value to be received by the person or by a third person.

1998 Wisconsin decision (State v. Kittilstad) that, 'As long as someone compensates another for engaging in nonmarital sex, the elements of prostitution are met.'

The clubs have declined because of the 'extras' that sometimes occur. Customers suffer due to the lack of quality entertainment, high-pressure atmosphere, and rising costs. Dancers suffer because they are forced to perpetuate a pressured atmosphere to support their basic needs. They also suffer the risks of club raids and illegal charges on permanent records that can influence future employment and their personal life. Club owners suffer while they fill their pockets to pay fines and legal fees to lawyers and local governments. Negative publicity that captures the attention of media, hurt ALL involved.

So, what is the solution to the problem? The way I see it, unless things change the clubs will be branded as bordellos filled with fast and cheap high-pressure carnival thrills. Who wants that? Who can relax in that atmosphere and enjoy a beautiful, intelligent woman blessed with the gift of delivering a dance of erotic seduction?

Exotic dancers are hustling for tips that they should've received on stage and dances that are cheapened by lap grinding. How erotic can it be to watch a dancer grind one lap and then another? I know I paint a dark picture, but this is the reality. It's sad and it's unnecessary.

Wouldn't it be better to walk into a club where the customer does not feel pressured or hurried to pull out their wallet? Take a seat and relax. If you want company, the choice is yours by simply asking the dancer to come over after tipping her on stage. No pressure! That would be great!

Good business means good service! Strip clubs should not copy a 'fast food' approach. If this is the mentality strip clubs adopt, wouldn't it be wise to remember that the customer is allowed to order the food they would like to eat before it is shoved in their face?

I wish the customers would jump up and say, "We're not going to take this anymore! We want something better for our money!" The dancers that are 'true entertainers' would be very happy.

Another customer shared these words: "I went to a club recently. I was in the VERY ACT of sitting down, and a dancer shoved me the rest of the way into my chair and asked if I wanted a dance. I wasn't ready! Hell, I'd never set eyes on this girl before. Then she constantly checked every few minutes. She wouldn't take the time to get to know me or help me feel comfortable. So, I wonder what happened to the build-up, the innocent flirting that used to play a major role at the clubs? Yes, you know what I'm talking about."

Some customers miss the emotional and physical thrill that they experienced at the strip clubs of yesterday. Some customers agreed that the tease and playfulness were the best part of the entertainment.

An ex-patron of strip clubs shared these thoughts with me, "I used to visit the clubs three to four times per week. I stopped when the atmosphere became too pushy and pornographic. I have no desire to watch porno stars urinate on stage or each other! I struggle to find the talent in that type of performance. Some men may like this, but I do not. I receive more pleasure watching a beautiful woman dance seductively, especially a woman that does it well. I like a dancer that makes me laugh. I appreciate intelligent conversation with a woman that has something to say. I'm put-off by pushy dancers. Innocent flirting is foreplay!"

A customer offered this conclusion: "I've enjoyed some lap dances here in the recent past. 'Enjoyed' isn't quite the right verb. I'm not sure it's legal to feel that nice.

But on to these points: It's more than strip clubs. It's a societal thing that's driven by the need to constantly push the envelope in the competition within the free market. It's also driven by a driving consumerism sensibility, that we want more, more, more!

That is all part of the human instinct to make life continually more pleasurable and more convenient. We see that in the clubs, in home entertainment, in cars, in TV shows. And there's a good example, too. When you can see butts and breasts in prime time, you're going to want to expect to see more or get closer in clubs as well than you ever have before.

I don't have an answer. I think it's just part of what drives us, good and bad. There's a balance to everything. From a guy's standpoint, lap dances do feel nicer than watching someone on a stage. But it also feels worse when the parting occurs. You can't feel as close to the dancer on stage as you can the dancer on your lap. That's a good and bad thing.

I think the market and consumers (or local laws) will ultimately dictate. When the consumers gravitate back to stages and simply decline lap dances, you'll have fewer lap dancers and more exotic dancers that perform on stages. But will that happen? Who knows?"

A Violation of Human Rights:
An exotic dancer from South Carolina wrote, "I hate it when customers take the tip and touch my skin and think they are being seductive. It upsets me when they think it will arouse me if they blow on my behind or anywhere else for that matter! I've had customers that licked me and tried to suck on my breasts! NASTY! A club owner banned me from the club because I kicked a customer for biting me on the ass! I will not tolerate men that think they have the right to touch me and that I should allow it because I'm an exotic dancer. Do they think because I am an exotic dancer that I am not real? Does this profession make me sub-human?"

When we patronize our local retail stores to purchase a product---we buy that product on the manufacturer's terms and the terms of the merchant. When we walk into our local grocery store and select a piece of fruit to purchase and consume---do we lick, suck, or take a bite out of every item in the bin? NO! We would be arrested or taken to the nearest mental facility and placed under evaluation.

Exotic dancers are not products waiting to be bought at your local strip club. They are not pieces of fruit waiting to be tasted, licked, or sucked! Exotic dancers provide a service of entertainment, a 'dance of seduction' on their terms---not the terms of the customer to be negotiated at their discretion. If they want this service on the dancer's terms---so be it! If not, they may leave.

When a customer touches an exotic dancer against her will they violate the dancer's HUMAN RIGHTS. The customer is sending a clear signal by crossing this boundary. Exotic dancers have the right to defend and protect themselves. Exotic dancers are 'real people' with feelings!

Melissa Farley, PhD offers this definition of prostitution at http://www.prostitutionresearch.com

Prostitution is:
a) sexual harassment
b) rape
c) battering
d) verbal abuse
e) domestic violence
f) a racist practice
g) a violation of human rights
h) childhood sexual abuse
i) a consequence of male domination of women
j) a means of maintaining male domination of women
k) all of the above

"The commercial sex industry includes street prostitution, massage brothels, escort services, outcall services, strip clubs, lap dancing, phone sex, adult and child pornography, video and internet pornography, and prostitution tourism. Most women who are in prostitution for longer than a few months drift among these various permutations of the commercial sex industry. All prostitution causes harm to women. Whether it is being sold by one's family to a brothel, or whether it is being sexually abused in one's family, running away from home, and then being pimped by one's boyfriend, or whether one is in college and needs to pay for next semester's tuition and one works at a strip club behind glass where men never actually touch you - all these forms of prostitution hurt the women in it." (Melissa Farley, paper presented at the 11th International Congress on Women's Health Issues, University of California College of Nursing, San Francisco. 1-28-2000)

Now I will leave you with more questions and a final thought:
Who should decide the fate of the strip clubs? Can those that work in the adult entertainment profession on a daily basis find a solution---a realistic plan that is acceptable and beneficial for club owners, exotic dancers, and customers? Exotic dancers, are your human rights being violated? The answers are inside of each one of us, and it is decided by where we as individuals draw the line.

Thank you.
Rose Garten
rosegarten@ainews.com

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