Thou shalt not strip

You all may have noticed the banners for the movie Devil’s Den in rotation this week. It stars Kelly Hu, Ken Foree and Devon Sawa and is described by Amazon as, “Two small time drug-dealers cross paths with a female-assassin, a monster hunter, a Japanese swordsman and even the Devil himself at a gentlemen’s club housing murderous she-demons.” The slogan for Devil’s Den is “The final battle for the souls of mankind will be fought in a bar full of possessed strippers.” This is not only a deeply awesome slogan, but it reminded me that I had a great article by Sara X to post for your reading pleasure in honor of Devil’s Den. –Amelia G

Sara X looks awesome upside down by Photography Third Eye

I’m not a stripper. Really, I’m not. To say that I am a stripper would be to imply that I actually take my clothes off when I dance, which I don’t. In fact, to do so and be caught would result in a ticket for solicitation, a hefty fine, court fees, and a prostitution charge on my permanent record. So why do people, both men and women, pay enough to see me dance that I can live in the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed? I’ve spent the past year and a half wondering that myself.

What I do is known around here as “go-go”. When I hear that term I think bouffant hairdos, psychadelic colors, white vinyl knee-high boots and maybe even a little James Bond. In larger cities, go-go dancers are girls who are paid a flat rate to dance in a club, usually on a box, usually scantily clad. From what I’ve heard, the city is so against any sort of gentleman’s club that the clubs were termed “go-go bar” in order to seem more innocuous. The laws here are strict- it’s not just stripping that’s illegal. These laws are enforced by a peculiarly reclusive branch of the Alcoholic Beverage Control that is known simply as “Vice”. The type of bar you work in can be determined by how well they follow these rules. In some ways, it would appear that a go-go bar isn’t so different from any other strip club after all.

If one or two of the laws are strictly adhered to, you work in an okay bar. Someone usually tips off the owners when Vice is coming in. Vice is usually fat, sweaty, covered in bad tattoos, wearing a wrinkled rayon shirt, doesn’t tip, and virtuallly indistinguishable from at least half of the other patrons.

If all of the laws are strictly adhered to, you work in a real dump. The city wants very badly to be rid of the place so that someone else can come along and give them free drugs. Oops I mean adhere to their laws.

If none of the laws are even remotely adhered to, then your boss is filling the nasal cavities of and providing private parties for every branch of government that could possibly find beef with him at any point. Extra points if your boss, his close friends or relatives never go to jail. Even if they’ve probably killed someone. In the parking lot.

I’ve never been able to procure a copy of the actual laws outlining The Do’s and Don’ts of Virginia Go-Go, right now I don’t have to worry about it (I’ve already danced at a retirement party for some city official this year but hey, city officials can’t been seen in that sort of establishment so why not open it just for them for the afternoon and provide dancers free of charge?!). From what I have gathered working in six area bars it’s like this:

1.) Thou shalt not strip. In fact, if thou art seen taking off even a coverup on the stage area, thou shalt be smited with a fine of $500 or more, a date in court, court fees, lawyer fees, and a charge on thy permanent record. If thy club chooses to make thee pay their fees as well, thou art fucked.

2.) Thou shalt not mimic sexual acts while dancing. We recommend polka lessons or that Michael Flatley “Riverdance”.

3.) Thou shalt not touch thy genitalia, breasts, posterior, or any article of clothing while in the stage area. This includes spanking thyself. To do so will result in neverending fees. Nevermind that if thy bottoms are seen riding up thine ass, thou shalt be smited with aforementioned ticket, fees, etc. We call this “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”.

4.) Thou shalt wear a coverup at all times while not on the stage area. Coverups must be opaque and cover from neck to mid-thigh.

5.) Thou shalt wear full tops and full bottoms at all times. We’re not too sure about the guidelines for the top as long as there’s no nipple showing, or the front of thy bottoms as long as there is no vagina showing, but as far as the rear of the bottoms go, thou shalt not intimate that thou hast an asscrack, nor shalt thou show the bottom of thy buttcheeks. This means bootyshorts are illegal. Whoever made up the “must be at least four inches across” rule was lying to thee. Putting a safety pin or a permanent cinch in the back of thy bottoms to prevent “the diaper look” is illegal. Basically We wanteth thou to wear granny panties. In order to be legal, thou must use school glue or two-sided garment tape to make thy bottoms stick to thy butt. No, We are not joking.

6.) Thou shalt not bring props onto the stage. We do not know why. But We shall still fine thee for it.

7.) Thou shalt not dance with another dancer, touch another dancer, share the stage area with another dancer, and ESPECIALLY not imitate sex acts with another dancer. To do so shall result in making an unholy amount of money, instant death, and/or fines that will take all of your money whilst making thee wish thou were dead.

8.) Thou shalt not sit idle on the stage. This is to discourage thee from talking to thy customers. To do so is to solicit prostitution. Somehow. And thou can bet thine ass We shall fine thee mightily for it.

9.) Thou shalt not at any time even when on the floor area touch a customer. To do so is to be giving a lapdance. Fines, fines, more fines. Then We shall shut down thy bar.

Oh. Also, thou shalt not be touched by a customer. It doesn’t matter if thou didn’t solicit his or her touch. We shall still write thee a ticket for solicitation.

10.) Thou shalt always remember the line between the stage and the customers, known as the “tip rail”. Thou shalt not cross this line with any part of thy body, even a foot, at any time. To do so wouldst make thou a prostitute, and We shall mark you as such for the rest of thy born days. Forget ever having a goverment job.

Any time you violate these laws, you are pulled offstage, a Polaroid is taken of you, your offending garment (where applicable) and you are written a citation. That’s not even going into the health code laws. Those begin with “Thou shalt never be barefoot in thy bar”, cover the requisite “Thou shalt not put bodily fluids in anything served in thy bar”, continuing on forever, reiterating some ABC laws, ending with “Thou shalt not bring animals into thy bar”. I was wondering who would even violate the last one, up until management found me guilty of being late to get onstage due to excessive hormones and baby talk directed at someone’s tiny fluffy five-week old kitten in the dressing room.


Posted by on February 28, 2007. Filed under Blue Blood. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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