I was reading this article on the BBC site yesterday. It describes the very real problems that surround pole/lap dancing clubs and the status of the girls who work within them.
First there’s the complete lack of regulation regarding the location of clubs. I like many people don’t see a problem with properly licensed clubs opening in appropriate neighbourhoods. But In the same way that I wouldn’t want a manufacturing plant to open at the bottom of our quiet road, or a shopping centre to replace the village green I don’t think it’s unreasonable to object to a lap dancing club in a residential area.
The problem is that a few years ago, in a bid to make regulation of venues in general more interesting the government made it easier to apply for and be granted planning permission. The huge and ridiculous loophole in the law was that the legislation means the nature of the business is ignored and a table dancing bar is, in the eyes of the law, regarded as any other bar.
This quite obviously isn’t the case. The clientele in a pole dancing venue are by definition very different from those you’d find in a village or even suburban pub. I’m not saying all the opinions voiced in the article/video are valid with regards to sexual harassment, prostitution etc, but I can’t view an establishment of that nature to be suitable outside a more entertainment oriented district.
I’m not in favour of draconian zoning legislation as introduced in New York, but there’s a common sense, middle ground that should be sought in this case.
In a similar fashion there’s the second problem of the classification of the workers in these bars. They are none too keen to be referred to as sex workers. And if you consider that in a properly run establishment sex and sexual services should not occur they certainly have a point.
However the performers are there to entertain and sexually arouse. Sorry girls what you do sexually arouses men and some women. That’s why you get paid. That doesn’t have to mean the performers are cheap or sordid in the way they conduct themselves, it’s just that Shock Horror! Speaking as a bloke a good looking young girl jiggling her bit in my face is going to provoke a sexual reaction.
What we need is another classification that allows a distinction between performers in pole dancing clubs and the men and women who do engage in sexual performances