Skip to comments.LAP DANCE RULES: Strippers want to be heard
Posted on 08/04/2002 1:50:18 PM PDT by Willie Green
For education and discussion only. Not for commercial use.
Though strip club operators and politicians seem generally happy with new lap dancing rules adopted by the Clark County Commission last week, some exotic dancers say they are fed up with what they call greedy club owners, misguided politicians and overzealous police officers.
And, they say, they are going to march on the County Commission next month to make sure their complaints are heard.
"What we needed was a rallying point, a point where they pushed us too far," said stripper Andrea Hackett. "We have no intention of backing down just because the club owners made a compromise with the county."
Hackett, 49, who works at Master's Gentlemen's Club, said she has gathered 127 other dancers from an estimated 5,000 in the Las Vegas Valley and formed the Las Vegas Dancers Alliance, of which she is president.
The group, which Hackett and other members expect to grow significantly, formed as Clark County commissioners in recent weeks debated strengthening laws that govern what is and isn't allowed in strip clubs in the county's jurisdiction.
Though the outright barring of any contact between patrons and dancers was considered, commissioners consulted with club attorneys and ultimately agreed on less-stringent rules.
The new rules bar anyone under 21 from performing in clubs that serve alcohol, forbid a dancer's breasts from coming into contact with any part of a customer's body, and prohibit customers from placing tips in a dancer's G-string.
"It's going to decrease our cash flow even more, and we've been hurting terribly since 9-11," Hackett said.
The group plans a protest rally for Sept. 1, the day the new laws are set to take effect. Designed as part of a voter registration and "door-to-door information drive," the rally is scheduled for 1 p.m. that day at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, Hackett said.
Stripper Jodi Roessle, 23, said she hopes the march opens people's eyes.
"We're not hurting anybody," said Roessle, who works at Deja Vu Showgirls. "There's no victim in this crime. I don't really understand how this helps anyone. It's only hurting people."
Not everyone is sympathetic to the arguments.
"What these girls don't understand is that the county could have said, `Hey, we're going to shut you down,' " said Dolores Eliades, manager of Olympic Garden, a strip club in Las Vegas city limits.
She said although club owners, including her father, aren't entirely happy about the new rules, particularly the under-21 rule, they realize there's not much they can do about it.
"The truth is, we live in a society of laws and rules, and we have to follow them," she said, adding that Olympic Garden will be opening a club in the next few months in the county's jurisdiction. "I understand what the county is doing."
Both Eliades and Hackett said the rule forbidding girls under 21 from working in clubs that serve alcohol will almost certainly drive them to strip in all-nude "juice bars."
"These girls will end up in totally nude places," said Eliades. "If that's not bad enough, they'll end up working for an escort service, or even out on the street."
Lakeisha Robinson, 20, a stripper at Deja Vu Showgirls and a member of the new group, said she has "no idea" where she'll work once the new rules go into effect.
"I've been running all over the place trying to find a job," she said.
Robinson said there are other women in similar situations, and she agreed that some of them might turn to the streets for work.
"People think we have a problem with prostitution in Las Vegas now," she said. "Well, it's going to get worse. These girls have to pay their bills."
She said she needs to make at least $2,500 a month to pay her bills. Other strippers have said they make as much as $100 an hour working at some of the valley's high-end clubs.
Prior to last week's adoption of the new rules, lap dancing was technically illegal in unincorporated Clark County. The law was virtually unenforceable, however, because a court said it was too vague.
Regardless, Hackett and the strippers say they need to get organized. The club owners, the politicians and the police all had a say in the new rules, but, said Hackett, the dancers did not.
"Nobody represented the strippers in all that," she said. "The strippers are the ones who are going to be taken to jail. The strippers are going to be the ones who lose their (work cards). The strippers are going to be the ones harassed by the cops."
She denied that a move to organize is a move to unionize.
"We have no intention of starting a union," she said. "This is simply to protect dancers."
But, she said, the alliance is clearly going to be a political organization.
In a letter she wrote to County Commissioner Yvonne Atkinson Gates, the force behind the move to strengthen the rules, Hackett said the alliance's "efforts are just beginning."
"It is our view," the letter states, "that the larger constituency in Clark County does not approve of your efforts to restrict lap dancing and we intend to tap into that constituency."
She also emphasized the dancers' collective economic power.
"There are 5,000 unorganized dancers in this town. We plan to change that into 5,000 organized dancers," she said."
Sweet. No cover charge or two-drink minimum.
I'd rather see them!! LOL
Sounds to me like the county's trying to run strip clubs outta business. Kickbacks from the brothels, maybe?
I'll sure it will receive lots of discussion. As far as having educational or commercial use? Questionable!
Unfortunately, there weren't any provided with the article.
So I figgered I'd just kick back and relax, and enjoy the ones that are sure to appear shortly.
"It's nobody, honey, just the Jehova's Witnesses again. I'll, um, be in the den listening to their spiel."
Hmm. I hope you've obtained BellaBru's "rock solid support" of your stand. LOL!
On the other hand, as generally having a libertarian bent, I believe that such "interpersonal" activities should be regulated only to the extent as necessary to protect public health (i.e. the brothels are strictly regulated by the health department). I find the non-stop gambling scene and the flaunting of the tremendous amounts of money to build fantasy palaces on the Las Vegas strip much more personally repulsive than whether a woman shakes her breasts in a man's face. Given the other legal activities in the community, I find the county's action hypocritical at best.
By permission of Mrs. Jokar.
Strippers should be seen but not heard.
Still, they might find stiff opposition.
Keeping abreast of this story :-)
My dad always told me that 'children were to be seen and not heard.'
It seems the same would apply here.
Okay by me. I'd rather not have to know what a 49-year-old stripper looks like. I've seen Cher. That's probably close enough.