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Club FAQ's Answered

There are many questions in the world of strip clubs but I seem to get the same ones a lot. I have collected questions regarding strip clubs, clubbing, dancers, and even this website, and put them into this FAQ page.  There's no way that I can cover everything here but it's a good way for you to get started in getting to know more about this industry and subject matter.

Please check here and read carefully before you send me e-mail asking about something already answered.

Thanks for conserving bandwidth on the Internet.

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How old do I have to be?

You have to be 18 to go to nude clubs and 21 to go to most topless clubs. Legally, a topless club that serves alcohol could allow under 21 year olds to enter and keep track of who not to serve alcohol to but few clubs (if any) want to take a chance with this and I do not know of any at this time.

If you are a dancer or waitress and you are under 21, there maybe topless (alcohol) clubs that allow you to work there but I am not aware of any at this time. Again, legally, they are allowed to do so but they are risking their liquor license if they are caught serving you.

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What is the average cover charge?

The cover charge can vary from nothing (i.e. free) to $20 for special events or more. Usually, bikini and topless clubs are either free or about $5 to $10 (depending on the day and time of day). Nude clubs are usually $5 to $20 (depending on the day and time of day), which may include the cost of one or two drinks. Sometimes, clubs will raise their cover charge for special events, like adult video features or VIP parties.

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Are there drink minimums?

At nude clubs, there are usually drink minimums. Some require you to purchase your 1 or 2 drink minimum up front at the door, while others require you to buy at least one drink per hour. Generally speaking, the "chain" clubs tend to be more aggressive with the waitresses pushing drinks. One trick I've used in the past, was to give the cost of a drink directly to the waitress as a tip (without ordering a drink), and told her to just leave me alone.

If you are at a alcohol club, they cannot force you to buy an alcoholic drink by law.  However, they can force you to buy a non-alcoholic drink.  If you are the designated driver, they will usually give you a soft drink for free. 

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Where should I sit?

If you are a newbie to strip clubs, I would suggest you sit right at the rail on the stage and enjoy yourself. Tip generously and the dancers will show you what you want to see.

If you've been there and done that, sit off stage and observe the private dances and the dancers as they interact with their regular customers. The way a dancer treats her regular customer is a good indicator of what is potentially possible for you after you get to know her a little bit. If you are interested in one particular dancer, sit on her stage only when she is dancing, then sit off stage when she is done. This shows her that you are only interested in her and you can also ask her to come talk to you off stage right after her set as she's collecting her tips from you.

If you are a real perv, you can sit near the dressing room and peek in as they enter or exit and see if you can actually see some nekkid women!

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How much money should I bring?

That depends on the type of club you are going to. If you are going to a bikini or topless club where you probably won't be getting lap dances, you will need no more than $50 unless you're buying drinks for everyone. If you're going to a nude lap factory, you will probably need at least $200 to be safe and there is no upper limit. Of course, you can always use the club's ATM machine but they often charge extra for the use so it's better to bring cash.

Some clubs do allow you to buy lap dances with your credit card by purchasing funny money, or chips.  But check to make sure they do not expire and keep in mind that they cannot be used elsewhere for other reasons.

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How long should I stay?

Again, this will depend on the club. If you are just relaxing with friends at a topless club, you might stay for many hours and eat, watch TV or play pool. I have stayed at topless or bikini clubs for 10 or more hours with friends. If you are going to a nude lap factory and you already have a specific dancer you are interested in, it may only take a few minutes to find her, then get your lap dances from her. However, usually, if you are new to the club, you will have to wait a rotation, or at least an hour to see who is available for lap dances. So all in all, it may take an hour or 2.

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What club should I go to near LAX?

This depends on what you are looking for. If you want to go to a nice looking nude club (no alcohol) with good lookers and a little contact, try Bare Elegance. If you want real close up nude views in your face and no contact, try Century Lounge. If you want heavy contact and nasty dances, go to Jet Strip. If you want to drink alcohol, there's only one place near LAX to go: Wild Goose.

There's no shortage of strip clubs near LAX.

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What good clubs are near John Wayne Airport?

Mermaids used to be the closest club but it is now closed. Ecstasy is the next closest club.

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What good clubs are near the Ontario Airport?

Tropical Lei and Deja Vu, Ontario are both good clubs to checkout. Read my reviews of both clubs before going. It might be too nasty for some people.

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What good clubs are near the Oxnard Airport?

Spearmint Rhino is the only club worth talking about in that area. Read my review.

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What good clubs are near the Santa Monica Airport?

Fantasy Island and Plan B are the closest bikini club with alcohol to this airport and Silver Reign, Skin and 4 Play are the closest nude clubs.

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What good clubs are near the Burbank Airport?

There are no clubs in Burbank (and probably never will). However, Players in Sun Valley is only 3 freeway exits from the Burbank airport.

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What good clubs are near Disneyland?

Flamingo and Sahara are nude clubs not too far away and if you want alcohol, Fritz, That's Too is a nice club to checkout and is very close. You can tell your wife you need to get your pants pressed while she and the kids ride the rides.

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What clubs are near the downtown Los Angeles Convention Center and Staples Center?

There is only one topless club in downtown Los Angeles: Sam's Hof Brau. It's topless with alcohol and a nice hangout with some good lookers. If you want to have a drink with your co-workers after a convention or Lakers game, this might be what you're looking for. As with other topless clubs, don't expect anything too nasty going on there. If you want nude, try PlayPen, The Score or Spearmint Rhino. Check my reviews before you go anywhere.

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Are there any clubs in the San Bernardino area?

NAME CITY PHONE TYPE COMMENTS
Another Angel's Corona (909) 371-9738 Topless
Club 215 Colton (909) 824-2971 Topless See my review
Deja Vu Ontario (909) 627-9806 Nude See my review
Fantasy Theater Colton (909) 370-1574 Topless See my review
Spearmint Rhino Upland (909) 946-5378 Bikini See my review
Spearmint Rhino Rialto (909) 873-2257 Nude See my review
Temptations Riverside (909) 682-0511 Nude See my review
Sports Club Redlands (909) 798-6330 Topless
Tropical Lei Upland (909) 985-1575 Nude See my review
Villa Theater Ontario (909) 986-3607 Nude See my review

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Any good clubs worth seeing in Tijuana, Mexico?

If you are looking for high mileage, the answer is yes. There are many clubs in Tijuana that start with high mileage to crazy mileage. Some of them are just fronts for a brothel. Some dancers from San Diego go there to make extra money. I've avoided going there so I can't give you any first hand accounts but there are several other websites with that information including The World Sex Guide, Casa De EL CHAMUCO and Redsnake. Club Madona and Bolero in Tijuana have websites.

You may also want to read Bishop's take on his trip down south with JW.

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Are there any clubs in Palm Springs?

There is a nude club called Pope's. Call (760)327-1902 for more info.

A topless club called Showgirls is in Cathedral City near Palm Springs. Call (760)328-1434 for more info or visit their website at desertshowgirls.com.

7th heaven Gentlemen's Club
46156 Dillon Rd.
Coachella CA 92236
(800) 942-6177
Mon: Closed, Tue - Fri: 3pm - 2am, Sat - Sun: 6pm - 2am
Topless, full bar

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What clubs are open late?

Many of the better nude clubs are open late (3:00am - 4:00am) on weekend nights. However, some clubs close earlier than advertised if there are no customers. Your best bet is to call before going down there. Venus Faire is the only semi-club that is open 24 hours on weekends.

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What time of day should I go?

Most clubs have more dancers working at night than during the day. Moreover, generally speaking, the night dancers are better looking. However, there are exceptions to every rule and since it is less crowded during the day, you can get more attention from the dancer. Also, at most clubs, the rules are more relaxed during the day and the mileage can be much higher than at night. Every club have shift changes and during that time, you can see both day and night dancers. However, at some clubs, there are very few dancers when the day shift dancers are leaving and the night shift dancers have not arrived yet. So keep these factors in mind when considering the time to go to the club.

As far as the day, Friday and Saturday nights are usually busiest. This means that there are more dancers, but once again, you will be competing with more customers for their attention. Whereas, the slow nights (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday), may offer you more attention from the dancers.

Basically, if you want to just "mingle" with the crowd, go on the busy days or nights. If you want more special attention, you should try the slower days or nights.

While we are on this topic of when to go clubbing, I'd like to remind people that dancers often wait until the last minute to make money for rent and other bills. Therefore, there are usually a lot of dancers working near the end of the month or the beginning of the month.

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What newspapers have coupons for strip clubs?

The LA Times no longer carry strip club advertising. You can still find strip club ads and coupons in the New Times LA, The Daily News, and LA Weekly newspapers.

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Which clubs have nude dancers and serve alcohol?

Starz is the only club left in Los Angeles that has both nude and topless dancers (with alcohol) under one roof. Classic Lady of Oz is a nude club that has a Sports Bar (with full bar) attached to the nude club and visitors are allowed to go from one to the other without paying cover again. Xposed is nude and it's sister club Wet Spot is bikini with alcohol next door. There are several clubs with bars next door or very close to them including Star Strip, PlayPen and Paradise to name a few.

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Do clubs have dress codes?

Sometimes Tropical Lei gets picky if you have really short shorts. I've been told at Deja Vu that I can't wear jeans with holes and another time that I can't wear sweats but both times, I talked my way in anyway. I know that the Beverly Club (Deja Vu) in Beverly Hills has a dress code but I got in with new jeans. Spearmint Rhino also has a mild dress code as does many clubs in the West side.

Often dress codes are only enforced when the person at the door has something up their butt wants to keep you out for some reason. If you want to be on the safe side, call the club before going there.

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What clubs have no cover for my female date?

Classic Lady of Oz always allows ladies to enter free. There are a few other clubs that allow a female date to enter free with a paid escort (e.g. The Valley Ball) but it seems to depend on the person at the door.

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Which clubs are nice enough to take my wife or girlfriend to?

This is a question I get frequently. If you are looking for a nice nude club that won't scare your wife, try 4 Play or Bare Elegance. If you are a little more adventurous, try Spearmint Rhino (Van Nuys) or  Body Shop. But keep in mind that nude clubs offer lap dancing and that might be a little too much for some wives.

If you are looking for a nice topless club (with alcohol) that's not crazy and sleazy, try The Library, Mr. J's, Pleasures, or Fritz, That's Too. If you are a little more adventurous, try Captain Creams or Spearmint Rhino (Torrance). If you want even milder with just bikini dancers, try Plan B, or Fantasy Island.

If you want to mingle with some trendy Hollyweird crowd, go to the Pussycat Club or Crazy Girls. These club has the most number of females and couples in all the strip clubs in LA.  If you like trendy crowds, checkout the burlesque show at Forty Deuce in Hollywood.  For even milder stuff, try fake stripping in the Toledo Show

Some rules of thumb tips are: nude clubs generally have younger dancers but topless clubs have dancers who can and will chit chat more with you and your date. So pick your club according to what you are looking for.

Unless you want to show her how packed it can get, you might avoid Friday and Saturday nights. If she is uncomfortable sitting on the stage, all these clubs have tables away from the stage to sit at.

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Which strip clubs have good food?

If you are looking for a nude club with food, I would suggest Bare Elegance, or 4 Play. For alcohol clubs, try Plan B, Pleasures, The Library, Captain Creams, Mr. J's, Fritz, That's Too. Plan B's menu is comparable to a good regular restaurant including some great desert.  The filet mignon at Pleasures is excellent.  Mr. J's is the only club that offers a sushi bar. The other locations offer sports club level food.

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Where can I go to watch the Super Bowl?

It's better to go to a alcohol club because they are more like a sports club.  For the larger ones, try The Library, Fritz, and Fritz, That's Too. You might also try Hooters.  Call first to make sure your event will be shown at the location and if there will be a special cover charge.

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Which clubs are couple friendly?

The answer to your question is that there are no clubs specifically friendly to couples. It depends on the dancers that happen to work there. There are always bisexual dancers working at every club. You just have to find the one that you both like. One difference is that at some nude clubs, the pressure to get a lap dance is very high and there is little talking. Topless clubs are more relaxed and you can talk more before getting dances. However, you will not be getting any high mileage dances at topless clubs. One trick you might try using is for the both of you to sit at the stage and see how the dancer interacts with your wife or girlfriend. If she seems to concentrate on your wife, she's either bisexual or is smart enough to realize what you are looking for and giving it to you. In either case, she will probably give a good dance.

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Where can I get lap dances for my wife or girlfriend?

With very few exceptions, your wife or girlfriend can get laps at any club that offers this service. However, if you want to watch, or you want to be sitting next to her while she gets her laps, you will have to go to a club that offers lap dancing out in the open. Read my reviews and if the club offers lap dancing in "booths", they maybe too small for the 3 of you to be in it at the same time. Personally, I find it more interesting to watch the other customers watch the lapping out in the open.

Generally speaking, topless clubs have milder lap dancing than nude clubs. If your female date wants to get nasty dances, you will have to go to a nude club. If she just wants to dabble in some fun, a topless club should suffice.

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Are there any clubs that have no smoking?

In California, nude clubs that have more that 5 employees are supposed to be no smoking. Furthermore, as of January 1, 1998, topless clubs also fall under this new law. I've noticed that more nude clubs are now complying to the law since January 1, 1998. And in Los Angeles, I believe any enclosed establishment has to be smoking free. However, there are clubs that openly do not comply with the law. In theory, you can complain to L.A. City Fire Department smoking hotline at (888) 333-0730 regarding smoking at a club and they can be fined.

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Are there any clubs that still allow smoking?

The clubs that are complying with the no smoking law should allow you to go outside and smoke and return without paying the cover again. Obviously, topless and bikini clubs that don't have cover charges don't have a problem with this.

4 Play, Bare Elegance, Jet Strip and some other nude clubs now have outside patio areas for smokers. Cheetah's used to openly protest the anti-smoking laws but no longer from my understanding.

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Are there any clubs that allow cigar smoking?

With the new smoking ban in California, the clubs that are complying with the new law will not allow cigar smoking. Even before the ban, there were many clubs that did not allow cigar smoking inside. At least with the new smoking ban, they should allow you to go outside to smoke your cigar then return.

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Are there any other Adult Entertainment in LA?

Other than strip clubs, there are massage parlors, hostess clubs, modeling studios, escort services, swingers clubs, and S&M / B&D dungeons. The best modeling studio is probably Eros Station in North Hollywood. There are ads for these types of establishments in the LA Express.

If you are looking for tourist type places to checkout, you will probably want to check out the Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood. This is a store in the "Boys Town" area which features S&M, B&D, leather, sex toys and other adult fun stuff. The store is clean and safe. It's always a good laugh for out of towners. If you want a private S&M or B&D experience at a discreet location, checkout The Chateau or Lair De Sade.

You can also be in your own porno by going to a "studio" called Penthouse Fantasy Production Inc. They provide the location (including a fake strip club) to talent and even the camcorders and lighting.

If you are into watching females, you can checkout the Pussycat Club on Wednesday nights only. This is at a regular dance club and becomes a couples type topless club for one night a week.

If you are a swinging couple, you might checkout the Four Palms private club out towards Palm Springs. For more information on swinging couple activities, checkout the Play Couples website. There's also LA Couples which uses the tag line "Adult Disneyland."

Also, for other mild adult entertainment, you could get your hair cut at Best Trim in Town where the hair "stylist" are all sexy. They are located in West LA.

If you don't mind driving to Helendale, there is a museum there showing the history of stripping. Exotic World Hall of Fame and Museum 29053 Wild Road, Helendale (760) 243-5261.

For a list of other regular dance clubs and raves, check OCTrippin. Take a look at the pictures of Club Rubber. Also checkout DMK World for info on the latest hot dance clubs.

Many years ago, I would have recommended Club Fuck as a interesting place to visit but it has become too commercialized and not much fun anymore.

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Is there a club where porno stars hangout?

Porno stars tend to "hangout" where porno stars feature. I've seen male and female adult video stars visiting Classic Lady of Oz and Industrial Strip when their fave was featuring.

Many clubs have one or two adult video stars who work as house dancers. Crazy Girls sometimes has adult video stars hanging out and tipping the dancers.

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Are there any peep shows in LA?

The only one that's worth a check is Venus Faire in North Hollywood. Deja Vu (Ontario) and Hollywood Cabaret also has peep shows but that's not their primary selling point.

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Are there clubs that have live sex shows?

No clubs open to the public has live sex shows (with penetration) since it is illegal in LA (and the rest of the U.S.). If you get lucky, you might see some mild to wild girl/girl action at some clubs or during a feature act.

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Are there clubs that allow picture taking?

There are some modeling studios (e.g. Paris House) that allow Polaroid pictures to be taken and in one case, they allow you to bring your own equipment and go at it.

There is a modeling studio in downtown LA that specializes in allowing picture taking of their models. I have never been there but sometimes they have features there as well. They are located at:
Marina Studios
1760 N. Main Street, Downtown LA
(213) 222-8044
This location may be closed down.

As for strip clubs, there are no strip clubs that I know of that allow pictures to be taken without specific permission from the managers. The reason for this is not just because of the dancers, but it is also because most customers would not want their pictures to end up in a publication. Many years ago, there was a club in Hollywood called the Ivar Theater that had picture day on Sundays. Alas, this seedy club is now a legit theater.

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What are these 2 for 1 lap specials?

Basically it's a marketing ploy to get you to get a dance. In 99% of the clubs, it's just 2 short songs that last no more than 1 song. Some clubs will even do 6 for 1 where the songs are 30 seconds each. Personally, I don't get dances during these promotions because everybody is doing them and it's hard to get some privacy. It's better to do your dances when nobody else is doing them.

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Where should we go for a bachelor or birthday party?

Get party supplies from us!If you guys want to drink and get a little rowdy, try Fritz. The nasty factor is low but you can drink and enjoy watching the topless dancers on stage.

If you guys need to see some pink action, I suggest Deja Vu because they are large and can easily accommodate a large group with no problems.

Some clubs will put the birthday boy on the stage for free or for a fee and the dancers will dance for him. It can be fun if it's on a busy night.

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Where can I see mud or oil wrestling?

In the past, you could have seen it at Captain Cream, Angel's and Tropicana. Alas, Angel's and Tropicana are now closed and Captain Cream no longer has wresting.

As of May 2003, The Library has wrestling on certain Saturday nights.

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Any info on private clubs or private shows?

Yes, but since I don't know you, there is no way I'm going to tell you about it. However, I can tell you how I found them. Most of the time, I found them by talking to dancers who worked at them. In a few instances, club workers told me about them and in one case, one of the Z-Chatters told me about one.

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How can I become a DJ at a club?

Depends on the club. If it's a good club where you can make some serious money, it's VERY hard to get a shift there, unless you know the owner, manager or one of the DJ's very well. Assuming you already have strip club DJing experience, you can get a DJ job at a less popular club or on a slow shift and work up from there.

If you have no DJing experience, you will have to start at a really slow club or know somebody there who will cut you a break. As an example, the DJ at Olympic Gardens has 80-150 dancers on a shift with each tipping at least $10. All cash. You think he's gonna give that job up? Not in this lifetime.

You might also want to checkout a strip club DJ website called Gentlemen's Club DJs.

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How do I get a job as a manager, bouncer or security?

As with most jobs, the best way to get one is to know somebody.  If you don't already have a friend that works at a strip club, you can become a regular at a club and "hang out" with the managers or security.  If they like you, they will let you know when a position becomes available.

If you want to do it the hard way, you can call or visit the strip clubs you'd like to work at and give them your resume.  Some clubs have inside security/bouncers while others hire from outside companies.  For the clubs that have outside companies, it does not help you to talk to the club managers who do not do the hiring for the security company.

Other positions at strip clubs like manager, DJ and bartender are even more hard to get.  It would be easier to have a bouncer/security job first so you can learn the business, then move up to being a manager.

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What is legal at these clubs?

In LA County, almost nothing is legal. Having said that, there are things that the club allows, things that the club ignores, and things that some dancers do.

Under the law, ANY touching of customers by dancers is considered illegal. Therefore, couch or chair dances where the dancer grinds on the customer is illegal. However, most clubs ignore this law and allow the dancers to do so. Under strict vice laws, dancers are not allowed to talk to customers, ask for drinks or accept drinks from customers.

On stage, any simulation of sexual acts (e.g. air sex, licking of the pole) and touching of the nipples or genital areas are illegal. Most clubs allow simulations and some clubs even allow touching themselves. At one point, one club used to allow the dancers to penetrate themselves on stage but they've stopped that practice after their bust.

Topless clubs are governed by the ABC. Click here to read the gory details of the actual ABC rules that apply to topless clubs.

At topless clubs, the dancer must be at least 6 feet away from the customer when they are topless. Under the definition of the law, the dancer is topless when ANY portion of the breast below the top of the areola is showing. This means that the breast cannot hang out the bottom of cut-off shirts or bras. Moreover, no pubic hair can be showing at ANY time. This means that if the dancer is not well groomed and some hair sticks out from above or the sides, this is technically illegal.

Now that you know almost all clubs break the rules, let the party begin!

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What are some do's and don'ts in the club?

Do's:
Tip the waitress. She can be your best friend in the club.

It's okay to go to a dancer that is not sitting with a customer and ask her for a lap dance. You don't have to wait for her to come to you. If the dancer is sitting with a customer, tip the waitress and ask her to tell the dancer that you'd like to get a lap dance from her.

Don'ts:
Don't rush into a lap dance if you've never been to the club before. Watch and observe for a while.

Don't sit at the stage unless you are going to tip.

Don't ask the dancer what illegal things you can do with her.  Unless she knows you, there's no way she's going to say anything that could get her busted with the club or with vice.

When getting lap dances, don't start grabbing the dancer. Let her do the work and she'll guide you and let you know what's okay.

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Can I have sex in the Champagne room?

Any sex at any club is illegal.  However, that does not mean that some girls won't do it given the right incentives (read lots of money). If your question is, do the clubs allow or permit this activity, there is no club that officially "allows" it because they could get in trouble but some will look the other way so they can make money off the girls. Some clubs feel that what goes on in the VIP room is up to the dancers.

There are no consequences for the customer if the dancer violates the house rules. They would perhaps stop the girl and your dance would end. However, if an undercover cop happens to see this action, you could be arrested. So be careful if you are out in the open.

As far as what the dancer can or can't do (or the customer), this will depend on the club and the dancer. Some clubs are more liberal, and some dancers are more liberal than others. You can use the website rating system to guide you to see where you might want to go. A nasty factor of 0 or 1 would indicate that there is very little or no touching allowed at the club. Of course, that doesn't mean that there isn't one or two dancers that break the rules there. A rating of 4 would mean that there is a lot of touching going on and with the right pick of a dancer, you will get more than what you bargained for.

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I have heard of busts at clubs. Should I be worried?

For Customers:

In a nude club, if you are doing a private dance, it is almost impossible for an undercover cop to be able to see what you are doing. Therefore, you cannot be cited for any offences. It's possible for a customer to be cited if you conduct illegal acts in the open where an undercover cop could see you in plain view. If you participate in illegal activities, such as having breasts pressed onto your face on the stage, you can be busted for lewd conduct. Unless you have a previous warrant, you will be arrested, booked, given a ticket and released on O.R. until your court appearance.

To date, I have never heard of an undercover cop posing as a dancer and busting customers. However, starting in late 1997, vice cops have busted customers for doing lap dances in Anaheim. This city is trying to close down all strip clubs in the area. And in April 2000, customers were busted at TL for receiving nasty lap dances.

In a topless club, unless you are drunk and getting into fights, it's almost impossible for the customer to be arrested. This is especially because the dancers at topless clubs are very careful because of recent busts.

The bottom line for customers is that it would be highly unlikely for the customer to be part of a bust unless you participate in super nasty dances out in the open. Of course, you can still be busted for participating in other illegal activities such as drug dealing, selling or buying illegal firearms or silencers or soliciting for prostitution or murder for hire, or stealing money from dancers. Yup.

For Employees at Clubs:

If you are the bartender or waitress and you serve a customer who is obviously already drunk, you can be cited (given a ticket). If you are a manager or floater and an obvious illegal act is being performed on stage and there is a bust, it's theoretically possible for you to be arrested along with the dancers. I have heard of cases where this has happened, but it's somewhat rare. Starting in late 1997, the city of Anaheim has started busting managers along with the dancers for allowing lap dances. Also, in rare cases, the manager can be busted if the club does not have the proper permits. The bottom line: If you want to be a politician, don't work in a strip club.

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Should I be worried about being mugged at a strip club?

The odds of being mugged at a strip club are probably no higher than other similar establishments in the same neighborhood (e.g. bars, dance clubs, pool halls). That doesn't mean you should relax. In any large city, you should always be on guard.

Never use the ATM at a strip club, and be very careful in the bathroom. Don't flash your money, even to dancers who might be "in" on a mugging in the parking lot. I've even heard of the bouncers/security being "in" on the mugging in bathrooms to the extent that they make sure nobody else goes in there while you are being mugged, then when you run out of the bathroom, they will delay you so that the muggers can get away. I have personally been harassed in the bathroom but was lucky enough to get away when another patron came into the bathroom.

If something like this happens, insist on calling the police, no matter what the club says to you. Most of the time, the management will want to keep it quite because of the bad publicity, plus it's not a good idea for cops to have to come there for any reason. If the club employees are in on it, you want a report on record so that the cops will eventually see a pattern.

I've been in clubs when there were shootings outside, guns being brandished inside, many fights, and have personally had my car stolen while at a strip club. Just be aware of your surroundings and try not to be alone in the bathroom if possible.

You can also see crime statistics at the LAPD website: lapdcrimemaps.org

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How do I open my own club?

Surprisingly, I get this question alot. I'll be straight to the point. Opening a strip club in Los Angeles is hard to do. This is because the city basically does not like them and want to try to prevent anybody from doing so. Some years ago, if you knew the right people, you could open a club for very little money. These days, with the stiff competition from big money clubs and chains, you need some heavy financial backing to be successful.

  1. Get a good lawyer.
    First, get the best lawyer you can afford. Your lawyer can advise you regarding the zoning laws and permits you will require. John Weston in Beverly Hills handles all the big shots. Obviously, his firm is the best and it costs to have the best. For $30k or so, his firm will find a location for you. Finding a location turns out to be very time consuming in Los Angeles. Roger Diamond in Santa Monica also represents First Amendment cases for many LA/OC clubs.
     
  2. Find a good location.
    To look for a location, first, you must know what you want to open. If you want to open anything other than a bikini club, you will have to look for a property that is zoned correctly for adult entertainment. This location must be 1000 feet from schools, churches, residential housing, daycare centers, etc. This measurement is made from your building to the edge of the other property. Therefore, even if the building is on the far side of the property, you have to measure from the edge of the property line. Be sure to check the city's property layout because sometimes it's not obvious by visual inspection where the property line actually starts in some cases.

    After that, you have to lock the location via a lease or purchase, then wait for your permits. This can take from 3 months to 2 years depending on which city or county you have to fight and how good your lawyer is. Some areas such as Pasadena, Glendale, and Santa Monica will fight you to the death. If you have enough dough to go for a long battle in the courts, you will probably eventually win. In the mean time, you still have to pay your lease or mortgage, not to mention your attorney.
     

  3. Compute cost and "Show me the money!"
    The actual cost to open a club can vary greatly from nothing to millions. For example, in an unusual case, one owner bought an existing restaurant/bar for no money down and monthly payments. He did so well, he now owns the business and the property. This owner was offered $1.5M in cash and turned it down.

    You can compute what it will cost to open a club by finding a location, finding out the least terms (or sale terms), computing and adding the cost of renovations and add to that your initial operating costs, advertising and overhead. Don't forget to add attorney fees to the total.

    The alternate way to get in is to buy an existing strip club. In Los Angeles, the starting price for a nude club in big trouble can be as low as $300k and the going range is about $600K - $2.5M. Of course, you have to be in the know to be able to get a good bargain, let alone know that a club is for sale. The going rate for an existing bikini club is around $150-$350K. Remember that if a bikini club loses it's liquor license, it is worthless. Mr. J's (topless) was for sale at $2M. A distressed Star Strip 2 (nude) was for sale at $750K. As you can see, the price range is great. In Las Vegas, there is an existing club for sale at $5M and another that refused to sell at $7M.
     

  4. Obtain the permits.
    If you want to open a topless club, this is the most difficult to open because you will need not only the Cafe Entertainment and Shows Permit (live entertainment) for adult use, but also the ABC liquor license. The last 2 can be acquired faster if you buy an existing and operating business with those licenses. Bars with live entertainment or dance clubs with a bar are prospective locations for a topless club. Needless to say, if the bar is doing good business, it will cost a lot of money to convince them to sell.

    To open a nude club, you only need the first 2 licenses. The adult entertainment license must be approved by the police commissioner. This is where a powerful attorney can speed up the process from 2 years+ to 30 days but it will cost appropriately.
     

  5. Read the fine print.
    There are also regulation requirements regarding the construction of the stage (e.g. ramp at 1 inch per 1 foot gradient, 18 inches off the floor) and other similar matters that must be taken into consideration before choosing the location and starting construction. Also, be ready to grease a lot of hands, starting with the inspectors, fire marshals, cops and city officials. The only ones that are very difficult to grease is the ABC. There, unless you know somebody inside, you will have to comply with the full law.

If you want to open a peep show type club and need information about booth machines, try contacting Simplex Video in San Diego. Rick Hinckley, the president, can be reached at (800) 767-5907 or email.

Also, Don Waitt publishes an industry magazine for club owners called Exotic Dancer Magazine. They can be contacted at:
E.D. Publications
2431 Estancia Blvd., Bldg. "B"
Clearwater, FL 33761
(727) 726-3592
exoticdancer.com

If you thought it would be an easy way to make money or pickup dancers, forget it. It's serious business, and it takes a lot of money and time. There are a lot of other easier ways to make money or get laid.

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What are the upsides and downsides to opening a strip club?

Positives:
It's an all cash business. If you manage to open a money maker, you will gross about $1M per year or more. If you open a nude club, there's very little inventory and overhead for the amount of gross compared to regular businesses grossing the same amount.

Negatives:
The business is still considered taboo and other businesses, home owners, and the police departments will all harass you depending on location. Picketers are possible, as well as regular busts. As with all retail businesses, you will get your share of lawsuits from dancers, customers, city, etc. Be ready to spend a lot of money on attorney fees.

Be ready to pay-off everybody and his brother, starting with the cops, going all the way down to the guy that inspects the wiring in the building. I'm not joking.

Dealing with dancers is not the same as ordinary employees in a business. I can safely say that it is not like any other business. It's similar to the porn business except with more headaches because you are dealing with more people.

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Where should I open a club?

I can tell you what areas are very difficult to open a club (if not impossible): Glendale, Santa Monica and Burbank. As you may be aware from reading my website, some areas are very strict in terms of the law. For example, in Anaheim, nude dancers must be 6 feet away (except for clubs that are grandfathered). Beverly Hills and Commerce requires the dancers to obtain a permit to work. Westminster requires that customers do not tip the dancer directly. Therefore, your choices narrow.

Depending on if you are looking to open a nude or topless w/ alcohol club, your choices for spots may be limited unless you have the big bucks (like Spearmint Rhino or Deja Vu) to build one from scratch. The new Spearmint Rhino opening in downtown is costing them $1M since they have built the place from the ground up.

There are 2 schools of thought. The Rhino school says, open a club near other clubs because the customer base is already there. The other school is, open a club as far away from other clubs as possible. If you have the money to out-do the competition, the Rhino method will work. If not, use method #2.

Unlike 10 years ago when you could open a club anywhere and make money, there are many clubs that are losing money and are for sale. Bob's Classy Lady (sold), Star Gardens (sold), Imperial Theater (sold), Sunset Strip (sold and closed), Star Strip 2 (sold) etc, are all for sale. 10 years ago, no club was for sale because they were all making too much money.

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Are there any publicly traded strip club stocks?

Rick's Cabaret in Texas trades under the ticker symbol "RICK" on NASDAQ.

As of August 2002, the name "Scores" is available for usage. It's being offered by a publicly traded company called Scores Holding Company Inc, with the ticker symbol "SCOH".

Also, PT's Showclub is also on the AMEX as VCG Holding Corporation, with the ticker symbol "PTT".

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I think I'm addicted to strip clubs.  Should I be worried?

First of all, let me say that I'm not a doctor or therapist.  Being addicted to visiting strip clubs, in itself, is probably nothing to worry about.  However, as with any addiction, it's hard to figure out at what point a "hobby" has turned into an unhealthy addiction.

According to Sex Addicts Anonymous?, when an addiction includes unwanted behavior (e.g. dangerous or unhealthy acts, losing relationships, difficulties with work, arrests, financial troubles, a loss of interest in things not sexual, low self-esteem and despair), you might be in trouble.  If you have to ask this question, this may be an indication that you feel your addiction has become a problem and you may want to see some help.  Your first step should be to admit that you have a problem and seek help before it gets worse.

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