Mine are not sexual encounter clubs. They are gentlemen's clubs.

Ha! What a euphemism that is!

Frankly, I think the fact that Peter Stringfellow has come out against lap dancing clubs being reclassified, as sexual encounter clubs rather than in the same bracket as café's, is a sure fire sign that it ought to be done.

Don't get me wrong, if people want to go to lap dancing clubs it is there prerogative to do so and I wouldn't want to outlaw it (I am a liberal after all). But I do think that councils need to be able to use regulation to limit where they are. So they are not in places frequented by children or people who have no choice but to walk past the clubs, the adverts and the clientele.

Has any body driven out from Leeds Station in a cab recently? Seen the adverts for Leeds soon to arrive largest lap dancing club? Seen, the adverts for plenty of girls available all the time? Am I the only one who doesn't know where to look when I go past?

Like I say, I'm not a prude, and if men (or women) want to pay for girls to gyrate in front of them and girls want to earn their money that way then fine; but I don't have to have it shoved in my face, so to speak, do I? Or brought to the attention of young people before either they or their parents really want to talk about it? There must have been a thousand 'What's a lap dancing club, Mummy? Questions already!

Gentleman's Clubs indeed! What's gentlemanly about having a lap dance?

12 comments:

Julian H said...
25 Nov 2008, 17:26:00

A ridiculous euphemism indeed, but I'm not convinced that they need regulation. There is no such thing as a child-free street; children are everywhere, and will therefore see sex shops, strip clubs, people fighting in pubs and so on. And there's no reason why they shouldn't - but if their parents object to this, they are free to guide them away from such areas (rather than the state persecuting those businesses for the parents' puritanism).

As for the adverts, well I don't like the Labour Party's propaganda "shoved in my face" every four or five years (nor Howard's dog-whistle nonsense, for that matter) but they have a right to advertise, as do McDonalds, the Sun, and Abercrombie & Fitch with their soft man-porn.

Oh, and before someone, Dennis Skinner-like, calls on me to declare an interest (!) I should stress that I haven't attended a strip club for, blimey, eight years now. And even that was with a mixed-sex group of people, one of whom was my then-girlfriend; it was actually a tad dull after a while, so I went to the bar where I saw a maths teacher from the college I'd made a bad job of doing A levels at. True story.

Jo Christie-Smith said...
26 Nov 2008, 14:39:00

"There is no such thing as a child-free street; children are everywhere, and will therefore see sex shops, strip clubs, people fighting in pubs and so on. And there's no reason why they shouldn't - but if their parents object to this, they are free to guide them away from such areas (rather than the state persecuting those businesses for the parents' puritanism)".

Is that what freedom are liberty are then? That the lowest common denominator wins through?

There are some places that are more likely to have children or will be difficult to avoid - such as by schools or by the main train station to a town or city?

Are you saying that we should organise our outside space only so it suits those who want to engage is sexual encounters? That what parents and children would prefer counts for nothing?

I'm not suggesting that lap dancing places should be closed down or that there should be less of them but that councils should be able to regulate where they are?

Do you really want 3 and 4 years olds to be conversant with sex shops and strip clubs? And as for people fighting in pubs - that could terrify a child and give them nightmares. Surely parents have a right to be able to protect them from such things? Where's their freedom from harm?

Would you get rid of the watershed on TV as well?

I don't see it as a matter of puritanism but of taste frankly. Nobody's suggesting that you can have a lap dance Julian but that you don't flaunt it in front of kids and people who would prefer not to know about it.

Our sexuality is integral to our humanity; but it is not the only or even primary element of it.

Julian H said...
26 Nov 2008, 17:17:00

Ms C-S! Oi oi oi! I made it quite clear that I do not pay for lapdances!

And neither am I getting testy about that.

Insecurities aside, and in short(ish):

"Are you saying that we should organise our outside space only so it suits those who want to engage is sexual encounters?"

Nope, I'm saying that outside space shouldn't be organised at all; and not by people in office who will typically listen to the loudest (and / or most powerful) interests. I think businesses of any kind should be allowed to do their stuff wherever they like (allowing for property rights, of course), and people should be able to live where they like, and walk (or not walk) where they like (ditto on property rights). This way everyone makes choices based on their preferences and things balance out.

"Do you really want 3 and 4 years olds to be conversant with sex shops and strip clubs?"

No, I don't want that, I don't want to dictate any of this (or anything). I think parents should be able to decide what their young can or can't be exposed to (until they're of an age to decide for themselves).

Also, I don't believe that people, if not regulated by some authority, turn to degenerate animals so that no innocent child is free from brawling thugs and dodgy old maths teachers ogling naked women. And I still don't see where the flaunting aspect comes in. Strip joints are private, and their adverts feature significantly less skin than the third page of the country's best-selling "newspaper".

"Would you get rid of the watershed on TV as well?"

Absolutely.

As a final point (this hasn't been short at all, has it?), I'm not pro-sex, or the sex industry, I'm just not against it and don't see why it should be regulated by politicians.

Each to their own, like.

Julian H said...
26 Nov 2008, 19:05:00

P.S. This is quite amusing.

James Schneider said...
30 Nov 2008, 15:34:00

Hear, hear Julian. We may strike a balance, on the advertising front, and say that only a certain amount of flesh etc can be shown. But this sexual encounter/cafe dichotomy is laughable.

Jimmy said...
5 Dec 2008, 21:26:00

The main thrust of Stringfellow's argument seemed to be that he was running a multi-million pound business and didn't want to have to pay £30,000 for licences.

The moral arguments are clear. Peter Stringfellow would not understand such things.

Julian H said...
6 Dec 2008, 12:58:00

Not at all high on the sanctimony scale, Jimmy. Well done.

Left Lib said...
9 Jan 2009, 17:05:00

I disagree with this laissez faire approach adopted by Julian.
It is counter-productive that market forces should operate outside of democratic accountability. If a local community does not want something in it's area, should that be overridden by business interests? If you say yes, then that seems to me to be illiberal.
There is no popular campaign to remove the watershed as Jo points out, society generally is comfortable with the existing regulations to protect children. According to you, no such debate or examination is necessary to consider whether it is good or healthy for children to be raised in such a highly sexualised culture that we have today. The reason you dismiss it is not out of dispassionate examination of what is going on in society, it is instead that you adhere to an ideology that has decided in advance what the answers already are.
Any Lib Dem council or government that was so ideologically blind as that would not last long. To slightly misquote Thomas Huxley "Beautiful thoeries are killed by ugly facts".

Julian H said...
9 Jan 2009, 18:11:00

Gosh, it’s been a while since this thread was alive, what? Nevertheless, thanks for the response to my comments, Leftlib. I’ll try to respond:

If a local community does not want something in it's [sic] area, should that be overridden by business interests?

Two points here: firstly, business interests depend on people (aka ‘communities’) wanting their products. A business cannot operate if people do not purchase from it. This seems a simple means of determining what businesses should or shouldn’t operate in an area.

Secondly, people who make up local communities do not all engage in political procedures – on the contrary, few of them do, and decisions are largely taken by a clique of councillors. An individual has little power aside from one vote every few years. Hence the loud, powerful and organised have a greater influence than the quiet, powerless and dispersed.

For example – lots of people in an area may enjoy the option of buying alcohol late at night (hence why shops bother to sell it late at night), yet a few local residents, organised and with links to the councillors and the press, may be able to force the shops to stop offering this service. The people who enjoy the service are unlikely to be as organised, and furthermore I don’t see why any of them should have to “fight” to have this choice of buying alcohol late at night available to them simply because more powerful people have moral objections.

I also disagree with your claim (if I understand correctly) that if a regulation exists, then this means society is ‘comfortable’ with it. The decision-making over regulations is so far removed from individuals that I don’t think this can be assumed at all. Is a vote between Tory and Labour every few years evidence that society supports whatever the state imposes on us?

According to you, no such debate or examination is necessary to consider whether it is good or healthy for children to be raised in such a highly sexualised culture that we have today

I’m more than happy for people to have a debate, but I don’t think government should shape culture – I think culture stems from the combined individual actions of millions of people, and on this subject (children and sex) I think parents should be able to decide for themselves which television programmes their children have access to. Equally, some friends of mine are bringing up their son in Soho, and seem more than happy for him to see the front of sex shops daily – people who do not want this can choose not to live in such an area, and not to walk their children directly past such establishments.

Overall, I don’t think it’s for government (at any level) to try to shape how “sexualised” our culture is, depending on the perspectives it thinks all children should or should not have. If I had a child, I may not want it growing up in an environment in which the state suppressed public evidence of sexuality, for instance.

Regarding ideology, I confess that I am an ideologue – however, I have not remained obdurate for year after year, but rather changed my views depending on changing evidence (and reading others’ views). If the facts change, I change my mind et cetera...

Left Lib said...
9 Jan 2009, 19:07:00

Well to answer your point that whatever market forces conjures up is what the public wants, I would disagree.
Spam mail exists because of market forces. Only a tiny percent of the population responds to it to make it profitable and the rest of us would prefer it never to exist. As a result we have to pass laws against it. In fact the same is true of crime in general. Countries that do not operate the rule of law; Iraq, Afganistan, DRC are the most illiberal countries of all.

Julian H said...
12 Jan 2009, 10:11:00

Of course I am very much in favour of the rule of law – ie. the principle that the law applies to everyone, irrespective of privilege, position et cetera. The countries you cite have long suffered from capricious, oppressive authorities, both ‘formal’ and ‘informal’, and the corruption, violence and injustice this causes. Iraq, Afghanistan, and DRC are obviously not examples of market liberalism.

I’m no expert on technology issues such as spam, but I’d have thought that if there are laws against it, they are largely ineffective given how much spam still exists. Rather it appears that private solutions, such as spam filters, are our main guard against it. Also, spam doesn’t seem to be a normal service, largely because it is not solicited, so a barrage of spam could count as doing harm to one’s e-property (ie. inbox), just as forcing 3,000 leaflets into someone’s house is an affront to their property.

Needless to say this is all going somewhat off-topic; I trust I’ve made my point regarding strip joints, so I think I’ll leave it at that.

London Strip Club said...
26 Jan 2009, 10:29:00

simply watching a lady dancing erotically is not a sexual encounter and therefore should not be licenced as one.

One could complain about the way lap dancing and table dancing clubs advertise outside the premesis, with the usual "What if my young child asks 'whats a lap dance'?".

We've recently had busses driving all around our cities bearing the film poster "zack and miri make a porno" which would also prompt the same question from youngsters.

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