Little to say for myself

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Do you come here often?

It feels a bit confessional to admit it, but I've been thinking about the soon-to-be-enacted L.A. law I mentioned yesterday - the one imposing a 2-metre "total exclusion zone" around strippers in clubs (i.e. banning lap-dancing). The reason given was that it's a response to local complaints of prostitution and other illegal activity in and around the clubs.

I can't see exactly how this measure addresses the problem. Presumably the dancers weren't being coerced into having sex with their clients just because they danced close to them, so it must have been one of two things:

Maybe the dancers were offering sex to their punters - using the lapdance as targetted advertising. Preventing them from using that sales pitch will just force them to find another.

On the other hand, maybe the clubs were attracting prostitutes from outside - in the same way that lions hang around watering holes in the Serengheti. I can't see it being a solution to that either. Lions don't decide to go on a diet when the watering hole dries up - they find other opportunities.

I've always thought of lap-dancing as an alternative to prostitution, in that it fuels the client's ability to take matters into their own hands, so to speak, or it inspires them to return to their partner for a bit of how's-your-parent. It gives them the (illusion of) contact with a sexual fantasy-figure that plays a big part in the attraction of prostitutes, without the risks of actual sexual contact.

I can only think that the new law reflects a prudish discomfort at the idea of the arousal going on under the punters' clothes, and a misguided belief that imposing a bizarre restriction on one tiny aspect of the sex industry will make that arousal go away.

P.S. Spare a thought for the people at City Hall wading through all the licence applications for the security guards who will have to be stationed in the clubs at all times to enforce this gem. Sounds like a good job opportunity for local pimps.

posted by Plig | 16:25 |

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