I read the Globe and Mail article with interest as I have spent many pleasant hours in Ottawa and other Canadian strip clubs over the past 30 years. For me, a strip bar was always a welcoming place for a beer, free lunch, good tunes, and outstanding company. I was a regular at Barefax and Barbs for some years so would often be greeted by a one of my favorite dancers – kind of like “Cheers” if you know what I mean. A decade ago it was completely acceptable to stop by for lunch or after work with a crew from the office and everyone had some fun in a sexy social atmosphere. However, as discussed in this post, things have changed for SCs. The clients are fewer, the dancers less attractive, and the clubs themselves haven’t had an upgrade in years. I watch this change with melancholy for a more simple time and have some thoughts on how this trend may be changed.
I won’t repeat the reasons for the SC’s decline as they were pretty well covered by the Globe. Porn is readily available today so one doesn’t have to view paradise at $20 per dance. The emergence of massage parlors has taken business from the SCs because for the cost of a few dances you can go home with a smile as opposed to a tease. The biggest hit to SCs in my opinion is the politically correct attitude of today’s youth that SCs demean and objectify women such that they are no longer socially acceptable. It is this last point that I find so hypocritical. If one believes in the basis of feminism and a woman’s right to choose what she does (specifically what she does with her body) how can society encourage some choices and scorn others? Most of the dancers I have known are very happy in their work and the choices they have made. While society has become open to homosexuality and the broad spectrum of gender identity, the previous acceptability of SCs has disappeared. The pendulum has swung so far because of the #MeToo movement that a man’s attraction to women immediately has negative connotation. I can only hope that the pendulum of public opinion will again swing back such that respectful heterosexual relationships are also respected.
So what does this mean for our beloved local SCs? Unfortunately, the continued slow decline and I am saddened by the loss. I do believe that today’s generation of young confident women could change this however. If young women took the lead to support a woman’s right to choose then it would again become socially acceptable. Perhaps if there was more cross over between the stripper and MA communities as there exists between the MA and SP communities it would be beneficial for both. The young women are going into the MA community and complaining at the lack of clients while there are men sitting at the strip club two blocks away wishing for some new dancers. I don’t know how this would work exactly but I do believe that a closer relationship between MA spas and SC’s could be beneficial to both. I know a MA who also trains on the brass poll so perhaps this is something to be further explored. So those are my thoughts on this cold winter’s night. Let’s hope for a future for our favorite SCs as we will be losing something real without them!