Strip club reveals old divisions 

A MATE tried to drag me to a strip club in Melbourne last month.

We'd been at the races and he'd obviously not made as many horrible bets as me - if there's only eight horses in a race, surely the 300-1 is worth betting on, right? Right?

We were at a quiet bar sitting on a comfy couch and trying to look sophisticated while sipping at single malt scotch whiskeys.

I was failing this miserably as each sip made my face involuntarily twist like a world class gurner (that's worth Googling if you don't know the image) as I lost the ability to breathe.

Flushed with cash and 110 proof liquor, he came up with the plan.

Going to a strip club seemed more awkward than appealing. And walking from one side of the CBD to the other after finally being able to sit down was not worth the effort, just to pay for a hefty cover charge and overpriced drinks.

Soon people in Launceston can make up their own mind if a strip club is something they want to check out, with plans to resurrect The Hub hotel as a gentlemen's club featuring 1930s style burlesque dancers downstairs and backpackers upstairs.

Of course there would still be pole dancing and what was termed controlled touching in private sections of the club.

The story dominated the comments section of The Examiner's website last week.

There were arguments that it would lead to violence against women - unfortunately there is already violence against women. Or that it would lead to prostitution - there would be easier ways to pay for sex.

Eventually, two very distinct world views emerged, which could not be reconciled as they were simply opposed philosophically.

One is that adults can make a deliberate choice to become strippers and people who want to watch can, while those who do not want to be exposed to the venue can simply not go inside.

The other is that strippers are exploited regardless of their free will and strip clubs lead to anti-social behaviour.

I think it's a lot more complicated than either view as each individual case would have a myriad of motivations.

Some people would be attracted to stripping by the money and perhaps see it as empowering while there would certainly be cases of people lured to the occupation by desperation.

People can do whatever they want as far as I'm concerned.

At least Mr Someone is spending some money and trying to rejuvenate an area of Launceston that could do with sharpening up.

But I think the real problem a strip club in Launceston is going to have is getting enough people through the doors on a regular basis to be profitable.

It was tried a few years ago and failed; the population just isn't there like it is in Melbourne or Sydney and the pub scene in Launceston is pretty fickle in terms of what's popular and for how long.


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