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Strip Clubs in the time of Corona  

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Melbourne strip clubs may be opening with the new relaxation of the social distancing regulations but many club owners are struggling to figure out what adjustments they need to make to keep their staff and patrons safe.

Everyone pretty much has safety protocols in place but it must have be hard to come up with rules for strip clubs. First, because they are the kind of topic most people will avoid talking about.

The good thing about the adult entertainment industry is that it adopted advances in technology quite early.  You cannot run a strip club or men’s club and be afraid to try different things. Club owners want people to be safe; they don’t want to be the industry that is associated with virus and disease. This has always been important. They know there will be more scrutiny on them.

Ever since there was a nightlife scene in Melbourne there have been strip clubs and men’s clubs. Thesey have remained opened through the worst of times. Somehow, no matter what is going on people still want to go out, grab a drink with friends and be entertained. Though COVID-19 shut down strip clubs in March 2020. The demand for adult entertainment actually went up. As everyone moved online, there was an increase in subscription sites for adult entertainment. Some clubs and some adult performers registered adult live video sites where lap dance or role play tips are paid through PayPal.

But replicating the real thing is hard. A lot of the strip club dancers found themselves having to find alternative sources of income but they had to settle for jobs with a monthly salary they could easily make in a day or two on a good month.

Strip clubs that opened have had to make modifications. Bar seats have been spaced further apart.  The main stage may not have a pole or the pole has to be continuously sanitized after every performance. Bolted table have been unbolted and moved further apart and instead of tabletop dancing, the stripper offer tableside performances.

The staff take precautions as much as they can. The clubs are sanitized before opening. The tables and surfaces are regularly sanitized. Distancing regulations are observed and everyone wears a mask. And there in lies the challenge – the point of a strip club experience is close proximity with naked, dancing ladies. It’s about smiling and being able to lose yourself in the performance without getting worried if someone near you clears their throat. It might be easy to enforce rules about checking temperatures at the entrance and wearing masks, the 4ft distance is a little bit harder to enforce in Melbourne strip clubs. The influx of customers will be slow in the beginning but hopefully, it will pick up within the next 6 months or strip club owners with shallower pockets will be forced to close shop.

Clare Louise

The author Clare Louise