By David Shapiro

Saturday, October 11, 1997

Innovations in
the lap-dancing trade

WHAT women say is true. Men really can be pigs sometimes.

I have a colleague who thinks it's his duty to check out every new development in local strip joints and then tell everybody about it -- sometimes in print, sometimes just by jabbering to every poor soul within earshot.

Those within range of his voice were among the first to know what body shampoos were all about. Lately, he's been keeping an eye on innovations in the lap-dancing trade.

Unlike Councilman Andy Mirikitani, my colleague doesn't investigate by sitting in a car across the street and counting the number of underage boys entering the clubs. He actually hangs out inside the clubs to see what's going on for himself. I can't decide which of the two is more pathetic.

When a local club ran an ad offering "bed dancing," my colleague was on the case that very night. The next day he didn't have time to discuss the details. He just reported that while he didn't personally partake, from what he observed bed dancing was within the bounds of current law.

Before running off to cover a story, he gave me a menu of services offered by the club and left my imagination to run wild.

I think I have a pretty good idea of what lap dancing is, thanks to Councilman Mirikitani's vivid reports from the vantage point of his car parked across the street from the club. And I certainly know that $4 for a pitcher of beer is a bargain.

But some of the other services the club provides are tough for me to figure.

According to the menu my colleague gave me, for instance, a less expensive alternative to lap dancing is table dancing. While a lap dance costs you $20 if the dancer is wearing a bikini and $40 if she's nude, a nude table dance sets you back only $10.

The trouble is, I can't visualize how a nude table dance works. You would think it means an unclad woman dances on your table, but for only $10 there's got to be a catch. Maybe the table does the dancing with the tablecloth removed to achieve the nudity. Perhaps the customer undresses and dances on the table while the strippers watch him.

I finally got it when I noticed an ad from the same club announcing its new wide-screen television for watching Monday Night Football.

Think about the interesting scene this creates. A guy sits there chugging his $4 pitcher of beer as his beloved 49ers march the ball across the wide-screen TV. A naked woman bumps, grinds and gyrates especially for him on the table in front of him.

And he's yelling the same thing at her as he yells at the sweet wife he left at home: "Woman, how many times do I have to tell you to stop blocking my view of the @#$%&!# TV?"

FOR only $5 more than the nude lap dance, you can upgrade to the nude bed dance. There are no instructions, leaving you to wonder where the feet come into play here.

It seems like a good deal until you read the admonition: "Please remember not to touch the entertainers!" Now that sounds like something you'd see on ESPN in the "Extreme Frustration" championships.

The big-ticket item, at $100 for a half hour or $150 for an hour, is the "FANTASY DATE...Where Almost All Your Fantasies Come True!"

Uh, oh. Why do I get an uneasy feeling that "almost" is the word that drives the sentence? Maybe we should chip in to buy Councilman Mirikitani a pair of binoculars so he can tell us for sure.

David Shapiro is managing editor of the Star-Bulletin.
He can be reached by e-mail at
Volcanic Ash runs every Saturday in the Star-Bulletin.

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