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Strip club recommendations for NYC
June 24, 2014 4:54 PM   Subscribe

There are old questions about this topic but I am looking for updated information and suggestions about strip clubs in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Hi, my boyfriend and I will be in NYC in 2 weeks. We would like to visit a strip club. We would prefer to visit some place that does not come across as seedy or gross but we are not looking to spend a fortune either. The ideal situation would involve paying $30 or less each for cover, being able to buy a few drinks and watch some dancing, and not feeling completely sleazed out by the club itself. I should mention that we don't expect a high-class experience but it would be nice if the strip club isn't too run down. If you think burlesque would be a better option based on lack of appropriate strip clubs please recommend excellent burlesque shows but our preference would be a traditional strip joint.

We are staying in lower Manhattan but can go anywhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn if you have a place to suggest.

Any other information for first-time strip joint goes is welcome.
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You can combine it with a trip to Coney Island for Burlesque at the Beach every Thursday and Friday. There's also the monthly geeky D20 Burlesque – "Our Charisma is matched only by our Dexterity"
posted by Sophont at 6:01 PM on June 24


Any other information for first-time strip joint goes is welcome.

You mention wanting to "buy a few drinks and watch some dancing." If you're not familiar with the business model: dancers don't get paid by the club. They pay the club in order to work. Every shift the dancers pay a house fee plus tip-outs to bartenders, bouncers, DJs, etc. Sometimes a weekly fee, too. They make money when people tip them onstage or when people buy private dances. That's why they are doing the dancing you're watching. They don't collect a penny from your cover fee or drink purchases.

In the context of a club, tipping dancers is equivalent to tipping your server in a restaurant. (Except your server gets paid a few dollars an hour, and the dancer doesn't.) It's what you do. Now, you don't have to tip all of them, or even more than one. If you don't want to buy a private dance, then drop something on the stage for a dancer who impresses you, or tip someone who sits and talks with you. Admittedly, you don't have to tip anyone; you won't get thrown out for just buying drinks. Just like you don't have to tip at a restaurant as long as you pay your tab. But those two things are definitely equivalent.

I don't know what would hit your personal buttons for "seedy," "gross," "sleazed out," or "run down," but strip clubs are mostly not like you see in Hollywood movies. It is not uncommon for people to feel some of those things after visiting relatively upscale ones. Your mileage may vary, but be prepared for a reality–expectations mismatch. Good luck.
posted by cribcage at 6:11 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]


To follow-up on cribcage's great advice and your request for for first-time advice, there are three cardinal rules I was taught for such establishments:

1. You touch, you go (subject to dancer's discretion and the eye of the bouncers)
2. You look, you pay
3. Money is no object

I used to go with friends in my younger days and you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for a night. The reason is that, as cribcage mentioned, the dancers are independent contractors who pay the club for the privilege of dancing there. You don't have to accept every offer for a dance, but if you just come in and drink and watch without paying (breaking Rule #2), you are not making the best use of anyone's time. It is often said that if you cannot afford to tip, you should not eat out. This rule applies even more so in gentlemen's clubs.

Based on the premises of your question, I do not think you have a realistic idea of how a gentleman's club works. It is not a place to "buy a few drinks and watch some dancing". First, a lot of club are losing their liquor licenses these days or electing not to serve alcohol so they can have fulyl nude dancers. Second, the experience is not about passively watching. Dancers will invite you and your boyfriend to have private dances, and these generally involve some level of touching. Even if there is no contact between you and the dancer, it is still an up-close experience that is not quite passive. Lastly, it's not a strip joint but a "club", and the women who work there are "dancers".

I think a burlesque stage show might be what you are looking for.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:53 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Hi, my boyfriend and I will be in NYC in 2 weeks. We would like to visit a strip club. We would prefer to visit some place that does not come across as seedy or gross but we are not looking to spend a fortune either. The ideal situation would involve paying $30 or less each for cover, being able to buy a few drinks and watch some dancing...

Under $100...in NYC. Stay home. Please. You will have a horrible time and feel really cheap.

Go to a strip club in your hometown, see how it is, see how fast you run through that $100, and then figure out if you want to go do it in the priciest strip club market in the world.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:01 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I agree with hal_c_on. You can't have cheap and nice. Strip clubs in NYC are nice places (or they are sleazy places if they are cheap.) Get yourself about $1,000 and dress nicely. You can, however, expect to have a nice dinner and see some really nice looking girls dance for you if you decide to venture out. Here is an example of how we do things in NYC. For $30, you can visit the local bar for about an hour.
posted by Yellow at 4:10 AM on June 25


It sounds from other people's comments like burlesque might be a closer match to what you're looking for. I've been to shows at two different venues, and they were very different.

The Slipper Room on the Lower East Side - fun and bawdy and crowded (get there early if you want to sit). Female and male dancers, usually a collection of very short performances. Go-go dancing after the show, where you're encouraged to come to the stage and give a tip.

Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO - A little more arty. Bigger stage (with trapeze!) and more seating. Often the show will have a theme with connected performances.
posted by twoporedomain at 9:30 AM on June 25


When I researched one for my brother's bachelor party we ended up going to Sapphire. It was fairly nice as far as strip clubs go (the guys enjoyed it). Not sure what their cover is, i think it differs based on the day. Give them a call.
posted by pyro979 at 5:44 PM on June 25


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