Strip Clubs in San Francisco
August 10, 2007 10:08 AM   Subscribe

What's a good San Francisco strip club to go to with my boyfriend?

I'm a girl. I want to go to a strip club. One with naked or mostly naked ladies. The reasons are numerous but basically boil down to curiosity. I'm interested in seeing one because they're there and I've never been and I wonder what it's like. I'm also actually interested in seeing the on-stage action and just checking it out, generally. I have no interest (I don't think) in lap dances unless it's to watch one take place but I would like to see some good performances. I've seen lots of burlesque and enjoyed it but this would be something different. Although lots of guys in the past have expressed support for my interest and said they would take me, my current boyfriend actually seems to be moving forward with the idea. Problem is, neither of us has much idea where to go in San Francisco. I'd like something with performances and relatively upscale. I don't mind and might even encourage a little sleaze but I'd prefer not to stick to the floor and for the dancers to be at least somewhat healthy. Where should we go?
posted by otherwordlyglow to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Lusty Lady in North Beach is where I'd go. I haven't been, but the girls are unionized and it's a worker owned collaborative! Only in San Francisco...
posted by paddingtonb at 10:25 AM on August 10, 2007

May I recommend the Lusty Lady - your unionized strip club? The dancers always appreciate women and couples in the audience (or so I've heard...)

It doesn't have lap dances, and dancers are actually behind glass, so there's no contact with them. It's a peep show rather than a strip club, but otherwise should meet your criteria.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:25 AM on August 10, 2007

I haven't much experience in this arena, but this strip club review website is probably a good place to begin your search.
posted by gnutron at 10:26 AM on August 10, 2007

They're all in North Beach, corner of Broadway and Columbia. Go there and see what looks least skeevy.
posted by lubujackson at 10:35 AM on August 10, 2007

er Columbus.
posted by lubujackson at 10:35 AM on August 10, 2007

Response by poster: Yeah Lusty Lady has been an option that could work. What about Mitchell Brothers?
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:41 AM on August 10, 2007

I've only been to Mitchell Brothers once, and that was a few years ago, but when I was there the stage dancers really went out of their way to put on a show whenever a couple was present.
posted by majick at 10:48 AM on August 10, 2007

Definitely recommend Larry Flynt's Hustler Club for a non-skeevy and somewhat classy establishment in a good neighborhood.
posted by OpinioNate at 11:00 AM on August 10, 2007

Don't forget to experience the other side of life and go to see some male strippers together as well! (I've always wondered if guys who get their girlfriends to go to all-lady strip clubs--not that this is the situation described in the question, of course--would be as open to accompanying them to all-guy strip clubs.)
posted by troybob at 11:19 AM on August 10, 2007

I've never been to the Lusty Lady, but that's because from all accounts it's not really a strip club. My friend, who enjoys visiting there, says that it's where you go when you want to have a naked woman sit down next to you and give you a serious, scathing Marxian critique of the capital marketplace's objectification of women.

As I say, he likes this, but for most normal males it's not what the strip club experience is about.

Vegas is close enough to SF that I think if you really want to see what the strip club experience is about you should go there instead.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Sockpuppetry at 11:31 AM on August 10, 2007

You're probably looking for Broadway Showgirls.
posted by vacapinta at 11:47 AM on August 10, 2007

Lusty is great politically and all, but it's kind of grimy and unenthusiastic feeling. I would agree that you should go to the neighborhood and just drop into two or three clubs based on the vibe that attracts you.
posted by serazin at 11:59 AM on August 10, 2007

You may not know that there are topless only clubs and full nudity clubs. The former serve alcohol. So you should decide which type of club you're interested in.

Lusty Lady is (or was) more like a peep show, not a strip club. I'd say it's definitely too depressing for a first time visit, as its vibe is very furtive and desparate.

For topless only I've heard good things about the Gold Club (south of Market) - it's pretty upscale, so low on the sleeze factor. I'd say that for total nudity, it's probably *got* to be Mitchell Brothers, if only for the historic value.

Hey, maybe you could make this into a Mefi Meetup!
posted by jasper411 at 12:28 PM on August 10, 2007

Speaking as a girl, I loved the Lusty Lady- it's a little grimy, and it is indeed a peep rather than a strip show, but the girls are thrilled to see gender confederates and they are stunningly beautiful in wonderfully unconventional ways (fab tattoos, funky glasses, breasts that look like something other than silicone-injected party hats).

And fercryingoutloud they're unionized!

I suspect that San Francisco being the place it is, you will be find a surprising number of women at most joints. At the other club I dropped into (also in North Beach, can't remember the name) at least a third of the customers were women, including- to the manifest delight of the stripper- a tablefull of old-school butch lesbians.

Ah, the memories.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 2:03 PM on August 10, 2007

The Hustler club is pretty good and not skeevy. I've been there many times and known some of the dancers. The dancers are topless but not bottomless which probably adds to the class a little bit. If you go as a couple, you generally get extra attention but it isn't that uncommon anymore.
posted by chairface at 2:59 PM on August 10, 2007

Lusty Lady is awesome! -- it's like the punk rock dive bar of strip clubs. I went there with my cousin and her boyfriend, and I spent the entire time giggling like a little girl as the booth screen went up and down. See, you walk into a private booth and feed it quarters, and the little screen goes up and gives you a look for about a minute or two, and then back down, then you put in more quarters. I found the whole thing hilarious. Maybe not the place to go if you're really into strip clubs, but definitely less of a social challenge if you're kinda introverted or would feel uncomfortable with dancers getting right up in your face/talking to you. And yeah, it's not a 'typical' strip club, from what I understand, so it may not sate your curiousity.

The only other strip club I've been to in SF was L.A. girls on Market St, which is decidedly *trashy*. Like, front for meth-addled prostitutes with no eyebrows trashy. Not recommended.
posted by fishfucker at 3:13 PM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

i'll nth the Lusty Lady. the thought of strip clubs raises my feminist hackles, but I felt not only at ease at the Lusty, I felt kind of joyful knowing the women who work there under a worker's collective, and it shows in the attitude and performances of the artists.

bring lots of quarters! ;)
posted by kuppajava at 10:41 AM on August 11, 2007

Response by poster: Just as a follow-up, we finally went this weekend to two places. Since we wanted to have a few drinks, we went to the newly-topless-again Condor Club, figuring that since it's the Home of Topless Dancing, we couldn't go wrong. 9:00 on a Saturday and the place was pretty empty. We sat through about 8-9 performances each of which consisted of a girl on stage by herself doing a strip-tease down to a g-string over the course of three pop songs. There was a pole and it was used to various effect by the ladies. Some of the performances were less than lackluster, one or two were better than average and at least one was very impressive. One the whole, we weren't all that titillated by much of anything there but it certainly was interesting to finally see the inside of a strip club. We paid $10 to get in (total for the two of us) and drinks were about $5 each.

Following that adventure we headed over to the Lusty Lady for about 30 minutes of peep show action. That was quite interesting and we ended up interacting with one girl in particular there who was very entertaining. It's odd though that they're all right up close to you (separated by the glass of the booth) and that you can see and talk to each other. Definitely a wider range of body types, interests, and approaches to the endeavor. Definitely a sleazier venue but surprisingly positive vibe and super fun.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 1:27 PM on October 1, 2007

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