Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Guest Post of Alan Markovitz---an American Author

So, what was driving our unbridled success – besides prime location, stellar entertainers, outrageous ambiance, buzz on the street, five-star food and drink – and a VIP area that approximated the best of an adult Disneyland and The Four Seasons blended together? In truth, it was the existence of a very simple grey area that draws a fine line between the closest proximity of female flesh to male bodies permitted by law, supercharged by the possibility of, the nuance, the obvious notion that you could reach out … and… just… tut, tut, tut! Why, she wouldn’t permit it, would she? And what gentleman would be so bold? And most important of all, he isn’t allowed to touch the dancer. And therein, dear readers, lies the rub.

The VIP area, ten years previous, was all but unknown. Without it, the grey area that began with taking dancers off the stage and putting them on “portable stages,” or on or at the tables in front of their patrons, would not have had the potential to morph into the most amazing profit center that topless clubs, and their entertainers, have yet come to know. VIP rooms or areas, by themselves, however, are nothing new. Any upscale nightclub has always had a VIP room with an eye on attracting and keeping high-roller or celebrity guests segregated and specially treated. They bring cachet and prestige to the club, attracting the paying hordes that make a club become really hot.

Putting VIP rooms into the topless club was, at first, counterintuitive. The entertainment, plainly, was out front, up on the stage. That’s where the action was. There could be no other action until a context – the creation of the personal dance – was brought into existence. Then came the “Aha!” moment, when suddenly the advantages of the VIP area became glaringly obvious. But back to that grey area: By its nature, it’s a tricky proposition. If real contact was truly permitted in the VIP room, in exchange for money, what you would have is something awfully close to actual prostitution. That is obviously blatantly illegal…and not a good idea for any club hoping not to be burned to the ground by village elders. On the other hand you have human nature, exotic entertainers who are generally motivated and therefore willing to do a little bit more with their customers – in privacy!- to keep those $20 bills coming. The customers, of course, intoxicated by the allure of the entertainer, want more … contact… and with no one there to chaperone or, I daresay, police him…now we have quite a conundrum!

It is essential that the club maintain printed rules and regulations that strictly define the limits of conduct of their entertainers. It is in my best interests as an operator that I follow the rules, adhere to the letter of the law, and maintain a safe and exciting environment for customers and entertainers alike. I’d be happy to show you a copy of the handout that is posted in the dressing rooms of the dances in my clubs, that is explained to every new dance, which minces no words in telling it like it. Dances must not have contact with patrons, and if there is fleeting contact, the warm touch of a dancer’s delicate hand on the suite-and-shirt-encased forearm of a gentleman, for example, it must be clearly nonsexual contact. Beyond that, we are all, as human beings, subject to that thing called human nature. Nobody is perfect. Imperfection inhabits the grey area. And life, and business, goes on as it has for thousands upon thousands of years.

By Alan Markovitz



Alan Markovitz is an American author of a moving memoir about a guy who owns several Penthouse Gentlemen’s Clubs and the country’s No. 1 ranked adult entertainment club (The Ultimate Strip Club List (http://www.tuscl.net/) and The Flight Club. Through his book, "Topless Prophet", we are treated to a first-hand account of a Detroit businessman who has helped change and grow an industry while overcoming many challenges, some life-threatening, some business-endangering. He has spent nearly the past three decades reformulating the ultimate fantasy setting for men.

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