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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2008, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
Setting up lap dancing clubs is 'too easy'
By Dhruti Shah
Newsbeat reporter, Aberdeen

Lap dancing clubs people who go there love them and say they're a great night out. But campaign group Object wants stricter licensing laws to control what they say is a big problem for towns and cities across the country.

Sarah Henderson
Stripper Sarah Henderson says working in a lap dancing club is a completely safe environment

They reckon the clubs exploit women, cause sexism in the workplace and create no-go zones for people who just don't feel safe walking past them at night.

A loophole in the 2003 Licensing Act means the clubs are treated like cafes or karaoke bars rather than as part of the sex entertainment industry.

Newsbeat visited a lap dancing club in Aberdeen and spoke to stripper Sarah Henderson who has worked there for two years.

Safe enough

She said: "It's completely safe and I wouldn't be working on that dance floor if I didn't feel safe enough.

"The women that work here they are here for their own accord. I come into work and I enjoy myself. It's good clean fun and that's all I can say. It's certainly not a trap and I have good fun here."

The women that work here they are here for their own accord - I come into work and I enjoy myself
Sarah Henderson
Stripper in Aberdeen
Object says it is far too easy to get a licence for a strip club and that's caused a huge increase in the number of them up around 50% from just over 10 years ago.

They have launched a campaign called Stripping the Illusion to try to stem the number of clubs opening.

But Sandrine Leveque from the group says the clubs exploit women, it's too easy to open one up and women who work there aren't looked after properly.

She added: "There are definitely effects, social effects, which come as a result of lap dancing clubs."

No-go area

But Sarah's boss, Kate Connlon, thinks the campaigners should visit the clubs before trying to change the law.

She said: "The people who think that outside a strip club is a no-go area are obviously people who have not been in one or even near one.

Sarah Henderson
Sarah says lap dancers work on their own accord

"The girls who work here are very well looked after. The interior of the venue it's not done for the customers, it's done for the girls. The heating and the lighting is to accommodate the girls."

The issue has already been raised at the Scottish Parliament and it is expected to publish recommendations about what should be done in the next couple of months.

And 28-year-old Kevin, who's been a regular at Private Eyes for the past five years, hopes nothing changes.

He says: "We call the strippers dancers because it's just another form of entertainment really. If it's good for George Clooney, I don't see why it's bad for anyone else."

"It's just a bit of harmless fun, entertainment and for me it's as normal as going to the cinema or going to the theatre."



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