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Monday, August 27, 2012

Peep This: The Lusty Lady Laps Up New Business

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 7:30 AM

CHAS REDMOND / FLICKR

The Lusty Lady, the world's only unionized, cooperative peep show, located in North Beach's equivalent of the red light district, is ready to dance those $1's and $5's out of you. Located among San Francisco's Strip of strip clubs, the worker-owned peep show understands that it has some pretty fierce competition. However, it prides itself for not conforming to the cookie-cutter corporate clubs located along the rest of Broadway. Lusty Lady instead embraces North Beach's edgy, more alternative spirit. After a brief financial scare a few months back, the Ladies are happy to say they're staying afloat. That being said, they're lap dancing their way to a bigger and better Lusty.

"We wanted to try to raise revenue so that we can get enough money to do all the renovations and stuff that we want to do," Prince$$, Lusty's spokeswoman, said. "So we just thought we'd try [lap dances] and see how that went." Here's how they work: It's Sadie Hawkins style. If a dancer wants to give someone a lap dance, and if they want one, the customer forks over $20, and gets a little extra fun. No dancer is ever forced to give lap dances, though. So, what needs fixing? Here's how the Lusty Lady Theatre is now: A front desk attendant greets all those who walk in. After passing through the mirrored doors and heading down a dark hallway, customers can have the choice to go to the main stage, bourge it up in a VIP booth, or get a little more cozy in the one-on-one booths. Dim lights and a musky scent tingle the senses as sultry women dance to bumping rhythms behind glass. It all evokes a very sneaky, old-fashioned, otherworldly image. Despite its history, though, the Lusty Lady wants to revamp its image, both with decoration and with shows, to fit the changes of the industry. "The novelty of just seeing someone naked isn't the novelty it was," Prince$$ said. "Now, they want more of a club experience ... they want to interact, they want to have an experience, and they want to be entertained." According to Prince$$, strip clubs are becoming more of a thing. The Lusty sees more groups, couples, and others who just want to have a fun night. As a result, they're scaling back from having all X, all the time, to showcasing different levels of naughty. The club has tossed around other ideas, too, like making a "sort of burlesque museum." After all, the Lusty Lady is already a fairly popular tourist destination, Prince$$ said. In order to do any large changes, it needs funds. "We want to make it fresh and new," Prince$$ said. "I really want to just make it nice." Makes sense. For many of these ladies, the Lusty is like home. "A lot of girls have a lot of sweat equity here," Prince$$ said. "They're really passionate about this place." This might be because of how the Lusty treats its employees. Unlike many other strip clubs, Prince$$ said, Lusty pays its employees first, rather than covering their expenses. It's great because it means everyone gets paid, but it leaves little for that extra sum. That's where the lap dances come into play. They "cover for those less fun things so that we have money to cover the more fun things." If you want to interact with some unionized entertainers, want a lap dance from a lusty hottie, or if you and your friends want to go to a different type of theater, head over to the Lusty Lady. And while you're at it, you might as well read these tips from former Lusty Lady Sandy Bottoms on how to ensure you have the best experience possible, i.e. these gals work hard for the money, so you better treat 'em right!

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.
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Suzanne Stathatos

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