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October 11, 2007

Female Strip Clubs Are All the Rage

Smart, successful women in the U.K. are dropping hundreds of dollars nightly at strip clubs created exclusively for them. And you thought you knew how to have fun.

A male stripper dances at Tricky Dickys.

A male stripper dances at Tricky Dickys.

Photo Credit: Richard S.

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Under flashing red and purple lights, a dancer named Adrenalin, a slightly chunkier version of a 30-something Sting, is thrusting and grinding to a pounding disco beat at Tricky Dickys nightclub in Birmingham, England. A crowd of young women dressed in Friday-night gear — slip dresses, jeans, gauzy tops — sits on white leatherette chairs in a semicircle surrounding the stage. They whoop and clap, snap pictures with their cell phones, and sip free champagne or cocktails with names like Easy Lay and Citron My Face. Swaggering into the audience, Adrenalin grabs the hand of a bouncy brunette in jeans and a tank top, escorts her onto the stage, blindfolds her, then sticks a dildo down the front of his G-string. While the crowd roars, he sits on her lap, guides her hands to the rod, gyrates lustily, then squeezes the dildo so it squirts lotion into the air — a faux climax. The audience shrieks.

Adrenalin gets another woman to kneel down on all fours onstage. Crouching behind her, he simulates doggy-style intercourse, miming exhaustion. Two minutes later, he kisses the giggling volunteer on the cheek and dispatches her back to her seat.

"I always get dragged onstage at shows," she says to the woman next to her. "When I went to see Sesame Street Live, I had to go up and dance with Big Bird."

She's a long way from Sesame Street. Though lap-dancing clubs first came to Britain in the mid-1990s and now number around 300, Tricky Dickys is the first one to focus on a female clientele.

The club targets a growing breed: free-spending, big-drinking women who like to party in ways that used to be strictly for guys. "I saw a business opportunity," says owner Lizzie Lucas, a blonde 37-year-old mother of three, who launched Tricky Dickys in March 2007. "Women are coming into their own. They want fun, they want laughs, and they want to be entertained."

To that end, the club encourages indulgence in everything: smoking, drinking, eating, spending, and sex — at least, the simulation thereof. "We're giving ladies what men have had for ages," says club manager Martin Weaver. "Except it's designed to be chic. On TV, it's the gangster who always owns the strip club. They're dark, seedy places." In contrast, the marble, mirrors, chandeliers, and cowhide stools of Tricky Dickys borrow more from Carmela Soprano's guest room than, say, the Bada Bing.

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