Capital of Strip Clubs?

The New York Times had an article Thursday about strip clubs in my hometown, Tampa, gearing up for the Republican National Convention.

Apparently Republicans spend nearly three times as much at strip clubs during their conventions as Democrats do at theirs — at least, according to the rather loose research cited by the Times. Somehow I’m not surprised. Aren’t Republicans wealthier?

Anyway, one line of the article said, “Tampa cannot shed its national reputation as the strip club capital of the country.” To which I say, really?

It’s true that Tampa was in the news periodically over the years as Joe Redner, an owner of several strip clubs, fought local government over regulation and free speech issues. But is Tampa really considered the national capital of stripping? I suspect that’s quite an overstatement.

By way of example on an international level, here are two strip clubs I photographed on Lothian Road in Edinburgh. See? Even Scotland has its share of pole dancing and, according to the window on the Sapphire Rooms, “stag shows.”

Still, overstatements aside, the Times article isn’t bad. It quotes one dancer, who’s saving her money for nursing school, vowing to discuss her economic travails with her convention clients. You go, girl!

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