I'll give you the bad news first. Yesterday, my club got raided. The good news? I wasn't there. My friend from work emailed me to let me know. I don't know what exactly happened, other than ten cops showing up, and the club now being closed 'indefinitely.' No girls were arrested... Knowing my club, the violation could range from the open and unabashed cigarette smoking to the open and unabashed soliciting (blow jobs and sex are available from many girls for the right price). Then again, knowing how law enforcement deals with strip clubs, there might not have been any real violation, but rather an underwhelmed group of cops dealing with a slow Thursday afternoon.
Anyway, I was less than pleased to discover I would not be able to go to work today. Not only that, but my heels and outfits are all stowed in my locker at the club, so I can't even hit the road and find another place to work, even though there are a half dozen new clubs I'm eager to try. It's kind of like the opposite of all dressed up and nowhere to ho.* From my brief research, it is likely that my club will be up and running in a few days, but the idea of being "out of work" is really unsettling.
Even more unsettling is the realization that these raids happen - frequently - and if I choose to continue dancing, I may not be as lucky to go unscathed. I happen to not offer "extras" in VIP unlike 80% of the girls at my club, but this fact rarely matters when the long arm of the law swoops in... In fact, usually raids end in indiscriminate arrests regardless of what "laws" the girl is breaking.
Speaking of laws, is there a guidebook out there in terms of what constitutes legality in the sex industry? I've talked to dancers who have been arrested for giving a lapdance and being within a half-foot of the customer. I'm sorry, but I've had lap dances where I've had a half-foot in the guy's mouth! Clearly, this is a violation. Apparently when guys tuck stage tips between your breasts, this counts as a form of sex work as well. At the end of the day, it's up to the cops, the connections club ownership has with the police, and dumb luck. If a cop wants to arrest me for prostitution, he pretty much can. I've heard of girls being taken in for patting another dancer on the butt!
Knowing this fucked up aspect of our so-called justice system was actually a big part of why I went into dancing in the first place ... but thinking about how close I am to a criminal charge actually scares the shit out of me. Apparently, it's easy to shake such a charge if you hire the right lawyer, but am I looking to spend all my hard-earned cash on a sex crimes attorney just to clear my name? The recommendation is generally to accept the charge, pay the fine, and have a misdemeanor on my record.
Right now I'm fighting the urge to spend a couple hundred bucks on new shoes and an outfit so that I can start working again today; I think I should let dust settle, let the weekend pass, and see what the deal is for my current club in a couple days...
*Thanks, $pread Magazine!