Strip clubbing and pole dancing are increasingly springing up from all nooks and crannies of the Lagos metropolis in response to the internal economic structures of the industry developed in response to the financial crisis in the country. CHIJIOKE IREMEKA writes that such places are not for men suffering from premature ejaculation as a lap dance on them could ‘mess’ them up
There has been a widespread treachery and spoof that nudity is the surest marketing strategy that sells a brand like wild fire even when such brand has nothing in correlation with nudity. Virtually all electronic and print media commercials are tinted pictures or videos of nude or half nude women.
This, perhaps, is the reason those in hospitality business, including hoteliers, showbiz personalities and club owners, who have been experiencing lull in their businesses, are fast embracing ‘strip clubbing’ or seductive ‘pole dancing’ as way out of their bust to business boom.
Strip clubbing is, therefore, lucrative in this current Nigeria. Its nature makes it one of the thriving business ventures among the owners, leading to heavy competition and its proliferation in high and low brow areas of most cities in the country.
Recall that the act was, at a point, banned in Lagos State, but later bounced back, stronger and more daring, garbed in the toga of legitimacy as the business was legalised by then Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, with the support of the Lagos State House of Assembly led by Rt. Hon. Kuforiji.
Today, its operations have invaded other major metropolitan cities across the country. Most hotels operate theirs, where young people of ages, between18 and 30 years hang around in search of fun and livelihood.
White Dove in Satelite Town, Heaven in Festac, Las Vegas in Ojo, Oxygen in Igandu, Pedro at Iju, Ex-factor in Surulere, The Cave and Millennium in Ikeja are some of these clubs. Ikoyi, on the Island, Oshodi and Ajegunle are not left out. Those without such services are incorporating it into their service mix to retain their customer base.
A marketing expert, Mrs. Queen Iriogbe, says: “Sex sells but not in all things. It’s more so, because the sponsors of evil are great and committed to their works; they are religiously planting nudity as a way forward to any booming business.
“They target men and women with loose minds to appeal to their sensual feelings. That is the point of attraction for them to make a statement. Once they get the attention of these set of people, they take advantage of them.”
“Think about it, wherever sex is being discussed, people are always quiet with full attention to capture every bit of it. Try it, even among young people, and you will get amazing feedback,” she assured.
According to the Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, strip club means “a club where people go to watch performers take their cloths off in a sexually exciting way.”
Sunday Telegraph, is therefore, focusing beyond the objectification of the female body to examine the question as to why strip clubs have proliferated and found a permanent place in the night-time economy in Nigeria.
For this hotel administrator, Mr. Gabriel Ellem, proliferation of strip clubs is largely due to the internal economic structures of the industry which have developed partly in response to the financial crisis in the country.
He noted that the clubs profit from individual dancers through an exploitative system of fees and fines, rendering a strip club business a low cost investment with high returns and little risk to club owners.
“Overall,” he said, “I suggest that far from proliferating as a response to demand, the industry has maintained its market presence due to its ability to establish highly financially exploitative employment relationships with dancers at a time of economic fragility.
“The industry itself welcomes students. In fact, most strip clubs in the country depend on students as temporary workers, who provide a key source of labour when clubs are at their busiest hours. Most of these students move to the environment where they are not
known to ply their trade.”
Sunday Telegraph’s visits to Premier Hotels and Las Vegas in Old Ojo Road, Lagos, revealed that there are also other side attractions to this business, especially the addition of pole dancers to it. Pole dancers are half-naked ladies, making seductive moves on a pole steps in an erotic dance.
Pole dancing is a common place in almost all the clubs and hotels visited. While digging out their customised dance steps, they reveal their sexy cleavages to the delight of their audiences, showing their suiting shinning skin due to, perhaps, use of oily cream or baby pears and shimmer to achieve dazzling skin.
Aside twisting around the pole, the half nude girls thrill their audience with lap dances, which involves sitting on a client’s lap while performing seductive acts. Some of their viewers normally stuff money in the ladies’ braziers and panties.
But caveat here remains that those men suffering from premature ejaculation shouldn’t be in such places as they will mess up themselves and their clothes when a lap dance is given to them. It’s a weird kind of life for many; too exposed and so funny, yet their reality. A man was said to have ‘wee weed’ on himself after a-five minutes lap dance.
During Sunday Telegraph’s visits to some of these clubs, some men were seen trying to hold down their joysticks, which were threatening to puncture their trousers in response to what was happening on the stage and imagining things.
Expression on faces of some, were like that of a man taken to a room by a well-shaped lady and asked to gradually undress such a lady. Though one might not see the goose pimples all over their bodies, but our correspondent imagined that happening to some viewers, yet to be used to the club. As for others, it was fun as they watched while sipping their drinks.
Seeing a stark naked beautiful lady with erect nipples on the stage, Miss Jovita Akannem said: “The first time I was there, I was so marveled to behold such level of immorality in the face of this country. Unfortunately, these are the places where many men go to catch fun, seeing naked women. I fear for women. It was so open and exposed.”
Sunday Telegraph learnt that both strip and pole dancers combine two professions together. While they dance nude at the club, they combine it with prostitution as many of them will later go home with male clients, who are ready to pay their way into their laps.
Some of them collect N8, 000, or N10, 000 as the case may be. Some people also pay extra fees between N2, 000 and N3, 000 to have them display lap dance on them.
“It depends on what you want. You can decide if you want a lap dance or not. You can request for it and pay extra or relax until they spot you out and come for it. You can decline when you are not ready or accept the dance,” said one of the patrons of a strip club, Olubiyi Alabi.
“I visited Club 10 with my friend, who requested that a lap dance be given to me, which I got. The lady was dancing, wagging and twisting her waist in my front. After the service, my friend that requested that for me declined payment; so I had to pay N2, 000,” he said.
Asked to speak on the chemical reactions going on in his body while the lap dance lasted, he said laughing, “Nothing! I didn’t feel anything because I was embarrassed at first. My friend‘s wife was there with us, so, I couldn’t have felt much reaction.”
According to a staff of one of the clubs at Igandu, Oxygen, Usman Badamosi, admission into the dancing sector attracts between N2, 000 to N2, 500 as gate fee, which doesn’t take care of one’s drinks and perhaps, lap dance too.
“Sometimes, a lap dance costs between N3, 000 and N5, 000. Also, at the VIP section, it ranges from N10, 000 to N15, 000. A bottle of regular beer goes for between N500 and N1, 000 while the cost of wine and spirits range from N3, 000 and above depending on the club,” he noted.
Sunday Telegraph learnt that these prices vary as prestigious strip clubs are more expensive than the above mentioned prices. In some prestigious clubs, regular beers sell between N1, 500 and N3, 000 while wine and spirits go for N5, 000 and above still depending on the class of wine. For some classes of wine, it’s from N10, 000 and above.
‘Strip clubbing increases our sales’
According to the Manager of Premier Hotel on the Old Ojo Road, Mr. Iyke Okonji, strip dancing service has been an added advantage to their sales, saying that the service is for adults, and has kept them ahead of their competition.
The manager, who noted that his principal doesn’t need any competitor of any kind said, the business used to experience lull in the past until they added nude club to their service mix and moved to boom.
A female staff of the hotel, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “I have been able to compare our sales then and now. So, I can tell you that we are making more money now than before. Also, our customers have increased too. Now, we have to buy more chairs to accommodate the growing customer strength.”
Asked the type of people that visit the club side of the hotel, she said: “Young men and adults are more. We used to have stage live band, which was also good but people came more for the strip dancing. We also have some live-in female hustlers.”
Comparing what our correspondent saw, most open bars in Festac without strip clubs, are thriving but not in the same pace as those that run strip clubs.
Summer Garden on 52 Road is a calm and quiet bar but does not control the activities that Heaven on First Avenue controls. Rumours on First Avenue, owned by Tuface Idibia, is good but not as bobbling as Ibiza on the same axis, or Grasshopper or even Rockview Hotel that has live band at weekends.
The same expedition was extended to Old Ojo Road where there are clusters of hotels, clubs and open bars. Las Vegas, Upper Room and Premier are making waves owing to the inclusion of striptease stuff and pole dancing to their service mix.
During the visits to the axis, Sunday Telegraph witnessed a number of young people gate-crashing at the entrances of the above mentioned entertainment houses. One could imagine their driving force. Though these clubs would not advertise this service, but pictures of ladies dancing in a disco light stage tells one about the night activities there.
‘Why men patronise strip clubs’
Patrons of nude clubs visit the clubs for different reasons. While some go there to behold beautiful ladies in their natural forms, other groups visit to please their erotic desires. The other group sees it as an opportunity to see the nakedness of pretty women who they might not have had in their beds ordinarily.
To some people, it is a show of variety and luxury. Most rich and classy men engage in the act. The rich and famous engage in it because the only way they get their kicks is to just ensure the transaction is a transaction, among other reasons.
Josiah Maduagwu, a fan of nude clubs shared his experience on why men patronise strip clubs. “Men patronise strip clubs because there’s a 100% guarantee that there will be a naked woman to show her endowments. It’s the same reason men go for porn that takes them to club. If one says otherwise, will the same man be there if it were a girl of three years displaying on the stage undressed.
“Men love to see women’s bodies. The more they see it, the better for them. In a strip club, they don’t have to ask or beg. Another reason is that these men are living a secret affair with no strings attached. Men usually fantasise about beautiful women; they see beautiful women as the epitome of successful dating.
“By seeing women of equivalent beauty that are completely nude and seemingly vulnerable, going to a strip clubs allows them to get closer to that fantasy. It is like a live version of the sexual escapades men dream about. It isn’t cheating, but the thought of engaging one of the women does cross the minds of most men.”
Twenty-two-year-old Allen Avenue, Ikeja-based Sera, will be willing to dance nude for any man that cares for it in his closet but not in a hotel or club. She does hook ups for a living and charges between N35,000 and N40,000 to service a man per night.
“I do hookups for a living,” she quipped. “Don’t be shocked. I am not your girlfriend. Now, you know we can’t date. Sorry! I take N35,000. But what can you pay?” she asked while chatting with our correspondent on a special WhatsApp, a hub for young ladies who are into covert prostitution.
They do not stand on the road or live in a hotel but live in the comfort of their fathers’ houses, hooking up with guys and servicing them for money. Most of them are on special whatsapp where all the bargain and agreements are entered into.
While our correspondent responded N10, 000, she said: “That is for a quick rest, when I am not spending the night with you; like an hour. I will take N25, 000 last for the night.”
Another online prostitute in a chat, who is ready to go all, ‘Jane’, chatted while exchanging a chatout with our correspondent, “Where are you chatting from? Please, I’m here to hook up only. Short time is N15, 000 while till day break is N25, 000. But I will take N10, 000 for short-time and N15, 000 last because I am going to f**k you well. I do things for next time.”
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